Ommegang

BREWERY OMMEGANG

Brewery Ommegang was founded in Cooperstown, New York in 1997. They brew Belgian style beers and are part of the Duvel family of fine ales. All of their year-round beers are designed to be aged in cellars to really bring out the true potential of their ales.  They produce seasonal beers as well as some specialty brews.

www.ommegang.com

Year-Round/Seasonals:

Specialty/Limited Release:

Game of Thrones Series:

ADORATION: 95 Points

I adore this

I adore this

This Belgian Strong Dark Ale is released in the Winter season in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Ale brewed with Spices: Coriander, Cardamon, Mace, Grains of Paradise, Sweet Orange Peel. Adoration is a traditional winter ale, brewed in the Belgian manner, but with the twist of unusual spicing. Sip it on a winter eve sitting before a fire. You’ll understand why we couldn’t name it anything else.”

My Description: It’s easy to fall in love with this beer. The flavors are not only delicious, but compliment each other beautifully. The alcohol is nicely hidden and the texture is smooth as silk giving Adoration an easy drinking feel. It begins with a huge, light beige colored head that lasts for a long time and leaves behind a great amount of lacing. The aroma is complex and pleasant with yeast esters taking center stage accompanied by notes of coriander, orange peel, wood, and spices. Adoration is medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is just as complex as the aroma with a tasty malt backbone holding up a plethora of spice notes from mace to coriander. Welcoming dark fruit notes of raisins and cherries along with a minor hint of bitterness makes this beer highly satisfying. The aftertaste is clean with a lingering sweet note. This is a great beer for the season and is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with chocolate desserts, roasted duck, or a game stew.

ABV: 10%  Color: Reddish/Brown  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 1.5/10

BPA: 92 Points

mmmm, Belgian yeast

This Belgian Style Pale Ale has an IBU of 21 and is available year-round in 12 oz. and 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “This uncommon Belgian pale ale is bronze in color with citrusy, spicy, floral hop flavors and aromas coming from the liberal amount of Styrian Goldings in the brew kettle followed by dry hopping of Cascade (hops).”

My Description: I enjoyed how nicely balanced the beer was; the bitterness was noticeable and nicely accompanied by some yeast esters and malt notes to make this beer an easy and pleasing drink. It has big and foamy, off-white colored head with an excellent retention level and a good amount of lacing. The aroma is fresh and clean with aromatic notes of citrus and pine hops along with some tropical notes and a touch of Belgian yeast funk. It is roughly medium bodied with an average carbonation level and a crisp, dry finish. With the alcohol being completely hidden, the first thing you will notice is a beautiful citrus hop taste accompanied by some clove and spice notes with a minor touch of mango and other tropical fruits. The aftertaste is moderately bitter but it doesn’t linger as much as other pale ales do. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with pizza, grilled salmon, or a blue cheese burger.

ABV: 6.2% Color: Bronze Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 4.5/10

HENNEPIN: 94 Points

Not just for farmers!

This Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale has an IBU of 24 and is available year-round in 12 oz. and 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “A moderately hoppy, farmhouse-style ale with a champagne-like effervescence, Hennepin has a crisp start followed by malt sweetness balanced with a firm bitterness. Hennepin has a bounty of great flavors: ginger, spice, orange and toasted grain. Hennepin makes way for a dry finish with a slight bite of ginger.”

My Description: This Farmhouse Ale is quite modest with the sourness and quite generous with the flavors. If this type of Saison suits you then I suggest picking up a big bottle because overall, the quality and taste will surely satisfy. It has a big, bright white colored head with a good retention level and some pretty good lacing. The aroma is slightly complex with notes of Belgian yeast funk, citrus, lemons, bananas, earth notes, and a minor touch of alcohol. It is roughly medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a creamy presence. The beer has a welcoming toasted bread backbone accompanied by flavor notes of bananas and spice notes such as cloves and ginger. The sourness is minimal and the alcohol is barely noticeable. The finish is smooth and crisp with a touch of citrus hop notes and hint of tart. Overall, this beer is complex and delicious. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with old bay seasoned shrimp, sushi, or grilled salmon.

ABV: 7.7% Color: Light Orange Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2/10

OMMEGANG ABBEY ALE: 96 Points

Trappist Love

This Belgian Dubbel is available year-round in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Ommegang, our first brew, was inspired by the centuries-old brewing practices of the Belgian Trappist monks. This burgundian brew gives off a variety of aromas, including plum and cinnamon, and packs in flavors such as caramel, toffee, and licorice. At 8.5% abv, it is known to cause spontaneous meditation.”

