Brewery Ommegang produces some amazing an unique beers. We already looked at the Three Philosophers when I did a cupcake made with beer, and as explained, it blew me away. It is such an exciting combination of savory and sweet Belgian Quadroupel flavors with tart cherry Lambic. Ommegang’s tagline is “Belgian beer in America”. Very well done Ommegang.
But my most recent Ommegang experience has topped even that; the Ommegang Adoration had me running through a wide list of winter beers to try to find one that could potentially sit at the top with the Adoration. Wouldn’t you know it – the Adoration seems to be alone at the top!
The bottle proclaims that it is a traditional winter ale brewed in the Belgian Manner, but with a twist of unusual spicing. It has been brewed with coriander, cardamom, mace, grains of paradise, and sweet orange peel. This alone got me excited.Beyond the description, the bottle itself is magnificent. The gold, purple, and black logo with white font is striking, and a brief necklace pamphlet give the beer an added touch of sophistication and pizazz. But now we’re just getting started. It should be served in a wide chalice between 12 to 14 degrees Celsius (54-57F) so that all the spicy and aromatic characteristic are not muted by the cold, and are allowed to shine through proudly. Ommegang suggests sipping it before a roaring fire, or on a sleigh ride over the hills to Grandma’s house – I think you can probably enjoy this beer in absolutely any scenario.
The Adoration pours smoothly with rich life and exuberance. As the beer collects in the bottom of the glass it pools gently but with vigorous delicate carbonation streaming from the center outwards. A light and only slightly faded white head builds abruptly on top of an opaque purple to deep mahogany beer. It doesn’t shine, but is more of a matte finish, showing hints of maroon, bronze and amber. You can also see sediment left from the bottle conditioning relaxing at the bottom of the glass.
The nose got me hooked on the Adoration immediately. Its full and rich with warm fruity malts, dried dark fruits, bread, a whack of spices, and fresh pine. Mostly you can absorb rich malts, ripe fruit, and spice. The cardamom, sweet orange peel and coriander are very apparent on the nose, and are balanced by a touch of warm alcohol and slight dry hop. It feels like there will also be a note of dark chocolate in the taste.
Let the Adoration pour into you – it is 10% abv, but if you don’t pay attention to that you wouldn’t know. It begins by flowing dark malts, plums, prunes, and banana across your palate wielding a complex blend of spices. Coriander, orange peer, mase, cardamom, ginger, pepper, and cinnamon all break out of the malt and dance on your palate from cheek to cheek. Brilliant carbonation allows these flavors and spices to find there way into every corder of your palate. Its dominated to by sweet and spicy flavors, but is balanced with dry hops and a slightly bitter and dry cocoa touch.
It has a Belgian Quadroupel feel and taste to it without being heavy. It really does dance across you palate making the myriad of deep flavors uniquely enjoyable. Mildly dry, but still spicy hops join in towards the end with fresh pine, and a touch more sweetness. The carbonation helps the beer finish crisp and quenching with sweet spices, warm malts, notes of fruit and earth, and a palate pleasing sensations.
I am a bit biased because this is one of my favorite beer styles, but honestly the Adoration is incredible. You could even say that I adore it! HA! I know, I’m hilarious. Enjoy the Adoration on its own, or with dark roasts or wild game. It would also be a delicious desert pairing with rich chocolate, rich fruit cakes, or brownies.