Art Of Darkness - Brewery Ommegang

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Art Of DarknessArt Of Darkness

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BA SCORE
89
very good

661 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 661
Reviews: 134
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 39
Gots: 115 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Edwaka01 on 02-13-2012

Let us now acknowledge the dark arts of brewing. Our limited edition Art of Darkness Ale is deep, dark and magical, with champagne-like carbonation and rich matiness from a complex recipe of multiple barley and wheat malts, as well as flaked oats.

Using no spices or flavorings, Art of Darkness gains all its rich aromas, tastes, and apparent spiciness from the malts and Ommegang's proprietary house yeast.

There are no secret ingredients or magical incantation. There is only Ommegang brewers' creating the finest quality dark, strong ale of complex and deep character.

Art of Darkness is a fine ale to enjoy immediately, and is excellent to cellar.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 661 | Reviews: 134
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Soapy head on thick dark brown body, with a lace sheet. yeasty aroma, I like their yeast. Smooth drinker, above average mouthfeel. Sweetish,and yet a little earthy, some malted milk, chocolate malt,touch of anise, not that complex still nicely drinkable.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and slight dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with a slightly sour fruity flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some interesting aromas and flavors but nothing all that exciting.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: two finger thick tan head with nice lacing on a dark brown with little light getting through body.

S: lots of dark fruit, mostly cherry, plum and raisin. 

T: a lot more malty than others in the genre. The fruitiness is mild. Caramel and mild toffee notes to the finish.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall: malt heavy beer for the genre. Glad I tried this one, nice and unique

Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger light tan head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of dark fruits are perceptible in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has lots of flavors of dark fruits along with hints of Belgian yeast.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and hides its alcohol very well but lacks the complexity compared to the top beers in this style.

Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives pitch black, with a nice head that leaves a boatload of lacing behind

Smell: Roasty, with black bread and fruit elements; licorice, too

Taste: Black cherry, red wine grape and fig along with a roasty character, up front; some chocolate, licorice and pie spices arrive at mid-palate, along with a tart cherry aspect; after the swallow, the fruity elements dominate though there is a slight tartness on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: Interesting fruit flavors with a touch of tartness; a beer with a difference

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part Belgian Strong Dark Ale, part Belgian Stout- Ommegang delivers a complex beer of roast and fruit flavor, and doing so with a surprisingly simplified palate.

Pouring with a voluptuous and billowing tan head, the beer carries the bubbly nature of champagnes but with the dark brown (almost black) color of hearty stouts. A mild garnet highlight plays through the modest haze in uncanny clear fashion. High level of foam retention and lace speaks volumes to the quality for which Brewery Ommegang is known.

Somewhat mild aromas tackle the olfactories with balanced elements of roasted barley, charred fruits, biscuit, and peppercorn- all wrapped in a thin envelope of caramel and light bread.

Malty sweetness hits the taste buds with the taste of fresh baked bread, bread crust, starch, and underlying caramel sweetness. The roasty char of grains play on the tongue with the taste of coffee, cocoa powder, and burnt embers at mid palate that seem to overshadow sweetness and bridge into the mild fruity flavors of burnt berries, currants, red grapes, and apples. Although esters are mild, their fruity effect is varying and command just enough attention to keep the beer interesting beyond the simple flavor spread.

Medium bodied throughout, the ale's sparkling carbonation prevents fuller texture and ushers in a highly drinkable and zesty bite that ushers in a finish of roasty-dryness, alcohol warmth, and peppery bite.

Where the Art of Darkness doesn't portray the breadth, earthy boldness, or assertive complex sweetness as many darker strong Belgian ales, it's relies on a simplified palate that's exquisitely balanced, more yeast-neutral, and somewhat subdued to celebrate its shear drinkability in understated fashion.

Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured out as a nice looking deep brown color, the head was creamy looking and tan in color. The smell of the beer is sweet and a little yeasty. There are some slight dark fruit aromas in there too. The taste is a slight blend of the candi sugar, the fruits and the malts. No real noticeable bitterness in this one too much. The mouthfeel was smooth, gently carbonated and silky. Overall I thought this was a very nice release from Ommegang.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Bottle: Poured a clear black color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of candi sugar with light dry fruit notes is quite sublime. Taste is also a great mix of candi sugars with some dried fruits and a solid Belgian malt backbone. Body is full enough for style with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Some spices can also bed detected. Very solid offering and this is a beer I could have more regularly.

