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 allengarvin
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A: 4.25 - Hazy amber with a large, dense head atop it. Great retention and lacing.
S: 3.75 - Fruity esters with light malt.
T: 4.25 - Delicious tasting, highly fruity yeast character, spicy phenols, sweet malt with just enough bitterness (and enough attenuation) to dry out the finish.
M: 4.75 - Ommegang always gets the mouthfeel dead-on, with an effervescent carbonation that's a delight.
O: 4.25 - This is a delightful new beer in the Ommegang lineup, one that really feels like Belgian craftsmanship, not just a Belgian yeast thrown at it.

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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 cosiv
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque golden brown with a nice 2 finger head. Head dissipates to a nice small layer which sticks around.

S: Smell is actually quite mute. But what's there is yeast and malt.

T: The yeast comes through brilliantly but not overpowering and is balanced by a delicious malt sweetness. It's simple, yet well balanced.

M: As the head implies, the beer has a strong carbonation which makes for a really great mouthfeel.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip
A: Burnt orange color with a huge head
S: Malt, Belgian yeast and an herbal note
T: The malt/yeast/herbs match the nose but it's more layered, with a bit of earth as well
F: Medium-bodied, smooth
O: A very solid beer worth trying; not the most complex Biere de Garde I've had but a very good introduction to the style

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Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +2.6%

A: poured into a tulip to a nice deep orange with a three finger dense off white head with excellent retention and solid lacing
S: smells of rye, malty sweetness, spices and pears
T: taste is sweet fruitiness with hints of pears, spicy rye and yeast, and a nice maltyness and a little floral hop. swallow is more rye, a little yeast, spices and some herbal flavors
M: this beer has a medium body with soft carbonation and a smooth mouthfeel from the oats. the finish is a little drying

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Brewery Ommegang's Scythe & Sickle last week for $2.59 at The Lager Mill. It's been awhile since I've tried a new Ommegang beer and since I'm in the mood for Fall seasonals I thought I would give this one a try, so lets see how it goes. 2014 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a Belgian style tulip.

A- The label looks ok, it's pretty typical for Ommegang and it goes well with the name, but I don't think it's too eye catching. It poured a hazy orange/burnt orange color that took on more of an amber orange color when held to the light with a little over three fingers worth of creamy, fluffy and somewhat rocky off white head that died down to a thin layer and thick ring that stayed till the end and it left some nice sheets of lacing behind This was a very good looking beer, from the color to the head everything looked really nice.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the Belgian yeast being the first to show up and it imparts a mixture of banana, light clove and a pretty light bubblegum aroma with the banana sticking out the most. Up next come some citrus rind hop aromas which are just a little juicy and they lead into the malts which impart some light sweet malt, caramel, bready and light biscuit like aromas. This beer had a good aroma the malt base was nice and the Belgian yeast worked well with the citrus rind hops.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but it's a little lighter and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with the malts being the first to show up and they impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma with no single aspect sticking out the most, but it is little lighter this time around. Up nest comes the Belgian yeast which imparts the exact same aspects that it did in the aroma with the banana still sticking out the most and it's followed by the citrus rind hops that are just a little lighter than they were in the aroma. On the finish there's a pretty low amount of bitterness with e Belgian yeast and citrus rind hop aftertaste. This was a pretty nice tasting beer, but I wish it was as bold as the aroma was.

M- Smooth, very crisp, slightly prickly, dry on the finish, medium bodied with a slightly lower of high carbonation. This beer had a very nice mouthfeel that fit it very nicely.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and I thought it was a nice example of the style, it felt like it was on the tamer side of a Biere De Garde with no tartness showing up, but it did have a fair amount of that malty aspect that I expect from the style. This beer had nice drinkability, it was smooth, very crisp, slightly prickly, dry on finish, not foo filling and the taste did a nice job at holding at holding my attention, I think two would be my limit, any more than that and the higher carbonation might start to wear on me. What I like the most about this beer was the appearance and mouthfeel, they were both very nice and I thought they were the highlights of this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was that the taste didn't seem as bold and bright as the aroma, I think that's the only thing I would want to change. I might buy this beer again when in the mood for the style and I for sure wouldn't turn one down. I would recommend this to anyone who likes malty beers with Belgian yeast, it has some decent balance to it. All in all I liked this beer, but I didn't love it, with just a little work it could be a great beer though. It's not my favorite beer from Brewery Ommegang and it isn't my favorite Biere De Garde, it falls right in the middle of the style. Nice job guys this, this was a nice beer that fit well into the season, keep up the solid work.

