Art Of Darkness
Brewery Ommegang

Art Of DarknessArt Of Darkness
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Style:
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
ABV:
8.9%
Score:
89
Avg:
3.98 | pDev: 10.8%
Reviews:
137
Ratings:
688
From:
Brewery Ommegang
 
New York, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  42
Gots
  125
SCORE
89
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: 137 | Ratings: 688
Photo of Pencible
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque dark mahogany with lots of fluffy light tan head.
S: It smelled like banana and clove and raisin, with some milk chocolate and cream, and a bit of maple and candi sugar.
T: It tasted like banana and clove and cocoa powder, with some sweet raisin and candi sugar and sour Belgian yeast. It had a clean and mild aftertaste that was sweet and sour.
M: It was oily and smooth with lots of fine natural carbonation. Beautiful slick body.
D: This was one of the sweeter Belgian dark ales I've had, with nice delicate scent and taste. The body was great, the alcohol was well hidden, and the finish was very mellow. So it was quite easy to drink, but sippable too. It could probably age quite well, but it was nice fresh also. Solid brew.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.34/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-dark rustic brown with a light brown head

S-dark Belgian Malts, sweet caramels, and soaps...boozy almost. 

T-comes in with mild dark grains and faint dark fruits. Its somewhat syrupy and leaves a faint smokey after-taste. A forgettable beer.

M-watery medium carbonation with a watery finish

O-This was just a mild and boring dark Belgian ale. Definitely doesn't deserved to be bottled. Not bad tasting though! And it does go down fairly easy.

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Photo of impending
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

B

750ml into a tulip. Pours a very deep copper mahogany, dense tan head with an encouraging pour, nice initial lacing.

Aroma is sweet, spicy and yeasty with a dab of camphor rounding the finish.

Never sweet never bitter. Little dark semi sweet chocolate, little cherry raisin vanilla. Mild phenolic backbone. Roasty, belgian stoutish. Medium rich bodied mouthfeel.
tasty with warmth but no outstanding components
cheers
jd

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Photo of korguy123
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into Lefft goblet

A- Heavy, opaque, super dark brown almost black pour with brown around the edges. Sitting on top is a long lived light tan head. Lacing is good.

S- Dark stone fruits, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and cloves. The oat adds a new aroma to this, almost oatmeal stout like.

T- Figs and dates, brown sugar, cloves, a touch of banana. Roasted char in the finish adds a bitter taste in the back end.
The oats again add a different taste in the finish but seems more "same old, same old"

M- Medium bodied, good carbonation, slightly chewy. Alcohol is very minimal.

O- I get the difference with this beer, but it just seems to be very similar to almost every other BSDA out there. Maybe it's just me... who knows?

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Photo of Stinger80OH
3.59/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into a standard 12oz mug, AOD is dark with a 1-2 finger head with good retention throughout as some lacing.

S: Dark fruits such as fig, grapes, and dates as well as a slightness of orange are abundant on the nose. Slight booziness too but not overwhelming for a BSDA.

T: As above, dark fruits dominant with a small touch of dark suger/burnt caramel on the back of the palate. Minimal booziness.

M: Soft, not too sweet given its fruity characteristics.

O: This is an average BSDA and given its price point, I probably wouldn't be inclined to buy it again. If you like this style of beer though and you like Ommegang, then its worth checking out.

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Photo of liamt07
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottles shared by Steve. Packaged February 7, 2012, best before February 2015.

Dark brown, mahogany highlights. Tan head, mild retention and some lace. Nose has dark fruits and grapes are dominant. Mildly sweet, almost floral in quality. Vanilla and cookie dough as well. Dark malt flavours, oats are evident, yeasty and dried fruits. Medium body, high effervescence. A really nice BSDA.

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Photo of confer
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this after a few friends tried it in Cooperstown. We split a case several ways still came to 15 a bottle.
Pours dark brown and almost completely opaque. Nice tan 1/2 finger head hangs around for a short time.
Smell is on the boozy side.
No booziness in the taste. Slight bitterness with a sweet finish.
Overall another interesting beer from Ommegang. Due to the price I'm glad it was a one time offer.

