Scythe & Sickle

ommegang scythe and sickleOmmegang has released its first seasonal fall (er, "harvest season") beer: Scythe and Sickle. And apparently it's pretty good.

From a review by Bret Setka at The L Magazine:

It's a nice beer to look at with its hazy copper tone. The amber ale has a malty aroma and a hint of toasty hard candy sweetness like you find in Oktoberfest beer--just the right amount of Werther's Original. But where Oktoberfests stop, Sycthe and Sickle keeps going. Brewed from barley, oats, wheat and rye--all traditionally grown in Upstate New York--it has an added spicy complexity and a bit of creamy smoothness from the wheat. Hops are noticeable but reserved and contribute to the beer's perfect balance.

Here's the Beer Advocate profile for Scythe & Sickle (score: 85). And Paste recently rated it #5 out 16 fall beers in a taste test (#2 was Southern Tier Harvest).

Has anyone spotted this in the wild in the Capital Region -- or, even better, tried it?

photo: Brewery Ommegang


Heck, if we can't find it around here, it's a lovely drive to Cooperstown this time of year! (But if someone told me this was at Oliver's, I'd be a happy girl).

Yes it's was at Oliver's last week and if you can find it get it this isn't a beer that will age well. It has a little of the Belgian yeast to it so you have a slight hint of the banana friutness and a little bit of rye not over powering and a decent amount of barley which makes for a great harvest/fall beer. There are so many great seasonal beers out there right now it depends on what you want but if you want a good sessionable beer great it while it's fresh.

This sounds really good... "creamy smoothness" mmmm

Rant time: I had this the weekend before last; a friend picked it up from the brewery itself and brought it to camping. Other than their wild ales Ommegang really sticks to their one house yeast for most of their brewing AND all of their bottling, and unfortunately this is extremely apparent in this beer.

I say unfortunately because if you've been drinking Ommegang for 6+ years, then all of their beers start to have that same distinctive "Ommegang-y" taste. If you're relatively new to the brewery I'm sure this is great, but for us regulars it's getting relatively boring.

Ommegang is known as the "definitive Belgian-style brewery" around here (possibly even the US) and my problem with this is that an _actual_ Belgian brewery that brews as many styles as Ommegang does would have 4, 5 or even more yeast strains in house to brew all different tasting beer instead of all of your beer having that common yeast profile.

I'd love to see Ommegang do something new and different and outside of their comfort zone for a change. Maybe then it would spark my interest in the brand again.

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