My Description: Oh yeah, this has Trappist love written all over it. If you want to know how well the monks drink then pick up this bottle. It has a big and bountiful light beige colored head that has great retention. The lacing is amazing, it will cover your whole glass. The aroma is superb and sweet with some complex scents. You will pick up on some fruit notes like raisins, figs, and plums as well as some caramel and malt notes. The beer is refreshing and smooth with only the hint of alcohol. In the beginning you will taste the sweetness with flavors of figs, raisins, and other dark fruit. The aftertaste is clean and slightly spicy, which will leave a little tingle of spice on your tongue that will linger for a few seconds. The beer has a higher carbonation level that works nicely with this Abbey Ale. Overall, this beer is really great and I recommend it for anyone who wants to drink like the monks. This is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with gourmet cheeses, lamb, or a hearty stew.

ABV: 8.5% Color: Mahogany Sweetness: 5/10 Bitterness: 2/10

RARE VOS: 97 Points

One of the finest

This Belgian Amber Ale is available year-round in 12 oz. and 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Rare Vos is flemmish for “Sly Fox,” and the name of one of Brussels’ great cafes. It has a sweetly fruity malt character and yeasty spiciness. A fine dose of yeast permits the beer to mature and mellow in the bottle.”

My Description: I immediately regretted not getting the 750 ml. bottle of this beer it is that good. It has a big, light tan colored head  with a really good retention and great lacing. The aroma is welcoming and enticing. There is a malt and clove presence in the aroma accompanied by a minor fruit note and a touch of caramel. It is roughly medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a clean, smooth finish. This beer is easy drinking with flavor notes of caramel upfront accompanied by some light fruits like apples and bananas. There is a satisfying sourness in the beer accompanied by a pleasant spice note. The flavors are well balanced and the alcohol is nicely hidden. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with lobster, jambalaya, or pork.

ABV: 6.5%  Color: Orange/Brown  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 1.5/10

ROSETTA: 94 Points

Excellent Mouthfeel

Excellent Mouthfeel

This Flemish Oud Bruin is available year-round in 11.2 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Ommegang Rosetta pays homage to time-honored Belgian methods of aging and blending fruit beers. Ommegang brewmaster Phil Leinhart partnered with Belgian sister brewery, Liefmans – legendary brewers in the world of sour fruit beers – to create a truly unique blend for Ommegang and U.S. craft beer lovers. Pouring a mahogany-brown with a hint of red, Rosetta offers elegance, depth, complexity, and an intriguing interplay of tartness and sweetness. This is derived from Phil’s perfectly balanced blend of Oud Bruin (a tart Flemish brown ale) with Cuvee Brut (a fruity and lively Kriek Beer).”

My Description: This beer has an excellent mouthfeel and it is a pleasure to drink. It begins with a large, light beige colored head with a great retention level that leaves a ring the whole way leaving behind some spotty lacing. The aroma is welcoming with bright cherry notes along with notes of red apples and other yeast notes. Rosetta is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is delicious with true cherry notes that provide a hint of tart. Some brown malt notes can be detected but overall this is all cherries; the taste is straight-forward and it really doesn’t need any complexity. Overall, this beer is extremely smooth and easy drinking. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with dark chocolate, grilled steaks, or baked ham.

ABV: 5.6%  Color: Deep Garnet  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 1.5/10

THREE PHILOSOPHERS: 93 Points

The quadruple of thought

This Quadruple is available year-round in 750 ml. bottles. It’s around $13 a bottle.

Brewer’s Description: “Created by blending a rich, malty, Belgian-style ale with authentic Kriek, quadruple is cultured yet wild, curious yet wise.”

My Description: This is a finely done quadruple that will get you nicely buzzed if you don’t share the bottle.  The head on the beer is great; a beautiful light tan color with a good retention, no lacing though. The aroma is sweet and deep; you will get notes of dark cherry, malt, grains, figs, oak, caramel, and probably more too depending on your palate. As the beer warms up, new scents emerge as well. The aroma is enjoyable, inviting, and a great precursor to the taste, super complex. It starts off with a sweet taste with notes of dark cherries from the Kriek which lends a slightly tart addition. You will also pick up on some malt notes and alcohol. The alcohol will be apparent but that is part of the style and not a negative characteristic. The aftertaste is slightly bitter but still sweet and flavorful. This is a full bodied beer that is delicious and strong. This beer is designed to be aged but if you can’t wait, it is good regardless. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with gourmet cheeses, dark meats, and cigars.

