Ommegang Zuur | Brewery Ommegang

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Ommegang ZuurOmmegang Zuur

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A beautifully made, carefully blended, and well-aged sour beer, (it is aged on cherries) made in collaboration with Brouwerij Liefmans of Belgium. Ommegang brewmaster Phil Leinhart went to the Liefmans brewery in Oudenaarde, Belgium, and worked side by side with their master blender to create a distinctive beer unlike any other. Complex, lightly malty, tart, ruby color, with just a touch of hops. (Zuur means "sour "in Dutch).

Added by drabmuh on 06-06-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 212 | Ratings: 320
Photo of bluesplit63
1.89/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I am yet to negatively rate a beer, but this is my first.

Poured a medium brown color with a scent of hops.

There was a non-existing head, possibly because of lack of care at the liquor store where I purchased it.

The taste was unforgettable. Almost as if I was eating old sour patch kids. My taste buds cringed at every little sip. It was overpoweringly sour in taste.

I understand that this MAY be the style of the beer, but for me it was my first drain pour.

I will never purchase this beer again.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I couldn't believe it when I saw a few bottles left at D&L truck stop...

The beer is an enchanting dark brown that is layered under a dense, light-tan head. There is thick lacing that sticks to the inside of the glass. The head falls apart rather quickly, but was very inviting and fluffy.

There are typical notes of Belgian spiciness from the yeast along with sweetness from the malt, but there is also a subtle zing. There are notes of vanilla and cherries with a slight touch of wood and tobacco. The one thing that I tend to hate about sours is when they overpower the beer's other aromas with vinegar. However, Zuur smells remarkably well balanced with the vinegar complementing the beer's other strong aromatics.

The balance that is first detected in the nose carries over to the beer's taste. There is malt sweetness that mixes with a whole mouthful of puckering tartness. The acidic nature of this beer keeps me salivating past any chance of a lingering aftertaste. The body richness of this beer is what helps keep me from being overwhelmed by its sourness.

Biting vinegar and carbonation with a sweet backbone compete for attention. I love the deep fruitiness combining with the refreshing/palate-cleansing sourness.

This was a terrific beer for $11.50/750mL. There is a huge amount of character and flavor to this beer. I appreciate a sour that isn't completely overpowered by vinegar. This one does the trick.

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Photo of Sam21
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. No packaged on, or best by date. This was released as a part of their limited release schedule in July of 2010. Poured into tulip.

Appearance – Dark brown body with wonderful cherry red accents. Nice creamy off-white head (borders on light brown), that fades down to respectable ring after a few minutes. Looks nice.

Smell – First and foremost, the aroma is tart. There is a nice dark fruit presence as well and even a bit of a roasted note hidden beneath the tart aromas.

Taste – Sourness grabs your tastebuds up front and holds on until midway through. At this point, the dark fruit enter and slowly the flavor profile becomes softer and sweet, as the sour notes fade into the distance. The sweetness is fruity with an extremely subtle hint of caramel. The finish is somewhat short, sweet, with some residual tartness. The dark fruit mingle well with the sourness and remind me of biting into a sour plum. Sweetness is present, but only as a balancing agent. Pleasant from start to finish.

Mouthfeel – Light bodied and soft on the palate. The carbonation scrubs the taste buds clean and helps accent the tart notes.

Drinkability – This is a solid collaboration beer with a lot to offer. There could be more of a complex profile beneath the sour notes, but what is there is just fine. I'm not sure how this beer evolved as it aged, but take that for what it is.

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Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Zuur Ommegang

A: This has an off amber, light brown with a murky sudsiness to it. It has those characteristic tiny ommegang bubbles that are very pleasant.

S: The smell is a sour cherry with some currant and tart grape.

T: The taste is a light bubbly borderline flemish ale with a nice clean finish. However, for the ambitious style, it feels like Junior Varsity grade in an otherwise respectable sport.

M: It has a great sweetness to it with a mild tartness to it that reminds me a bit of cherry jolly ranchers. Ultimately it reminds me of consecrations little brother, but overall, it is very pleasant and berrylicious.

