Gnomegang | Brewery Ommegang

454 Reviews

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Malts: Pilsner, Carapils, Flaked Oats, flaked Red Wheat, Special B
Hops: two Saaz varieties, 3 additions
Spices: none
Sugar: yes
Yeast: Chouffe yeast in primary fermentation, Ommegang yeast in bottle conditioning
OG: 19.9 o Plato
FG: 2.9 o Plato
IBU: 26

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-10-2011

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Reviews: 454 | Ratings: 1,560
Photo of mrpoizun
1.3/5  rDev -68.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.25

First of all, this is a Belgian-style blonde ale, NOT a pale ale. This beer was from
I normally don't rate beer styles that I don't like, but I got this beer in an assortment of New York state brewery beers given to me as a gift.and I drank it knowing only that it was labeled a blonde ale. Blonde ales often are nothing more than light beers, so I generally avoid the style altogether. However, in this case, with its 9.5% abv, Gnomegang can in no way be considered a light beer. In any case, I took my first drink thinking this was nothing more than your typical blonde ale, not having looked closely at the label.
First impression was an astringent, acidic taste, citric acid perhaps, but pretty much overwhelmingly acidic. Startled, I took my first look at the label and saw for the first time that this was a Belgian style blonde ale. Two strikes, as I normally avoid any beer labeled "Belgian" because of the odd taste that always seems to accompany that style of beer. In any case I finished the bottle, despite the strong chemical aftertaste that did nothing to improve the original impression.
It goes without further explanation that this beer did nothing to change my impression of Belgian-style beers. Truly something I hope never to mistakenly taste again.

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Photo of BarleyHawley120
1.9/5  rDev -53.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I had this at Oblivion Tap Room here in Orlando Florida and was very unimpressed with it. It poured well in a cloudy gold tint with a nice head. It smelled slightly of cloves with hints of what I thought was bananas. As soon as I tried it, it easily was one of the worst beers that I have had recently. I could not taste what was going on with it. Not balanced at all but very complex and left a sweet bitter after taste. You could taste nothing but the cloves. I could not finished it, for me it was that bad. Possibly I got a bad batch but will not take the change of ordering it again.

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Photo of jmarsh123
2.43/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours cloudy orange with a minimal white head.

Very sweet aroma. Smells like gingerbread with some banana, clove and bubblegum with a little funkiness.

Eww way too sweet. Starts off with some cloying sweet bread character. Banana is somewhat presence, but the clove then overpowers and it finishes sweet and clovey. Accentuates all the worst aspects of the style.

Medium bodied with adequate carbonation.

I found this completely horrible. The clove was way overdone and the sweetness provided a weird character. Had I been drinking it by myself, it probably would've ended up down the drain, but I gutted through my ~7 oz.

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Photo of fscottkey
2.56/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: [3.50] Pours a very cloudy pale straw color. The head has large white bubbles at 1 1/2 fingers. The bottle lists the ABV (9.5%) and a born on date (9/30/14). The date is *really* hard to read - it is black on black.

S: [2.50] Pungent, spicy, funky. Wheat-y? (is that a word thing?)

T: [2.25] Strong wheat and yeast up front. Very pronounced. I thought there was a hint of hard apple cider, in the beginning, but it was less noticeable over time.

M: [3.00] High carbonation and zing on the tongue.

O: [2.75] Wheat beers are not my thing and this is on the less desirable end of that spectrum. I just did not enjoy this beer. Don't read my review if you like wheat beers.

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Photo of TheDoorman
2.68/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Golden ale with grassy, yeasty aroma and sweet, sugary palate that coats your mouth.

Unbalanced. Too sweet. Nothing special.

The last few beers I have had from Ommegang have not met my expectations. I fear that have they have increased output they have decreased in quality.

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Photo of SirSketch
2.98/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Ranges in color from dark yellow to orange, with about a half inch of solid, foamy head.

S - Spicy, phenolic yeast character explodes out of this beer. A pear, apple and lemon fruitiness come next. Moderate amount of alcohol, too. Tons of aroma bursting from the top of my tulip glass.

