Ommegang Cup o Kyndnes

I enjoyed Ommegang’s Belgian-style Scotch Ale this evening. Its complexity was pleasant, evidencing good craftsmanship.

Ommegang Belgian Scotch

It poured up a dark ruby-brown, somewhat darker than I expected for an ale of this sort, and it had a nice tan head that lasted for a good bit. The nose had some of the sweet straw smells that reminded me of the Scottish ale tradition, but also an intriguing roasted orange aroma was present. I didn’t detect any of the banana esters that are typical of the Belgian style ale.

Medium bodied but a little watery on the palate, this ale was pleasantly complex with a wide variety of flavours. Here the Belgian musty fruits appeared along with some of the sweet caramel of the Scottish style. There were layers of distinctive spice which also revealed the Belgian tradition, mixed with tea flavours possibly from the heather with which this ale was brewed. I also detected a distinctive smokiness, like the pleasant aroma of wood smoke, that developed as I enjoyed this beverage! The label reveals that the brewers used a “wee bit of smoked malt” to achieve this.

At 6.6% ABV, I estimate this ale to be approximately 286 calories for a pint.

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Terrapin’s Reunion ‘10 – Belgian Style Scotch Ale

reunion_beer_label_052010of.jpgI really enjoy the craft beers from Terrapin Beer Co. in Athens, Georgia. Of course, I’m partial to anything from Georgia, but these fellows do an outstanding job.

This ale is an interesting blend of two styles: Belgian and Scottish. The craft and moderate level of complexity in this brew is appreciated.

This ale pours up a nice rich dark amber brown with a smaller tan head that did not stick around long. The nose reveals the Belgian style yeast with a definite dusty fruity banana aroma, the sweet Scottish maltiness being hinted in the background.

It’s important to give this 22 ounce serving the time for its complexity to be revealed. Don’t over chill this ale or you’ll miss what it has to offer. The mouthfeel is medium bodied. This ale begins with a clear emphasis on the Belgian style, and that style remains on the nose throughout, becoming somewhat less pronounced on the pallet as the ale warms, giving way to a much fuller expression of the sweet Scottish maltiness. Throughout, the hops remain in the background, accented on the finish.

This is a skillfully crafted blended style ale that is a treat to enjoy.

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