Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ommegang Adoration

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (1018) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 8, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into an official Ommegang goblet. It was bottled on 8/30/13 and cost $5.25 ($0.44 per ounce).

Appearance: Dark opaque burgundy/mahogany hue. Pours to an average size, off-white, foamy head which mostly lingers and leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Exactly what it should be: a strong aroma of Belgian yeast esters plus all the added spices. Alcohol is noticeable, but subtle.

Taste: When I think of what a Belgian-style Christmas beer should be, Ommegang Adoration is what comes to mind. Belgian Strong Dark Ales tend to be great beers (depending on the brewery), but to brew one with the right combination of winter spices makes them all the more festive. This is a rich, complex, and delectable beer.

The first thing I notice about this beer is its inherent Belgian character. A strong bouquet of banana and cloves stands out prominently. It continues with additional sweetness of vanilla and orange, plus spiciness of cardamom, coriander and other seasonings to create for a tasty mélange. It’s difficult to marry confectionery-style sweetness with zesty Belgian strong ale spices, but they work quite well here. Alcohol is a fairly major player as well, boosting the overall intensity of the palette, but also imparting some dryness and astringency. I’d imagine a vintage bottle would be pretty amazing.

Drinkability: To call Ommegang Adoration a big beer would be stating the glaringly obvious. Big doesn’t always mean intimidating or overwhelming, and this is proof of that. The mouthfeel is full of flavor, but those flavors don’t bully the palate. It’s actually quite calm and smooth in texture, with a significant alcohol warmth from the 10% ABV, though it’s surprisingly tame and tolerable. 
Grade: 9/10