Game Of Thrones: Take The Black Stout | Brewery Ommegang

239 Reviews
Game Of Thrones: Take The Black StoutGame Of Thrones: Take The Black Stout

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ommegang and HBO® announce the newest beer in the Game of Thrones® collaboration series. Through its first three seasons, the critically acclaimed drama has become the biggest show on HBO. Take the Black Stout follows the highly coveted Iron Throne Blonde Ale, which flew off of shelves earlier this year. To satisfy the appetite of Game of Thrones fans, production of Take the Black Stout will more than double the final volumes of Iron Throne Blonde Ale.

Inspired by the brotherhood of the Night’s Watch, Take the Black Stout was made to be deep, dark and complex like those who have sworn the oath to defend Westeros against threats from the north. The label depicts the Weirwood tree where Jon Snow recited the oath before joining the Night’s Watch.

In time for the holidays, Take the Black Stout makes for the perfect gift. Shipping to distributors in September 2013, the beer is available in 750 ML bottles and 1/6 barrel kegs.

Added by Cooker_stp on 09-09-2013

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Reviews: 239 | Ratings: 1,263
Photo of StArnoldFan
1.82/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Says STOUT on the bottle twice. This is not a stout, and if it is, it's the worst one I'v ever had. Over carbed, thin and weak. What a shitty beer. It seams like a complete gimmick to me using a TV show to sell a beer and it being complete garbage. I poured this beer after 2 sips, complete waste of $12. Go fuck yourself Ommegang.

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Photo of Heynow007
1.99/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was expecting something fuller since it's a black stout, but I was disappointed in the dullness of this beer. Very fizzy and no body at all. It tastes bland and un flavorful. I love stouts and this beer doesn't come close to Ten Fiddy, stone Black Russian, etc.

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Photo of PorterLambic
2.04/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours nearly black with a huge, espresso colored head. 3" of foam in a pint glass? Retention is pretty good. Fluffy to start, becoming rocky as it drops.
Smell is ... ashtray. Heavily burnt malt, baking chocolate and nothing else.
Taste is heavily burnt malt, baking chocolate, coffee. The full used ashtray here.
Medium bodied at best, less effervescent than I expected. All told, far from the best stout I've ever had. Aftertaste is truly the best aspect of this after the look. Toasted malt lingers with a whiff of sweetness. Ommegang dropped the ball big time here.

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Photo of corby112
2.19/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pitch black and opaque with a three finger beige head that very slowly settles into a lasting ring. Crazy retention, taking forever to settle into a pillowy foam cap. Streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Spicy aroma that's dominated by anise and black licorice, overpowering the roasted dark malt notes. Slightly peppery and chalky with a touch of dark fruit along with burnt toast, oatmeal, roasted coffee bean and bitter dark chocolate. Not offensive, but the anise/licorice character is way too strong for my liking.

Medium bodied, slightly smokey and thankfully a little more complex than the nose suggests. This beer still has a very strong anise/black licorice flavor but there is a burnt/acrid robust dark malt flavor with hints of ashtray, burnt coffee grinds and very bitter dark chocolate. Really dry and bitter and severely lacking in balance. I usually dislike anise/licorice in stouts but in this beer it's a welcome respite to the overwhelmingly bitter and acrid burnt malt flavors. Really harsh and tough to choke down. Very disappointing offering from a solid brewery. Tastes like a beer made for rapists, thieves, bastards and cowards. You'll want to take the black after drinking it.

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Photo of kevanb
2.26/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

750ml bottle poured into an Ommegang/Game of Thrones snifter, acquired with the beer at West Lakeview Liquors.

The beer pours a deep cola brown, very opaque with a soft, loose, fizzy caramel head that rises about 2 fingers high, wide, big bubbles that has poor retention and leaves just a touch of sticky lace behind. The aroma is messy, licorice and anise leap out, vegetal and unpleasant, bitter dark chocolate also comes across as earthy and dirty, burnt coffee follows up with some chalky ash and toasted dark malt, no real fruit presence or belgian yeast to note. It's harsh, burnt and rather unpleasant, not one I'd like to stick my nose in. The flavors don't help this beer one bit, lots of licorice and anise, vegetal and earthy that bring out some spiced and herby flavors behind it, charred coffee bean is present, but not as dominating as burnt and smokey chocolate and dark malt, it's really hard to stomach. The level of roast and smokiness is just way too much for what could be a really delicate belgian style stout, it pushes to the brink of being a one note beer. The mouthfeel isn't too bad though, carbonation is moderate yet lively, coats the mouth well and finishes softly.

