Brewery Ommegang

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Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #16
Ranked #2,972
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
Reviews by Hoptometrist:
Photo of Hoptometrist
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from the bottle into a teku glass. The ninth beer of my 2014 twelve beers of Christmas.

A- Poured a very dark and murky brown color with a giant fluffy off-white white that left lots of dense and chunky lace.

S- Big dark fruit notes of raisins, plums, and black cherries. Quite a bit of Belgian yeast spice notes and nutmeg.

T- Lots of big juicy black cherry flavor, raisins, plums, lots of belgian yeast noes, nutmeg, and some bitter orange peel. Finishes with a pretty high level of bitterness for the style.

M- BIg alcohol warming and pretty big alcohol burn, full bodied, a little sticky, and finishes pretty dry.

O- This is definitely a big warmer for the winter. It is pretty boozy, but the hop bitterness and dryness make this boozy beer a lot easier to go down.Lots of really nice juicy fruit flavors and some nice Belgian yeast and spice character for balance.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Jeffreysan
4.96/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous, deep, dark, mahogany color, with three fingers of off-white head that was specked with orange highlights. The head quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Tons of spice! Coriander, ginger, orange-peel, cardamom, Belgian yeast, malt. A little musty, but in that funky Belgian yeast/barnyard way.

Taste: Awesome!! Strong notes of Belgian yeast and spice, such as coriander, orange-peel, ginger, all-spice, followed by malt and more malt. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Chewy, but with some great carbonation! With an ABV of 10%, there is definitely a presence of alcohol on the palate, imparting a nice, pleasant alcohol warmth in the mouth.

Overall: Goddamn, this is an excellent beer! I love the spices and the yeast! It’s absolutely delicious! I’m getting this beer every year it’s released!

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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 jmalex
3.33/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This review was done on 12-19-09 while BA was down.

Breaking out the winter warmers and heavy hitters on this crazy snowy day in the northeast.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a Hennepin tulip a reddish amber-brown with a sparkling, tight-bubbled head on top. It's fairly small at first and gradually shrinks to a thick collar with a bunch of patchwork foam across the surface.

SMELL: Whoa spices! Cinnamon, coriander, something really flowery, and a bunch of others I can't identify. They really smack you in the face an keep what seems to be a nice base beer from coming out. Some toffee, fruity Belgian esters, and just a hit of alcohol are really all I can get from underneath the blanket of an entire spice cabinet.

TASTE: A much more reasonable beer here with the spice now showing a bit of restraint. It's a deeper, more robust beer than the smell lets on with dark chocolates and dates and those kinds of rich tastes coming out. And the spicing is more focused on the less-desserty ones giving the beer a nice balance. The finish is high on chocolate, but the sweet spices hang on too.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium bodied but a high, spritzy carbonation eases that up nicely.

DRINKABILITY: Not bad, but for anyone that isn't tolerant of high spices, this may be a bit of a chore. Otherwise, the 10% alcohol is hidden nicely and the mouthfeel makes it quite easy to toss down.

A nice attempt and I like the base beer a lot, but it could use a bit of work. Luckily, being snowed in, I've got all day to work on this.

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

750ml corked and caged bottle.

It pours beautifully to start. It is a nice dark plum/fuchsia with a big foamy tan head that billows high. It sticks for a nice while as well.

It smells pretty nice as well. I would have perhaps dropped the cardamom, but overall it smells very wintry and spicy. The spices really take over in this one. There is a nice underlying sweetness, but it is mostly herbal/spice.

The flavor continues with the spice. Again the Cardamom is up front. The mace and grains of paradise add a nice spiciness and the coriander gives it that spicy body. The orange peel is an addition to the sweet malt with lacks any sort of bitterness.

It really is a winter warmer; Cuddling up with this beer is the ultimate relaxation on a cold winter's night.

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Photo of SadMachine
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of JarMills
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of Cbmccarthy
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of TLA
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of neophilus
3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a burnt amber color, fiery yet hazy with some lacing on the thin head. First aroma is a whiff of musty yeast quickly followed by strong cinnamon smell.

Cinnamon tastes may be from the Cardamom on second look at the bottle label. The Cinnamon continues strongly in the malty body, with some nutmeg (mace?) to go with it. There is a very light hop bite up front.

The body continues through with a strongly spiced cinnamon/nutmeg flavor that accentuates some alcohol heat at the end. The beer finishes with more spices and some alcohol fumes making it hot in the aftertaste.

The alcohol heat and strong spicing definitely encourage you to sip this beer at a warm temperature. Perhaps what the brewery was envisioning as a strong winter ale. I enjoyed but there was a bit too much alcohol in the finish for my taste.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of Mike099
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of AuntBea
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of wrightst
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ommegang's new beer is a winter offering, unveiled on Oct. 10. It pours a deep red or copper and appears cloudy. I don't drink beer for its head or lacing, so who cares about such nonsense?

I could smell the spices right off, but couldn't isolate any. It's a nice package. Of course, I also notice the alcohol (at 10% it's hard not to) and a lovely citrus quality.

