The darkest days of the year are upon us. With so little light of day to keep us warm, we have to turn to our favorite beverages. Coffee, cocoa and tea may do the trick early on, but come the evenings, pour me a glass of beer. Make sure it’s strong enough to warm me from the inside out. This week’s selection does exactly that. The Beer of the Week is Brewery Ommegang’s Art of Darkness.
Let us now acknowledge the dark arts of brewing. Our limited edition Art of Darkness Ale is deep, dark and magical, with champagne-like carbonation and rich matiness from a complex recipe of multiple barley and wheat malts, as well as flaked oats.
Using no spices or flavorings, Art of Darkness gains all its rich aromas, tastes, and apparent spiciness from the malts and Ommegang’s proprietary house yeast.
There are no secret ingredients or magical incantation. There is only Ommegang brewers’ creating the finest quality dark, strong ale of complex and deep character.
Art of Darkness is a fine ale to enjoy immediately, and is excellent to cellar.
Malts: Pils, pale, cara crystal, aroma, Midnight Wheat, Cara Pils, flaked oats. Hops: Spalter Select and Styrian Golding. Yeast: Ommegang house yeast. Spices: None
OG: 19.5 Plato
FG: 4.18 Plato
The aroma of Art of Darkness is faint, covered by the peppery scent of alcohol and carbon dioxide. The body is incredibly clear but obscured by the dark hue of the beer. A beige heads dissipates quickly, only maintained by the scoring of the glassware. Dark dried fruit flavors take the front end of this beer, fading to chocolate and a subtle roasted quality in the finish. Grassy noble hops provide a bright finish. A lingering malt presence will sit on the tongue with hints of treacle and raisins.
Art of Darkness is not going to surprise you as creative or innovative, but what it does do is execute the concept of this beer perfectly. The Belgian influence is evident by such a dry beer exhibiting full flavors of ripe fruit. The bold flavors are fitting for the season and given the name of the beer. Providing contrast are bright European hops. Like fresh cut grass, it gives me a glimpse of summer and a touch of hope with winter looming.
Art of Darkness is a beer that shows off the expertise at play in Brewery Ommegang. Not just a great tasting beer, it’s incredibly well-crafted by being easy to drink and by not fatiguing the palate.
I look forward too what Ommegang has up their sleeve next, particularly the upcoming Game of Throne releases.