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Photo of babaracas
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly hazy medium orange with big rocky cream colored head, sea foam chunks down the glass. Smell: whole grain bread, pils-y, mildly fruity with some unripe banana (no thanks) and suggestion of nectarine (more please). Mild earthiness. Taste: milk caramel, grainy and mildly grassy and spicy, muddled pear/banana mush, peach skin, spicy and grainy in the finish. Enjoyable.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Pours two fingers of head on a cloudy straw colored body.
The aroma is honey, grain and spice. Pretty nice.
The taste has a complex and balanced profile. Moderate doses of grapefruit bitter and honey sweet.
The texture is crisp.

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Photo of Act25
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%

Ommegang is part of Duvel, and it shows. This beer is perfect ode to autumn.

A: Hazy amber body, topped by intense foamy head, that lasts and laces. 4.25
S: Plentiful aroma of fresh bread, apple orchard, and spicy peppercorns. A bit of cider.
T: Creamy and dreamy. Crust of fresh bread, layered with fruit jam (apricot, apple butter), apple cider, yeasty bread centers, and a nice finishing peppery, spice, rye balance this brew. Great long finish.
MF: creamy, rich, cidery.

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Photo of KFBR392
2.44/5  rDev -37.4%

Appearance: Pours a muddy dark orange color. A finger of head on the pour settled in but was present while drinking. Sticky lacing left behind at each level. Moderate amount of active carbonation.

Smell: Wheat, barley, and flaked oats open up the front with a curious, slightly artificial sweetness lingering beneath. Earthy, herbal hops are present on the body with accompanying earthy yeast notes. Prairie grass and straw bring the aroma full circle.

Taste: Rye, oats, and that weird artificial sweetness jump the palate. The off flavor has a type and plastic, mossy, syrupy flavor that clings to the palate and lingers throughout. It's a similar flavor profile to homebrews I've had made with malt extract instead of actual grain. Some grains and grass on the back end but it was tough for me to get past the artificial sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Cloying, unfittingly drying, and the carbonation was on the brighter side which pull out some of the imperfections.

Overall: Definitely not what I was expecting. Seeing Domaine DuPage on the side of this page got me excited for potential similarities with one of my all-time favorite beers. But alas, this was something was different and in no way up my alley. Ommegang rarely misses but this is one.

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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 Roxie_B
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks: Beautiful to behold. Clear and vibrant copper colored with a plentiful and sturdy fluffy white head.
Smell: Earthy. Primarily a yeast aroma with the smell of musk melon and gourds.
Taste: Sweet and bright up front. This is SWEET. In the middle I get some alcohol sting. Finishes off with a burst off hop bitterness. As it warms the sweetness dies away and is replaced by earthy oats. There is a faint hint of other fruits in there as well.
Mouthfeel: Sprightly carbonation.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle picked up in Port Huron; bottled July 17 2013 and best before July 2015. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a foggy orange-amber colour, with lots of effervescence and a big, pillowy off-white layer of froth on top. It recedes slowly but steadily over the next period of minutes, leaving a messy pattern of lace behind before settling into a lumpy cap and collar. The aroma is dominated by a pleasant mixture of overripe pear, appleskin, yeast, and herbal notes, with a light touch of banana. Alright, let's see if this one tastes as good as it looks and smells.

