Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ommegang Hop House

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1101) - Albany, New York, USA - MAY 21, 2014
I poured a 12oz bottle into an official Ommegang tulip/goblet. It was bottled on 3/14/14 and cost $3.99 ($0.33 per ounce).

Appearance: Beautiful glowing orange hue. Hazy, but with visible carbonation. Pours to a large, white, foamy head which laces and retains very well.

Smell: Clean, citrusy/soapy aroma, almost perfume-like. Quite appealing.

Taste: Ommegang is an American brewery that brews traditional Belgian-style beers, but with “Hop House,” their new pale ale, they’re really blurring the line between Belgian and American styles. This is clearly a hop-forward brew, though it’s not especially bitter as it relies on the hops more for flavor. It’s a very delectable combination of citrus, stone fruit (especially apricot and cantaloupe), and flowers. Though it does maintain its inherent Belgian character as the yeast imparts a subtle taste of pepper and clove-like spice. The base of the palate is clean and sweet with a gentle fruity/malty combination of flavors. On the apex there’s a distinct hop bite coupled with a slightly dry/tingly sensation. It’s almost soapy in a way, though I don’t meant that as a criticism. This will likely appeal to American hopheads and Belgian traditionalists alike.

Drinkability: The bottle actually recommends drinking this beer at 40 degrees, though I find it opens up a bit as it warms. At fridge temp it’s a little refreshing while in the mouth, though there is some lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel is slightly foamy, and definitely effervescent, but still smooth going down. At 6% ABV it’s quite efficient for its weight, though I can’t help but wish it were lighter and more sessionable. Still, Ommegang Hop House is a versatile brew as it will definitely stand up to a range of meals, or satisfy as a standalone beverage. 
Grade: 9/10

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