Obamagang Inauguration Ale | Brewery Ommegang

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Very Good
70 Ratings

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Also known as Inauguration Ale 2009 & Ale 2009

Brewed in 2009 for the occasion of the Presidential Inauguration, Ale 2009 was brewed as a draft-only ale, similar to a stout but hinting at a porter. At 6.2% and full fo robust roasted malt and chocolate flavors, the ale was fortifying and highly drinkable. Brewed with Ommegang's house yeast and with a touch of Belgian Kriek, an underlying fruitiness added to its full-bodied and robust celebratory character.

Added by deereless on 01-18-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 |  Reviews: 65
Reviews by Floydster:
Photo of Floydster
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted from a growler thanks to WeeHeavySD, thanks Jon, you always have great things to share, color was a murky dark brown, 1/4 inch small light tan head that was pretty bubbly, not much lacing or retention, aroma was pretty much Chocolate Indulgence with cherries and other dark fruits, also coffee, toffee, smokiness, roasted malts, vanilla, dark chocolate, and mild tartness,taste has chocolate at the beginning, artificial cherries and sweetness in the middle, a little smoky at first, finish is sweet with some more cocoa and a dry finish reminiscent of a porter, gets a little sweeter as it warms, lots of roasted malt and chocolate in this one overall, roasty, sweet, and malty mouthfeel, soft carbonation, thin bodied, taste lingers a little bit, could drink a good amount of this stuff, smooth, not overly sweet or anything, glad I got to try this draft only brew from Ommegang, cool that the proceeds from this went to local charities near the brewery, worth checking out

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mrquartetman
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Served in a 4 oz snifter. Very dark, big brown creamy head that persisted.
S: Very toasty, malty, hint of cherry
T: Tastes like a somewhat sweet, fruity stout (it is sort of a stout). It's a big flavor all across the palate, and is most pleasing.
M: Dense, chewy - a high-gravity, strong beer that does not disappear.
D: Not terribly high in alcohol, which is good, since it invites a lot of repetition, except for the price (this is not a cheap beer on draft!)

Ommegang describes this beer (http://tinyurl.com/dkq2s3) as "a dark ale close to a stout, but hinting at a porter." They tell us that they've used "the Ommegang house yeast and just a touch of Belgian Kriek"ake it. They've created a lovely beer. The bar at which I had it was selling the 4.5 oz snifter for $4.50. They told me that the keg they had cost a WHOLE lot to buy.

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Photo of glid02
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis in Atlanta.

Pours an opaque dark brown color with dark ruby highlights and a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, and dark cherries. As the beer warms the dark cherries are joined by figs and the roasted coffee aroma fades substantially.

Tastes good. Dark chocolate and roasted malt flavors up front are joined by dark cherries and hints of figs. As the beer warms the fruit flavors become a bit stronger but the chocolate flavors are still in charge. Ending is mildly bitter and leaves a fruity aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing my glass and could have a few more.

Overall this was a solid beer and I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it. Definitely worth a shot.

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Photo of TopherRI
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Although i did not vote for Obama, this brew was truly a treat. Ommegang did a fantastic job with their combonation. The brew tasted slightly hot, but overall had a very smooth and palatable feel. If possible, I highly recommend taking a trip to Ommegang's brewery to try this.

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Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-tap at Coles. Creamy, fuller mouth porter-stout with kriek. Some chocolate, some cherry. Complex. The taste delivers what I didn't get in the aroma. Good balance. Dark colour, of course. The covered-up tap handle.Above average carbonation.

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Photo of Gmann
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very deep brown color with a dense light brown head, that dissipates slowly leaving some nice lacing. The aroma is of unripe raspberries, musty belgian yeast, clove, old chocolate, and carob. A nice bold Belgian yeast flavor hits right away, with hints of chocolate and sour cherries or raspberries, a bitter roasted malt balances the spicy yeast and sour fruit flavors. The feel is light but not watery, soft carbonation, leaves a light bitter aftertaste. A belgian influenced porter is what I think of this brew. Definite belgian characteristics with a porter-ish body, add some nice sour fruit flavors and you get this beer. Oh yeah, very easy to drink.