Photo of oline73
3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at Max's, served in a sample glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark brown/mahogany with a layer of off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Fruity malt with some hints of cherry and dark fruit. There is a mild herbal not as well, but the malt is the thing that's standing out.

Taste: Definitely malt forward, which is to be expected. There is a sweetness, but it is delicate. Mild fruit notes are there, but less than the smell. I'm getting some warm alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

OVerall: I think they did a good job of what they set out to do. I would have another, but I don't think I'd spend the money on a whole bottle.

Photo of jlindros
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Ommegang tulip with a decent fizzy 1 finger darker mocha colored head that wants to fade quickly but doesn't, fades fairly slowly with some marks of lacing, over very dark molasses brown colored beer with hints of murky ruby light sneaking through.

Nose has some dark malts, dark crystal malts with some caramel and light molasses aromas, plenty of biscuity malts, a bit of flaked oats, a nutty malt that also seems to bring a hint of earthiness, and hint of a root beer like cola aroma. A bit of booze comes through there as well, with hints yeast spice and touch earthy hop.

Taste starts fluffy with plenty of carbonation coming through making the mouth foamy. Dark malts course through, with some earthy nutty malts, light root beer like earthiness again, as well as some biscuity light toasty malts, more darker brown malts, hint of caramel molasses like sugars. Light flaked oats bring a hint of creaminess and fluffy feel, and I think the wheat adds a light textured flavor. The yeast brings more of the earthy spicy flavors, as well as some light earthy hops and a hint of grassy hops, with a light bitterness that almost seems more to come from the yeast than the hops. A bit of booze finds its way through, but still seems to drink fairly well. The finish dries a bit but not a lot, plenty of lingering earthy nutty malts and root spices with the yeast, light syrupy flavors, and even a hint of cocoa.

Mouth is a bit fuller bodied, textured and smooth at the same time, with tons of carbonation.

overall an interesting beer, not sure if I would pay that much for it again, but at least a nice one to try. Decent malts, hops are a bit too far away on teh back end though, booze is about right, nice carbonation and body, decent all around beer.

Photo of russpowell
3.62/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours mahogany with 2 fingers of tan head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit, plums & raisins, some phenolic notes

T: Plums & figs with phenolic twang & some boozeyness up front, a bit of dark chocolate too. Green apple skin as this warms, a bit of figs & carob, along with black currants as this warms & more dark chocolate. Finishes dry & boozey with more apple skin, figs & carob

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation Booze warmth & dryness throughout this sampling

An alright Belgian Dark, perhaps too young to sample. To me this bottle looks to be a year or 2 from optimum. The last few beers from Ommegang haven't really wowed me. Pretty good, not great

Photo of Rifugium
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Prohibition Pig, Waterbury, VT

Served in a mini-snifter, a dark brown nearly black beer, with a small cap of eggshell head; not much retention, but it did leave some nice soapy lacing while it lasted. Roasty malt aroma, dark sugars, a bit of dark fruit, bready. Taste is woody, malty, pumpernickel, caramel, with notes of figs, prunes, and licorice. Mouthfeel was about medium, would've been thin for a porter, but about right for a strong ale. Pretty nice overall, but nothing that I'd go out of my way for.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep pitch black body this is the Art of Darkness, okay we get it, there's also a light tan head forming thick, with Belgian inspired lacing. Aromatics offer up with dark cocoa, spicy aromatics inspired by the yeasts fermentation process. Dark malts give off a solid roasted malt aspect that I can relate to anyday, also a dark toasted nut quality coming out with the bier I'm sippin' on. Floral spicy yeast base, with dark roasted malts slightly creamy acidity almost yogurt like. Especially tasty dark beer, hybrid Belgian American dark ale, with even flowing carbonation and a medium bodied ale that I really enjoy. Overall impressive offering, that is tasty and satisfying for the beer drinker's palate.

