69 / 100
12oz brown bottle purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA.
Pours a clear burnished amber colour, perhaps with a slight haze running through it. Head forms a huge, frothy crest of off-white: stacks of carbonation forms it without much coaxing. Messy, soapy carbonation completes the picture. The beer is vibrant and alive.
Nose is muted, but pleasant. Slight vegetative fragrance sits above a more earthy, slightly sweet Belgian note. It has a lovely broad basis that allows the spicier characters to do their thing over the top. Crushed celery and a little salt and pepper. It's very nice.
Taste is a lot lighter, which works, but the nose suggested some complexity that's just not there. It's a pleasantly drinkable palate that results. Clean celery, vegetative characters over a smooth basis of neutral malt. Slight mixed spice character on the back finishing with a very dry back palate. Feel is smooth, but without much to work with.
Overall. I like it a lot. There are certainly good characters to it, and while it's lighter and less interesting on the palate that it ideally could be, it's certainly still flavoursome. A drinkable beer that retains its class.
74 / 100
Pours a pale amber colour with a thick cloud and protein floaties (proaties), steady but thin bead. Head is white, nice and dense with decent retention. Lace is stretched, but sticky.
Smell is underwhelming. Plenty of fruit hiding in there, but hiding. Notes of apricot, raspberry and a hint of tamarind towards the back where it gets more bitter and phenolic. Touch of orange peel, cardamom and green peppercorns. Subdued, but nice.
Taste is very complex and Belgian, with bitter, boozey phenols competing with fruity esters for supremacy starts with a vanilla-malt base with nice cereal grain notes. Phenols come through with hints of cardamom, rubber and fresh fennel, blending with lemon, apricot and mildly tart berry notes for a mid-to-late palate that straddles the hub between fruity, spice and bitter quite nicely. Starts fruity and ends fairly spicy-phenolic. Good Belgian palate.
Full body, slight boozey warmth, otherwise very smooth.
Good, complex brew. Could see it matching well with an Indian curry or chilli prawns.
70 / 100
Pours a cloudy, burnt-orange kind of colour. Head is off-white with nice whipped look on top, slight bead. Looks quite good - no lace though.
Smells rather fruitart, with a grounded Belgian spice underlying. Hints of stone fruit with peach, touch of banana, and some pepper. Not bad, could use a bridge between the earthy bitterness and lighter fruit, they're like two competing armies on the battlefield of aroma.
Taste leans more towards the earthiness - slight floral notes upfront with a touch of lavender that gets quite bitter midway, fairly resinous and spicy with star anise, soapy notes and a touch of cardboard. Lifted with some white pepper, apricot on the late-mid and finishes with a stronger metallic note. Decent complexity but finishes quite astringently. Actually gets better the more you drink, mellows out quite a lot.
Feels fairly foamy in the mouth and quite smooth. Good.
Yeah, maybe a bit too bitter and Belgian for an everyday drinker, but pretty decent.
Purchased in California and brought back to Australia to share with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.
Pours a hazed, slightly amber orange colour, with a full and frothy head, initially. This settles to a half-centimetre of fine off-white foam, leaving minimal lacing. Body is quite light. Not a bad look.
Nose is fragrant with organic Belgian notes, but also rather sharp, with a zesty carbonation whack livening up the palate. Hint of caramel grains and a touch of earthiness. All up, it's nice, but it's a little too sharp, and a little less powerful than I like.
Taste is clean and light, with vigorous carbonation that makes the palate smart. Pleasant mild Belgian phenols giving a cleansing sharpness, with a suggestion of acidity on the back. Quite light on flavour, and where it is, it's not the round sweetness I expect, but it's pleasant and drinkable.
It's a good beer, but in my opinion not a great beer. It's pleasant, light, drinkable and quite sessionable for its 6.5%. The characters are pleasant enough, but it doesn't really do anything exceptional.
77 / 100
Shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe as we brewed our flagship IPA.
Pours a very light amber colour, quite bright when held to the light, and with a pleasant haze that collects and refracts the light. Head is bubbly but fine, leaving some patchy lacing of pure white. Looks pretty decent.
