While any other television-themed food or drink would ordinarily draw suspicion over quality, taste or potential digestive issues, I can state unequivocally that Brewery Ommegang's "Game of Thrones" line of beers is worthy of any King, Queen or discerning couch potato. It's come to the point now where I look forward to their annual new brew almost as much as another season of the HBO hit drama. So am I excited for their new Three-Eyed-Raven Dark Saison Ale? HODOR!
First off, let's talk about that label because Ommegang and HBO have always done a fantastic job of beautifully branding each GOT-themed bottle. This latest draws inspiration from Brandon Stark's storyline from Season Four, featuring an old man fused into the roots of a weirwood tree. It's beautiful, mysterious and totally creepy. It also features the best tasting notes of any beer label ever.
"From the darkness I watch you," it begins ominously. "All of you, all of your lives, with a thousand eye, and one. Abiding in the shadows of this dark saison lie beguiling and entrancing aromas and flavors - girded by crisp, lasting herbal hop notes, and a yeasty, spicy finish."
While saisons are traditionally pale ales, Mike McManus, Brewery Ommegang’s Innovation Manager, said in a statement that the dark version of this popular brew has always been an intriguing prospect.
"When we zeroed in on Bran’s storyline with HBO, we knew this was the perfect opportunity to brew something with many different characteristics and attributes – a beer that’s not truly one thing or another," he said. "It is definitely the most unique beer in the series to date, which is very exciting."
OK, so how does it taste? While most of us we'll have to wait until the beer hits stores on April 6, Ommegang did offer tastes during a recent South by Southwest appearance. A quick search on Twitter found mostly positive reactions.
"Game of Thrones" returns for its Season Five April 12 on HBO. To find out where you can pick up a bottle of Three-Eyed Raven, jump here. The beer follows four previous best-selling brews: Valar Morghulis (2014), Fire and Blood Red Ale (2014), Iron Throne Blonde Ale (2013) and Take The Black Stout (2013).