Beer Profile: Ommegang’s Shadow Brewer Imperial Stout

Since it’s Easter time, what style better to review than one who color is black as death, but revived by brewers a number of years back! If I were a commercial brewer perhaps a seasonal “Dead Easter Bunny,” or better, “Resurrected Rabbit?”

Profiled by Ken Carman

This is such an anomaly for Ommegang. The color right: black as hell, almost no light shines through, thick, high viscosity/FG, brownish head. On the nose: heavy roast, some hops in the background. So far close to a perfect score, except a hint of…

Really? This is a classic beginning brewer mistake. I knew it when it first hit the palate: too much roasted barley. Too much roasted barley creates a harshness, an astringency that, here, is annoying. Yeah, it can be worse, but the balance here is off and the roasted barley is annoying, even as we polished off the bottle and the abv starts to hit.

Everything is right: mouthfeel is full and pleasing, except the same problem, the malt complexity and intensity is everything a RIS should be. Ommegang, if fault is found, usually plays it too safe.What happened here? Did someone slip and pour in the whole bag, or too many bags?

87/84 @ BA
97/64 @ Rate Beer



Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”


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