D: This is an exceptionally drinkable sour. It is not so tart that it is offputting, however, its mildness makes it a lesser contender in the sour field. It almost comes off like a type of a hybrid side saddling between two distinct styles. It’s tough to knock it though because in the end it is very tasty.
Narrative: Talk about a sweet gig. Back in 2004, Nancy Druthers never thought that being a Facebook switchboard operator to administer pokes would blow up into a full time job. “NANCY WE GOT TOO MANY POKES COMIN THROUGH! YOU GOTTA SPEED UP THE LINE!” It seemed to her that somehow they would program around this dilemma, but, business is business. She very a bit soured at the prospect of another day of dragging and dropping pokes ad infinitum to people she would never meet, however, it was mildly fulfilling. “NANCY FOR THE LOVE OF- YOU CANT TAKE A BREAK HOW WILL THESE PEOPLE MILDLY INTERACT!” She sighed and applied her cherry chapstick, mildly tart but ultimately a sweet person with a simple profile. Not on face book though.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle courtesy of jpmclaug. I split the bottle with Nick during a filming of a video review episode for our website. Poured into two globe glasses.

A: Medium to dark brown body with a fairly tan colored head, bubbly and sudsy. As Nick described it, it sort of looks like cola in the glass complete with carbonation bubbles clinging to the glass walls and all. Not a bad looking beer for the style but very murky and almost lifeless.

S: Immediately I noticed an off funky note that seemed to overwhelm the rest of the aromas. An obvious and substantial malt base is present. Dark sweeter and sour fruits come through a bit, red grapes and prunes. Unfortunately, it's nothing inviting and something seemed a bit odd to me.

T: A big pucker, tart and sourness blasts the palate initially though it's quickly smoothed out by the underlying malt backbone this beer needs. More dark fruits like red grapes and black cherries come through towards the end. It leaves with a sweetness on the palate and completely forgets about the sour and funk.

M: Very lively carbonation, bubbly and prickly while still remaining medium bodied. The finish leaves a slick and soda like finish but doesn't have any off flavors or residual stickiness you might expect.

Zuur definitely did not meet or deliver my expectations I had for this beer going into it. That's not to say this isn't a good beer as it is, but there needs to be some fine tuning to turn this into a highly drinkable Oud Bruin. In comparison to others I've sampled, I fit this towards the middle of the pack.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange brown, murky and fairly opaque with a thick tawny head of a good inch. Great lace forming, and as the head recedes it seems to become even more foamy and thick.

Not massively aromatic, but the mild cherry and oxidized malt go a long ways. The hint of malt males me want more, much more.

Tastes pretty strongly of over-fermented cherry, funky and tart and quite sour. The base blend seems to be a fairly dark brown malt, decent body. This one is thinned out with blending and lactic tartness. That the body has held up is a great compliment.

This beer is pretty sour, but the addition of cherries brings a mild fruit flavor maybe not accrssible to a strictly sour brew. This is a pretty great summertime drinking beer, and I highly recommend it.

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Photo of cooch69
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a deep reddish brown with a tight fine bubbly off white head.

Nose of candied apple, caramel malts and a really fine zingy tartness.

While drinking I was unaware that this beer was brewed with cherries. I was drinking a Gueuze before this and this beer did'nt taste as sour as it was at first but it opened up into a nice delicious mouthwatering tartness as my last beer faded off the palate. I got candied apples at first but than an immense amount of fresh tart cherries. Lots of carmalized malts and a nice juicy sweetness. This beer is medium/full bodied and packs a lot of flavour into one bottle. Definetly a Flander's that stands out.

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Photo of biga7346
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a murky, milk chocolate brown, tannish one finger of foam that dissipates quickly.

N - Winey, red wine vinegar, spices like cinammon, cloveish, nice blanket of chocolate malt imparts a toasty, charcoal element. Some funk, wet hay in the background.

T/M - Very tart cherry and granny smith apple puckering up front, some over carbonation, roastiness wraps around the acidity well along with heavy notes of balsamic vinegar, maybe dry sherry. Reminds me of chocolate covered cherries, suggestions of powdered sugar.