ABV: 9.8%  Color: Brown/Mahogany  Sweetness: 6/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

WITTE: 87 Points

Belgian Wit

This Belgian Style Witbier is their summer seasonally that is generally available year-round in 750 ml. bottles and 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Witte is brewed with malted and unmalted wheat, barley malt, a light hops addition and spiced with sweet orange peel and coriander.”

My Description: This is a good Witbier, it just didn’t bring me to the level of satisfaction that I was expecting. It has a bright white head that is bubbly but retains poorly. The lacing is also nothing to gloat about. However, the beer has a nice nose to it with fragrant notes of Belgian yeast, bubblegum, and coriander to name a few. The beer is roughly light/medium bodied with a good carbonation level for this style. Once you start drinking this beer it will taste bright and flavorful with notes of yeast, bubblegum, clove, and some citrus. The finish is dry and moderately sour. It is a pretty good beer, it is just not great. It is best served around 42°F and pairs nicely with salads, grilled shrimp, or fresh fruit.

ABV: 5.1%  Color: Hazy Straw Yellow  Sweetness: 3.5/10  Bitterness: 1.5/10

BIERE D’HOUGOUMONT: 93 Points

From Paris with love

Napoleon’s Waterloo Farmhouse

This Biere de Garde is released in limited quantities for a limited time in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Our Limited Edition Biere d’ Hougoumont is brewed with traditional French ale yeast, eight malts, French Strisselspalt hops, and aged on white oak and hard maple wooden staves. A traditional Biere De Garde style, this malty French-style farmhouse ale is brewed to be aged.”

My Description: The description of this beer is accurate in terms of it being a malt forward farmhouse ale. There is some bitterness that brings balance but overall the sweetness shines through. It has a good sized, off-white colored head with a decent retention level but very little lacing. The aroma is my favorite part of the beer, it smells amazing. There are notes of yeast, maple, sweet malt, light fruits, and a touch of welcoming barnyard funk. It is medium bodied with a moderately low carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. Immediately malt flavors come through with notes of maple and a hint of Brett (funk). The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a nice spice addition. The alcohol is beautifully hidden and the texture is very smooth. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled shrimp, roasted eggplant salad, or maple glazed chicken.

ABV: 7.3%  Color: Bronze  Sweetness: 3.5/10  Bitterness: 2/10

DUVEL RUSTICA: 90 Points

Great Beer, but no Duvel!

Great Beer, but no Duvel!

This Belgian Strong Golden Ale is brewed in limited quantities in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “We worked closely with Duvel on the recipe and processes, yet added our own signature notes. This Duvel collaboration created a fine ale, one with all the depth and breadth of Duvel’s classic Belgian Golden Ale, along with rustic notes, including fruity esters from our yeast. In keeping with our rustic farmstead roots, Rustica pours a golden hue, the aroma and flavor mixes maltiness and citrus from hops while the yeast produces notable fruitiness. The body is lean and rounded, while the finish offers dry warmth & firm hop bitterness.”

My Description: This is definitely a great ale in its own right. I just wish they wouldn’t have said that they collaborated with Duvel because I was expecting perfection, just like the original Duvel. Never-the-less this is a great Belgian and worth sampling. It starts with a good sized, white colored head that fades rather quickly but holds and produces a decent amount of lacing The aroma is fresh and inviting with notes of pepper, clove, bubblegum, and other yeasty esters. It is roughly medium/full bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a very dry finish. Yeast spices like pepper and clove dominate the flavor profile from start to finish. These notes are nicely accompanied by flavors of malt, noble hops, some citrus/floral hops notes, and some earthiness. The alcohol is slightly apparent but not intrusive. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a linger pepper flavor. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled shrimp, Gorgonzola crusted steaks, or sweet and spicy chicken wings.

ABV: 8.5%  Color: Hazy Golden  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 3/10

FLEUR DE HOUBLON: 94 Points

My favorite flower

My favorite flower

This Belgian Pale Ale is released for a limited time starting in May 2013, in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Fleur de Houblon is a rich gold color with distinct floral hops in the aroma that follow through in the taste. Whole-cone Bravo hops are used to impart their earthy, fruity, and floral aromas and flavors. The body and flavor are clean and dry, with pleasing complexity and spicy notes from both primary and secondary fermentation with our unique Ommegang house yeast.”

