Art Of Darkness
Brewery Ommegang

Art Of DarknessArt Of Darkness
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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
3.97 | pDev: 10.83%
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Art Of DarknessArt Of Darkness
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 138 | Ratings: 690 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to bonerhog for breaking this out back in a July 2015 fight night. Only time I've ever had it.

Pours a dark brown, but not a hefty imperial porter or stout viscosity, firmly in the BSDA realm here. Lighter brown head 1/4". Aroma was of belgian chocolate, wheat, alcohol, dark fruit. That chocolate hit surprised me a bit.

Taste brings the dark fruit bitterness melded with the substantial alcohol that actually tastes stronger than the abv would indicate, I woulda thought this was a double digit abv booze bomb, but slightly short of that in actuality. Carbonation was fine, body was nice and relatively light, I guess they did a little hazy ipa trick here with the flaked oats, which was nice for the body. I wonder if all barley might have absorbed the alcohol and dark fruit yeast bitterness a bit better though.

Never gonna be my favorite style, but this was drinkable, especially when split like 5 ways. Still team tart of darkness here.

May 13, 2020
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BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

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.

Jun 26, 2017
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WunderLlama from Massachusetts

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

Jan 22, 2017
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Sabtos from Ohio

3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Was really looking forward to this capping off am Ommegang beer tasting but it was far more tame than I thought it would be. It's a lighter tasting ale with only a little coffee characteristic.

Dec 26, 2015
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hopphead31415 from Virginia

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.

Dec 25, 2015
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bmeehan from Pennsylvania

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.

Nov 30, 2015
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pat61 from Minnesota

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.

Jul 15, 2015
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JasW from Florida

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.

May 02, 2015
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founddrama from Vermont

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.)

Mar 20, 2015
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WhiteHillsStore from Connecticut

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.

Feb 04, 2015
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ocelot2500 from Maryland

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.

Feb 02, 2015
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CaptJackHarkness from New York

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.

Jan 26, 2015
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IchLiebeBier from Virginia

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

Nov 28, 2014
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TheItalianStallion from New York

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!"

Nov 16, 2014
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ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

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.

Oct 05, 2014
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

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.

Aug 25, 2014
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BierJager89 from California

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.

Jan 24, 2014
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mverity from Florida

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.

Nov 29, 2013
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AgentMunky from New York

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.

Nov 19, 2013
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DaveBlack from Virginia

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.

Nov 06, 2013
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BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

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.

Nov 01, 2013
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

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.

Oct 25, 2013
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roblowther from Texas

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!

Oct 05, 2013
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Braseltonage from Missouri

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.

Sep 09, 2013
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draheim from Washington

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.

Sep 09, 2013
Art Of Darkness from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 690 ratings