Biere D'Hougoumont | Brewery Ommegang

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Biere D'HougoumontBiere D'Hougoumont
Very Good
352 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 352 |  Reviews: 83
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Surly Goat in West Hollywood, CA.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy beige head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, caramel, and wood aromas. Taste is of malt, caramel, wood, and some slight spice flavors. There is an alcohol kick with each sip as well. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice aromas and flavors that make it easy to drink.

 521 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

it pours a radiant brassy golden color with an excited but rapidly fading white lace head. smells intoxicatingly of fresh maple and an unfamiliar but intriguing yeast. definitely smells sweeter on the malts, and woody. flavor is more mellow than the nose, with an intersting maple flavor coming through first. thats a nice touch i think, and its followed by a sweet breakfast bun malt profile and a bourbon finish, including the booze burn. it opens a little more as it warms, but these are the flavors. mouthfeel is nice, very bubbly at first but that settles a lot in a few minutes. its medium bodied and a little sugary on the teeth. i found this to be a most unique brew, very enjoyable with a firm goats cheese before dinner.

 730 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Knapp85
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a nice looking red color, there was a decent off white head on top of the beer for quite a while. The smell of the beer has some Belgian yeast aromas as well as plenty of fresh wood on the nose. The taste of the beer is on the malty side with a slight hint of spice in the finish. The mouthfeel was nicely carbonated with a drinkable body to it. Overall this beer was pretty good, I read that it gets better with age and I would be fun to see how it alters over time. However, the price tags hinders me from getting another bottle.

 550 characters

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of metter98
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
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 BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The biere de garde style seems to be a "sweetheart" style of beer right now, as many brewers have to give their own recipe a shake. However, many shortcuts leave the beer's tasting highly insufficient. But not such ill effects are found with this Ommegang version- it takes the charm of authentic Belgian brewing technique and ingredient choices to pull this off the right way.

D'Hougoumont pours with a hazy peach-copper combination in color. Still, the beer allows soft light to brighten the beer just a touch. Its firm ivory head provides a cottony structure that retains and laces beautifully. The beer simply promotes notions of yeast and fruit, even to the eye.

A whiff of fresh baking bread, bread dough, and yeast form the malty underpinnings are are highly evident to the nose. Backed with fruit esters of peach, oranges, and sulfury apples- the beer starts to show its Belgo-French influences. Light cork-like must offers a slight cellared aroma that adds to the beer's complexity.

Soft and bready, the beer starts off with light kettle caramelization that provides a semi-sweet taste to start to accompany the malty taste of bread dough and sugar cookies. Weave in a zesty taste of freshly zested oranges, peach, and green apple and we have a balanced taste that carries the farmhouse ale into finish. Generous hopping rates contribute herbal flavors of lemongrass before churning to an earthen bitter flavor to close. Light flavors of weathered woods and cork rise late and swirl about the aftertaste and invite the next sip.

The beer's dense texture also seems of bread to its mouthfeel as well. The middle palate waivers slightly to shed the ample creamy carbonation and pushes the textures toward a semi-dry finish with light minty alcohol, and grassy hop dryness.

D'Hougoumont is a fresh "celler" beer that hasn't yet earned its maturity. Its that age that would traditionally dry the beer and develop greater depth of earth flavor and texture. I'm not sure if Ommegang's version can achieve this, but its rush to market leaves it slightly simplified. Still, it's head's and shoulders better than many American attempts at the style.

 2,154 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
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

Photo of oline73
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had this at Max's during the Belgian Independence celebration. Served in a tasting glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a clear amber color with a half finger of creamy off white head that fades to a thick ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Lots of herbal notes with a slight tartness. I'm also getting some honey like sweetness in the background.

Taste: I'm getting a malt sweetness right off the bat with a slightly herbal note from the yeast. I am getting the Belgian spice. Reminds me a bit of Bon Chien.

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

Overall: I wasn't a huge fan of this beer. I thought the finish was a bit off. I don't think I'd have another, especially given the price of a bottle.

 735 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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 superspak
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
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 brentk56
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a burnt orange color with a modest cap that leaves splotches of splashy lace

Smell: Malt forward, with caramel, toast, wood (both buttery oak and sweet maple) and faint dried orange peel elements

Taste: Caramel in the front, with developing toast and wood flavors that complement and contrast - buttery oak and sweet maple; dried spiced orange peel elements arrive in the middle, bringing a medicinal character that is quite pronounced in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I like the malty complexity and the orange peel edge; the wood really adds a nice aspect, as well

 627 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
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

Photo of mothman
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tap at Armsby Abbey

Big creamy fluffy slight rosy head fades semi slowly with sticky soapy lacing, super murky peach rosy color.

Nose hint of rosy berry raspberry like fruits and a bit of light French farmhouse saison like malts and hint of spices with no real funk.

Taste starts with light booze and sweet malts, hints of oak and vanilla as well as light maple like or candi syrup. Just a touch of esters and spices as well as berry like fruit. Oak brings light estery sawdust like wood. Light wheat like malt. Finish is light syrupy but mostly dry, light lingering bitterness and hint of saison funk as well as berry and wood.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall not bad, nothing special but not much of the saison flavors, but drinkable. Nice wood additions.

 772 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of vfgccp
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
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 mactrail
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here it is, my big Ommegang chalice. Pours a lovely rusty amber color with lots of foam. Pleasantly creamy in the mouth. Rich and full bodied.

I keep thinking of peach brandy. It has a distinct fruity, aromatic flavor, like apricots. A little tart and bitter, like the aftertaste of blackberries and chewing on the seeds. Malty with some sweet graininess. There is that distinctive yeasty rasp that seems to permeate every beer they make. Not unpleasant, but it's an eye-opening splash of flavor, and it dominates the aftertaste. I"m wanting a chaser of Aprihop or Ruthless Rye to cut the fruity funk.

From the 750 ml Belgian-style bottle bought at Krisp in San Diego.

 670 characters

Photo of billab914
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Allagash glass. The color was bright amber orange and it had a full, fluffy white head filling the top inch of the glass. The color looked great and it had some nice head retention as well.

The aroma shows a lot of toasted malts and woody oak to it. I get some modest, herbal hop notes along with a little orange rind. The wood aged flavors were very flavorful and well integrated, but also felt very smooth compared to most wood aged beers.

The taste balances the wood, malts and hops all very well. The woody oak flavors are again very good, but yet also pretty smooth. The hops give it a little herbal bitterness, balancing it out in the finish. The malts give it a slightly sweet but more toasty flavor overall. Everything comes together pretty well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with slightly above average carbonation. Overall I thought it was a pretty solid beer. It was well balanced, pretty flavorful and the everything came together nicely. I really liked the woody component to it.

 1,041 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Biere D'Hougoumont from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 352 ratings