On the docket: 750ml cork & cage Ommegang’s 2015 Belgian Independence Day Ale (Belgian Tripel)
Poured with vigor, but not so much as to upset the yeast at the bottom of the bottle.
Aroma: An immediate waft of clove-y, spice and fruity esters drifts off the head. There’s a bit of brightness, orange peel, grains of paradise, perhaps even star anise- all telltale signs of a Belgian style Ommegang beer. It also boasts some slightly sweet notes- the Mandarina hops. Mandarina’s signature is “tangerine” and I do get a bit of it here.
Sight: Cloudy gold like that of yellow car lights, a big puffy, airy stark white head, microscopic but busy bubbles rise to the top. The head recedes to a small cap.
Taste: The foundation of Belgian beer spices show up immediately. Also present is a bready malt, with a touch of sweetness. However, this is a dry, crisp beer. It’s got a medium bitterness, and at 9.2%, a kiss of booze. It’s not glaring and heavy-handed, but enough to remind you’re drinking a high-gravity beer.
Feel: Dry, but fairly full bodied for a beer this alcoholic. It’s just a little creamy, but not sugary, syrupy or cloying. Excellent carbonation, the bubbles scrub your tongue, making it ready for the next sip. Long finish.
Overall: I appreciate a modern twist on a traditional style, so the dry-hopping with the Mandarina hops are a welcome tradition. Other than this addition, it tastes pretty true to style. Very drinkable, the alcohol sneaks up on you. This is an excellent offering by Ommegang.
Suggested food pairings: Sweet red pepper hummus and pita chips, summer salads, sharp cheddar cheese, lightly seasoned pork
S: 4.0 A: 4.0 T: 4.5 F: 4.0 O: 4.0