Jine (896) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - NOV 7, 2004
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
11.06.04 I’m wondering if I missed something about Orval. So highly rated and revered yet I thought it just didn’t taste right at all. It smelled great and looked great but once that stuff hit my lips my fire went right out.
Odeed (1774) - Bakersfield, California, USA - OCT 30, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 30, 2008 2003 bottle drank out of a chimay glass:
beautiful cloudy bronze color with a nice size lumpy head that did lay down after 5 minutes or so.very pleasant but light smell with hints of belgian brewers yeast.the first sip was a bit bland.mostly dry hops with a bit of fruit at the end.i let the head calm down a bit more and tried again.the flavor did get a bit more complex,and the overall flavor balanced out.this beer needs to sit in a trappist glass for 10 or more minutes,then it gets reall,really good!
bark (255) - Linköping, SWEDEN - OCT 26, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. As this beer is bottle fermented, the liquid is a little cloudy. The colour is peach, the medium-sized foam is made of big bubbles and it sinks down to a finger thick lid.
The smell is a little on the sticky side – there are lots of aromatic hops here! I could also notice a clear flavour of fresh herbs, a little sour yeast and maybe a touch of sour cream. Complex stuff…
The carbonation is very strong and bubbly with medium-sized bubbles.
The taste is also quite complex: The first rush of carbon dioxide is replaced by a varnishing bitter-sour flavour. Then, an almost murky taste that reminds me of an old dark rum emerges together with a full bouquet of fresh and bitter herbs: Thyme, wormwood, oregano, sage… The aftertaste is a little more relaxed: some herbs, a little salt and maybe a touch of gravy (!) complement the fine ground bitterness.
Indeed a great Trappist ale, my favourite in the style. It reminds a little of an unblended Geuze in the sour-bitter complexity.
jcanj (23) - Michigan, USA - OCT 22, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Very unique taste but sure not a bad one. This seems to be a nice unusual beer. The commercial description does a good job describing the hoppy aroma and extra dry taste. The pour produces a very nice foamy and frothy head. This beer is much better after it warms a little.
beerbuzzmontreal (3490) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 21, 2004
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: OCT 6, 2007 Born-on date : September 2003. Gorgeous cloudy amber color with a huge frothy white head. Strong, dry hops aroma with barnyard and spices. Dry, resinous hops flavor with spices and horse blanket/barnyard. There is also a flavor that feels like sap or resin, maybe it comes from the hops. Bitter finish that dies when the beer gets warmer. Full body, lively carbonation. Wow, it has been a while since my last Orval and I feel like I’m drinking it for the first time, realising what a wonderfull complex beer it is.
jtxx (148) - san antonio, Texas, USA - OCT 21, 2004
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
wow, what a great beer.
Head will last forever. smell is wonderful and the tast is even better. Hard to explain the tase..maybe some vanilla with citrus.
eleusis (70) - Denver, Colorado, USA - OCT 18, 2004
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JAN 23, 2005 rerate. 33cl bottle. Nice frothy white dissipating head, cloudy amber/deep orange color. The aroma is beautiful. Wow. The palate is all over the tongue, ultra complex finish... you can fill the effects in the tip of the tongue to the back, in the middle and the sides. Really impressive. Reminds me of oude geuze. Too complex to desribe. Perfumy. Worth the 5$ for the 33cl bottle. Every time I taste it, my rating goes up. I’m going down to the liqour store to buy the last five bottles as soon as they open.
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - OCT 18, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: SEP 20, 2006 Bottle. This one grew on me as time passed. Amber yellow color. Big whitish head that lingers. Intense lacing. Peppery aroma with alcohol and yeast, touches of fruit, nice bits of horsey Brett. kick in and blend nicely. Very dry as described. Not overly hoppy, perhaps over the top for a Belgian ale, but nothing offensive. Seems to mellow over time in glass. A damn fine product!
pobenohne (504) - Northern Liberties, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 10, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Great carbonation, pours a big frothy head that slowly collapses, refill, let the head collapse again, repeat once more. Beautiful pour; earthy, yeasty aroma. Earthy, mulchy flavors, reminiscent of Oerbier, but dry not sweet. Great hop presence for a belgian.
Cornfield (5347) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - OCT 7, 2004
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a hazy deep amber with a huge frothy yellowish head. The aroma is floral and spicy. Tastes good, lots of fruitiness, some alcohol presence, spices and slightly citric hops. Very dry finish.