Doctor Duvel

I'm like a sommelier, but for beer.

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Location: Upstate New York, United States

Favorite Beers: Orval, Samuel Smith, Duvel, Hennepin, Oude Gueze, Chimay, Dogfish Head, Anchor Steam, and anything made by Trappist monks.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Ommegang Gnomegang. The name pretty much had to have come up with itself. Courtesy of a kind soul at the brewery, a bottle found its way to me: Thanks Scott! This is a collaborative beer between Ommegang and, naturally, La Chouffe. I might've imagined that they'd go after the IPA Tripel style, with that particular collaboration, but the label calls it a blond ale. It's a big one, at 9.5%. Apparently it's made with both house yeasts. I'd love to think that I have the palate to determine how they interact or cooperate, but I'm thinking that's a stretch. Here's what I get: Pretty golden color. Full head, but not quite as voluminous as some of their others; I think the carbonation is a trifle subtler, which happens to go with the fuller palate, which we'll get to. The key note in the aroma is something I never find quite the right descriptor for. Several stronger, pale Belgians have a version of it, the quintessential example for me being Piraat. It's a rich, alcoholically hot, creamy, whiskey-ish aroma. It normally signals a big, voluptuous sort of beer, like Piraat, and this follows through in that vein. There's some spiciness going on too, aromatically and on the palate. Like I said, the carbonation seems just a bit softer, perhaps less than Hennepin? That goes nicely with the rich, velvety body here. Sometimes when people say a beer is "hot" they don't mean it as a good thing, but I do here. Belgians over 9% almost always have a pleasant little mini-burn to them and this is no exception. The palate comes across as mildly sweet, though not cloying. I know enough about beer to know that it might be bone dry statistically. You can never tell with Belgian yeasts. But it feels full on the palate--rich, creamy, and so on, but also balanced by a subtle, earthy hoppiness, and some brighter, fruitier acids. I think this is a pretty delicious beer... Tomorrow, assuming I can get out of school at an approrpriate hour, it's Pilsner-brewin' time. All Hallertau. Wyeast Bo-Pils. Simple grist. Bring it on.


Blogger Trina said...

We will porbably open our Gnomegang tonight. I hope it survived the distance! Also, I need to acquire Pretty Things while I'm out this summer. It is my one unhelpful mission.

6:43 PM  
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7:31 AM  

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