Scythe & Sickle | Brewery Ommegang

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Scythe & SickleScythe & Sickle

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Scythe & Sickle is an-amber ale brewed with a variety of malts, including pils, rye flakes and oat flakes, for incredible depth of flavor and a hint of natural sweetness. Scythe & Sickle brings a new life and flavor to autumn beer lists traditionally filled with Oktoberfests and pumpkin ales. The flavors of the hard work of summer and the celebration of autumn harvest are captured in Scythe & Sickle, creating a unique but traditional Ommegang farmhouse harvest ale.

“Scythe & Sickle is our foray into honoring the harvest season, taking the finest malts and blending them seamlessly into a rich amber ale,” says Brew Master Phil Leinhart. “Farming is about precision, timing and care, and this gently sweet ale is our testament to the craft and care of farming.”

Added by MLasoski on 08-27-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 237 | Ratings: 1,118
Photo of Caveworm
4.74/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Scythe & Sickle - Brewery Ommegang. Poured from the bottle into a glass seidel, this beer's got a 2 finer thick frothy white head, sheer lacing, and a clear golden amberish body. A very appealing brew in this discipline.

Smells like the harvest grains mentioned on the bottle. Like I'm right at the farm. Great job!

I taste the rye and extra barley right away, but its not overpowering by any means. Just enough to coat the tongue. Its a very well balanced taste. The rye is not sharp or vicious. The oat is noticeable, too, serving as kind of a mellowing agent. This was certainly a great choice for my first Bière de Garde.

Mouthfeel is smooth and crisp. There are zero lingering elements associated with this beer. A very refreshing feel, indeed.

Overall, a 4.75 is given to Scythe & Sickle - Brewery Ommegang. A great fall and even winter brew to mix things up from cinnamon/clove/nutmeg and allspice/molasses/cinnamon. I will definitely buy this again.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-dark amber with a thin cream colored head

S-dark Belgian grains with a good hint of spicy peppercorn. Good strength. Smells awesome

T-comes in with a peppery taste of roasted Belgian grains and sugars. This is a really good one. The peppercorn flavor seems to stick to the tongue. The after-taste is of dark Belgian spices and grains.

M-medium to high carbonation with a semi-dry finish

O-this is actually just an awesome beer. I rarely get a well done variation of a Belgian style by an American brewery. It even tastes like it is from Belgium. Good tastes like this are rare at a decent price.

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Photo of alaskannomad
4.59/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

An amazing, underrated beer.

Innovative use of wheat, rye and oats to add flavor and body. Adjuncts improve upon the biere de garde style. The DMT is toned down by the rye. The bite of the carbonation is balanced by the creaminess of the oats.

Malty, but not too sweet. Just a hint of alcohol bitterness. Very good, very innovative offer from Ommegang.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a tulip glass

A: pours a hazy but beautifully bright medium amber color with an orangish hue, quite beautiful, pours with a ton of pure white head that lingers nicely and is light and fluffy, leaves a ton of lacing all over the glass, screams ommegang quality
S: im confident that i can identify ommegang beers in a blind smell test, there is just something about their yeast strain that comes through clearly in every one of their beers and this one is no exception
T: wow, has a great sweetness throughout, really great fruit notes im picking up possibly apples and something almost peachlike? really delicious, nice depth with the malt bill but not entirely heavy, drinks quite lightly, also what i would characterize as rye notes
M: carbonation up front, crisp on the palate, smooth finish, leaves a very slight dryness but nothing too crazy
O: really happy with this one, i think ommegang did a great job crafting a harvest time beer with solid notes but also that was highly drinkable, uniquely ommegang, awesome!

