it earned a 93-100 rating, a "world class" score. So it puzzles me that I just didn't like Orval.
The beer pours a deep amber color, almost to the point of being brown. The head is decent, and persists for a while after you pour it.
When it came to the flavor, the typical Belgian fruity, spicy notes felt drowned under a load of hops. There was also a slight sourness to it. It tasted like someone took a nice Belgian quadrupel and poured just enough of a 90-minute IPA into it to ruin it.
From what I've read, this is a beer that mellows as it ages. Perhaps the bottle I had was simply too "fresh" and needed more time to mellow out. I don't know. I'll probably try this again, just to see if perhaps I got a bad bottle this time around... or maybe I was just in a bad mood?
I sampled this particular bottle at The Winking Lizard Tavern on Bethel Road, but I've seen it at Weiland's Gourmet Market.
IBU: 30 (mine felt like a 50)
My rating: 4/10