Thursday, June 5, 2014

Gnomegang, Becky.

I think my typewriter needs a new ribbon. But it's OK, I've got my corrective fluid at the ready to wipe on this screen if I make any mistakes...

Two long years, I've left loyal readers. How many of you poured over the old posts pining for a return? Will Little Boy Brew be the same when he comes back? IF he comes back? There have been more Bigfoot sightings in the last two years than there had been posts from me. I found a new template...Untappd. It's 140 characters forced me to reduce my reviews to the lowest common denominator. That being said, I'm happy to return to long-form beer review. Without further ado I present to you...

Name: Gnomegang
Brewed by: Brewery Ommegang
Location: Cooperstown, NY
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
ABV: 9.5%

As the gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt floods my ears and fills my soul with a lithe, carefree feeling I'm basking in the glow of a flavorful and formidable fluid cascading with carbonation topped with a bright white head. It seems like just about everything that comes out of Ommegang is two things: carbonated enthusiastically and pretty delicious. I wanted my return to be marked with a beer that I had always been curious to try but had not been able to. Not that Gnomegang is a particularly exotic beer; but the name is just so damn cute! Once the transfer from bottle to vessel is complete you're greeted with an amazing bouquet of Belgian bananas...colloquially known as esters.

Side thought: How has a super hoppy Belgian pale ale not been named "Ester Bunny" yet? I digress.

Banana, clove, bubble gum, and the faintest whiff of white pepper spice. No bones here, this beer is as Belgian as JCVD. The initial feeling you encounter is a sharp tingle of carbonation. Making your senses change directions from tactile to taste, Gnomegang bestows upon it's drinker a flourish of fruit and spice. There is an incredibly delicate, but not fragile, body to Gnomegang. The malt shines through here. Light and bready but propped up by the familiar tingle of soft peppery spice and a melange of yeast and sweetness. While nice and dry, it doesn't come strong with a tannin-esque sensation. The fruit flavors are all over the place; apple, mango, peach, pear, apricot. It almost tastes more like a darker version of a Belgian ale to be completely honest. But the complexity is nicely balanced against the pepper notes and strong yeast profile. The finish is smooth and crisp. A hint of hop bitterness fades as quickly as it's noticed. There is a slight burn from the alcohol but it's a nice reminder that you're drinking a big person's beer despite the diminutive dwarf from which the name is derived.

This beer may not be the liquid form of the smokey jazz I'm listening to, however, it definitely strides toward a complexity that can be appreciated by everyone from layman to beer snob. It's not a beer to be taken lightly despite it's radiant hues and snow-white head. Give this one a go, it's worth your time. And you might be able to get someone who "doesn't like beer" to really enjoy this.

Final Thoughts? I can't think of a reason to pass this beer up. Gnome way, gnome how. Sorry, I had to throw a little pun in there. It was a tiny one, though. Thankfully short lived. Ok...I'm done.

It's nice to have a beer that looks up to you.

Ok! I'm done. Seriously.

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