Ommegang "Mother of Dragons" Smoked Porter & Kriek Ale

As I write this review, I am waiting for the final season of Game of Thrones to start. As such, I figured I would grab this bottle off of the shelf where it has sat, unopened, for a little while now. Why has it sat after I very much enjoyed Ommegang's other beers? Because this is a blend of a porter and a kriek, and I fear that this will be sour.

The beer is quite dark, but it's not black. It's a very dark red, and it is skirting the edges of being opaque; even in the center of the beer, light can still eek through. The tan head is voluminous at first and has big, fluffy bubbles that are downright playful. Later, as the head boils away, only tiny little bubbles float in uneven circles around the top of the beverage. The aroma is a little bit cherry soda and a little bit moody, earthy smoke.

First sip is tart as all-get-out and bending to sour. Now I remember why I had this on my shelf for so long without trying it; kriek = sour = not good for me. I mean, this might be good for other people (the distinguished Jeremy of City Sliquors fame, for example) but this is not my speed. I like a smoked porter to have smoke and porter - I hoped it could cover the sour, but no such luck.

Tip-in is sour cherries with carbonation sizzling along the tongue. The middle is more tart than sour, but sour persists as the meat of the cherries flows along without much flavor or to-do. The finish is a crash of sour and dryness as bitterness enters for the trail-off.

Bottom Line: I hope the final season of Game of Thrones is better than this beer.



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