Oakes (18434) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - AUG 24, 2002
UPDATED: JAN 28, 2004 Bright orange colour. Light beige head is very thick, and often makes fun mountainous shapes. The room fills with perfume, medicine, noble hops, tangerines, horseblanket. Fun stuff. Bitter body brings a strong citric component, and these are complemented by warming pale malts, an underpinning of alcohol and a sour, bretty finish. Vibrant, funky, alive. With amples doses of malt, hops, yeast, brett, alcohol, a nature that is challenging yet comforting, a potency that can satisfy with one bottle or with four, Orval is truly a pleasure for all of your senses. In short, Orval is beer. jerohen (2342) - Bussum, NETHERLANDS - SEP 4, 2002
UPDATED: JUN 22, 2013 One of my absolute favorites, i always have a few bottles of this at home. The yeast, the sourness, the hops it’s all just in perfect harmony, and that at only around 6%. Superb. Aging: Compared a fresh sample with 2 and 5 year old samples. In time, Orval seems to lose its bitterness, while the aroma becomes more sour. It becomes smoother, but less outspoken. I personally prefer a fresh bottle compared to the aged ones, although imho a 5 year old one is better than a two year old. Perhaps aging more than 5 years will make it better, but for the time being i’ll stick to drinking fresh ones :-). beerluvr199 (4) - Neptune City, New Jersey, USA - DEC 29, 2001 does not count
This is it! The reason I chose to delve deeper into all beers Belgian. It's bottle, color, head, aroma, taste, and long bitter aftertaste are just unequalled in my book! THE Trappist ale...just wish it wasn't so gosh-darned $$! One of life's great luxuries! caesar (7170) - Bunnik/Utrecht, NETHERLANDS - DEC 26, 2002
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. Suttree (6479) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - MAR 6, 2002
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2015 Re-Rate, Dec 2003 - not to change the numbers, but I felt I needed to clarify why I like it so much (because I have just enough ego to believe that all of Ratebeer, nay, the entire online community is waiting for my opinion). Orval is a clear Orange with a thick, luxurious off white head. Smells of oak, pepper, and wine, as well as fruit (bananas) and Salt risen bread. Flavors are like an oaky merlot and strong black pepper, with some grainy, smoky flavors. It is inconsistant - which a huge part of its appeal, by the way - so different bottles will sometimes have a fruity, sweeter flavor and feel. Dry crisp hops throughtout, and finishes assertively. Unique and a joy everytime. Update 2/27/05 - Tried a bottle with a date of 4/97. It was still tasty, but the hop crispness was rather muted. Still big musty, fruity notes, and some medicianl flavors, too. Edit, 01/20/2015 - it’s perfect. I should give it a 5
estoppel (1028) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JUL 20, 2002
Looked and smelled like a German dark wheat. Did not taste like one. This was the last bottle of Orval at the store, so I figured I had better grab it (not an old bottle, though - exp. 10/08/06). This definitely has nothing in common with the other Trappists that I've tried, and the first few sips had me agreeing with the raters who disliked this one. It didn't get a whole lot better. Dry and thin (for a Trappist), and loaded with pepper and bitterness. It's probably an acquired taste - I'll try again when the store gets some more bottles. RERATE 4/2/02 (exp. 6/12/06): Not so peppery this time, and more drinkable. Bitter, bitter, bitter, and the dryness makes it seem rather thin. Leaves a slightly parched feeling in my mouth. Maybe it's growing on me, but I still don't love it. 4/11/02: Third bottle. Have to say that this stuff becomes addictive. 5/13/02: Now number two on my desert island list. Some beers really grow on you. 7/20/02: Did I really say that this smelled like a wheat beer? My RateBeer education continues... SteC (140) - Oostende, BELGIUM - SEP 18, 2002
This is definently one of my favourites
Re-rate, 18 Sept 2002
I had a 1 year old Orval yesterday.
When I opened it, it went fissssss a long time. Then I put ti tin the glass, I was very surprised, as the color was clear, later came the remains of the yeast, and the known orval colour was back.....
This beer is my first 5... Troobie99 (60) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUN 10, 2002
So much has been written about it--my drivel will add nothing. A perfect beer. AndersR (196) - Århus, DENMARK - AUG 13, 2002
Jesus Christ Bananas! This is the king of belgium Trappist ale! Whit not-so-lasting head, light brown and very unclear color. Slightly bitter and very distinct aroma that i cant quite place. The taste is full, complex and very bitter. Hints of hop and malt. Careful when you pour it so you dont disturb the residues on the bottom though :-O
Lucky me, i have just accuired 15 bottles on my trip to Bruxelles :-D morty99 (371) - Maryland, USA - SEP 15, 2002
The best beer I have ever tasted. You don't just drink Orval, you experience it. Sweet, candy like, and flowery. Flavors that you can't even describe, other than you really like them. Mouthfeel is similar to eating pop rocks as the flavors explode on your tongue. If only it were not so expensive.