Sunday, February 14, 2010

229. Ommegang Hennepin

Our third beer from Ommegang; our last two were their Bière de Mars and their Witte. Described as a Farmhouse Saison, Hennepin pours a hazy straw color with a white pillowy head that hangs around well; the nose is fruity with low levels of banana esters and some creaminess—there’s a little bit of banana cream pie that comes through. Hennepin starts with a sweet maltiness accompanied by the creamy banana we smelt in the nose. From there, it moves into a spritzy spiciness with some tartness in the middle, and ends with low levels of hop bitterness, some light clove flavors, and some fruit esters—a very Belgian ending. Light bodied with a light creamy mouthfeel, and bright and lively on the palate. With some warmth, the tartness increases, and a graininess emerges as well, while the creaminess drops off. Hennepin is an enjoyable and well balanced beer; as a saison, it could use a bit dryer of a bite at the end, and the hoppy description from the bottle never really made an appearance. Head retention is fantastic, though—I had the same size head from beginning to end.

From the bottle (note: obnoxious prose warning): “Father Hennepin was the Belgian missionary who discovered Niagara Falls. Our Hennepin is a rare Saison Farmhouse Ale—pale, hoppy, crisp, and rustic—and like Tintin, Magritte, and Audrey Hepbrun, Hennepin is famous, but not for being Belgian!” Ahem. Discovered. Good job. Never mind those Indians living there for thousands of years. Got to love the rhetoric of colonialism.

From the Ommegang website: “As you pour this rich golden ale into your glass, consider your surroundings. Are you in a restaurant? Outside on the deck? Is it hot and humid? Cold and brisk? Take a drink. Feel the way Hennepin is bright and lively in your mouth with a warming mix of spicy gingersnap and citrusy hops. Refreshing. Relaxing. It’s true: no matter where you are, Hennepin is the perfect ale for all seasons.”

ABV: 7.7%


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