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Photo of scootny
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark opaque brown with a tight and creamy head. Good lacing and no carbonation evident in the snifter.

Smell is roasted coffee and light kriek (cherries). A light touch of roasted dark malts as well. There was a bit of yeast ester fruitiness but muted. A great and intriguing combination that I wish was more pronounced. In fairness the beer came on the cold side and I did not have as much time as I'd like to have had to let it warm.

Taste is wonderful. A coffee porter with a cherry chocolate spine. The Kriek is doing wonderful things here. A Belgian yeast flare to the taste also makes an announcement. Hops are light and subdued. Roasted malt and charcoal are a feature of the sharp and dry finish, lingering lusciously and reminding you of what a good time your taste buds just had.

Mouthfeel is on the light side of porterdom with a creamy carbonation and dry quenching feel that leaves a clean mouth.

Drinkability is superb and maybe I should give it a five. I could go through four of these snifters if I had the time and didn't have to drive. Alcohol is invisible and the pleasure is first rate. Restorative and fortifying after a day at work. One is satisfying. The opportunity for more is an unrequited hope at this moment.

On tap at the Gingerman NYC

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Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at BCTC. A chocolate cherry porter-esque beer.

A: The ale is a dark caramel chocolate color with a half a finger of white head.

S: The aroma is heavy with chocolate. The cherry, while evident, isn't as dominant.

T: The chocolate again drives the flavor, sweet with a mere sprinkling of cocoa powder and semi-sweet chocolate. Cherries are a nice compliment, a sweet and sour flavor that stands up against the chocolate. Dark roasted malts add a full flavor that supports the chocolate.

M: The ale is flavorful but not full. As a result, the chocolate and cherry both have time to register. A decent ale.

D: The ale is light enough, and a twist on Ommegang's normal line-up, that I was content to have multiple glasses.

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Photo of bonbini26
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap @ the Rattle 'n' Hum, still on tap from their Ommegang event. 04-23-09

A- Poured into a tulip glass, pours a dark ruby, just a little lighter than black, with a light tan head, not much lacing
S- Rich sugary, prune, light cherry, a little chocolate also. Some belgian yeasts also
T- Sweet, sugary, coco notes, some earthy bread in the finish, but def. more on the sweet side.
M- Medium bodied, feels about what it should for the ABV, a pretty smooth drinking ale, that coats the mouth well.
D- One was enough, a sipper for me a high on the sweet side, but I'm glad I finally had a chance to try this one.

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Photo of spokeydonkey
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into an 8-oz goblet. Clear and dark brown in color, nearly espresso-colored with a one-finger beige head that lasted a few minutes before dissipating into a light foam and leaving plenty of lacing down the glass.

S - Smelled strongly roasted/toasty with burned coffee notes to it. Had a hint of fruity aroma that's typical of Belgian beers.

T - Tastes like it smells. Toasty/roasted coffee flavors dominate. There's a hint of cherry in there as well, and a background of Belgian fruit esters. There's a burned toast/earthy aftertaste that lingers for quite a while after each sip.

M - Low-to medium-low body with a high level of carbonation leads to a soda-like mouthfeel.

D - A very interesting beer. A bit too "out there" for everyday drinking, but it's certainly got some nice characteristics.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap into tulip glass @ Birreria Paradiso in D.C. (called Obamagang).

Wasn't sure what to expect with this one as I couldn't guess the style. The description didn't help much as it mentioned dark chocolate and Belgian Kriek. Is it a lambic? A Belgian stout crossover?

The beer arrived in a tulip glass with an opaque deep black hue with a two finger brown and dense head that never really settled. The aroma consisted of roasty malts, some bitter chocolate, and a little bit of tart cherry. The flavor was about the same, with a light hint of sourness, along with a touch of sweet cherry. The chocolate is in there as well. Full bodied.

I was glad I ordered this, it was very smooth and enjoyable, even with some of the tart characteristics. It turns out to be another Belgian Stout type crossover where it uses dark malts, usually chocolate, with the characteristic Belgian yeast. Recommended.

