Brewery Ommegang

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Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #18
Ranked #2,919
4.12 | pDev: 11.41%
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States
Notes: Ommegang Adoration, brewed in the authentic style of Belgian winter, or noel beer, is dark, malty and assertively spiced.

Adoration is best sipped before a roaring fire. It would also be a tasty accompaniment to dark roasts and wild game. Even at 10% abv, the beer is well balanced and not at all hot or fiery. The dark malts give it lush, malty flavors, including coriander, orange peel, mace, cardamom and grains of paradise. Hopping is modest, as befits such a beer.
Reviews: 376 | Ratings: 1,144 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of biboergosum
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle - now we're cooking with gas, because it's still -25C in March!

This beer pours a clear, medium bronzed amber colour, with a teeming tower of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat bubbly beige head, which leaves a bit of coral reef atoll pattern lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of bready and doughy caramel malt, a sugary coriander and minty spiciness, blood orange citrus rind, a further indistinct dark orchard fruitiness, some ethereal estery yeast, and very, very, very subtle earthy, musty, and dead leafy hop bitters. The taste is gritty and grainy caramel malt, a lesser biscuity toffee sweetness, muddled earthy spice, macerated orange peel, more black stone fruity notes, and some ghostly herbal, leafy, and perfumed floral hoppiness.

The carbonation is adequate in its palate-supporting frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and generally smooth, with a wee airy creaminess evolving as things push past the 50F point by now (thanks Mr. Furnace!). It finishes off-dry, the malt, citrus, and blended spices whooping it up at the lingering after-party.

Overall - yup, this is certainly a well-rendered version of the style (one of my faves, full disclosure), replete with flavour. And with nary a sniff of the straight-up 10 points of the ol' wowee sauce, I shall enjoy sipping on the rest of this, glancing once and a while at the snowbanks outside.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I am now into Late Night New Beer Sunday (LNNBS) (Week 711) & as long as the thread remains open, I have some new beers to review! This one was part of my first Tavour shipment, but being a bottle, it kinda got shunted to the side. 8=(

From the Bottle: "Ommegang Ales are incomparable - yielding unique flavors and aromas. Inspired by deep insight into Belgian brewing and infused with Ommegang's creative upstate NY spirit[.] Each ale offers perfect balance and pure drinking pleasure."; "Dark Winter Ale"; "Ale Brewed with Spices: Coriander, Cardamom, Mace, Grains of Paradise, Sweet Orange Peel."; "Follow your own star and give the gift of Adoration, rich with Spices of Coriander, Cardamom, Mace, Grains of Paradise, Sweet Orange Peel. This fine ale continues the Belgian tradition of spiced Winter Ales. Blessed with deep maltiness, this is an extraordinary sipping beer and a treasure to cellar for years."; "Part of the Duvel family of fine Belgian ales"; "Pour slowly so as not to disturb the yeast sediment, but with enough vigor to create a luxurious head and release the rich bouquet."