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Funk, spice and grain aromas greet the nose. The beer pours slightly hazy copper amber, producing a huge 3” rocky, very persistent off white foam cap. Very fine and soft carbonation in combination with the rye, oats and wheat produces very big, clingy, clumpy lace. Big grain flavors dominate the palate with biscuit supporting rye spice, some rye/wheat tang, slight funk and some faint banana. Earthy hops come in at the end to complete this light, well rounded and well composed beer. The grains in this medium body beer provide a rich rye, wheat and oat texture with a little oat slickness.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewery Ommegang "Scythe & Sickle Harvest Ale"
12 oz. brown bottle, "PKG ON 07/17/13 BEST BY 07/2015" - a little over a year old at the time of tasting. I would imagine that time has allowed some of the malt sweetness to recede, some of the spice to soften, and whatever alcohol that might have been there to smooth. Sampled at 48˚F.
$8.99/4-pack @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Beautiful packaging. Great name. The bottle opens with a crack and a hiss. The longstanding bottle delivered a crystal-clear dark amber body before the yeast was roused, giving it a bit of haze and a seemingly lighter color. Had I been more careful I could have maintained the clarity but I wanted some of the yeast flavor as well. The frothy yellowed off-white head holds remarkably well and leaves sheets of broken lace behind it.

I feel as if I can smell the rye in the nose, delivering a bit of spiciness atop a delicate sweetness of wheaty malt. Regardless, there's a bright spiciness that's at least partially due to the yeast as well, and I'm assuming added spices. It's bold, almost like a whiff of cinnamon powder.

The flavor is spicy as well, and again I can't tell how much of that's coming from the yeast, but it's clear that at least some of it is coming from the rye. It's refreshing to get the distinct flavor of the rye without it being hidden behind notes of darker malts or spicy hops! There's just enough sweet, golden and delicately caramelish malt to balance that; and some wheat character balances it out - it's richly malty without being overdone in body. Quite pleasant with some apple-like fruitiness mixed in. As might be expected, the bitterness is kept in check as the spiciness does quite a bit to dry it. It lingers on the palate well into, and even through, the finish... a bit of spice hangs on even at the last moment as I'm raising the glass to my lips for another sip.

In the mouth it's medium bodied, and it delicately bristles across the tongue.

Overall it's quite an impressive ale, delivering a brilliant combination of a Belgian-style ale with a maltier "harvest" ale, essentially creating a bit of a new style. But forget that, it's the richness of its character, and the balance that make it worth seeking out.

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Photo of chanokokoro
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into an Brewery Ommegang branded tapered pint glass

Pours a fairly clear cararmel-colored amber with a two finger bright white pillowy head. Everlasting retention and thick, coating lacing. Wonderful nose, rich Belgian yeast, whole-grain biscuit, light spice, and a hint of caramel sweetness. Opens with wheat, oats, freshly harvested grain joined by toffee with just a hint of light butter, rich yeasty esters and hint of light fruit, lightly sweet appleskin specifically, Pleasant light spice and mildly spicy rye. Light to light medium body that feigns heavier at times; pleasant tantalizing carbonation. Slick and silky mouthfeel with a surprising touch of light creaminess. This really is a fantastic brew. So subtlely complex and balanced, a true pleasure to drink. Ommegang adds another amazing beer to an already exceptional lineup of offerings.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.49/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz. Bottle

Pours a very nice slightly cloudy dark golden orange color, very nice carbonation, with a very very nice off-white three-finger foamy/creamy head, which leaves some very very nice thick/creamy small islands and sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, very slight yeast note, very slight spice note. The taste is very nice, mostly malty, with a very slight yeast note, and spicy. Medium body, with a very nice dry/bitter finish. Overall, a very very nice brew, I like it. Recommeded!

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.49/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

You don't see many beers out there honoring the harvest season with a MALTY beer. With Ommegang, what were you expecting, an IPA? With 12 ounces of it and a ribeye/pasta/garlic bread dinner, this should be a great meal. On to the beer:

Like the season, Scythe & Sickle is dark autumn orange and topped with a large frothy head which lasts all the way down to the end. Many spots of lace stick the tulip as the beer's level drops. First smell, you wouldn't expect it to be a showcase of 4 cereals, as the succulent yeast brings banana, cake batter, vague spice, and phenolic aromas. Simply great.

Flavor orgasm follows. The fruity yeast shows itself first. Spicy bananas become defined along with white pepper, a kiss of orange, phenolic notes, and sweet bread. Not only complex, but very very tasty without become too malty. It's also working as it washes down my dinner. The beer is medium bodied and very relaxed, putting the final touch on this beer.

Excellent excellent! Scythe & Sickle is the type of high quality I've come to expect from Ommegang, perhaps the USA's best Belgian-style brewer. Along with Leann Follain and Firestone Pivo, this trio are three new (to me) excellent beers which I've tasted in the last two weeks which are easy to obtain and don't require a golden ticket.

