Jan 12, 2017

Ommegang Valar Dohaeris

I’ve never watched an episode of Game of Thrones, but I can appreciate a good beer regardless of its origin or theme. Thankfully, the origin of Valar Dohaeris is Brewery Ommegang, one of the best brewers of Belgian-style ales in the U.S. And this bit 9% ABV tripel is a damn good beer.

A sharp carbonation on the tongue and a decent malt sweetness, in combination with herbal hop notes, anise and grain/straw, gives this big beer an almost mead-like quality. It’s an interesting trait in a Belgian-style tripel that I particularly enjoyed. The array of flavors flow smoothly to a warming and lasting finish that leaves a medicinal echo as it warms the chest.

Ommegang’s Tripel Perfection came into mind while drinking this themed brew. It’s been a while since the company last released that brew, but I remember it being light, crisp, lightly funky and pretty damn good. In comparison, Valar Dohaeris is sweeter, more full bodied and packed with herbs/spices that separate it from that previously limited release.

I’ve bemoaned the release of some “standard” beers (non-Belgian style) from Ommegang recently — a double IPA, oatmeal stout — but it’s reassuring to know that they are still willing to bust out some excellent Belgian ales like Valar Doaeris. Grumpy old men like myself don’t necessarily like change all that much, but we understand the need to diversify. Drinking this beer, however, helps me deal with that shift. Slowly.