This is a billed as an Ommegang beer, but as the label description of “made in Belgium” makes clear, its creation actually occurred at Liefmans rather than at Ommegang. (So why not label it as such?) It’s also a bit curious that what is billed in the press release as a blend of three year old beer aged on cherries and young Flemish brown ale is labelled as “ale aged on cherries with other natural flavor added.” What “other natural flavor” I wonder?
That said, the appearance and aroma of this beer are not to be faulted, with a reddish brown beer supporting a collar of beige foam and a moderately tart aroma of cherries with soft cocoa notes and sweet cherry juice. The release says that Phil Leinhart, Ommegang’s brewer, was going to sweet-sour balance on this, and I think he has found it with a tart cherry and sweet chocolate front – reminiscent of a brownie with tart cherry sauce – and a more complex, far less chocolaty middle with notes of vanilla, cherry, blackberry and hints of nuttiness, or perhaps that’s more almondy cherry pit. Where it falls down, however, is in the finish, which is short and somewhat watery. I like the flavor of the beer and I find myself disappointed that it does not linger more after I swallow.