Welcome back, everyone. Today, for your reading and drinking pleasure, I present Ommegang’s Witte Ale. I’m a big fan of witbiers, and of most Belgian style ales, so I’m pretty excited about this one. Additionally, I’ve had quite a few of Ommegang’s offerings, and they’ve all been fairly tasty. It’s like nature herself has guided me to this beer. And who am I to say no to nature?
We start off with a big cloud of malts and spices that burst out immediately after the cap is popped. Nutmeg and citrus mark the edges of the aroma, adding a bright spiciness to the bouquet that screams freshness. Hints of bananas and apples chill out at the back, adding a fruity sweetness that doesn’t try to overpower the malt potency. Actually, most of the secondary aromas are constantly changing – growing or fading from second to second, leaving you more and more intrigued with each breath you take.
The first bottle taste is crisp and fruity, layered atop a big malty backbone. Cinnamon and nutmeg provide some nice spice, working with a lemon juice tang to present a flavor almost like bubblegum at the tip of the tongue. Hints of non-hoppy citrus fruits jump in and out, adding some zest and boosting the spices a bit more, until each mouthful is bursting with layers of flavor. Despite the strength, nothing is overpowering, settling into the malty base like a bunch of champions. Over the tongue, it’s crisp and bubbly, but the flavors linger for quite a while, lasting as warm, spiced bread.
Poured out into a pint glass, lemon and the earlier spices make up the first wave. This initial tang is followed by a sweet maltiness that settles in at the base of the aroma profile. Bananas make up the back end, with a nutmeg earthiness making an appearance every now and then. It’s a wonderfully aromatic beer once it’s poured, allowing the fragrances to burst and collide with each other. It pours a beautiful hazy gold, under a thick, white head that’s fed by an ever-moving stream of bubbles.
The poured tastes are just as rich, with a mouth filling malty warmth bringing along blooms of nutmeg and even a bit of clove. Tangy hints of citrus work in from the sides, ensuring each taste is bright, flavorful, and refreshing. The bubblegum essence – the lovechild of the citrusy spices – is back once again, imparting a sweet and spicy aura atop the big witbier flavors. Over the tongue, it remains bubbly and crisp, though there is a short moment of creaminess on the tip of the tongue. At only 5% ABV, it’s wonderfully refreshing and drinkable, with its crisp, bubbly feel and great combinations of flavor.
Overall, this is a tasty witbier, with the expected spices, malts, and hints of citrus working together quite well. Both the aroma and the flavors are fragrant and complex, layering notes upon notes to create a bright experience. Low on alcohol, and remaining crisp and bubbly throughout, it’s wonderfully drinkable and refreshing. Still, I recommend drinking it slowly, in order to bring out each and every flavor to their maximum potentials. It’s a little on the pricey side, at almost $10 for a six-pack, but its wonderful spiced malt aftertaste will prolong the drinking experience quite nicely, and get that much more tasty bang for your buck.
I suggest enjoying this during the summer. The bright, fresh flavors will help quench any thirst, and each taste is basically adult sunshine in your mouth. It’d also be a good beer to have with friends. It’s mellow enough to allow you to have a few while staying up late and catching up, but its great flavors and perfect drinkability will ensure happiness from start to finish. Ommegang’s Witte Ale earns bright and zesty A-.
Lasting Strength: 9/10
Overall: 9.2/10 A-