I Pop!ped the cap & began a slow, gentle pour into the awaiting tulip glass. How slow? The white cedar that I planted in my back yard grew several feet in the interim! Once it was sufficiently decanted, an in-glass swirl raised just under three fingers of dense, fizzy, foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head with moderate retention. It was kind enough to leave some nice lacing in its wake. Color was a pretty Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was REALLY spicy! No doubt that this is a Holiday/Winter Ale. This could be mulled & sipped from a cup with a slice of spice cake. I'm not even going to try and discern all of the spices, but suffice it to say that this put potpourri to shame! Mmm. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but on the approach. I allowed it to roll around on my tongue to warm, really bringing out the spiciness. Mmm. Warming, the orange peel became more assertive, rounding the edges of the spices. It was definitely a Strong Ale as I could feel its effects pretty quickly. The spices really meshed well, creating a general, rather than a jangly, spiciness. Finish was quite dry and very spicy, which was really no surprise. Mmm.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$ 6.77 (Including shipping)/capped 12 oz bottle ($ 0.564/oz) from Tavour, Seattle, WA.
Undated bottle, stored at 42 degrees and served at 50 degrees (per label instructions) in a hand-washed and hand-dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 3.75.
Body – Brown, hazy, effervescent. When held to the light, it passes through the entire translucent body. There is some sediment in the bottom of the bottle.
Head – Large (Maximum four cm, aggressive center pour), tan, medium density with rocks, rapidly diminishing to a two to three mm ring fed by effervescence and no layer, just a few small islands fed by effervescence.
Lacing – None.
First pour – Light brown, clear.
Aroma – 4 – Sweet dark fruit.
Flavor – 4.25 – Begins with moderately sweet with malt and “dark fruits” although dates seem to predominate. The spices are well-blended into a mélange of flavor with no spice standing out. The sweetness is never cloying. It ends with a touch of alcohol (10% ABV) and a sweet coating of the palate. No hops, no diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide.
Palate – 4 – Medium to full, creamy, soft carbonation.
Impression and summation – 4 - Overall, a good example of a Belgian strong dark ale from the days before Ommegang began pimping bad TV shows.

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Photo of beergoot
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly hazy, burnt amber colored body; one-finger thick head, dense and foamy; some streaks of foam along the glass. Sweet caramel aroma; dates and other molasses and brown sugar; dark, pitted fruits. The taste mirrors the smell; a sweeter fruitiness is present; winter holiday spices; candi sugar; gets a bit boozy towards the finish. Heavy body; some strong residual sugar presence; coarse on the palate with carbonation; warm and toasty.

I may be late in drinking a winter ale near the start of Spring, but this beer still hits the spot (especially since I like strong, malt-forward ales anytime of the year). Rich and complex, decently balanced with a mostly sweet and roasted grain feel, the alcohol pretty well tamed.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a Corsendonk chalice. The appearance was a hazy burnt/ruddy brown color with a quickly dissipating slim finger-ed white foamy head. Thin speckled lacing slides into the beer at a decent pace. The smell starts off with sweet Belgian sugars, end up sliding into some Belgian spices. Light citrus and some cocoa powder. The taste was basically the same with a sweet ruddy breadiness to it. Sweet Belgian sugars bounce into the aftertaste and gives a quick dry finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium in body with a fair sessionable to sipping feel about it. Carbonation feels good, somewhat light. Smoothness creates a slight stickiness on my tongue. Overall, no wonder they call it "Adoration," what an absolutely wonderful Belgian strong ale. I know I’d have again.

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Photo of q33jeff
1.78/5  rDev -56.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

On Tap at Joe Canals; 2 liter Growler to pint glass, same day.

AROMA: Oak, Pine, Mint?
LOOK: Yellowish Brown, ugly.
TASTE: Really Woody, with turpentine finish. Sourness and Yeast.
FEEL: Astringent and Acidic.
A lot of flavor, but not good flavor; this is very unpleasant. Interesting beer.


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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the bottle, it pours a hazy brown with a small head, quickly dissipating to a ring. Sweet and fruity in the nose. The mouth is A bit sweet and a alcoholic. Kicks like a mule. Wow!

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Photo of Beginner2
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Over two years between the rating and the review, the cellared copy for the review now bumps up the rating mostly because this ale mellowed. All the spices now seem to meld into a seasonal stew that blends what the Three Wise Men brought (spices from the Middle East) with what we now adapt in the north where barley makes the beverage.

Looks are modest compared to the Smell and Taste which are dark fruity and differently spiced and, let's say, miraculously millennial inspiring... or at least the ale does its job and lets me know that better days are ahead. Adoration sits in the mouth fine and I am amazed that 10% ABV is hard to detect. Overall points won for all of the above.

I cannot remember seeing Adoration lately and hope that Ommegang releases it again so I can cellar it for melding.

