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.

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.
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.
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.
The mouthfeel is fairly dry and effervescent. Nothing terribly special and also a little thin. Actually closer to a 3.75 rating.
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.
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.
$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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