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Photo of pkalix
4.48/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

wow! what a head! what a beautiful, creamy, rich but light, beautiful (again) head. hazy orange with bubbles rising in the pilsner glass (yeah, i know, something else would have been a bit more appropriate).
smell is sweet, like a german hefe, yet with some fruity accent to it giving it an almost belgian strong ale aroma.
taste is (again) like a belgian ale, and with a little wheat-iness to it. lots of malt. says there is oat and barley, but the taste is more of a higher abv'd belgian....
mouthfeel... kind of heavy, but still quite clean and refreshing.
overall... a superb try. it's a great brew to sample, but not one i am going to session. but then, i dont session anything anymore except samplers.... so i'm going with giving this one a score of 94 overall due to the pour and the taste. glad i tried it; will recommend it to others....

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Photo of CASK1
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured to an Ommegang goblet.

Sweet malt aroma with lots of complex fruit. Pear and apricot. Nondescript Belgian yeast spiciness. Low grainy malt aroma.

Medium orange, slightly hazy, long lasting white head.

Complex rustic flavor. Nice balance of grainy malt, yeast spice and earthy hops. Med-high bitterness accentuated by the dry finish. Light alcohol sweetness. A lot going on here.

Medium body up front. Mouth filling effervescence. Dry finish. Slightly alcohol warming.

Complex, refreshing, rustic, and earthy. A new favorite by a favorite brewery.

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Photo of burnstar
4.46/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark slightly murky gold with a huge head. Lots of lacing. Phenolic and earthy yeasty smell. Great complex grainy taste. You can definitely pick out the sour rye. And there is a bit of pronounced wheat character as well. Bananas and cloves. Obviously barley. What is there to say about barley- what you're used to, toasty in this case. The oats are less noticeable but make their presence known a little bit in the mouthfeel. Lots of yeast characteristics too. Earth and fruit. Some bitterness from hops- maybe a little roasted malt bitterness too? Pretty fantastic. Well carbonated and full bodied. Drinkability is fairly low. This is a sipper, not a session beer. Strong and heavy. And I know fall beers should probably be sessionable.... oktoberfests etc. But still, this is an awesome fall beer. I'd like to have some of these on a cool night around a camp fire. I'm actually tempted to try something like this as a homebrew. Memorable and great overall.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle from Neds.

Appearance: Pours an orange amber with some chill haze. A real deal Belgian head with sticky, sparkly lacing. Good looking beer.

Smell: Sweet and toasty malt. Some light fruity esters like pear or apple, and some slightly darker fruit as well. The yeast aroma is wonderful, bready, slightly musty.

Taste: Really like this. The flavor of the yeast is prominent and as above-- very bready and a little musty and peppery without being otherwise funky. Sweet malt flavors and some toast. A bit of spicy rye near the back end along with a bit of clean, herbal hop flavor and a touch of bitterness rounds it out almost perfectly.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy. Fairly clean finish with the exception of some nice lingering yeasty flavor. Feels big for a biere de garde.

Overall: One of the biggest surprises for me in months. Just a great beer, and very well suited for the fall season.

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

December 30, 2014

12 oz bottle, nonic pint

A – Dark gold to orange and then moderately-deep amber. A couple inches of foamy, craggy, thick head, with very long retention. Beer is hazy. The colors are brilliant, beautiful to look at.

S – Deep aroma of caramel, baked brown bread, and Maillard sweetness. A slight impression of breakfast syrup. Hop aroma is floral, fairly bitter. Also getting some mild vanilla and lemon.

T – Caramel malts and browned biscuits, with an even mix of floral hop flavor and bitterness. A touch of lemon here as well. Malty sweet, but carbonation and bitterness balance it out well.

M – Again, sweet from the malt, with off-setting bitterness lasting through the finish. Moderately high carbonation, very sudsy. Somewhat heavy body, with only a touch of dryness on the swallow.

O – With the high levels of maltiness and carbonation and the heavy body, this is nearing liquid bread. Love the balance of all of that with light but flavorful hops and perfect level of bitterness. A fantastic brew.

