Brewery Ommegang | Abbey Ale Dubbel Ale
My mother always says “Presentation is Everything”. Oftentimes, when enjoying an Ommegang beer, I assume she stole her personal little motto from these Cooperstown brewers. From factors as important as taste and quality to such seemingly inconsequential items as font choices, every inch of the Ommegang experience, from their early days to current day, is a masterclass in craft brewing.
Based in the idyllic farmlands of the major hops producing region of 1800s, Brewery Ommegang has been able to marry the Colonial Americana feel of their region with the well-established brewing tradition of their Belgium heritage. You really can’t go wrong with any of their year round beers, as all have won at least one major brewing award in their day. However, I’ve always been partial to the honeyed taste of their Abbey Ale.
The beer when poured with the bottle recommended combination of care and vigor pours with a voluminous oat-colored head and has the aroma of bubblegum. The beer itself is a dark brown that fades to a orange-ish tinge around the edges, minor sediment making the separation of the darker and lighter colors look like an oil painting. As with many a Belgium beer, Ommengang’s Abbey Ale has an inherent tang from the yeast. This is counter-acted by the abundance of sweets and sugars jam packed into these pressurized bottles. Minor bodies of lacing are retained throughout the glass. The taste is something out of a T.V. movie Christmas special: iced coffee cakes, honey cookies, dried citrus and strawberry licorice. It’s light on the tongue but thickens as it goes down with a nice medium body. Combined with its sweet flavor, Ommegange Abbey Ale does have the unfortunate but not entirely unwelcome of getting you more sloshed than you may have if it carried a harsher or heavier feel.
Attempted by any other brewery, this ale would have been overrun by its sweet tooth. However, Ommegang’s dedication to the Belgium style of brewing with their desire to create new, great beers from the old ways have come together to create an exemplary ale fit for all types of beer drinkers.