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Beer Review: Ommegang Take the Black Stout, the Second Game of Thrones Beer

by Danya Henninger on Oct 7, 2013 in Beer
Beer Review: Ommegang Take the Black Stout, the Second Game of Thrones Beer

“Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death — or until I drink a beer so great it shatters all illusions of war and brings the world together.”

If they lived in times of amazing craft beer like we do, perhaps that’s what the Rangers would chant each evening at the Wall. Or not. What we do know for sure is that Brewery Ommegang has another winner with the second official Game of Thrones beer.

Take the Black Stout is a Belgian dark ale brewed with specialty malt, chocolate malt, Midnight wheat and roasted barley, and add up to a final ABV of 7%. Northern Brewer and Columbus hops combine with licorice root and star anise to add flavor — the flavor profile is inspired by the “deep, dark and complex” members of the Night’s Watch brotherhood.

Poured from a large-format bottle into a beer snifter, the beer quickly forms a dense, beige head that has quite a bit of staying power — after five minutes it settles only slightly, if untouched. The aroma from the head is not at all stringent, nor very spicy, nor sweet; instead, it’s a welcoming light malty scent that begs you to take the first creamy sip.

The beer is nearly as smooth on the tongue as the head suggests, but it’s not heavy, despite the ultra deep black color. A very slight hop flavor is apparent at the beginning of the sip, followed by a mellow rich middle. We didn’t really taste the star anise or licorice — it’s almost as if they tamed the hops and melded with them to create a totally new flavor. The finish is lightly sweet, but doesn’t coat the mouth with any cloying aftertaste, as many heavier Belgians might.

Like the initial release, the GOT beer is available on draft and in 750-ml. corked-and-caged bottles. The brewery’s first collaboration with HBO, Iron Throne Blonde Ale, sold out extremely quickly, so brewers in Cooperstown, NY made sure to make nearly triple the volume for this second release. Look for it in all markets where Ommegang beers are sold.

Top photo by Danya Henninger

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