Brewery Ommegang

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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #66
Ranked #8,770
4 | pDev: 7.5%
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States
Very Good
Notes: The Soothsayer sees in the shadows a glass of black vision, indeed. A dark future that’s all in the making. Tempting good folks to share in the deed. What he sees is the old way of brewing with no spices, no voodoo, no spells. Just the grains and the yeast and the ancient black art. Can’t you feel how it darkly compels?

With Soothsayer, we forgo any spicing to explore the art of dark brewing. Simple grains and Ommegang yeast alone portend notes of licorice, coffee and chocolate under a thick tan head.
Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 131 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by JohneHoodlum:
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JohneHoodlum from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Feb 27, 2016
More User Reviews:
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy raisin color with a very creamy, caramel colored head.

S - Bread crust, yeasty, some spice, dark fruit, some clove.

T - Bread crust, dark roasted malt with some chocolate, dark fruit, finishes with moderate bitterness of bitter chocolate and cloves - lingering. No alcohol presence, very well hidden.

M - Medium body, velvety carbonation.

O - Enjoyable.

Jan 01, 2016
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stortore from Illinois

4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into an Ommegang Belgian glass. Had 3/8/19.

Pours near black with a two inch head of thick foam with good retention and lots of foamy lacing. Aromas of malt, Belgian yeast, spices- cloves, coriander, black pepper as it warms, raisins, molasses, chocolate, dates, light smoke. The taste is mostly similar- malt, Belgian yeast, raisins, dates, chocolate, some cola, spices- lots of cloves, molasses, light licorice. Smooth, a little creamy, a very good medium body, well carbonated on the high side.

A pretty classic BSDA, maybe a little heavier on the darker fruit. Very good aroma and flavor, very enjoyable.

Feb 28, 2020
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Jason from Massachusetts

3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

Very dark brew, tan lacing stays. Treacle, brown bread, ripe plums, bread crust, and fruit esters in the nose. On the dry side, fruity and earthy. Toasted bread and warming alcohol. Ripe plums and a modest hopping. Very well put together.

Jun 14, 2016
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oberon from North Carolina

4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Ommegang chalice a deep rich chocolate amber with a one finger light beige head atop that never really completely settles.Big raisin in the nose along with yeasty phenols,some alcohol sweetness in there as well.A pretty complex palate with some earthy dryness and yeasty phenols melding into a deep dark frutiness in the finish,it never gets too sweet and the alcohol isn't to large.Like others have noted this is a big fruity beer that's on the drier side making it reasonable to drink,well done.

Feb 29, 2016
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RBorsato from Virginia

3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Feb 26, 2019
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RoyalT from Ohio

4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This is solid black in color with an explosive brown head so pour it easy.

Smell – The nose really takes while to open up, I left the mug on the counter for an hour, but once it does the raisins and plumes come out beautifully. I was also able to find dates, classic BSDA spicing, a hint of cinnamon, and a dose of raw sugar.

Taste – The flavors here follow the nose with luscious dark fruits, a bigger sugar especially after opening up, and bold spicing.

Mouthfeel – This is full-bodied and surprisingly bitter.

Drinkability – I can’t stress enough how important it is to let this beer open up, at least for an hour, and get close to room temperature. Your patience will be duly rewarded as this is an incredible complex, satisfying ale.

Feb 21, 2016
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours like a Belgian should, with an impressive head stacked on the espresso brown liquid; streaky clumps of lace hang around

Smell: Toasted brown bread with dark fruit tones of raisin and plum; hints of cinnamon and clove

Taste: Toasted brown bread and candi sugar flavors lay down the base, with the raisin and plum tones building; through the middle, the cinnamon and clove spice arrive along with yeast phenols; the finish is slightly chalky, but very earthy and fruity, with characteristic Belgian sweetness

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with buoyant carbonation

Overall: It has been a while since I have consumed a BSDA, which was one of those gateway styles that led me into the world of craft beer so long ago; Ommegang does as good job as anybody in the US with this style and this one is no exception

May 06, 2016
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ommegangpbr from New York

4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is Three Philosophers without the Lindeman's Kriek in it. Big, dark sugars with dark fruit notes, even without the Lindeman's. This should be consumed on the warmer side for greater enjoyment. This beer could also stand to be aged for quite some time in the proper temperature in order for the full flavors to develop. As it sits, it's very good, though I admit the price point makes me just want Three Philosophers or Ommegang Abbey instead.

May 02, 2016
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BrewMaven from New York

4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jan 01, 2019
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EMV from Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip

L: Dark dark mahogany brown pour.. nearly black with 3 fingers of fluffy off-white head. Great retention and lacing.

S: Dark sugars and darker fruits.. plum and raisin. Molasses.

T/F: Rich toasted malts mix with Belgian yeast and candy sugars to give a rich complex Belgian style dark ale. Great dark fruit character... plum, fig, and raisin. Mild vanilla and molasses. Medium in body... smooth and carbonated. The finish has some mild hop bitterness to go with all of the above.

O: A damned good Belgian Strong Dark. Great flavors and true to style. Yes please!