Nose is round and supple, giving some pleasantly smooth, almost buttery Belgian phenols, and a pleasant spicy sweetness that suggests the bright pepper notes of Belgian yeast, with the smoothness that underlies it. Very pleasant indeed.
Taste is also relatively smooth, but the sweetness comes and goes with a semi-sweet nut butter and grain character cut with a spicy, slightly phenolic bite through the centre. Very smooth feel, with an almost indistinguishably light carbonation.
Very nice beer this oneâit hides the alcohol well, and comes across a lot lighter and easier drinking than it is. Interestingly, I put this and the Rare Vos side-by-side and they're miles apart. Obviously this is stronger, but it shows how much the strengths assists the style. This was fuller, rounder, more integrated and better balanced.
77 / 100
Pours a lovely cloudy reddish orange colour, quite deep and thick with a huge and boisterous rocky head of large-bubble yellow foam. Lacing is crazy but patchy. The carbonation is a story in itself, with huge crowds of bubbles fizzing in anarchy through the body. This is a big and wild, crazily boisterous brew. I love it.
Decent wild funk on the nose, Lots of hay, sweet citrus acidity, and an oddly spicy note like New York pizza sauce. Maybe it's a herbal, basil-like fragrance, but that's what it reminds me of. Quite sweet, but with that lightly rank meaty/yeasty/herbal character to just skew it off-centre. Awesome.
Taste still has funky overtones, but it returns very much to the base organic phenols of a traditional bière de garde. More earthy and gritty, quite refreshingly dry, but with very little acidity. Some herbal bitterness on the very back. To my mind, a little sour note would set this off nicely. Despite the zealous carbonation, the mouthfeel is round and merely tingling, although the beer feels a little bloating after a while.
Yes. This is a pretty wild brew, and to my mind, it's doing what Ommegang does well: taking a very decent Belgian style ale and twisting it slightly off-kilter. They really up the funk on the aroma with this beer, but bring it back to a more traditional basis on the palate. Very nice indeed.
60 / 100
Pours a slightly cloudy yellow straw colour with an initially frothy white head. This collapses rather disappointingly, with almost nothing left after an initial pour. Carbonation is quite boisterous, body looks pretty thin. Not a great wit, and the head is particularly disappointing.
Spice-heavy nose, with a decent amount of coriander seed. A little soapy character, but very little sweetness, roundness or citrus. Pretty weak, and not that flavoursome. It's pleasant enough in its way, but I've had far more aromatic wits.
Taste is similar. Nice roundness, and a little spice, but quite thin. Coriander is noticed again, but the finish is very dry, and there's no sweetness left by the end. Mouthfeel is quite round again, but the carbonation is overzealous, leaving it too prickly.
I've been more impressed with other witbiers, and far more impressed with other Ommegang beers. While it's by no means offensive, and it's very drinkable, but it's certainly pretty insipid.
77 / 100
Pours a deep, dark and opaque brown-black, with a thick and rocky cocoa-brown head. Lacing is wonderful, and the head retains like anything. Looks absolutely dark and delicious.
Wonderful mocha-chocolate notes on the nose. Deep bittersweet cocoa, coffee, and black roasted notes, intermingle with notes of woodsmoke, peat, coconut and rye bread. So much dark complexity - all the notes which keep surfacing are unique, but all are delicious. Very pleasant indeed.
Very roasted palate, quite thick, with a lingering chocolate character. The chocolate is very much from the high-cocoa, low-sugar end of the spectrum, and it blends with the bittersweet carbonised malts to create a dark, heavy and intesne beer. This is no sweetly seductive chocolate stout, this is one to slam a pound of concrete chocolate in your face. For all that, it stays remarkably smooth - the characters might be robust and assertive, but the slickness on the palate and the manner in which the flavours are integrated leaves it very approachable.
A very pleasant, drinkable, complex and robust beer. As much as those adjectives are probably often conflicting, this paradox of a beer manages to be at once confronting and comforting. It pulls you away with the right, and draws you in with the left. Very good.
