ericnixon (737) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 17, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This is good, but one of the weaker Trappist beers. cloudy orangy color with a rather hoppy fruity flavor.
Lizabeth (360) - east falmouth, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 15, 2003
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Cloudy golden orange with a huge white head..Taste is bitter orange, lemon peel, biscuits and alcohol. Finish is smooth and bitter.This is supposed to be one of the better Belgians, but frankly I'm not impressed.
EKGoldings (523) - Radford, Virginia, USA - DEC 14, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Had this one in a tasting with a wide variety of other beers. This one stood out in that company but I don't think it is up there with Westy and other Trappist ales that I've had. But a nice complex beer for sure.
BillPierce (22) - Burlington, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 14, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2003 The most distinctive of the Trappist beers, Orval is a complex adventure for the taste buds. It pours orange and cloudy with a thick, long lasting beige head. The aroma is a symphony of musty yeast, fruit and hops; the flavor has caramel and ripe fruit notes, along with a faint lambic quality from the addition of a bacterial culture. The bittering is rather restrained, while the finish is more dry with some lingering hoppiness. This beer is a Belgian classic and not to be missed as part of your beer education.
sayravai (4666) - Helsinki, FINLAND - DEC 14, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: AUG 14, 2004 (Bottled) Muddy, dark orange color with a long-lasting, lacy head. The very complex aroma is sour and hoppy with a mixture of apple juice, berries, yeast, perfume and toffee. Fruity and sour, dry flavor with a long, sticky and chalky, aromatic-hoppy, bitter finish. Sourish and very dry, medium-bodied palate with quite high, but soft and foamy carbonation. As the most challenging of the trappists, this one requires sort of growing into. At the first few times it may taste strange and too sour, but after tasting hundreds of other beers - and many, many Orvals - it just keeps getting better. Give this beer the right mood and temperature, and it will really flourish.
Jeppe (2631) - Ølbutikken, DENMARK - DEC 14, 2003
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: FEB 15, 2007 Very tall creamy off-white head on an orange body. Beautiful beer! Aroma is not too heavy with notes of fruit, citrus and hops of course! Flavor is very dry and hoppy with fruit and some citrus. A nice and refreshing but quite different beer!
As my palate has grown I have discovered this to be the perfect beer in all means. I love sour beers, I Iove hoppy beers - Orval has both! There is no doubt anymore, this is my second 5.0 of all time!
Syd (920) - Waconia, Minnesota, USA - DEC 13, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle pours a hazy orange amber color with a rather large pillow like head and a bunch of Belgian lace. The aroma is yeasty, perhaps musty, a touch cheesy, and citrus rind like. The flavor is dances around in the mouth with a slight sweetness in the front, sour in the back, bitter further back, sort of a salt flavor that lingers, and a musty hint that lingers; much of these flavors start simultaneously, but some linger longer than others. The palate is smooth, bubbly, and rich. Overall, a very special beer.
wilkie (1208) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - DEC 11, 2003
4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Amber-hazy colored body with large head. Nice lacing from the pour. Aroma is strong--Yeasty with sweet sugary smell and hints of citrous and olive. Very smooth almost oily feel. Flavor is slightly malty but mostly fruity and hoppy. Dry finish with strong aftertaste of olive. Slightly sour but not overwhelmingly so. Good but kind of strange in a not good way too. It is like the aroma was sriting checks that the flavor couldn't cash.
SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 11, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 18, 2007 Rerate 11-18-07: Wow how my tastes have changed. This time I loved the sour, the funk and the subtlties. Bottle, poured beautiful honey color with a large foamy white head. Aroma is sour fruits - apple,orange and grapefruit. But okay, I guess that I’m just not there yet, not sophisticated enough in taste. To me this tasted really bad - sour and bitter with a lingering tart aftertaste. Medium body and good carbonation. Nice elements, but overall not my taste.
Nexxus (261) - Apple Valley, Minnesota, USA - DEC 1, 2003
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
A beautiful semi-cloudy amber with a huge off white head. Intense aroma filled with citrus, bananas, yeast and light spice. Light smooth palate. Refreshing. Flavor begins sweet, but quickly becomes slightly bitter with lots of citrus and malt. A long citrus filled, grassy, malty, bitter finish. Consdiering the rating is so high, I was a little underwhelmed. A good beer.