SledgeJr (3577) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - AUG 4, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUN 26, 2006 In the bottle. Giant mega-godzilla head of power. Best good head. Run for your lives, Orval is loose!!!! Incredible aroma of medicine smell. Way more bitter than any other Belgian that I have had. In fact, Iím a little disappointed that the bitter flavor masks some of the complexities that struggle to break out. Palate that just blossoms in your mouth. Pretty cool shaped bottle for homebrewers. The lace was not just lace- it leaves white woolly worms on the side of the glass. Very distinctive.
UPDATE 6/5/6: In the bottle at the 2006 Huber Haus Belgian Trappist Ale Tasting. I think I like this even more than before. Pinkish yellow amber in color. Medium-sized off white head. This is a bronchodilating beer. Acidic sourness. Cloves. Earthy. Downright butt-like. Flavor has some amaretto in it. Sourness and tartness. Tastes a bit like Dr. Pepper. Multiple waves of flavor end with a strong bittering finish. This is like nothing else Iíve ever tasted. A truly one-of-a-kind.
HermanW (1066) - Coevorden, NETHERLANDS - AUG 4, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
These monks know how to build a foam. Perfect. The smell is very fine. The first taste is a bit bitter but after the first taste it is nice. A perfect beer.
jmuhops (669) - Winchester, Virginia, USA - JUL 31, 2004
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 1, 2006 Pours light brown with a large, rocky head. Musty, slightly hoppy aroma. Very complex flavor, changes several times in the mouth. Very drinkable. One of my favorite beers.
Update: God, this stuff is excellent--a Belgian Strong mixed with a Tripel mixed with a Dubbel. Even smelling like pee halfway through, itís incredible.
Kevin (2192) - New Mexico, USA - JUL 31, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 5, 2005 Wow, alcohol nose jumped out at me before i could note anything else. smells like paint and vanilla. appearance is hazy light brown with a thin head that lasts.the description is apt this is dry. taste reminds me of the vanilla ice cream inside a popsicle but not as sweet. nice bitterness throughout that wakes up my tongue. surprisingly smooth finish that leaves a silky texture that sticks around. previous ratings 5,4,8,3,17
revisiting this gem on 2-5-5. pours a cloudy sun tea brown with a luxourious creamy heady that is fat and pillowy. aroma is banana and vanilla. wow, i just donít know how i undeerrated this aroma before. i have been immersing myself in it for 10 minutes and i havenít even got around to tasting it. i want an orval air freshner in my car. do you think i could market one of those in a chalice or tulip shape? iíd hang one from my rearview mirrir in my car just to F with the cops, "no sir i havenít been drinking, thats just my air freshner you bastard tool of the man". the taste however is apt from my previous session with this, but he hop presence is so perfect in this. the malt vanilla flavor dances with it wonderfully. such a great balance. the dryness of this is perfect. damn i had forgotten what a great beer this was, and thgey had them on sale at the yuppie mart to boot.
new rating as of 2-5-5 9, 4, 8, 4, 17
RichardWilding (201) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUL 30, 2004
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
330ml Bottle - Bottled 2002
Orange is the dominating flavour in this beer, hoppy but couldnít really pick up much else.
Will wait a while for my other bottles to mature a bit, perhaps new flavours will develop.
DaveZee (6) - California, USA - JUL 28, 2004 does not count
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
This trappist is a victim of over-hype. Wet earth and pepper aroma. Beautiful amber color with strong head. Hoppy, bitter tast with slight sour milk aftertaste. Not my favorite Belgian.
Mungo (2470) - Southampton, Hampshire, ENGLAND - JUL 28, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: FEB 25, 2006 Feb 06 Iíve really come to love this beer. After working my way through half a crate of this since christmas 05 Iíve realised how special this is. Simple enough to knock back after a hard mornings garden, complex enough to hold the attention whilst sipping. Excellent. 4.6
Jul 05 Incredibly well balanced with malt, yeast and hops all noticeable and complementary. Dry bitter finish with unusual numbing effect (like anaesthetic throat spray) on the back of the throat. 4.1
Jul 04 Bottle-conditioned. Spicy citric aromas with at times almost overpowering mustiness. Dry slightly sour flavours. Vergeing on excellent and awful between mouthfuls but just keeps it together. 3.5
Wheatsheaf (104) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 20, 2004
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottleóaged one year. A vibrant ruby-orange ale that effortlessly produces a large, foamy head that lasts forever and leaves thick sheets of lace along the sides of the glass. The aroma fills the air before you even get a chance to get your nose near the beer. Intriguing and wonderfully funky aroma has notes of decaying leaves, wet wool, damp earth and moss, leather, and horseblanket, with another level of complexity added by a herbal character in which I detect sage and mint (and maybe some juniper, as well?). The GoŻt díOrval reveals flavours that are earthy and leafy, salty, fruity, lightly acidic, citrusy, herbal, and hoppyóall of them coming together to form a unique and complete whole. I canít help but feel that Iíve barely scratched the surface, for this is a truly remarkable beer.
Imbockinsxtx (82) - Big Bend (Benavides, TX), Texas, USA - JUL 18, 2004
2.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
The first thing that got my attention as I popped the top off the bottle was the Winey, berry Aroma. The beer poured a nice orange colour with abundant head. The Flavour was mediciney and hoppy. The Mouthfeel was Oily and Waxy. The bitter hop finish seems to be well balanced with the Flat Champagne like flavour/palate of the brew. I expected a more malty/sweeter flavour based on the winey fruity Aroma. Overall, this beer is kinda like a flat Champagne with some medicine or kerosene added. Cheers!
Quetzalcoatl (153) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JUL 18, 2004
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Great crisp aromaÖbig thick head and attractive color. Very dry, pleasant sourness is present as well. Unlike most other Trappist/Abbey offerings.