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Ommegang Belgian-style Pale Ale
Written by Tom
Well, the summer is me. I can tell because my weekends are quickly filling up with weddings, camping trips, and various activities. I will say that it is nice to come home and lie in my hammock while enjoying a brew now that the weather is warmer.
I was in a Belgian beer mood after reading up on Laurie Delk’s quest as she samples 100 beers in 30 days. Knowing that I had a party coming up I picked up Rodenbach Flemish Red Ale, Saison Dupont, and Ommegang BPA to serve as aperitifs. I had the foresight to keep one bottle at home in case it vanished without getting a chance to write some notes on it. At the beginning of this week, that choice paid off big time.
Ommegang makes some great beers and this one is no exception. Their rendition of a Belgian Pale Ale hit the mark and my taste buds whole-heartedly agree. Some quick facts about this brew:
• 5 specialty malts are used.
• 3 hops (Columbus-bittering, Celeia-aroma, and Cascade-dry hopped).
• Limited release in 2010, but will be available in Chicago and Cooperstown, NY for testing to see if it might be a good year round offering.
Pouring this out in my goblet a number of things invaded my senses right away. First was the dry hopping that smelled fresh, fruity, and vibrant. There were hints of tangerine, pineapple, lemon, and possibly passion fruit. Second was the colorful yeast aroma that backed up the hops rather well. It was spicy, bready, bold, and peppery. Last, but not least, was the malt presence. Light and sweet are probably the best descriptors as they blend in behind the yeast profile. The appearance is a hazy yellow-orange highlighted liquid with a foamy white head. It has a bubbly Champaign quality to it that is both eye catching and lively on the palate.
The taste is much like it smells. Some slight phenols (sulfur components) come through in the yeast giving a minor clove/banana flavor common of Hefes. The brew is very drinkable leading off with a citrus kick that melts quickly into a bready, rich, sweet malt body. The finish is dry, fizzy/tingly and supplies another dose of citrus. The aftertaste is light and refreshing. With an ABV of 6.2% this beer is not overpowering and I should add that it is very well-balanced. I enjoyed my bottle!