I’D TAP THAT: Dark & delicious

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    Description: Three-Eyed Raven pours a dark brownish-black with a huge fluffy beige head that leaves behind a thick layer of lacing on the glass. The aroma is punctuated by the wonderful saison yeast with subtle notes of pepper and spice, along with backing notes of lightly roasted malts. The taste is truly surprising, mainly due to the dark color of the beer, but it is much in line with a traditional saison. It features a light, malty body with a slight touch of sweetness. The roasted malts are highlighted by spicy hops, all while finishing with the wonderful saison yeast flavor profile. The medium body and high carbonation are textbook-style, allowing for a refreshingly crisp finish. This is another delicious, world-class beer from Ommegang; further proof that dark is not a flavor of beer!

    Food pairing: The subtle roasted malt notes with the bright effervescent mouth-feel make this a great beer to pair with a wide variety of meats. Try pairing Three-Eyed Raven with pork dishes. Grilled, roasted or barbecued, the caramelization that naturally occurs within the meat from cooking it perfectly matches the malt in the beer. Try pairing with venison, chicken, boar or duck. These fatty meat dishes will melt into the malt bill and carbonation, while the lighter meats will cut through, producing enhanced roasted notes from the beer. No matter which you choose, all will be perfectly scrubbed clean from the palate by the carbonation. If you are looking for an appetizer pairing, try this with goat cheese or wonderful smoked Gouda. Three-Eyed Raven is also a beer that is perfect for desserts, but goes especially well with fresh vanilla bean ice cream.

    Glassware: Saison’s produce a wonderful aroma and are meant to warm up slowly. Stemmed glassware is best for the beer. Ommegang produces glasses to accompany all the Game of Thrones beers, thankfully. If you are not able to find this glassware, a tulip, snifter or oversized wine glass will also service the beer quite well.

    The Final Word: The Ommegang and Game of Thrones collaboration beers have been quite successful. Three-Eyed Raven is the fifth in the series and the most unique. The saison style is one that Ommegang has perfected (see Hennepin), and the idea of a dark saison, while not new, is unique and can prove quite tricky. The flavors in the saison style are meant to be light and refreshing with a very delicate yeast characteristic. Adding dark roasted malts can destroy the balance and make for a beer that is unbalanced and quite unappealing. However, Ommegang has managed to deliver a beer that has very subtle and delicate roasted malts that maintain the wonderfully bright flavors of a saison. This is a beer that “Game of Thrones” fans will love to enjoy while watching their favorite show, but it is also a beer that any craft beer fan will enjoy as well.

    Where can I get it?: Currently available in 750 ml bottles at: Cooper’s Seafood- Scranton; Backyard Ale House- Scranton; Exit 190 Beer Deli- Dickson City; Wegmans- Dickson City and Wilkes-Barre. Currently available on draft at: Cooper’s Seafood- Scranton and Exit 190 Beer Deli- Dickson City.

    Remember, enjoy responsibly!