THE DRINK NATION IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR FINDING EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT DRINKING IN YOUR LOCATION

Beer Review: Ommegang Art of Darkness

Nuanced magic
by Tara Nurin on Apr 9, 2012 in Beer
Beer Review: Ommegang Art of Darkness

Art of Darkness is a Belgian-style dark ale that is “a spellbinding homage to brewing’s dark arts,” according to the the front label, with further paeans to wizardry spelled out on the side. Being this is an offering from Cooperstown, NY’s Brewery Ommegang, the pioneering craft brewery largely responsible for introducing Belgian beer to the U.S.,  the liquid is every bit as good as the incantation.

Released for the first time this month, the late winter/early spring seasonal pours as black as tar and exhibits a bit of carbonation even at the bottom of the glass, making it resemble dark soda. It sprouts a two-to-three finger sandy-colored head that dissipates quickly, with an aroma is of burnt raisin and some alcohol. It sustains a medium mouthfeel and a consistent taste throughout.

The overtly malty flavor is balanced between dark-fruit sweetness and coffee-like bitterness, feeling equally dry and sweet on the tongue. Only a skillfully crafted beer doesn’t suffer when it lacks complexity — in this case, it’s not a criticism. Here, simplicity doesn’t come in service of accessibility or from a dumbing down of concept. Rather, Art of Darkness is like a fine coffee: a drinker can discern impeccable quality only after developing an appreciative palate for strong yet straightforward flavors.

Indeed, this 8.7% ABV strong ale derives its flavor not from spices or adjuncts but from an imaginative recipe of a series of malts: Pils, pale, cara crystal, aroma, Midnight Wheat, Cara Pils and flaked oats, along with Spalter Select and Styrian Golding hops and Ommegang’s house yeast. It’s available in 750-ml. bottles and a limited amount of kegs, and can be enjoyed now or cellar-aged for up to three years.

Top photo via The Ale Runner

Recent Articles

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Behind the Bar: Liana Oster of Dante

Behind the Bar: Liana Oster of Dante

For this exciting installment of Behind the Bar, we had the incredible opportunity to sit down with Liana Oster, the head bartender at Dante in New Yo...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jan 7, 2020
Pabst Blue Ribbon Launches Blue Ribbon Whiskey in Select US Markets

Pabst Blue Ribbon Launches Blue Ribbon Whiskey in Select US Markets

PBR has launched their own whiskey. Let's keep an open mind and see what is inside this bottle....read more ›

by Carrie Dow Sep 24, 2019
The Master Sommelier Scandal is Now the Subject of a New Investigative Series

The Master Sommelier Scandal is Now the Subject of a New Investigative Series

There's a new investigative series about one of the biggest scandals to ever hit the wine world....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Sep 13, 2019
SPONSORED
Drink Nation Store Rectangle
Using Peas to Make Gin Might Lead to More Environmentally Friendly Spirits, Studies Show

Using Peas to Make Gin Might Lead to More Environmentally Friendly Spirits, Studies Show

Scientists may have discovered a more environmentally friendly way to make one of the world's most popular spi...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jul 23, 2019
Drink a Classic Cocktail for a Good Cause During Negroni Week, June 24-30

Drink a Classic Cocktail for a Good Cause During Negroni Week, June 24-30

Negroni Week 2019 is June 24-30, so drink this classic cocktail for a good cause....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jun 19, 2019
What to Do if Your Uber, Lyft, or Cab Driver Ever Strays From Your Destination or Makes You Feel in Danger

What to Do if Your Uber, Lyft, or Cab Driver Ever Strays From Your Destination or Makes You Feel in Danger

If you're taking an Uber, Lyft, or cab and feel unsafe, there are steps you can take to protect yourself....read more ›

by Nina Starner Jun 19, 2019
Behind the Bar: Kat Corbo of The Study & Winner of Speed Rack 2019

Behind the Bar: Kat Corbo of The Study & Winner of Speed Rack 2019

This time on Behind the Bar, we spoke to Kat Corbo of The Study, who recently won Speed Rack 2019....read more ›

by The Drink Nation May 15, 2019
Boston Beer & Dogfish Head Have Merged in a $300 Million Deal

Boston Beer & Dogfish Head Have Merged in a $300 Million Deal

In a huge move for the American craft beer community, Boston Beer and Dogfish Head have agreed to a merger valued at $300 million dollars. ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation May 10, 2019
A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A new, high-end blend of Jack Daniel's whiskey, known as Jack Daniel's No. 27 Gold, which was previously only ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 15, 2019
Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon has debuted an entirely new label design, has expanded to more states...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 3, 2019
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close