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Beer Review: Fire & Blood Red Ale, Brewery Ommegang's Third Game of Thrones Beer

by The Drink Nation on Mar 31, 2014 in Beer

This week brings the premier of Game of Thrones fourth season, and with it comes Brewery Ommegang’s Fire & Blood Red Ale, the third beer brewed in conjunction with the hit HBO fantasy drama.

Like its predecessors, Iron Throne Blonde Ale and Take the Black Stout, Fire & Blood draws inspiration from the series, its plotlines and characters. Here the name refers to the House of Taragaryen’s motto, and the ingredients used in brewing it pay homage to its Bride of Fire, Daenerys, and her three dragons, Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion. Collectors and obsessives take note: Fire & Blood is being released in 750-ml bottles with three different labels. Each one depicts one of the dragons.

More than just fodder for label art, those dragons and their fiery breath play into the red ale’s composition. With a solid base built upon a grain bill that includes pilsner, spelt, rye and other specialty malts, Ommegang’s brewers included a late addition of seeded ancho chiles to summon some of the incendiary fury associated the winged beasts.

Poured into the commemorative Game of Thrones snifters that Ommegang sent to us along with the 750-ml bottles, the dark, blood-red brew quickly forms a rich and creamy, foamy off-white head that’s as persistent as Daenerys fight to claim the Iron Throne as her own. Yeasty and peppery notes on the nose immediately call to mind Ommegang’s flagship saison, Hennepin, but as they give way to deeper malty aromas and hints of dark fruit and spice as the brew comes to room temperature and opens up, it becomes pretty clear that this is an entirely different animal.

Not nearly as dense at Ommegang’s Three Philosophers nor as light as say its Rare Vos, Fire & Blood has a light to medium body. Needless to say, it goes down pretty easy with a creamy mouthfeel and gentle effervescence. As it washes over the palate, it delivers on the fruit, spice and maltiness promised by the aroma, but much to the surprise — and to be honest, the delight — of Drink Nation tasters, the heat from the ancho chiles is more discrete than overbearing.

While it won’t make slaves rise in rebellion against their mad king, it also won’t scorch the top layer off your tongue. Instead it brings complexity to the ale’s flavor profiles, and we swear by the gods both old and new, that it is about as threatening as one Daerney’s dragons fitted with a muzzle.
 


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