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Photo of tyjudd
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Two inch head quickly faded to very little. Minimal lacing in the glass. Smell of oranges right away but winter spices quickly takes over. An estery quality is in the background. They taste begins with the Oranfes and coriander, as well as with cinnamon and nutmeg. A warm alcohol finish gets better as it warms. I also get apple cider sweetness as it finishes. Almost a harsh quality as the carbonation is fairly solid.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pretty nice for something so openly forward of spice and additions I don't normally fawn over. It's all very nicely balanced and works well as a warming winter ale without being audacious.

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Photo of KonigObHops
4.86/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer poured from the bottle a hazy rich brown color with hardly any head. What there was of the head was tan.

The aroma was extremely sweet. The orange zest was prominent, and it almost smelled like bourbon to me.

The initial taste was extremely sweet to the point of seeming syrupy. There are so many tastes going on in the middle that it is tough to distinguish one from another. At the end it warms on the younger and has a sweet somewhat smokey finish. This is one complex beer!

The mouth feel is light, with a slightly higher level of carbonation.

Overall, this is a fascinating beer. Christmas ales are my favorite type of beer. This ranks among the best I have ever had. It is sweet and complex. It is loaded with spices that mix together quite nicely. This is definitely one of the top five beers that I have had.

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Photo of PatrickCT
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip.

a: Orange mahogany body underneath a light 2 finger beige head that dissipated quickly. Minimal lace with lively carbonation.

s: Wassail and Ricola spices, plum, golden currents.

t: Doughy bread, candi sugar, mulling spice, orange rind. Spice and alcohol finish that cools as it warms.

mf: Medium body, smooth with a lingering spicey finish accentuated by the high level of carbonation.

o: A full flavored but balanced holiday sipper that mellows as it warms. It can be a little hot but just treat this like a cocktail!

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Photo of bsk295
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great brewery. This beer was aged for a year. The beer had a light flavor and would be a good afternoon beer. the flavor develops as the beer moves towards room temperature.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark ruby/mahogany color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a thin cap with a ring of lace

S: Very malty, with lots of winter spices and moderate sweetness. Dark fruits and alcohol in the back

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with a bit of spicy Belgian yeast, winter spices, and dark fruits. Goes into some estery alcohol and light sweetness. Finishes with lingering winter spices and warming alcohol

M: Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation

O: A solid winter sipper with lots of Belgian and winter spice influence. The flavors really open up and develop as it warms up. Definitely one to try once the weather gets cold

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Photo of bmeehan
4.71/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer is exactly what I feel a lot of other beers try to be when they mix distinct flavors. This is equally spicy and sweet, but the flavors aren't in competition with each other and it makes for a fantastic beer. This is probably the best winter ale I've ever had that actively distinguishes itself from all other winter beers without going overboard and making some strange, gimmicky beer whose recipe will need to be altered every year.

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Photo of TH28
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle. Packaged 9/11/14. Appearance: Light brown and clear with reddish/orange hue. Minimal cream colored foam cap. Aroma: Orange peel, coriander, and Belgian fruity esters (apple). Hint of maltiness. Taste: Rich caramel malt sweetness with intense spice and orange peel. Noticeable pear fruitiness and nutmeg like spice. Like a spiced quad. Just enough bitterness to balance the intense malt and spice flavors. Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderately high carbonation with noticeable alcohol warmth. Finish: Finishes malty with lingering spice, pear, and orange peel. Overall: A really well done spiced quad. Orange peel, spices, and Belgian esters combine perfectly

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Fluffy, lumpy 2” light tan to cream head, deep reddish brown body, very fine creamy bubbles, leaves legs on the glass.
S: Spicy malt, hop dark dried fruit – especially prune and raisin,
T: malty, chocolatey, some bitterness in the background, some of the bitterness may be coming from the spice, complex flavors, a lingering alcoholic spicey after taste, chocolate, some sweetness.
F: Full body, chewy, creamy, some alcohol warming that grows, no astringency.
O: Very luscious, the texture and the full bodied creaminess really add to this beer, the complex malt flavors, spices and alcohol, very well worth repeating.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #83 (Dec 2013):

Adoration screams winter, a huge beer to take on but is welcoming from start to finish. Spicing and alcohol are very well balanced against the massive malt backbone. Sip after sip brings us right back to Belgium, a must have by all.

