bu11zeye (11940) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - SEP 29, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 27, 2008 Based on bottled version: Pours a lightly hazy amber body with a thick white head. Flavor of light brett sourness, mild hops, citrus, caramel, and spices.
desurfer (1212) - Melbourne, Florida, USA - SEP 27, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Cool bottle. Amber body, huge, rocky white head and lots of rising carbonation. Tropical fruits and orange peel abound in the nose, although not too strong. Hoppy, fruity flavor, very dry, and a dry bitter finish. A bit thinner than I expected. The lace clinging to my glass is a quarter inch thick in some places. Really enjoyable beer.
OKBeer (1171) - Halifax, Nova Scotia, CANADA - SEP 25, 2003
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: DEC 15, 2004 Slightly hazy orange/amber in colour. Mountains of lasting rocky, frothy, and creamy beige coloured head. Very lively with lots of tiny bubbles. The aroma starts to permeate the air the second that satisfying "pffft" from opening the cap happens. Persimmon, orange blossom, minty, yeasty, and bandaid (I never understood what that meant until now) aroma, with a hint of homemade brown bread. Slightly candyish sweet, dry cereal, and slight salty initial flavour, building to a mediciny, perfumed, floral, dry hoppy bitter finish. Medium to full body, dry, refreshing, numbing (in a good way) mouthfeel. Fantastic. Brilliant. I had incredibly high expectations for this. Most of the time, that spells disappointment. But this was every bit as good as I expected and beyond. (10/5/9/5/19)
Re-rate, Dec. 14, 2004: After the first bottle (rated above) I was tempted to give it my first perfect 5, but something in the flavour held me back. Second bottle a few months later, seemed to have a little alcohol kick that made me think that 9/10 for flavour was about right. Third bottle another few months later I was tempted to up the rating but since bottle #2 wasnít quite there I hesitated. One small sample almost a year later and thereís no doubt. If I was told I had to choose only one beer I could drink for the rest of my life, this would be it.
kindestcut (30) - Addison, Texas, USA - SEP 25, 2003
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
I continue my hike tthrough Belgium.
Let me start by saying that the Orval trappist is a fine beer. However, it's not my favorites of the Belgian pale ales/blondes. OK, let me also say that I appreciate the complexity of this beer. It's is an incredibly well-crafted brew that had be wondering how I was going to describe it.
Let's move on to the appearance and get to the flavor in a moment. the Orval poured a dark gold, darker than I was expecting. The head was massive in it's mass...rising slowly above the lrim of my glass. The head had a very long life, with the appearance of clouds as seen from above. The head melted like ice cream.
The aroma was full of citrus and floral. OK, now to the flavor.
More than any other Belgian I've had, the Orval reminded me the most of a dry white wine. I was struck by the similarity. However, it is far more complex than to call it wine-like. The combination of lemon plus bitter and floral hops results in an interesting flavor.
All in all, not my favorite Belgian, which surprised me given its reputation.
bob32256 (171) - Jacksonville, Florida, USA - SEP 22, 2003
1.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 1/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 3/20
UPDATED: SEP 23, 2003 After the initial taste, I had to go back and re-rate this beer. Maybe there was something wrong with this bottle, but there was a very unpleasantly bitter aftertaste that lasted a long time - one of the very few that I've poured out.
ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - SEP 18, 2003
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: OCT 8, 2007 2003 bottle Pours a hazy apricot/orange. Plenty of off-white foamy head. Smells of straw, light orange peel, a little bit of baked brown bread. Begins slightly muted. Hmmm, was expecting more of an explosion, this is certainly subtle, to say the least. Dry flavor of hops and a touch of lemon and sugar. Alcohol presents itself in a balanced way. Finish is quite tart, but not overly acidic. Has some vanilla liqueur notes in the middle and is medium to full bodied with no wateriness, though the flavor does thin out somewhat. This is a super dry beer. If thatís what they are looking to make, they did a damned fine job. Perfect for what it is. If I was in a relaxed, philosophical mood, I would drink this. However, this beer needs something more to really make me want to go out of my way to drink it often. Will definitely try again however to see if I can pick up some more flavors/nuances.
