January 15th, 2009 beckel
Today we have another ale from Brewery Ommegang, the fine New York based, Belgian owned and inspired brewing company. To celebrate their 10th anniversary in 2007 they decided to brew a chocolate ale and because of its success they have continued to brew it for the lucky folk of the world such as myself. I have yet to be disappointed by an ale they have produced and even with a simple 7% ABV I cant wait to give this brew a try. Pours a lovely dark black color that is not translucent at all with a solid 3 fingers plus of beautiful frothy cocoa colored head that takes many minutes to dissipate. Giving this ale a little swirl stirs up more carbonation giving this ale a nice crown of brown to add to the lacing that is already around the glass from the initial pour. All of Ommegang’s ales tend to be plenty carbonated but this one has marvelous head retention. This brew initially smells mostly of coffee and then some other nice dark malts that eventually create a malty chocolate aroma with a nice roasted hint. Well this is certainly a stout, tastes of dark lightly roasted malts creating many coffee like flavors. For a stout the body is reasonably light and the mouthfeel is smooth and only a little carbonated. There is definitely some noticeable sweetness produced by all the malt in this ale but it doesn’t particularly strike me as chocolate flavored. Definitely a flavorful stout that incorporates both sweet and roasted flavors nicely and shouldn’t be too intimidating, particularly because of how well the ABV is covered up. If you like milk stouts but want some more roasted flavor this would be a wonderful brew for you. Not as much chocolate flavor as I was hoping for but still pretty good overall . Give it a shot and ride your bike.
November 14th, 2008 beckel
Here we have another ale from Ommegang, the Belgian influenced and owned brewery from Cooperstown, New York. Hennepin is brewed in the old Saison style and is a wonderful choice any time of the year. I first and last consumed this beer last Christmas, time to see how my palate may have changed. This beer pours a nice golden orange color that is slightly transparent but also hazy depending on how much yeast you let in your glass, I was reminded of this in my two pours that you will see below. Producing many inches of pure white head depending on how heavy handed you are, most of which will subside after a few minutes and you are left with a small amount of lacing on the glass and a few floating patches of head. Aroma is pleasant with simple slightly tart citrus and gentle spices coming through, smelling much like a Belgian ale. The citrus flavors from the hops in the beer provide a nice sour kick to this simple and refreshing ale. Malts are smooth and give this beer a slightly spicy slightly caramel taste showing its Belgian influence. It is rather impressive how the flavors of this beer wonderfully cover its 7.7% ABV with little difficulty. This is a very nice simple and drinkable, yet flavorful example of a Saison that I believe many people will enjoy even if they have little experience with craft beer. The mouthfeel is reasonably light but hearty with a light body. This Ale would be delicious with light meats or wonderful to relax with after a good days work. Definitely a good choice for anyone who appreciates lighter but still flavorful brews and doesn’t mind a bit of Belgian influence. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
Pour one: little to no yeast, very transparent and golden, less orange in color.
Pour two: much yeast, only slightly transparent, much more orange and hazy in color.
August 4th, 2008 beckel
I was made aware of the Brewery Ommegang this Christmas when I was gifted a bottle of their Hennepin and Three Philosophers. The brewery is owned by the Belgian company Duvel Moortgat that makes the lovely beer Duvel, but is brewed out of Cooperstown, New York. This beer is 98% of a Quadrupel Ale and 2% cherry Lambic Ale and is so unique I felt I needed to share. This 2007 edition of Three Philosophers pours with a solid inch or more of thick light brownish head, but is not over carbonated. The aroma of this beer is nice, smells of alcohol, slight cherry and heavy malt. Color is a dark brown but lovely red tones come out under light, this beer is very opaque but not hazy. The flavor of this beer is the kicker, this time around it seems a bit more carbonated in the mouthfeel but not overly heavy. Alcohol is present which is no surprise at 9.8% ABV which is slightly dulled down by the smooth massive malt profile of this beer, but does not hesitate to resume as finish your sip. The cherry in this beer is what makes it so nice, though the smooth malt and alcohol flavors are the most prevalent the cherry flavor sneaks in towards the middle of the palate and if you let it will stick nicely with you even after finishing your sip, it is not syrupy at all but has a nice sweet and sour flavor that is very natural tasting. This is a very different attempt at a Belgian Quadrupel Ale but I think it is quite good. If you are looking for a strong but not bitter Belgian Style Ale this is not a bad choice, particularly if you like a light fruit hint and don’t mind a slightly alcoholic flavor. GIve it a shot and ride your bike.