Take the Black

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It’s back!

I admit it; I am addicted to Game of Thrones. It first came to my attention just before Dance With Dragons came out in 2011, and I spent a summer inhaling all five books.

I had been waiting with great anticipation for Season 4 of GoT to start. I couldn’t watch it on Sunday when it premiered (no cable) and stayed away from social media spoilers until I could settle in on Monday with an appropriate beverage to take it in.

The Show (Warning: spoilers)

The Red Wedding is over, and the Starks are either dead or scattered. I tend to zone out on scenes with Sansa; her passivity grates on me. Her sister Arya’s fierceness and anger is a sharp contrast. The last scene where Arya dispatches Polliver with the same words he said while killing her friend is chilling.¬†The Lannisters are united physically but still more fragmented than ever. There’s a new player on the board as Price Oberyn from Dorne arrives for Joffrey’s wedding. Danerys’s dragons are growing and are showing signs of becoming independent and rebellious, as are some of her admirers. Tyrion is still trying to do right for everyone while still getting crapped on. And no one but the Watch (and not even all of the Watch) seems to take seriously what is coming from the North.

Death, intrigue, revenge, struggle for power. Complex story lines with more players added to tangle the strings even more. No happy endings for anyone. So in other words, same old. Gods, how I love this show.

The Beer

It seemed appropriate to drink a Take The Black stout from Ommegang Brewery.¬†Judging by the updates on Untappd and Beer Advocate, I wasn’t the only one.

Great minds think alike. Fools seldom differ. Etc.

The stout poured a deep, dark chocolate brown with a thick cafe-au-lait coloured head that took quite a while to recede. It had just come out of the fridge so there weren’t many aromatics at first, but strong coffee and dark fruit became more prevalent as it warmed.

I think I may have winced at my first taste; it was thinner and more effervescent than I was expecting. A bit sour, but mostly offset by the caramel and coffee in the malts. Some licorice as it warmed, but more bitterness and acidity as well.

Overall

Would I watch Game of Thrones again? Yes, in all likelihood I will. The story is just too complex to pick up all the nuances the first time.

Would I drink Take The Black again? Likely not. It’s good, but my tastes in stouts run to the more robust and complex.

 

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