T - Very perfume-like and peppery tastes. Sugary, chalky sweetness tastes too much like a Flintstones vitamin. The aftertaste is pleasant, with a clean malty finish.

M - Again, a little chalky at first, but finishes cleaner.

O - With the high caliber of the two breweries involved, I expected more from this collaboration, but this beer really needs polishing. Also, I suggest drinking this pretty cool, as it gets much too boozy as it warms.

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Photo of TheBeerMaster1
3.12/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ommegang has the most beautiful beer, BUT their beer is very mediocre to me. They did not try to hide the abv in this one, super boozy. Has that weird after taste the rare vos had. Yeasty, too much coriander and wasn't a typical blonde ale.

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Photo of matjack85
3.13/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I got to try this at my brother-in-law's house for Thanksgiving. The beer came as part of a 3pk of Omegang beers, with each 750ml brown bottle representing a different style of Belgian ale. This one is a Belgian blonde.

The beer poured a slightly hazed golden color with a 1-finger white head. The head retention was decent as was the amount of lacing left behind.

Mild smell of candied sugar, pears, and alcohol.

Let this one warm up a bit before drinking it. You get more flavor out of it the closer it gets to room temperature. That said, I am still not a fan of beers where alcohol is the main flavor, and that is the case with this offering. Once you get past the strong alcohol taste, you'll get a good dose of sweet pale malts and juicy fruits from the Belgian yeast. Pear is the main fruit flavor but there are also others such as tart apple and lemon. At just 19 IBU's, hop bitterness is minimal. The slight spiciness must be coming from the alcohol as this beer is brewed without spices.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with medium body and moderate carbonation.

If they could have hidden the alcohol better I would have rated this much higher, but as is, I can only give it a C+ grade.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.15/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The look is very pale with a nice lace nothing to special.

The aroma is fruity with apple and a slight citrus with yeast backing.
The taste is carbonation and a mix of yeast upfront.. The yeast is spicy and leaves a slight candy flavor. All other flavors are subdued as the beer seems unbalanced.

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Photo of mactrail
3.16/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Clear and sparkly. Attractive golden color with a wispy head in the Ommegang chalice. The head is not a long-lasting as you would hope. The sediment breaks loose with floating chunks, so my advice is to make one careful pour the first time.

This is not notably well-carbonated or creamy. Sweet with a powerful flavor reminiscent of a Hefeweizen with lots of oranges. Huge overdose of clove flavor takes over the scene. Yeasty bitterness lasts into the aftertaste.

This has the family characteristic of just too damn much yeasty intensity. The flavor is good, it's just totally relentless. It give you no space for savoring. A water chaser is needed. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Bottlecraft in San Diego.

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Photo of oline73
3.28/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had this on-tap at Max's, poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy light golden/amber with a half a finger of fluffy white head. No head remains except at the edge of the glass.

Smell: This beer has a mild smell. Sweet fruit and mild perfume. There is also some Belgian spice, banana, and I pick up some alcohol in the finish.

Taste: This beer is very sweet. I'm picking up a lot of malt, along with a perfume like fruitiness and Belgian spice. The finish is quite bitter and there is a hint of soap in the aftertaste. I also pick up some alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with mild delicate carbonation that tingles the tongue. The finish is very dry.

Overall: I can't say that I loved this beer. The aftertaste bugged me, and the hops and spice from the yeast didn't seem to get along. All that said, it's not a bad beer, just not for me.

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Photo of MUTINY
3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Super quick review.

For those who enjoy a banana-forward Belgian-style, this brew is for you. For me, too much banana. I mean, lots & lots of banana.

