20th Anniversary Ale
Brewery Ommegang

20th Anniversary Ale20th Anniversary Ale
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Style:
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
ABV:
11.5%
Score:
90
Avg:
4.28 | pDev: 6.07%
Reviews:
23
Ratings:
61
From:
Brewery Ommegang
 
New York, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  1
Gots
  23
SCORE
90
Outstanding
20th Anniversary Ale20th Anniversary Ale
Notes: 2017
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 61 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of stortore
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a tulip snifter. Bottled Mid 2017, had 4/26/19.

Pours a semi- opaque cola color, with a one inch foamy head and some foamy lacing. Aromas of bourbon, caramel, figs, malt, plums, raisins, dates, spices- cloves for one, light Belgian yeast, some chocolate, light molasses. The flavor takes the same path- bourbon, oak, caramel, malt, raisins, figs, dates, plums, cloves, other spices, light molasses, faint licorice. Smooth, a very good medium body, well carbonated.

Happy anniversary! Really good barrels, top notch base, great aroma and- especially, flavor, nice balance. Solid from top to bottom. Very enjoyable.

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stortore from Illinois, Mar 20, 2020
Photo of jlindros
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Been sitting on this a while. Finally watching GoT, but drank all the GoT beers so figured this would be good.

Pours a dark fizzy head that fades very quickly, no lacing, good legs, very dark almost opaque molasses brown color

Nose big sweet candy malt, molasses, a little caramel and toffee, biscuity, background roasty like and coffee notes, then plenty of fruity aromas, dark candied fruit, a little fig jam, light toasted buttery oak and hint of bourbon

Taste quite fruity as well, more jammy fruit, dark prune, fig paste, etc, then big bourbon, juicy bourbon barrel and some vanilla toasted oak, raisin as well, with big warming tingly alcohol, perfumey alcohol, into malts, rich malt with toffee, caramel, biscuity, a little roasty like, medium sweet overall with light drier finish with lingering alcohol warmth

Mouth is fuller bod a bit syrupy, hot alcohol and tingle, more than expected, medium fizzy carb

Overall pretty good except a bit too hot alcohol, the bourbon barrel was quite nice, dark jammy fruits were nice too, base malts pretty good, slow sipper that can be enjoyed, more in winter than late spring

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jlindros from Massachusetts, May 26, 2019
Photo of Dope
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark dark brown pour with a mid-sized light brown head. Head dissipates fairly quickly, as it typically does with bourbon-barrel beers. Very little lacing on the glass as well.

S: Yow, huge bourbon aroma. Lots of brown sugar, oak, caramel and vanilla in there. Heavy, dark bread. Yum.

T: Vanilla and caramel up front. Sugary sweet with candi sugar. Tons of dark fruit with a little toffee on the back end. Quite a boozy hit on the back end, while we're here. Lingering sugary sweetness from a variety of sources.

M: Heavy, sweet and boozy.

O: One hell of a sweet BSDA. It's not cloying or syrupy but it seems like all of the flavors have at least some level of sweetness to them. Still nice though, I just couldn't get through the whole 750ml.

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Dope from Massachusetts, Mar 27, 2019
Photo of HattedClassic
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a nice looking khaki colored head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a good looking dark brown color that borders on black but doesn't tip into it.

The smell is pretty good. It has a nice and moderate bourbon note that mixes well with the dark fruit notes and the slight candi syrup note to it. There is a slight Belgian sugar note that is slightly burnt.

The taste is good. It has a much stronger bourbon note than the smell but it's washed out a little bit from a the hop bitterness that is there. The Belgian sugar note comes out more as a bittersweet Belgian syrup note. The dark fruit note is more of a plum note. The booze comes out slightly and adds a nice warming feel to it through it all.

The feel is good. It's more drinkable and thinner than a usual dark ale but not watery. There is a nice crispy carbonation feel.

