Sometimes, helpers need a break: Ommegang Abbey Ale

Ommegang Abbey Ale

  • Burnt caramel apple
  • Sweet, apple, earthy
  • Slightly bitter

Let’s face it, I am not going to make this a habit. I usually leave the reviews to the Big Dog, Fervere, for some good reasons. One is I kinda stink at this review stuff, and second, it’s his job. But, I digress.

I was shopping at Trader Joe’s last week, and I promised myself I wasn’t going to walk down the beer aisle. But, like a siren’s song, I couldn’t help steering my ship to the rocks that was aisle seven. I saw Ommegang Abbey Ale on the top shelf, and I remembered my friend Randall from northern California—thank you, sir—recommending it to me some time ago. The bottle was beauty to behold, and it was quickly in my cart. It got rave reviews at the check out from the cashier, and I headed home with my little stash.

Later in the week, when I came home from a hard day of standing on my feet, I decided to pop the cork. That’s the first thing that stood out for this beer. Hey, wait a minute, it has a cork? Now I know, at this time Fervere would come in with some interesting comment about why a cork and blah, blah, blah but I got nothing.

On the bottle, it states it’s a “True Belgian-style Dubbel.” With a little research, I discovered that dubbels are dark ales with fruity components to it. Ok, that sounded interesting, as I never had one before.

(Note from Fervere: Melba asked me to describe in more detail about dubbels. This is her article, so just a quick note that dubbels are beers brewed by Trappist monks, usually in Belgium. Dubbels are darker than the traditionally brewed beers, hence double beers; although, go figure, they’re not double the alcohol (6–8% v 4-5% ) nor are they brewed for twice as long. One other interesting thing to note: Ommegang is produced in Cooperstown, NY. — Fervere)

When I opened the bottle and poured its contents into a wine glass, ’cause melba doesn’t have a proper beer glass—very sad—I knew it was going to be different than any other beer I’ve had before. The color was an dark amber, brownish-red, and the smell was amazing and straight forward—burnt, carmel apples. It was very strong, like walking at a street fair and passing the cart with the candied and sugared apples, so distinct and so clear. I was even more surprised that the taste of the beer matched the aroma—almost burnt, carmel apples that rolled in a bit of dirt. The abbey ale was dark, rich, and fruity with a slightly bitter finish, and the 8.5% alcohol didn’t overpower it.

Although it was a dark ale, I would definitely buy this again. Will Fevere lets me write another review after this terrible one? That remains to be seen.