Biere D'Hougoumont - Brewery Ommegang
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Ratings: 323 | Reviews: 78 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kojevergas:
3.85/5 rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
7.3% ABV confirmed. 750ml brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap (aka a "cage") over a cork served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Expectations are fairly high given the brewery, but the style is difficult to execute. "Ale aged o Maple and Oak wood staves." Sounds tasty.
Poured slowly per label instructions. Served chilled.
Yields a satisfying pop upon removal of the cork. No issues with beer surging out or anything.
A: Pours a four finger beige colour head of nice cream, nice thickness, and pretty good (6+ minute) retention. Body colour is a clear translucent pale copper-gold. Vibrant and appealing. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Typical of the style, yet surprisingly vibrant and appealing. A fine appearance for a biere de garde.
Sm: Soft. Not a harsh or invading aroma. Clove. Banana from the yeast. Bright fruit. Spice. Sweet maple wood & syrup. A bit of subtle oak - but not particularly evocative oak. Light fresh floral hops. Cilantro. Pear. Maple is dominant. Quite light in character yet moderate in strength. Appealing and inviting. No alcohol is detectable. Intriguing.
T/Mf: Hm. Maple sweetness and wood is there, but it's incredibly subtly done. That's impressive, and mixes well with the subtle-but-too-light oak character. Clove, cilantro, and light pear fruit. A bit of banana from the yeast - as well as more clove. The spicing is organic and cohesive, blending well with the light vibe of the beer. Lightly bready. A touch of green apple. Thank god there's no caramel/caramel malt here - that would ruin it. Light lemongrass. It's definitely farmhouse in character without any funkiness or heavy brett character; that's remarkable. I quite like it for what it is. Balanced well.
It has good body but it's shockingly light on the palate - especially for the incredibly well concealed ABV. So light and soft for a biere de garde; it's marvelous. The maple is very well integrated here, but does flirt with crossing the line into too sweet. Luckily, it never quite crosses it - but it comes uncomfortably close. I'd certainly call this one spicy. Orange rind. Light white pepper. A hint of vanilla. Green apple skin. I'm liking it more and more as it warms. Maybe a bit of honey? Brown sugar. Light biscuity yeast. Light fig.
Perfectly carbonated. Lightly dry and coarse on the climax and into the third act; that's incredibly well done. Thickness is perfect; it's never overbearing. Light on the palate and refreshing, enabling a lot of flavour to come through without ever overwhelming. The mouthfeel comes off custom-tailored to the flavour profile. This is a surprisingly well done beer. Delightful stuff.
Some fizzy crystal malt. Light yeasty dough-like character; I don't usually find that in beer. In this sense, it's one of the most bready beers I've ever tried - and I'm sure bread made with it would be great. Lightly cidery. This would pair marvelously with damn near any food out there. Would be a great table beer.
Very complex and very subtlety, yet still approachable. I tip my hat to the brewer.
Dr: I have to admit, this one really took me by surprise. I expected a pretty good beer, but this blindsided me with its quality and execution. This is probably my new benchmark for the biere de garde style. Bravo, Ommegang. Obscenely drinkable and very enjoyable. I'll definitely be picking up this one again, and I'd recommend it to friends. Great stuff, if a bit pricey. Hides its ABV well.
Serve slightly chilled and allow to come to room temperature.
Would pair well with any moderate food. Strong stuff like chocolate is out of the question.
Serving type: bottle
03-21-2013 04:56:36 | More by kojevergas
More User Reviews:
Biere D'Hougoumont from Brewery Ommegang
86 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.