Biere D'Hougoumont - Brewery Ommegang

Not Rated.
Biere D'HougoumontBiere D'Hougoumont

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BA SCORE
86
very good

79 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 79
Hads: 345
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 4.68%
Wants: 16
Gots: 36 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: billab914 on 07-03-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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. The name honors the Hougoumont farmstead at the pivotal center of the Waterloo battlefield. Napoleon repeatedly failed to take the fortification, he then lost the battle and “met his Waterloo.”
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 79 | Hads: 345
Photo of drperm
4.78/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Cellared for one year. Opened on 18 October 2013. Life officially changed.
Why are the limited-release brews the best ones?

The wood-aging on oak and maple makes for an incredibly subtle but complex layer of nuanced flavour. This would be a clear winner with seasonal autumn food -- pumpkin soup, pumpkin risotto, venison stew, Thanksgiving dinner. I can only hope that I can still go out and find some bottles of this in 2013. (428 characters)

Photo of carlborch
4.67/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours a beautiful, creamy, off-white head. Yeasty, but delicious, nose. Significant carbonation. Tiny bubbles. Restrained, but floral hops in the nose. Slight haze. Medium-tan color. Suggestions of amber. Medium body. Well-balanced palate. Nice malt and certainly moreish. Sweet and tart in restraints. Some Belgian lace. The ABV is not noticeable on the palate. Fresh, enticing, delicious. Will definitely try again. Would be fun to lay some down and see how they age. (469 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark amber with white foam. Hazy look to it. Sunny citrussy smell. Light fruit otherwise malty. Smooth and subtle malt taste. Background yeast and light sugar taste. Cherries. Toffee. Hugely flavorful with a perfect carbonation that blends in. Subtle booziness.There is an oakiness in the background. This is a fantastic beer. (332 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a clear deep copper color ale with a very generous head with great retention and some very good lacing. Aroma of solid caramelized malt is very dominant with light residual sugar notes also perceptible. Taste is a mix between some caramelized sugar with well balance level of sweetness with some woody notes clearly identifiable and forging a well rounded finish to this beer. Body is full with a smooth texture and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. This is a very good take of the style and the barrel-aging is apparent by smoothing out the taste. (572 characters)

Photo of XicanoBeerRun
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reddish orange with heavy carbonation.

Smells like candied orange, vanilla, rum punch.

Tastes, caramel, maple coated nuts, oaky, dried dark fruits, malty tootsie roll, hoppy bitterness. Great balance of flavors.

Clean finish.

I wonder what it does with age?

I'll have another. (286 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had to drink a beer from New York on 11 September. OK, so this is from Cooperstown, but it's from the state. Strong, fruity aroma is mainly apple with hints of pear and banana, as well as some malty and honey tones. Pours a clear coppery with a fluffy pale wheat head. Lip-smacking fruity flavor is slightly sweet but not cloying, with hints of caramel, malt and - horehound? Smooth, full texture has plenty of fizz.

I toast the memory of all who perished on September 11, 2001. If any of you loved beer, may your spirits now be where there is lots and lots of good beer - and you get to drink all you like! (608 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fairly clear golden-orange with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel and bready malts with some tart pear and other green fruits, Belgian yeast, banana, some spice, maple, and oak.

T - Starts off with a mix of sweet caramel and grainy malts with some tart pear and green apple, and some light spices. Through the middle, some maple and oak comes through with some sweet bready malts, Belgian yeast and some more spices. The finish is a mix of sweet grainy and caramel malts with some tart fruits, banana, Belgian yeast, some farmhouse flavors, maple, and oak.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate-plus carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet, tart, and estery finish.

