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.)