D - Great apertif, would be best paired with food, sessionable. I would like to try some tart, tangy cheese like a gouda or baby swiss.

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Photo of OddNotion
3.46/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle bs870621345, yet another big beer night!

Appearance: Deep brownish red with a light tan one finger head.

Smell: Funky, slightly sour, nothing terribly interesting. A little odd compared to others of the style.

Taste: Somewhat sour/tart. Funky, a little bit boring, slightly watery. I also get a little weird sweetness to it. I would not consider this among the better beers in the style.

Mouthfeel: To style, thicker but decently carbonated.

Overall: Its decent but not worth the pricetag. Good try but the flavors conflict a little bit too much.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.52/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a rich almost clear reddish-brown color with a finger of off-white frothy head atop. The head fades slowly down to a thin layer leaving behind some nice lacing in the process.

S - The aroma is bursting with sour cherry and sweet malt. There are also some background fruit esters and some bread mixed in as well.

T - The beer starts off with lots of sour and tart flavors. There is a nice mix of cherry and malt right off the bat. Through the middle, a mix of some bready flavor as well as some other fruits and some green apple comes through. The finish is a mix of sour and tart with some backing bread malt that lingers nicely.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer fees great from start to end with a nice balance on sour and tart on the tongue. These flavors also linger really nicely.

D - Very drinkable. The beer feels super complex and balance, even with the strong sour and tart flavors. From start to end, the sour and tart elements mix together at just the right levels to make for a really great beer.

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Photo of dbossman
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark amber/brown and hazy with a steady 2-inch head (great retention); lacing is good

S: Tart and vinous aroma: grapes and apples dominate; a touch of cider vinegar and a really nice bready sweet malt base

T: Fruity and tart up front: lots of fruity characteristics: grapes, apples, and wine; a solid bready malt base

F: Carbonated up front and a touch thin in the middle but enough beer sticks to the back of the mouth

O: A nice--not overly tart--sour; a pretty good representation of the style

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Photo of Icehouse57
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- A translucent mahogany color... I agree with a previous reviewer who said about a 1 1/2 finger head that dissipates to a ring around the edge.

Smell- Sour pears. A little bit of brett.

Taste- I got very little vinegar. I think the bacteria strain would have to be something along the lines of pediococcus and not the acetic strains associated with vinegar. Only because there aren't many strains that will go survive in a 6% beer. Tart cherries is what I get. Not much roast. Not overly sour, but definitely a good intro to the style.

Mouthfeel- Very clean... makes your salivary glands go crazy... and then 10 seconds later, its gone. Kind of a dry finish.

Overall- I can compare this to La Folie. Its not as sour, and is slightly more complex. Very nice beer. If you're ready to try something new, step out and try a sour.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.11/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at the Pour House, Westmont, NJ

This was good, but very sour (as is to be expected from the style). I doubt I could get through a whole pint of this, but once you get over the shock of the first sip, it's not that bad.

Poured a dark mahogany, with a...greenish-clear rim? A finger of frothy, off-white head. Aroma was not too strong, but there was a definite sourness going on, a tad phenolic. Big sour twang up front in the taste, sour grapes, cranberries, and apples, with bready malts and woodiness in the background. Medium mouthfeel, lip-puckering, drinkable if sour is your thing. Otherwise, you might want to sample this before committing to a full glass.

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Photo of mactrail
3.66/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Quite nice-looking in the glass with a coppery amber color. Head is robust and lacing nice as the glass is drained. Wine vinegar in the smell. Quite pleasant in the mouth and lots of champagne carbonation. Not much hoppiness. Plenty of fruit, and now and then the cherries come through strong.

Fairly light body. Interesting complexity. Quite drinkable and a good introduction to sour beers without the killer funk. Nose is very pleasant as you sip along with the tartness. Reminds me of pie cherries off the tree with a hint of bitterness.

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Light molasses brown. very translucent. virtually no head.