Pours very opaque black, the tiniest touch of brown from the edge, seems to have some decent floaty chunks in the bottom of it (which of course makes them sinkies). Head is deliciously huge, ochre-coloured, sinking steadily and consistently but leaves some pretty shit-hot beige lace sheets behind. Yeah, it's a stunner.
Nose is rich and burnt, but not overly bitter or ashy, just very roasty and toasty, with hints of nutmeg, cocoa and a fair residual sugar, like baked fruit syrup runoff. This makes it smell lighter and sweeter. Very pleasant, but could have used a bit more complexity, or even just a bit more fragrance.
Taste is a bit of a letdown, in that it again doesn't have a great deal of complexity or flavour. Has a fair roasted character but this presses lightly, with a slight espresso bitterness that never really overwhelms. A bit of a charred meat character on the back, with a barbecue sauce sweetness, and slight herbal hints as well, aspects of mint and rosemary.
Mouthfeel is as full as you'd expect, fairly slick but strikes me as a bit lacking in texture.
Actually I think this is a bit lacking overall. Just from the look I expected a big, bold bastard of a stout - instead I'm getting stout characters that seems to be hiding in the background and never leaping forward with their dark, evil flavour potential. Oddly enough this feels heavy without actually tasting so. There's flavour potential that it never lives up to.
81 / 100
Uncorks without much encouragement, leaving a lovely cascade of carbon dioxide running down the sides of the bottle. Pours a hazy yellow gold colour, with a lovely, frothy, crackling head of white foam. Loose-bubbled though it is, it sticks around for quite a while. Nice.
Nice sweet lemon citrus, funk and grassy organics on the nose, lots of pleasant acidity to create a thoroughly refreshing aroma. Some light yeast notes come through as the head collapses, grounding the beer a little more. Very nice indeed.
Gritty organic bitterness on the palate, initially sharp, but with that sweet citric note coming through on the rear. Very clean and crisp. Sparkling and effervescent, which adds some great refreshing notes to the brew.
Clean, crisp and refreshing. A pleasure to drink, and a fantastic alternative to cold pale lager for a summer beverage. The 7.5% might take hold after a while, though.
This is an excellent Saison. Once again, Ommegang truly do give the Belgians a run for their money.
73 / 100
Pours a reddish-brown colour, nice medium beige head that dissipates into a thin film of fair foam. Very nice, sticky lacing web. Cloudy body. Pretty darned nice or whatever.
Sourish with a lot of fruit characters on the nose. Apple, pear and apricot with a very slight wet soil lingering on the back that grounds it well(in an electrical charge sense, not a mortar & pestle sense) into something other than a light fruity woman's beer. Suggests a tartness that isn't full cup of tea but the fruit is pleasant enough for it to be maybe 3/4 cup of tea.
Kind of a sour, amber ale character abounds through the palate, although there is a sweet, almost milky flavour on the front. The fruit that suggested itself on the nose is conscpicuously absent except on the mid-palate, where it blends very nicely with the tartness which lingers on the finish. Nice earthy tones in this, like a colony of earthworms have ground their way through this beer, and mouthfeel is nice and full, with the slight puckering on the finish its only downpoint.
This is a nice beer, with a complex array of brooding, Autumnal flavours. Although I'm not a huge fan of the finish, it really only lingers, there's nothing unpleasant flavour-wise on the back of the palate. In fact, the more I drink the more I'm thinking the tartness is just a nice fruity character. I might mark it up 1/2 a point. I might not.
89 / 100
Beautiful mahogany brown body, a little cloudy with sediment with a very fine creamy head of bubbles. Lacing is great, body is thick and rich. Looks wonderful.
Yum, just delicious deep sweet and dark notes on the nose. Dark plum pudding, fruit cake and rum-soaked raisins. Just a lighter acidic note of orange peel leavens it a little. There's the rich dark plummy sweetness, and the lighter fruitier characters over the top. Just wonderful, absolutely top notch for the style.