D - Very drinkable. Great Biere de Garde with good complexity from the oak and maple and great overall balance. (889 characters)

Photo of gopens44
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Calling the appearance "run of the mill" may sound more harsh than intended, but ehen I say hazy, caramel colored with a thin cream colored head, you likely conjure an image you've witnessed hundreds of times before. If there is an exception to this, it may ne in the pearls of air gracefully heading topside. The nose is mostly sweet and caramell laden with a small hint of the same aroma as a Baltic Porter, of all things. Tasty thing, with a wine like tartness riding the wood essence before fading away with a little more sweetness. Overly thin, this body is - maybe attributes to the fact that anything acting like an aftertaste scurries away quite quickly. Overall I enjoy this, and even though it is far more complex than a biere de' garde, it still carries a decent amount of it's character. (799 characters)

Photo of champ103
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Flying Saucer in Houston, TX

A: Pours a brilliant and vibrant burnt orange/red color. A one finger white head forms with good retention. There is a small cap that sticks throughout and light lace. I love the color here.
S: Up front is some stone fruits. Fleshy cherries, plums, and peaches. Next comes some Earthy, slightly musky yeast. Slightly sweet vanilla and wood aromas. Excellent.
T: Follows the nose with stone fruits and musky and Earthy yeast. Caramel and vanilla sweetness, maybe just a bit to much sweetness. Though still very enjoyable.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Very crisp and smooth at the same time. Though I would have liked this to be a bit dryer. So easy to drink. All day with this one.

A very small quibble of mine is that this finishes just a bit to sweet. I wish there was a bit more dry bite here, but otherwise a great example of the style. I hope I can find a few bottles of this soon. (937 characters)

Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into a Chimay goblet.
I had this on tap at Carolina Blue months ago and it really surprised me, so hope it's just as good out of the bottle.

AP: Dark amber and rusty orange/red colour with a 1/2" white head that fizzled to a dusting. Moderate lacing when the glass is tilted. There is some sediment/yeast floating in the glass.
AR: Sweet rolls/bread, candied apricot, maple syrup/molasses, vanilla, hint of cinnamon and brown sugar, white grape and caramel. Smells delicious.
T: Not like I vaguely remember it on draft, but this is still a very solid brew. Taste mirrors the nose. The flavours blend nicely. Bit of fruity Belgian yeast mixes in there as well with a soft hint of baking spices.
M: Starts quite crisp and carbonated on the tongue followed by medium body with some creaminess mid palate. Finishes off dry with some lingering flavours for a great aftertaste.
OV: I've had Biere de Gardes that are more Farmhouse than this and like them more than the average person, so for Ommegang to add maple and oak to it just added another dimension to this style. This is a very tasty brew that can be enjoyed either by itself or with food. (1,164 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled on 5/25/2012. Pours lightly cloudy orange amber color with a 2 finger fairly dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grape, pear, apple, caramel, brown sugar, floral, pepper, wood, biscuit, light clove, light nuttiness, light toffee, and yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of malt, fruity/spicy esters, and wood aging; with nice strength. Taste of grape, apple, caramel, brown sugar, pepper, wood, clove, biscuit, light nuttiness, light toffee, earthy yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of light fruits, caramel, brown sugar, pepper, clove, wood, biscuit, light nuttiness, light toffee, and earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity of malt and fruity/spicy esters with the wood aging; with a solid malt/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a moderately slick and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Biere de Garde style! Great complexity and balance of all flavor notes; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering. (1,375 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Ommegang flute glass. Pours a coppery amber with a nice two finger off-white head with great retention and lots of lacing. Spicy aroma of orange rind, caramel malt, Belgian yeast and light grassy hops. Flavor an interesting, well integrated caramel malt, maple syrup, oak, vanilla and stone fruit. Finishes drier with lingering maple and pleasant wood. Light to medium bodied, but excellent mouth feel from active carbonation. This is definitely a bit sweet for a biere de garde, and does not have a strong wild yeast element, but I found it delicious. The deviation from a biere de garde were all towards my taste. Very enjoyable. (646 characters)

Photo of keepersj12
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a red tint. The aroma malty sweet with a hint of sourness, caramel and some wood, a bit of cherries. The flavor has a fruity taste up front with a bit of sour and pepper at the end. The finish is quite dry and refreshing. Nice beer. (250 characters)

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Reddish copper with good tannish lacing.

