Review: Brewery Ommegang’s For the Throne is a delicious finish!

Ommegang For the Throne official image

Much like the Royal Reserve collection, Ommegang’s newest Game of Thrones offering For the Throne is a unique beer; I can honestly say I’ve never had anything like it. It’s as if Ommegang read my last review saying how I prefer lighter beers, along with sweet flavors, and then granted my wish,yet in a way I never imagined. For the Throne is a golden ale, but one that is co-fermented with Pinot Grigio and Viognier grape juice, then bottle conditioned with champagne yeast to finish. This produces a new taste, one to enjoy going into the final season of Game of Thrones.

For the Throne has been the leading hashtag in the run up to the final season. On Twitter, Game of Thrones has been tagging their posts with the phrase, and it looks like they’ve gotten the message out to Ommegang as well. In the Royal Reserve Collection, each of the bottles was themed towards a specific character. This is a more general theme, as it’s combining a few different styles in one bottle, perhaps reminiscent of worlds colliding as the White Walkers march on the South and characters who normally wouldn’t work together are finding themselves unlikely allies.

For this entry in the collection, they’ve changed the bottle design back from the IMG_20190401_194427 smalldarkened matte-black bottles with bottle caps for the Royal Reserve collection to the dark brown semi-transparent bottles with the distinctive Ommegang corks on top. Also, in previous runs Ommegang used stick-on labels; this time they’ve opted for plastic shrink wrap- one more way they’re continuing to experiment with and innovate their designs. A possible issue with sticker labels is that for collectors like myself, they may start to peel off or rip over the years. Presumably this plastic wrap will last much longer, and can be wiped down.

Past the bottle, and onto the beer!  It has a very deep golden color- perhaps a Lannister gold if you’re trying to read some tea leaves as to who takes the Throne- and pours with a white foamy head that quickly dissipates. Which you’d expect from ales in general along with one mixed with wine and grape juice. It smells much more like the pinot grigio than the ale. Blindfolded, you may not be sure you’re about to drink a beer!

As a golden ale, you’d be expecting a few things from it. Smoothness and hoppiness, lots of added flavorings whether spices or fruits as golden ales work well with those, and a middle of the road alcohol value. For the Throne eschews expectations with the addition of the Pinot Grigio, Viognier grape juice, and champagne yeast and the first thing you’ll notice is the very strong alcohol smell. That makes sense, as it weighs in at a towering 9.5% ABV, leaning more towards the wine than beer on strength. It reminds me a bit of the Royal Reserve Hand of the Queen in how surprising it is to find a taste profile with an ABV that strong.

IMG_20190402_190607 smallOverall, the beer goes down in three phases. First, you get the hoppiness you’d expect along with some caramel tones and typical golden ale flavors. Then, it all of a sudden changes and you start tasting the sweet and dryness of the wine. The announcement mentions pears, apricots, and honeydew; alas my palate isn’t refined enough to pick those out. It comes off more as a general sweetness and a bit of sugary taste, and finally a pleasing aftertaste that mixes them all together.

Unlike King in the North which was suited for cold winters, For the Throne is a beer that feels much more like a summer or spring beer. Light, sweet, easy to drink, the kind of thing you’d drink on a dock on a lake. Although, fair warning, the high ABV with the sweetness is a dangerous combination. This is distinctly a beer you should sip, maybe pair with a meal, otherwise you’ll be in for a rowdy night.

Other beers I found it similar to are La Fin du Monde, Golden Monkey, Don de Dieu, and the Dogfish Midas Touch beer. So if you like those, you should give For the Throne a try. It’s a beer that has a very unique taste, and I’d recommend it even if golden ales and Pinot Grigio aren’t your thing. You may find yourself a new style of beer to get into.

For the Throne is available now for purchase in those beautiful 750ml bottles and on draft, and we would love to hear what you think of it here! And thank you to Brewery Ommegang and HBO for sending us the beer to sample.

9 responses

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    1. I just bought my bottle for the premiere this evening. Figured I’d go through most of it during the premiere, but at 9.5, maybe that’s not such a great idea.

      Is it that much better than the rest of Ommegang’s GoT line to justify costing five bucks more per bottle?

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    2. Firannion:
      I just bought my bottle for the premiere this evening. Figured I’d go through most of it during the premiere, but at 9.5, maybe that’s not such a great idea.

      Is it that much better than the rest of Ommegang’s GoT line to justify costing five bucks more per bottle?

      Well, depending on how traumatic the first is or how you deal with heartfelt reunions, might not be a bad idea. It’s just one of those very strong but also very good tasting beers that you could accidentally end up a lot more tipsy than you intended.

      I don’t know if the price going up is justified, but I’d be happy to pay the MSRP for it after trying it out. And it may be that they’re leaning into the collector aspect of these bottles.

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    3. JoeMagician: What if you put the oreos in a bowl and eat them like a cereal using the beer as milk.

      I had not considered that!
      I figured I’d modify my childhood regimen:

      1. Twist off top chocolate cookie.
      2. Scrape off cream filling with teeth and eat.
      3. Shove one chocolate cookie in mouth. Chew lightly until it sticks to roof of mouth.
      4. Dissolve and wash down with ale.
      5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for second chocolate cookie.
      6. Guzzle half a glass of ale.
      7. Take out second Oreo. Refill mug with ale. Repeat steps 1 through 6.
      8. Continue cycle until bloated or sh*t-faced drunk.

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    4. VeryLongClaw:
      Has anyone seen the price?

      Where I live (Hudson Valley, upstate NY) it costs $17.99 a bottle, as opposed to $12.99 for the other Got-themed Ommegang releases.

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