I Look Forward to the Winter for the Ommegang Adoration

October 5, 2010

I’ve has countless bottles of beer from Brewery Ommegang in my life, and they always at very least excite me. There have been many memorable beers, but none quite as astounding as the Adoration, their special winter ale. Ommegang is brewing Belgian inspired ales in Cooperstown NY, and the Adoration is no exception – it is a 10% Belgian Dark Strong Ale that is packed with deep fruit and malt flavors and a rich crackling of spices. The beer just cries out for the winter.

It will be floating throughout the United States again from Late October to December, and may last on shelves even a bit longer than that. What I am most excited for is of course to drink it again, but also to put a few bottles in my cellar. Big, rich and spicy beers like this can benefit to amazingly with some time to mature. Bottle conditioning (a process by which existing yeast in the bottle naturally carbonates the beer) allows for a very real transformation to slowly take place as the beer ages – exactly like with fine wine. If you do see the Adoration on a shelf, I would by 2 to age for every 1 you enjoy.

Tasting the Ommegang Three Philosophers

August 6, 2010

In Cooperstown NY lie two very amazing spectacles; the Baseball Hall of Fame, and Brewery Ommegang. Since 1997 Ommegang has been brewing award-winning Belgian-style ales which are truly unique. Over the weekend I revisited one of my favorite beers; the Ommegang Three Philosophers.

The Three Philosophers is 98% a Belgian-Style Quadrupel and 2% a Belgian Kreik (Cheery Ale), comes in a corked 750ml bottle at 9.8% abv, and to me it is truly a perfect pairing of flavors; Brewery Ommegang was able to create a beer which is magnificently delicious.  It has a perfect balance of sweet and savory (a balance whose line is very thin) making it an amazing beer choice for so many occasions.

The Three Philosophers pours smooth and creamy raising a dense and richly tan to brown head almost one inch off the surface of the beer. With a close look you can see that the the bubbles are so tightly packed together that you could probably spoon the head alone. The beer is an opaque deep purple, showing a lot of mahogany and brown tones. There is an amber hue that glows in the beer every time light catches a glimpse of it, probably due to the small amount of Kriek in the beer. Read the rest of this entry »

Tasting the 2008 Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence

July 23, 2010

In 2007 Brewery Ommegang celebrated its 10th year brewing Belgian Style Beers by creating the Chocolate Indulgence, a Belgian style chocolate stout brewed with chocolate malts and authentic Belgian chocolate. It was well said by Charles Dickens, as is quoted on the side of the bottle, “theres nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate.”

This was one of the earlier craft beers that I bought with the intention of ageing it. I bought it in Vermont during the Vermont Brewers Festival in 2008, and only opened it yesterday to celebrate one of my good friends birthdays. I love these types of occasions, and a delicious and special beer that has been resting for over 2 years maturing and ageing on its own only adds to the celebration and level of excitement. Who knows whats happened while in hibernation… Has it become stronger or mellowed, thicker or softer? There’s only one way to find out! Read the rest of this entry »

Tasting the Ommegang Abbey Ale

July 21, 2010

Belgian beers from Cooperstown New York? Just cause they have the baseball hall of fame doesn’t mean that they know how to brew Belgian beer… Well, actually, it might. The two may not be related, and most likely aren’t, but the Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown does know how to brew Belgian style beers, in fact, thats all they do. And they do it very well!

The Abbey Ale is Ommegang’s inaugural brew, and pays homage to the dark, sweet and spicy Belgian Dubbels that have captured the hearts and palates of so many beer lovers world wide. The style is just so luscious and delicious if done properly. This is the type of beer than you can use to convince wine or spirit lovers of beer’s prominence and that it is well deserving of their respect and efforts. Anyone who loves a deep red wine, or rich cognacs or brandy wont be able to hold back from the seductive qualities of the Ommegang Abbey Ale. Not to mention its ability to pair with food, cheeses, deserts and cigar as well, and often better than its grape-based counterparts. Read the rest of this entry »

Tasting the Ommegang Belgian Pale Ale (BPA)

April 28, 2010

If you have been following this blog, it really should be no surprise by now that I love what Brewery Ommegang creates; I’ve posted very positive reviews earlier on both their Three Philosophers Quadrupel, and the magnificent Adoration. Both of these beers are very rich and hearty though, and with summer around the corner I jumped at the chance to try Ommegang’s newest beer, their Belgian Pale Ale (BPA).

The BPA is the first in a series of six new specialty beers to be released by Ommegang in 2010, as such it was brewed in limited quantities but has spread all across the U.S. Ommegang plans to test this range of beers to create a house beer; somewhat of an entry beer; an accessible beer for the general public. The goal is to create satisfying beers with ripe flavors, moderate ABV, and at a reasonable price to try to entice non-beer aficionados to get their hands wet.

Normally I would quaff at this idea, but it does make sense. Artisan distilleries, for example, will make several vintage whiskies aged 18, 21, or more years. But they will also produce a house whisky; a “reserve”, or “select” designed to meet the needs of the entry level consumer. And for a brewery like Ommegang, whose Belgian inspired beers are all extremely flavorful, a beer like the BPA will help people walk their way into great beer rather than forcing people to dive in head first. Read the rest of this entry »

Tasting the Ommegang Adoration

April 2, 2010

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. Read the rest of this entry »