Wow, this is tasty. Plenty of malt variety - grainy barley, some bready wheat sweetness, as well as nice spicy rye notes alongside some brown sugar. Finishes with an interesting mixture of raisin, orange, yeastiness and herbal bitterness. Slightly phenolic - sticks out a bit initially, but once the beer warms it blends in a bit better, becoming more of a spicy/herbal bitterness instead of a medicinal one. Medium-bodied, with a very smooth mouthfeel that I am assuming can be attributed mostly to the oats. Lively carbonation initially, but it eventually settles down a bit and the beer becomes much more quaffable..

Final Grade: 4.19, a very respectable A-. I can't profess to be an expert in this style (as I've had only one other biere de garde, and only a dozen or so saisons for that matter), but I knows what I likes, and Ommegang's Scythe & Sickle is one farmhouse-style ale that I am really digging. A great brew that all fans of pale Belgian styles and farmhouse ales should consider worth seeking out - and given the fact that this bottle is over a year old, it holds up quite nicely in the short-term, too. Kind of wish I'd bought six of them, now.

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Photo of russpowell
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent amber with 3+ fingers of cream colored head. .Stellar head retention & lacing, a bit cloudy

S: Pears & leafy hops, green appleskins

T: Follows the nose, some candi sugar as well, a little bit of white grape as well, a little bit of cinnamon as well. Pears, a little bit of caramel, dryness & leafy hops as this warms & cinnamon again, a touch of boozeyness. Finishes dry, fruity & slightly sweet with a little bit of persimmon

MF: Medium bodied, soft carbonation, warming

Good shot at the style, well worth a try, I would consider buying this again....

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Undated bottle at 42 degrees into becht glass
Slight grainy aroma
Head large (6.5 cm), off white, creamy, slowly diminishing
Lacing good; multiple arcs of thick bubbles, mostly very small with some markedly larger.
Body medium amber, cloudy; some sediment in bottle bottom
Flavor is lightly malty with well-blended graininess, just a touch of hops; no alcohol, no diacetyl. Flavor dies quickly with no after taste and no alcohol warming.
Palate is light to medium, creamy, lively carbonation.

This is a well-balanced ale, leaning slightly to the malt. It is just a little too malty to be really refreshing but is not bad at all.

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Photo of cyclonece09
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours golden orange with a fluffy white head. Smells of wheat and slight Belgian yeast. Tastes of wheat and some sweet spiciness. Beer is heavily carbonated finishing nice with a light body. Overall a very good beer.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA.

Pours a clear burnished amber colour, perhaps with a slight haze running through it. Head forms a huge, frothy crest of off-white: stacks of carbonation forms it without much coaxing. Messy, soapy carbonation completes the picture. The beer is vibrant and alive.

Nose is muted, but pleasant. Slight vegetative fragrance sits above a more earthy, slightly sweet Belgian note. It has a lovely broad basis that allows the spicier characters to do their thing over the top. Crushed celery and a little salt and pepper. It's very nice.

Taste is a lot lighter, which works, but the nose suggested some complexity that's just not there. It's a pleasantly drinkable palate that results. Clean celery, vegetative characters over a smooth basis of neutral malt. Slight mixed spice character on the back finishing with a very dry back palate. Feel is smooth, but without much to work with.

Overall. I like it a lot. There are certainly good characters to it, and while it's lighter and less interesting on the palate that it ideally could be, it's certainly still flavoursome. A drinkable beer that retains its class.

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Photo of danmouer
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The brewery describes this offering as a Biere de Garde. I think for once, I will leave off my BJCP hat and judge this for what it is, rather than what it calls itself. What is it? It's a wonderful bottle of beer, that's what. Yes, it does have a lot of that "Farmhouse Ale" character, in the smooth mouthfeel enhanced by oats, and the less than smooth character of malted wheat and rye. There is a great moussy head and soft full efforvescence reminiscent of great saisons, and the rich malty palate one hopes to find in a Biere de Garde. But the hops make it very American, IMHO, and very good.

This is just a fabulous, mouthfilling, complex, rich, celebratory ale. Try it. You will like it.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I've had a number of beers of this style and I still don't know what it's supposed to be. I guess that this one has a bit of Ommegang bias to it, whether that's from the water or yeast, but it has a familiar resemblance, and that's a good thing.

