Glassware: Stouts typically get more enjoyable as they slowly warm closer to room temperature. This allows the aromas and flavor that are locked in a colder beer to come front and center and glassware that aids in this warming ability are best suited for the beer. A tulip glass, snifter or the Spiegelau stout glass are the three best choices for Lovely, Dark, and Deep.
Description: Lovely, Dark, and Deep pours a dark black with a ruby highlight and a creamy beige head that leaves thin layers of lacing on the glass. The aroma is filled with roasted malt notes and subtle fruity backing notes from the yeast. The taste matches the nose with roasted malts hitting the palate, first imparting roasted coffee and dark chocolate notes with subtle hints of creaminess from the lactose is enhanced by the smooth body of the beer. The yeast plays a backing note in the beer but provides stability and balance to maintain the easy drinking quality of this oatmeal stout. The medium body and moderate carbonation give the beer its smooth, creamy mouthfeel that are perfect for a delicious oatmeal stout. This is a perfect winter beer that is not over the top in ABV and is instead perfectly balanced with an impactful flavor profile.
Food Pairing: Stouts are perfect year round beers but they tend to shine through even more in the colder months. They are also phenomenal beers to pair with a wide variety of desserts, but also play a vital role in some dinner pairings. Try pairing Lovely, Dark, and Deep with oysters or clams for a wonderful dinner, the saltiness of the seafood melts into the chocolate flavors of the beer for a great salty sweet taste. However, let’s not try to kid ourselves, this is a beer that is great with dessert and this time of year desserts abound, so grab a bottle and worry about your diet in the new year! Pair Lovely, Dark, and Deep with a decadent cheesecake, fruit tart, chocolate soufflé, Mexican mole negro or simply grab a bowl filled with your favorite creamy ice cream. The natural chocolate and coffee flavors in the beer are the perfect pairing with sweet desserts and the addition of fruit will bring a bit more of the Belgian yeast notes to the forefront.
The Final Word: Ommegang is known for its world class Belgian inspired ales, but the brewery has strayed away from doing just Belgian ales with a great deal of success. While they typically use the Ommegang house yeast in all beers, which still imparts subtle Belgian flavors, they have successfully brewed great nontraditional beers as well. Lovely, Dark, and Deep is a great example of the skill the brewers at Brewery Ommegang have. The wonderful light yet roasted malt notes impart wonderful winter like flavors while the Belgian yeast keep the beer from feeling too heavy. As winter begins to finally approach with its colder temperatures reaching for darker beers becomes more and more common so be sure to have some bottles of this wonderful oatmeal stout in your fridge this winter.
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Lovely, Dark, and Deep
Brewery: Brewery Ommegang
Beer: Lovely, Dark, and Deep
Style: Oatmeal Stout