Monday, October 14, 2013

Ommegang Scythe & Sickle Harvest Ale

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (988) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 14, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 7/17/13 and cost $4.25 ($0.35 per ounce).

Appearance: An almost glowing golden/orange hue. Extremely hazy body. Pours to a large, white, fluffy head which is slow to dissipate and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Typical Belgian yeast esters with a general fruity sweetness and some spice rack notes.

Tastes: The funny thing about Ommegang Scythe & Sickle Harvest Ale is that it’s not especially complex, and yet it seems to be a good example of a Belgian-style beer. The yeast is accounting for a lot of the flavor and nearly all of the aroma. And since this isn’t a typical Belgian style like a pale, amber or any kind of Trappist style, it’s impressive that a specialty grain brew by an American brewery can seem so authentically Belgian.

The grain bill to this beer is quite interesting. In addition to barley - wheat, oats and rye are used in the brewing process with rye being the most predominate of them. The palette has a familiar Belgian pale ale base, but with a consistent spiciness throughout, akin to black pepper, thanks to the rye. There’s a lightly dry bitterness on the second half, almost powdery or doughy-like, though I wouldn’t describe it as hoppy per se. A hint of banana or vanilla emerges as well, imparting so juicy character to keep the beer from being too arid. It’s a tasty, satisfying palette overall, but a little overpriced.

Drinkability: At only 5.8% ABV, Scythe & Sickle is one of Ommegang’s lighter beers, but it has the flavor intensity of the rest of their line. The mouthfeel is energetic, but contained with a fairly smooth finish. There is a lingering dryness in the aftertaste, but it’s easily tolerable. It’s quite tempting to throw back multiple servings. 
Grade: 8/10