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Photo of Philabeerphia
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Our server literally has tears in her eyes as she serves us - The Obamas are on TV taking their first dance as Mr & Mrs President and quite frankly Beyonce's voice has the entire bar pretty emotional. A joint tasting w/ my wife...
On tap @ London Grill, poured into a tulip. This beer arrives looking exceptionally refined. root beer colored, complete with the ecru sticky foamy head that seems to slowly dry and sediment its lacy self around our glasses. When held up to the lights, highlights of a deep ruby red transparency appear in this otherwise opaque beer. It doesn't ever look any better than this.

A confined nose. But what we pick up is very pleasant - lots of raisins, backed with some coffee, tobacco and boozy alcohol. All laid up w/ an earthy ashen yeasty presence.

The taste continues where the nose left off - dominated throughout by plums, figs and other nutty, full fruits, this brew opens up into a coffee-ish middle that finishes dry and ashen, pushing to the extreme end of the dried fruit spectrum - legumes and beans.

A clean and relatively light MF is a huge plus (combined with the dry finish this feels akin to a porter as others have noted); this beer is never a chore. A very interesting brew, and what a treat to have today!

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Photo of u2carew
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(A) Dark. Holds a good, lasting head. When held to the light some luminance gets through in a slight reddish hue.
(S) Sour cherries, with some chocolate notes.
(T) Mild cherry flavor with a prevalent chocolate flavor and earthy tones. Also has a touch of smokiness to it.
(M) Mellow bodied and not as chewy as some dark beers.
(D) A decent beer, but not a chugger. This is more of a sipping beer.

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Photo of wedge
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Tyler's, Durham.

Dark brown with a small beige ring of a head. Thin sheets of lazy, dripping lace. Aromas of milk chocolate, brownies, cherries, and berries...some Belgian yeastiness. Sweet chocolate malty flavor, roasty with less cherry than the smell. Again, some yeast. Sort of like those mystery chocolates in the heart shaped boxes where when you bite into one, it's got that cherry mousse-like stuff in it. It's kind of like that. Smooth with solid carbonation. Enjoyable overall, glad I got the chance to try it.

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Photo of DrBier
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of selecter70
3.03/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Oh no, another inaugural brew let-down ( I hope that this is not some tidings to come!). Served on draught at the Independent on Inauguration Night, I eagerly awaited its arrival, to say the least. The appearance was dark brown with orange light and a small thin tan head & next to no lace. The feel was watery & flat (there was carbonation) and the flavor lackluster. I expected more (& now 3 Obama brew let-downs), certainly something with more body. A nut-hop basic foundation hinted at nuts & salt water oddly enough. A bit interesting, but I moved on to Berkshire Cabin Fever thereafter.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Ommegang tulip at Binny's South Loop 1/24/09.

A: Served a murky, river silt brown with a small off-white head that disappears quickly and leaves stringy whisps of lace behind. Looks a lot like french press coffee.

S: Complex aromas of chocolate, coffee, cherry, sauteed caramel, pan roasted nuts, espresso grounds, and caramelized toffee. Aroma has a slightly tart nip to it.

T: See above. Slightly fruity tang, dark chocolate, french press coffee, toasted peanuts, burnt caramel, and a faint berry flavor. Is this a blend like Three Philosophers?

M: Smooth with a mellow coffee/hop bitterness that totally kept my interest. Elements of dry, toasted, and roasty play out on the tongue.

D: I loved this beer. I really like that it is so different from anything else made by Ommegang. Keep up the good work guys, you need to bottle this!

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Photo of wiseguy142
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours muddy brown with a frothy, delicious tan head characteristic of many Ommegang beers. Taste is a great mixture of the banana flavors from the yeast and some hazelnut/peanut flavors. The two go together incredibly well- each mellowing the other out from being too extreme and producing a unique combination. This seems like a beer that could easily be in Ommegang's regular lineup.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. On tap at the Bavarian Lodge.

