SpaceMonkey (182) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 26, 2002
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sweet cloveness and spiceness and everything niceness. The foam on this is like no other. It’s as if you could tell the future by reading the patterns left in the head of a freshly poured Orval. Yet, it drifts away after impressing to let you enjoy the full power of the the beer. You’re left with an enticing golden lake with a slightly frothy top. Then it starts, the light white cake like overture, the hops that lurk around the edges and tease without infringing. An accessible one of a kind brew that should not be dissmissed lightly. Be sure to let it warm for the full spectrum of experience.
Wakie (612) - Centreville, Virginia, USA - AUG 26, 2002
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
A truly fine beer. Flowery almost sweet smell, full amber color, and extremely complex albeit extremely drinkable. Typically I find that beers that are complex are not very drinkable (you can only have 1 or 2 in a sitting). This simply isn’t so with the Orval. You could easily enjoy a dozen of them and not be sick of them. On the other hand the flavor beautifully blends caramel, spice, citrus, and many other flavors. The only drawback to this beer is the high cost, but I’m willing to pay for quality.
mikenodak (150) - Fargo, North Dakota, USA - AUG 26, 2002
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
One of the best in the world. A barrage of flavor, earthy, fruity, spicey, must have more.
Dionysian (39) - Paris, FRANCE - AUG 25, 2002
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Smooth, subtle, very unique.. one of my favorites thus far.
For those who have claimed this is a ’strong’ beer, or that the abv is easily discernable, I have two words for you: YOU ARE A MONKEY. I could hardly notice any alcohol at all, and its a hefty 6.9% (not 6.2%, as it shows above).
Oakes (10941) - Savusavu, FIJI ISLANDS - AUG 24, 2002
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: JAN 28, 2004 Bright orange colour. Light beige head is very thick, and often makes fun mountainous shapes. The room fills with perfume, medicine, noble hops, tangerines, horseblanket. Fun stuff. Bitter body brings a strong citric component, and these are complemented by warming pale malts, an underpinning of alcohol and a sour, bretty finish. Vibrant, funky, alive. With amples doses of malt, hops, yeast, brett, alcohol, a nature that is challenging yet comforting, a potency that can satisfy with one bottle or with four, Orval is truly a pleasure for all of your senses. In short, Orval is beer.
DaSilky1 (2604) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 24, 2002
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: SEP 27, 2009 8/2/02: I said a bunch of stuff about peppery spice, rose petals & perfume..and how it was one of the best beers I have ever had..
Re-Rate 8/3/02: I mentioned the violet mist that permeates throughout your veins..the refreshing intoxication of complexity..
Re-Rate 8/23/02: I resorted to the ingeniousness of simplicity..’There is a world out there with oceans of orval, and the fish are in control..’
Racegoer (345) - Indiana, Indiana, USA - AUG 23, 2002
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Fragrant,Orange color, frothy. Somehow reminds me of Christmas dinner. Rich full bodied, and a little bitter, simply put one Awesome Belgian Ale. Extremely Recommended, Local store only had two, now they have none.
slinkymello (137) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - AUG 22, 2002
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Not bad... reminded me of a gentler, ale version of cantillon iris with its gorgeous reddish-orange color and spicy, floral and citrus aroma. not quite as robust as many trappist ales, yet has a nice gentle lemon, orange flavor with hints of tang and spice... doesn’t really knock you on your ass, which is a good thing... refreshing, refined and pretty good, although not as strong as other trappists as i noted before. the kinder, gentler, trappist ale. not for everyone though.
Aesir (130) - Tustin, California, USA - AUG 20, 2002
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Big fragrant aroma, cloudy orange color. I agree that it tastes of orange peel with a little spice. The alcohol is hidden like an fat girl behind a brick wall. A unique beer that is very good.
NDmullet (208) - South Bend, Indiana, USA - AUG 19, 2002
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This beer speaks volumes to me about how important it is to develop one’s palate, before one can appreciate some of the world’s finest beers. A year ago I would have hated this. Gorgeous, fluffy, everlasting head, and a murky, butterscotch body. A tantalizing, absolutely unique aroma: fragrant perfume, oiled leather, very floral (roses, lilac) but not really fruity. Honey and grain...what else? I could sniff this beer for hours. Has the flavor profile to match. Prominently tannic, but with so many underlying subtleties. Smooth malt pokes through from time to time, as gingerbread or apple. The finish is sublimely dry, perfumy, and hoppy. Elegant lacing stuck to the glass long after I’d finished. Simply a phenomenal beer, and a worthy choice for #100. Next time I run across this I’m gonna stock up.