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Art Of Darkness - Brewery Ommegang

Not Rated.
Art Of DarknessArt Of Darkness

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

578 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 578
Reviews: 123
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.36%
Wants: 33
Gots: 91 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.90% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Edwaka01 on 02-13-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 578 | Reviews: 123 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vylo
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Vylo, Apr 05, 2013
Photo of abex44
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

abex44, Apr 04, 2013
Photo of vfgccp
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Light cola body with nice brown highlights. Fine, bone-white head sits low with ok retention and poor lace.

S - Unfiltered sake, plum wine, white bread, vanilla Charleston Chew, caramel, salt.

T - Strong sake character; rice, pear, booze, fermented plums. Raw almond, toffee, raw sugar. Light tartness. Belgian candy sugar.

M - Medium-light body.

O - Interesting blend of Belgian and Asian flavor.

vfgccp, Apr 04, 2013
Photo of bigbeerfan
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

bigbeerfan, Apr 02, 2013
Photo of strongaf
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

strongaf, Apr 01, 2013
Photo of mikeradebaugh
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

mikeradebaugh, Apr 01, 2013
Photo of Casey3236
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Casey3236, Mar 31, 2013
Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev +1%

billab914, Mar 30, 2013
Photo of hockeyfighter19
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%

hockeyfighter19, Mar 29, 2013
Photo of wrightst
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%

wrightst, Mar 28, 2013
Photo of alelover
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

alelover, Mar 26, 2013
Photo of harpus
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

harpus, Mar 25, 2013
Photo of animal69
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

animal69, Mar 24, 2013
Photo of nrb1
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

nrb1, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of Chrysostom
3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As always, I am reviewing to style (ala BJCP), modified by personal taste (contra BJCP), not to personal taste alone, unlike the "hedonic scale" of some beer-review sites. If I rated to taste alone, some beers, poor exemplars of their style, would receive better marks consistently from me than certain other beers, which were perfect exemplars of styles that are not my personal preference.

As always, the review is live, not from notes, as I puzzle out the libation as it is consumed. Without further ado, a review.

Presentation: $13.99 750mL corked and caged bottle (thank you to Blacklick Wine and Spirits in Columbus, OH) served around 45ºF and warming as the review is written, poured in to a Chimay chalice/goblet. The new label (and there is a new label - maybe this wasn't brewed once only after all?) is much cooler than the last one - it grabbed my eye and made me buy it - and is vaguely reminiscent of SPQR (ancient Rome), printed or screened directly on to the bottle, including copious amounts of gold leaf.

A: It looks like a stout porter, thus my marking down for colouring way outside the style. It's a beautiful beer: based on looks alone, a 5. One-finger head on a gentle pour recedes at a moderate rate to leave moderate lacing down the side of the glass. It's a dark, dark, dark (and darker) red bordering on the pitch black, with few to no highlights when held to a source of light. Holding it to a source of light is the only way I can tell that it's not pitch black, as glimmers of red appear and disappear just as quickly from certain angles, like phantoms.

S: Dark fruits, cherries, bready (earthy) Belgian yeast with its attendant funk, a dry character from the yeast and malts, and a damn big wallop of alcohol. (Maybe the breadiness comes from malt, and blends well with the yeast?) A little too much like a stout, and too alcoholic in the nose. Smells like beer-y booze, or boozy beer. It smells like a stout porter when cold, and begins to get a strongly Belgian nose as it warms.

T: The nose prepares you for it. Guess what? Dark fruits, cherries, bready/earthy Belgian yeast with its attendant funk, bready (and maybe a bit toasty) malt, and a slightly smaller, but still large, wallop of warming alcohol. It works quite a bit better on the palate than it does in the nostrils. Some spiciness. Sweet, not dry. Quite sweet indeed. Everything pulls together pretty well, but it's a bit too sweet and boozy: the alcohol kicks in mid-palate and rides all the way down. An absolute malt bomb, fermented by what is quite obviously an authentic yeast from Belgium. Like too many (if not all) of the American Trappist replicas, there's a cloying sweetness which becomes present with warmth.

