Saturday, December 19, 2015

Ommegang Lovely, Dark and Deep

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20Chad9976 (1519) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 19, 2015
Fermenting a non-Belgian beer with Belgian yeast is always an interesting concept. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Ommegang’s new winter seasonal Lovely, Dark and Deep is a seemingly traditional oatmeal stout, but since it’s brewed with their house yeast (and many of their core ingredients) the result is a new take on a classic style. It’s not revolutionary, but it is interesting. 


I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 9/23/15 and cost $2.99 ($0.25 per ounce).

Appearance: Opaque dark brown body with no visible activity happening within. Pours to a large, tan, foamy head which retains and laces pretty well.

Smell: The Ommegang house yeast is present and is surprisingly strong; so much so that it obscures the base brew. Though I do detect sweet lactose sugar, oatmeal and some roasted malt.

Taste: Oatmeal stout can be a pretty boring style, but when done right it can be amazing. This beer is neither, though I will say it’s at least unique. It has all the makings of the style: lightly sweet up front with a strong sensation of roasted malt and bitterness on the back end. Slight chocolaty notes, though more of a cocoa nib spice than candy. The Belgian yeast creates for a spiciness, but it also accentuates the roasted malt. In fact, it tastes a bit like burnt popcorn or old coffee. I’m not a fan of the actual finish, but everything leading up to it is pretty nice.

Drinkability: Since this beer is fermented and re-fermented with Belgian yeast, I was worried the mouthfeel might be too thin and spastic for an oatmeal stout. While Ommegang Lovely, Dark and Deep isn’t quite as tepid and syrupy as say, a British example of the style, it’s definitely a little thinner and more lively than most. At 5.3% ABV it’s about average in terms of potency and flavor capacity. This would probably work better with a meal than with or as dessert.

RATING: 7/10