Overall, this is a pretty good beer worth getting even after it was released.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an Ommegang flute glass. Pours a dark reddish brown with a one finger khaki head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of fresh and dried plums, caramel, vanilla and light bourbon. Flavor of mildly caramel malt, dried and fresh plums, raisins, vanilla, bourbon and suggestions of cherry and light oak. Medium bodied with light to moderate creaminess and fine mouth feel. A rich, fruit forward strong dark Belgian with a very nice level of barrel oakiness and bourbon flavors. The fruit, caramel and bourbon are well balanced and flavorful. A fairly complex lingering flavor of oaky bourbon and light toffee as well as the dark fruit notes. A very worthy 20th Anniversary ale from one of the best brewers of Belgian style ales in North America. Kinda wish this was annual and available in smaller bottles all the time. Still glad I picked up one of these to enjoy now. Happy anniversary, Ommegang.

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LiquidAmber from Washington, Jun 25, 2018
Photo of FriedSlug
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Super dark with a tan head. Leaves a few globs of lacing behind. Smells and tastes of all of these: bourbon, raisin, vanilla, oak, chocolate, toffee and caramel. Nice and fizzy. Pretty great beer.

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FriedSlug from North Carolina, Jun 05, 2018
Photo of brentk56
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours cola colored with a dense one finger ecru head (not up to Ommegang's Belgian standard but this is 11.5% after all); spotty lacing all around

Smell: Plum and caramel with a shot of Bourbon; mixed in are oak and cherry tones

Taste: Plum, caramel and Bourbon, forward, with the Bourbon tones building, through mid-palate; through the middle, layers of oak, cherry and coconut flourish; the finish marks a return for the Bourbon and caramel

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; warmth in the gullet

Overall: Every time I drink a BSDA, I hearken back to the early days of BA when this was a style to be reckoned with and the Trappist ales were among the top 100; I don't drink the style often these days but it is always fun to try a new one; here, we have the marriage of American Bourbon barrel aging techniques with a traditional Belgian style; we need more creativity like this around the Trappist styles

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brentk56 from North Carolina, May 31, 2018
Photo of JayQue
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another winner from Ommegang. Pours a dense mahogany color with some light coming through when held to a light. Poured from a corked and caged bomber into my Chimay goblet. Small off-white head that fades fast. Very little lacing. Aroma and Taste are great. Aroma feature bourbon, vanilla and oak with some dark fruit and a little Belgian yeast. Taste is even more robust. The dark fruit (raisins and figs), Belgian yeast and toffee compete very well with the bourbon barrel flavor. The bourbon, oak and vanilla are still there but only elements of the overall rich Belgian flavors. Mouthfeel is rich, slightly sweet, smooth and a little boozy. The booze is more of the warming variety rather than alcohol burn. Very good BSDA. Happy anniversary to one of my favorite breweries!!!!!

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JayQue from Virginia, Mar 13, 2018
Photo of ajm5108
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rich, deep mahogany with a quarter inch tan head that fades pretty quickly. Aroma features warm chocolate malt upfront with supporting notes from the bourbon (caramel / toffee) and a faint whisper of Belgian yeast that helps manage the sweetness.

The chocolate flavor is less pronounced on the tongue, which is really an intertwining of Belgian dark ale notes (prune & fig phenols, cola) with the bourbon (more toffee / caramel, noticeably sweet). It approaches being too sweet, but otherwise the flavors compliment each other even if they don’t necessary work together (all that bourbon flavor comes in on the back palate). Finishes pretty dry, but that didn’t bother me too much.

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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania, Mar 12, 2018
Photo of Roguer
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Head production and retention are volatile; in two glasses from the same bottle, one produced a fizzy head that completely disappeared as soon as the pour was complete, while another produced a solid finger of tan foam that lasted a couple of minutes. The body is dark brown with purple hues.

Nose is filled with dark fruit and toffee, bourbon and oak, vanilla, nuts, and chocolate. Inviting and a touch boozy.

Sweet and boozy on the palate; waves of dark fruit and malts. Reminiscent of booze-filled chocolate truffle - with nuts and cherries. Dark fruit finish: plums, prunes, cherries, and coconut (from the bourbon), along with a kiss of vanilla and oak. A touch too sweet up front.

Fizzy mouthfeel; does not hide the ABV particularly well, either, with a decent amount of boozy heat. Acceptable of course, given the 11.5% ABV and bourbon barrel aging.

