I’ve been a fan of Ommegang’s for a while and when I heard that they were going to be releasing a series of Game of Thrones beers my interest was piqued. The first of these beer was just released, to coincide with the premier of the third season. Not being a huge fan of the show, I was more interested in where the brewers were going to go with the fantastical creatures and themes from the show, but my gut kept telling me that this collaboration might be a ruse.
The official word on this beer is that Ommegang and HBO focused on creating unique beer that tie directly to the themes, characters, and particulars of the medieval fantasy realm of Westeros. The first of these beers is Iron Throne, which represents highest seat of power in Westeros. The brewers at Ommegang decided to make a Belgian style blonde ale spiced with grains of paradise and lemon peel to represent the Iron Throne. The grains of paradise are a bit of a medieval farce, originating as an old world alternative to pepper, pumped up by traders as “coming from Eden” in order to jack up the price. Today, it has lost favor in all but niche uses, where its interesting flavors, reminiscent of ginger, pepper, and spicy citrus are valued.
The pour is an opaque golden amber with a billowy white head. The aroma has a strong lemon that blends with a Belgian spice, doughy malt, and yeast that come off a bit perfumy. It has a medium body with a strong carbonation. The opening kicks off with a bit of sweet doughy malt that moves to a bit of ginger spice and finishes on a bitter lemon with a hint of grassiness. The aftertaste has honey-like sweetness with a short lived lingering grassy note and a persistent lemon zest creating a very slight warming of the palate. There is a Belgian spice present throughout the beer, which is keeping with the style.
This one seems like a bit of a let down. But, if you want to extrapolate, it fits perfectly with the king who is sitting on the Iron Throne, Joffrey Baratheon (or maybe it’s Lannister?), He’s blonde, weak, and not very memorable. I can think of several Belgian-style blonde ales that HBO doesn’t get a penny of, but for the price, about $9 for 750ml, it’s not half bad. If you’re interested in trying this beer there are a couple of events for it coming up, like Little Bear’s Game of Thrones season 2 marathon on 3/31/13 and Sunset Beer Co’s 4/2/13 release party, as well as bottles making the rounds at almost every bottle shop and Whole Foods in town. Though if you do miss out on this one, you could always get an Ommegang BPA and slap a picture of the Iron Throne on it and almost have the same experience. Sorry, but this one feels like a bit of a cash grab.
|Name||Game of Thrones –
|Style||Belgian style blonde Ale|
|Availability||One Time Limited Draft
and Bottle Release
|Rating||3 out of 5|
Beer Guy LA