Ommegang Grains Of Truth Harvest Ale

Val picked me up a bunch of Ommegang beers that I’m finally getting around to trying.


ABV: 5.2%

Style: Biere De Garde

Trivia: According to, “Grains of Truth is Ommegang’s ale honoring the harvest season. Using barley, oats, wheat, and rye, we’ve brought the mood of fall to life with vibrant and flavorful passion. Farming is about precision, timing and care. At Ommegang we place the same emphasis a farmer has for his crops into the creation of our beers. Grains of Truth is a testament to the craft and care of farming, from which our farmstead-brewed beers benefit greatly. Brewed with balance in mind, Grains of Truth reveals a smooth and creamy mouthfeel with light toastiness and gentle sweetness. Bright amber in color from the mixed malts, the beer is balanced with delicate hopping to counter rather than overpower the malt profile.”

Random: I’m having turkey meatballs and egg noodles for dinner.

The beer poured with a huge, four finger, ecru colored head. It went away slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was clear and amber. There wasn’t much carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of earthy notes to it along with wet leaves and nutty malts. It had a brown bread note that came along for the ride. The taste had brown bread and a lot of sweetness. It almost had a touch of molasses and sweetness. There was some hazelnut liquor along with brown bread. Clove came through next with wet leaves. It had a light body with light carbonation. The finish was quick and sweet. I don’t recall picking this beer up (it must have been a gift from Val), so no commentary on the price. This beer just wasn’t in my wheelhouse and I wouldn’t grab it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Uinta Biere De Mars

I’m glad that regular television is back. One of our favorite summer shows, “So You Think You Can Dance” featured kids dancing this year. A bunch of the dances struck me as really inappropriate for kids that age, so I refused to watch it.


ABV: 7.2%

Style: Biere de Garde

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Uinta Brewing Company embarked upon its mission of brewing world class, full-flavored, craft-brewed beer in the winter of 1993. From a small, renovated mechanic’s garage located in Salt Lake City, Uinta began distributing a tasty variety of beer ranging from 4.0% to over 10% alcohol by volume to local bars, restaurants, and liquor stores. Demand escalated, resulting in the installation of a bottling line in 1996. Then, in 2001, having outgrown its original building, Uinta built and relocated to a 26,000-square-foot facility, pictured above, specifically designed for brewing beer. Uinta Brewing is named after an east-west mountain range located in northeastern Utah. Many of Uinta’s beer names are inspired by Utah’s diverse landscapes or have historical significance. Cutthroat Pale Ale, Uinta’s flagship beer, is named after Utah’s state fish. Subsequent beer names followed suit, such as King’s Peak Porter, named after Utah’s highest peak, Golden Spike Hefeweizen, named after the spike used to commemorate the completion of the transcontinental railroad in Utah, and Dubhe, named after the Utah Centennial star.”

Random: I’m craving Thai food again.

This beer poured with a three finger, thick, off white head. It took a long time to dissipate and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, dark orange with a lot of floaties in the glass. I couldn’t see how much carbonation was in the beer because of how cloudy it was. The nose was filled with oak and grape notes. There was also an alcohol note. The taste was incredibly bready. There was also a nutty note with yeast and light spice notes. The alcohol was not as apparent in the taste as the nose. Grape came through as well with light spice. The body was on the thicker side with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with yeast and light spice. The bomber was $9, which came to $.41 per ounce. I enjoyed this beer, but I wouldn’t rush back to have it again. I wanted it to have more oak.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Off Color Le Woof

I managed to find another Off Color beer during my last trip to New York. Their labels are some of the best in the business. This one is cute, although I don’t have a dog. My sister has two pug puppies that are absolutely adorable. They love Val, even though she really doesn’t like dogs. Anyways, let’s get to the beer.


ABV: 7.8%

Style: Biere de Garde

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Inspired by our brewery puppy, Hops, Biere de Guard Dog seems sweet enough will a strong malt presence lead by Munich and Vienna malts. But at 7.3% ABV, it packs a bite. Just ask our delivery guy!”

Random: This was a fall seasonal from the brewery.

The beer poured with a one finger, off-white head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy, burnt orange. There was some carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of fruit. I picked up pear and apricot with apple. There was a sweetness to it with caramel that complemented the floral note. The taste had more honey than caramel sweetness. It had a perfume-like floral note as well. What it was missing was the fruit that was in the nose and the yeast presented as white toast. The body was on the thicker side with high carbonation. The finish was quick and sweet. A bottle of this set me back $2.75, which came to $.23 per ounce. I didn’t have a problem drinking this beer, but I’ve had better from the brewery.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Two Roads Holiday Ale

Last year, I got two of the Two Roads holiday glasses (one of which you can see below). I wasn’t able to get the beer since they didn’t distribute to New Jersey at the time and the brewery was sold out. Val found it this year and I had an excuse to use the glass. Let’s see how it fared.


