Biere D'Hougoumont
Brewery Ommegang

Biere D'HougoumontBiere D'Hougoumont
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
French Bière de Garde
3.86 | pDev: 11.4%
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Biere D'HougoumontBiere D'Hougoumont
Notes: Our Limited Edition Biere d’ Hougoumont is brewed with traditional French ale yeast, eight malts, French Strisselspalt hops, and aged on white oak and hard maple wooden staves. A traditional Biere De Garde style, this malty French-style farmhouse ale is brewed to be aged. The name honors the Hougoumont farmstead at the pivotal center of the Waterloo battlefield. Napoleon repeatedly failed to take the fortification, he then lost the battle and “met his Waterloo.”
Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 351 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The appearance had a dark orange/brown body yielding a two and a half finger head in the chalice and closer to a one and a half finger head in the tulip, lightly clingy lacing in the chalice eventually spiderwebs after a good three minutes, closer to a minute of lacing spider-webbing in the tulip. The smell had clove, subdued Belgian yeast/banana thing goin’ on, fruit, spice, combined maple/wood/syrup thing goin’ on startin’ to come out as the beer warms, noticeable pear as it continues to warm, honey - hmmm... unsure, alcohol not noted. The taste was mainly sweet through previously mentioned flavors, slightly oaky and floral at different times, slightly bready as well. The palate sits about a medium, slightly sessionable - mostly smooth, sticky sweet aftertaste and finish, adequate carbonation is felt, alcohol not felt. Overall, very nicely done Biere De Garde.

 880 characters

Photo of Impetuous
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A medium brown red blending into some rusty amber hues at the fringes. Beautiful big billowy head.

The complexity from the malts mingling with the yeast is fascinating. The sour and the bread and malt sweetness are both layered and unified. Quite carbonated it really does a good job bringing the complexity alive.

It's a real shame they're not producing this anymore.

 374 characters

Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Note: I remember really liking this beer when I purchased it almost 2 years ago. See if it holds up to memory.

Look is a reddish brick color and hazy. Head is thin and dissipates quickly.

Aroma is sweet toasted malt with sour dark fruit notes with a spicy honey note at the end.

Body is thin herbal hops stand up to the age mixed with honey and fruit.

Wish the body had been more bold. Some wonderful highlights though. Not quite the beer I remember but good.

 465 characters

Photo of seedyone
3/5  rDev -22.3%

02/27/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Sweet at first then a sour finish on the first sip. Essence of orange under the nose which seems to manifest as a bitterness, ever so slight on the tongue. A touch on the heavy side. The sweet is sustained after a few tastes so sweet it is. Seems like a lot of work for a modicum of result. I'd say Napoleon didn't miss out on too much.

 375 characters

Photo of adamette
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Live Review. Poured from the 750 ML corked and caged bottle that I bought at Save-On in Mentor, Ohio a few weeks ago for $13.49 into my Voodoo Brewery pint glass. No observed "best by" date.
Notes: My most well known Biere de Garde going into this review is Voodoo Brewery's Gran Met, a beer that I not only love but have had many, many growlers of and inspired me to remain in contact with the brewery ever since I first had Gran Met back in 2009. So it is with that perspective that I approach this Biere de Garde from Brewery Ommegang, another favorite brewery by the way.

A Light caramel slightly hazy but translucent body under a two inch thick and creamy light brown head. Good look. 3.5

S Light to moderate malt sweetness with some barley to the nose. Little to no hops detected by me. Seems right on target for the style. Some added intrigue for some yeast smells as well. 3.5

T Light malt and grains predominate and the late taste features a nice smooth, rounded taste that I attribute to the aging on wood mentioned in the brewing process. Although pleasant and on track for the style, honestly this beer's taste is rather forgettable for me. 3.0

M Light syrupy stickiness lingers on my tongue a full minute after my last sip which is not unpleasant. Overall feel is on the thin side. Again, that is appropriate to the style (a French Farmhouse ale) but not dynamic or interesting to me. 3.0

