Biere D'Hougoumont | Brewery Ommegang

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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.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 352 |  Reviews: 83
Photo of Lee45102
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Baab200
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of gr0g
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is revealed as an orange-amber after a pour into an Ommegang tulip. Moderate cloudiness. A 2+ finger head shows good retention, but only some sparse lacing is left behind. The usual farmhouse ale aromas are present along with some oak character picked up from the aging on oak staves. Though this beer was also aged on maple staves, I'm not able to pick up any maple. Some chalky yeast and plenty of toffee malt. The oak adds a very nice complexity to the aroma.

The flavor profile features a very nice interplay between malty sweetness, tartness, bitterness, and oak. While generally dry, the underlying malt body is allowed to showcase a slightly sweet butterscotch note. A slight tartness throughout leads to a bitter finish. A slight vanilla note is lent by the oak aging. Carbonation is lively but still somewhat soft.

Ommegang impresses me more often than not, so I'm not surprised at how good this is. The wood aging imparts a very nice complexity. Despite the price premium, this is very much worth picking up. I'd definitely like to see this brewed again.

 1,072 characters

Photo of jsanford
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Haybeerman
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of mkrass
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of BugTownPub
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of JVan
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Amerikon
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

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 lightfool
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of craigdb
4.31/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SadMachine
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Ommegang flute glass. Pours a coppery amber with a nice two finger off-white head with great retention and lots of lacing. Spicy aroma of orange rind, caramel malt, Belgian yeast and light grassy hops. Flavor an interesting, well integrated caramel malt, maple syrup, oak, vanilla and stone fruit. Finishes drier with lingering maple and pleasant wood. Light to medium bodied, but excellent mouth feel from active carbonation. This is definitely a bit sweet for a biere de garde, and does not have a strong wild yeast element, but I found it delicious. The deviation from a biere de garde were all towards my taste. Very enjoyable.

 646 characters

Photo of pknyc
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of tastymug
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Photo of Buggies
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of THECPJ
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Zkman87
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of wheatshock
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of KTCamm
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark amber with white foam. Hazy look to it. Sunny citrussy smell. Light fruit otherwise malty. Smooth and subtle malt taste. Background yeast and light sugar taste. Cherries. Toffee. Hugely flavorful with a perfect carbonation that blends in. Subtle booziness.There is an oakiness in the background. This is a fantastic beer.

 332 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.04/5  rDev -21%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Opens with a resounding Pop!

Pours amber/honey colored with a thin cream colored head. Sme floaties early on, no head retention or lacing

S: Pears, peaches & sourmash; appleskins (green) as this warms

T: Folllows the nose, a touch of honey & dryness up front. Pears & appleskins as this warms, slight boozey honey flavors, some brown sugar & passion fruit notes & some floral notes . Finishes with Golden Delicious apple sweetness, & dryness

MF: Light/medium bodied with near zero carbonation, become even thinner as this warms

I usually like ommegang, but this one is meh at best

 588 characters

Photo of andthevolcano
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of nova009
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a caged and corked bomber into my Ommegang glass

A- pours a clear dark copper color with a slight red hue to it, a big fluffy two finger head appears and sticks around for a long time, a steady stream of bubbles races to the top

S- malty and a bit earthy, some funk mixed in, definitely some oak, figs and other dark fruits, dark cherries, slightly noticable belgian yeast notes, slightly sweet as well

T- malty and earthy just like the nose, some hop bitterness mixed in, some woodiness as well, a little tartness as well, dark fruits aren't as noticeable on the sip, alcohol is noticeable toward the end of the swallow, seems a little lacking

M- medium body, fairly high carbonation, slightly chewy, finishes dry

O- there was something slightly off with the flavor, felt like it was lacking a little bit, other than that the style and composition of the beer was pretty spot on, might grab another and see if it develops over the years

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Biere D'Hougoumont from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 352 ratings
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