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Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of uturn
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

How served: 750ml corked and caged poured into a Ommegang glass.

A: This beer poured an extremely dark brown/black with an impressive 3 finger light brown head which dissipated slowly and left a very nice thick lacing on my glass.

N: The nose was light but full of dark fruits like plum and raisin with hints of dark chocolate and of the Belgian yeast.

T: The taste of this brew starts off on the sweet side with dark fruit flavors like prunes, raisins and dates and a nice hint of candi sugar and dark chocolate. By mid palate the sweetness mellows out and you get some warmth from the alcohol and it ends more on a nice dry note.

B: The body was light to medium with a creamy feel with a lively carbonation level which tickles the tongue.

D: The drinkability was very good especially since the body was light to medium.

O: Overall this brew could have benefited from a little more body, otherwise it is very good.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Art Of Darkness
Brewery Ommegang
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
ABV: 8.90 %

LOOK: Dark brown, with a deep amber hint. Off white mocha head forms and leaves plenty of lace down the glass.

SMELL: Dark fruits of raisin, fig, plum and date are all upfront with mocha undertones. Belgian yeast spiciness and a subtle sweet smell. Nice.

TASTE: Dark chocolates and coffee, notice how all three descriptions I have given all start with the word DARK. More fig and raisin flavor with a nice robust roasted malt profile. Little bitterness but an even balance. Well disguised alcohol, and everything is screaming belgian strong dark mixed with stout.

FEEL/IMPRESSION: Medium to full bodied, smooth, creamy and well carbonated. Overall I thought this was yet another very good offering from brewery Ommegang. Aging this in whiskey barrels is the next logical step.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type - 22oz caged and corked bottle.

Appearance - Dark brown/black, killer creamy 3+ inch head and tons of lacing.

Smell - Dark candy fruits, malts, yeast, lots of cherry, lemon, some chocolate and brown sugars, some wheat aroma and a little spice kick at the end.

Taste - Huge sour fruit bite at first sip. Plum, rasin, grapefruit, grapes and dark roasted chocolate malts hit you. Yeasty sweetness, belgian spicey notes, lots of spices and sugars. The finish has some coffee and nut flavor. Alcohol is there but not as present as a near 9% beer would expect.

Mouthfeel - Medium thickness and pretty strong presence of flavors. Tougne gets the fruits and yeast, were the palate gets more malts and spices. Finish is a bit sour and dry.

Overall - Pretty tasty and enjoyable. Kind of like a strong ale mixed with a porter. It takes a few drinks to get into this one for sure. Not something to drink weekly but for sure another quailty beer from ommegang. Price is steap but its worth a try.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep pitch black body this is the Art of Darkness, okay we get it, there's also a light tan head forming thick, with Belgian inspired lacing. Aromatics offer up with dark cocoa, spicy aromatics inspired by the yeasts fermentation process. Dark malts give off a solid roasted malt aspect that I can relate to anyday, also a dark toasted nut quality coming out with the bier I'm sippin' on. Floral spicy yeast base, with dark roasted malts slightly creamy acidity almost yogurt like. Especially tasty dark beer, hybrid Belgian American dark ale, with even flowing carbonation and a medium bodied ale that I really enjoy. Overall impressive offering, that is tasty and satisfying for the beer drinker's palate.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a snifter

Appearance – The beer was dark brown nearly black with a one finger off white/tan head. The head had a moderate retention but eventually faded to give a good level of lacing.

Smell – The aromas were quite nice. A nose of dark chocolate and dark fruits of cherry, fig and raisin were the strongest. There was a good yeasty and roasted aroma which created a very nice balance to the sweeter fruit aromas.

