With the enormous success of HBO's fantasy epic, Game of Thrones, a beer-and-TV-show partnership could have easily ended up in the hands of an unsympathetic conglomerate. To our great fortune and excitement, Brewery Ommegang has taken the helm of crafting four beers based on our favorite fantasy show. Brewery Ommegang quenched our thirst for all things GoT with the first two brews, Iron Throne and Take the Black Stout. Then, Ommegang made our dreams come true by announcing the release of the third GoT Beer, Fire and Blood -- and announcing that there will be a fourth beer out in the fall. According to a release, the Fire and Blood Red Ale has the right balance of malts and hops, ending with notes of raisins, prunes, and kick of ancho chili peppers. (As if we couldn't get any more fired up for GoT to return to airwaves.) To get pumped for the April 1 Game of Thrones premiere, and the release of Fire and Blood, we reviewed the first two Ommegang-GoT brews.
Spiced with lemon peel and grains of paradise, the premier beer of the series, Iron Throne is a blonde ale brewed with Noble hops, appropriately reflective of the current Lannister rule. Topped with a regal fluffy white head, Iron Throne is blonde and bubbly with a big fluffy head. Citrus and the added lemon peel comes through on the nose, creating something reminiscent of an aromatic lemon cake. Like King Joffrey, the soft, prim and airy exterior holds something tart, peppery and dry on the palate, minus, of course, the sadistic homicidal tendencies.
Take the Black Stout was crafted to exhibit "deep, dark and complex" characteristics, "like those who have sworn the oath to defend Westeros against threats from the north." Spiced with licorice root and star anise, the bottle depicts the Weirwood tree, where brothers of the Night's Watch take their oath. It pours a very, very dark brown, nearly as black as the messenger ravens of Westeros. A fluffy tan head and great lacing make for an attractive pour, and the roasty dark chocolate and licorice nose only add to the appeal. Light in body, the palate is remarkably similar to the nose, with an accentuated and warming black licorice candy taste that makes for a flavorful stout.
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