20th Anniversary Ale by Ommegang is an 11.5% ABV Belgian Dark Strong Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels.
This one totally came from left field. I wasn’t until I found it at QualityLiquorStore.com that I stumbled upon this one. The last time I tried and reviewed an Anniversary ale from Ommegang was the XV edition. Ommegang is one of my favorite breweries. Back when I first started beer reviews in 2010, The Three Philosophers which was introduced by my friend Chino was a beer I loved so much, that I wanted to try more of Ommegang’s beer. Fast Forward to this day and they have become one of my favorite Belgian inspired breweries out there. Their brews are just like Belgian ales its crazy. Granted, they are owned by Duvel, but just the better. The beers from them have been some of my all time favorites and to this day, of the common 3 best beers in the world, Three Philosophers is one of my favorites! So let’s take a look at their bourbon barrel aged Dark ale. This is such a great opportunity as I don’t think I have ever had a bourbon barrel aged beer from them. Let’s see, cheers!!
Rich bananas, clove spice, phenolics, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Belgian chocolate, dark fruits, fruit cake, dark candi sugar, piloncillo sugar cone, marshmallow smores, ginger bread, flan, waffle cone, hone, bourbon, oak, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, apples, peppercorn, dark candi sugars and raisin bread pudding
Super rich dark fruit, raisins, plums, figs, cherries, blueberries, currants, burnt sugar, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, Dark candi sugar, piloncillo sugar cone, marshmallow smores, ginger bread,
cola, molasses, anise, mint, rock candy, tiramasu coffee, dark chocolate, Belgian chocolate, milk chocolate, bananas, clove spice, phenolics, stone fruit peach, apricot, mango, port wine, raisins bread pudding, grapes, cane sugar, flan, sweetened condensed milk, butterscotch, rye bread honey, coriander hints, bourbon, oak, almond joy chocolate, toasted coconut, rocky road ice cream, peppercorn spice hints, candied apples, maple syrup hints, waffle cone, raspberry and dark cherry chocolate cake.
Finishing with rich dark fruits, dulce de leche caramel, bourbon, oak, stone fruit, vanilla, bananas, anise, rocky road ice cream, chocolate and port wine hints. No alcohol in the taste despite the high ABV. Dark Amber brown full body, smooth, creamy, velvety and chewy mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.
Alot of the rating for this beer comes from the love I have for this brewery. The makers of some of the best Belgian inspired brews that even one of their commons, the Three Philosophers, is among one of my top common 3 beers in the world. This one almost feels like a throw back to Art of Darkness, a Belgian Dark Strong ale that I had so long ago and one that I still have aging hoping to one day open once again. Essentially, if they took that beer and aged it in Bourbon, it would be this. Heck if Unibroue took Trois Pistoles and aged it in bourbon, it be close to this too. It is definitely an exceptional brew that is very rich in dark phenolics I love in Belgians along with what I love from the bourbon barrel aged brews. If you love Belgians and BBA brews, you can’t go wrong with this amazing masterpiece!
Freya Crescent from Final Fantasy IX/9 was used in this pairing as I was mainly going for a somewhat medieval feel like many of the brews from Ommegang give the feel of. Since this was a special occasion, I wanted to use her just like I did one of my favorite dragon beers, the Italian Monteggioco Draco. There isn’t much in terms of colors to tribute but an awesome character to an awesome beer!