Ommegang Gnomegang: Take Their Advice

August 16 2011 - 4:24 PM

The label clearly represented that this would be a beer with a serious mission in mind:

 Pour slowly so as to not disturb the yeast sediment, but with enough vigor to create a luxurious head and release the rich bouquet. 

It’s best to take such strongly worded advice that has no immediately apparent downside. Following orders, I rather carefully poured this into a Duvel snifter glass, the perfect vessel – the bottle notes that Brewery Ommegang is part of the Duvel family of ales.  Working up a massive head on this beer was hardly problematic. It erupted out of the bottle like a towering cumulus cloud bubbling up on a hot day, ready to fire into a raging thunderstorm.  This generated an enormous, bulbous head nearly spilling out of the glass.  The bouquet was indeed rich and exquisite, as the yeasts spread apricots and melons to the nose, along with floral hops. 

 Divine describes the mouthfeel of this one.  It’s a bit creamy and lush but the tickling carbonation prevents it from ever becoming heavy and dull.  The taste is so pleasantly full of honeydew melons, spice, cantaloupe, and peach that you cannot help but take a pause.  Unexpected hops finish it off with a surprising bite as it dissipates on the palate.  The result: you are happy.

 Without question, this is a remarkable beer and, so far, the crowning achievement from Ommegang Brewing from my home state of New York.  As noted on the bottle, “This delectable blonde ale is a co-creation of two famed farmstead breweries: Brewery Ommegang and Brasserie D’Achouffe.  It employs five fine malts, two noble hops, and both of the distinctive Chouffe and Ommegang yeasts.”

I first encountered Ommegang when their Hennepin Belgian styled blonde ale began appearing in Chicago tap rooms in 2008, a refreshing summer treat.  That’s a good beer.  Gnomegang is a great one and keeps Ommegang in the conversation regarding the best Belgian brewer in the United States. 

–Mark Sheppard