D/O Drinkability is pretty high given the manageable ABV % and the relatively light feel. Overall this is a fair attempt at the style but not one that I can see returning to. 3.0

Notes: There are many more favorable options even within Brewery Ommegang. The great Three Philosophers, Witte and their Dubbel are some examples from the top of my mind. I really made an effort to judge this beer on its own merits but rest assured this will not be replacing Voodoo Brewery's Gran Met atop my personal Biere de Garde list.
Additional note: Voodoo Brewery used to list Gran Met as a Biere de Garde. A quick check just now reveals that it is now considered a Tripel. Oh well. I still rated this beer on its own merits.

 2,124 characters

Photo of thecheapies
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Warm red-orange color with some haziness. Head looks short, but well-comstructed.

Slight oakiness in the nose, but lots of fruity esters apparent. Nectarine, blood orange, caramel malts, and butterscotch. A little honeyed, too. No hops detectable. Malty and yeasty with some noticeable strength.

Implied taste of corn whiskey with the combination of buttery fusels, fruity yeast byproducts, and sweet oakiness. Mostly attributed to flairful Belgian malts. More blood orange and caramel with some stone fruit essences. Semi-sweet, smooth, and a potently bright. Very round body offers a mellow evening, but not late-evening drinking, kind of feel. Hops are available now to split the extremity of the malts a bit. Works to improve drinkability and balance.

Most Ommegang beers fall into this overall rating or higher. This beer further proves we're dealing with a creatively fantastic brewery here.

 900 characters

Photo of drperm
4.78/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Cellared for one year. Opened on 18 October 2013. Life officially changed.
Why are the limited-release brews the best ones?

The wood-aging on oak and maple makes for an incredibly subtle but complex layer of nuanced flavour. This would be a clear winner with seasonal autumn food -- pumpkin soup, pumpkin risotto, venison stew, Thanksgiving dinner. I can only hope that I can still go out and find some bottles of this in 2013.

 428 characters

Photo of dheacck11
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour from the botle leaves a lovely translucent copper amber color, with a nice haziness. Bit of head, fading quickly.

Nose is really dank and peaty. Some sweetness like corn, cherries, and maple. Enticing.

Taste is biting. Lots of acid on the front, with ripe cherry flavors, cranberry, and again that sort of wet, mossy flavor. Get a little bit of the yeast too. Maybe a little maple too.

Feel is medium full. Crisp and biting.

Fascinating beer. Really neat and balance flavors. Quite unique, but definitely worth a trial.

 528 characters

Photo of otterbearfla
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a larger bottle with a corked, wired stopper

4 fingers head

appearance - opaque sienna orange

Aroma - homey, and bread yeast

taste - warm honey, caramel, maple, oak, orange

mouthful - full but not creamy

This would be my middle Belgium ale with the core aspects of the type.

 285 characters

Photo of goochpunch
2.98/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a caramel amber with little head. Smells like sweet wort and yeast bread and caramel. Taste is overwhelmingly sweet. Sure, I pick up some floral, earthy hops, some tasty caramelized malts, etc., but the sweetness is punishing. Big vanilla and maple taste from the woods used. Mouthfeel is full, and the carbonation is rather mild. This is an alright beer, but I'd much rather have it on a cold, rainy day. Too sweet. I feel myself getting a headache already.

 468 characters

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle:

The beer appeared a hazy, darker amber color that produced a very nice off-white, dense 2+ finger head, which was well retained and last throughout most of the beer. Active carbonation with some yeast floating in the beer.

The beer gave off a nice sweet malty aroma, fruit and yeast. As the beer warmed I think that the wood came out, along with some alcohol.

The taste of the beer was good, nicely balanced, followed the aroma, but got more of the maple/wood.

The beer had a moderate feel to it, good carbonation, smooth and went down very well with food. I am not so sure that this is one that you would necessarily want to drink on its own.

