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Biere D'Hougoumont - Brewery Ommegang

Not Rated.
Biere D'HougoumontBiere D'Hougoumont

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

80 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 80
Hads: 346
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 11.43%
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: 80 | Hads: 346
Photo of goochpunch
2.98/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a caramel amber with little head. Smells like sweet wort and yeast bread and caramel. Taste is overwhelmingly sweet. Sure, I pick up some floral, earthy hops, some tasty caramelized malts, etc., but the sweetness is punishing. Big vanilla and maple taste from the woods used. Mouthfeel is full, and the carbonation is rather mild. This is an alright beer, but I'd much rather have it on a cold, rainy day. Too sweet. I feel myself getting a headache already.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into a pint glass. Really like the new Ommegang labels - cool graphics along with brewery and beer stories plus serving temp on the label. Also on the neck was the packaged on date (5/29/12) and best by date (5/2015). Kudos!! It was rich amber color with good carb streams and a good sized white head. Mild, slow sliding lace with none sticking.

The aroma was malt heavy with caramel and biscuit leading the way. Also, good doses of oak, light yeast and banana. Not as spicy as some recent Biere de Gardes I've had but still good. The taste follows the aroma but there is an increased sweetness to go along with the other elements. The oak and maple taste really good but the overall sweetness is a little high for my tastes. The mouthfeel was light and a little watery. Also needed some more carbonation as it was a little flat tasting.

Overall, a good Biere de Garde that nicely highlights the wood elements but is a bit too sweet for me. Do recommend though. Available here in TX. Rotation - liked it but one bottle was enough.

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Photo of impending
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


750ml into a tulip. Pours a slightly hazed deep amber, white head retains nicely, ok lacing.

Aroma is yeasty honey apple pear, mild solvent. Twigs

Taste starts a slick diluted caramel. Little bitter nor dry of any measure. Stops just shy of tart, you feel it wants to. Wood requires deep inspection, not particularly obvious but nice once in perspective. Tiny herbal note in the finish. Thin to medium bodied mouthfeel. Warms well. Pairs well with delicate food.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in an over-sized tulip glass.

Appearance: Amber with slight haze all over the body. Bubbles are light with an off-white head that rose to maybe a finger's length.

Smell: Yeast meets hops, appetizing .

Taste This beer with out a doubt malty, good but not outstanding.

Mouth: Medium to heavy, easily one of the smoothest. Texture isn't so bubbly and the after tastes does dissipate a little.

Overall: Ommegang makes incredible beers and this will not disappoint, I really liked it a lot but there is better out there especially when you factor how much your spending a bottle. Salud!

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Photo of PhillyStyle
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle:

The beer appeared a hazy, darker amber color that produced a very nice off-white, dense 2+ finger head, which was well retained and last throughout most of the beer. Active carbonation with some yeast floating in the beer.

The beer gave off a nice sweet malty aroma, fruit and yeast. As the beer warmed I think that the wood came out, along with some alcohol.

The taste of the beer was good, nicely balanced, followed the aroma, but got more of the maple/wood.

The beer had a moderate feel to it, good carbonation, smooth and went down very well with food. I am not so sure that this is one that you would necessarily want to drink on its own.

Overall, a very good beer. I have had better from this brewery, but solid none-the-less.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle, received in Amanti Vino's Beer of the Month program for August. It was poured into my Duvel tulip.

Biere D'Hougoumont pours a burnt orange, with a few lighter orange highlights and a little bit of clarity through the glass. Four fingers or so of bone colored foam rise up and crown the beer. Head retention is decent, but there's not much lacing left behind at all. The nose has some maple and straight oak notes, as well as the aroma of toasted bread. There's also a very subtle background peppery phenol character. It's all a bit muted though. The flavor has most of those same elements, but it's all somewhat muddled. The toasted, almost biscuity maltiness leads things off nicely and it's followed by a little bit of oak. The finish though suggests at spiciness and maple, but neither end up standing out at all or making an impression in any way. The body has a nice subtle sturdiness to it, while still being on the lighter side. I find the carbonation to be just slightly wanting though, wishing it was a little more lively. Biere D'Hougoumont is an alright Biere de Garde, but "alright" seems to be how I'd some up most of the more recent releases from Brewery Ommegang, and I know they're capable of so much more.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of yamar68
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Terrible lighting in here so I can't comment on the color of the beer but it does have a healthy head that seems to lace quite well.

On the nose - toasted grains, maple wood, juicy cherry, wheat and yeast, touch of red grape, nice smelling stuff I think.