It looks majestic, with great foam and leave. The aroma is big and yeasty. The taste sticks in your mouth like a real beer, one you won't forget. I'll not sure how it would go with food. It better be tasty food.

So I think this is my favorite of this style but it makes me want to try more.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

There's zero indication on the label that this is a biere de garde as it's currently categorized, so I'm reviewing it based on what the brewers do call it - a harvest ale. 5.8% ABV confirmed. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded pry-off pressure cap and generally appealing label art purchased at a local TX bottle shop and served into Stella Artois stemware in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are pretty high given the brewery.

Served cold - straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a four finger wide head of white-khaki colour. Has a nice supple complexion and a smooth consistency. Nice fluffiness with some slight creaminess. Head retention is good - about 7-8+ minutes. Spotty inconsistent lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a translucent transparent copper of above average vibrance; it looks great when backlit. Appears overcarbonated judging by the overabundance of swirling carbonation bubbles. Clean; no yeast particles/sediment is/are visible.

Overall, it's a good appearance for a harvest ale and I'm looking forward to trying it. Definitely above average, but not unique or special. I've seen better, but this is appealing.

Sm: Oats, clean barley, pale malts, flaked wheat, a kiss of spicy rye malt, a hint of caramalt, and some floral hop character. It's a perfumey wet aroma guided by a subtle touch of lightly funky and biscuity yeast. The yeast character plays off a prominent starchiness I attribute to the oats.

I also pick up on some vague fruit rind and a touch of pepper.

It's an inviting aroma of mild strength. I'm really looking forward to trying it.

No off-notes or overt alcohol are detectable.

T: Ample amounts of oats are present along with their accompanying starchiness - which is complemented by the flaked wheat. The rye is even more subdued than anticipated, with hardly any spiciness coming through. Lightly spicy funky biscuity yeast is present throughout, lending the build some needed cohesion, and is complemented well by the brief peppery character. Hop character is timid, and I can only find generic floral hops. There's also some honey sweetness.

Balanced and enjoyable, but the depth of flavour is lower than anticipated. The beer overall tips towards the sweet end, but has enough Average duration and intensity of flavour. It's got some light subtlety and nuance (mainly the starchiness), as well as fair complexity for a harvest ale. Cohesive, but not gestalt.

I would like to see the yeast character played up more, as well as the peppery notes in particular. Biere de gardes always have a tendency to come off like "saison lites" to me, but the subtle presence of peppery character here hints at a superior brew.

Mf: Refreshing, coarse, and lightly dry (in a starchy kind of way). A bit overcarbonated. Not a soft as I'd like, nor as creamy as it should be given the oats. Has too much body and thickness for the flavour profile. Still, overall presence on the palate is favorable and I do think the texture complements the taste well in a general sense.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh.

Dr: Scythe & Sickle is an enjoyable harvest ale with some interesting flavours, but never quite comes together as much as is needed to elevate it beyond being merely "good." Still, it's a damn fine seasonal and I look forward to trying it again. Another solid beer from Ommegang which I'd probably recommend friends try. Hides its ABV well and drinks very easily. Finishing this bottle is something I'm looking forward to.

High B-

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Photo of RyanPoff
3.2/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pint at the Union Jack pub in Indianapolis.

A: Slightly darker than a penny clear copper color. Two fingers of white head with heavy lacing on the return. Excellent.

S: Funky Belgian yeasts and some floral, citrusy hops. Other than that, not a lot. Decent, but nondescript.

T: Belgian yeasts and very light hops up front. An almost gym like aftertaste. Lose the aftertaste and it would improve greatly.

M: Appropriate carbonation and not too heavy, but feels a little oily and slick.

I remembered this being better in a 5 oz sample, but maybe I had too much then. Slightly disappointed from Ommegang.

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Photo of StuyBeerGuy
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is an interesting beer that I got at a great price.