My Description: This is the perfect summer beer for those who love hops and love Belgians. It starts with a huge, off-white colored head with a great retention level and a tremendous amount of lacing. The aroma is real nice with notes of citrus, floral hops, and a hint of spice. It is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a very dry finish. This beer is clean and smooth with great flavors including floral hops, citrus notes and pale malt notes. The aftertaste is moderately bitter and it lingers slightly. This is a great summer beer and is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled shrimp, light salads, or sauteed snapper.

ABV: 6.8%  Color: Hazy Gold  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 4/10

HOP HOUSE: 90 Points

Who doesn't love a hop house

Who doesn’t love a hop house

This Belgian Style Pale Ale is released for a limited time in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Bright yellow-amber hue, topped with a lush white pillowy head. Abundant tropical and citrus hop aromas with subtle floral notes and a light biscuit presence. Fruity and citrus flavors are balanced out with delicate malt notes. Smooth and effervescent, Hop House provides moderate bitterness with a drying, hop forward finish.”

My Description: Though not as flavorful and aromatic as Fleur de Houblon, this beer is still a great Belgian Pale Ale with a complex flavor profile that satisfies. It begins with a very large, white colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind an abundant amount of lacing. The aroma is fresh with notes of grapefruit hops, breadiness, yeast esters, and some earthiness. This ale is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile delivers a nice mix between hops and Belgian yeast notes. One will taste grapefruit hops, lemon, pale malts, cloves, earthy flavors, and a touch of spice. The aftertaste is moderately bitter and will linger. Overall, this beer is smooth and tasty and great for any occasion. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with arugula salads, grilled shrimp, or tuna tartar.

ABV: 6%  Color: Golden/Orange  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 5/10

LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP: 91 Points

Ahh Winter

Ahh Winter

This Oatmeal Stout/Belgian Stout is released for a limited time in the Winter months in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Welcome to our winter seasonal – Oatmeal Stout, brewed to keep you company on a winter’s eve sitting beside a crackling fire, wit this fine beer in hand , the woods will always look Lovely, Dark and Deep, enticing you to a rendezvous with your winter dreams. Deep with roasty aromas, coffee with cream and chocolate notes, Ommegang House yeast imparts light fruit and spice character.”

My Description: It begins with a good sized, beige colored head with an excellent retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind some spotty lacing. The aroma is interesting with notes of roasted malts and chocolate, along with dark fruit notes such as cherries and black currants. Lovely, Dark, and Deep is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer is not thick or dense, instead it takes on a more delicate texture that still feels right for the season. The flavor profile is enjoyable and clean. There are subtle roasted malt and chocolate notes along with a hint of caramel malt but I feel the yeast takes center stage with notes of dark fruits and spice undertones. The aftertaste is slightly bitter bringing a terrific balance to this brew. Overall, this beer is smooth and flavorful. It will not necessarily warm you up but it makes for a great beer when staring out into the deep woods. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with dark chocolate, beef stew, or a maduro cigar.

ABV: 5.3%  Color: Black  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

SCYTHE & SICKLE: 91 Points

A delicious harvest

This Specialty/Farmhouse Ale is released seasonally in the Autumn months in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Brewed with balance in mind, Scythe & Sickle reveals a smooth and creamy mouthfeel with light toastiness and gentle sweetness. Bright amber in color from the mixed malts, the beer is balanced with delicate hopping to counter rather than overpower the malt profile.”

My Description: This beer is released in the Autumn months because that is when the grain harvest is. So the idea is to use freshly harvested barley, wheat, oats, and rye to make a beer that is flavorful and vibrant to the season; I say mission accomplished. It has a large and frothy, light beige colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind an amazing amount of lacing. The aroma is fresh and clean with notes of floral hops and grains. It is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer has a minor malt backbone with an apparent rye spice throughout. There is a smooth grain flavor with notes of floral/earthy hops and there are also a few fruit notes that I cannot pinpoint. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and will linger for a few seconds bringing balance to the beer. This is a good session beer that is easy drinking and tasty. It is best served around 45°F and it pairs nicely with burgers, fish tacos, or grilled sausage.

ABV: 5.8% Color: Orange/Amber Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10

SEDUCTION: 96 Points

Seduction is the perfect name

This Belgian Dark Porter is a limited released and is available in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Beautiful, rich and smooth, roasty and malty throughout, Seduction offers balanced chocolate-cherry notes, a bit of caramel sweetness, and a long, slow finish. Seduction is welcoming and warm-hearted, gently hopped and harbors no bitterness, leaving only a lingering glow.”