Overall, a very good beer. I have had better from this brewery, but solid none-the-less.

 755 characters

Photo of metter98
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is very hazy amber orange in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high dense light beige colored head that died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface and a thick collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of fruity yeast are present in the nose, which seem to somewhat resemble candied apples. Notes of maple also become evident as the beer warms up.
T: The taste very much follows the smell and has some hints of sweetness from the maple as well as some oak from the barrel aging.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is a good representation of the style and seems like it would make for a good choice to pair with a meal. I aged it for a year so this might have diminished some of the sweetness.

 847 characters

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a slightly hazy, golden color with a one-finger head of off-white foam. It smelled fruity with a subtle graininess. Slightly phenolic, too. It tasted spicy with an estery and fruity flavor. It was crisp, sharp and smooth.

 232 characters

Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a large tulip glass a slightly hazed deep burnt orange with fluffy one and a half finger white head that faded slowly.Aromas of toasted oak,vanilla/caramel,and lightly spiced yeast.A pretty full body with caramel and toast flavors at the onset,a decent drying leafiness keeps the beer from being overly sweet and the alcohol is pretty well hidden until mid glass.I think this beer would be very food friendly because it's not to big and doesn't hit you over the head with spicy phenols.

 498 characters

Photo of draheim
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750mL (bottled 5/29/2012) into a Hennepin glass. Pours a clear amber w/ a 1-finger off-white head, moderate carb.

Aroma is earthy and slightly vinous; grapes, bready yeast, dried fruit and a vague spiciness.

Taste is bready, earthy, fruity, sweet.

Mouthfeel is balanced, medium-bodied, crisp, semi-dry.

Overall a different take on a style of beer I've only tried a few times.

 379 characters

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Reddish copper with good tannish lacing.

Smell: Fresh raspberries. Very summery for a Belgian and I'm not used to smelling fresh, natural berries in a beer. Shandy-like.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Pine and fruit punch. A very unique flavor. A bit too subdued, but still very pleasant. Mouthfeel has a lot of yeast.

Overall Drinkability: Another quirky summer beer.

 369 characters

Photo of hackmann
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: deep burnt orange body with a one finger (if that) bone white head that leaves no lacing

Aroma: light toasted grains, caramel, hint of wood (oak)

Flavors: to me the oak wood stands out over the maple wood; nice spicy fruit style; the fruit reminds me of apricot and the spice a light clove

Mouthfeel: fizzy carbonation, dry, medium body, earthy, sticky fruit aftertaste

To the Point: I was really looking forward to this ale; unfortunately it is just good at best to me; the overall aroma is light; the flavors – the fruit did not really do it for me; the spice was okay; the wood was good; this ale just does just really doesn't do it for me @ 15 bucks a bottle (750ml)

 688 characters

Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into a Chimay goblet.
I had this on tap at Carolina Blue months ago and it really surprised me, so hope it's just as good out of the bottle.

AP: Dark amber and rusty orange/red colour with a 1/2" white head that fizzled to a dusting. Moderate lacing when the glass is tilted. There is some sediment/yeast floating in the glass.
AR: Sweet rolls/bread, candied apricot, maple syrup/molasses, vanilla, hint of cinnamon and brown sugar, white grape and caramel. Smells delicious.
T: Not like I vaguely remember it on draft, but this is still a very solid brew. Taste mirrors the nose. The flavours blend nicely. Bit of fruity Belgian yeast mixes in there as well with a soft hint of baking spices.
M: Starts quite crisp and carbonated on the tongue followed by medium body with some creaminess mid palate. Finishes off dry with some lingering flavours for a great aftertaste.
OV: I've had Biere de Gardes that are more Farmhouse than this and like them more than the average person, so for Ommegang to add maple and oak to it just added another dimension to this style. This is a very tasty brew that can be enjoyed either by itself or with food.

