It’s good to finally be back with another review on a fantastic beer. Welcome to the first new installment of The Beer List, fresh off the months-long hiatus I took from The No Seatbelt Blog. My weekly review will now resume its sud-soaked residence on Sundays at noseatbeltblog.com! I’ve made it no secret here that I love the world-class beers that Cooperstown, New York’s Brewery Ommegang churns out, and that for my money, there is not a more delicious type of beer than the Belgian. If the United States wasn’t privy to this style of brewing, well, I’d have to pack up and move to Belgium. Maybe not, but you get my point.
Ommegang has hit another home run (Ommegang’s hometown of Cooperstown, New York is also home to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame) with their Abbey Ale, a powerfully tasty Belgian dubbel brewed with orange peel, coriander, licorice root, cumin, and more. The beer pours dark, but colorful, and leaves a thin head that dissipates rather quickly. You can even see a bit of sediment at the bottom of the glass in the picture that I took immediately after pouring.
The smell, for me, was present, but not overpowering. There are definitely hints of orange, as well as some darker fruits, a bit of spice and a whiff of alcohol. Ommegang nails complexity in their beers, with an interesting variety of ingredients involved. The taste of this full-bodied beer is of orange, and darker fruits such as cherry and plum, which work nicely with the spicy character of the coriander and cumin. Of course, as with all the great Belgian-style beers, the malty backbone is still there, holding together the rest of the experimental flavors.
The carbonation level is decent, with a fair amount of bubbles allowed to dance on your tongue, further fleshing out the interesting flavors. The alcohol-by-volume is 8.2%, which should be expected with this type of brew. From what I have read, this is a great beer to age, and while I kept my bottle in the fridge for a good few weeks, I do not have the patience for long-term aging. If you do, let me know what you thought of yours after you finally uncorked it!
Here on The Beer List, I like to review beers that have a lot going on – beers that are great for sipping, for exploring, and combine some seemingly incongruent characteristics. So, if you enjoy spending as much money on one large bottle of great beer as you would on a whole case of American pee-water, The Beer List is the place for you! This section of The No Seatbelt Blog has been running since late last summer, so check out the backlog of reviews on some of my favorites!