bb (6481) - Alamo, California, USA - JUL 4, 2004
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2004 Bottle. Golden hazy beer with a huge white head. Yeasty. Big carbination that just overpowers everything. Iím not sure if I had a soapy glass or if the beer was just soapy, but the soap lasted throughout. Malt, some apple, metallic, a little lemon. Doesnít live up to itís reputation. This has to be the worst Trappist out there.
After having more bottles, it wasn't a soapy glass. This beer just reminds me of soap. Stale hops. Nothing good. And yes, the beer was brewed less than a year ago and the best by date is years away, so it's fresh. It just doesn't do it for me.
SilkTork (5021) - Rochester, Kent, United Kingdom, Kent, ENGLAND - JUL 3, 2004
3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: DEC 11, 2010 July 2002. Bottle. Beer with a huge reputation. I found a subtle citric fruit flavour which hovered around grapefruit, lemons and oranges, plenty of dry, hoppy bitterness, but little else. I know my taste inclines to sweeter beers, but I had expected something a bit more complex than this for such a highly rated beer. [2.5]
Oct 2003. Perfumed and dry. [2.8]
July 2004. Bottle conditioned. BBE Dec 08 (bottled Dec. 03). Tried alongside Youngís Special London and Freeminerís Waterloo.
Opens with a hiss. No movement of the beer. Very pleasant raisin fruit aroma - quite rich, yet delicate, sweet and a little bit like rum. The aroma is definitely the most attractive feature of this beer. Although some prickly metallic volatiles come through on pouring, the malt bread and raisins settle in quite early to be joined later on by a powerfully heady orange grove of exquisite freshness and fragrance. Later on some damp leather joins in. This aroma does decay toward the end of the glass to become quite rancid, like oily, raw, maggot infested meat dripped over with hot caramel. Nevertheless, it was the best part of the beer, and was the most interesting aroma of the three beers tried. Colour is glowing amber copper, rather pale, with very tiny hardly noticeable bubbles. The head is three times the height of the beer, but settles leaving lacy rings into mixed foam and bubbles. Appearance was fairly even across all three beers, and once the Orval head had settled the difference was slight, though the pale colour didnít look as appealing as the Youngís London Special. Mouthfeel is initially generous and filling, moving to a gentle fade. Some slight prickles give an attractive edge. Pleasantly firm without being harsh or heavy. The Freeminer beer had the best mouthfeel by far, with the Youngís Special next, but the Orval was very decent. Alcohol can be detected at all times. The 6.2% is merely a guide-line, and mine was clearly heading up to the 7% mark or higher. The flavour doesnít match the promise and range of the aroma, but is pleasant with soft, delicate orange flowers and a very mild spiciness. Finish is weak with metallic notes and a touch of blood and bone. The up front flavours are best, middle is good, but the finish is too naked, sharp, unpleasant and fading.
An average appearance, unless short lived foam mountains turn you on, a great aroma, a decent quick grapefruit sweetness up front, but then itís all about dryness and a chalky, metallic fading finish. However, each tasting produces a higher score than the last. [3.4]
Dec, 2010 A dry and unrewarding malt. Lots of integrated bitterness. Thereís some sharp, citric fruit - like grapefruit. Thereís a lingering chalkt dryness in the finish. Thereís a lot of unrewarding and unpleasant aspects to this beer. I am not a fan of uncomfortable beers, or very sharp or very bitter beers, so I donít really like this. I try it now and again, and I give it a decent go. But itís not my thing. [2.6]
zach8270 (3047) - Henrietta, New York, USA - JUN 28, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 10, 2008 [bottle - Great European Beerfest 8, Sharp Edge Tavern - East Liberty, PA] Poured a dark copper color with a very thin head. Rich floral aroma with a lot of citrus underneath. Very full flavor with lots of citrus and sweet hops. Crisp taste with a sweet and slightly peppery hop finish.
jimmack (1222) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - JUN 27, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 30, 2004 Great orange color. Citrusy, musty bouquet. Nicely hopped with floral and
herbal flavors. Clean, dry finish.
