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 (2622) - 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 (3894) - 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 (1564) - 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 (2534) - New Jersey, USA - 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 (2233) - 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 (5595) - 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.