Smell: Fresh raspberries. Very summery for a Belgian and I'm not used to smelling fresh, natural berries in a beer. Shandy-like.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Pine and fruit punch. A very unique flavor. A bit too subdued, but still very pleasant. Mouthfeel has a lot of yeast.

Overall Drinkability: Another quirky summer beer. (369 characters)

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First time with this one. 750ml into Duvel glass at 40-45.

Pours with a healthy cream-colored head over deep golden colored body, with a fun combo of carbo flowing up in multiple directions.

Bready and fruity aromas. Very inviting. Caramel, apricot, and green apple lead the way in my nose.

Creamy mouthfeel - very soft and luxurious on the palate. Love the mouthfeel. Flavors have a nice fruity quality from the yeast. Apple cider like, with some light spices in the mix. Light tang... maybe some orange peel citrus.

Really enjoyed this one. It's very approachable, and smooth. Perfect complimentary beer to many different foods. (636 characters)

Photo of Kendo
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the 750 ml (caged & corked) into a Stone Old Guardian glass. Body is glowing orangey-amber with a 1-finger bubbly white head.

S: Citrusy fruit over sweet malt and a touch of spice. Pleasant. Slight yeasty funkiness too.

T: Kind of follows the nose: sweet malt (brown sugar) and yeasty sweetness is followed by a touch of lemony bitterness. Lingering touch of tannins at the finish. Good balance. Touch of heat down the gulley.

M: Good fizziness, but with modest creaminess too. Call it medium in heft.

O: Good stuff. (535 characters)

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Dark orange in color with some bronze/copper colors coming through. Fairly murky body that allows some light to shine through, but no visibility. Off-white head that does not hang around for too long and leaves just a ring of bubbles. Not much in the way of lacing.

S- Toasted bready malts, caramel, oaky wood, slight hint of tree fruits, a bit of spicy yeast. Overall very pleasant nose.

T- The bready malts come through a lot, but about half way through the wood and the Belgian farmhouse yeast kicks in. The bready caramel flavors give way to oak and pear, along with some peppery flavors.

M- Medium carbonation, medium bodied, pleasant carbonation tingle at the end.

O- Very nice beer. Have not had too many Biere de Gardes, so this was a nice experience. (766 characters)

Photo of SLeffler27
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Builds a big, three-inch, antique white foamy head that is long lasting and leaves a coating of lace over a hazy, amber orange beer with golden highlights.

Nice funk with lots of fruit, orange, apricot, and Juicy Fruit Gum. Wood and banana notes come out with warmth.

Acid is out front, with a light tartness. Fruits are subdued, however, yeast flavors come out along with toasted sourdough. There is a short, powerful burst in the finish, with subtle, lingering bananas that follow.

This is a medium body beer with explosive carbonation that forms fine bubbles against a wooly texture. Alcohol is light.

An easy drinking and refreshing beer to aid decompression after work. Enjoyed from a tulip glass. (706 characters)

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Corked 750mL bottle from the brewery, shared at a recent tasting - cheers daryk77!

Poured into a Duvel tulip - nice amber ruby colour, which was a surprise for the style. Good crown of foam that leaves streaks of lacing and a sturdy head. Nice retention on this.

Malty to the nose, which I suppose is the maple, alongside some oaky notes, grape, banana, clove and other spices. Almost like a wee heavy biere de garde. Very nice.

Tasty biere de garde that melds about two different stylistic themes into one mellow, balanced whole. It's malty and sweet, with that maple component, but has those classic Belgian flavors lingering in the back. Easy to drink, very smooth. Carbonation is a touch high for my liking, but the brew is surprisingly light and airy.

This would be nice to keep on hand in the cellar. Nice brew from Ommegang, from whom I expect nothing less. (869 characters)

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at whole foods in a pint glass unfortunately, pours a slightly hazy golden amber color with barely any head, decent retention and no lacing. I get the feeling that if this has been served in a tulip it might have developed a nicer head.

