pivo (2542) - GERMANY - JAN 2, 2003
4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Fairly acidic for a trappist beer. Raisiny nose, murky orange-brown color and a low tight head. Creamy caramel taste with a noticeable hop character. Full body and a round mouth feel.
krisbierjaeger (844) - dolores, Colorado, USA - JAN 1, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 30, 2003 10/ '03 re-rate: well, forget everything i said in the older rating, i was... um, how to put this delicately? a dumbass. i didn't entirely botch the description, i just took the negative view of those peculiar odors. now, many months and several bottles later, i'm strangely captivated by those same ripe pungencys. while i'm still not yet fanatically won over by this beer, i'm compelled to correct this--perhaps the most egregious of my mis-guided ratings. this amazingly complex beer is for me an awakening-- i'm almost glad i got it wrong at first-- it's like finally "seeing" the picture in one of those "magic eye" 3-D pictures. a veritable epiphany. at this point , i've little doubt that i'll revisit this one in another year and upgrade it further.
or not. who knows?
it's it was with the greatest respect and humility that i approached this five dollar bottle of much celebrated brewing excellence. it's lush golden pour the color of sun-kissed summer sand castles embroidered with battlements of foam and lace made an exceptional pour. yet just a whiff told me that cats have been using this little sand box: it's odorific likeness to cat piss (or is it weasel musk?) is uncanny and unbearable. among it's panoply of diverse aromas--good and bad-- are on one hand the distinct ammonia of a diaper pail, while on the other, an apologetic and mortified note of woody, cedar-like inscense. it's so sad: that pretty half inch head just sits there, oblivious to the effluvia rising up around it, like a kitten on a backed-up gas station toilet. a bitter rubbery green olive taste, with old burlap floor mats and the unsavory bitterness of a dill pickle left shriveled and drying for 3 months in a car's glove compartment. clearly this beer performed famously for countless tasters far more sophisticated than i, and i'll try it again certainly (when hell gets chilly) but for now, this fabled trout bearing it's golden ring was to me just a dead carp bloating on the beach.
TimE (2943) - Tokyo, JAPAN - DEC 30, 2002
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAY 1, 2005 What the hell?? Before I was a beeer geek, this was a great beer I thought, now that I am a beer geek, this beer is revolting. Either A)Orval is not a good beer or B) all of the bottles of Orval in town are somewhat if not compeletely stunked. I had three in the past month. All had a citrusy orange (vitamin C like) nose with a tart sour palate followed by a disgusting off tasting finish. Even if this is a good beer, I would not give high marks just based on the fact I possibly had three stunked beer in a row, all from different stores. Thanks but no thanks. I may try again in Belgium and rerate, but for now, stick by this rating (rated 7).
Update: This dark amber golden color brew exudes a nose of orange peel and something too mysterious for my senses. The body is champagne like light with orange zest zipping across your tongue with lots of carbonation. This baby is ALIVE! Some noticeable yeast in the mouth as well and a dry citric finish.
freekyp (1460) - Thomasville, North Carolina, USA - DEC 30, 2002
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAR 9, 2003 Not your typical Belgian ale. Grapeish notes with a strong pine flavor. Very efferescent. Sits on the tongue an sizzles for a short while leaving behind a piny aftertaste. A MUST TRY.
YogiBeera (2435) - Hamburg, GERMANY - DEC 30, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 30, 2005 Second bottle tried from the same store and something is wrong. So hopefully I*m able to rerate it as I think my rating is not what this stuff deserves. Wonderful apple banana, citrus and vanilla nose. Orange body with a medium frothy head. Totally sour and bitter - grapefruit like - aftertaste. Also oily palate. RERATE 30.12.2002: My result is that the bottles before must have been infected. Not as sour and unpleasant as I thought. Nice bitter but short finish. Very hoppy. My rating before was 3.0 RERATE again at Belgo, London: Nice indeed - get more used to it. We’ll see how it turns out after another one, so now raise of 0.2 points. RERATE: Rating before 3.9 - this is a beer that grows with me every time I try it. Nice hoppiness, Everything is balaned great. Loveable.
kwoeltje (2207) - Manchester, Missouri, USA - DEC 29, 2002
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nice orange color with thick head. Nice hint of fruity flavors, but not as sweet as some Belgian ales. Excellent.
FlemishChar (224) - Virginia, USA - DEC 28, 2002
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
An absolute classic. Pours with a massive head. Has an absolutely overpowering character and taste: Nutty, spicy and even smoky.. anybody else feel the smoke in this or am I hallucinating? Smells like wet hay and horseshit, like a great lambic. It’s complexity will have your tastebuds busy for a while.
I think I will join a Trappist order .
caesar (4621) - Bunnik/Utrecht, NETHERLANDS - DEC 26, 2002
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: JUL 1, 2006 Spicy aroma, some bubblegum, caramel, malty, hoppy. Light brownish color. Not really ’strong’ ale. Sweet taste, dry. Very extraordinary beer. Balance reaching perfection.
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - DEC 24, 2002
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: SEP 29, 2003 Poured a golden, misty orange. Lots and lots of head, very frothy. Smelled slightly sweet with a hint of wheat and a moderate amount of hops. Also a slight tart malt finish. It tasted similar to a wheat beer, but with a Belgian twist. A bit musky, but very matured. Hints of citrus were present. Very dry aftertaste but kept me coming back for more. Overall very satisfying, but too expensive for me ($4.50 per 1/3 L). On a side note, there was a huge chunk of yeast at the bottom of mine, and it accidentally found it's way into my glass and then the whole thing was very undesirable.
madsberg (9530) - Søborg, DENMARK - DEC 20, 2002
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: DEC 28, 2009 Bottled: Well this is the 20. beer in my christmas calender of 24 beers. Until now its by far the best. Has a hazy orange colour and a huge impressive head. The sight of it reminds me of a wheat beer. The aroma has some similarities to wheat beer as well, but you instantly know, that its not. Very spicy aroma. The flavour is special. Coriander and elderflower is present and a powerful saltyness, that makes this beer quite special and different. The hoppy bitterness in the end is remarkabel. All in all this is one of the best beers i’ve tried, simply because it is so different to other beers i’ve come across. I’ve visited this frequently over the past years, and the beer has become one of the regulars, always present in my fridge. Must say that this is beerart at its best. Might as weel admit it to myself. This is simply the nearest to beer perfection.