ABV: 7%

Style: Biere de Garde

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Two Roads Holiday Ale is inspired by the little known Biere de Noel style, on subset of Biere de Garde, both of which originated on small farmhouse breweries in the north of France. Biere de Noel, which translates as ‘Christmas Beer’, tends to exhibit a more malty profile than a typical Biere de Garde. In its native France this special type of ale is brewed by just a handful of small breweries and is only available for the few weeks leading up to Christmas.”

Random: I hope that Two Roads puts some more limited release beers out this year.

This beer poured with a two finger, ecru colored head that dissipated slowly, but left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, deep mahogany color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of dark fruit. Specifically, I picked up plums and figs. The taste had the same plums and figs, but also had currants. There was also a lot of sweetness, specifically toffee and caramel. It had a bit too much sweetness. The body was medium thick with high carbonation. It had a long, sweet finish with plums and figs. A bomber of this was $6.99 ($.32 per ounce). The beer was pretty good, just a bit too sweet for me, although I give it a lot of credit since they went with a less than typical holiday type of beer (at least what we tend to see in Jersey).

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Smuttynose Smistletoe

Apparently this beer is no longer just released at the brewery. I’m not sure if this was a change just for this year, or they will be distributing it going forward.


ABV: 8.5%

Style: Biere de Garde

Trivia: According to the brewery website. “Ridiculously complex ribbons, flashy wrapping paper and scenic gift bags are some of the best parts about Christmas presents, but nothing is more of a let down than when the actual gift doesn’t live up to the promise of its presentation. This Christmas, why not offer a delicious New Hampshire-brewed gift that does both? Smuttynose Smistletoe is the inaugural Christmas beer from the Granite State’s leading craft brewer. Available in two different 750ml screen-printed bottles (ceramic or champagne-style) which is a radical departure from our signature photograph-centric label design. Like the entire output of Santa’s workshop, each bottle has been lovingly filled by hand. The beer itself is a festive take on Bière de Garde, a more robust variant of the farmhouse ale family tree; brewed with sweet cherries, black currants and plums then aged on lightly toasted American oak. But act fast, because even jolly ole St. Nick won’t be able to deliver this beer to your house as it’s far too limited (and he can’t fly with alcohol on the sleigh). The special edition ceramic bottle will only for sale at our brewery at Towle Farm in Hampton, NH. But don’t worry – we don’t care if you’ve been naughty or nice, as long as you’re over 21. Join us in celebrating Christmas the Smuttynose way and if you play your cards right, you might just get a holiday kiss under your Smistletoe… Merry Christmas!”

Random: The bottle is really cool. It stood out on the shelves.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly. It left no lacing on the glass, but a slight crown. The body was hazy and a bright ruby color. There was light carbonation visible. The nose had tart berries and currants. It also had vanilla and toasted oak. The taste had some spice, specifically clove and nutmeg. Then, berries came through. Specifically, I picked up sour cherries and raspberries. It also had some oak and vanilla. The body was on the light side. It had high carbonation. The booze was very well-hidden. The finish was lengthy and filled with tart berries. A bomber of this set me back $11.99, which came to $.55 per ounce. This was a nice beer, but could have used a bit more balance and had too many flavors going on.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Two Brothers Domaine DuPage French Style Country Ale

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a biere de garde. I was in the mood for something different, so I decided to crack this one open while watching television after work. After the last beer I reviewed, I definitely needed something a bit more satisfying and little less explode-y. Let’s see how this was.


ABV: 5.9%

Style: Biere de Garde

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Inspired by the brothers time living in France, this food-friendly ale is deep amber in color, with a toasty and sweet caramel start. It finishes with just enough hops to clean off the palate. Bon Appetit!”

Random: I really don’t like the Yankees radio announcers. They’re possibly more annoying than the ones for the Mets, and that’s saying a lot.

This beer poured with a one finger, thick ecru colored head that dissipated slowly. It left light lacing on the glass. The body had high carbonation visible in the slightly cloudy, mahogany colored body. The nose was really nutty with sweet caramel and yeast. The taste had a brandy-like sweetness to it. It was also nutty with toffee and caramel. Yeast came through after a few sips as well. Despite being relatively sweet, the body was only medium thickness and the high carbonation tickled the taste buds. It had a long and sweet finish with caramel and nuts. This beer was $2.29 per bottle, which broke down to $.19 per ounce. The beer was interesting and although it wasn’t the best of the style that I’ve had, it was definitely satisfying.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Stillwater Debutante

One thing that I love about Stillwater brews is that they always bring something unique to the table. This one caught my eye due to the addition of honeysuckle. Given the style, I thought it was going to a really good fit for that ingredient. Let’s see if it was as good as I hoped for.