STYLE: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
ABV: 10.0%
AVAILABILITY: Winter Seasonal

LOOK: Opaque dark brown, nice show of head & lacing

SMELL: Christmas pudding; boozy, malt sweetness, orange pith, ginger, allspice, candied fruit, cake batter

TASTE: Thick body, creamy, semi-slick, smooth carbonation, massive maltiness, warming, broth, caramel, cardamom, orange peel, mace, yeast cake, brown bread, carob powder, drying finish

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Photo of Floydster
3.46/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle

Appearance is medium brown with a hint of red, frothy light tan head, good lacing

Smell is oranges, berries, candied sugar, brown sugar, allspice, nutmeg, pumpkin pie, coriander, thyme, cardamom, little much going on here

Taste is sweet berries and orange up front with sweet malts in the finish, sweet candied sugar once it warms with even more citrus, spicy notes come through later with the coriander leading the pack

Mouthfeel is full bodied, still somewhat creamy, can be a little cloying once it warms, balanced between sweet and spicy though

Overall it is not a bad winter warmer, smell was a little much for me, but other than that above average, would be interesting to taste this aged for five years or so

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Photo of vkv822
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz into tulip pint.

Dark fruits, apple, spices, caramel, toffee notes. Almost no hint at the high, 10% ABV.

Medium bodied, subtle carbonation.

A very well done ale.

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Photo of coltonbrimhall
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

-nice head and body dark color with a red tint
-smell is to mellow and didnt release as much aromas as i wished
-taste is very good light corriander and some dark fruit but not as noticeable as the alcohol
-ignites a burn but smooth and pleasant none the less
-overall a great beer first i have had from the company but it was a good beer

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed from a growler in a snifter glass. This awesome Belgian pours a rich reddish brown with a nice tan head that dissipates to a thin beaded bubbled thick ring and thin layer of pooling foam with light lacing. Nose of sweet Belgian malts, brown sugars, coriander, light mace and allspice, and strong booze. Flavors outperform the nose with sweet malts to the front and sides, brown sugars and candy sugars make merry with light coriander and allspice and mace notes. Smooth slick mouth feel finishes ever so slightly dry with a sweet, lightly spiced aftertaste. A fantastic Belgian made in America with loving care. Fantastic!


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Photo of RossiDaMan
3.3/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle poured into a Nonic pint. Deep brown/coffee-like color. 1.5 finger head that melted quickly with minimal lacing. Nice aroma hitting on a touch of orange - I didn't pick up on the other spices listed on the label. Taste: another reviewer mentioned mustiness which is spot on but unfortunately it was a negative for me. Overall this one grew on me by the time I finished but the first 8 oz were just OK-- perhaps the 10% ABV was talking down the stretch.

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Photo of tone77
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a very dark amber color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of fruits, spices. Taste is dark fruits, malts, spices, some alcohol, a bit sweet at the finish. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: hazy brown with some red in the body; sediment floating around as well; effervescent; medium sized frothy head, long lasting with good lacing.

Smell: sweet malts; candi sugar; coriander and cardamom notes apparent; slight orange peel aroma; smells fantastic

Taste: sweet malts with candi sugar right up front; citrus hits quickly, too; mace and cardamom stands out pretty well also, almost like German speculatius cookie; finishes smooth with a little bit of dryness on the end; very well balanced and delicious with a big kick

Mouthfeel: creamy and smooth

Remarks: very nicely done; I love this one

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Adoration from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 1144 ratings