Ommegang Adoration

2 Comments By Blake December 4, 2009

Ommegang Adoration

It’s a wonderful time of year to be a beer lover. In early November every year the Belgian Christmas Ales begin arriving in droves. There isn’t much better than  slowly sipping a strong spicy 750ml of beer on a long cool evening in December. I’m sure it would be even better if by cool, I could be referring to temperatures below 70, but we work with what we have.

The first I picked up this year is Ommegang Adoration from Brewery Ommegang in Coopersown, New York. The brewery is one of the premier Belgian-style breweries in the states with highly regarded Belgian ales like Three Philosophers and Hennepin.

Ommegang Adoration is a “Belgian-style dark, strong winter beer, brewed with five spices: Coriander, cardamom, mace, sweet orange peel, and grains of paradise.” It comes in at 10% ABV and pours a murky reddish brown with a half  inch of off-white head. The head didn’t last more than a minute or two leaving just a swirl of bubbles on the surface.

It smells of allspice and orange peel, definitely spicy but with very little alcohol on the nose.  I have trouble discerning the spice flavors on the first few sips, I just taste spice, but I think it was a little too cold. After it warms it gets a little maltier and tastes of clove and maybe cinnamon, the orange peel doesn’t reveal itself until the exceptionally dry finish where it hides the alcohol nicely. I’m left with the lingering taste of clove. I know its not listed on the ingredient list, but that’s what I taste. That and maybe a bit of coriander.

I feel like the spices are a still a little overwhelming. They linger longer than I would like and they hide the yeast profile I really like in the best of the Strong Dark Belgian Ales.  While I don’t think this one is going down in the pantheon of Ommegang greats, its a solid effort and well worth a taste this holiday season.


Solid but unspectacular in my book. Maybe if it was colder outside I would appreciate the lingering spice, as it is it’s just frustrating me from tasting the very good beer underneath.

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Your Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Lauren Penner says:

    I've read that this one is quite spicy. If I pick up a bottle, I'll make sure to let it warm up a bit before quaffing. Having cold weather may also be on my side this time.
    BTW, have you tried the St Bernardus Christmas Ale this year? Do it.

  2. Alexis Siemon says:

    Funny you should mention! Just posted the review of St. Bernardus Christmas Ale this morning. :)

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