Brewery Ommegang Game Of Thrones: Take The Black Stout

Ommegang Game of Thrones Take the Black Stout

Brewed by: Brewery Ommegang

Beer Classification and Specs

  • Style: Stout
  • Variation: N/A
  • Limited: Fall 2013
  • ABV: 7%
  • IBU: N/A

Notes: Second in Ommegang and HBO Game of Thrones series.

Brewer’s Notes and Ingedients

A stout as dark as the winters that once engulfed Westeros, as robust as the men who swear their oaths at the Weirwood Tree. Chocolate and caramel sweetness are balanced by hop bitterness. Roasty, woodsy notes, and an earthy finish.

Hops: Northern Brewer and Columbus

Malts: Base, caramel, chocolate and roasted barley malts

Additional: Licorice root and star anise

More Game Of Thrones: Take The Black Stout Images

First Impressions

Artwork: The label depicts the Weirwood tree where Jon Snow recited the oath before joining the Night’s Watch.

Color: Black, like the Night’s Watch.

Aroma: Grain and malt. Fairly nondescript smell for star anise and licorice root being used, but more on that later.

The Tasting

Arrived in: Bottle

Served in: Goblet

I thought it was very cool that a craft brewery got to work with HBO to release their first-ever, show inspired beer.

On that note, Kenny Powers loved to drink beer — where was his endorsement? But I guess that wouldn’t be craft in his case…

Brewery Ommegang released Game of Thrones Take the Black Stout last fall, and I decided to let mine age until the new season began. I reviewed this stout while watching season 4 episodes 1 and 2, back-to-back.

In a rookie move, I missed Ommegang’s special instructions for pouring on the label. So in my second serving, I definitely noticed the sediment at the bottom of the glass (see pic above) they warned about.

When poured, there was a decent sized foam topper, which cleared out to a fine, tan layer. Its carbonation was fairly inactive, but made for a pleasing mouthfeel from this lighter bodied stout.

Ommegang specializes in Belgian ales. And in my opinion, Take the Black Stout was closer in style to a hearty dark Belgian ale — good mouthfeel, lighter consistency (for a stout), musty, and sweetness.

Unfortunately Take the Black Stout left something to be desired in the taste department. Although there were nuances of barrel aged-ness in the finish, with sweetness and oak, it was not as bold and robust as I feel a stout should be.

It was earthy, but lacked the chocolate and caramel notes described on the label. Those sounded like promising attributes for a stout, but I was looking forward to the star anise and licorice root the most.

Star anise, just like anise, is similar to fennel, or licorice. I have never seen a licorice stout, so I was really expecting to pick that flavor profile up, but it was also non-existent.

It might seem like I am picking Take the Black Stout apart, but it was still an enjoyable beer. I would easily give any future Game of Thrones release a try.

With its rustic wooden cork, and earthy notes, Take the Black Stout felt very authentic to the time period (whenever that may be) of this fantasy show. I could envision the Imp’s bodyguard sipping from a bottle, or the Night’s Watch drinking a batch of it straight from a barrel.

Final Score: 3/5

3 Stars

Much like the Game of Thrones show itself, Take the Black Stout was good, not great. There are better shows on TV, just as there are better stouts on the market than this one. It was a good novelty beer, but could have been a better “stout.”

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