A little bit of Belgium from the heart of New York State! Cooperstown, New York is not only the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, but also to the Ommegang brewery. Brewery Ommegang was purpose built to brew authentic Belgium style ales. Ommegang was opened in 1997 and sold to Duvel, a major Belgian brewer, in 2003. Now Ommegang is brewed and sold in both Europe and the US. Five beers are brewed year round at Ommegang: Ommegang Abbey Ale, Hennepin Farmhouse Saison, Rare Vos Amber Ale, Ommegang Witte Ale, and Three Philosophers.
All 5 beers are fantastic and have won multiple awards, but my favorite is the Ommegang Abbey Ale. This beer is double style brewed in the centuries old traditions of Belgium Trappist monks. It’s bottle conditioned in a cork sealed 750ml bottle and can be cellared like a fine wine. It is recommended that this beer be drank from a goblet like you would drink red wine from. This allows for proper head expansion and the full release of the beer’s aromas.
Ommegang Abbey Ale is lively beer, so tilt your glass and pour it slow. The color is very a very deep, dark, opaque brown with a rich, tan, frothy head. The nose has slight yeastiness with an overall malty roast character and hints of raisins and green apples. The first thing you will taste is the sweet creamy malt complimented with slightly sour yeasty sharpness. The hop character is minimum throughout, with just enough hops to balance out the malty sweetness. The beer finishes smooth and sweet with minimum hops.
This is a great beer for pairing with foods. Goes great with barbeque and grilled red meats in the summertime. Also great with dried fruits and sharp pungent cheeses like Gorgonzola.