Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 80, Ommegang Gnomegang

This beer is considered one of the better Belgian Strong Pale Ales and it's style is close to that of a Belgian Pale Ale which back during WWII was the Belgian counterpart to pilsners and other pale ales of Europe.  Belgian Pale Ales were a bit more delicate than other pale ales as they used aged hops which were less bitter and had a nice toasty malt base.  Belgian strongs are very much like this but with considerably more alcohol content and perhaps a bit more hoppy.

Of course I like the bottle.  Homebrewer points!  Fairly attractive design.

This beer pours a hazy gold color at 45 F.  I did not pour it vigorous enough to get a huge head because yesterday the yeast was disturbed and that could also be leading to the super haze.  The head is brilliant white mostly of fine bubbles and a few lager ones and just as a nice ring around the glass and a Friar Tuck cap in the center that is a six point star.  Cool!  The lacing is minimal but the ring remains on the glass as I sip.  As the beer warms it gets clearer (Chill haze).

The aroma is mostly of a mix of sweet light malt, grain, citrus, banana, bubble gum, yeast and a hint of metallic.

The taste is bready and mildly sweet and very similar to the description of the aroma.  I love straightforward beers even though they are pretty complex.   The malt sweetness and grains with the fruits play equally on your tongue as it passes over your taste buds and then near the end some tartness come through just before a bit of dry hop bitterness and peppery feel at the end albeit very mild.  The dryness lures you to another sip unsuspecting of the high alcohol content which is only mildly apparent on the back of your throat.  Very well balanced! 

The mouthfeel is a bit tricky.  The moderate amount of carbonation mixed with the higher alcohol content sort of give it a bite although the body is moderate and lighter than you'd expect.  The finish is dry and peppery.  There is a bit of slippery feel on my tongue.

This beer is really quite good!  In fact, I would say it is on the cusp of being world class.  I know there are better versions out there, but I have not had them yet so I can't compare.  I am going to say that I feel confident in giving this beer 4's in all the categories.  It's really excellent!  Well balanced and pleasant.

She's blonde, you should try her.  She's not some generic watered down version.  Like Lady Galadriel, she's the real deal!  Don't waste your time on cheap light colored beers!  Life is too short to be robbed of all your money!


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