This is a solid anniversary beer, but I'm not crazy about it. I think BBA 3P is a much better beer overall, based on one experience with each.

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Roguer from Georgia, Jan 02, 2018
Photo of clayrock81
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a copper-red body with minimal head but good carbonation. Smell has minor notes of dark chocolate with hints of roasted malt along with wood, vanilla and caramel. Smooth and sweet, the beer has a vanilla, woody taste that is complemented by a caramel/ toffee malt sensation along with chocolate sweetness along and touches of dark fruits like figs. Slightly sticky on the finish this for heavy body beer is easy to drink and filling and hides the alcohol well. Great beer that’s light on the Belgian notes but still a must try.

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clayrock81 from Florida, Dec 09, 2017
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

hard to believe its been 20 years for ommegang, really flew by! this is wonderful beer to celebrate the occasion, its fancy and special and highly refined, absolutely delicious, and its what they do best. a big robustly malty belgian strong ale that most closely resembles a quad to me, dried fruity notes of raisin and date in the grain mix, a molasses tasting raw sugar cane element to it, and the belgian yeast giving of autumn spice notes in the nose and dried apple and red wine fruitiness in the flavor, complex and delightful. the bourbon barrels are a nice touch, its not too whiskey heavy, but the charred oak, vanilla, and strong alcohol characteristics all work extremely well in this huge rich ale, smoothing it out, giving it even more depth, and mellowing it out wonderfully. figs and prunes and dried cherry come to mind, maple and brown sugar, cola and vanilla, chestnut and honey, brown banana, there is a lot going on here, and it becomes increasingly layered as it warms up, but never too boozy, it holds its strength well. smooth and even flush feeling, round and soft and still well carbonated. this has a long finish, candy sugar, oak, whiskey, its impressive and delicious, and probably suitable for extended cellaring, although its tasting pretty amazing right now. worth the price no doubt.

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Photo of arizcards
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a caged and corked bomber packaged in a Christmas like tin container on 10-9-17 from TW Arrowhead for $19.99. Can't see a bottle date but would imagine it was in the summer.

Beer poured a mahogany brown with a nice tan head that has some nice hang time.

Nose has hints of bourbon barrel, dark fruits, vanilla.

Taste is wonderful, a nice blend of the base beer which is dark fruits, some dark chocolate with the barrel which has a very nice touch of bourbon, oak, and vanilla.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall this is a wonderful brewery that was one of my go to breweries in the last decade. Even visited there from Phoenix back in 2005. Loved the hop cheese as part of the brewery tour!

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arizcards from Arizona, Dec 02, 2017
Photo of Gmann
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a chocolate brown color with a tight beige head. Moderate retention, settles into a light ring. Some chunky yeast sediment.

The aroma is sweet. Caramel, toffee and raisins hit first. The bourbon and vanilla come in as well. Some carob notes.

The taste is of light caramel and oak. Hints of bourbon, vanilla add complexity. There is a raspberry like fruitiness. Not quite dark fruit. Light wood and pumpernickel notes from the malt. Flavors blend well.

The feel is light to moderate with fizzy carbonation. Sweet on the palate. Could use a bitter offset. Sticky and the ABV pops through.

It’s a nice beer but expected more. As an anniversary beer I was expecting a big complex quad but the base beer is quite light.

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Gmann from New York, Oct 21, 2017
Photo of zeff80
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a semi-opaque, light burgundy color with a small, tan head of foam. It smelled of dried dark fruits, candy sugar, clove and spices. Mild bourbon notes. Tasted of sweet toffee, caramel, vanilla, oak and dried fruits.

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zeff80 from Missouri, Oct 13, 2017
Photo of SawDog505
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured near room temperature into a 16 oz Chimay goblet. Pours a rusty red, with a 3 plus finger khaki head that disappears fairly quickly leaving some lace and settles into a thin layer of bubbles.

Smell is clove, caramel, dates, brown sugar, toffee, and a little hint of bourbon and vanilla.

