Friday, September 11, 2015

Ommegang Nirvana IPA

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1450) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 11, 2015
Now that Ommegang, Boulevard and Firestone Walker are all owned by Duvel, it’s not surprising that each brewery might start to brew beers with the other’s label on it. Nirvana IPA bears the Ommegang label even though it is brewed by Boulevard in Missouri. Can this even really be considered an Ommegang beer, then? After all, it does taste a lot like Single or Double Wide IPA. This is a standard, no-frills American-style IPA. I’d expect more bang for the buck considering the brewer[s]

I poured a 12oz bottle into an Ommegang goblet. It had a best by date of 10/9/15 and cost $2.60 ($0.22 per ounce).

Appearance: Very hazy pale orange hue. No carbonation bubbles visible. Pours to a large, fluffly, dim white head which retains and laces quite well.

Smell: A clean, almost soap-like scent. Definitely a floral bouquet to the nose.

Taste: I’ve drank almost every beer in Ommegang’s portfolio, so I can always recognize their beer when I try it, but this doesn’t have their je na sai quais factor. Much like the aroma, the hop taste is all flowers, perfume and soap. It’s like the IPA equivalent of a Bath & Body Works. The bitterness is quite tame; only 60 IBUs according to the website, but it feels much weaker than that. I do notice some piney/herbal character emerges as the beer warms, though it doesn’t seem to complement the floral hops all that well. A bit of lemon lollipop and butterscotch candy flavors are also evident. An interesting sweetness component I guess. Overall, this is a fine American-style IPA but is nothing like an Ommegang beer because it has no Belgian character at all and is not bottle-conditioned, either.

Drinkability: I wasn’t surprised to see the 6.5% ABV on the bottle label, though I was surprised the beer did not seem to take complete advantage of that potency. Ommegang Nirvana IPA drinks and feels like something in the 5-6% range. Though flavorful, it is not what I would consider robust per se. I will admit drinking it is easy and pleasant. The mouthfeel is crisp and well carbonated and it finishes extremely clean with no alcohol presence whatsoever.

RATING: 7/10

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