Some smooth slightly sweet caramel comes through on the tongue, mellow wood qualities, bright fruit, a bit muddled though. What is there is tasty, but it struggles to maintain a sense of balance.

I'd certainly recommend this to anyone. Another delicious beer from Ommegang.

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Photo of JRed
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick murky reddish copper in body with dissipating white head. Aroma is sweet, apple skins, apple spice. Flavors of apple skins, malt sweetness, alcohol prominent, some horse blanket. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Beautifully sweet, refreshing.

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Photo of seedyone
3/5  rDev -22.1%

02/27/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Sweet at first then a sour finish on the first sip. Essence of orange under the nose which seems to manifest as a bitterness, ever so slight on the tongue. A touch on the heavy side. The sweet is sustained after a few tastes so sweet it is. Seems like a lot of work for a modicum of result. I'd say Napoleon didn't miss out on too much.

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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.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Note: I remember really liking this beer when I purchased it almost 2 years ago. See if it holds up to memory.

Look is a reddish brick color and hazy. Head is thin and dissipates quickly.

Aroma is sweet toasted malt with sour dark fruit notes with a spicy honey note at the end.

Body is thin herbal hops stand up to the age mixed with honey and fruit.

Wish the body had been more bold. Some wonderful highlights though. Not quite the beer I remember but good.

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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).

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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.

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Photo of Apellonious
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1 pt 9.4 fl oz bomber from Frugle, out of a tulip glass

A- Ruby and cloudy, with a thin one finger head with an off-white pinkish hue.

S - Dough, citrus, faint malt and yeast

T - Mild fruit up front, with a bitter hop finish with wine like aftertaste. The maple mentioned on the label is more apparent later.

M - Sharp, similar to a champagne. Very fizzy and active.

O - I must say I do not have much experience on the style from comparison purposes, but it seemed to close to a white wine for my tastes. That being said, it appears to be put together well, like most Ommegang efforts.

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Photo of dheacck11
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour from the botle leaves a lovely translucent copper amber color, with a nice haziness. Bit of head, fading quickly.

Nose is really dank and peaty. Some sweetness like corn, cherries, and maple. Enticing.

Taste is biting. Lots of acid on the front, with ripe cherry flavors, cranberry, and again that sort of wet, mossy flavor. Get a little bit of the yeast too. Maybe a little maple too.

Feel is medium full. Crisp and biting.

Fascinating beer. Really neat and balance flavors. Quite unique, but definitely worth a trial.

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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.

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Photo of MatthewWilde
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sample: 1 bottle 2012

A: Pours a medium off-white head that slowly dissolves, dark orange in color, moderate internal carbonation, slightly cloudy

S: Complex nose, sugar cane, slight caramel mixed with a definite yeast notes, sweet and fruity, moderately fragrant overall

T: Starts fruity and yeasty, elements of apple crisp and caramel, finishes rather empty, however, with mild sweetness and some alcohol

M: Very smooth, light in the mouth, not lingering or overpowering, mild fruity/yeasty aftertaste, moderate alcohol

O: True to the style, but leaves something to be desired, nice bouquet and look, but just alright

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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.

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Photo of hackmann
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: deep burnt orange body with a one finger (if that) bone white head that leaves no lacing

Aroma: light toasted grains, caramel, hint of wood (oak)

Flavors: to me the oak wood stands out over the maple wood; nice spicy fruit style; the fruit reminds me of apricot and the spice a light clove

Mouthfeel: fizzy carbonation, dry, medium body, earthy, sticky fruit aftertaste

To the Point: I was really looking forward to this ale; unfortunately it is just good at best to me; the overall aroma is light; the flavors – the fruit did not really do it for me; the spice was okay; the wood was good; this ale just does just really doesn't do it for me @ 15 bucks a bottle (750ml)

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Photo of nova009
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a caged and corked bomber into my Ommegang glass

A- pours a clear dark copper color with a slight red hue to it, a big fluffy two finger head appears and sticks around for a long time, a steady stream of bubbles races to the top

S- malty and a bit earthy, some funk mixed in, definitely some oak, figs and other dark fruits, dark cherries, slightly noticable belgian yeast notes, slightly sweet as well

T- malty and earthy just like the nose, some hop bitterness mixed in, some woodiness as well, a little tartness as well, dark fruits aren't as noticeable on the sip, alcohol is noticeable toward the end of the swallow, seems a little lacking

M- medium body, fairly high carbonation, slightly chewy, finishes dry

O- there was something slightly off with the flavor, felt like it was lacking a little bit, other than that the style and composition of the beer was pretty spot on, might grab another and see if it develops over the years

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Biere D'Hougoumont from Brewery Ommegang
86 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.