Ommegang "Game of Thrones" Valar Dohaeris Belgian Style Tripel Ale

The only two Ommegang beers I've had were Game of Thrones themed, and they were both really damn good. This tripel is the third distinct style, and their track record would indicate that it's going to be a really fantastic interpretation of the style. While I was skeptical of the GoT tie-in at first, these guys have made a believer of me.

The golden amber beer has that sticky head that I love, love, love. Lacing is very nice, so the overall effect of just looking at the beer is like gazing into the face of an angel. The aroma is spices with yeast, grainy malt, and even some hops. The scent reminds me of the bret beers that I had with their overpowering yeast, but the yeast here seems to take more of a back seat - I still think I can smell it, though.

First sip is one hell of a mouthful. This beer has a big character, and it is sloshing that character from side to side, pushing its way through the crowd of other beers and generally making itself known to everyone around it (if that is good or bad can only be discerned when you really know the personality). It's spices up front with the malt and yeast shoving it right through the mouth. It's not overwhelming, but it's not a shrinking violet.

Tip-in is significant carbonation burn with spices, bright fruits (like bananas and peaches), and a bit of bready crust. The middle crashes in with the carbonation moving entirely to the top of the mouth to dance around while the flavor of Texas toast, more fruits, and yeast fill the void; it's crisp and clean. The middle gives way to a sharp cut of tartness, but the underlying flavor is still fruit, but it migrates to citrus. As the beer warms a bit, it is getting really, really good.

Bottom Line: The beer is good at first, and then it gets better.



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