JorisPPattyn (7885) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - JAN 13, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Very thick head, collapsing but stable; typical orangey colour.
Nose is bitter as from vegetables, spices, flowers.
Taste starts immediately very bitter, but as a combination of hop-, vegetable- and flowery bitter. There IS a balance by malt, with hints at sweetness, without ever becoming so. Aroma’s retronasal of mandarine-zest, hop shoots, and olives without the oil.
Carbonation is perfect; milder form of ’Champenoise’ pearl)forming, as with naturally mild-carbonated springwater. Neither chewy, neither watery.No new aftertaste, bitterness lingers on. Drinkability is second bar none: the ultimate Belgian session beer. there’s richness, depth and easy drinking for whatever mood one’s in. Unparallelled.
proc (342) - Dearborn, Michigan, USA - JAN 13, 2003
4.2 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A very good beer. Pours out to a cloudy, amber in the glass with a generous head. The aroma is the strong point of this beer. It combines essences of a fine liqueur with that of yeast and fruit. Taste is slightly spicy in the Belgium sort of way. Fairly high in carbonation. Finish is quite easy and invites another sip. Rather expensive, but a nice treat.
zingaaox99 (5) - Holland, Michigan, USA - JAN 12, 2003 does not count
2.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 10/20
Not good. Before even viewing some of the other rates I was planning on telling everyone that this beer tastes like licking a bandaid. I did hear of some bad batches of the so I am hoping that this was the case.
delacerveza (166) - Florida, USA - JAN 10, 2003
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
i dunno, i must have gotten a bad bottle. and that’s a drag when you are paying $5 for one teensy bottle.
the nose was peachy/spicy and had me ready for a luscious treat. the color was a rich murky copper and the head was fluffily full. but the taste...ew. liquid bandaids. i never realized what other raters meant by the bandaid analogy. now i know. maybe i am starting to lose my taste for belgian beer or something?
Sham (1845) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 10, 2003
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 14, 2003 Pours amber with small bubbly head leaving nice lace. Nice armoas of floral hops, spice and malt. Very pleasing flavors. Spicy malt and small fruit. Spices taste of cinnamon and nutmeg. Bitter mouthfeel finishing with nice tangy spices. Very enjoyable.
joemacaluso (119) - Prairieville, Louisiana, USA - JAN 10, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Unique, dry,spicy, fruity somehow I like this beer when others dont. None of my Chimay drinking friends will touch this. I honestly like it better than Chimay though.
dubs (117) - St Peters, NSW, AUSTRALIA - JAN 10, 2003
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
shit im way too gone to rate this right now heaps of brut 33 like ma and pops got me 4 xmas amazing beer awesome champaigne hit with crazy floral something thanks eczematic nice one mate hank williams and johnny cash kick arse six days on the road and im gonna make it home tonight
SimonPatrice (312) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 3, 2003
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This beer had been unavailable in Quebec for about 1 1/2 years already but thanks to some good friend I was able to taste it once again. This orange/amber beer has one of the most amazing head I’ve seen so far. Big and rocky, it stays until the end. A field of spring flowers with some pollen sweetness and a hint of citrus fruits in the aroma. After trying to figure out all the flavors in this beer I think I may have come up with the recipe. Take a handful of petals, and one tablespoon of pollen, a pinch of herbs and pine needles, mix with a couple of citrus zests. Make sure to build this beer on some acidity but not too much and finish it on a well-balanced and everlasting bitterness. This way you should get a nice glass of Orval.
pivo (2561) - 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.