My Description: This is one addicting beer, as soon as that delicious dark chocolate/cacao aftertaste begins to linger in your throat you immediately want to start drinking some more. The beer has a big and dense, beige colored head that has a great retention level that holds the whole way. The lacing is real nice too, it seems to glue on towards the top. The aroma is rather faint but the prominent scent is cacao with a hint of roastiness. It is roughly medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The beer is smooth and the alcohol is beautifully hidden. Up front, there are roasted malt notes that are accompanied by a tart cherry hint that work harmoniously together because the cherry does not overpower. The aftertaste is slightly bitter, from the dark chocolate not the hops. This dark chocolate lingers, which is definitely welcoming. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with dark chocolate desserts, filet mignon, or roasted lamb chops.

ABV: 6.8% Color: Black Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10

FIRE AND BLOOD: 92 Points

More than just marketing

More than just marketing

This Belgian style Specialty Ale is available for a limited time in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Fire & Blood is a 6.8% ABV Red ale, brewed with pilsner, Cara-60, Midnight Wheat, flaked rye and spelt. Assertive hopping includes CTZ, Styrian Golding and German Tettnang hops. Spiced with de-seeded Ancho chilies. Fire & Blood has a deep, dark red hue with a persistent, creamy, off-white head. Aromas of ripe fruit, raisins, malt & slight spice, followed by a slightly floral and spicy hop character. A fruity, sweetish malt taste gives way to faint drying provided by the hops & rye.”

My Description: It pours a huge, off-white colored head with an amazing retention level and it leaves behind a wall of lacing; this is a really nice head. The aroma is semi-sweet with notes of coriander, bubblegum, rye, and a distant note of ancho chilies. Fire and Blood is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. Clean and smooth, this beer satisfies. Upfront, there are flavor notes of yeast esters, caramel malt, some sweetness, and hints of light fruit. The aftertaste is slightly bitter bringing great overall balance. The ancho chili is very faint but noticeable as it lingers slightly in the finish. The rye addition is welcomed as it helps spice things up a bit without necessarily taking over the ancho chilies. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with grilled lamb chops, Thai cuisine, or baked ham.

ABV: 6.8%  Color: Garnet  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

IRON THRONE: 94 Points

R.I.P. Lord Stark

R.I.P. Lord Stark

This Belgian Blonde Ale is available for a limited time only in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Collaboration with HBO for the Game of Thrones series. Blonde ale with malty sweetness and a touch of fruity spiciness, Noble Hops aromas and notes of citrus. Suitable to serve to kings, or pretenders to the iron throne.”

My Description: I think this is definitely a deserving drink to present to Lord Stark (who should be the true king instead of that little brat). Never-the-less, this is a great Blonde Ale that starts with a huge and fluffy, white colored head that lasts forever and leaves behind an abundant amount of lacing. The aroma is inviting with notes of yeast spices like cloves and pepper, light fruits, noble hops, and a touch of malt. It is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer is really smooth and the alcohol is completely hidden. The flavors are real clean. There are notes of earthy hops, pale malts, light fruit and citrus notes, and a soft pepper note that lingers. The aftertaste is mildly bitter and not harsh at all. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled shrimp, Thai chicken flatbreads, or Cedar-plank cooked salmon.

ABV: 6.5%  Color: Golden  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 3.5/10

SEVEN KINGDOMS: 96 Points

To Rule Them All

To Rule Them All

This Wheat Ale is released in limited quantities in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Seven Kingdoms is a marriage of a traditional Belgian-style wheat and a hop-forward American ale – but unlike so many of the marriages on the show, the resulting hoppy wheat is pleasant, playful and inspired. At 6.9% ABV, it possesses a nuanced complexity that pairs nicely with the hop-forward characteristics that make it surprisingly refreshing.

My Description: This beer is definitely worthy to be served to the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. It begins with a large, white colored head that lasts forever leaving behind a wall lacing. The aroma is welcoming with an overall earthy presence and some ester notes along with herbal hops and cloves. Seven Kingdoms is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is tasty with a good balance of flavors. A clean wheat malt body is enjoyed throughout along with some spicy hop notes that blend smoothly with notes of grapefruit hops, grass, straw, and a hint of clove. The aftertaste is moderately bitter giving this beer great drinkability; this beer never seems to cross into that Belgian IPA category, which is nice to see. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled asparagus, soft cheeses, or a spicy salad.