That said, it is complex & features some interesting yeasty flavors beyond the banana. I just can't get past that dominant banana note.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.36/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Sean via Wakefield... black body with some dark brown fringes, no carbonation... strong syrupy nose of molasses and raisins, the oak is really smooth adds a nice spicey note to the beer, some alcohol, but in your face and strong... the taste is too sryupy, raisins, lots of char, a bit of vanilla on the finish... worth trying, better than its parts

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.37/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Hops and Pie. Golden yellow color, minimal head. Aroma of strong Belgian yeast, fruity, spicy. Flavor was yeasty, very fruity, very Belgian. Not quite my cup of tea but a well made Belgian strong golden for sure. Would I order this again? No but I'd buy abotyle for my girlfriend, she liked it a lot.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
3.38/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a golden honey color with some prominent haze. Two Fingers of off white head recedes into a finger and lasts with some great retention. Some spotty lacing as it is sippped.

S- Starts of with an aggressive spicy character that is reminiscent of cracked black peppercorn and a balancing honey sweet aroma. Sweet and spicy. Clove and baking spices are mixed in for good measure. Surprisingly there is a nice leafy hop profile in the aroma with hints of lemongrass. What would a Belgian style be without some yeast in the aroma? Fruity yeast esters comprised of sun dried peach and apricot gives this brew a nice little zing. Finishes with a slightly hot alcohol presence that detracts from the overall aroma.

T- Has all the positive qualities of a Belgian Golden Ale however it is overwhelmingly alcoholic for the style and detracts from the overall flavor and makes my cheeks a bit to red. Initially clove, orange peel and spicy pepper blend on the palate. Yeast flavor and fruity pineapple and white grape juice flesh out nicely. Crisp and refreshing. Finish is again way to hot. Wish they had hidden the booze better. my taste buds are like teenagers sneaking into their parent's liquor cabinet.

MF- Medium body and carbonation with a slick and stingy (from the alcohol) mouthfeel.

D- Low drinkability.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.42/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into Portsmouth snifter.
A: Pours a deep apricot with about a finger of off-white head that quickly faded into a thin fizzy collar that left little lacing.
S: Notes of medicinal and syrupy fruits, Belgian yeast and cloying spices. I get a bit of apple juice and lemon zest as well as bubble gum and banana.
T: Syrupy, spicy and floral notes of Belgian yeast, golden fruits, a touch of earthy hops, banana, and apricots. I get a touch of caramel and doughy bread crust in the finish, and the aftertaste is drying with notes of light tobacco and booze.
M: Pretty thick and chewy mouthfeel actually. Carbonation was pretty ample as well over the medium-full body. Alcohol is actually pretty well hidden for being almost 10%.
O: Enjoyable all around but a bit too thick and syrupy sweet for me to fall head over heels for it.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
3.42/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a very faint head over a cloudy dirt-gold color with very little carbonation.

Aromas are very sweet - rich, white fruits including pineapple, apricot, and white grape. Touch of soapy hops and yeast.

Thick on the palate, with a continuation of the aromas in the flavor...apricot, peach fuzz, pineapple rhind, and unsalted crackers. Mouthfeel is thicker than the best versions of this style, and a little more carbonation would help to cut the alcoholic haze.

Don't get me wrong, this is a really tasty and enjoyable brew overall, and one that I'd buy again. But this style has some phenomenal varieties, and this one is right about average between the top and bottom... which is still a good feat, given that it's a collaboration.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.42/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A-cloudy golden orange with a nice white head

S-a burst of citrus and belgian spices in a fashion that reminds me of a witbier. the citrus scent is strong of tangerines. its a good strong scent.

T-comes in with a blast of tangerine and unwanted creaminess. its an odd creaminess that makes me wonder that the the bottle might not have this. there are some decent belgian spices, possibly some licorice. the strength is definitely not hidden in this one. the after-taste isn't strong but is dominated by the spice and alcohol.

M-medium and creamy carbonation with a creamy finish. its a bit strong.

D-i was glad to find this on tap with out having to buy a bomber to try it. this beer really reminds me of a very strong witbier. the ABV does hit quickly and makes it more difficult to finish. I think they could've made this a bit lighter and it would be a spectacular belgian for the summer.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Golden colored beer with a frothy white head that had decent retention. Nothing left on the sides.

S - Stone fruits, very sweet, lots of belgian yeast. A fair bit of honey in there.