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Photo of escapegoat
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm kinda surprised to see mixed reviews on this one. I was planning on brewing a very similar beer for the fall - basically a Rye Saison that included a bit of oat silkiness and wheat tang. I was planning on going heavier on the rye and a different family of hops. I'm glad I picked it up because now I have a really balanced version of what I was planning on brewing to start as a reference point.

The taste is really great - quaffable and complex with the wheat standing out relative to the rye or oat. The head on this beer is among the best I've seen. I'll be going back for some more.

I believe the style listed for the beer might be steering people in the wrong direction. This beer is more saison or farmhouse than any other style. Tastes like a Belgian Ardennes yeast, but has a bit of saison-y pepper to it.

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Photo of DIM
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

a: Slightly hazy gold tinted copper; poured with big, fluffy, uneven head.

s: Husky grains, spicy rye, vague fruity yeast, and a healthy dose of barnyard funk.

t: Nice balance between grain and yeast. Slight caramel sweetness and the rye stands out in grain bill I think. Long yeasty finish, more spice than fruit. Mild lingering medicinal bitterness.

m: Incredibly soft, light, and airy.

o: Great beer from Ommegang, no surprise there. A definite repeat purchase for me.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on December 16, 2012.

It pours a bronze copper-amber with a tremendous fluffy off-white head that settles after a few moments.

The aroma exhibits esters of Belgian candied sugar, grainy pale malts, and a slight floral hop note.

The body is medium, smooth but also a little astringent.

This tastes a lot like a Belgian Tripel without the citrus zing. It has more of a sweet caramel malt start with pepper and cloves playing up the rear and lingering momentarily on the palate. I am not sure if I would call it a harvest ale but it is quite tasty no matter how you define it.

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Photo of zeff80
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a two-finger, khaki colored head of foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled very fruity and floral. Some sweet caramel maltiness.

T - It tasted of tropical fruits like mango and grapefruit. Good caramel maltiness with some toffee and a touch of bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is an amazing brew. I don't see it as a Biere de Garde, but it it so good.

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Photo of scootny
4.41/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a superb looking beer. The head stands tall and firm three to four fingesr plus. One and a half above the rim of my Long Trail Brewmaster Series glass. Very slow fade leaves a ton of lace and a thick covering. Mostly clear light brown with orange hues and some carbonation activity in the glass. Smell is sweet with fruity Belgian yeast esters and bready malt. Some light floral hops and bit of overripe banana. Spicy notes from the rye carry some pepper and faint cinnamon. Roasted grains throughout with caramel malt and light toffee. Taste is like a fall version of Rare Vos. Deep roasted grain maltiness with a dark fruit sweetness yields to a Belgian yeast with earth and an herbal hop bitterness that is delicate but firm. Lots of toffee and caramel wrapped in mutigrain dough. Spicy pepper cinnamon and clove .Finish is clean and dry with a light leafiness lingering in the mouth.just a touch of astringency that dries the mouth nicely. Feel is velvety with a coating carbonation that gives a soft crispness and overall quenching quality. Goes down so easily you find yourself at the end of the glass in seconds it seems. This is in my short ist of most memorable beers I have had this year. A great beer for any occasion and a perfect compliment to any seasonal food.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ommegang Scythe & Sickle Harvest Ale has a medium, creamy, off-white head, a brilliant, bubbly, orange appearance, and a thin lacing sheen left behind on the glass. The aroma is fruity and spicy, and the taste is of peppery rye, white bread, white bread crust, fruit, and there is a nice hop bitterness at the end. The mouthfeel is medium and prickly, and Ommegang Scythe & Sickle finishes dry, sweet, and easily drinkable. Overall, this is a most excellent beer.


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Photo of thezach
4.36/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Try this beer, let it age, try it again! I picked this one up last fall, around August 2012, and figured I'd love it. Boy, was I wrong. It was puckering and astringent and smelled like musty hay and grass and just, wow, I did not enjoy it. Thankfully, I said "well enough of THAT beer, and put one aside for about a year until I found it yesterday and figured, ", why not?"

So now, one year later, this beer poured a crystal clear burnt gold with a towering rocky white head that lasts. It presents a wonderful spiciness (maybe pepper, plus what I feel is a warming, spicy alcohol note*) that struck me immediately upon pouring it into my glass. This blends wonderfully with a subdued soft herbal hop note. This was difficult to distinguish from the whifs of light caramel malts that came forward as it warmed. A little toasted biscuit going on there too. Nice clean bitterness that lingers a little bit after the finish alongside the mellow caramel sweetness. It finishes clean and fairly dry, there's even a bit of a puckering note in there too, maybe from the rye, probably also the yeast.