Verdict: A bad showing from Ommegang. Roasted, overcooked, and burnt, just unpleasant. Each quality, which could really improve this beer just seems to detract from it. I love Game of Thrones and will continue to try the beers, but this was a steep fall off from the Blonde, which was a very nice beer.

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Photo of HopMeisterFlex
2.67/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.25

So I have finally "Taken the Black"...

Appearance (4.0): At first glance, the thick, creamy, tan head with super solid retention and an amazingly sticky lacing seemed as though it would not fit into my mouth. I really thought it would be a challenging swallow but I have definitely "Taken the Black" before but just not quite like this. OH MY!

Smell (2.0): Well, as you'd imagine, it smells terrible. I mean after "Taking the Black" and all, one should know just how bad this rating would be.

Taste (2.0) : Again, after all of the havoc wrought, one would imagine that the taste would not be on par with other similar offerings.

Mouthfeel (5.0): The mighty shaft feels so good when it hits my lips! YEAH!

Overall (3.25 Yes, I actually did the math.):

Once you have taken the black, chances are, you will never go back! A very "SOLID" performance by Ommegang! "OMG"

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Photo of kkleu357
2.7/5  rDev -27.6%

From notes on 10/5/2013

Some people will really like this. I’m not one of them. To much anise and clove flavor and smell for me. If you like this kind of stuff though, you will really enjoy it.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.87/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750ml brown glass bottle with hood-and-wire cap (aka cage) over a cork and detailed appealing label art acquired at me local HEB grocery and served into Cantillon stemware in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery, which makes a few beers I've been fond of. Reviewed as a stout because it clearly identifies as such on the label (not to mention in the name). I see no evidence from Ommegang to suggest this is a Belgian Dark Ale. 7% ABV confirmed per the label. "Ale brewed with star anise & licorice root."

Served cold, straight from me fridge, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Cork popped by hand with relative ease. No beer surges up/out.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a two finger wide head of khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is good - about 6 minutes.

Body colour is a predictable solid opaque black. No yeast particles are visible.

Looks pretty standard for a stout. I'm looking forward to trying it. Not unique or special, but there are no obvious flaws.

Sm: Obvious anise/licorice/fennel, to the point where it comes off off-puttingly medicinal. Cola notes/sassafras. Dark malts. Chocolate malts. Caramel. Woody. Earthy herbal yeast notes - probably Belgian. Cream. I'm not getting any roast. It definitely evokes more of a Belgian dark ale vibe than a stout vibe. Cream. Cocoa powder. A hint of molasses. We'll call it a Belgian stout.

No alcohol or hop character is detectable. A pleasant aroma of moderate strength.

T: Raisin, dark malts, fennel, anise. A bit of licorice and molasses. Herbal yeast. Sassafras. Caramel. Some chocolate malt/cocoa. Definitely Belgian in character, with obvious biscuity Belgian yeast notes. There's some vague mildly dark fruit, but it's hard to identify; dates, I guess? Prunes? I'm not sure. Some green apple on the climax. Lightly vinous, which I'm not fond of.

Overall, I'm not a big fan. It's got the bitter licorice/anise/fennel notes, which I personally despise in a beer. It's not all that well balanced, but it has some cohesion. Certainly not gestalt. There's fair complexity here, but it could certainly use more. Not much subtlety. It's a decent build for a Belgian stout, but I've definitely had better.

No yeast character or hop character comes through. I don't find any alcohol either.

Below average depth and intensity of flavour for the style. Average duration of flavour.

Mf: It's more coarse and dry up front, but gets smoother and wetter in the second act - retaining this feel through the finish. Slightly overcarbonated. Decent thickness and body. A bit powdery. Not as approachable or pleasant as it should be. It's lightly harsh; licorice has a way of doing that. It suits the flavour profile okay, but is far from custom-tailored specifically to it. Should be creamier.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, or astringent.

