Review: Ommegang’s new Game of Thrones beer

03/28/2014 12:59 PM

03/28/2014 12:59 PM

On Monday, Brewery Ommegang

releases Fire and Blood, the latest beer in its collaboration series with HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Fire and Blood is the third Game of Thrones-inspired beer from the Cooperstown, N.Y. brewery, which is owned by the same Belgian brewer that bought Boulevard

last year. The red ale is brewed with some pretty bold ingredients: Ancho chilies, licorice root and star anise.

We popped the cork on a 750-milliliter sample bottle yesterday to see if Fire and Blood is as brutal as the fire-breathing dragon on its label. Spoiler alert: There’s nothing brutal about this easy-drinking beer.

Fire and Blood has a reddish hue — more rosy-golden than blood-red — and a pretty aggressive head of foam. The aroma is slightly fruity, with just a hint of rye spice.

The first sips are mellow, with no pepper punch or licorice bite. “You could serve this to somebody who drinks Bud,” said one of our taste-testers.

Because it comes in a 750-milliliter bottle, you might expect this beer to have a high alcohol content. But at 6.8 alcohol by volume, it’s not as strong as, say,

Chocolate Ale

, which is 9.1 percent alcohol by volume.

One of our testers, a guy who doesn’t usually drink beer, tipped back his Dixie cup of Fire and Blood like it was no big thing.

“It’s awesome,” said a beer-loving tester who, admittedly, was just happy to be away from her computer at 3 p.m. “I mean, it’s beer in the newsroom.”

Other tasters noted that the malty yet well-balanced beer “goes great with Mexican food” and tastes like a less hoppy version of Free State’s Copperhead Pale Ale.

Only a couple of us could detect the licorice and star anise flavors, but everyone noted an underlying raisin-like fruitiness. As for the chilies, they kicked in after a few sips with a slow burn that left my ears tingling.

The bottom line: This is no fire-breathing beer, but if you’re looking for a well-balanced brew that will please a large group of people at your Game of Thrones Season 4

premiere party on April 6, your quest ends here.

Want to try Fire and Blood before it hits stores and bars on Monday? Head to Alamo Drafthouse on

Saturday night for the screening of Dragonslayer

. The 1981 fantasy flick will be accompanied by samples of Fire and Blood. Also, fire performers.

Looking for local stores that stock Ommegang beer? Use the brewery’s

handy beer finder

.

For regular updates on beer news, follow Sarah Gish on Twitter @sarah_gish.

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