T - Tastes a lot like it smells, which is very sweet. Strong yeast taste which is kind of off-putting but tempered by some syrupy sweetness. It's okay.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a syrupy feel.

O - I don't care much for this beer, it's okay, but nothing I'd ever drink again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

Thanks to JayQue for this bottle!

Best quasi-portmanteau name for a beer ever. It pours a lightly hazy tawny-straw topped by over a finger of white foam. The nose comprises loads of banana, wheat, very light cobweb, powdered sugar, and a few sprinkles of nutmeg. It's sweet, generally pleasant, and loaded with banana. The taste holds notes of banana peel, sharp orange rind, light lemon peel, sweet flowers, and light acetone. Man, this stuff really bites the tongue with bitterness! The body is a light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a lightly grainy feel. Overall, a decent brew, but the bitterness comes across as far too astringent for me, and to the partial detriment of the Belgian character, no less. A bit of a miss for me, even though everything else about it works nicely...

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Photo of Maayan
3.45/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Smells wheaty. Mild carbonation, mild flavor. Light bodied mouthfeel. Balanced hops/malt, slightly sweet with vanilla and orange notes. Maybe just my inexperience but it tases remarkably similar to a wit. Typical beer for me, goes down easy, could drink several of these - hides the 9.5% ABV well.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.49/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml brown glass bottle with cork and screw-cap served into a Brasserie Chouffe glass (25cl) in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. A million thanks to Schimlenhaumer out of New York for mailing this to me. I couldn't have tried it otherwise.

A: One finger head of slight cream, decent thickness, and poor retention - though in fairness the ABV is 9.50%. Colour is a cloudy yellow.

Sm: Very malty, light spice, and full barley. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Malt, some winter warmer evocative spices, and barley. A light lemon citrus ester is present, alongside some clove. Only a little alcohol comes through. Built and balanced well, but a touch simple. It doesn't have a clear focus, to its detriment, but it's still an enjoyable beer.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and crisp. Quite pleasant and complementary of the flavours of the body.

Dr: Hides its ABV extremely well. Very pleasant and easy to drink, but at the same time you wouldn't want to drink more than one bottle. It's good to try once, but I imagine the price doesn't justify repeated purchasing. I think the collaboration may actually have hurt the quality of the beer in this case; I have full confidence in both breweries independently.

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Photo of rangerred
3.49/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a hazy dark straw color with a tiny fizzy head that quickly dissipates. No lacing or head at all.

Aroma is of peaches and oranges. Some yeast presence as well as alcohol.

The taste is very citrusy up front. Oranges and peaches dominate with a heavy boozy sweetness throughout. A moderate bitterness comes in at the end and lingers throughout the finish.

Overall I wasn't greatly impressed with this beer. I feel the sweetness is just too much and I was done after one glass.

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Photo of engagechad
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as a bottle from costco in a pack with a glass - tulip

Pours a hazy yellow straw, nice head but no lacing and the head isn't around for long.

Smells nice, nothing special but it's nice, some spice

Taste is okay, strong. abv is def present in a not so great way
just tastes like a heavy duty belgian style beer.

Feels abv strong

Overall this is an okay beer. that's about all i have to say

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Photo of xnicknj
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle poured into snifter - thanks to phan869 for sharing

Pours a slightly hazed golden color with some bright yellow tones. A fluff of white head bubbles up, retains for a bit with some cloudy film and splotchy lacing.

Plenty of spice and fragrance in the nose, biscuit malt and dough, slight alcohol, fruit sweetness with raisin.

Floral hops and spice up front, followed by some tempering sweetness. Raisin and pear with some herbal hop qualities. Biscuit malts with some more sweet tones mix with a fairly boozy edge towards the finish.

Full medium body, higher carbonation, tingly and dry on the tongue. This reminds me of La Chouffe a bit, it drinks pretty well but I wasn't too into it.

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Gnomegang from Brewery Ommegang
4.09 out of 5 based on 1,560 ratings.
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