Three-Eyed Raven

From Ommegang and HBO comes the fifth beer in the Game of Thrones series: Three-Eyed Raven, a Dark Saison. This invents a style, so it can’t be judged along those lines. For those who follow the series, perhaps it needs no introduction, but from the Ommegang website:

From the darkness I watch you. All of you, all of your lives, with a thousand eyes, and one.

As a beer, this pours opaque black with a ragged tan head. It gives a nose of bread-malty caramel with a spiced fruit character. Slightly foamy on the palette, it is initially crisp then malty then spicy then fruity, ending with a touch of roasty and smoky. All of this is subtle, and on balance this is a gentle, quaffable beer. I had expected much greater intensity, but probably I shouldn’t expect that of a saison. So here we have a subtle roasty saison at the opposite end of the spectrum from a sour saison. It’s easy to drink and would surprise those who think that a dark beer has to be heavy or coffee-bitter.

If you’re in the mood for a subtle brew, this is very good. I was expecting something more, or at least something else. On balance I would say that this is a good beer, but not a special beer. For me, this comes in behind Fire & Blood and Valar Morghulis, and slightly ahead of Take the Black Stout. (I never tasted Iron Throne.)

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One thought on “Three-Eyed Raven

  1. John Cusumano

    I agree with your ranking of the Ommegang GoT series beers, but I disagree that this one isn’t special; I rather enjoyed it. I had no idea what to expect from a dark saison other than complexity, and this delivered as complex a flavor profile as I could’ve hoped for. While I knew there would be an inherent fruitiness, it wasn’t overbearing and was tempered nicely by the spice and malt. The easy drinkability only made me like it more; to look at it, you’d think finishing a bottle would leave you full, but as you noted it isn’t at all heavy and 2 glasses went down very easily. I’ll likely grab another bottle or two one Sunday evening before Season 5 is through. With all of that said, I agree that VM and F&B are still superior to this one.

    And speaking of the last two brews in the series, Valar Morghulis *MAY* have usurped the throne from Fire & Blood as my favorite in the line thus far. Still up for debate.

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