Dr: Downable. Hides its ABV well. For a Belgian stout, it's decent. As much as I like Ommegang, this is far from their strongest work. I wouldn't get this again and it's pretty overpriced for its quality. I'll finish the bottle with some effort, but it's not the most drinkable stout out there. I wouldn't recommend it to friends. Honestly, this one can safely be skipped. I definitely preferred their Iron Throne Blonde to this. All things considered, it's pretty average.


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Photo of DJQ
2.9/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 750ml bottle amongst friends.

A: Lives up to its name and pours black with good retention.

S: Smells of burnt grains and undertones of dark chocolate.

T: A strong metallic taste was dominant, similar to that of beer from a can. Chocolate, coffee, and yeast tastes were observable, but weak and fleeting. Tasted watered down.

M: Medium-high amount of carbonation, but quite a weak body besides.

O: I was skeptical when I saw the Game of Thrones cross promotion at the liquor store up the street, but I was hopeful when I looked closer and saw that Ommegang was behind this one. Unfortunately my hopes were dashed and I ended up disappointed - there are far better beers available in this style and I won't be picking this one up again. It wasn't horrible, but that's as far as I would take it. Not horrible.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.92/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Think I got this one from hopsolutely back in the summer of 2014. It sat in my basement until the summer of 2015 when I drank it while watching episode 1 of season 1. That's right. I just started watching the series recently, and I drank this beer to kick it off...

From a corked and caged 750 into a snifter
Best Before 9 September 2015
Belgian stout with star anise and licorice root

APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour yields a big, 3+ finger, medium looking, foamy, light brown head with good retention. Bistre brown body, clear, with higher levels of carbonation. Head fades to a splotchy, foamy wisp leaving chunky lacing down the glass. A slight wisp remains until the end with touches of lacing falling as the glass empties.

SMELL: Roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, phenols and spicy yeast aromas. Light licorice but very much in the background.

TASTE: Dark fruit, licorice and caramel sweetness up front. Phenolic flavors through the middle into a bold and lingering finish of spicy yeast, phenols again, some roasted grain and light cocoa. Bitter chocolate and spicy yeast accompany the lingering licorice.

PALATE: Medium body and higher levels of carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, mostly foamy, goes down fine and finishes dry. Too carbonated and foamy for a stout.

OVERALL: Alright I guess. Mostly a Belgian ale with some roasted grain thrown in. I'm still not sure the stout style needs to be Belgian, as the phenolic yeast tends to get in the way of the grain, and it usually ends up making the carbonation come out rather foamy. This works for Belgian ales, but not so much for stout. In any case, I enjoyed the show much more than I did the beer. A few months and a big move later, I'm half way through season three. I crave more episodes, but not more of this.

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Photo of hagbergl
2.96/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

As a huge fan of the show, Game of Thrones, and Ommegang, I had high hopes for this beer. Unfortunately, those hopes were dashed. Served in my DFH snifter.

Appearance (4/5): Huge pillowy khaki head of three fingers. Highly active carbonation, as to be expected from a bottle conditioned beer.

Smell (3/5): Peppery Belgian yeast scent. Not sweet at all. Plenty of roasty and burnt notes, some dark chocolate. Little to none of the coffee scent I expect from a stout.

Taste (2.75/5): Belgian yeast gives a peppery flavor to the foretaste, similar to the yeast flavor in Unibroue's Trois Pistoles. Dark chocolate. Major bitterness, to point of being extreme, from the black licorice root and star anise. Dry. It gets sweeter as it warms, and good thing, too. It's hard to drink at first. Fairly complex. This is a mediocre beer that has some seriously off-flavors. The licorice and anise make it much harsher than it should be.

Mouthfeel (3.5/5): Dry and smooth, medium-light body.

Overall (2.75): I simply did not like this beer very much. The harshness of the licorice root and star anise really did not work in my opinion. Perhaps the brewers' approach was inspired by the austerity of the lives of the soldiers who have "taken the black", and that's cool, but I think the beer could have been conceptualized a lot better. Oh well, maybe the next Game of Thrones-inspired beer will be better.

