Ommegang "Game of Thrones" Take the Black Stout

I will admit, the Game of Thrones tie-in is what caught my eye. The fact is, I would have given this a good look without the tie-in, and I probably would have purchased it anyway. There was a second Game of Thrones beer there, but I can't remember what kind it was. I remember looking at the type of beer and deciding that I would pass for now, so I'm not entirely taken in by a pretty label and a catchy name. This is a stout. I like stouts.

With a beer as black as the heart of a lifelong politician, the steadfast and solid head is an interesting tan. The lacing it leaves on the sides is patchy, but those patches are dense like a rain forest (pre-deforestation). The aroma is roasted nuts and grains. It has the feel of earth and stone to the smell, and that's just fine by me.

First sip is a vibrant one. It's smokey like a porter, and it's very nutty. It's slightly bitter with a coffee and chocolate mingling with licorice. Like I said, there is a lot going on in there, and a sip just won't do. It's taking a swig time.

Tip-in is oak and smoke. It's got a bit of carbonation tickle, and it is unexpectedly sweet. The middle is dark and moody, but the actual tastes are mysterious. It is kind of dark fruit and earthy stone. The finish brings a wave of bitterness with the coffee and chocolate and licorice. As the taste fades, the smoke wafts back in to let you know that you just drank something important. Then everything slowly fades.

Bottom Line: More than just a marketing gimmick, there is a genuinely good beer brooding quietly behind that label.



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