Muggus69 (2000) - Yarram, Vic, AUSTRALIA - NOV 7, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Served at cellar temperature in goblet. Been a long time since iíve had one of these but iíve been looking forward to it. Aroma is intense; spice, cirtus (orange, lemon, possibly even grapefruit?), sherbert, subdued roasted malts and floral hops. Pours a opaque copper body with a fluffy sort of head. Body isnít a thick as I imagined. Flavour reminds me almost of an IPA of sorts; quite dry, cirtus hop and spice notes, long lingering bitterness, with a lemon peel sort of finish. Almost medicinal at times. Unique, certainly, seems to take on a style of its own, particularly at this temperature; perhaps thatís why I donít feel it was as good as I remembered.
holdenn (2108) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 7, 2006
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 6, 2009 11/7/06 Bottled: pours a hazy lihgt amber with a thick fluffy off-white head. Yeasty fruity aroma - pear, green apple, spices, corriander. A really wonderful nose. Lots of carbonation on the tongue, with the thick feeling chewy head. dark candied, apple and pear fruit flavors that are sour but surrounded by a mellow earthiness. Finishes rather sweet and earthy. An excellent beer.
5/6/09 Pours a golden amber with a huge beige head that collapses to a rocky landscape eventually settling into the flat lands but not without leaving a patchwork of lace. Complex nose of yeast, bubblegum, lemons, pears, and dough with herbal hops. The herbal/earthy hops dominate this fresh beer but underneath the malt, citrus, and pear peak out from the leather earthiness of the hops. Long bitter earthy finish drying out. 8/5/8/4/17 = 4.2
OleR (4804) - Oslo, NORWAY - NOV 7, 2006
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Rating # 100. Bottle, stored in my cellar for six months. Massive rocky off-white head. Color is slightly hazed pale golden orange. Initial aroma of acidic fruits and spices, then candysugar, yeast, berries, perfume, applesÖ along with grassy and flowery hops. First impression of taste is dry and slight tart; pine, dried fruits and orange peel. Followed by a delicate hopbitterness and lots of spices and herbs that Iím unfortunately not able to define. Lingering fruity and dry finish with a hoppy bite. This is a real world classic, and a style in itís own. Outstanding.
imdownthepub (12799) - Banbury, Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - NOV 7, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle conditioned, 330 ml, aged 4 yrs. Gold amber with big white head, sl haze. The initial aroma is terrific, if not particularly beery. There is vanilla and cloves and lots of herbs. The aging was deliberate to attemt to get a smoother beer and it works, I like the young beer but love the older, there is a herby floral mixture of flavours with juicy citric fruits. The body of the beer fills out with a viny richness. A terrific beer and worth the wait.
OldMrCrow (2339) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 5, 2006
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 20, 2010 Bottle (fresh). Pours a gorgeous golden amber with a rich full fluffy - even foamy - head. The aroma is complex and fascinating: mild vinegar notes and dusty barnyard, honey and mint,spicy yeasts. The flavor is equally complex: very dry, some mouth-puckering sourness around the sides but this comes on late, lemon peel, just a hint of funk, a long dusty hop finish. The mouthfeel is the weakest of the lot; it seems rather thin to me, and rather hollow. But that is a minor concern; this beer deserves its reputation.
Mini-vertical, Spring 2009:
1 year -- mint, herbal.
2 years -- the classic Orval taste that I remember. Juicy through middle with spice on the front and so brett-dry on the close. Perfection.
4 years -- wine-like, acid notes bring out the wood, considerable loss of carbonation
Sept í09 - straight from Whole Foods. I definitely like it with a bit more age.
frizzzzle (76) - Overland Park, Kansas, USA - NOV 3, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a slightly hazy, bland brownish color with a very tall, almost white head. Nose is malty, with alcohol and dark fruits. Grape, maybe? There are hops in the background, lending to a freshness in the smell. The flavor is slightly sour, with more grape, and maybe a melon-ness toward the finish. The beer has an overall dry character, an interesting contrast to the mildly tart fruitiness. Mouthfeel is just right -- I love the carbonation in Belgians. This beer is very different from what I remember (this was one of my first micros), but itís as tasty as ever.
JB175 (1665) - Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 2, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 22, 2009 This one deserves a re-rate from me as my first couple of tries with Orval were from my Cherry-ass days of only appreciating heavily hopped stuff. I now appreciate Bretty and more complex Belgian brews, so its nice to have another one at this point. Nice cloudy rose-amber pour with a substantial head (poured into an Orval glass). Pleasant sour aroma with some yeast, dough, grape, citrus, and floral hops detectable. Flavor is bready, yeasty, and tart - incredibly smooth with some vinous fruit and citrus in there for good measure. Smooth and complex - Iím glad I have several more aging a bit.
sersdf (1019) - chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 1, 2006
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
bottle, poured 3 mos after purchase/ smuggle from store in belgium. oh, bottled 04/07/2006 i guess. homogenous, 30% opacity. color of a dIPA, mostly orange with a hint of caramel. head sticks around and turns into some fun formation with variably-sized bubbles. WTF iíve been shafted this is totally infected... iím hilarious. god, how does anybody get anything out of the aroma besides bret? aroma sour and spicy. maybe once it warms up... interesting first sip. very dry, extremely short flavor profile, clean finish and surprisingly strong carbonation, given the aforementioned details. taste is actually pretty watered-down. i think my ultimate opinion of this is that itís like a jolly pumpkin that lacks any dimension. i know orvalís the holy grail and grandfather of bret, but this beer canít compare with our modern american super-beers....
AskForJenny (1062) - Ontario, New York, USA - OCT 30, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
330ml bottle - Thick, lingering toffe colored head on the pour, great lace, tight bubbles, more red than brown. The beer that drinks like a wine, in fact I used a red wine glass here. An overriding sweetness and spice, with a yeasty nose. No where near the complexity of the Westmalle or the Rochefort. I would put it 4th out of the 5 Belgian Trappist brewers Iíve tried.
Bajahobo (30) - USA - OCT 29, 2006
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours like a murky pilsner with a rather large white head. Aroma is that of dates, citrus fruit, and alcohol. The texture is smooth and the flavor is piney with hints of lemon. Unfortunately, my Orval was also a bit soapy. There is a decent syrupy sweetness in the finish. This beer reminds me of a bigger, more bitter American wheat. Smooth, solid, and drinkable, but kinda blah.