Food, Beer, and Travel

a dump from the mind of Jon Piper

Ommegang (Abbey Ale)

Posted by jwpiper on December 30, 2008

I’ve been wanting to try Ommegang’s dubbel for a while now. And I’m looking for a more available and inexpensive beer (than Westmalle Dubbel) to use in Carbonades Flamande which I plan to make for some friends this weekend. In that spirit, I’ve split a 750 with my wife, poured into a Westmalle chalice at about 50-55 degrees.

Appearance
4.5
Nice very dark brown color, opaque even when held up to a light. Develops a decent 2cm off-white fluffy head which remains as a thin layer. There is a nice trailing lace when drinking, but it doesn’t seem to want to stick to the glass more than 1cm above the beer.
Smell
4
Wonderful smell of tart green apples, some sweet caramel. There’s even a winey acidity… like a savignon blanc. Not overwhelming, but very present. Actually remeniscient of Westmalle dubbel, if a bit stronger and simpler.
Taste
3.5
First sip is sweet malts, the apples aren’t nearly as strong as on the nose. Thin finish. More tastes leave an musty impression: definite bready yeast. It lacks some complexity. Alcohol is well hidden. There is a bit of tartness. The hop profile is minor – very little bitterness, but perhaps some citrusy contribution. Definite refreshing apple aftertaste. There is nothing offensive here. Well balanced flavors, not too sweet, but light-bodied. I’m leaning towards 3.5 because it is a bit thin. Actually a little closer to a 3.75 rating.
Mouthfeel
3.5
The mouthfeel is fairly dry and effervescent. Nothing terribly special and also a little thin. Actually closer to a 3.75 rating.
Drinkability
4.5
The light-body (probably most people’s medium body, but I stick to the high gravity beers usually) makes this one very drinkable. The refreshing apple reminds you to take another sip if it’s been too long, though the sip is a touch dissapointing. This would make a great session beer.
Overall
3.9
An excellent example of the style from Ommegang. I’d like to put some down in the cellar for a year or two and see if the complexity builds.
Price
$6/750ml. A good value.

Might be worthy for the Carbonades, but I’d add more and reduce it if substituting for a Westmalle Double. No worries about bitterness building when cooking with this.

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