S: Smell reminds me a lot of a BSDA and/or quad w/ plums. theres a lot of dark belgian malt/sugar/yeast character to it. Smells slightly sour, with maybe the faintest hint of brett

T: Reversal of polarity with the smell: predominantly sour rather than bsda-esque, but only mildly sour. pretty much as described on the label "tart with a touch of sweetness"

M: Tart, mildly puckering (it doesn't help that my mouth is shredding from eating some really hard toast this morning). Not very drying. Other than the sour aspect the mouthfeel is thin.

O: Overall I really dig this beer (and this style, using Zuur as an introductory vantage point) but I feel like it doesn't wow

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Photo of bamadog
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pour is a dark mahogany brown that holds some ruby highlights when held up to the light; starts with a 1 and 1/2 finger light tan/off-white head with fair retention; while the body is dark, it does show decent clarity, and moderate carbonation bubbling up throughout; head eventually fades to a thin and nearly complete cap, with a thick and creamy/foamy ring around the surface; a few spots and strands of lacing are left behind.

Smell: Vinegar acidity reigns supreme; some tart and dark cherries come in behind it; smell is good, and it comes across quite strong.

Taste: Hmmm... I read in some earlier reviews that the flavors come across a little lighter in this one, and I strongly agree -- the flavors are good, but not quite as strong as I expected based upon the nose. The acidic vinegar sourness is the dominant flavor, and the tart cherries and a bit of an artificial/saccharine/candy-like sweetness (I'm always reminded of Smarties) lingers in the back behind everything else.

Mouthfeel: Body is between light and medium in terms of weight, and despite the lighter flavors, the tartness definitely provides a fair puckering sensation that makes me salivate a little bit; a thin, and semi-dry sticky coating covers the palate; belly is left warm from the acidity.

Overall: I like it, and if someone had never tried a Oud Bruin it would be a solid introduction as the flavors aren't going to wreck anyone's palate; not my favorite from Ommegang, but still a fun one to drink with the puckering mouthfeel and all, and a moderate ABV of only 6%, you don't have to worry about getting too intoxicated.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from growler into a Green Man snifter. Poured deep brown with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sour, vinegar, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, sweet tarts, dark fruit, and subtle bitter hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonaton. Overall this was a pretty tasty brew. It was very light on the flavors but the flavors that were there were quite nice and worked well together. The lighter flavors made this one very easy to drink. I would have no problem drinking a lot of this in one sitting. A definite must try!

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Photo of buschbeer
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle
Served in a flute

A - It pours copper colored with amber highlights. It is capped with one inch of beige head.

S - I get some funk and sourness in the aroma.

T - The taste is tart and sour, reminiscent of cherries.

M - Moderate

O - It is an enjoyable beer. I really like the tartness.

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Photo of Cresant
3.19/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 750 mL brown bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. No date on the label. The body was ruddy light brown with a tan head. A thin cap remained and left speckles of lace.

The smell was like SweeTarts candy. Mild with a tobacco like leafy aroma. Clean.

The taste was mild but nice. Slightly puckering sour taste with adrying finish. Woody and fruity. Perhaps a nice introduction to sours but not one I would seek out again.

The mouthfeel was maybe a little under-carbonated. Somewhat thin in the mouth. Not as good as most other Ommegang brews.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:
Pours a hazy plum/brown with a minimal head and of course, minimal lacing. A tiny bit of carbonation is noticible.
The smell is cherry, apple cider vinager and some country baked bread.
Tastewise, it is a bit heavy on the vinagar sour side. Lots of fruit and more vinager. 3
The mouth is light, with a bit of carbonation.
I have been on a sour beer kick recently but this style of sour obviously isn't for me. The price is high and the drinkability low. I wouldn't pass it up if it were handed to me, but I also wouldn't purchase another. 2.5

So a buddy of mine heard my assessment of this beer and told me that he'd spring for one and I should give it a second chance.
Second tasting started off similar, no change to appearance.
No real change in the smell, maybe a little more of a fruit essence this time around.
The taste is sour, and it is on the vinegar side, not quite as harsh as my first tasting. Plum, slight cherry and a bit of earth balance it out a bit better than the first bottle. Taste went from a 3 to a 4.
The mouth stayed even.
My second impression, good and almost worth the price. From a 2.5 to a 4.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle of unknown vintage courtesy of G311, thanks Vince! Pours a brown color with a reddish-tan, dense foam. Decent lace and retention.