A little lighter than expected on the palate - certainly not a full blown dried-fruit darkness, but the palate is still much layered. Initial bitter notes slide into a sweet-sour fruit character, before drying to a long, raisin-toast kind of character on the back. Not a hint of alcohol except for the slight uptilt in the tail which just flings back a whiff of rum or brandy. Mouthfeel is nice - smooth, but lightened a little - not syrupy.
A truly excellent and enjoyable beer. Quite complex, but very smooth and drinkable as well. Possibly one of the most drinkable Dubbels I've ever tried. This one yet again established Ommegang as a top-notch brewery with me.
90 / 100
Pours a delectable looking cherry colour with a fine beige head, quite dense but going away quite steadily. Thinly dispersed lacing, but that colour - if it didn't remind me so much of Timmerman's Kriek it would be outstanding.
Delicious nose, with burnt toffee, slight - although I'm probably wrong about this - smokey character with a lot of sweet dried fruit to boot. Sweet, blossoming and delicious. So much character, so much sublimity. Stop the presses, we have just discovered perfection.
Has that slightly, subtly smoked flavour on the very front palate, then trails off into a really full-bodied, sweet 'n' sour full mouth flavour. Has hints of lime mixed with raisins, cinnamon, wood smoke and treacle. Slightly too tart for me to absolutely cream my jeans, but it's delicious, complex, very flavoursome and has enough pleasantness to power a small jet-propelled shuttle to the moon and back.
Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, like bodily excretions. Overall a shit-hot beer, could drink a gallon of this without taking a breath and I'd be smiling all the way to the graveyard.
94 / 100
(Best of the Best)
2007 Vintage. Wonderful looking bottle. Caged and corked, decorks with a sucking thunk sound. Love it.
Pours thick as treacle, a gorgeous burgundy red colour with excellent clarity. Head is a consistent almost-pure-white crown of filmy bubbles. This is a majestic, serious looking beer - the colour is magnificent, and it looks like a wonderful, wonderful brew.
Coppery sour on the nose. Beautiful notes of Belgian yeast, roasted malt, and a citrus/fruit acidity that sets all the rest off nicely. Not overtly strong, but subtle and complex. Wonderful.
There's layers to the palate, all delicate, but intermingling in a wonderful way. An initial hint of alcohol heat is mellowed by a sweet, slick character like melted candi sugar. This in turn dries out a little, leaving a residual cherry-sour character that explores the taste-buds. Aside from this, there's a tessitura of citrus sitting above all, and a darker spicy undertone to everything. What a wonderful harmony of so many disparate elements - this is a magnificent brew, thoroughly delicious.
Mouthfeel is lighter than you would expect, like the strong Belgian ales in this regard. Doesn't leave the palate overwhelmed, which is what is required of an ale this strong.
Despite the strength, the lightness of the body, and the lighter, fruitier characteristics of this beer make it supremely drinkable. This is a truly wonderful brew. Not just one of the best Belgium ales brewed outside Belgium, but one of the best Belgian ales period.
74 / 100
Nice 750ml brown Belgian-style bottle, caged and corked. Pops explosively with very little effort on my part. No gushing at least.
Pours a pale golden yellow with masses (and I mean MASSES) of big bubbled carbonation racing like anarchy up through the beer. Creates a huge-bubbles froth of white head that crackles its way down to a lace collar. Not much lacing. Looks crazy already.
Certainly a funky nose - notes of apricot and apple cider, sour gummi worms, overripe fruit, candy floss, and a organic compost kind of aroma. There's also a spicy kind of pepper character to it too. Wow, funky, phunky and phat.
Taste is not as weird as you'd think. Nice lightly sour entry, reminds me of a sour candy I used to eat as a kid - not mouth puckeringly sour, but just the hint of it. There's a weird swelling of bitter character mid-palate, and then the rest of the sweetness drops away, leaving a dry, hop resin character at the very end. It's not as sour as I was expecting, nor as fruity - but the flavour profile is just so out of sync with most beer - I felt as though it was caressing all these weird parts of my mouth that never really get to experience beer.
What a wild ride, if you'll pardon the pun. A crazy beer, full of phunk and character. Thankyou Brett (annomyces) for adding an entirely new dimension to the beer spectrum.