Pours a very dark brown with a light, thin tan head and some good lacing. The nose brings quite a bit of roast alongside some darker fruits, chocolate, and hints of coffee. The taste is really a nice combination of dry, roasted malt and a bit of semi-dark sweetened fruit. Mouthfeel is nice with a medium body and good carbonation. Drinks very well, and is a few of this style that I've had.

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Photo of grub
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

sampled on tap at the coles rare beer festival, jan 24/09.

pours just a shade lighter than pure black with a big tan head. the head drops slowly and leaves lots of lace behind.

aroma is neat. belgian yeasty spice. milk chocolate. whole wheat bread and cracker. big fruity component.

taste is good. just under medium bitterness level. dark chocolate. slightly burnt whole wheat bread. light coffee. bit of alcohol. the fruity aspect is much lighter than in the aroma. same with the yeasty component.

mouthfeel is nice. just over medium carbonation level and carrying a bit of sting with it. medium body.

drinkability is good. nicely balanced. an interesting beer, but not really wowing me.

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Photo of ImHereForTheBeer
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: deep roasted walnut color with a short biscuit colored head that faded fast. Some serious lace.

Smell: Sweet and toasty. Some fruit notes, perhaps cherry or raspberry.

Taste: Roasted but crisp. Chocolate dominates, but with a touch of fruit, raspberry, plum, cherry flavors blended well with what seems like a solid stout.

Mouthfeel: Clean and full. Excellent lingering aftertaste.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable for such a complex beer. Low abv makes it a pleasant dark beer to have more than one of.

Overall: Beautiful beer, low alcohol and intriguing mix of flavors makes for something we are sorry to see go so soon.

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Photo of hopdog
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's.

Poured a deeper brown color with red edges and an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of roast, chocolate, yeast, and some cherries. Tastes of chocolate, roast, cherries, caramel, and fruity. Lacing left on the glass.

Notes from and tasted on 3/4/09.

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Photo of Douglas14
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yes I am biased towards the name but I will give this my best attempt at an unbiased review.

The beer pours basically black with slightly brown edges coming through. The head is gray and thick. It's my only knock on the appearance. I found it really weird to see such a gray head. other than the hue of the head, the physical appearance was incredible.

This is where the beer gets weird. My first couple of smells and sips I am head-over-heals for this beer. Loads of peanut butter and nuts. As I take more sips and smells, other weird flavors and aromas come through, most notably soy sauce. It's a big turn off and I can't stop thinking about it. Thankfully the awesomeness of the peanut butter helps keep my mind off the soy sauce as much as possible and I can enjoy this beer.

I feel this beer is very unlike Ommegang...I don't know why, but I feel the flavor and aroma profile aren't typical of what they like to put out.

Nevertheless, big props to putting it out in honor of our president.

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Photo of Gavage
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: mahogony brownish in color with a 1/4" head that quickly fades. Nice lacing paints the glass.

Smell: malt sweetness and heavy roasted tones rise from the glass into the nose.

Taste: the roasted / burnt tones are quite predominent here. Thin malt sweetness, cherries, prunes, raisins, hints of bitter chocolate and a nice hop bitterness make up a unique beer.

Mouthfeel: lighlty crisp to start, smooth towards the finish. Aftertaste is long as the flavors stick to the tongue for a while.

Drinkability: decent but your tastebuds eventually grow a bit tired from the hearty roasted tones. Worth a try if you see it on tap.

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Photo of currysage1
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Had a few of these Tuesday night at the Sierra Grille in Northampton. Great meals as always, highly recommended.

Pours a hazy ruby tinted dark mahogany, minimal head of about a finger, slowly recedes to just a smattering. Lacing was good.

Smell was of the obvious cherry and chocolate but also notes of roasted cereal grain, and a slight vinous touch.

Taste was equal to the smell almost perfectly, with the addition of other dark fruits such as figs, and some brown sugar.

Feel was thin but still enough body to do the taste justice. Drinkability was very good, could have had a couple more of these if I didn't have to drive home.

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Obamagang Inauguration Ale from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 70 ratings