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Biere D'Hougoumont - Brewery Ommegang

Not Rated.
Biere D'HougoumontBiere D'Hougoumont

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

339 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 339
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 15
Gots: 31 | 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:
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 added by: billab914 on 07-03-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 339 | Reviews: 79 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beernads
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

beernads, Apr 11, 2013
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev +4.2%

DrunkinYogi, Aug 17, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber-brown color with a white head. The aroma is full of biscuit and bready malt, with some grapes and yeast notes thrown in. I also get a hint of oak. The flavor is full of caramel and toffee, as well as some grape and light fruit notes. There is a bit of oak but it is fairly subtle. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Sep 16, 2012
Photo of 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.

kojevergas, Mar 21, 2013
Photo of InspectorBob
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

InspectorBob, Jul 31, 2014
Photo of Halcyondays
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Halcyondays, Jul 31, 2012
Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

superspak, Apr 25, 2013
Photo of mothman
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

mothman, Oct 18, 2014
Photo of ejimhof
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

ejimhof, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Gonzoillini, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of BARFLYB
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap at Monk's Cafe, celebrating Belgian Independence Day 2012.

Served in a Belgian Independence Day 2012 tulip by the lovely Jodi, Biere D'Hougoumont has a dark amber shade with some brown woven in the mix, maybe some red up to the light. The cap was a light tan color with some retention and stick. Smell is pretty one sided leaning towards the malt. Let's face it, Ommegang never brings the hops to the present as I think their only hoppy sided beer is the belgian pale ale. Either way, the malt brings slight roast, light dark fruit and some caramel. Maple staves, im not so sure of that. The taste is pretty one sided as well. Your going to get malt with light sweet maple backed with some plum. Slight roast. The thing is, while lopsided, the sweetness is not cloying or "southern tier(ed)" making for an easy ride. The body is a step above medium with light carb. While I will not go for this again or even think of attempting a bomber by myself, I could see this going well with some cooked meat and hearty food shared with friends.

BARFLYB, Jul 19, 2012
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a tulip glass

A- This beer pours a slightly hazy caramel colored body with a thick beige sticky head and some strands of microbubbles gliding to the surface.

S- The fresh rain and yeasty aroma blend with a slightly nutty plastic note that is not offensive. There is a wet wood and nougat note that comes through in the finish. As it opens there is a maple and fusel hint in the finish.

T- The dry malt and fresh grain flavor has a slight pungent papery hop note in the finish. There is a soft maple wood hint that seems a bit odd but remains soft.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a creamy fizz and no alcohol heat

O- This beer is underwhelming and a bit bland. The soft hints of wood character are a bit odd and I don't taste any of the classic Biere de gaurde flavors. Maybe age will help a bit.

rhoadsrage, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

afsdan, May 22, 2014
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Ommegang : Biere d'hougoumont

Pours a deep peach color, a bit cloudy from the yeast. The aroma is full of Belgian yeast, floral and somewhat sweet. In the flavor, more of that sweet Belgian yeast and candi sugar. Herbal hops match well with a touch of oak. Finishes with fruit and a kiss of funk. Clean and yeasty, mild and very approachable. This makes for a solid table beer or cellar candidate. Slightly dry and champagne like feel. I could see the flavors change a good bit over time. As it is, a nice little beer which comes as no surprise as Ommegang does not make sub par offerings.

Stinkypuss, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

brandoman63, Jan 28, 2013
Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's yesterday.

The beer pours a golden amber color with good head retention and lacing. Don't get a whole lot on the nose... just some light honey and sweet fruit (grape? Cherry?). The flavor profile replicates the nose, though there's a bit more going on. I also pick up some light clove and underlying spice, which was enjoyable. Mouthfeel was light to medium, and the alcohol is certainly well disguised in this nicely crafted beer.

Another solid beer from Ommegang, but not really anything to get all that excited about either. Probably would not order this one again.

John_M, Jul 06, 2012
Photo of rab53
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

rab53, Sep 08, 2012
Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

KAF, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of chinchill
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

chinchill, Jul 26, 2013
Photo of billab914
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Allagash glass. The color was bright amber orange and it had a full, fluffy white head filling the top inch of the glass. The color looked great and it had some nice head retention as well.

The aroma shows a lot of toasted malts and woody oak to it. I get some modest, herbal hop notes along with a little orange rind. The wood aged flavors were very flavorful and well integrated, but also felt very smooth compared to most wood aged beers.

The taste balances the wood, malts and hops all very well. The woody oak flavors are again very good, but yet also pretty smooth. The hops give it a little herbal bitterness, balancing it out in the finish. The malts give it a slightly sweet but more toasty flavor overall. Everything comes together pretty well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with slightly above average carbonation. Overall I thought it was a pretty solid beer. It was well balanced, pretty flavorful and the everything came together nicely. I really liked the woody component to it.

billab914, Jul 03, 2012
Photo of sendbeer
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

sendbeer, Oct 23, 2012
Photo of beerthulhu
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

- Brewed with french ale yeast, 8 malts, french strisselspalt hops,and aged on maple and oak wood. 7.3%abv.

A: A monstrous 3 finger high light beige head is rigid and foamy with an soapy texture and active surface, pitting deep pores with a loud audible presence. An explosive effervesce rages within an ice-tea colored body that is fairly dense clarity wise. Head retention is strong lacing a bit weak.

S: A light toned nose, wet bread, wet straw fairly tame and clean.

T: Toasty french oak, perhaps a sligth indication of rye. Some cara-munich toasted malt, a touch of damp fruit and maple syrup. Funky yeast bite upon warming. Bready caramel apple, green pear and some sweet caramel moments.

M: Strongly active mouthful, medium bodied, leaning more towards the lighter end of the spectrum.

O: Overall cleanly brewed, not much wow factor, respectable but had much better from this brewery.

beerthulhu, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of PEIhop
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

PEIhop, Jul 27, 2012
Photo of rolltide8425
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

rolltide8425, Jul 26, 2012
Photo of atrocity
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

atrocity, Apr 23, 2014
Biere D'Hougoumont from Brewery Ommegang
87 out of 100 based on 339 ratings.