Biere D'Hougoumont | Brewery Ommegang

very good
352 Ratings
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Biere D'HougoumontBiere D'Hougoumont

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.”

Added by billab914 on 07-03-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 352 |  Reviews: 83
Reviews by kojevergas:
Photo of kojevergas
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

7.3% ABV confirmed. 750ml brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap (aka a "cage") over a cork served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Expectations are fairly high given the brewery, but the style is difficult to execute. "Ale aged o Maple and Oak wood staves." Sounds tasty.

Poured slowly per label instructions. Served chilled.

Yields a satisfying pop upon removal of the cork. No issues with beer surging out or anything.

A: Pours a four finger beige colour head of nice cream, nice thickness, and pretty good (6+ minute) retention. Body colour is a clear translucent pale copper-gold. Vibrant and appealing. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Typical of the style, yet surprisingly vibrant and appealing. A fine appearance for a biere de garde.

Sm: Soft. Not a harsh or invading aroma. Clove. Banana from the yeast. Bright fruit. Spice. Sweet maple wood & syrup. A bit of subtle oak - but not particularly evocative oak. Light fresh floral hops. Cilantro. Pear. Maple is dominant. Quite light in character yet moderate in strength. Appealing and inviting. No alcohol is detectable. Intriguing.

T/Mf: Hm. Maple sweetness and wood is there, but it's incredibly subtly done. That's impressive, and mixes well with the subtle-but-too-light oak character. Clove, cilantro, and light pear fruit. A bit of banana from the yeast - as well as more clove. The spicing is organic and cohesive, blending well with the light vibe of the beer. Lightly bready. A touch of green apple. Thank god there's no caramel/caramel malt here - that would ruin it. Light lemongrass. It's definitely farmhouse in character without any funkiness or heavy brett character; that's remarkable. I quite like it for what it is. Balanced well.

It has good body but it's shockingly light on the palate - especially for the incredibly well concealed ABV. So light and soft for a biere de garde; it's marvelous. The maple is very well integrated here, but does flirt with crossing the line into too sweet. Luckily, it never quite crosses it - but it comes uncomfortably close. I'd certainly call this one spicy. Orange rind. Light white pepper. A hint of vanilla. Green apple skin. I'm liking it more and more as it warms. Maybe a bit of honey? Brown sugar. Light biscuity yeast. Light fig.

Perfectly carbonated. Lightly dry and coarse on the climax and into the third act; that's incredibly well done. Thickness is perfect; it's never overbearing. Light on the palate and refreshing, enabling a lot of flavour to come through without ever overwhelming. The mouthfeel comes off custom-tailored to the flavour profile. This is a surprisingly well done beer. Delightful stuff.

Some fizzy crystal malt. Light yeasty dough-like character; I don't usually find that in beer. In this sense, it's one of the most bready beers I've ever tried - and I'm sure bread made with it would be great. Lightly cidery. This would pair marvelously with damn near any food out there. Would be a great table beer.

Very complex and very subtlety, yet still approachable. I tip my hat to the brewer.

Dr: I have to admit, this one really took me by surprise. I expected a pretty good beer, but this blindsided me with its quality and execution. This is probably my new benchmark for the biere de garde style. Bravo, Ommegang. Obscenely drinkable and very enjoyable. I'll definitely be picking up this one again, and I'd recommend it to friends. Great stuff, if a bit pricey. Hides its ABV well.


Serve slightly chilled and allow to come to room temperature.

Would pair well with any moderate food. Strong stuff like chocolate is out of the question.

 3,690 characters

More User Reviews:
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 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 generallee
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber-brown color with a white head. The aroma is full of biscuit and bready malt, with some grapes and yeast notes thrown in. I also get a hint of oak. The flavor is full of caramel and toffee, as well as some grape and light fruit notes. There is a bit of oak but it is fairly subtle. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 345 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 mkrass
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of mjtiernan
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of chinchill
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Red_Thunder
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Beer21
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a tulip glass

A- This beer pours a slightly hazy caramel colored body with a thick beige sticky head and some strands of microbubbles gliding to the surface.

S- The fresh rain and yeasty aroma blend with a slightly nutty plastic note that is not offensive. There is a wet wood and nougat note that comes through in the finish. As it opens there is a maple and fusel hint in the finish.

T- The dry malt and fresh grain flavor has a slight pungent papery hop note in the finish. There is a soft maple wood hint that seems a bit odd but remains soft.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a creamy fizz and no alcohol heat

O- This beer is underwhelming and a bit bland. The soft hints of wood character are a bit odd and I don't taste any of the classic Biere de gaurde flavors. Maybe age will help a bit.

 810 characters

Photo of ste5venla
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Nathan50
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of brokentee
4/5  rDev +3.6%

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 riktronics
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of pourmeadrink
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of jwg782
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of jheezee
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of BklynTerp
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at whole foods in a pint glass unfortunately, pours a slightly hazy golden amber color with barely any head, decent retention and no lacing. I get the feeling that if this has been served in a tulip it might have developed a nicer head.

Smel is yeasty and malty- there's some caramel in there and a little funk in addition to the earthy yeast quality.

Taste is consistent but more fleshed out- some hops are thrown into the mix, a fuller malt body, nice yeasty notes, finishes sweet.

Mouthfeel is good- medium body, light to moderate carbonation, a little sticky sweet. Pretty good but not necessarily worth the price (get it at happy hour for 5).

 661 characters

Photo of Mbpike
3/5  rDev -22.3%

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Biere D'Hougoumont from Brewery Ommegang
3.86 out of 5 based on 352 ratings.
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