Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. (Matthew 2:7-12 ESV)
I have made much on this blog of the fact that I will try pretty much anything brewed by Brewery Ommegang. Their joyfully serious approach to the brewing of beer is one that resonates deeply with me. Their corporate motto (“everything for a reason”) cuts against the grain of an industry that too often values gimmicks and braggadocio over real innovation and carrying oneself with quiet humility.
According to the Ommegang web site, their Adoration Ale is “brewed in the authentic style of Belgian winter, or noel beer, is dark, malty and assertively spiced.” Ommegang suggests sipping this beer before a roaring fire and I love that suggestion. This is a deeply soulful beer that demands your attention as you imbibe. It has a high 10% abv so one of these enjoyed over a period of time will do you good. Also, given the high alcohol by volume level of this beer, aging a bottle or two so that you can enjoy on a clear summer night would be a wise move.
Not surprisingly, this is a complex, thoroughly delicious beer on the palate. The smell of the beer is Belgian yeasty (Ommegang is known for this) and the taste is a delicious mix of citrus and winter spices. Obviously the abv percentage is high. However, it doesn’t taste “boozy” like some barleywines and you never get the sense that you are being smacked in the face by the higher alcohol volume.
One piece of advice is to let this one warm up a bit before consuming. If you partake of one directly out of the fridge you will find that the cold accentuates the higher alcohol and gives the beer a peppery, spicy taste that is too much. You will want to enjoy yours at slighly below room temperature for the best effect.
At the time of this writing, the Midwest has been laboring under clouds, damp drizzle, and cold temperatures for over a week. The hoped for “white Christmas” doesn’t appear to be in the forecast. Perhaps just a “soggy Christmas” this year. Nevertheless, having a beer like Ommegang’s Adoration Ale on hand gladdens the heart and brings cheer in the midst of the bleak midwinter.
Beer prayer: Gracious God, we give You thanks for the Ommegang’s Adoration Ale. Many moons ago the three Magi brought the infant Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh and they worshiped Him. This splendid ale draws our senses heavenward so that we might give You thanks for Your many gifts. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen!
My Untappd rating for Ommegang Adoration Ale: 5/5