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Photo of BuzzLitebier
3.01/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this on tap. It poured black as coal and really thick with a tan foamy head. It smelled pretty decent with dark roasted malt and hints of chocolate. It wasn't boozy smelling at all. It had a medium mouthfeel and decent carbonation. I have to say as much as I wanted to like this bc. I love Ommegang and GOT, but I didn't dig the taste at all. It was too burnt with a peat humus taste. It reminded me of a barnyard- and not in a good way, and it finished with a lingering bitterness. I have to say that I'm glad I tried it, but would I have it again? Nope.

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Photo of Amalak
3.02/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A. It is pitch black with a thick, foamy dark tan head that leaves a good deal of lacing.

S. It has a nutty and malty scent to it.

T/M. It's very tart and there's a strong acidic taste. Malty with a hint of cherry and a nutty undertone. A bit of mint. Carbonated. Not smooth. Full bodied.

O. To acidic and carbonated but it's quite flavorful. Hit and miss, but worth a try.

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Photo of mactrail
3.04/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Really black in the 9 oz snifter. They call it a "Belgian black stout." Flavor is charred malt and a hint of barbeque sauce with scorched oatmeal. There is an odd gummy taste. Library paste, pumpernickel, and a touch of licorice.

Some mineral flavors mark this as a real oddity. The Belgian yeast adds a dry feeling but some slight sweetness sticks around. The yeasty bitterness finally takes control. Truly a strange mouthful of flavors. Very bitter aftertaste.

This is my least favorite Ommegang beer ever. On tap at the Regal Beagle in San Diego for $6. [notes from Oct. 11, 2013 tasting]

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Photo of Moheban
3.09/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into growler

Smells of Chocolate, roasted malt
Taste starts out sweet, then you get a lot of burnt, earthy notes, finishes with a mild hop bitterness.
Overall a very unique stout, but a lil too much on the burnt, malty, earthy flavor.

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Photo of MattXT
3.12/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cork & Cage bottle poured into a TreeHouse goblet.

A: dark as night, good head and retention.
S: strong smoke, some toasty malts.
T: a disgusting smoky mess.
M: lingering bitterness with a light palate.
O: this is a big miss on the over the top smoke which is balanced by nothing.

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Photo of jfmorey
3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Lost Dog Cafe in McLean, in a snifter
Looked promising, a deep black but with little head
Taste is a good but unremarkable stout, woody, some chocolate an coffee
Nothing to warrant the Belgian Dark classification, not Belgian yeast flavors
The most disappointing lack is in carbonation and mouthfeel

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle into wineglass for tasting. Aromas are roasty, smokey, with some esters. Flavors are similar with spice note (anise) and a nice bitter finish. Thinner mouthfeel but full bodied.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle purchased at Wegmans on East Avenue in Rochester NY.

Belgian stouts haven't always wowed me, due to the clashing of flavors between roasted malts and the Belgian yeast, so I'm unfortunately going into this review with very low expectations. The actual drinking of the beer didn't change my opinion on Belgian stouts, they still mostly don't work for me.

Pours a very dark black, with a surprising amount of bubbly carbonation. A half inch mocha-colored head forms, with a small amount of lacing down the glass.

Smells quite roasty, with some licorice smells as well. A bit of chocolate and roasted coffee beans.

This tastes rather earthy, which doesn't wow me. I can't quite describe that flavors give off this "earthy" vibe, but there's some slightly tea-like and grassy flavors, along with lots of licorice, ash and smoke. My preferred stout flavors of chocolate and coffee hide in the background. Slightly nutty, as well.

Medium bodied, relatively thick, but not crazily so. Very high carbonation for a stout, but the carbonation level is more in line with a Belgian strong ale, I suppose. Creamy, but fizzy mouthfeel.

Ultimately a miss. I love Game of Thrones, but these tie-in beers have been mostly disappointing.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

As someone who isn't a fan of licorice, I like how its restrained in lieu of its dark fruit, black pepper, and bready qualities. If I focus though, I still pick it up, along with a touch of roast. Its flavor is somewhat lacking, as nothing really stands out. I have to focus to get the primary notes - licorice, bread, and some minor roast. Taking a large swallow seemed to magnify its fruity finish, though. That, and it drinks easily (with its dry finish and airy feel). Not Ommegang's finest work, but hardly a bad brew.