SubstanceT (1092) - Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - JUN 27, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
I wanted to like this. I really did. The first thing that I want to say about this beer is that there is a lot of complexities that I can in no way describe. Because of that My rating will probably not give it justice. The nose is very spicy and fruity particualry apple skins. The taste is ripe with apples and tartness. Skinny and firm with a gentleness to it. The body is silky with a touch of kick to it. Interesting, but I dont want to get a headache trying to figure out what is in this thing when I drink.
Dough77 (821) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - JUN 25, 2004
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
poured a golden amber. smelled of light fruits, very champagne like. as soon as the taste hit my mouth i decided this was beers answer to champagne. not anything like i expected, not that i knew what to expect. but compared to my most recent belgian brews it was way off the mark. granted rochefort, and westvleteren, and st bernardus are rough to compete with, but this was barely a beer. i felt as if though it was one of those cheap wines you get at the beginning of an american wedding. not impressed at all. maybe its one you have to become accustomed to before you really like it, but as of now...... no thanks
lachesis (756) - St Idesbald, BELGIUM - JUN 23, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A great Belgian classic,with a noble lightamber color and a nice fluffy froth.It has a complex smell off noble hops and also a fine fruity side.This beer has a fullbodied hoppy taste and light complex sweetness in the end.The lingering afthertaste is drying out in a fine bitterness.
robertsreality (2460) - Minnesota, USA - JUN 22, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle From Rileyís in Madison. Cloudy Orange Coloring. Fruity. White Head. A little tangy/bitter at the end. A wonderful beer.
arjoseph (634) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 22, 2004
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUN 10, 2008 Re-Rate. What a difference it makes having this in Belgium. On my last trip there, I had a bottle of this with lunch at some random cafe off the square in Brussels (not listed in the Places section and not the type of place beer lovers search out). It was just a normal bar, but they had Orval, and the bottle itself had some dust on it like they had been cellaring it for awhile. The waiter/bartender was thrilled that someone ordered it. In short: amazing. Smells: brett, sour lime, a bit of white pepper; it was light, crisp, and playful in the nostrils. Sour apples and yeast at first on the medium body with perfect carbonation. Finish turned spicy, with corriander and noble hops still riding a last ditch fizziness and tickling the top of the tongue. The acidity blended perfectly with the hops and the spices (not to mention the malt foundation that brought it all together on the same platform). Feel was both dry and refreshing, being both something I wanted to sip and enjoy and something I wanted to drink to quench my thirst. In all, this was like wonderfully spiced, dry and bitter grapefruit juice, but not like the grapefruit youíll get in west-coast USA IPAs. Hazy ruby orange in the glass with a creamy egg merengue head. Now I get what all the fuss is about. 8/5/9/5/18
Original Rating. Bottle into Duvel tulip glass; bought at Binnyís at Grand and Wells, 6/2004. Great smell: Banana, apples, caramel, and some prickly alcohol. Rocky white head was mostly lasting and huge (at least, it diminished very slowly). When it got to manageable size, I could see that the lacing was gorgeous. In the glass it was ruddy orange with visible yeast; great looking beer. I was a bit disappointed with the taste. I will admit that I probably started the beer when it was a bit too cold, because it got better as it warmed in the glass, but over all, I was expecting exceptional, and it was just really good. It started out caramel apple with fizzy carbonation, with a weird spiciness that seemed like mint in the finish. It wasnít creamy; tasted kind of like orange rinds; was light bodied and crisp; and there were dry hops on the finish. As it got warmer, the carbonation wasnít as pronounced (which was nice, because it seemed too fizzy to begin with), and the hops became more prominent (which was good). The same mintiness stayed. Good Belgian ale, but not close to others Iíve had. 8/5/7/3/16 = 3.9
lilannie (384) - Adamstown, Maryland, USA - JUN 19, 2004
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Aroma: sweet grapes, grape scented markers, oak barrels, ckittles candies, some yeast, slight floral aroma, pineapple, and bubble gum. Very pleasant scents overall.
Appearance: murky, baby-poop brown color, large creamy head, lacing
Flavor: not as bold as I expected--slight candy flavors, spiciness--chamolile and pumpkin spices, flavor slight watered down though
Palate: sweet, tangy bite for aftertaste, this followed by a lingering spiciness
Overall: more of a summer beer; not worth the USD 4.99 for though.