Rerate WOW! Itís not even that I appreciate it more this time, the bottle I got simply tastes better. Wonderful spice with a slight orange zing to it. Perfect balance and a nice slightly sour yeast finish. Not nearly as dry as I remember, or perhaps, I just taste more flavor to counteract the dryness. Hard to put words on it, just a true true beer flavor that is just right. Oh ya, incredible aroma.
2 year old bottle sampled July 2004. Everything to balance and perfection, just about. Not much to complain about here. Lovely grainy, yeasty and lightly fruity flavors, lots of it. Palate is elegantly simple, yet has just enough texture to take in all of the nuances of this beer. Aroma is still incredible. Everyone I poured this for remarked how good it was, and all of them were swill drinkers who havent seen the light.
Have been drinking this alot in Summer 2005. Iíve had it cold, chilled, warm, next day, straight from the bottle and all I can think of is how great it is and how deliciously quenching. The tart brett and dry but substantial maltiness work excellently together and the wonderful farmy hops seal the deal. Yep, itís definitely one of the best beers being made right now.
The more I have it I think two things: This stuff really does smell and taste perfect, BUT, the mouthfeel really is a little lacking on account of the filtration (despite being bottle conditioned afterwards). I just donít think perfection in the beer world involves filtration. Gotta stick to my beliefs!
hayden1215 (321) - Ohio, USA - SEP 17, 2003
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Orange in color with a large head. Aroma is perfume, spice, cloves, friut. Flavor is sweet and bitter.
jercraigs (7699) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 17, 2003
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 7, 2013 2013-04-05. Hazy amber orange giant white and lace. 4+ Modest funk with a subtlety and nuance that I lack the vocabulary to adequately describe. Modest pale malt, musty fruit. 7++ Flavour is similar, musty funky bretty character modest malt, moderate bitterness throughout. Average palate is softly carbonated. 3++ Overall impression is greater than the sum of its parts. Good stuff, apparently a bit of an aquired taste based on my previous ratings!. 7/4/8/3/17 Bottle from the LCBO, Toronto
2005-12-XX. Hazy orange amber with a big fluffy off white head. (3+) Floral yeasty aroma with a mild funk. Barnyard, horse blanket and hops. Flavour is funky with a mild sourness throughout, slight hoppy bite. Effervescent palate. Still not really for me. 6-7/3+/5-6/3/13 Bottle from NSLC in Halifax.
2004-11-XX. Golden body, white head. Interesting hoppy aroma. Pleasant bitterness with a mildly tart finish and some underlying sourness. Nice enough beer, but I just donít find that much in there. Meh. 6/3-4/7/3/15 Bottle at BeerBistro.
OKBeer Quote of the night: "I canít think of an occasion when I wouldnít drink an Orval."
2003-09-XX Pours hazy golden with a good-sized head. Aroma was strongly of bubblegum, and the flavour was a slightly spicey bitterness. Much better than I remember it being - I will have to pick this up more often! 6/4/6/3/13 Bottle at Joey_Capps tasting.
steview (1019) - San Francisco, California, USA - SEP 16, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 23, 2008 UPDATE June 17, 2004: adjusted/different... UPDATE July 1, 2004: dry, bittersweet, gueze-like, citrus, barnyard; complex and unique... UPDATE October 10, 2004 (downrated): trappist glass; case of orval--good... dry, floral, yeasty, sugary, citrus, tartness (like lemonade/sour patch kids)... mild geuze... UPDATE March 15, 2005: trappist glass; 17/09/2004, 17/09/2009; downrated... UPDATE October 23, 2008: 20/02/2008, 20/02/2013b; there is something downright fresh and different about the aroma especially in comparison to the other dimensions of this beer; sparkling and rocky off-white head, translucent and copper-orange body, light copper-orange highlight; smooth, somewhat spritzy; bittersweet then quickly dry, somewhat tart although sweet--lemon, orange, straw, cereal, cream; delicious.
invalid (302) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - SEP 9, 2003
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
I found the smell to be a lot more reserved than most trappist ales. It was very balanced with all its spices and hops, but I was expecting more character from this beer.