Taste – The taste was very much of what was sensed in the nose. It began with a roasted malt, brown bread and more cocoa taste. Quickly however the fruit notes that were detected in the smell worked their way into the taste with them being largely of fig and raisin. A very light yeast taste was also present, but was largely overshadowed by the cocoa, roasty, and sweet fruit base. These flavors took the taste to the end where the fruit tastes lightened up a bit and where a lighter alcohol flavor came to the picture; the mix leaving a warming tingle and a roasty chocolate dark fruit bread flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – While the more mild carbonation level was very fitting for the beer, the body of the beer was disappointingly thin. It was quite watery ad really never allowed all those darker flavors to penetrate the tongue.

Overall - Other than the weak body this was a rather tasty beer. Good flavor profiles and transitions created a very nice taste experience.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown-black color with a finger of frothy chocolate head atop. The head fades fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted chocolate and dark fruits, with some wheat, and some Belgian yeasts.

T - Starts off some roasted dark chocolate and sweet dark fruits with a bit of wheat. Through the middle, some oats come through with the Belgian yeast flavor getting stronger as well. The finish is a mix of chocolate, a bit of dark fruit, some wheat, and and Belgian yeast funkiness.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nicely balanced with a good depth of balance. Really nice blend of chocolate and dark fruit with the yeast character.

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Photo of Phelps
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a tasting snifter at Tops.

Deep black, yet thin-looking and watery, wit a small layer of fizzy light tan head.

Lots of fruit in the nose. Bubble gum, strawberry, raisin. Spicy yeast lends pepper and a pinch of banana-flavored runts. A little anise and toast in the background.

The flavor starts with same fruitiness of strawberries and dates. Alcohol is added to a nice blend of maple and toast, while the swallow brings another flash of tangy prunes. Maybe a little heavy on alcohol, but a good BSDA flavor overall.

Feels thicker than it looks, with a smooth medium body. Carbonation is a little too high, prickling the tongue. There’s more alcohol in the flavor than in the feel, though I do get some heartburn.

Gets better and better as it warms. Nice complexity, with many layers of flavor for perusal. 4

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Photo of FlemingVSKing
4.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is the wine of Beers.

It begins with the smooth feel and rich taste of a good mild stout and then quickly transitions through a light floral hop character before finishing with a brilliant and very drinkable oak flavor from the barrel aging process.

Essentially it morphs from a well crafted smooth stout or porter into a wine right in your mouth, all through an array of complementary yet wildly varried flavors. It's magic!!!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Darkness incarnate in color, with crimson highlights shining through the bottom, under a lush, creamy cocoa-toned head. Lookin' good.

Aroma: soft, with notes of cocoa and cream, balanced and understated.

Taste: on the tongue, rich, full, dark and smooth. Lightly spicy, just enough wicked deliciousness from the yeast. A little bit of peppery heat. Lots of lush dark malts, but nothing too big, too sweet, too anything. This is Goldilocks' favorite beer, just right.
Some dark fruits, some fig and date, but completely utterly even, balanced, and dry. The nearly 9% alcohol doesn't stand out in the least.

Tasty stuff, this, but I so wish the yeast would contribute a bit more to the character. I want to really taste it.
But this one really does come close to impersonating a great Belgian strong dark ale. Kudos, Ommegang!

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

Poured into a tulip.

A: Transparent black with red highlights. 3 fingers of fluffy tan head that dissipates slowly leaving behind big clouds of lacing.

N: Belgian funk, lightly roasted malts, concord grape, cherry and a dash of chocolate.

T: Concord grape, molasses and an earthy Belgian funk are upfront. This is followed by cherry, cocoa nib, chestnuts and hints of apricot mid-palate. The earthy funk comes in full swing in the finish along with dry hay, dark roast coffee beans and fig.

M: Light bodied, silky, smooth and slightly sticky.

O: A refined and delicate Belgian Dark Strong Ale filled with dark fruits and a generous heaping of funk. Very easy drinking at 8.9%.

