Ommegang Witte – 5.1% ABV
BPA, Hennepin, Rare VOS, Three Philosophers. All of these fine brews have been enjoyed by yours truly and brought to you by Brewery Ommegang. This brewery from upstate New York (Cooperstown to be exact, home of MLB Hall of Fame) is the purveyor of fine Belgian quaff, brewing exclusively Belgian style beers. They have a serious knack for delivering some tasty malt beverages that could stand up against many that are brewed in their origin country.
Today, we’re enjoying Ommegang Witte. This is a witbier, commonly referred to as a white beer or white ale. It is brewed with plenty of wheat, like a hefeweizen, as well as other grains and generally spiced with coriander and lemon or orange peel. It is also unfiltered. The resulting look of the beer is a cloudy light or pale blonde or off-white color, hence the name “white beer.” This particular selection had all of those components working for it.
Grabbing a bomber of Ommegang Witte at the local liquor store, I poured this into a weissen glass. Initially, the color appeared to be an almost translucent white until I got to the bottom, did the old reliable “Sediment Swirl” and brought out the rest of the beast. The photo below may be misleading, as the head produced was a good three fingers worth of thick foam. I had to let it sit for a little while to allow the brew to settle down and the components to mingle inside the glass. Once this was done, the head had settled to about a finger and half and the color displayed a little bit more of a light yellow hue. The aroma was all wheat, yeast, citrus (orange and lemon), with a touch of banana and coriander. Just a whiff of this made me yearn for a hot summer day mowing the lawn. Let’s see how it tastes.
The initial offering that came to my palate was of wheat, lemon and orange peel, quickly followed by coriander and clove-like spice. Each pull reinforced the flavor profile and left a nice soap sud lacing around the glass. It also amounted to a bit of lingering banana taste in the end, but slightly thin. Maybe a little watery. Regardless, it lays on the spice and serves up a good amount of carbonation.
Was this my favorite witbier? Hard to say. I like Ommegang Witte, I do, but I remember how much Southampton Double White seemed to wow me into this style of beer. As always, a head-to-head smackdown may be necessary to declare the ultimate victor. Was this Ommegang’s best? No. I truly enjoyed some of their other beers, to the point where anything after them would be hard to live up to that level of expectation. I will say this – it’s a pretty damn tasty brew and if it weren’t over 5%, you could technically and officially call this a good session beer. Go grab one and see for yourself.