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Beer Review #54 Terrible

As I have said before I am a sucker for a good name and/or a good looking beer bottle. In this case, Terrible had both. When I saw this beer sitting on the shelf at the local beer store, I knew I had to get it. I mean how can you pass up a beer with the audacity to have the name Terrible. And the bottle wasn’t too shabby either; simple, clean, and attractive.It is also brewed by Unibroue Quebec, Canada.

On pouring the beer it comes out a nice dark brown. There is a tan, almost redish head, that quickly faded back into the beer. I was somewhat surprised that it went away so quickly as most Belgian beers have ample amounts of head. Maybe it was just the 10.5% ABV that thinned it so quickly. On the nose I fist noticed how sour it smelled. I believe that it came from the dark chocolate notes that I later tasted, but I was a bit surprised to smell them in there. Other aromas came out of some nice malty sweetness and the ever present Belgian yeast strain.

The taste was complex and pleasant. The sourness was there and so was the malt, but there is also a lot more to be found. Those chocolate notes that I talked about before are sure in there, but not over powering. Heat is there to be sure, but at 10.5% that should be expected. Terrible had a few peppery notes as well and judging by previous Unibroue ales that I have had, it is part of their signature yeast strain. I also got some almost bourbon notes in there as well that I didn’t expect, but rather enjoyed.

The mouthfeel is medium and lighter than what I would of expected for such a big beer. I really enjoyed it. I’ve had better Belgian Strong Ales, as this is what Terrible is classified as, but I was solid. From what I have read this beer is a limited or special release, so it might be tough to find, but if I can get it in Lubbock, Texas than I would imagine it can’t be to terrible to find. The biggest downside to this beer is that it comes in a 750 ml bottle, which at 10.5%, one bottle is more than enough. I sure enjoyed it and I think you will too if you get the chance. (more…)

Beer Review #33 Ommegang Abbey Ale

11-08-02I thought I was out of my Belgian kick that I was on over the summer, but I found another reason to continue. Ommegang Abbey Ale is a Belgian Dubbel from Brewery Ommegang out of Cooperstown, NY. I saw two options of bottling for this beer, a four-pack or a 750 ml corked bottle. I opted to go for the four-pack as it was a better buy and I didn’t have to drink it all at once.

I allowed the beer to warm up at cellar temperatures as it takes on a different feel when it is colder. The cold attempt I made I didn’t get much aroma, but a lot of sourness. Once I allowed it to warm on my next beer, I had a much better tasting beer. It pours a deep ruby color with a thick light brown head. The head on the beer is made entirely of tiny bubble (high carbonation) and a thin layer of head lasted through the entire drink. The Abbey Ale is pretty clear with some haze from the yeast and a few groups of things in suspension, as common with most Belgian beers.

11-08-03The nose was very fruity. I think the smell that stood out the most was a grape to sour grape smell. The yeast was also heavy on the nose with some hints of malt. No hops were detectable. On my first sip I was hit with the malt on the front, followed by a sourness, and then the Belgian yeast bite. There was a grapy aftertaste. As I kept drinking some bitter chocolate notes came though as well. The Belgian yeast had a slightly different twang than a normal Belgian yeast strain, it was much more sour. Most of the time you get a spiciness from Belgian yeast, there was some, but not as pronounced as other Belgian beers I have had.

The mouthfeel was medium and the high carbonation was wonderful. I really enjoyed drinking this beer. It is a perfect beer to drink slowly during a long period of time. As the beer warms to room temperature a host of new notes come out and make it more and more interesting. Ommegang Abbey Ale comes in a 8.5% which is on the higher end of ABV for Belgain Dubbels.

There were a few interesting notes on the back of the bottle as well. It says, “Part of the Duvel family of fine ales.” Brewery Ommegang was named after Belgium’s oldest medieval festival. This beer is also cellared at the brewery. If you like Belgian beers give this one a try, you will not be disappointed. It is wonderfully flavorful and complex. It really was a treat of a beer to drink. (more…)