Smel is yeasty and malty- there's some caramel in there and a little funk in addition to the earthy yeast quality.

Taste is consistent but more fleshed out- some hops are thrown into the mix, a fuller malt body, nice yeasty notes, finishes sweet.

Mouthfeel is good- medium body, light to moderate carbonation, a little sticky sweet. Pretty good but not necessarily worth the price (get it at happy hour for 5). (661 characters)

Photo of gr0g
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is revealed as an orange-amber after a pour into an Ommegang tulip. Moderate cloudiness. A 2+ finger head shows good retention, but only some sparse lacing is left behind. The usual farmhouse ale aromas are present along with some oak character picked up from the aging on oak staves. Though this beer was also aged on maple staves, I'm not able to pick up any maple. Some chalky yeast and plenty of toffee malt. The oak adds a very nice complexity to the aroma.

The flavor profile features a very nice interplay between malty sweetness, tartness, bitterness, and oak. While generally dry, the underlying malt body is allowed to showcase a slightly sweet butterscotch note. A slight tartness throughout leads to a bitter finish. A slight vanilla note is lent by the oak aging. Carbonation is lively but still somewhat soft.

Ommegang impresses me more often than not, so I'm not surprised at how good this is. The wood aging imparts a very nice complexity. Despite the price premium, this is very much worth picking up. I'd definitely like to see this brewed again. (1,072 characters)

Photo of pkalix
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Burnt orange, as someone else described it, seems fitting. I was really looking for nice way of describing it. It really is a beautiful color. I didn’t get the head everybody else is describing (well, maybe a little on the 2nd pour), and no lacing whatsoever. nothing really discernible on the smell but there is certainly some taste in it. A tiny bit tart with some malted fruity flavors and a little bit of alcohol taste. The alcohol wasn’t tasted so much in the first pour of this 750ml, but it is definitely more pronounced in the 2nd pour. I really like this taste although I will admit it could (possibly) use a tiny bit more of the hops.
This brew feels ‘creamy’ and has medium body. It lacks some carbonation but doesn’t suffer from it. Overall, I really enjoyed this and very much like the malt-to-hop ratio of taste in this. It’s labeled as a 7.3% (my butt), or maybe I’ve just not got anything in my stomach because I’m feeling this brew very nicely already…… I could easily do a couple (or more) of these brews before calling it a night. (1,069 characters)

Photo of Kromes
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A slightly hazy amber gold color with a finger's width off-white head.

S: An earthy peat, cherry and wet stone aroma with a bit of caramel malt in the background.

T: The buttery oak is apparent right away with a touch of sweet toasted grain and tart cherry flavor. In the finish is a lingering, dry tartness and a bit of oak.

M: Medium-heavy body with appropriate carbonation. Dry and tart. Very nice feel to it.

O: An interesting beer...I'm a big fan of tart and white oak, similar to the flanders style beers. This is not as sour or tart, but rather you get more of the buttery oak flavor. (598 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a tulip glass this beer was a cherry amber color, very bright. There was a tiny tan head. I thought it was a rather pretty beer.

Sweet malt aroma, some fruit.

More malt in the taste, mostly caramel, maybe a little toffee. Pear taste.

Malt forward. Very smooth and enjoyable. (280 characters)

Photo of allouez86
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Duvel Tulip.
It's safe to say that this isn't a style that I frequent all that often but I may after trying this beer.
Pours a nice amber color with about a two inch off-white head. Has great head retention.
Smell is slightly sweet and yeasty, what I would expect from a bier de garde.

Taste follows up the smell. Sweet malts and yeast with some very nice earthy undertones. A little bit of caramel creeps into the aftertaste.

Has a slightly thicker mouthfeel to it, coats the entire mouth well and has rather large carbonation to it.

Overall I thought this was a good representation of the style and would think twice to picking up another bottle or two to throw in the cellar. (697 characters)

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Biere D'Hougoumont from Brewery Ommegang
86 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.