Art Of Darkness | Brewery Ommegang

BA SCORE
88
very good
688 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Art Of DarknessArt Of Darkness
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States
ommegang.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Edwaka01 on 02-13-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
688
Reviews:
135
Avg:
3.94
pDev:
10.91%
 
 
Wants:
42
Gots:
124
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 688 |  Reviews: 135
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Soapy head on thick dark brown body, with a lace sheet. yeasty aroma, I like their yeast. Smooth drinker, above average mouthfeel. Sweetish,and yet a little earthy, some malted milk, chocolate malt,touch of anise, not that complex still nicely drinkable.

 254 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: two finger thick tan head with nice lacing on a dark brown with little light getting through body.

S: lots of dark fruit, mostly cherry, plum and raisin. 

T: a lot more malty than others in the genre. The fruitiness is mild. Caramel and mild toffee notes to the finish.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall: malt heavy beer for the genre. Glad I tried this one, nice and unique

 409 characters

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and slight dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with a slightly sour fruity flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some interesting aromas and flavors but nothing all that exciting.

 616 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured out as a nice looking deep brown color, the head was creamy looking and tan in color. The smell of the beer is sweet and a little yeasty. There are some slight dark fruit aromas in there too. The taste is a slight blend of the candi sugar, the fruits and the malts. No real noticeable bitterness in this one too much. The mouthfeel was smooth, gently carbonated and silky. Overall I thought this was a very nice release from Ommegang.

 446 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 553 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part Belgian Strong Dark Ale, part Belgian Stout- Ommegang delivers a complex beer of roast and fruit flavor, and doing so with a surprisingly simplified palate.

Pouring with a voluptuous and billowing tan head, the beer carries the bubbly nature of champagnes but with the dark brown (almost black) color of hearty stouts. A mild garnet highlight plays through the modest haze in uncanny clear fashion. High level of foam retention and lace speaks volumes to the quality for which Brewery Ommegang is known.

Somewhat mild aromas tackle the olfactories with balanced elements of roasted barley, charred fruits, biscuit, and peppercorn- all wrapped in a thin envelope of caramel and light bread.

Malty sweetness hits the taste buds with the taste of fresh baked bread, bread crust, starch, and underlying caramel sweetness. The roasty char of grains play on the tongue with the taste of coffee, cocoa powder, and burnt embers at mid palate that seem to overshadow sweetness and bridge into the mild fruity flavors of burnt berries, currants, red grapes, and apples. Although esters are mild, their fruity effect is varying and command just enough attention to keep the beer interesting beyond the simple flavor spread.

Medium bodied throughout, the ale's sparkling carbonation prevents fuller texture and ushers in a highly drinkable and zesty bite that ushers in a finish of roasty-dryness, alcohol warmth, and peppery bite.

Where the Art of Darkness doesn't portray the breadth, earthy boldness, or assertive complex sweetness as many darker strong Belgian ales, it's relies on a simplified palate that's exquisitely balanced, more yeast-neutral, and somewhat subdued to celebrate its shear drinkability in understated fashion.

 1,733 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.23/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml brown glass bottle with hood-and-wire cap over a cork served into me Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery - with which I've been fairly impressed so far.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured slowly per the label's instructions.

A: Pours a 2 finger head of slight tan hue, good cream, good thickness, and great retention for the high ABV. Colour is a predictable solid black. No yeast particles are visible, likely due to its nontransparency. No bubble show. Opaque. A healthy appearance that encourages me to try it.

Sm: Dark malts, pleasant biscuity yeast, cream, slight roasted barley, and oats (when I look for them). A pleasant aroma that suits the style. Mild in strength.

T: Slight cream on the open gives way to the dark malt body with smooth rolled oats, out-of-place wheat, light chocolate malt, and vague slight hints of roasted barley - though nowhere near enough. Interestingly built. The wheat in particular sticks out, negatively impacting the balance. Except for that, the balance is nice. The beer isn't as complex as I'd expect from Ommegang, but I'd hardly call it simple. Some subtlety is apparent, but it's not impressive. Some layering is going on. I don't detect any hops. The yeast is also surprisingly restrained, but I'll keep tabs on it as I approach the bottom of the bottle.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but surprisingly sparse in terms of cream. It could use far more; the creamy quality that is there is nice. Good thickness and carbonation. Suits the flavours nicely.

Dr: Drinkable but not Ommegang's best beer. I have nothing against it, but for the price it's something of a disappointment. It's not yeast enough for the style, and wheat malt was just a poor addition outright. I do like it, but I wouldn't have it again or recommend it to friends. Probably best only for hardcore Ommegang fanatics. To its credit, it hides its ABV quite well. I don't know that I really look forward to consuming the whole bottle meself, but c'est la vie.

High C+

 2,129 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives pitch black, with a nice head that leaves a boatload of lacing behind

Smell: Roasty, with black bread and fruit elements; licorice, too

Taste: Black cherry, red wine grape and fig along with a roasty character, up front; some chocolate, licorice and pie spices arrive at mid-palate, along with a tart cherry aspect; after the swallow, the fruity elements dominate though there is a slight tartness on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: Interesting fruit flavors with a touch of tartness; a beer with a difference

 578 characters

Photo of oline73
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at Max's, served in a sample glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark brown/mahogany with a layer of off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Fruity malt with some hints of cherry and dark fruit. There is a mild herbal not as well, but the malt is the thing that's standing out.

Taste: Definitely malt forward, which is to be expected. There is a sweetness, but it is delicate. Mild fruit notes are there, but less than the smell. I'm getting some warm alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

OVerall: I think they did a good job of what they set out to do. I would have another, but I don't think I'd spend the money on a whole bottle.

 737 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

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.

 457 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of LXIXME
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

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

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled on 2/20/2012. Pours moderately cloudy extremely dark reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big raisin, prune, apple, pear, molasses, toast, toffee, chocolate, dark bread, light roast, pepper, clove, floral, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark malt and fruity/spicy yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of raisin, prune, apple, molasses, toast, chocolate, dark bread, toffee, floral, light roast, clove, pepper, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of dark and light fruits, molasses, toast, toffee, chocolate, dark bread, floral, light roast, clove, pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of dark malts with yeast ester flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, moderately slick, and lightly foamy mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is and excellent Belgian strong dark ale! All around nice balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for a the gravity. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,453 characters

Photo of mothman
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

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Art Of Darkness from Brewery Ommegang
3.94 out of 5 based on 688 ratings.
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