Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ommegang Biere D'Hougoumont

Beer:  Biere D'Hougoumont (OBD) 

Brewery:  Brewery Ommegang

Date: February 1st, 2014
Style:  Bière de Garde
ABV: 7.3%
Similar To:  Nothing I've tried previously.
As has been the case for the last several years, when the calendar turns over and I begin to look ahead to spring and the coming of softball season, Mrs. Beer begins her new year's travel schedule and is frequently gone for days at a time, spreading the gospel of corporate America to the far flung corners of the lower 48.  It's always a joyous occasion when she returns from her travels, and what better way to celebrate than with a family lunch and a couple of new brews at a bar in the Chicago suburb of Evanston.  On this particular Saturday, I was lucky enough to enjoy two outstanding beers, both of which will feature in this weekend's edition of 3B3D:  Stone Ruination IPA, and the subject of this post, Ommegang Biere D'Hougoumont. 
First Impression:
A lovely warm, reddish golden color with a creamy white head which dissipated slowly.
Very complex, sweet and malty, with citrus and caramel in the background.
Starts with crisp lemon and grapefruit taste, followed by mild hoppiness and sweetness, and ends with a clean, dry finish.  Very hard to compare to any other beer I've had previously.  Reminded me vaguely of a brut champagne.
On the Palate:
Lots of pleasant carbonation and surprising thickness, though not syrupy.

Why You'll like It:
I think ODD will appeal to those who enjoy both lambics and saisons equally, because it embodies many of the foremost qualities of both of those styles with a little Stiegl Radler and pale ale thrown in for good measure. 

...and why You won't:
Complicated isn't for everyone, nor are sharp and fruity beers, of which this is definitely a prime example.  Not an ideal winter beer either, more of a late spring /summer style.
In Closing...:
For someone like me, who hadn't had any Bières de Garde before, this was quite a departure from the other French beers that I've tried.  The crisp tart/sweet combination was very prominent as was the carbonation.  Of all the beers I've reviewed for this blog, this one defied categorization more than any other, and not in a bad way.  I'd recommend it to anyone, and am quite happy that a friend who knows that I'm always game for a new beer-related experience did the same for me.
Rating: 4 Stars (out of 5)

1 comment:

  1. The reference for this beer is so historically obscure, it makes it taste better.