Sunday, January 18, 2015

Zauber Ominous (7/10)

I'm a big fan of Columbus' own Zauber Brewing Co.  Their Belgian and German inspired beers are right up my alley.  Their Magnum is a personal favorite among their brews.  Ominous is something unique.  It's described as a Belgian Imperial Stout (which is something I've not heard of).

Ominous pours a deep black with thick beige head that lasts a while and leaves behind spotty lacing.

The aroma is a combination of a good stout (coffee, roasted malt) and a Belgian dark ale (dark fruit and malt sweetness).

The flavor is in line with what you'd expect for something that calls itself a Belgian Imperial Stout.  It starts with the sweet malt and dark fruit flavors of a dark Belgian ale.  Then, the coffee and hops bitterness of the stout style swells up and dominates the flavor.  The finish is all coffee, dark roasted grain, and hops.  Despite the fact that this is rated at 60 IBUs, it doesn't come across as bitter as some of the IPAs of that rating.  That may be a result of the complexity of the flavors and the intensity of the malt in this one.  Either way, all in all it's a very nice beer.

Beer Advocate has only a single review of Ominous.  Rate Beer also has only a single rating, as of this writing.  Keeping in mind that I'm not a big fan of the stout style and that any "Imperial" (i.e., hoppy) beer generally doesn't wow my tastebuds, my rating of 7 out of 10 for Ominous is actually quite a compliment to the beer.  It's a big, intense beer with a lot going on that will keep you entertained as you drink it.

I've seen this on draft at a couple of places around Columbus, but if you really want to experience it you should make the time to visit their taproom on Fifth Avenue in Grandview.  That will give you a chance to experience the other Zauber brews available, too.  The regular price of a glass of Ominous is $8.50, though there may be discounts during happy hour.

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