ABV: 6.4%

Style: Biere de Garde

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “It’s my pleasure to present a collaboration with The Brewer’s Art. A Baltimore institution that helped to pioneer the Belgian beer movement in the States. Brewed with a combination of Spelt & Rye, accented with a blend of Heather, Honeysuckle, and Hyssop. The result is a rustic farmhouse ale displaying earthy tones & floral characteristics while maintaining intricate balance.”

Random: I like the label on this one too. It’s very cool.

This brew poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. It had a hazy, dark orange color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of yeast and honeysuckle sweetness, apples and honey. It also had some floral notes. The taste was really bright. It had some sweetness from the honey and honeysuckle, apples and light spice with peppercorns. It also had generous yeast and lemon zest. The body was on the thicker side of the style with generous carbonation. The finish was quick with herbal notes and lavender. This brew was $3.49 for the single bottle, which breaks down to $.29 an ounce, which is a bit on the pricier side, but worth it. I would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Southern Star Blind Ambition

I get so excited when I get to add a new brewery to my “categories” list for the blog. After doing a little bit of research on the website, I can honestly say that I’ve never seen any of their regular or special beers before, so I have no idea what to expect from them. It looks like most of their regular beers are offered in cans and after doing a search to locate the closest store to me to get their beers, there aren’t any places within 100 miles. After looking at the map, the closest place is South Carolina. Well, let’s see how this went.


ABV: 7.6%

Style: Biere de Garde

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Blind Ambition is the third edition in the Alchemic Ale series. A matte black ceramic bottle with a screenprinted design by CF and a blonde Bière de Garde by Southern Star Brewing Company of Conroe, Texas.”

Random: According to their website, they said this was distributed to New Jersey as well, but I’ve never seen any Southern Star beers in Jersey. Interesting.

This beer poured with a one finger white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark amber color with very little carbonation visible and lots of detritus visible. The nose had a lot of yeast to it with honey and bread. The taste was sweet too. There was definitely some sweet malt with caramel along with yeast. I also got honey to it as well, but very little hop. The body was on the thin side with almost no carbonation. It had a moderate long finish with honey. This beer was alright, but definitely one that I purchased because I liked the bottle. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Brewer’s Art La Petroleuse

While at The Brewer’s Art, the other half ordered this brew and was nice enough to let me review it. I should mention that while we were there, we went with the intention of having a full dinner, but instead had a bunch of appetizers, which included an amazing cheese plate. If you find your way there, I highly recommend it, especially since cheese pairs so well with beer.


ABV: 7.8%

Style: Biere de Garde

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “It has a deep golden color and a full, malty body with an earthy hop character and a slight yeast spiciness.”

Random: The one thing that I wasn’t a huge fan of was how loud the restaurant was. You could barely hear someone speak across the table.

The beer poured with a touch of white head that retained a bit of a crown throughout. It was slow to dissipate, but left no lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy chestnut color with light carbonation visible. The nose had a bit of maple with a decent amount of malt. Some nuttiness came through as well, which was a bit odd for the style. The taste was very yeast forward and came through with some caramel malt and hazelnuts as well. I got a touch of raisin too. The booze was really well hidden. The body was medium to heavy thickness, but had very high carbonation. It had a quick finish with raisin. Everything about this beer was odd for the style, which made it really unique, but not a beer that I would rush to have again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

The Lost Abbey Gift Of The Magi

I love beers like this. When they take something like the story of the Three Kings and incorporate different aspects of it into the beer. It really makes it quite unique. I can’t say that I’ve had a beer that incorporates frankincense or myrrh into, but I’m really curious to see how it turned out.

ABV: 10%

Style: Biere de Garde

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “It seems that everyone knows the story of the Three Kings. Sent to follow the star in the sky each brought a gift for the baby they sought. One King brought Gold, the other Frankincense and the other Myrrh. Many breweries produce a Christmas Seasonal beer and this is our beer to celebrate the holiday season. Gold in color and bittered with the bark of Frankincense, we have even used the smallest amount of Myrrh which is a herb that has roots in ancient winemaking as well. A massive Golden Ale fit for a king (or Queen) we offer the Gift of the Magi each holiday season.”

Random: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love this glass!

This poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, light chestnut color with moderate carbonation visible throughout. The nose was light, with raisins, coriander, clove and bready malt. The taste was not what I expected at all. I got sweet malt, bay leaf, clove and coriander that were overly present and a significant floral/medicinal preference. Since I’ve never had frankincense or myrrh, I can’t pick out exactly what their flavors were, but perhaps that had something to do with the spice and floral profiles. The body was heavy for the style and dry, but my guess is that it is due to the alcohol, which wasn’t very present. The carbonation was light. The finish was long and spicy. This definitely wasn’t what I was expecting, but worth a try.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0