Friday, December 27, 2013

Ommegang Wild at Heart

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1033) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 27, 2013
I poured a 750ml bottle my official Ommegang goblet. It was bottled on 8/27/13 (thanks to Scott V. for the bottle!).

Appearance: Beautiful dark gold/amber body. Crystal clear with plenty of effervescence constantly visible. Pours to a large, white, fluffy head which retains and laces pretty well.

Smell: Clean scent of lemonpeel, flowers, and Brettanomyces farmhouse aroma.

Taste: When beer nerds hear the word "wild" they tend to immediately equate it with sour, but that’s not really a fair synonym. Wild yeast is one thing, infecting a beer with certain strains of bacteria to sour it is something else and Ommegang Wild at Heart is a good example of the difference. This is essentially a Belgian strong pale ale or possibly even an imperial saison that just happens to be brewed with Brettanomyces. It’s tasty, it’s refreshing, but it isn’t sour - not that it should be anyway.

Much like the nose, the first noticeable characteristic to the palette is its citrusy component. A surprisingly strong flavor lemon in all aspects - the fruit, the pith and the peel. There’s a good amount of pale malt that constitutes the base of the taste, too. Pale, amber and honey-colored/flavor maltiness with a bready/cracker-like composure. It has a dry, starchy flavor with a touch of ground black pepper spiciness as well. The hops impart additional citrusy/floral flavors on the backend, though the beer finishes dry and clean. Overall, it’s a fine-tasting beer, but not an amazing one. It doesn’t seem to capitalize on its wild side, though what’s here is much more than simply satisfying.

Drinkability: Though technically a big beer at 8% ABV, Ommegang Wild at Heart drinks like something half its size. It’s surprisingly clean and refreshing while in the mouth and would be ideal for warmer weather conditions, despite its weight. There is no alcohol presence whatsoever, and the body itself feels so light. It’s an interesting dynamic because the refreshing nature of the mouthfeel makes it tempting to quaff down, but the high carbonation offers a bit of a challenge. 
Grade: 7/10

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