Nexxus (261) - Apple Valley, Minnesota, USA - DEC 1, 2003
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
A beautiful semi-cloudy amber with a huge off white head. Intense aroma filled with citrus, bananas, yeast and light spice. Light smooth palate. Refreshing. Flavor begins sweet, but quickly becomes slightly bitter with lots of citrus and malt. A long citrus filled, grassy, malty, bitter finish. Consdiering the rating is so high, I was a little underwhelmed. A good beer.
Boutip (4738) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 25, 2003
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: AUG 16, 2004 Pourred an orangy brew with what I consider to be the most beautiful beige head. Head retention for Orval is what other brewers should aspire to since it is the longest lasting I have ever experience. Taste is of complex spice with great fruit aroma. Also, great wheat taste with a strong body. One of the best trappist in my opinion.
flemdawg (531) - Naples, Florida, USA - NOV 19, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Date on bottle, 17,7 2007
Aroma was somewhat like bannanas with alcohol. HAzy orange color with a wonderful foamy white head. Long lasting and great lacing. Yeast, fruit, and sourness in the taste. Clean dry finish. Very tasty, but maybe aging it a bit longer will do it some good.
biermonk (265) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - NOV 19, 2003
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 12/20
Poured with a nice, thick, lasting head. Hazy orange colour. Excellent lacing. This beer had many citrus tones but was very dry and a bit bitter. Outstanding carbonation which made for a nice "explosion" on the pallate. This is not my favorite trappist but definitely worth giving a try.
TC2642 (265) - Worcester, Worcestershire, ENGLAND - NOV 17, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Orangey, citrus smell. A firm meringue like head which stays till the end. A deep orange colour and full malt taste, dry and slightly sour.
Dredd (690) - Bentleigh, AUSTRALIA - NOV 16, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
great initial impression with a magnificent head and golden/amber colour. Nice fruity yeasty aroma with a slightly fruity bitterness. Certainly pays to get this to the correct serving temperature. If it is too cold, the subtleness is certainly lost, especially the spiciness.
ztrvz (218) - st paul, Minnesota, USA - NOV 15, 2003
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 16, 2003 HUGE foamy head forms no matter how gently you pour it. this stuff is very light. rather refreshing. sweet then very hoppy and dry.
frylock (1135) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - NOV 14, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 15, 2003 Deep golden brown color with a big foamy head. Fruity, yeasty and slightly hoppy aroma. Taste is very dry, some slightly sour fruity flavors with a great dry hop character.
DrBeer (829) - Solna Stockholm, SWEDEN - NOV 11, 2003
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAY 14, 2005 Orange-brown, hazy, thin white head.
Almondy aroma with notes of merengue, casks, cognac and fudge.
Hoppy flavor with notes of merengue, almonds, wood and smoke. Firm bitterness.
mullet (849) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - NOV 10, 2003
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUN 28, 2006 The ultimate beer. My all-time favourite, though not necessarily the best beer I’ve ever had. You can tell it’s special just by looking at it. The seductive bottle, the Art Deco label and cap, the glowing clear amber liquid with a steady stream of bubbles firmly holding up the most beautiful head in beer, with its uniquely dimpled pattern like the imprint of golf shoes on a green.
As you approach the beer the smells of nature leap forth. Wildflowers, freshly-turned earth, field mushrooms, straw and long, uncut grass take you away to a mild summer afternoon in the country. When you finally tear yourself away to come to drink it you’re met with a brief glimpse of firm, bready pale malts which is whisked away by a light and spritzy yeasty tartness. In turn, this character is also overtaken by the most delightful of long, herbaceous, dry and bitter finishes. River stones evoke the story of Countess Mathilda, and whilst there’s no trout to be found, if there were it might be flavoured with the ample thyme and rosemary twigs. In the mouth it is full of energy. Soda water-style carbonation that in most others would be oppressive here delivers the flavours turbulently to all corners of the olfactory system. The assertive hop flavours are particularly enhanced.
Despite all of this, the beauty of Orval lies in its humanity. The way every bottle tastes slightly different, the way it develops so profoundly over the first months of its life, and the way it grows old gracefully. Despite the brewery’s modernisation, variability is still a reality. The lesser bottles are undoubtedly a disappointment, but like in life, the lows make the highs all the more sweet.