The taste and the mouth feel were luxurious. Again the spices are immediate as is the alcohol. I could pick out the orange a bit, but again, it was really the whole blend I noticed most. Although it's a sipping beer, I was tempted to indulge more quickly. The flavors make for a richly complex Belgian style experience. Better than most of the Belgian winter seasonals I have had.

Overall, a damn fine beer!

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Photo of DomingoOrtiz
2.28/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

I should have read the label more closely.

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Photo of BMan33
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of AMcT22
5/5  rDev +21.4%

A great brew. Lots of flavor, & great, dark hints of spice with a sweet aftertaste. Never a let down with any Brewery Ommegang beers, in my opinion.

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

Very enjoyable spiced Belgian Ale. Poured from a 750 ml corked and caged bottle into a pint glass. Murky mahogany color. Good sized light tan head, very bubbly and holds up well despite the 10% abv. Very little lacing.

Smell is bready malts and the spices. Coriander, cardamom and ginger are prominent. I don't know what mace smells like in a beer. Very pleasant.

Taste is similar. A malty backbone, not all that sweet. Plenty of spices but not the Christmas nutmeg/cinnamon potpouree variety. I tasted the cardamon and ginger..

Mouthfeel is very good as well. Very rich, spicy, a little bitterness and nicely carbonated. No hint of the 10% abv. A slow sipper based on taste only. Not aware of the high abv while drinking it.

This is a nice slow sipper. Light enough for year round but still very rich. Another winner from Ommegang.

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, bottled on 03/30/13, best before 08/2018. Poured into a tulip glass. Careful pour to keep the sediment out.

Appearance: Hazy amber to ruby red with shades of brown. Light tan head. Persistent strands of lacing noted. Beer glows a bit when held up to the light.

Smell: Lots of spices - hard to pick them out at first. Can definitely pick up the orange peel along with a hint of tart cherry under it all, but surprisingly muted for something with so much in the way of spices in it.

Taste: Very complex. Very spicy front, then boozy cherry / spice / caramel malty sweetness. Finish is spices again, some orange peel bitterness. Belgian yeast flavors also come out toward the end right before the citrus bitter finish. Malt sweetness more pronounced as the beer warms up past 50 F.

Mouthfeel: Airy carbonation, mild spicy burn, very warming from the higher ABV, but not an alcohol burn, it's definitely a mild warm from the alcohol.

Overall / Drinkability: A beer for slow sipping and savoring. Highly complex with all the spicy notes; they're right there at the tip of your tongue, but fleeting so you can't exactly pick them out. If you keep going back for more and more sips to figure out what they are, you'll be in trouble quick. Alcohol is hidden, but it is there just enough to tap you on the shoulder and remind you this is a winter night for sipping slowly and perhaps retiring for bed early. Drink too fast and you'll be in trouble, and the beer has enough flavor and nuances to keep pulling you back in for more in a quick manner. So if you listen to the beer and just go along for the rich spiciness of it all at a leisurely without trying to figure everything out you'll be fine. Try to break into what it's all about and you'll be done for. Therefore, I overall feel this is a great beer for a winter's night, and probably even with the right dessert this beer would be awesome. Drinkability though, I think one is enough for me, but, I could see how this could drag me into another and another until I'm in deep deep trouble and would be best adoring my bed in hibernation mode.
Does make me wonder what this beer would be like with cellaring as recommended on the bottle. Might it mellow out and not be as warming? Would the spices come out more or muddle together to make more of a mulled beer flavor? I think I need to find out.

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Photo of aminobutyricacid
3.25/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of polloenfuego
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a 12 oz bottle to a snifter.

Bottle date Sept 2013

A: pours a lovely chestnut brown with an immense head that seems like it lasts forever. Once it finally does break it leaves some interesting lacing and a fair amount of foam as a cap.

S: dark fruits, yeasts, caramel, some hints of molasses and a maltiness.

T: much like the nose, dark fruits and caramel are up front as spices and yeast follow.

M: full bodied with higher carbonation. The booze does come through a touch but not enough to detract from the other aspects.

O: Adoration is a nice Winter time BSDA that I quite enjoyed. I think it will only benefit from age, but even in this young state it was full of flavor and character. As a fan of Belgian styles I must give hats off to Ommegang.

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Photo of awess1221
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Great rich dark color
Very flavorful spiced complexity
Boozy but not overpowering
Just the right amount of everything
Reminded me of an old fashioned Christmas

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.16/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a fairly clear dark brown with a tannish 2 finger head that shows good retention and lacing.

Typical BSDA phenols and esters, but the spices really don't work in my mind and throw the whole beer out of whack toward a peppery/orangey realm.. too much.

I respect the effort, but don't care for the overall package.


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Photo of TMoney2591
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dirty John's tulip pint glass.

Thanks to Matt for sharing this bottle!

Time to see how this thing stacks up after a year of absence. It pours a hazy ruby-amber topped by a finger of cream foam. The nose comprises cinnamon, nutmeg, chamomile, banana, clove, pepper, and some light chocolate. The taste does not want to deviate much from this at all, though the spices come through decidedly more...spicy...more pronounced and in-your-face. The body is a straight medium, with a light carbonation and a grainy feel. Overall, a nice Winter brew, but the spices were just a bit too much for my liking.

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