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Photo of wedge
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

@ Raleigh Times

Served in a small tulip, appears to be a very dark, opaque brown color with a fluffy tan head that leaves plenty of lovely lace. Dark fruit, roast, and Belgian yeast featured predominantly in the aroma...raisin, fig, dark bread, and spice. Stronger phenolics and dark fruity esters in the flavor. Cherry, bitter chocolate roast, and light licorice. Medium bodied, but the carbonation leaves it feeling lighter than it is. A little warming.

Pretty good. I've had a lot better from this brewery and this is nowhere near the finest examples of the style...but pretty good. I wish it was tamer with the phenolics and little more cohesive with all its tasty little elements.

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Photo of martyl1000
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm scoring this on the low side just to remind myself this wasn't my favorite from Ommegang and if I have the choice, I will take Three Philosophers or Abbey Ale or Rare Vos any day before this one.

But it wasn't bad in any way. On tap at Cooper's Tavern, tail end of Madison Craft Beer Week. Was great to get to try all these Ommegang beers on tap.

This one poured an opaque black, w/ a thin-ish white head that stuck around a long time. Roasty aroma and flavor of a really thick porter. The mouth feel of a chewy stout. Rather disappointingly low in sweetness and fairly one-dimensional. Easy to drink, that's for sure. But I was expecting more.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.93/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a goblet.

4.0 A: Black color. Almost two fingers of frothy tan colored head. Retention is good and a short ring of lacing is left.

3.5 S: Lots of roastiness in this. Molasses, light ashiness, and dark caramel. Even the fruitiness comes off with a bit of extra darkness, like stir-fried or grilled plums, dates, black currants and figs. Clove-y phenols from the yeast.

2.5 T: Taste is a bit of the let down. The roasty flavors in the nose dominate the taste and it doesn't work. From first taste to finish, this is overly charred and has an almost tannic finish. It's not a horrible taste, but it's bad enough to put this below average. Much of the fruitiness gets lost to the roast, but the fig and dates are still pretty apparent. Less clove-y than it smells.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good spritzy carbonation with a very faint creaminess. Normally I'd rank this higher, but the burnt aftertaste prevents that.

2.5 D: This is more of a Belgian stout than a BSDA, but whatever. It's overly roasty and unbalanced and that's no good. I expect more from Ommegang.

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Photo of Arborescence
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pitch black, one finger dense head.

Aroma: Belgian style malt and yeast, quite fresh.

Taste: Herbs and malt with a Belgian style body. Alcohol reasonably masked but resent. Lingering aftertaste with medicinal characteristics. Rather pleasant and warming.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium bodied, a little bit of carbonation.

Overall: Not as balanced as it could be, but very tasty. I like the medicinal characteristics in particular. Somewhat different than other Ommegang beers, but not in a bad way!

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Art of Darkness pours a black color, with a a large creamy head, that stubbornly wont go away. The smell is enticing, its sweet, with Belgian candies, but has a dark undertone, smokey, malty, bitter and boozy. The taste starts sweet, lots of belgian candy flavors, then a strong hit from the alcohol kicks in, and finishes with a malty finish. Nice strong taste, can sip on this one, and enjoy it. Overall a fantastic beer, complex and very enjoyable.

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Photo of CopeTech
3.26/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a pretty beer,it has nice fine head and delicate lacing. Surprisingly uninspired for an ommegang strong dark. The aroma is faint and slightly sour. Perhaps guinesslike with a belgium yeast.
The taste holds true to a belgium dark, but fades quickly leaving you to wonder where are the monk's subtiltiesand depth.
The color is more of starbucksthan of a quad.
I expect a mature strong beer to take advantage of the full yeast lifecycle not hide from it.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep, black/brown body, finger khaki head,

S: fig, raisin, nutty, caramel, mild chocolate, big malt

T: big malt, raisins, cocoa, mild roasted, mild fig/boozy finish

M: med body, mild chewy/smooth mouth

O: Ommegang continues to deliver fine brews.
I would get again + recommend to others.
Pairing: nice piece of beef, lamb, bbq or dessert.

VERY GOOD, WORTH GETTING!

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Art Of Darkness from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 688 ratings