Chad9976 (1248) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 21, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I poured a 750ml corked bottle into a Trappist chalice.
Appearance: Very cloudy burnt umber/orange hue. Little to no carbonation visible. White soapy head fizzles away almost completely quite quickly. No lacing.
Smell: Quite typical for a beer of the style: banana and Belgian yeast esters with a strong backbone of flowers and perfume. Alcohol is faint.
Taste: Beers of this style, I find, tend to be too overtly boozy or too peppery. It’s very rare to find a Belgian strong pale ale that is well-balanced, but Ommegang Gnomegang is it. The first half of the palate is very sweet, but not cloying. The lighter confectionary syrups of toffee, caramel and butterscotch are quite prominent, but never cloying. There’s some banana as well from the yeast, but only the slightest hint of pepper or spice. The second half is essentially the same only with the addition of light bitterness. The finish comes full circle back to the confectionary sweetness with the addition of orange fruit. The aftertaste is quite clean, actually.
Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin and tepid for such a potent, bottle-conditioned Belgian beer. Might even be a little too flat for its own good.
Drinkability: Sometimes I approach bigger Belgian beers like Gnomegang with some reservation or hesitation. But only one swig into this beer I was floored by just how easy it is to drink. The thin, tepid mouthfeel and lack of spice and booze definitely account for the smoothness of the brew. There is a very slight presence of alcohol warmth in the palate and in the throat, but otherwise it drinks like a beer much lighter than its 9.5% ABV would lead you to believe.
Overall, a tasty, impressive and fun beer to drink. For a collaboration it doesn’t seem to break any new ground, but a good beer is good beer.
DuffMan (7032) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - JUN 19, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle shared with Parksy, Jeff, and a few others at the party. Hazy golden with a lively thick white head that shows excellent retention. Aroma is yeasty, sweet, and lightly perfumey. Nice pale malt structure (straw and biscuit) with perfumey fruit (ripe melon, light banana), and spicy nuances. Peppery dry finish. Medium-to-full bodied, fairly sweet, pleasant warmth in the finish but no hint of the nearly 10% ABV. Terrific.
Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - JUN 17, 2011
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
THOUGHTS: Could almost be a tripel. It was also a little like Duvel and a tripel had a baby. Very nice. Hid alcohol very well. Nay it hid it incredibly well. Very yeasty. One of Ommegangs best.
TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured a slightly hazy, light to medium gold with an average, slightly off-white head that mostly diminished and left fair to good lacing. The aroma had moderate straw, light bread, candi sugar and wheat; moderate to heavy dough, dusty and slightly funky yeast; banana or bubble gum; grape; white wine; light fruity yeast; and champagne. The initial flavor was moderately sweet, lightly acidic, and light to moderately bitter; while the finish was lightly sweet, light to moderately bitter and slightly acidic. There was malt, candi sugar, yeast, bubble gum of banana, sort of wheat or straw, slight funk, dusty yeast, slight grassy hops, floral hos, fruity yeast, white wine and champagne. The medium body was rather dry with very fizzy carbonation and a dry finish.
swoopjones (6218) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JUN 16, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
draft at Coles, Buffalo NY> deeper golden pour. bubblegum, yeast, floral, chouffe yeast. Taste is flral, pot pourri, citrusy, herbalness. pretty active mouthfeel, decent bitterness. good not great
brokensail (11600) - Orange County, California, USA - JUN 14, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On-tap at Provisions
A: This pours a lightly cloudy golden orange color with a surprisingly small white head.
S: Lots of banana and some clove notes to it, as expected, with a bit of straw and bubblegum. Nicely sweet with plenty of bread and pale malts. As it sits for a few moments, the banana becomes even more intense.
T: Despite the mild spice aroma, the clove flavor is quite intense. The banana flavor is also quite intense, as is the sweet bread and malt character. A light floral hop note as well as some alcohol coming through.
M: Medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.
O: Other than the little hint of booze, this was pretty solid. A nice Belgian beer.
Acknud (1081) - Morganfield, Kentucky, USA - JUN 14, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Ehhh, Malty, sweet with some balance of this by hops. Moderate color and head. I am not much on sweeter beers but this was drinkable.
talon1117 (1152) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JUN 14, 2011
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
The pour is a very hazy, golden, honey color with an average white, fluffy head which is somewhat lasting and leaves very sporadic, Belgian lace. The nose is pleasant but somewhat subtle; pleasant herbal (thyme, light basil) and floral notes, vanilla and light candi sugar, dusty/doughy yeast, and light notes of banana, melon, and clove. The flavor is similar but relies on the delicate nature of the beer; more banana esters, light candi sugar, slight bread, clove and melon still, thyme and basil giving bitterness, orange peel, and a very faint toasted caramel note. The palate is warm, nearly full, drying a touch, silky, round, and nearly lively. The beer finishes long and warming with orange peel, clovey spice, earthy/thyme bitterness, and a toasted caramel on the tongue. On first impression of the beer, nothing too amazing; very subtle nose, very yeast dependent, and light in nature. But the subtle intricacies, delicate nature, and balance create a quite nice beer. The warming characteristic of the beer is nice in the sense that it only adds complexity to the finish rather than affecting the flavors of the beer. Two breweries I would expect to create something memorable gave a valid attempt at that and were damn close. Something I would gladly buy again but maybe not something I will remember years from now.
DYCSoccer17 (3357) - Woodland, California, USA - JUN 13, 2011
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
750mL bottle purchased at BevMo in Natomas. Bottled on 02/15/11. The aroma is dusty, dry, citrus (lemon), and rather estery. Light, sweet candi sugar aromas are lingering in the background. Modestly hazy golden-honey colored body with a smallish off-white head present. Starts quite sweet and sugary, before the yeasts start taking over in the middle. A good deal of spiciness and dustiness is there, before this becomes more dry towards the finish. Some grassy and spicy bittering hops are used. A little ethanol is detected. The mouthfeel on this is really strange. At first, it seems like it is going to be too sweet, but the more I have, the more the dry, bitterness lingers. This has a pretty velvety mouthfeel with a light spritzy carbonation. A little metallic, too. It’s going to be a bit of a chore to finish this bottle.
jc4031 (129) - Colorado, USA - JUN 13, 2011
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
on draft at OB liquids and solids, this was a tasty blonde with plenty of flavors going on. yeasty and spicy, lots of malts. well done
drfabulous (4195) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - JUN 12, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Nice looking saison with golden orange body and big white head. Fruity aroma and taste. Yeast is everywhere in the taste making this a fine beer.