M: Lively carbonation up front, moderate stickiness in the middle, smoothness in the back. A bit thin, but not bad. Above average.

D: On the high end of low, or the very low end of moderate. Too sweet.

O: As one word has echoed throughout this review, from the appearance to the mouthfeel - the word "moderate" - to this word does my overall rating of the beer return.

For an American imitation of a Belgian beer, it is very good - as I've come to expect from Ommegang, the Belgian-owned American brewers(?) of Duvel, the quintessential Belgian pale. I believe Ommegang is even owned by Duvel Moortgat, which explains why their imitations of Belgians tend to rise above the crowd, whereas other American imitations of Belgians fall flat (and hard) on their faces. The beer doesn't "come together" properly; each part seems that it would be excellent, but the sweetness, combined with the tartness of the cherry and fruits, and the breadiness and earthiness of the yeast and malts, are not held together by a common thread, leading to a pretty complex, and pretty disjointed, beer.

For the style, 75/100. For personal taste, 82/100. Overall, 79/100.

Chrysostom, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of MystikCelt
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%

MystikCelt, Mar 21, 2013
Photo of brez8791
3/5  rDev -24.2%

brez8791, Mar 21, 2013
Photo of Brewsed
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Brewsed, Mar 20, 2013
Photo of MadScientist
4.85/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: A very dark brown beer with good clarity. The persistent, tan head is made of compact bubbles and leaves a fine lacing on the glass.

S: An initially wine/grape-like fruitiness that quickly gives way to rich fruity esters, notes of dried dark fruit, some spice and caramel with some cocoa in the background. Moderate malt sweetness and a low floral alcohol aroma.

T: Belgian yeast goodness dominate the flavor with fruit and spice r at a moderate being closely supported by dark malt flavors. There is a moderate sweetness that rounds out the flavor and helps give deep to the layers; it's not a dry beer but it's not cloying like some Dark Strongs can get. There is an almost juiciness to some of the dark fruit flavors ranging from plum to prune with some light orange character. The spice is black pepper and alcohol provide some of the balance against the malt sweetness along with a low hops bitterness but overall the it is a slightly sweet beer. It dries towards the end finish off-dry with an aftertaste of cocoa, pepper and a light hops bitterness.

M: A medium bodied beer with a very strong level of carbonation and a light alcohol warmth.

O: A love this beer, it's fruity, dark and spicy Belgium that goes down a little too smooth. I don't want it with dessert, I want it for dessert; that being said it would go great with a vanilla custard or berry tart.

MadScientist, Mar 20, 2013
Photo of SIUMorty
5/5  rDev +26.3%

SIUMorty, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of hsus0225
4/5  rDev +1%

hsus0225, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of DownrightBrewed
2.75/5  rDev -30.6%

DownrightBrewed, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of dvanhandel
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

dvanhandel, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of champ103
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Queen Vic in Houston.

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. A two finger tan head forms and sticks around for a while. Plenty of lace is left behind.
S: Toasted malts up front. Some light chocolate. Then lots of fruity flavors going on. Cherries, stone fruits. Even a bit tart with some earthy yeast present.
T: Follows the nose with toasted and bready malts. Earthy yeast. Light coco powder. Then that fruity flavor again. Slight tart cherries and stone fruits. It just does not mesh right for me.
M/D: A medium body that is very effervescent. Almost to much carbonation. Very fizzy on the tongue. Not hard to drink. I finished the glass in not time. I am not sure how much I am coming back though.

I do enjoy this. Though the tart fruits just don't mesh well with the toasted and bready malts. I am not sure if that is what it is suppose to taste like, but there you have it. Still, I am glad I tried. Though not one of their better offerings IMO.

champ103, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of mixed_master7
4/5  rDev +1%

mixed_master7, Mar 14, 2013
Art Of Darkness from Brewery Ommegang
89 out of 100 based on 578 ratings.