Belgian Independence Day Double White Ale (2013) | Brewery Ommegang

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Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Belgian White or Wit beers area a traditional classic of Belgium. This iconic style was once almost completely forgotten until brewer Pierre Celis revitalized the style in the mid-1960s. Traditionally brewed with a moderate ABV and spiced with coriander, we have decided to put a twist on a classic for this special occasion.

Hazy, golden-yellow hue supports a rocky white head. Aroma offers balanced fruitiness and notes of clove with a backbone of pale malts. Body is enhanced by elevated ABV and raw and unmalted wheat, yet the beer remains light on the tongue. Taste is pleasantly sweet and refreshing with spicy yeast character and silky mouthfeel. Finish is crisp and slightly tart with lingering notes of spice.

Added by TheBrewo on 07-15-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 3 | Ratings: 30
Reviews by thecheapies:
Photo of thecheapies
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Ommegang Independence. In authentic glassware.

Hazy light blonde with a collar of coarse foam. The head retention is admirable.

Aromas of witte yeast, pilsner malts, wheaty tang, supple orange, coriander, and pale grassiness.

More apple-y for a wit with orange, coriander, chalky yeast, citrus rind, kiss of lemon, and kiss of banana. A little hefty in body with a viscous glaze feel. Carb has some perkiness, that I appreciate. Tastes are bold, and coated with a squeak of alcohol. Good for late summer drinking.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.06/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 1.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

We pour a brew of bright golden yellow from our grumbler. It holds a pinky finger tall head of oddly space, clear soapy bubbles, showing fine retention, and leaving watery ghosts of lacing where it once stood. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be nonexistent. The aroma gives fresh and clean wheatiness, ruddy pales, cereal oatiness, grassy and sweetly nectary hops, chalked yeastiness, lemon juice, sulfur, mineral bite, light Belgian phenols of clove and medicinals, and bittered walnut shells. With warmth comes metallics, sweet banana ester breadiness, fusel booze twang, cannellini bean skin, raw honey, and floral lavender leafiness. Our first impression is that while the flavoring is not bad, it seems more like a wit-flavored beer, rather than an authentic representation of the style. As we sip, the taste opens with wheaty and oaty graininess, lemon juice and zest, allspice and clove, bittered orange rind, palm leafiness, bittered yeast, winey booziness, light musk, and floral and citric hoppiness. The middle comes to a peak with more muskiness and organic planty qualities, avocado knob, heavy honeys, aromatic boozy rumbles, cheesy dankness, and watered wheatiness. The ending wash comes with a surprising woodiness, vanilla, dried cherry pits, walnut oils, standard wheaty and pale maltiness, medicinal phenol bite, white sugars, honey, crispy straw, sopping mustiness, and more of that watered wheaty and grassy hop base. The aftertaste breathes of metallics, cheap wheat, green pepper vegetals, chalk, yeast, mineral water, sticky floral hops, lemon sourness, light pine husk, and white cracker graininess. The body is medium, but lightly syrupy, and the carbonation is light. Each sip gives nice slurp and smack, but barley passable cream, froth, and finishing pop. The mouth is coated and cooled, and drips into lightly astringent chalky dryness. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks decently.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its aroma. Here we get nice Belgian graininess, thick yeast, spice, phenols, and balancing sweetness. As soon as you take that sip, however, things start to go downhill. Actually, the pour is where we began to lose points, as the color offered no haze or dulling of color, while the head appeared as day-old soap bubbles soaking a pan off in the sink. While the flavor was there, in a general sense, it wasn’t very bold, and felt a bit watered for something with the label of “double”. Moving to the feel, there was a general lack of creaminess and softness, and while things were pseudo-syrupy from the residual sugars, it was ultimately thin and noncontributory. For a brewery that specializes in Belgian beers, and great ones at that, this was a disappointment.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brewed in conjunction with Belgian Independence Day, 2013- Ommegang springs out of the shoot with ever-refreshing base style of Witbier, but with a twist. Fortified with higher strength in both its flavor and effects, the ale retains what's best about those historic wheat ales but with a little more gusto!

The pour shows something slightly different than typical Wits- its a denser, richer color that extends from pale yellow into goldenrod and with an overall bready haze. As the light doesn't penetrate the cloudiness as readily, so the ale appears a tinge darker- more like a Tripel or Strong Pale Ale. A rich lather of foam gathers to top the ale like a meringue of cream white color.

Its delicate aroma profile is a melange of light bread, yeast and cookie dough. Sprinkles with the always present coriander and dried orange peel, the ale takes a softly spicy and subtly fruity balance. A hint of clove, white pepper and vanilla casts a short shadow as the nose pulls away from the glass. All the while, a soft zinfindale apple, lemon, and white grape character rests just underneath.

Smoothly flavored and robustly firm, the ale starts with that bready sweetness that accented with powdered sugar and yeast extract. Its middle palate introduces white wine, coriander and citrus notes while its playful acidity begins to dissolve the sweetness. a spicy white pepper and herbal hop bitter array round out its finish as the sweetness continue to fade into a snappy aftertaste.

Medium bodied despite its built up base, the beer isn't a crazy syrupy mess- its just a little more than the light bodied originals. Lifted by creamy carbonation and mild champagne-like bubbly textures that lift the bread and yeast off of the tongue and ushers in a quick finish. Echoes of soft spice, tea-like herbs and white wine gives the ale a pleasant but short-lived linger on the tongue.

The ale is saved by only pushing to 6.6% abv. Any more and the beer is a mess, and less and its just a normal Witbier. But where it is, it stands up to an array of culinary acts. I enjoyed it with watermelon salad with feta, serrano and fresh cilantro at The Village Idiot, Lexington Ky.

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Belgian Independence Day Double White Ale (2013) from Brewery Ommegang
3.57 out of 5 based on 30 ratings.
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