Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Belgian School: Ommegang Abbey Ale

My interest has been rekindled in Belgian Style Ales as of late.  In my ongoing quest for ultimate beer knowledge I noticed all the Belgian Ales listed on Beer Advocates Top 100 Beers, all the talk of Belgians on forums, and all the enthusiasm on beer blogs for Belgians.  Admittedly I have little knowledge and/or experience in this style of beer.  One of my main gripes is many of them simply say "Belgian Style Ale" on the bottle.  So what does that mean?  Goose Island in particular has 149 different beers all dressed in plain labels and all with some catchy overly simplistic name.  And they are all Belgian Style Ales.  What the hell is that supposed to mean?  I had a brief run in with Chouffe, which I thoroughly enjoyed but never revisited.  I tried a Chimay which was weird and overly carbonated.  So I pretty much wrote off all "Belgian Style Ales" mainly due to inexperience and ignorance of the style.  I have rededicated myself to becoming a beer Yoda and found it necessary to see what everyone is raving about with these Belgians.  I'm going to dedicate a portion of the blog to Belgian School which represents my journey of Belgian enlightenment so stay tuned!

Ommegang Abbey Ale

8.5% ABV

This brew is a Belgian Dubbel and is ranked number 5 as a Dubbel and number 74 on Beer Advocates top 100 list.  The ale poured with a burnt caramel color and a large off white head.  Strong malt character dominated the nose with some alcohol and yeast cast in the supporting role.  This brew offers up a deep fruit taste with some spice from the yeast.  It finishes fairly dry and the aftertaste coats your whole mouth.  I'm not a fan of raisins or prunes which are some of the labels used to describe these Belgians.  I'm guessing this is what the reviewers are talking about because this has the deep bittersweet fruit taste like raisins.  Again I'm not a fan of this taste and therefore am not a fan of this brew.  First at bat and I struck out.  I'm a little disappointed but will venture on.


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