AAO (102) - Nśstved, DENMARK - JAN 4, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Hazy redish color nice head. Very powerfull aroma, bitter/malthy. Strong bitter taste. Itís a bit weak in the bitter finish, but a very nice trappist.
GuilTTy (728) - Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA - JAN 2, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark apricot slightly hazy pour supporting a strurdy dusky white head and nice lacing. Aroma of fresh bread, summer garden and yeast. Nicely balanced flavor of malt and hops - a touch more hops than in many Trappist brews. Lasting but clean hoppy and yeasty finish. I may lose points for drinking it out of a Chimay goblet but the Orval didnít suffer!
Braudog (5597) - Hampton, Virginia, USA - JAN 1, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
This pours a medium orange-yellow, intensively active and with an airy head. The aroma is of raisins, I think. The flavor is heavily perfumey with a tangy grass/apricot edge.
willblake (2647) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - DEC 29, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 28, 2006 12.29.04 330ml bottle dated drink by JUne 2006. Iíve had this a few times, but not for a few years. I dug this bottle out of hiding to re-think the stuff, and as a milestone beer, as I miraculously hit my goal of hitting 700 ratings by the end of 2004. Pours a honey amber with a giant tan head that is never predictable, fades erratically, laces sporadically. Big aromas abound; at first I thought this might be an infected bottle, then I relaxed and realized that it smelled very good, infected or not, so I was drinking it anyway. Perfumey and citrus aromas with plenty of barnyard and horseblanket. Itís a bit like a flowery aged cheese -- and I recall the last time I thought the same thing, that beer was XX Bitter de Ranke. The palate is round, full, coating, fluffy, soft. Really one of the best mouthfeels of any beer; but then there is the finishing feel which is a bit burning and a lingering, persistent peppery spice not unlike the freshly perfumed nape of a new girlfriend. Flavors are big and bold but meld perfectly. The brew is much more bitter than expected, grassy...no...weedy, and very funky. The beer is balanced yet stylish - citrus, melon, hay, orange, leather. Not an everyday brew, but most enjoyable from time to time. 3 cheers for Orval!!!
Tessic (840) - Brantford, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 27, 2004
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
This Belgian ale pours a slightly cloudy dark orange. The head is a smooth off white. Scents are plenty with lots of ripe fruit and yeast. Maybe apricot, raisen and a nice alcohol warm to it.
First sip had a nice sharp carbonation to it. Slightly bitter with almost a apple/raisen flavour. You could feel the alchol warm while you drank it. Like most Belgian ales the yeast is prodominant. The finish is sour with the hops very present. The palate is also hoppy and leaves a bitter end to it.
Beer Snob (501) - Ontario, CANADA - DEC 23, 2004
2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
Maybe itís an acquired taste - and since Iím stuck with a couple of more bottles, Iíll have to try.
But jeez, Orval smells like a cheap wet leather jacket. It tastes woody and has elements reminiscent of an herbal medicine. This is not a good thing. If I wanted to taste that, Iíd suck on a Ricola while guzzling a Sleeman. Perhaps our love for craft beers and esoteric flavours brings us to a worship of this beer, but Iím sorry - I gladly went from Orval to a nice local IPA.
A legendary ale perhaps, but not very palatable and not very enjoyable.
yayforbeer (752) - Orange Park, Florida, USA - DEC 20, 2004
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
330ml bottled on 24.10.2002. My bottle indicated 6.9% alcohol on the label. Had this in my fridge for a couple months waiting for an excuse to try it and couldnít stand it any longer. The pour is a lovely clear orange-brown with a creamy orange head that lasts and nice lacing. Fabulous citrus-spice-hop aroma! The first sip yanks you into another dimension, as it is not at all what you expect given the the aroma. Very pronounced spicy, woody flavor, with medicinal herbs overlaying a smooth malt body. Dry and bitter hop finish. The flavors meld together seamlessly but each is quite intense. Altogether quite an experience unlike any other beer. More expensive than I am willing to pay on a regular basis, nor could I handle this combination of intense herbal flavor very often, but this is one that you just got to try at least once or twice...
iam (369) - Mississauga, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 20, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours an almost opaque dark orange colour witha huge, long lasting, frothy head. Aromas of orange peel, yeast and spices. Citrus and malt taste with a dry finish.
ontario102 (794) - Boise, Idaho, USA - DEC 19, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 1, 2007 Rerate: pours with a huge, pillowy head; aromas of pear, pineapple, perfume, and medicine; flavor just doesnít follow the nose, well balanced, flavor: orange peel, spice, apple, yeast and wood; dry finish; smooth oily palate. Tangy, bitter finish thatís slightly sour. This has grown on me over the years.
wpp83 (64) - Athens, Georgia, USA - DEC 18, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Nice head (off-white) that was very creamy. The body was a opaque orange brown. Aorma was very citrusy and quite hoppy. The flavor was very subtle. This was not what I expected. I had been told about how great this beer was, and I was expecting a party in my mouth experience. However, what I got was a very simple yeasty and hoppy bitterness mixed with a citrus tang and a spicy finish. Overall it required a lot of concentration to make out this beer since every flavor balanced the next, and made each one hard to characterize. If for nothing else, that is what made this beer great. This is one I want to try again and again, becuase it will be a long time before I know what this beer is all about.