February 5, 2013 | Beer, Reviews

Brewery Ommegang XV

Brewery Ommegang XV photo

To put it bluntly, I was expecting more from Ommegang as they celebrate their 15th anniversary. Maybe my anticipation of XV was too high. Maybe the brewery has spoiled me through the years with their consistently well crafter beers. Regardless, this 9.6% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale was damn good, but it didn’t wow me. For a product released to celebrate such a milestone, I’m not sure it lives up to expectations. Maybe I’m just a greedy bastard, but I wanted more from it.

XV brings a similar flavor profile as say Chimay Reserve, but not quite as distinguished. It’s got a wonderfully rich and malty backbone with just the right amount of yeastiness and hints of dark fruits. It’s a good beer and certainly lives up to the brewery’s reputation, but again, I wanted more from it. I’m planning on the other bottles I have put away for a bit in the basement to come into their own (and deliver the wow factor that I crave) over the next couple of years.

Appearance

The beer pours with a large, rocky tan stack of foam resting atop the dark mahogany colored brew. The head shows decent resiliency, falling slowly and leaving behind light lacing.

Aroma

A good dose of yeast, burnt caramel, dark fruits and subtle spices fill the nose nicely. Hints of chocolate and a light sweetness are also present with a hint of alcohol.

Taste

Nicely layered notes of caramel, raisins, earthy malt, yeast and spices persist throughout the life of the beer. The finish is sweet but not too much so with a light warmth that glows softly in the chest. It’s wonderfully balanced and wraps up cleanly on the palate.

Overall

I honestly really liked this beer, but as stated in the intro, I just wanted more for such a special, limited release — especially considering the price point on this beer. I fully enjoyed the brew’s flavors and character and I’m pretty sure it will only get better with a little age under its belt. I cannot wait to crack open another bottle in a year or two.

Rating: 4/5

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