3.23/5: Just okay; spicy, though rather muddled

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Max's (from notes)

A: Black with a bit of lacing.

S: Light and grainy.

T: Lots of malt and a bit of black coffee. Quite watery. Eh.

M: Coarse.

O: Not a big stout. Not sure why they have this listed as a Belgian Dark Ale. Another let down for the Game of Thrones' beers.

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Photo of smcolw
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Superb 4+ finger head. Beige. Lumpy fade--good dome. Plenty of chunky lace.

Belgian yeast aroma with a mild chalkiness. Some darker malts but no coffee or burnt smells.

The yeast flavor is the most notable part of the taste. Relatively thin body for the style. Think Belgian ale combined with a thin stout/brown ale. Sour cocoa aftertaste.

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Photo of iheartmyTHO
3.29/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

I'm a Game of Thrones fan, and when I saw a bottle of this beer I had to buy it. The bottle sat in my fridge for a bit as I was saving it for a friend's yearly Winter Solstice party. I figured this beer was appropriate - insert a Winter is Coming joke here.

For some reason, I didn't notice any of the black licorice or anise flavors despite this beer being brewed with such things. I was actually looking forward to tasting those flavors as I am one of those weirdos who likes black licorice. The stout wasn't horrible. It was smooth with coffee and slightly smoky notes. Overall, the stout was just OK.

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Photo of BradenMK
3.29/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

APPEARANCE (3.0) - Served from a 22oz bomber into a scotch glass, Take the Black, advertised as a stout, pours a mahogany brown and yet sits in the glass an almost pitch black brown. Strange. It creates a massive rocky head even given the gentlest of pours and maintains a few, spotty patches of lace around the glass as the head subsides to a small ring.

SMELL (3.25) - Smell is a little subdued, but what I do get is a sweet, creamy anise matching up with a little dark molasses. It's nice.

TASTE (3.5) - Here things take a bit of a trip. "This is definitely not a stout," were the first words out of my mouth. As I struggled to define the flurry of interchanging flavors I later decided, "this is some sort of Belgian Dark Ale like I've never had before." Straight from the bottle and around 50 degrees I found it to be at its best. On the start you get a smooth, ashy sweetness. Then the taste transforms into a spicy anise and clove bomb. Then the beer switches gears again, delivering a bitter, hoppy, super dry finish accompanied by tones of belgian yeast. As the beer warmed it all melded together, becoming slightly less interesting, but more balanced I suppose, delivering most of those flavors all throughout the sip. Weird. Not bad, but not lovely. I only barely pick up any anise and I don't get so much as a smidgen of licorice as the Belgian yeast flavors drown out almost everything but the most roasty of the malts.

MOUTHFEEL (2.75) - Below average. It totally doesn't match up as a stout, though I suppose for a Belgian Dark Ale it is quite creamy. Yet dry? Creamy and dry. Odd, and a little off-putting for this reviewer.

OVERALL (3.25) - I had given it a 3/5 overall, but I can't call this an overall average beer. It's probably a great beer, to be honest, it does some truly interesting and unique things with the style (Belgian Dark Ale). But it's marketed as a stout. And it is anything but.

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Photo of DrinkNewport
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Ommegang is a good brewery and Game of Thrones is a quality show, so I hoped that the cross-branding would not be too much of a gimmick.

Take The Black Stout pours VERY dark with a nice thick brown head.

The scent is very Belgian, which, given the brewery, is not surprising...but it bears none of the dark notes of a stout...which is the first indication that this might not be an outstanding beer.

After a few sips, I can't tell if I've lost my sense of taste or if the beer has no flavor. It's almost like there's no front end. There's just a slightly bitter aftertaste.

I don't know what to make of this beer. One has the sense that every component of this beer is high quality...but the people who put it together couldn't get it right.

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Game Of Thrones: Take The Black Stout from Brewery Ommegang
3.73 out of 5 based on 1,263 ratings.
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