Something green perhaps. Michael Jackson wrote in his Great Beers of Belgium that this beer has "a powerfully earthy, herbal aroma; a light, firm body; and an intensely appetising hop bitterness". Any beer that can generate that word to semi-colon ratio is fine by me, I suppose.
But first, it is apparently important that I have a moment of guilt. I traded this beer for a third of a month's worth of ad space a couple of years ago. Its siblings at 8 and 12 are in the stash. I am not overly concerned, being Protestant, as to the resulting valuation of the brew but - as you might expect - am skeptical as to the price others have paid and the lengths they have gone to (or been put to) for a sip. I protest such things, as my creed would have me. Yet, unlike the man behind Cantillon, I also don't think these things are just for drinking as judging goes along with thinking. After all, this is a thinking person's guide to beer. So let us think of the thing in itself, judge it for what it is and not worry how many Hank Aaron baseball cards I might have traded it for.
A rich sheeting fine white head sits over clear golden ale. In the distance I hear the laundry going and children refusing to go to bed. The smell is quite wonderful, like Orval without all that lavendar-ish-ness. A mildly peachy, creamy, twiggy smell with...hey, herself goes by, grabs the glass and takes the first swig. "You'll like it" she says walking on. Soft water, fruit perfumed malt giving way to two level bitterness: a fairly strong tea plus an nettle thing to the back of the throat. Somewhere I hear a Red Sox player wiff at a ball that was never going to be a strike. Bitterness becomes rounded astringency in a light grainy pale malt finish.
This brew is pushing a year and a half years old so I have no idea if this is faded or not. But, on the other hand, I may never have it again given the way things are so what the heck. Short take? Like a cross between or even blend of Orval and a light English pale ale. BAers are surprisingly a tad cool to it - but primarily as a beer for aging.