Art Of Darkness | Brewery Ommegang

Art Of DarknessArt Of Darkness
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Reviews: 135 | Ratings: 687

Belgian Strong Dark Ale | 8.90% ABV

Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States

Notes: This beer is retired; no longer brewed. Let us now acknowledge the dark arts of brewing. Our limited edition Art of Darkness Ale is deep, dark and magical, with champagne-like carbonation and rich matiness from a complex recipe of multiple barley and wheat malts, as well as flaked oats.

Using no spices or flavorings, Art of Darkness gains all its rich aromas, tastes, and apparent spiciness from the malts and Ommegang's proprietary house yeast.

There are no secret ingredients or magical incantation. There is only Ommegang brewers' creating the finest quality dark, strong ale of complex and deep character.

Art of Darkness is a fine ale to enjoy immediately, and is excellent to cellar.
Art Of DarknessArt Of Darkness
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Reviews: 135 | Ratings: 687
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the older bottle, it pours a dark brown with a light brown head. Lacing as you enjoy it. There are prunes, raisins and the like in the nose. The mouth gets the dried fruit and alcohol in the mouth.

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Photo of WunderLlama
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Caged and corked bomber poured into a snifter

Dark brown liquids, pencil thin taupe foam layer

Aroma of dark fruits, raisins, figs

Taste of dark fruits, figs, raisins malts

Taste and feel the alcohol

Nice beer

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Photo of hopphead31415
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got a 750 mL bottle of this variety and was so excited to try it. It has 8.9% ABV and plenty to offer in the name of Westeros.

Look-It pours a dark black that is semi-translucent in the light with a chestnut hue and an off-white head that starts thick and then settles down.

Smell-I smell molasses and banana bread. I smell a lot of alcohol, more than I’ve ever smelled in any beer. I also smell a tart sweetness.

Taste-The taste is a dream. I get dark fruits, roasted malts, fruity esters, dark molasses, syrup, bready malts, figs, prunes, raisin bread, strong alcohol notes, mild tartness, and a balancing sweetness to even things out. This brew is not too sweet nor is it too tart. The dark fruity hearty flavors make for a great winter brew in this Belgian Style Dark Ale.

Mouthfeel-It is silky smooth and sharp. It is medium-bodied and has high carbonation. The alcohol leaves a bite on the tongue that is delightful.

Overall-This is, of course, an excellent brew and is worthy of the Game of Thrones theme. It warms the body with its ample 8.9% ABV and is hearty, meaty, and delicious. It isn’t overpowering and it doesn’t try too hard to be something that it’s not.

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Photo of bmeehan
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There is a sweetness to this beer that I didn't expect upon pouring it, as it pours very dark and smells like a wintry ale. It's powerful but not overpowering, and is a great winter beer to drink.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours bright mahagony under a billowy, sudsy yet persistent 3” tan foam collar that clings to the side of the glass.
S: Fruit, dart dried fruit, chocolate, a little earthiness.
T: Toffee with light butterscotch notes, dark malts, prune, fig, dark sugars, spice, dark bread, mild bitterness on the finish. No harsh or burnt flavors.
F: Creamy, slightly above average carbonation, medium body.
O: Well balanced, complex, easy to drink.

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Photo of JasW
3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Disappointment reigns here. Ruining everything is a tart, acidic undertone. If it weren't for that, this might be a more than decent BSDA. As it is, it is subpar, and an unexpected swing and a miss from an otherwise terrific brewery.

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Photo of founddrama
3.35/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bit more of a bitter bite when compared to something like Local 2. Still a very serviceable Belgian style ale. (Borderline 4? My expectations were high.)

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, almost black with a khaki colored head that trailed the glass. The smell was full of sweet malt with dark fruits like plum on the nose. The taste was great with some stout flavors like coffee up front and then the dark fruits such as plum and banana come through to give a semi-sweet finish. Loved it.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cola color with a tight tan head that leaves little chunks of lacing.

Smells of dark fruits mostly with some yeast on the back end.

