Monday, January 18, 2010

Brewery Ommegang: Abbey Ale

Back in November I sampled two Brewery Ommegang beers and found myself savoring one (Hennipen) and ready to pass on the other (Rare Vos). After a mini mental debate at the store on what brew to purchase, I thought I should go back to the Ommegang well. Since I enjoyed their Belgian Saison so much, I figured I should try another Ommegang offering in hopes of finding a second great American recreation of a Belgian classic.

This time around, I sampled the Abbey Ale. This abbey is a Belgian dubbel that bubbles like champagne. If you zoom in on the picture you'll notice some overflow around the base of the glass. I poured this brew, nice and slow with a slight tilt at the begging but it bubbled up quick and way past the rim. Even after letting the open bottle sit for 15 minutes, when I refilled my half drank glass, the head again bubbled over the top. Trying to sip down the foam, there are two immediate features you notice about this dubbel: One, this beer is very aromatic. And two, the foam doesn't taste all that great. The aroma shouldn't come as a surprise because the label reads: "rich, fruity, and aromatic". But the marketing department at Brewery Ommegang is not kidding. This might have been the most pungent beer I've ever sampled. Even while sipping I found the nose of this beer dominating and influencing the taste. Even without the proper wide-mouthed glassware, sweet brown sugar and yeast smells fill the air. Moving back to the thick head, while sorta of unfufilling and tongue smacking, once you get past the foam the beer is quite tasty. Again the label does not lie as the brew is very thick and rich and full of fruit flavors. The fruits are very sweet and taste like sugar coated cherries and plums. While similar fruit flavors are exhibited in Rare Vos, I found the strong aroma and thick body of this Abbey Ale to alter the taste a little and better compliment the brew.

Overall this was a fun tasting. I found the incredible carbonation and powerful aroma very interesting and unique for most bottle tasting experiences. Add in 750 ml of rich ale at 8.5% abv and you have a good hour of drinking ahead of you. While not as good as Hennipen in my opinion, an unique offering that is worth the try. Cheers.

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