I always get excited by the prospect of another Ommegang special release and this is no exception.
750mL corked & caged bottle in the usual Ommegang presentation.
Beer opens with a slightly disappointing lack of pop, but the pour is better than the lack of gas might suggest. Although the color is that slightly clouded, not particularly attractive mid-brown, Dubbel like affair, it is pretty much as I expected. The head and lace are much better, and the creamy residue that sticks to the side of the glass is very pleasing and reminds me (in a good way) of a nitro pour.
The nose is chock-full of malty fruits. The aroma is reminiscent of a Belgian strong with some prunes, plums, raisins and other dark fruits.
Initial tastes reflect most of that, but add a traditional, lightly smoked, peat element that meshes really well. Some super alcohol notes (which is somewhat surprising considering the restrained ABV), and it also adds a light alcohol touch in the backend and finish/aftertaste. A touch of estery pineapple too.
Mouthfeel is resplendent with a creamy finish and a full feel.
The difference between this and Terrapin’s version of the style that I had a couple of days ago is STARK, and not in a good way for the Terrapin guys. This is a benchmark in the style for me. Not my favorite style but a really great beer in the genre.