Tastes of the dark fruits layered with some spicy yeast and roasted malts. Dark fruits lead off with notes of raisins, cherries, and figs. This gives way to roasted malts with cocoa and some toffee. Touches of yeast spice add in towards the end. Finishes with some booze and earthiness.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is tasty, but falls a little short of the standards of the style.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Essentially, stout on steroids!
Aroma is rich peaty malt.Pours nearly midnight black with a full long lasting beige head. Laces glass fully to the bottom. Taste of oatmeal bread, dark fruits, sour cherries, alchoholic bite.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Appearance: dark mahogany body; big frothy tan head, long lasting, decent lacing

Smell: malty with faint hints of dark fruit, but the Belgian yeast aroma dominates; smells like Westmalle yeast

Taste: dried fruit, maybe dates up front; good, balanced hoppy bite that lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: creamy and fairly well carbonated

Remarks: Not bad overall; pretty tasty

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Photo of TheItalianStallion
3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip

A: Pours a dark cola color with a 1 inch head of beige foam that caps the beer perfectly. Random spots of lacing throughout the glass.

S: Somewhat weak aromas of sweet fruits with some belgian yeast funk. Faint grape as the beer warms.

T: Flavors of sweet fruits with some yeast notes. Finish is dry and very sweet. Alcohol is masked well for 9%.

M: Medium body with a crisp mouthfeel and high carbonation.

O: This beer wasn't horrible, but I wasn't blown away by any means. It could be that I've had beers of this style that were more complex, or maybe I'm just not a huge fan of this beer in particular. I am a huge fan of Brewery Ommegang however, and this is the only beer I've had from them that I didn't like. In my opinion, it was over carbonated and a bit too sweet for my tastes. I love Brewery Ommegang, but I most likely won't drink this beer again. To quote Billy Bob Thornton in the movie Bad Santa "They can't all be winners!"

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Belgian tulip from a 750mL bottle from February 2012.

It's got a light, foamy head that's just a massive beast. The body is a dark black with no visible carbonation. 4.25

Dark fruit and a funky yeast aroma are dominant. Despite two and a half years of age, there's a bit of astringency. 3.75

Raisiny with yeasty funk and astringency. There's some floral flavor and oaken bourbon with the taste when it's watered down.

The yeast I think takes this beer in some unpleasant places. It's effervescent and slightly funky with a faint bourbon astringency. 3.25

Damn, this is a bit of a disappointment. The flavors aren't great and the pungent bourbon flavor is unpleasant.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Bottle: Poured a clear black color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of candi sugar with light dry fruit notes is quite sublime. Taste is also a great mix of candi sugars with some dried fruits and a solid Belgian malt backbone. Body is full enough for style with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Some spices can also bed detected. Very solid offering and this is a beer I could have more regularly.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Black with a mocha head.

S: Malt, orange, citrus peels, plum and raisin in the nose.

T: Lemon, orange, lime, kiwi, grapefruit but not super hoppy. Some fig, plum, malt and raisin are stronger than the citrus and kiwi.

M: Full bodied and smoothish.

O: A great example of the style. I'd recommend it at least once.

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Photo of mverity
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Proof Bottle Shop. Thick and pitch black with tan head that persisted fairly well. Collar hung until the end. Lots of dark malt, some sour cherry, some coffee, and a touch of grassy funk in the aroma. Taste is nearly identical to the smell, with a bit more of the sour cherry and grassy funk being prominent. Nice thick creamy mouthfeel. Very full bodied. Great after taste and a Guinness like mouthfeel.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.43/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tasting glass at Buzz in LA. From notes. Reviewed 23 February 2013.

A: Ruby-dark and clear. Light head.

S: Dark sweet with spicy yeast and some artificial spices. Straightforward BSDA.

T: Sweetish, harshly spiced, and generally medicinal. Not to my liking.

M: M is for mediocre.

O: Meh. I wouldn't have another, but if you like BSDA (and I generally do) definitely try it.

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Photo of DaveBlack
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Finger's width of foamy, tan head tops this deeply dark beer. The head has infinitely long retention, and a decent amount of lacing.

S: The initial wave of aroma is fruity, with raisins and cherries, and slightly sour. Roasted malts, bready yeast, and alcoholic phenols are also present. I was expecting a little more from the nose, but the smell is actually quite subtle.

