Schultsc (572) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 13, 2005
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAR 5, 2009 Cloudy orange-gold with a thin head. Spice and apples in the aroma which continue on into the flavor which has a light, crisp tartness akin to green apples. Light body with very little bitterness and much less maltiness than expected. A lighter belgian offering overall that is interesting and easy drinking. Immediately recognizable as Belgian but not necassarily as trappist since is posesses a more singular, focused, flavor profile which in this case is refreshingly different.
Hunsell (400) - Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS - MAY 11, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Cloudy orange beer, large white fluffu head. Aroma of grapes, slightly tart, hops. Grapes in the taste, but not sweet, developing into a big hopbitterness. Dry finish, bit grainy. Not totally my style of beer but truly unique, though ’t IJ Vlo certainly has some characteristics from Orval. I wonder If this one will age so very nice as Vlo does.
lagermonkey (725) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - MAY 9, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a hazy golden brown with a big foamy head. Smells bitter and yeasty. Floral. Hints of light malt with spice.
Tough to describe the taste as I have had nothing like it. Alternately sweet and bitter up front fading to a sour apple flavor. Yeasty but more than that it tastes bready like sourdough. Strong alcohol finish at times, warming in the throat. Full bodied but with light aftertastes.
This brew fits no specific style. It is truly a one of a kind experience.
ojclark (69) - Santa Monica, California, USA - MAY 9, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottled on 10/3/2004, 7 months old when tasted. Orangey hoppy aroma with notes of sourness/vinegar aroma. Cloudy orange/amber color with a frothy off-white head with a lot of carbonation and light lacing. Flavor a complex mix of bitter, sour, hops with a noticable lambic-type (Brettanomyces) character and some slightly vinegary sourness. Slight sweetness noticable along with the other flavor components in the aftertaste. Effervescent mouthfeel, medium body with a medium length finish with a fairly long aftertaste. Very complex and very good.
csbosox (1217) - Prairie Village, Kansas, USA - MAY 8, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
11.2oz bottle; bottled on 10.03.2004. Served at 53° in my NB worthy glass. I poured the first ~10oz to leave the yeast, per Michael Jackson’s suggestion. The color is reddish orange with a 1" billowy white head. The head leaves laces on the glass as it dissapates, but it dissapates rather slowly. The aroma is yeasty and bretty (barnyardy) with some bright citrus notes, maybe lemons. The taste is dry with prominent brettanomyces, giving it a leather and wool horse blanket flavor. There is some mild lemon flavor initially. The finish is dry and peppery, with some spiciness to it. The mouthfeel is dry, tart, and refreshing, while still maintaining some body. When the last bit of beer is poured in, the color becomes a bit cloudy and the beer seems to have a softer feel and taste, the brett is still there, but the mildness of the yeast mellows it. Great beer, I think I will try newer and older versions. In MJ’s "Great Beers of Belgium," he said the bretts and lemon comes around at around six months, before that the hop aroma and flavor is "especially flowery, fruity, and refreshing." At a year, it is described and "dry and perfumy." What a neat beer!
Crosling (1863) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - MAY 8, 2005
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Ya know, I never liked Orval until this moment. Fairly fresh bottle for American standards, only about 6 months young. Attractive dark orange in color, with a monstrous white head that falls eloquently. Expressive, yeasty and hoppy nose, with hints of flowers, perfume and citrus fruits. Flavor is extremely complex, bursting with citrus fruits, exploding with hop flavor, while remaining very funky, somewhat sour, full of horseblanket and wild yeast flavors. Dry, lingering, incredible and oh so unique. Palate is smooth and bubbly and so fitting.
scotty (1040) - SCOTLAND - MAY 7, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Hazy,deep gold in colour, big bubbled frothy white head. Nose is wonderfully rich with toffee/malt/spice all mingled together. Palate is full bodied and powerfull, sweet and fruity, but is well balanced...there is a l..o..n..g finish that lingers on the tongue for ages. This is a young example( bottled 20/01/05) but I didn’t have the patience to keep it, last tasted about 10years ago, and it was much enjoyed then, are older samples really that much better?
BeerRules (243) - Houston, Texas, USA - MAY 6, 2005
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUL 26, 2005 Had to re rate this. Fluffy white head and nice light orange brown color. Intense spicy, fruity aroma. Also got hints of sweet Marsala wine, pineapple, green apple, and bannana, phenominal That spiciness carries on to the taste, along with some lemon zest, and tart fruit. Bitterness is there but it isnt a overwhelming. Nice dry, almost sour finish. Very highly carbonated and feels nice in the mouth. The aroma on this beer is top notch, and the flavor is interesting and unique. A lot of my friends said this stuff sucks, but I assure you that I do not. Awesome, truly awesome.
MoritzF (8389) - Bochum, GERMANY - MAY 4, 2005
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
(bottle) Orange-brown body with a fluffy lightly tanned head. Very fruity and floral hoppy aroma with some herbal elements. Bitter dry flavour, light to medium bodied. One of my favourite Abbey beers. Initially malty taste with notes of caramel and cinnamon, which turns into a spicy, bitter hoppy & very lasting dry finish. Complex and absolutely well-rounded. A great beer !
KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - MAY 3, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 4, 2006 For some reason, I was not looking forward to drinking this beer. However, after the first sip, my reluctance turned to satisfaction. An excellent beer, with a nice floral aroma and dry, biting hops that don’t overwhelm the drinker. Lots of blunt sweetness going on, but it never turns cloying. Hints of cinammon are evident with each passing sip. Perhaps a bit of cherry/strawberry as well. Nice, crisp palate and a well-rounded finish.