Best Wheat Beers 2010: #3 Ommegang Witte

12 05 2010

Yesterday we mentioned that Allagash is one of the best Belgian style breweries operating in America today. We focus now on the other one: Ommegang. Located in Cooperstown, NY, one can go to the Baseball Hall of Fame and drink an awesome Belgian beer in the same day! Ommegang has a lot of rediculously good beers. The Three Philosophers has been given a status of mythical proportions. And the Rare Vos is simply sublime. Their Hennipin Saison is damn near perfection. And their Witte is a thing of beauty. As we mentioned yesterday, the Allagash White is what one moves up to from Blue Moon. The Omegang Witte takes one a step above that. Spritzy, spicy and sexy, the Witte is excellent. It is complex and well rounded. Perfectly balanced between creamy maltiness, citrusy spice and a lovely cleansing hop bitterness. I can think of few wheat beers that top it (in fact I can only think of two!).

Ommegang Witte-

Photo Credit Ben E. Keith


Rate Beer Score: 88 Points (96 for Style)

Aroma: Lemon and orange peel with coriander and white peppercorn. A slight Belgian sour and grassy hay.

Appearance: Buttercream yellow with a rich haze. A lemon cream head sits gently on top. Excellent lacing.

Taste: Citrus, pepper, grass and slight hint of pencil shavings. Creamy wheat and cedar hop notes. Extremely well balanced. A hint of clove and a bit of cherry pit sourness from the yeast.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and a bit viscous. Slight carbonation prickles. And a very clean, dry back end.

I think Ommegang said it the best: “although adding a slice of citrus fruit is common while enjoying a wheat or Wiess beer, we feel that Witte’s gentle spicing and slight tartness renders the fruit superfluous.” Amen. Pair with a lemon tart or an arugala salad with mandarin oranges and feta.

Honorable Mention:

Photo Credit:

The Bruery Orchard White

Rate Beer Score: 92 Points (98 for Style)

Last December, I had named the Bruery’s Orchard White my 6th Favorite Beer of 2009. And with a score like the one it has received, one would expect it to be on my top five list for sure. Well there are a few reasons why it did not. 1. I have not tried it this year and I don’t think it was good enough to carry over from last year on my memories alone. 2. I felt my top five list was getting a bit crowded with Belgian-inspired American white ales. 3. I am not sure it is that good.

I remember liking it a lot. I look forward to trying it again. But I am not quite sure it is all that hot. I don’t really care for the lavender in the beer (a point brought home by the fact that I felt the same way about the Avery 16 I drank last week). And I think The Bruery is just too young of a company to be on my top 5 best wheat beers list. It is competing with some really stellar breweries for being less than five years old. But it still has some development left. With some age and practice, I think this beer can be really something else.




3 responses

12 05 2010

When I first read the headline, I totally saw it as ‘Ohemgee’ Witte beer and I got very excited at chatspeak!beer. 😉

12 05 2010

Will def. have to try this. Where can it be bought?

12 05 2010

Scott, it is almost always at The Brickskeller (!) but most higher end wine and beer stores and Whole Foods will carry it, too.

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