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

Beer Review: Brewery Ommegang Scythe & Sickle Harvest Ale

by Tara Nurin on Oct 1, 2012 in Beer
Beer Review: Brewery Ommegang Scythe & Sickle Harvest Ale

Brewery Ommegang didn’t want to brew just another fall beer. Looking to do something fresher than the ubiquitous Oktoberfests and pumpkin ales, the brewers in Cooperstown, NY, crafted Scythe & Sickle Harvest Ale, an homage to the harvest season. Scythe & Sickle is making its debut this year — between September and November in all 43 states Ommegang distributes to — and making somewhat of a splash as a sublimely malt-sweetened ale that’s perfect for drinking with the fruits of this year’s harvest.

S & S is very lightly hopped but very heavily malted with barley, wheat, oats and rye. The quadruple punch creates a beer that’s naturally sweet, without the use of common additives or spices. In fact, this flavor profile provides a textbook example of what malty sweetness tastes like. It’s not a complex taste, but the addition of Belgian yeast gives it a longer finish and a richer flavor than most German-style fall beers can claim. If you gulp it — which I made the mistake of doing — you do realize there are hops in there somewhere and that they reside as a bitter flavor on the very back of your tongue.

Like a traditional autumn seasonal (by which I mean a Märzen or an Oktoberfestbier), it has a medium body and a lack of extremity, but unlike a traditional autumn seasonal, it has a copper color and a very dense, thick and creamy, almost-beige head. The aroma is like a faint simple syrup with an evocative twist of red, yellow and orange leaves crunching underfoot.

I could field an argument that this beer can pair with anything you can eat. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend drinking it with a salad tossed with sharp balsamic vinegar but if you were to wilt the greens and age that vinegar for 15 years or so... I’d enjoy it and probably order another. Vinegar aside, this beer will pair remarkably with anything you think of as being an autumn dish: root veggies, Cornish game hen, rosemary chicken, shepherd’s pie with stewed rabbit. No exaggeration — it will lend that natural sweetness I keep mentioning to any sort of European peasant food (maybe less so Spanish and Portuguese) that’s lightly seasoned and hearty or gamey. The best part is you can drink another one for dessert. Scythe & Sickle is mild enough not to clash with raspberry rum cake, butterscotch ice cream or of course, that old standby whose essence gets reproduced by the majority of breweries: pumpkin pie.

Top photo by Danya Henninger

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