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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

551 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 551
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.65%
Wants: 33
Gots: 86 | FT: 2
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: 551 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BEERchitect


4/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2012 16:26:59 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of PeterIngemi


3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Split a 750 with my gf pimoured into a duvel snifter

A: pours dark dark brown... Appears black after pour... With an almost obnoxious 3 1/2 finger head that dissapates slooowly... The head is a tannish color and leaves thick lacing... Would have given a 4.5 instead of 3.5 if it wasn't for the huge everlasting head.

S: earthyness, Belgian spice, dry chocolate, almost a mentality twang? I think this may be from the Belgian spice blending with other aromas.... Faint faint coffee bean.

T: follows the nose with a heavier accent on fruity Belgian yeast. Some chocolate a bit of earthyness... I feel like the yeast dictates more of the flavor hear then the malts.... It is very well balanced.... In a way.... Reminds me of seduction without the cherries. Infer a touch of Clove a bit of fruitiness and a bit of bannana from the yeast all over a lightly chocolate backbone.

M: rather medium but more towards the light side with very hitting effervescent carbonation, that I would say is a bit on the high side.

O: not overly impressed here, I expected a richer, more full bodied almost stout like here... And that it was not.... Perhaps this would be better with some age if the yeast were to mellow out. A decent brew and worth tryin.... But I don't see myself going back for seconds.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2012 00:01:19 | More by PeterIngemi
Photo of carlton012


4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love Ommegang almost anything, and will try every brew of theirs, this was a great brew. I love it because it had those same flavors of my Ommegang brew (abbey ale), but those flavors were very mild; the rest of the beer is big and bold. I love the appearance because it looks like a slightly watered down cup of black coffee with a lot of head on it. Plus, who doesn't like a liberal beer? Bravo!

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2012 03:13:43 | More by carlton012
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into Trappe Door tulip. Poured a massively dark reddish brown with a two finger light khaki colored head that subsided to a minimal amount very slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark fruit, bread, earth, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet amlt, dark fruit, bread, earth, and very subtle sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a fairly decent brew. While the flavor and aroma on this one was fairly complex, it just left a little to be desired if I am completely honest. All of the right aspects for the style were definitely present, but I just wish they would have come across a little more balanced. Worth trying if you get the chance though.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2012 12:23:22 | More by thagr81us
Photo of JohnK17


4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

04-01-2012 21:54:08 | More by JohnK17
Photo of EgadBananas


3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown. Light tan head in the snifter. Aroma is bakers chocolate, nutty sweetness, slight spicy Belgian notes. It was almost cake-like in a way. Taste carried that cake-like sweet chocolate nuttiness. Slightly sweet, but there was an earthy Belgian note to balance the chocolate. Nice full body, creamy and with a solid carbonation presentation.

Had never heard of this, but I rather enjoyed it. I didn't care too much for Seduction, but this was a treat.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2012 03:22:52 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of BellsFan


3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

03-31-2012 22:01:50 | More by BellsFan
Photo of srandycarter


3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark brown, almost black. Light tan, tight bubbled head. Slow to leave, lots of cling.

S - Sweet dark malt, light barny fecal, fruity.

T - Cocoa, fruitiness, a little chalky, light soy and chocolate milk at finish.

M - Medium body, very carbed, ok finish.

D - Good to try.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 02:38:04 | More by srandycarter
Photo of Halcyondays


3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2012 23:15:15 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of Ajlvt


4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

03-30-2012 21:51:20 | More by Ajlvt
Photo of Walkinbeauty


3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

03-30-2012 20:28:17 | More by Walkinbeauty
Photo of blange3

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

03-30-2012 03:22:36 | More by blange3
Photo of djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +1.3%

03-30-2012 01:21:47 | More by djrn2
Photo of ATfrisco


4.73/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Heavy black color with subtle mahogany undertones.

S-Very satisfying, great bouquet of vanilla, dark fruit, yeasty notes reminiscent to that of a Unibroue.

T- Outstanding. One of the best if not the best Belgian Strong Darks I've had in quite a while.

M- Liquid velvet.

O- Get it while you can, simply a brew not to be missed.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2012 19:40:29 | More by ATfrisco
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a jet black color and a thick texture. There was a huge, off white, creamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A big aroma of malt, yeast, dark fruit, and a hint of chocolate.

T: Tasted of Belgian yeast, dark fruit (plums), a little bit of chocolate, and a hint of coffee. Not exactly a typical BDA flavor, but still complex and tasty.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a smooth, crisp finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A very well made, drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2012 12:35:31 | More by avalon07
Photo of Magery


4/5  rDev +1.3%

03-28-2012 01:54:59 | More by Magery
Photo of RichH55


4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

03-27-2012 14:31:59 | More by RichH55
Photo of DarthGuitarHero


3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

03-26-2012 15:19:54 | More by DarthGuitarHero
Photo of bobv


4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

03-26-2012 00:49:39 | More by bobv
Photo of Oboogie


4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

03-25-2012 16:39:46 | More by Oboogie
Photo of ixodus

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

03-25-2012 15:02:51 | More by ixodus
Photo of Greywulfken

New York

4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: looks like a stout but not quite pitch black, huge head which persisted throughout the drink; left lots of lace

S: mild aroma of light roasted malts and vague hops and yeast

T: initially slightly bitter, burnt roasted malt and brighter notes of hops and yeast; distant anise and espresso, sweetness on the back end... as it warmed, licorice flavors became much stronger, and it also sweetened

M: lighter on the tongue than it looks; carbonation adds crispness; tiny bit of astringency on the roof of my mouth

O: balanced and complex - somewhere between an imperial stout, a strong Belgian ale, and a black ale; I imagine this beer will acquire more mellowness and sweetness with age

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2012 00:31:29 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of frankiepop


4.73/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle that had an attractive black wiring holding the tight cork. Upon popping the cork, smoke hovered in the bottle, but did not dispense out. Poured a cool beer into Ommegang's own classy tulip glass and what a creamy big foam head with good lacing and sustenance. Color was dark dark brown near black, maybe hints of red ruby. As the beer disappears spin that beer around and the head reconstitutes itself a bit. I like that.

The aroma has a nice malty sweetness and some nice fruit scents arise.

Taste buds were hit with a true to Ommegang form of balancing a nice malty sweet flavoring balanced against subtle fruit & a bit of spice. Art of Darkness ups the ante a bit with an upfront blast of like licorice or espresso flavorings that remind you of an American style stout without the thickness. The beer finishes a tasty rich sweet bitterness.

A surprisingly smoooth heavy flavored malted beverage. Ladies who don't like stouts because of the grittiness then you might try Darkness if you are looking for more flavor.

A great beer that I may up my ratings on. So what complements this new monster addition to the Ommegang lineup? Well a perfect addition on a northern winter night in a craftsman home with a fireplace blazing while listening to Cecil Taylor percussive style piano with Jimmy Lyons saxophone player blazing next to him. I recommend the angry recording made in Germany "One More Salty Swift and Not Goodbye."

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2012 05:16:40 | More by frankiepop
Photo of elec


4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

03-24-2012 04:13:58 | More by elec
Photo of Hanzo


4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

03-22-2012 21:06:10 | More by Hanzo
Art Of Darkness from Brewery Ommegang
89 out of 100 based on 551 ratings.