I still have not watched HBO’s Game of Thrones, which in turn has still given my colleagues, friends, and family members relentless cause to berate me, besmirch me, and target me for a brutal lynching. In fact, the only collection of people on this planet that don’t appear to take umbrage at my absenteeism from the fandom of this series are the sweet, lovable, cuddly, open-minded, sensible and forgiving members of ISIS. How do I know that, you ask? I checked after reading this article by Joseph Viney! To be outcast as a social leper with zero admirable qualities (as well as a miniscule cock, apparently) as a result of neglecting to partake in the consumption of this infallible series of incalculable entertainment is an elusive concept to me, but nevertheless I am using this beer review for an announcement to all of you: I am acquiescing to your acerbic peer pressure bukkake, and I pledge to all of you that I will start watching this series extremely soon… right after I finish The Sopranos (I shit you not, I am still on season 6).
I started some reading on what the three-eyed raven is, exactly, and when I got so far as to the basic plot structure of its place in the show I was quickly bored when I concluded there wouldn’t be a single mention of a beheading, a disembowelment, a dragon, a robot, a zombie, heavy metal, or a pair of huge tits. I suppose when I watch the show I’ll find out in a more relatable and integrated detail, and have a greater appreciation for the connection it supposedly has with this beer. But I don’t need to watch any show to know what any beer tastes like, so for those of you who wish to discredit my beer knowledge in this regard, I humbly invite you to plant hickeys on my ass cheeks.
Since this brew is a saison it’s not among my favorite styles, but for what it is I contend Ommegang has done another fantastic job. This is a dark saison, which is unusual (I’ve never seen one before), and blends the thick, malty taste of a dark ale with the sweet, funky, fruity taste of a saison. There certainly is a lot going on with this beer, and the balance is impressive. Its darkness is that of a deep chocolate brown and the head, tan with a tint of grey, is textured like whip cream containing pockets of sudsy bubbles. Its retention is robust. The aroma is smoky with tart grapes, berries and pepper. It passes all presentation tests with flying colors, and swords, and battle axes, and limbs, and severed heads.
After it presents itself quite marvelously the consumption begins on a very brief, bland note as it engages the tongue with a sub-standard flavor trio of malt, chocolate, and raisins. Saisons tend to initialize with more fizz and less flavor, at least for my palate, which is one of my two reasons for not favoring them. The other reason is the tartness, which definitely exists here with sour grapes and berries, but fortunately is accompanied by a juicy finish of a pronounced array of Belgian-style flavors such as banana, clove, and the medicinal splash of phenol. Grains and peppercorn are also present. The aftertaste is grainy, bitter, and with a sweet and sour berry mixture. It goes down very easily with a silky texture but still contains a hefty concentration of fizz. Finally, it leaves a hefty web of foamy, foggy lacing around the glass. Overall it’s delightful, refreshing and noble, with a lot to offer.
From what I understand this beer will not be made again, so if you see it, buy it. If not, then keep your eyes peeled (all three of them) for dark saisons in the future, because this style is quite rad if you’re into saisons. And I truly am excited to watch this series, for the unlimited hotness of Emilia Clarke if nothing else. And if there isn’t at least one egregiously drawn out nude scene of her in every season, preferably with excessive masturbation using medieval blown glass dildos and her breasts thoroughly lathered in soapy water, I swear to all known Gods I will punch my cats in their faces, then curl up in a corner and weep as I flog my little bald bishop. I shan’t be betrayed by the hype surrounding Game of Thrones!
Dark saison/farmhouse ale
IBU: 30 (my best guess)