Taste follows clove, caramel, toffee, dark fruit, brown sugar, vanilla, and oaky bourbon and hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is about medium, plenty of life, maybe a tad dry, and at 11.5 % ABV a sipper that goes down rather quickly.

Overall not my favorite style, but this thing is so complex and well constructed it makes me really enjoy it. One of my favorites in the style.

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SawDog505 from New Hampshire, Oct 10, 2017
Photo of Fourlives
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, when you love Belgian type ales, being able to differentiate between good and great can become muddled, until you set your lips to this wonderfully made beer.

The pour is medium thickness, with a finger length head that quickly dissolves, but doesn't take away from a lacing that drips down your glass.

The initial aroma was, to me, of dark cherry, dates, plums and a very small part of tart fruit, like maybe kiwi? (Couldn't place the very small percentage of sour tartness, like maybe melon, sour tartness? Small percentage, but helps justify the taste).

It needs to be said here that at first pour, I had only chilled to about 60 degrees, (impatience, haha,) but I chilled to 50 or so, then allowed to warm in each successive pour and the flavor characteristics changed a bit, but this beer is a flavor monster. Layer upon layer of great taste.

I could go onto second and third tastes, as well as mouthfeel, but the layers of taste are amazing and everything you could ever want.

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Fourlives from Virginia, Oct 10, 2017
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.94/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Brewery Ommegang "20th Anniversary Ale 2017"
750 ml brown glass bottle, corked and caged, ink jetted "L02(illegible) BEST BY 06(illegible)"
$19.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: Nice packaging but I could have done without the tin can, all it did for me was raise the price, and it didn't make it stand out on the shelf any better. The bottle opened with a soft pop... not a lot of carbonation in there. I wonder if I should have aged this a little bit. Dark, basically opaque brown-black body with hazy mahogany brown highlights near the surface when held to the light. Two-finger thick head of densely creamy khaki colored foam. The aroma is limited. I do get some Bourbon in it along with sweetish malt, and oak, but it's not bright. Probably more oak than Bourbon. But this is Bourbon barrel aged, right? Yes, OK, that's what the label says. The head has dropped at this point but it's still got a creamy 1/8" solid surface covering and where I've swirled the glass it's got large spots of lace. Overall the lacing doesn't seem to be its strong point though. One more whiff... I'm getting some dark malt but it's kind of nondescript, and there's a soft hint of dark fruit. On to the flavor... I'm finding some very light Bourbon but also some pleasant oak and a very light touch of vanilla. The malt offers a subtle suggestion of light chocolate, and perhaps some mild roastiness behind that. It's delicately sugary but not sweet, and there's just a spritz of clovey Belgian yeast character and apple-like fruitiness. It finishes with a swirl of light spiciness, and although there's some residual malt lingering it's not sweet. Nor is it bitter. In fact this whole beers seems to be kind of only halfway there. It's a pinch of this and a sprinkle of that but it never really builds into anything really fully flavored or solidly focused. It's velvety smooth in the mouth with a medium body and a soft, restrained, seemingly natural carbonation - I'm not sure that's helping it as it seems to add to the almost specter-like quality it has. Looking back at least the lacing has improved but I have to wonder why this very subtle beer was chosen for the 20th Anniversary beer. It's good, it's perfectly balanced and nicely rounded, although perhaps too polished, but it's not exciting at all, even with the added nuance from the Bourbon barrels. And I understand that Ommegang makes some very reserved beers but this is honestly quite boring, and to pull this out as a specialty beer has really left me disappointed. It would make an acceptable, and even enjoyable regular beer, but as an anniversary beer it falls flat, not even matching the charisma of most of their other beers. So, what did I miss? I covered the appearance, the aroma, the flavor, and the feel. I guess I got everything; and really nothing all at the same time. Overall: lackluster.

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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania, Oct 08, 2017
Photo of avalon07
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark brown / black color and a thick consistency. There was an inch of tan-colored, creamy, fairly long-lasting head. Below average lacing.

S: A very nice aroma of dark fruit, spices, yeast, bourbon, and chocolate.

