jerohen (2062) - Bussum, NETHERLANDS - JUL 3, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottled at the cafe close to the monastery. Cloudy orange golden coloured, big head. Yeasty and fruity, hop-bitterness. Of course everyone is comparing this one to the ’real’ Orval, which has a flavour quite similar. This one closely resembles its bigger brother, although in finish the difference becomes really obvious. Nevertheless, this very easy to drink beer with only 3.5% ABV is marvellously complex and probably the best low alcohol beer i know.
caesar (5769) - Bunnik/Utrecht, NETHERLANDS - JUL 1, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, Ange Gardien at 100 m from the Abbey. Cloudy orange golden color, big off-white head. Aroma is bit fruity, some bubblegum, typical Orval but bit weaker. Also taste is typical Orval, but a bit weaker. Easy to drink that way, and as Orval is one of my favorite beers, I like this one too.
richlikebeer (838) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 5, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
bottle courtesy of BierKonig, opened with egadzis and hopdog at Yeha05...pour was the standard orval color, but the head was not the layer of thick foam that one regularly gets, instead being thinner and fading faster. the aroma was more yeasty and toast laced, and didnt have the uniqueness of the standard. overall, i thought was a more drinkable version of its more famous sibling, but the uniquness of Orval is one of the things that makes it as desireable as it is.
kook (2033) - Perth, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA - FEB 28, 2006
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
London Gathering Nov 05: Dry, hoppy spicy aroma with some funky notes. Tastes like watered down Orval. Quaffable table beer. Gold with a white head.
Kevster (344) - Bradenton, Florida, USA - JAN 17, 2006
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JAN 22, 2006 Bottle shipped to me from Belgium. Pours a amber color with orange tones and a frothy white head that is mostly lasting. I noticed a more hoppy aroma than the regular Orval. Also, flavor is sweet and a little more watery leaving a dry finish. This is an excellent example of what a light beer should be.
rauchbier (3655) - Isle Of Beer, Lincolnshire, ENGLAND - JAN 16, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Botle conditioned, from L’Auberge de L’Ange Gardien courtesy of John White. Hazy bronze, good lasting white head and moderate condition. Slight malty caramel notes in the nose with a distant hopsack note that is far more restrained than its big brother. Quite thin in the mouth with a gently refreshing yeastiness and muted hoppiness. Dry and watery in the finish with just a hint of hop flowers. A refreshing session Trappist beer, a not very sinful skinfull, if you like.
TimE (4067) - Tokyo, JAPAN - DEC 23, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This and the Chimay Black are the most exceptional out of the Monks beer. I have no idea why Westmalle Extra is rated the highest of the three.
Med Amber color, spicy nose, grains of paradise, oranges, bubblegum erupt from the nose. The mouth is much more subdued than Orval. It smooth, but retains a high degree of complexity. A dry orangey finish is similar to Orval. I just realized this is only 3.5%, WOW what complexity for its size! Very impressive
pivo (2631) - GERMANY - DEC 12, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Complex yeast and lactice nose, orange-brown color, foamy beige head. Soft toasted malt base with a sour, acidic characer. Some spice. Thinish body, for sure, that tappers off then comes back with a broad hop bitter. For 3.5% this is an amazingly full and characterful beer. Shame on other light beers - it CAN be done.
hopdog (9713) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 12, 2005
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Big thanks to RLB for a taste of this one that I’ve been searching for a while now. Poured a medium amber color with a smaller sized, lightly off white head. Aromas and tastes of yeast, citrus, and lightly spicy. Thin and light and bordering on watery. Out of the ’Monk Only’ beer I’ve had, I have to put Westmalle Extra 1st, this second then the Chimay Doree.
chriso (7482) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 3, 2005
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottled at the London gathering, November 2005. Part of a very generous and unexpected gift from Dalle. Not surprising that this tastes like a watered down Orval because that’s exactly what it is. Although I do think the effect is subtly more different than would be produced simply by watering down. If you look upon this as a weak but hoppy, clean and fresh, session beer for drinking in quantity (which of course is its intended purpose) rather than as Orval junior, it works fine. If you start drawing too many comparisons it doesn’t.