Dec 30, 2017
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JayQue from Virginia

4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not the best BSDA I have had, but a good solid US take on the style. Corked and caged bottle. Pours a dense almost black color with no light showing through my Chimay goblet. Bubbly, frothy tan head with good retention and filmy lacing on the sides of the goblet. Aroma and flavor include bready malt, Belgian yeast, a little candi sugar, chocolate and licorice. The flavor is very pronounced. Mouthfeel is rich and smooth. Absolutely no alcohol burn. Goes down very easy. A bit expensive at $15 a bottle but worth it, like most Ommegang beers.

Oct 13, 2016
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 12/8/2016 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large beige head that fades very slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, brown sugar, caramelized malts, some spice and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of Belgian yeast and a hearty malt character. Then some mildly sweet flavors of brown sugar, chocolate, caramel and spices come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

Dec 09, 2016
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zeff80 from Missouri

4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a deep dark brown color with a large head of tan foam. It smelled of dried dark fruits like cherry and plum. Tasted sweet with a hint of maltiness. A good dose of fruitiness.

Feb 15, 2017
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bushbeer75 from Michigan

4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 1pt. 9.4 fl. oz. caged and corked brown bottle - not dated

Ommegang Soothsayer Ale poured a deep dark brown - almost black. A thick tan head was formed and shrunk slowly to a thin film on top and left spotty lacing on the walls of my chalice. The aroma is one of brown sugar, caramel, and yeast. The taste begins sweet with flavors of chocolate, brown sugar, toffee, and caramel. The Ale has just enough hops to balance it. Mouth feel is high-medium to full with medium carbonation.

Soothsayer is a good example of the Belgian Strong Dark Ale style.

Jul 12, 2018
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nwshull from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this while preparing and then eating a ribeye for dinner. The beer was unimpressive though not unpleasant while drinking it. However, when drinking it with the ribeye its higher ABV and caramel flavor was really brought out. I would not recommend this on its own, but I would recommend it if pairing with a fatty red meat.

May 22, 2016
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Kahlerbock from Kansas

3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Dec 19, 2016
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clayrock81 from Florida

3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a blackish body (or very dark brown) with one finger head and bits of lace. Candi sugar and yeast first me in the aroma and then I smell some dark fruits. The beer is smooth, medium to heavy bodied, as this slight bubblegum yeast and candi sugar sweetness that balances (doesn't cloy) with touch of clove/pepper spice, dark fruits like raisins and figs and I swear there is a slightly vinous touch on the finish (which might just be an alcohol burn). Not a bad beer at all but seems a little muddled as nothing really stands out.

Mar 09, 2016
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mwilbur from Minnesota

4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a very dark brown with 2-3 inch tan head with tight bubble formation producing a foam-like head. Excellent retention. Nice thick lacing.
S: Dark caramel malt, spearmint, clove, and other earthy spices.
T: Dark caramel malt, candi sugar, clove, brown sugar, spearmint, and a hint of cinnamon.
M: Light-medium body. Darkly sweet. Wish there was a bit more here.
D: A decent example of style, but certainly not outstanding. A step below the usual Ommegang brew (which is excellent).

Jul 03, 2016
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sep 04, 2016
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Vixie from Illinois

3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours nearly pitch black, not much light getting through it. Forms a huge tan head with multiple sized bubbles. The head lingers for some time, leaving a decent amount of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Very typical smell for the style. Lot of dark fruit, some yeast, toffee and caramel, brown sugar, and that characteristic Belgian dark candy sugar.

Fairly sweet up front, with an earthy character. I can detect cherry, toffee, and caramel. There is also a hint of Belgian candy sugar, as well as some funk. The alcohol is well hidden, just some warming at the finish.

Not a bad feel, fairly smooth with some tingling from the carbonation.

Overall a fairly standard example of the style, which is a good thing. It is very Belgian in character, just a bit more subdued than a few others I have tried. Ommegang always makes high quality beers, and this one fits right in.

Feb 14, 2016
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GreenMind from Pennsylvania

3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Feb 07, 2016
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avalon07 from South Carolina

4.26/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was a small amount of tan-colored, foamy head that quickly dissipated. Not a whole lot of lacing.

S: A very enticing aroma of dark fruit, yeast, spices, and malt.

T: Tasted of light malt notes, a good shot of dark fruit (fig, plums, etc.), some spices (cinnamon, clove), Belgian yeast, and a slightly bready quality as well. The flavor here gets better as it goes along. Complex, interesting and flavorful.

F: A well carbonated beer with a lively finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Soothsayer has its minor flaws, but overall it's a solid beer. Easy to drink.

Jun 28, 2016
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generallee from Virginia

4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: it was poured from a 1 pint 9 .4 fluid ounce bottle into and Ommegang tulip glass. The label has a nice description of the beer and it lists the alcohol at 8.9% abv.

Appearance: the body has a dark brown almost black color with a thick Light tan head on top. The head hangs on well and leaves some slick leasing behind as I drink.

Aroma: aroma is fairly light overall but brings mellow dark-roasted malts along with subtle hints of dark fruit. The nearly 9% ABV adds to the nose as well.

Taste/Palate: Up front I get light almond and mellow roasted malt notes. Sweet dark fruit notes of figs, plums and raisins move in with caramel like sweetness as well as some sweet boozy alcohol notes. Hop bitterness comes in late and adds mild herbal bitterness to the finish. The palate is full and somewhat sticky yet well carbonated as I would expect from a big Dark Belgian Ale.

Jun 21, 2016
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craigdb from Pennsylvania

3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jan 10, 2016
Soothsayer from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 131 ratings