Nose is mild for a sour, but shows some raspberry and cherry fruitiness with some sweetly toffee maltiness.

Taste shows some sourness, but not a whole lot of depth. Body is paper thin, very light bodied beer. Some cherry-esque fruit and the sourness makes this fairly tasty and very easy to drink, but there just is not alot of complexity here and overall just has a 'light' feel to it. I was expecting more from Brewery Ommegang...but aside from the Dubbel, I cant think of the last time I was impressed by them.

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Photo of nova009
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to a buddy of my for locating this one for me when everywhere else had sold out

Poured from a corked bomber into my ommegang glass

A- pours a hazy dark brown with a slight red tint, a nice fluffy one finger off white head emerges, slowly dissipates down to a nice covering, spotty lacing

S- nice nose, very acidic from the start, nice tart funk follows, dark fruits, plums and cherries, somewhat sweet as well

T- wow tart, lips puckered immediately upon taking a sip, very acidic, some green apple and tart cherry, very sour

M- light/medium body, medium to slightly high carbonation, finishes dry like a wine

O- personally i thought this was a very solid beer, i was surprised with how sour this was, its hard to find a good sour and it was fairly hard to acquire this bottle, if i can get another one this summer i'm gonna try

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Photo of jwinship83
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged bottle drank from my duvel tulip. been looking forward to this one for a while now.

A- this one pours out a murky dark brown colored body with ruby red highlights along the edges of the glass. a frothy beige colored head sits on top. the head is slow to fall and leaves behind nice and solid rings of lacing.

S- the first thing i think about the nose on this one is acidic. after that i get some fruity notes. plum, cherries, raisins, dates, figs, and green apple skins. the smell seems to fall off after that, even as it warms.

T- the taste begins with some strong fruity notes that quickly turns acidic. plums, raisins, green apple skins, cherries, and dates. once again, after the fruits im left with little else.

M- the body is on the lighter side of medium. the carbonation is on the higher side of medium. the alcohol is well hidden. the finish is dry. slightly puckering.

O- overall, i wish this beer was stronger in all ways. the flavors seem to work, but i would like to see more. the sourness would also benefit from some beefing up. this is a solid american attempt at the style that is widely distributed. i appreciate that.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml, 6% abv. Cloudy mahogany color, with some ruby hues. White head disappears rather quickly.

Sour cherries, vinegar, oak, plums and some earthy notes in the nose. Fairly simple, but enjoyable.

Sour cherries, but pretty sharp on the sour edge. Ripe fruit. Drying oak character rounded out by some earthy bitterness. Sour character is not puckering, but adds a nice touch. Good acidity, without being too vinegar-like.

Lighter body, with a higher, active carbonation feel. Easy to drink, and pretty refreshing. Nice beer. This may lack the complexity of others in the style, but still a solid effort.

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Photo of akorsak
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 750 mL bottle from Sam the Beer Man's in Binghamton, NY. Shared with ksak.

A: The Flemish ale is apple butter in color, a darker reddish brown hue that is opaque. A small head, off-white like an eggshell, is a wispy band.

S: The nose is acetic, albeit light. Cold, there's nothin' doing. Allowed to warm up, the ale

T: Tart up front, a combination of sour funk and vinegar make a mark. They are fleeting, not lasting long enough to make a strong impression. Sour cherries follow, adding to the tartness. Wood, oaken with vanilla, is a nice touch, taking the place of the sour tartness. Not nearly as sour or tart as I was expecting, resulting in a nice sipper.

M: The mouthfeel has cherry and oak, with the barrel driving the harder bargain. I'd like more tart bite though.

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Ommegang Zuur from Brewery Ommegang
3.83 out of 5 based on 320 ratings.
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