Brewery Ommegang Gnomegang - 9.5% ABV
I love it when brewers get together to have some fun. Some of the best beer that I have ever tried have been collaborations between maniacal masterminds. Highway 78 Scotch Ale was a wonderful, mild ale created by 3 San Diego Brewers known for over the top, hoppy creations. Hopfen-weisse was the unlikely love child between Brooklyn Brewery and Schneider Brewing from Bavaria and was magnificent. Now we have a blonde ale bastard child from Brewery Ommegang in New York and Brasserie d'Achouffe in Belgium. The major difference in this creation is that both breweries are owned lock, stock and barrel by Duvel and both breweries are known for producing Belgian style ales. Kind of like cousins reproducing rather than 2 complete strangers doing it in the back seat of a car in the parking lot. Well thought out and superb, but passionless.
To make this fine ale they used 5 fine malts, 2 noble hops and both of the propriatary yeasts from each brewery. The smell was light and very fragrant with the yeasts, sweetness and herbs coming through and the thin head left a nice lacing. Blonde Ale? Pishposh. This powerhouse will hit you with tartness, spice, candy, earth, minerals, hops and herbs. The yeasts combine for a really funky kick and there is an unexpected dry finish. The funny thing is that it is really not as far out as the description makes it sound. Don't get me wrong, the ale is really good (maybe saison would be a better description or even a Belgian Tripel) but just not the oral orgasm that I had hoped for. The beer will soon disappear but rumor has it that it will be available again for the holidays.
656 County Highway 33
Cooperstown NY 13326-9248