 1,164 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Ommegang : Biere d'hougoumont

Pours a deep peach color, a bit cloudy from the yeast. The aroma is full of Belgian yeast, floral and somewhat sweet. In the flavor, more of that sweet Belgian yeast and candi sugar. Herbal hops match well with a touch of oak. Finishes with fruit and a kiss of funk. Clean and yeasty, mild and very approachable. This makes for a solid table beer or cellar candidate. Slightly dry and champagne like feel. I could see the flavors change a good bit over time. As it is, a nice little beer which comes as no surprise as Ommegang does not make sub par offerings.

 590 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a tulip glass this beer was a cherry amber color, very bright. There was a tiny tan head. I thought it was a rather pretty beer.

Sweet malt aroma, some fruit.

More malt in the taste, mostly caramel, maybe a little toffee. Pear taste.

Malt forward. Very smooth and enjoyable.

 280 characters

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Dark orange in color with some bronze/copper colors coming through. Fairly murky body that allows some light to shine through, but no visibility. Off-white head that does not hang around for too long and leaves just a ring of bubbles. Not much in the way of lacing.

S- Toasted bready malts, caramel, oaky wood, slight hint of tree fruits, a bit of spicy yeast. Overall very pleasant nose.

T- The bready malts come through a lot, but about half way through the wood and the Belgian farmhouse yeast kicks in. The bready caramel flavors give way to oak and pear, along with some peppery flavors.

M- Medium carbonation, medium bodied, pleasant carbonation tingle at the end.

O- Very nice beer. Have not had too many Biere de Gardes, so this was a nice experience.

 766 characters

Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled on 5/25/2012. Pours lightly cloudy orange amber color with a 2 finger fairly dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grape, pear, apple, caramel, brown sugar, floral, pepper, wood, biscuit, light clove, light nuttiness, light toffee, and yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of malt, fruity/spicy esters, and wood aging; with nice strength. Taste of grape, apple, caramel, brown sugar, pepper, wood, clove, biscuit, light nuttiness, light toffee, earthy yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of light fruits, caramel, brown sugar, pepper, clove, wood, biscuit, light nuttiness, light toffee, and earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity of malt and fruity/spicy esters with the wood aging; with a solid malt/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a moderately slick and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Biere de Garde style! Great complexity and balance of all flavor notes; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,375 characters

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Corked 750mL bottle from the brewery, shared at a recent tasting - cheers daryk77!

Poured into a Duvel tulip - nice amber ruby colour, which was a surprise for the style. Good crown of foam that leaves streaks of lacing and a sturdy head. Nice retention on this.

Malty to the nose, which I suppose is the maple, alongside some oaky notes, grape, banana, clove and other spices. Almost like a wee heavy biere de garde. Very nice.

Tasty biere de garde that melds about two different stylistic themes into one mellow, balanced whole. It's malty and sweet, with that maple component, but has those classic Belgian flavors lingering in the back. Easy to drink, very smooth. Carbonation is a touch high for my liking, but the brew is surprisingly light and airy.

This would be nice to keep on hand in the cellar. Nice brew from Ommegang, from whom I expect nothing less.

 869 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

An amber pour wih a finger of head which dissipated into a small ring. No lacing. Smell is of vanilla, honey, caramel, maple. Flavor is of light barrel.. Vanilla, maple, oak. Very sweet and delicious beer. A lighter medium body. Low carbonation. Glad I got to try it. Nothin too special but definitely a nice beer.

 314 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a clear deep copper color ale with a very generous head with great retention and some very good lacing. Aroma of solid caramelized malt is very dominant with light residual sugar notes also perceptible. Taste is a mix between some caramelized sugar with well balance level of sweetness with some woody notes clearly identifiable and forging a well rounded finish to this beer. Body is full with a smooth texture and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. This is a very good take of the style and the barrel-aging is apparent by smoothing out the taste.

 572 characters

Biere D'Hougoumont from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 351 ratings