Photo of kojevergas
3.23/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml brown glass bottle with hood-and-wire cap over a cork served into me Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery - with which I've been fairly impressed so far.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured slowly per the label's instructions.

A: Pours a 2 finger head of slight tan hue, good cream, good thickness, and great retention for the high ABV. Colour is a predictable solid black. No yeast particles are visible, likely due to its nontransparency. No bubble show. Opaque. A healthy appearance that encourages me to try it.

Sm: Dark malts, pleasant biscuity yeast, cream, slight roasted barley, and oats (when I look for them). A pleasant aroma that suits the style. Mild in strength.

T: Slight cream on the open gives way to the dark malt body with smooth rolled oats, out-of-place wheat, light chocolate malt, and vague slight hints of roasted barley - though nowhere near enough. Interestingly built. The wheat in particular sticks out, negatively impacting the balance. Except for that, the balance is nice. The beer isn't as complex as I'd expect from Ommegang, but I'd hardly call it simple. Some subtlety is apparent, but it's not impressive. Some layering is going on. I don't detect any hops. The yeast is also surprisingly restrained, but I'll keep tabs on it as I approach the bottom of the bottle.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but surprisingly sparse in terms of cream. It could use far more; the creamy quality that is there is nice. Good thickness and carbonation. Suits the flavours nicely.

Dr: Drinkable but not Ommegang's best beer. I have nothing against it, but for the price it's something of a disappointment. It's not yeast enough for the style, and wheat malt was just a poor addition outright. I do like it, but I wouldn't have it again or recommend it to friends. Probably best only for hardcore Ommegang fanatics. To its credit, it hides its ABV quite well. I don't know that I really look forward to consuming the whole bottle meself, but c'est la vie.

High C+

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Darkness incarnate in color, with crimson highlights shining through the bottom, under a lush, creamy cocoa-toned head. Lookin' good.

Aroma: soft, with notes of cocoa and cream, balanced and understated.

Taste: on the tongue, rich, full, dark and smooth. Lightly spicy, just enough wicked deliciousness from the yeast. A little bit of peppery heat. Lots of lush dark malts, but nothing too big, too sweet, too anything. This is Goldilocks' favorite beer, just right.
Some dark fruits, some fig and date, but completely utterly even, balanced, and dry. The nearly 9% alcohol doesn't stand out in the least.

Tasty stuff, this, but I so wish the yeast would contribute a bit more to the character. I want to really taste it.
But this one really does come close to impersonating a great Belgian strong dark ale. Kudos, Ommegang!

Photo of jwc215
4.73/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a thick tan head. Lacing covers the glass.

The smell is spicy with anise, candy, chocolate. Robust and inviting!

The taste is spicy and sweet, Earthy/hoppy notes blend with chocolate, anise and espresso. Wonderfully balanced and delicious! It has a taste similar to Duval but dark. Some alcohol is noticeable, but enough to add to the complexity rather than detract. It has a long finish.

It is velvety smooth. Rich and full-bodied with soft carbonation.

This is a great dessert brew. Aptly named, this is truly a work of art!

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled on 2/20/2012. Pours moderately cloudy extremely dark reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big raisin, prune, apple, pear, molasses, toast, toffee, chocolate, dark bread, light roast, pepper, clove, floral, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark malt and fruity/spicy yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of raisin, prune, apple, molasses, toast, chocolate, dark bread, toffee, floral, light roast, clove, pepper, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of dark and light fruits, molasses, toast, toffee, chocolate, dark bread, floral, light roast, clove, pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of dark malts with yeast ester flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, moderately slick, and lightly foamy mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is and excellent Belgian strong dark ale! All around nice balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for a the gravity. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of chinchill
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, murky brown color with a tan head.

S: nicely balanced array of roasted grain, dark fruits, baked bread, vague spices and caramel.

T: Plenty of dark fruit mid-taste and in the aftertaste, with a kick of dark chocolate in the finish. A trace of light smoke.

M: superb -- full body and very creamy.

