Just so happens Mother Nature presented me with the perfect occasion to dip into one of my Christmas beers. You may have heard that my area (I’m located just north of Boston) is currently getting hit with a blizzard, so I’m at home looking for ways to pass the day. After seeing this bottle sitting in the refrigerator, I felt inspired to go out and brave the elements.
Beer Name: Game of Thrones: Winter is Here
Brewery: Brewery Ommegang (Cooperstown, NY)
Style: Double White Ale
Description: You can get plenty of details from the press release that announced the arrival of this brew, but to sum it all up this was a white ale brewed with pilsner malt, white wheat malt, and soft red wheat flakes, hopped with Saaz hops, and spiced with white pepper, sea salt, coriander and sweet orange peel. My bottle was part of a gift set that included one other Game of Thrones-themed beer and the nifty glass shown above. Since this was a present I don’t know what the exact price was, but I saw it around my area very reasonably priced in the $20-25 range depending on the store.
Appearance: Cloudy, pale gold/straw-colored body with lots of happy little bubbles running up from the bottom. About a half finger of thick white foam up top formed from a gentle fill, more when poured more aggressively.
Smell: Light floral spices.
Taste: Started out spicy with notes of coriander, clove, and pepper. That was soon joined by an underlying sweetness that combined honey, wheat, and a slight floral presence, all of which very nicely complimented the spice. The finish was dry and gave rise to a bit of Belgian bubble-gum yeast as the initial spices faded. Smooth and refreshing throughout, this drank like a much lower ABV offering.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and moderately effervescent.
Hype: Moderate. There is definitely some anticipation around Ommegang’s GoT series, usually peaking around season premiers and finales. While that excitement seems to be a bit more measured in the show’s offseason, I was personally really excited about this gift.
Overall: It was really tempting to just kick back with this and drink it like the light Belgian pale ale/witbier it smells, looks, and tastes like. It didn’t take long, however, to realize that this packs a bit more of a punch than you typically encounter with that style. At least I got a chance to warm up a bit after coming back indoors! I really enjoyed this as it blended light and refreshing tastes with a hearty and warming kick that served me perfectly on a snowy winter day.