ABV: 6.9%  Color: Golden/Yellow  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 3.5/10

TAKE THE BLACK STOUT: 82 Points

Gimmick

Gimmick

This Belgian Stout is brewed only once and is available in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Take the Black Stout is a 7% beer, brewed with base, caramel, chocolate and roasted barley malts. Hopping includes Northern Brewer and Columbus; spices are licorice root and star anise. Hue is black with full tan head. Aromas include chocolate, caramel, and earthy hops, light roastiness, a touch of fruitiness. Tastes include chocolate, coffee, rich malts, and balanced roastiness. Clean hop bitterness joins with slight woody character and spiciness; the finish offers sweet malt character leading to spicy, earthy, hop bitterness.”

My Description:  There are so many great stouts on the market that it is hard to settle on this one. Even though Ommegang brings a different element to this stout because of their house yeast, this beer needs some tweeting before it becomes memorable and a sought after stout. The head is very impressive; it is huge and thick with a beige color. The retention lasts forever and leaves behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is pleasant with an underlying dark fruit presence accompanied by notes of licorice, chocolate, and earthy hops. This stout is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer tastes good enough but it is not robust and the overall flavor profile seems watered down. There are notes of woodsy hops, roasted malts, chocolate, and some caramel but they don’t satisfy like other stouts. The aftertaste is minimally bitter and not enough to combat the sweetness, which hurts this beers drinkability. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with pork tenderloin, potent cheeses, or steak sandwiches.

ABV: 7%  Color: Black  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

THREE-EYED RAVEN: 95 Points

"From the darkness I watch you."

“From the darkness I watch you.”

This Saison is a limited release for the premier of Game of Thrones in April 2015 in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Push through the thick brambles and present yourself to the Three-Eyed Raven. Abiding in the shadows of the Three-Eyed Raven lies this deceptive Dark Saison. The ominous Three-Eyed Raven inspired us to brew a Dark Saison ale, a hybrid style open to brewer’s imagination. In the end it is neither a pure saison nor your typical dark beer, but instead a delectable blend that both deceives and thrills the senses.”

My Description: This beer is delicious and very easy drinking. I could see putting down a bottle without even realizing it when you are watching an episode of Game of Thrones. It begins with a very large, beige colored head that lasts forever and leaves behind a wall of lacing. The aroma is complex and welcoming with dark fruits coming through nicely accompanied by some yeast spice. A mild hint of chocolate does creep in which blends cleanly. Three-Eyed Raven is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is real nice and it doesn’t necessarily reflect that darkness of the beer; this beer has similar flavor notes to a traditional pale Saison. Notes of dark fruits like raisins and black cherries come through but also earthy notes and some pepper spice. A clean and subtle herbal hop note comes through and the alcohol is beautifully hidden. A crisp finish with a hint of bitterness is an excellent way to end this beer. I recommend getting a bottle of this, it’s not just marketing. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with roasted chicken, spicy pork tacos, or grilled vegetables.

ABV: 7.2%  Color: Black with Red Highlights  Sweetness: 1.5/10  Bitterness: 2/10

VALAR MORGHULIS: 94 Points

Avenge!

Avenge!

This Abbey Style Dubbel is released for a limited time before the release of Game of Thrones Season 5 in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “The phrase is a part of a strong theme speckled throughout HBO’s fourth season, which started airing in March. As Arya Stark sets out to avenge those who have fallen, she adopts it as a mantra against the people she wants dead. The label art features a two-headed coin, which was given to Arya by Jagen H’ghar, one of the “Faceless Men of Braavos” assassins who can change their appearance on demand. Each cork is fire-branded with “Valar Dohaeris,” the traditional response phrase to “Valar Morghulis” meaning “all men must die.”

My Description: Nothing like sweet revenge. With this beer’s strong presence, a sweeter flavor profile, and a smooth body, it is a great choice to delight in the misery of others. It begins with a very large, beige colored head with an amazing retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind an excellent amount of lacing. The aroma is fruit forward with notes of plums, raisins, and red apples. Crystal malts and some sweetness are also present. Valar is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. A good malt backbone and yeast spice undertones set a great foundation for the flavor profile. Similar to the aroma, fruits dominate; raisins and faint cherry notes are accompanied by hints of red apple and plums. Some herbal notes are present in the finish and licorice can also be picked up. The alcohol is beautifully hidden and the aftertaste is minimally bitter keeping this beer on the sweeter side. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with roasted duck, strong cheeses, or raspberry cheesecake.

ABV: 8%  Color: Amber/Brown  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 2/10