T: Brings a lot more flavor than i would have thought from the nose. Quite malty and roasty at the outset. There is still the sour presence of cherry, but also a hefty amount of yeast. The alcohol is also a dominant feature. The end brings a malt bitterness, and a lingering funk.

M: Moderately heavy body, slightly oily, and a moderate amount of carbonation.

O: I was expecting a little more Belgian in this "Belgian-style Dark Ale." It's a little more of a sour than I was expecting, with the fruit forward-ness and funk. The beer is good, but not exceptional.

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Photo of beertunes
3.4/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a nearly solid black color with just a thin of light tan head hat had low retention and mild lacing.

The aroma had a fair bit going on, malt, yeast, spice, and some fruitiness. The flavors were pretty similar, just a bit more clarified. The body was thinner than I expected, and had semi=sweet finish that lingered a bit.

Drinkability was good, but not great, I split the bottle with a friend, and that was plenty. Overall, a pretty nice brew, and one I'm glad I tried. I probably won't grab another bottle, but if I see it on tap I'll certainly have another.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml caged and corked bottle, packaged on 10/30/12, best by 10/2015. Served in a tulip, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch tan head. Head retention is good, and there's a small amount of lacing. The brew smells like dark fruit, molasses, peppery spice, and some coffee and chocolate. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some tart cherries and candi sugar noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and has moderate carbonation. I think it's a good brew and definitely worth trying. But it's also a bit pricey at $13.99 a bottle.

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Photo of roblowther
4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big bottle, corked, dark, Belgian style. Life is good.. It looks more like a porter than anything Belgian, black with a dense tan head. Smells of carob, raisins, hay, and lemons. I think my mom made that as a soup once. The taste is very nice, leather, bread, a graininess, and then a dry finish. The mouthfeel is substantial, slick, and lightly carbonated. Overall, this is really a nice beer. It is dry, maybe a bit too much so but that just makes you want to drink some more, so good on ya!

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Photo of Braseltonage
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours with a stout like opaqueness. Cola-like head, in both color and retention. Aroma offers little until it really warms up, which is essential for this one. Pepper, raisin, a little blackstrap at the tail.
Flavor is nice but seems to lack a little complexity compared to some of the finer examples of the style. Has a lot Moore roast character than typical and not a sweet. Fewer dark fruits. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the mouthful is a little heavy as well. Not quite what I was expecting, but worth a try. Might try again but to be honest the $15 might deter.

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Photo of draheim
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750mL (bottled 10/30/2012; best by 10/2015) into a chalice. Pours a deep cola brown w/ a 1-finger khaki head, minimal lacing. A thin even layer of foam remains long after the pour.

Aroma is dark fruits and chocolate, some holiday spices. Fruity esters from the Belgian yeast.

Taste is big plum and raisin, dark candi sugar, and some chocolate. More vague spice notes, nutmeg and allspice if I had to guess. Red grapes. Bready, slightly vinous.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with good carbonation and a semi-dry finish.

Overall a different sort of BSDA/quad. Not as sugary sweet as most. Enjoyable.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

Pours a pitch black liquid with a delicious 1 inch dense light cream colored head. Very tight bubbles and some crazy retention.

Aroma is delicious. Sweet dark fruit notes mixed in with the Belgian yeast phenols and notes of clove and banana. Caramel and molasses notes with some good apple and pear juice notes.

The flavor is delicious! Amazing phenols in the flavor. Chalky yeast notes with some nice slight prune notes and other dark fruits. The phenols are pretty nice but are not overwhelming. There is some nice slight roasted notes in the malt bill surprisingly which balances out the phenolic notes. The brew is smooth and yummy. As the brew warms there is nice caramel and molasses notes that become rich and almost burnt and smokey. The mouthfeel is quite rich and smooth.

This is a delicious brew. Its one of the best brews Ommegang puts out. Rich and ripe with dark sweet fruits with some good bready notes and some good Belgian-style yeast notes.

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Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger light tan head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of dark fruits are perceptible in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has lots of flavors of dark fruits along with hints of Belgian yeast.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and hides its alcohol very well but lacks the complexity compared to the top beers in this style.

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Art Of Darkness from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 687 ratings