O: exceptionally enjoyable and better than expected, even from a premier American producer of Belgian style beers.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Big Texas Beer Fest.

The beer pours a very dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma is has some roasted malt, as well as some dark fruit, chocolate and Belgian yeast notes. The flavor is similar, with the chocolate and dark fruit notes going very well with the yeast and roasted malt notes. Tastes a lot like a Belgian imperial stout. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - very dark brown with a huge, thick, brown head that has great retention

S - sweet, a bit of chocolate, some yeast, some dark fruit

T - chocolate, fruity, cherry, plum, medicine

M - medium to full bodied, smooth, well carbonated

I really enjoy this beer. The flavor is rich and complex. The fruit is a nice balance to the big malt bill. The yeast comes through but doesn't take over. Overall, very enjoyable and worth trying.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours black with some mahogany highlights. Nice creamy off-white head. Some lace.

S: Plum, some dark chocolate, molasses, inviting.

T: Classic dark fruit flavour, prune, some date sugar, light hints of dark chocolate. Some mild sweetness. Yeast character is minor.

M: Off-dry, maybe a tad too much sugar which keeps it a bit off-balanced, but should dry out through time. A minor quibble, I've seen a lot worse in American made BSDAs. Creamy mouthfeel, soft carbonation, light and crisp on the palate.

O: A very solid effort, not the best I've had from Ommegang, but well made for sure. Just hoping the bottles aren't over $10, otherwise it'd be a good QPR.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Art Of Darkness
Brewery Ommegang
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
ABV: 8.90 %

LOOK: Dark brown, with a deep amber hint. Off white mocha head forms and leaves plenty of lace down the glass.

SMELL: Dark fruits of raisin, fig, plum and date are all upfront with mocha undertones. Belgian yeast spiciness and a subtle sweet smell. Nice.

TASTE: Dark chocolates and coffee, notice how all three descriptions I have given all start with the word DARK. More fig and raisin flavor with a nice robust roasted malt profile. Little bitterness but an even balance. Well disguised alcohol, and everything is screaming belgian strong dark mixed with stout.

FEEL/IMPRESSION: Medium to full bodied, smooth, creamy and well carbonated. Overall I thought this was yet another very good offering from brewery Ommegang. Aging this in whiskey barrels is the next logical step.

Photo of John_M
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Mahaffey's the other day.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is very attrative, as I get rootbeer, cherry, chocolate, a hint of brownn sugar and considerable underlying spice. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this fairly sweet beer, with dark fruits and prunes seeming to dominate otherwise. There is some licorice as well, but it's not excessive, and seemed to blend in well to the flavor profile. The finish is really well done in this beer, and there was sort of sweet, creamy aspect that I liked. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, which I think works well for this beer. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile.... it could have been anything from 7% up to 12% and I wouldn't have been any the wiser.

I thought this was a pretty nice beer from the folks at Ommegang.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer pours an extremely dark brown into black coloring with a light, frothy, half an inch of foamy head on the pour that settles into a sparse filmy coating. Aromas are effervescent and very well blended, with a roasted grain backbone, earthy notes, some smokey highlights, and a light sweetness throughout. Flavors are equally dynamic, with a smoked and roasted sugary caramel backbone, hints of blackstrap molasses throughout, bitter coffee characteristics, and a dry hopping at the end that cleans the palate. Very well layered and blended flavor profile. The more you drink, the more reveals itself to you, with highlights of cocoa nib, fig, date, and more as you go. Tasty beer. The aftertaste is minimal thanks to the hops presence, with a touch of tangy caramel and booze. The finish is clean and quick. This is a beer that is heavy on flavor while light in mouth. Good brew.

Photo of liamt07
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottles shared by Steve. Packaged February 7, 2012, best before February 2015.

Dark brown, mahogany highlights. Tan head, mild retention and some lace. Nose has dark fruits and grapes are dominant. Mildly sweet, almost floral in quality. Vanilla and cookie dough as well. Dark malt flavours, oats are evident, yeasty and dried fruits. Medium body, high effervescence. A really nice BSDA.

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Art Of Darkness from Brewery Ommegang
89 out of 100 based on 661 ratings.