Brace Yourself, The Beer In Review Is Coming
The latest offering from Ommergang’s Game Of Thrones series has been released just in time for the premiere of the new season of HBO’s hit series. Having not been able to sample the Valar Morgules Abbey Dubbel of last season, I was eager to crack into this newest release named “Three-Eyed Raven.” A dark saison, this rich, black Belgian style ale features a lively, luxurious head and deep, dark appearance below. Upon a sniff, a fruity, almost floral bouquet greets the nose, giving a slight warning to the almost tart flavor atop a smooth and sophisticated body.
This ale, replete with subtle notes of ripened fruit and the distinctly Belgian affectation of its yeast, comes across as incredibly palatable, balancing the richness of flavor with the supple, lightness of its mouthfeel and underlying nature. At a glance, one may be fooled into thinking this is a stout by virtue of its color. But though the night may be dark and full of terrors, the darkness which sits within one’s glass upon a careful pour – as instructed by the brewers upon the label, so as not to disturb the yeast sediment – is filled with vibrancy and life.
This opaque saison maintains its head and foam right up until the very end, leaving what looks like layers of clouds along the empty glass. Thankfully, should one be drinking from a standard pub glass, the 750 ml. bottle leaves yet another pour for consideration. But do be careful because with only the slightest bit of vigor, that very same fluffy pillow-top head can quickly grow to overtake your drinking vessel, forcing you to sit and wait as it converts back to its dark, black, rich beer form.
Upon finally draining the contents, a quick peek into the bottle when held up to the light reveals the very sediment the label warns you about. Creating a fine and veiny coating along the bottom, this sediment, as with all unfiltered beers, stands as a testament to just what kind of delicious wonder comes from allowing a brew to maintain its natural state. The richness of flavor, when considering this, then reminds the drinker that there is a great deal that can be lost from the filtering process, causing a slight smirk of satisfaction upon thinking further on the craft that went into the brew.
Despite its name, this beer is unlikely to haunt your dreams or show you the future. Though it may seem tempting to take this large bottle out into the forest in search of a tree with a face on it and speak with a man made of roots far away while you sip on the rich and dynamic contents, such might be a waste of effort. Though I’m not here to tell you what to do with your beer, I will suggest that perhaps you might just want to seek out this rich little concoction, take up a place in your living room and enjoy the drama, sex and violence of the show or maybe, just maybe – if you’re truly that daring – dive headfirst into the books.
Nicholas Goroff is a beer lover, writer, actor, ex-political professional and devoted anti-ideologue. Follow him on Twitter @wizardofcause.
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