Nov 9, 2017

Ommegang 20th Anniversary Ale

Five years ago, I was a bit underwhelmed with Ommegang’s XV Anniversary Ale. It was a solid brew, don’t get me wrong, but for such a momentous occasion, it felt like just another Ommegang beer — if that makes any sense. Now, for their twentieth year in business, an admittedly bigger occasion, the brewery has pulled out all the stops with this 11.5% ABV Bourbon barrel-aged Belgian-style strong dark ale. And it is exquisite.

Where the previous anniversary release felt incomplete, this one excels. The rich Belgian-style strong dark ale provides a wonderful array of yeast, dark fruits, burnt caramel, a hint of molasses and toffee. The barrel influence only seems to accentuate those attributes while offering up a smooth Bourbon-y flavor, hints of old wood and a touch of vanilla. Everything comes together seamlessly with each sip, providing a dynamic and layered drinking experience.

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, I’m an Ommegang fanboy. I have been for years (like, years) and will continue to look for their products with regularity not only to explore new options, but also to replenish those items that I love to cellar like their Three Philosophers. This 20th Anniversary Ale only solidifies that relationship. I know where there are still a couple of bottles of this remaining on shelves and I plan to nab them tomorrow.