I love Ommegang, I love big stouts, but not into the whole Game of Thrones business. (Although I was into Tolkein and "The Dragonriders of Pern" when I was like, twelve, so maybe it's for me?)
Two beats the third, so I took on a bomber of Take the Black Stout, from Ommegang. Notes follow:
Ommegang Game of Thrones Take the Black Stout. This beer was perhaps created with a palate like mine in mind, but not marketed towards me. I've never seen an episode of Game of Thrones, and don't have it on my NetFlix queue currently ( disclaimer: I don't have a NetFlix queue.) But I love their beers, and I'm a'drinkin'…
7% Alc./Vol. Ale brewed with star anise and licorice root. Okay. Sounds good, let's open 'er up.
Utter blackness, with a large, looming, lace-leaving creamy tan head. Fantastic.
Aroma screams out of the glass. There's a sweetness at first, creamy and cocoa-tinged. Further sniffs call out the darker qualities, the aniseed, the molasses. Lovely stuff.
Tasting it: smooth and creamy, medium-bodied, vastly character-ful. (That's a word, right?) I'm getting the feel of a foreign export stout in this one. Sweeter than an Irish dry Stout, not as full-bodied and rich as an Imperial Stout, somewhere right in the middle. The anise and licorice flavors linger lightly and mingles with the cocoa and coffee-ish flavors. Nothing too forward, though plenty hearty. Somewhere right in the middle.
I'm skipping the reading of the label, for it's full of George R. R. Martin references that I just don't get. I have to parse them from the real beer references to find the truth. Yup, robust, yes, chocolate and caramel sweetness, sure, hop bitterness…the rest of that stuff? Whatever. I suppose. If it was about jazz or comic books, I'd go coo-coo for it, I admit it. Right now, drinking it down, I'm happy as heck.