*I figured I must've been mistaken, as the beer falls just shy of 6%. How could that light of a beer have such a prominent alcohol note? Apparently this is the norm for the style. ...I looked it up.

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Photo of Brenden
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A bit of haze lingers in this gold-amber beer. The head, almost perfectly white, sits between one and two fingers tall and shows good form, retaining itself well. Lacing is left in patches and in good quality down the glass.
This beer's showing some depth and complexity in the nose, but it really comes out in the flavor. There's a very light spiciness, toasty grains, soft fruits flesh and just a touch of light earthiness.
The taste has a lot of complexity; with or without having had many of this style (some reviews I haven't gotten to, but I'd say about 10 at this point), there's a mastery evident here. I realize some people don't get or particularly like subtlety, but it's all over this brew. Layers open up beneath one another, then all come together. The yeast offers up light earthy notes as well as spiciness, a wheat element mingling with the bready and toasty malts base. Rye offers a peppery note and chooses to complement rather than overwhelm. Soft flavors of pear and ghostly hints of banana as well as tangy apple flesh almost complete it, a gentle honey-like sweetness holding it together as just enough of a floral hops presence balances it out.
Flaked oats account for this beer's smoothness, which plays with the natural crispness to make for a very nicely balanced feel. The crisp nip is gentle, and this beers flows very, very nicely as the smoothness never fades and the light-medium body never thins or loses depth.
Say what you will about this beer. I love Ommegang, but I wasn't gunning for this to be a superb beer before I tried it. What really sells me is the attention to detail, complexity, and ability to be simultaneously soft but remarkably flavorful and deep.

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Photo of spoony
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 oz bottle into a tulip.

A-The beer poured a mostly clear amber color with orange highlights. There was an impressive three-finger light tan-colored head that really hung around. Good lacing, too.

S-The beer smelled slightly sweet with a mildly funky yeast note. There was also a touch of honey and a little spice to compliment the cereal grains and light maltiness.

T-The taste starts out like the smell, i.e., a little sweet with some lighter malt and grain flavors, but towards the end, there is a nice tangy, almost bitter kick of hops and rye. Just a hint of spice lingers on the palate.

M-Medium to slightly heavy with an almost creamy carbonation. Nicely balanced, if a touch on the heavy side.

O-I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. I did not find a ton of exotic fruit or herbs, and nobody will mistake it for a hop bomb IIPA or monster quad, but the oats, rye, etc. worked to produce a complex and interesting enough beer to drink on its own or, as I did, with some dinner. I also found it pretty could have more than one. All in all, a nice surprise.

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Photo of KelsoSaaz
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into tulip

A: Pours an orange-gold with an off-white, fine and creamy, 2 finger head, also has tons of visible carbonation.

S: Spicy with hints of citrus peel. Rustic bread aromas as well.

T: Citrus and candi sugar. Lots of cereal grains, just as the label says; hints of rye, oat and wheat. General rustic, earthy tones here. Rye tang lasts in the finish.

M: Lots of carbonation that tingles on the tongue with a medium body.

O: One unique beer! Another cracker of a brew from Ommegang. Scythe and Sickle is definitely a Belgian beer for autumn. Would go well with autumn foods and thanksgiving dinner. Get this seasonal when it comes out, it’s definitely one to try.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a globe glass)
A- The clear deep orange body has a thick creamy light tan head and a relaxed microcarbonation to it.

S- The fresh malt has some lightly toasted oat notes and some earthy malt hints followed by some dubbel or dark sherry notes in the finish.

T- The earthy grain has some lightly toasted malt notes followed by the classic Ommegang yeast profile. There is a nice cola note in the finish with a herbal green dry hop finish. The dubble yeast flavor and dark candy notes come thru as the beer opens up.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a gentle carbonation and no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer has a nice toasted malt and earthy grain flavor with great “cellar” character. Making is a bit mysterious, yet complex and sessionable at the same time.

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Scythe & Sickle from Brewery Ommegang
3.9 out of 5 based on 1,118 ratings.
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