Tim Lavis, News Editor
This week we sampled Brewery Ommegang’s newly released end of the year special, Adoration. This beer, labeled a “Strong Winter Ale,” packs a punch with an even 10 percent ABV. Nevertheless, the brew retains the smoothness and drinkability that Ommegang is known for.
Adoration is not a beer for the faint of heart: this is the brew-born equivalent of an arctic expedition. Sipping a glass is like slapping yourself in the face on a frigid winter morning to stimulate blood flow as you wait for the ever-tardy 7:30 a.m. University bus. The heavy spice note of this beer is apparent upon first whiff – it is a space heater in even the iciest mug.
Predominate in the scent are notes of orange and cardamom: a notion that is reaffirmed upon first taste. Although this brew pours with the amber color of Ommegang’s Rare Vos, the mouth-feel of Adoration is more reminiscent of a Belgian Quadruple or even a porter. The ale is thick in texture, with an exuberant, though ephemeral head. Complementing the initial spice notes is an overall sweet body with a slight hoppyness. The latter leads into the beer’s fruity, semi-sour finish.
For several years, Brewery Ommegang has been perfecting Adoration with annual wintertime incarnations. This is clearly a well thought-out ale; deriving much of its complexity from the extensive experience gained from a succession of past batches. When asked for his take on Adoration, brew guru and paternal pundit August Johnson proclaimed that this hefty winter ale is “the kind of beer your father could serve his father.”