Beer Reviewed: Hennepin
Style: Farmhouse Saison
Brewery: Brewery Ommegang
As mentioned previously, I first learned about this beer back in 2010 when I took a four day Bistro Bootcamp class at the CIA. One of the lectures was about “Beer ‘n Stuff” and it was presented by John Fischer. We reviewed a range of alcoholic drinks, including Cider, Pernod, a couple of wines and the Hennepin from Ommegang Brewery of Cooperstown, NY
During that tasting, I made note of the flavors of Ginger and Cloves. My note says that the cloves are a byproduct of fermentation, which is curious to me. I’ve tried many brews, and I’ve homebrewed, but the only time I’ve tasted cloves are when they’re part of the flavor profile of a fall or pumpkin ale. I’ve never tasted it when it wasn’t added. I’m curious if this tasting will be consistent.
Quantitative parameters of beer character
- The brewery puts the IBU and 24, but I’ll be relying on the tremendous Hitchens Taste Scale. This has a slightly bitter taste, but only slight. I would put this at about a +1.
- The alcohol is a robust 7.7% alc/vol, which is a little high, but based on their other offerings, probably won’t be noticeable.
- The color is in the range of a pale ale, and according to the SRM, this would be around 6 on Lovibond.
Qualitative parameters of beer character
- The aroma is a light citrus flavor, like a lemon. I notice in the brewers notes that they add sweet orange peel, but I’m not getting orange on the nose.
- The initial flavor doesn’t seem to have as pronounced a ginger flavor as I mentioned above. It’s there, but more subtle than I remember. I’m not really sure why, but maybe they or I changed since the last time I tried this, which was a couple of years ago. I do taste more balance with the citrus and the coriander. I will also add that I’ve cooked with coriander more in the last few years, and that is more apparent of a flavor.
- The aftertaste lingers for a bit and it turns into the cloves I mentioned above. I can still taste the citrus and a little ginger as I contemplate my next sip.
- The mouthfeel is fresh and bubbly. I think the spices and flavors added really brighten up the mouthfeel.
- I’m really starting to like these corks, and I think this one is a little more carbonated than the earlier selections. The head was pretty decent, but it exited as quickly as a typical pale ale.
- I would typically drink pale ales fairly cold, and this one is no exception.
I’ve enjoyed this gift pack so much, that I’ve decided to keep trying other offerings of Ommegang. This Hennepin is a great addition to the pack as it shows the variety of their beers and it stands well on it’s own. I recommend this beer as it is head and shoulders above other pale ales out there.