I tried to pour it to the exacting standards proscribed on the bottle but did not balance the the gentleness required to avoid upsetting the yeast with the vigor to evenly distribute the sediment and ended up with an impressively large head that had long lasting retention and released a pleasant bouquet that highlighted the unique combination of a surprisingly large variety of hops. I enjoyed the sweet taste yet there was a slightly astringent mouthfeel that I can only attribute to the presence of rye. An enjoyable beer.

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Photo of hreb
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in pint glass, (substantial) yeast reserved in the bottle. The beer is mostly clear and orange amber in color. Massive off-white head; huge spicy-floral yeast aroma.

Sipping through the foamy top I find aggressive carbonation and a delicious, grainy body. Oats must provide the smoothness on the palate while rye provides a grainy bite. Lots of flavor here, but not a lot of hop bitterness. Nor excessive sweetness. But the yeast has developed some really great flavors of honey and cloves here. Would drink again.

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Photo of flayedandskinned
3.51/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2013 vintage
Poured into a standard tulip glass.

Appearance: (4)
Pours an opaque, light amber with a towering and rocky 3.5 finger tall head. The head has fantastic retention and leaves sheets of sticky lacing behind it its wake.

Aroma: (3.5)
Sweet fruits are immediately apparent as you raise the glass to your nose; mostly sweet plums, cherries and bananas. A soft, herbal hop character and a spicy rye undertone offer some contrast to the predominately sweet nose. As the beer warms, sweet oats and wheat surface. The grainy character really lends a rustic edge to this almost cloying nose.

Taste: (3.5)
Spicy, slightly citrus-y hops slap your palate immediately,. The hops are followed by some sweet, banana and clove yeast esters. As the yeast quickly takes over the flavor profile, some spicy rye and tangy wheat help cut the sweetness. The beer finishes dry and grainy, leaving a lightly sweet and bready malt coating on your palate. Long, lingering notes of herbal hops, spicy rye, bananas and cloves

Mouthfeel: (3.25)
Medium bodied with high, stingy carbonation. The oats used in the grain bill lend a creaminess on the backside of your palate.

Overall: (3.5)
A decent Biere De Garde that even with it's rustic, spicy and complex grain bill, is a bit too sweet for my liking. The high level of carbonation is a bit too grating on my palate and really blows out a fair amount of the diverse grains.

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Photo of biegaman
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Scythe & Sickle is pretty enough you'd think it was wearing makeup. Light is this beer's best friend; properly exposed, it reveals lucid tangerine tones that are so bright it makes it hard to believe that the ale is actually so clouded as to be hardly translucent. Brewed with barley, wheat, oats and rye, it's hardly surprising that the beer yields a strong and healthy head.

The brewery neglects to tell us what style they were aiming for with this recipe, but the nose gives us a clue. In keeping with the brewery's heritage and track record, Belgian (or at least French) yeast was clearly used. Listed in some places as a Bière de Garde, it's malty sweetness, slight herbals and woodsy (almost cedar-like) bouquet doesn't contradict that.

The taste is fairly nondescript; it "celebrates the richness of the grain" not by showing off bold, intricate flavours but rather by providing a hearty mouthfeel. The ale sure as hell is satiating, especially for something so relatively light in colour and low in bitterness. Somewhere between 'thirst-quenching' and 'soul warming', this makes a good Fall seasonal.

While far from elaborate, it's complicated to describe. The more I get into Scythe & Sickle, the more I discover of that mysterious cellar/herbal/spicy thing found in the Bière de Garde style; Ommegang is proud of their Belgian roots but this beer reminds me of so many French offerings I've tried over the years (same difference, really). It is approachable but deceivingly layered - tastes of toast, over-ripe orchard fruits and savory spices are plentiful.

Admittedly, beer reviewing is inherently a subjective thing. But trust me when I say that - objectively speaking - Ommegang is one of the best breweries when it comes to consistency and quality; they've displayed more integrity than arguably anybody else. They know what they're all about - brewing Belgian-style ales - and they continue to be the leader at doing so. Scythe & Sickle is in keeping with their prestigious reputation and excellent portfolio.

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