robertjm (817) - Albany, California, USA - JUN 9, 2005
2.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
I just donít get it. Every time I try this beer it underwhelms me. Beautiful heavy head which collapses in a matter of a few minutes. Kinda dark golden/amber color. Raisinny taste, though not very powerful. Doesnít taste alcoholy. It doesnít make me say, "WOW!!" which is what Iíd expect from the reputation. Will I try it again? Sure, about the time I forget how much it underwhelmed me the last time. :-( Iíd rather drink Chimay!!
ashbeero (51) - Perth, AUSTRALIA - JUN 9, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Slightly orage/amber coloured cloudy beer. Off white head that is,dense and long lasting. Aroma of noble hops and strong fruit. Very complex flavours inclusive of strong hops, some citrus notes, malty and almost spicy. Relatively dry finish and slightly bitter.
asheft (2778) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 5, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Slightly hazy copper with a thick, rocky, off-white head that doesnít last but forms a fuzzy lace. The aroma is a remarkable and spicy blend of sweet cinnamon, ginger, banana, sweet malt, and a touch of horseblanket farmhousiness. The flavour I found quite dry with a woody bitterness mixed with grapes and ginger. I found this one a bit too bitter, but I donít remember that from the last bottle I tried (improper storage?). Also, some of the alcohol came out in the flavour. Light body with tons of carbon dioxide and a little warming--also a touch astringent.
notwoohoo (109) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUN 2, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, consumed from Orval goblet. Sweet aroma with a slight hint of brett (a slight bit of leather, horse-blanket possibly) and wonderful noble hops. The taste is good, not all that I anticipated from the aroma, but good nonetheless. The hop flavor is rather subdued, probably from the brett as well as the alcohol (my bottle was cellared for two years accorinding to who I got it from). The carbonation was heavy, I assume due to the brett and yeast consuming the residual sugars in the beer. Overall a great beer, to be eaten with nice beef dishes.
Tom Servo (424) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - JUN 1, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Very amber in color, with an extremely large, beige head. Sweet aroma, with hints of citrus, and the carbonation comes through in the aroma. Flavor is not what I expected. Almost a burnt flavor, with a quick drop-off int the shallow aftertaste. Overall, not bad, just not what I was expecting. Definitely worth getting a bottle, but not something I would order at the pub.
schepers (32) - Limburg, NETHERLANDS - MAY 31, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle, Amber color, hazy some deposit. White head.Very fruity aroma, citrus. Taste is fruity, again citrus, orange, little bit dry and sour in the aftertaste fresh. I like this beer it is quite different from other beers i tried, it is one of my favourites that is for sure. Nice perrier-ish bottle by the way....
roder60 (1288) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 28, 2005
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
I really wasnít thrilled with this beer, especially after reading all of the rave reviews about it. Poured a cloudy dark gold with a small amount of lacy offwhite head. Aroma is fruity, spicy, and a tad bit hayish. Flavor was much more crisp and fruity than most belgians Iíve tried. Dry spicy finish which was an interesting mix with the fruiy flavor. Overall, I thought it was decent, not great, especially for the price.
MesandSim (7118) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - MAY 27, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
A Mes rate:
Itís totally a love or hate thing. Personally I think itís fantastic. Magnificent slightly cloudy orange looks, the most orange coloured beer I have seen. Aroma is glorious; fruits and hops and lavender and something like baby sick but dont let that put you off. The palate is as good as anything I have tried. Simply prefect. Velvety and creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. The taste is all over the place, almost too much but just as you think that it mellows into something very refined and wonderfully complex. Zing zing citrus and fruity! Slightly sour and just a touch of alcohol. Never offensive but very strange stuff. I really do think it is an aquired taste. I hated the first bottle I had. But now my orval glass has seen much use. Really I donít have the vocabulary to do this justice. Wonderful stuff. If you donít like it drink some more!
Papsoe (25069) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - MAY 23, 2005
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: JAN 8, 2006 (Bottle 33 cl) Since Orval tuned up the alcohol with 1% in í93 or í94 they unfortunately also started cutting some edges making the beer loose some character and a bit of hoppiness. Still I believe this is an outstanding world classic - although not a beer for everyone. Dark amber with a huge, fluffy head. But the sweet sensation in this is the extremely sophisticated spicing which is truly unique and unlike any other beer. 300493 & 050394
hefevice (72) - Brisbane beer desert, AUSTRALIA - MAY 22, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
This is a tough one. After all of the glowing reviews I have read, I found the reality somewhat disappointing. Looks absolutely fantastic, glowing deep dark gold with a massive head, good retention, lacing, etc. Also smells promising, classic flowery, funky, dare I say "horse-blanket" aromas. Taste...well...the first disappointment. Dry then bitter, overwhelming anything else that might be present. I also found the palate a little watery, although there was plenty of carbonation, it was course rather than fine like some of the other Belgians I have enjoyed. Sorry, but while it is a good beer, I think it is unbalanced and over-rated.