T: Tasted of a bit of bourbon (not as much as expected), lots of dark fruit (plums, raisins), some spices (cloves, peppercorns), caramel, a lot of chocolate, and mild yeast notes. This is a big flavor that somehow manages some subtlety. Incredibly complex and flavorful.

F: A highly carbonated beer with a smooth, yet prickly finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Ommegang put a lot into this beer and it shows. Very tasty and drinkable.

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avalon07 from South Carolina, Oct 08, 2017
Photo of superspak
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled on 8/11/2017. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy very dark brown color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big raisin, plum, fig, date, cherry, red grape, apricot, apple, berry, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, and dark/brown bread; with lighter notes of molasses, peppercorn, clove, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted nuts, yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready/light roasted malts, bourbon barrels, and fruity/spicy yeast notes; with great strength. Taste of huge raisin, plum, fig, date, cherry, red grape, apricot, apple, berry, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, and dark/brown bread; with lighter notes of molasses, peppercorn, clove, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted nuts, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/roasted bitterness and yeast/bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of dark fruit, cherry, red grape, apricot, apple, berry, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, dark/brown bread, nuttiness, peppercorn, clove, light chocolate/coffee, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malts, bourbon barrels, and fruity/spicy yeast flavors; with an awesome malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from yeast/oak spiciness and carbonation. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/bready, and lightly sticky/chalky/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is awesome. Alcohol is very well hidden; a mildly increasing warmth, with minimal barrel booziness lingering after the finish. Overall this is amazing barrel aged Belgian strong dark ale! All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malts, bourbon barrels, and fruity/spicy yeast flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV. Very rich with insane levels of complexity, and perfectly balanced between all flavors. Perfect barrel integration; great bourbon/oak presence with minimal associated booze. A highly enjoyable offering, and exceptional style example.

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superspak from Michigan, Oct 07, 2017
Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown, creamy white foam head. Nose is dark fruits and booze, taste is a lot more complex though, dark fruits blend with wood, molasses and a little chocolate, definite bourbon notes at the end, slight boozy burn. Mouthfeel is incredible, slightly creamy which helps those flavours linger. $25 a bottle and worth every penny.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nearly legal and playing the mature role, the Brewery Ommegang embarks upon their twentieth year with a regal, robust and highly complex taste that shows that shows just how far the little Belgian brewery of Cooperstown has come. Darker, stronger and richer, the quadruple styled ale meets bourbon barrels for a stately array of flavors, textures and aromas.

And living up to those darker promises, the beer pours with a deep and clear burgundy austere, crowned with an ivory creme that swirls amongst the rim. Rich aromas swoon the nose with macerated fruit, simmering spice and an underlayment of candy and oak. And once the ale slathers the tongue, the flavors of hard candy, spice cake and sorgum play robustly with the initial taste.

And then the complexities align on the middle palate by revealing plum, blackberry, black cherry and red grape for a robust, sweet and succulent ester profile. Darker and more tar-like flavors follow with prune, raisin, date and fig as the brown sugar malt sweetness begins to relax. Light tartness comes with a red wine impression with allspice and peppercorn trailing closely behind. Caramels, worn oak, vanilla and whisky spice plays like sherry and rum as much as it does bourbon.

Full in body, the lavishly complex, malty sweet beer carries a rich body that's lightened just enough from tartness and alcohol to offer a great sense of palatability and refinement on the finish. A long a savory aftertaste resonates soundly with red wine and whisky as hints of coconut and spice cake continue into the next satisfying sip.

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BEERchitect from Kentucky, Sep 27, 2017
Photo of Greywulfken
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is real nice... Dark brown pour is black in the glass, with a tall head of tan foam that laced the glass as I drank... Even though I started it while it was still a bit chilled, it presents a graceful mix of bourbon and chocolate, with lighter tones of oak and wood, while molasses and vanilla impressions are introduced to the palate, too... Subdued bitterness, smooth and silky soft, medium-weight with mild carbonation... Finishes with a flash of sweet bourbon and a slightly drying shellac... Impressive... $25 bottle around here, and IMO, money well-spent...

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Greywulfken from New York, Sep 17, 2017
20th Anniversary Ale from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 61 ratings