We taste test Ommegang’s Take the Black Stout

Brewery Ommegang debuted the latest in their line of Game of Thrones-inspired beers, this one called Take the Black Stout, this past weekend at the San Diego Comic-Con. Our own Simone Boyce was one of the lucky few invited to have a taste. Here is her review:

Second only to witnessing Jason Momoa crash the Hall H panel, tasting Ommegang’s next Game of Thrones beer – the Take the Black Stout – was the highlight of my SDCC 2013 experience. was one of a handful of press outlets invited to sample the very first keg of the Take the Black Stout before it launches in bars, restaurants and retailers nationwide at the end of September. If you’re a Guiness-lover like me, you should be quite satisfied with this robust, dark brew. It’s difficult to say whether the Take the Black Stout is “better” than the Iron Throne Ale, as each caters to radically different palates.

I couldn’t help but think of Jon, Sam and the Old Bear (RIP) as I sipped this rich, chocolaty draught from my fitting glass chalice. I imagine this is the kind of indulgent reserves Craster selfishly hoarded from the starved Night’s Watch – the kind that incites mutiny. So thick it’s almost opaque, this hearty beer offers a stark (pun intended) contrast to the light, refreshing Iron Throne Ale. Earthy, woodsy, subtly sweet and a tinge smoky, the Take the Black Stout unleashes aromas and flavors you’d expect to encounter at Castle Black and beyond. Northern Brewer hops, roasted barley, midnight wheat and chocolate malt lay the foundation for this filling beverage.

Expect to find this 7% ABV stout on tap at your local haunt for about $8.50 this fall. And you’ll be pleased to know Ommegang has upped their production after seeing how quickly fans devoured the Iron Throne Ale. Expect to see more Westeros-inspired beers launch in 2014, but in the meantime let us know which iconic realm residents you’d like to see represented next!

And here is a bit of breaking news: HBO and Ommegang have just announced that Take the Black Stout will go on sale at the end of September. Full details in the press release after the break.

Winter Is Coming: Thanks Simone for the review! Can’t wait to try this stout myself. Sounds like it will be the perfect beer for those cold winter days… or for when you are ranging beyond the Wall.

Brewery Ommegang and HBO® Announce Release Date For Take the Black Stout, the Second Beer in Game of Thrones® inspired Series

(COOPERSTOWN, NY)  Brewery Ommegang and HBO announced today that the highly anticipated second beer in the Game of Throne series – Take the Black Stout – will launch nationwide through bars, restaurants, grocery, and beverage stores at the end of September. The brew is inspired by the Night’s Watch, a military order dressed in black, which holds and guards The Wall – an immense ice fortification protecting the Seven Kingdoms from enemies in the North. The unique label features the sacred Weirwood tree where Jon Snow and other followers of the old gods take their oaths to the Night’s Watch.

“With the second beer, we wanted a big, substantial brew, something that would stick to your ribs and sustain you through long nights at watch on The Wall,” said Phil Leinhart, brewmaster at Ommegang. “A 7 % ABV stout with Northern Brewer hops, Midnight wheat, roasted barley, and chocolate malt made a perfect foundation for the beer.  We also used uncommon spicing, something Ommegang is well known for. For this beer we added licorice root and star anise.”

“Working with Ommegang has been a great experience,” stated Josh Goodstadt, Director of Global Licensing & Retail, HBO. “Ommegang knows how to deliver a high-quality product that is authentic to the Game of Thrones brand and resonates with our audience. That was evident by the great response we received fromfans and beer connoisseurs alike in regards to the first beer, Iron Throne Ale, and we expect the same with the launch of Take the Black Stout.”

Iron Throne was the largest volume limited-edition beer we’ve ever brewed and the fastest selling,” said Simon Thorpe, President and CEO of Duvel USA/Brewery Ommegang. “We were excited to see the response from beer lovers and fans of the show – it was simply overwhelming for the first beer. Building on that, we’re increasing production of Take the Black Stout.

Take the Black Stout is deep black in hue, with a full tan head. Aromas include dark chocolate, caramel malt, earthy hops, and a touch of fruitiness.  Tastes include chocolate, dark coffee, and rich malt character.  The beer has light, balanced roastiness aroma and taste.  The clean hop bitterness converges with a slight woody character and spiciness. The finish offers sweet malt character giving way to spicy, earthy, hop bitterness. The beer will be nationally available on draft and in 750ml bottles, for the suggested retail price of $8.50 per bottle, beginning in mid- to late-September, and will be followed by additional beers in 2014. To find a retail location which carries Take the Black Stout near them, consumers can click on the “find a beer” link at at time of launch.


  • Night gathers, and now my beer begins.
    It will not end until I drain this glass.

    At which point night will gather again, and my beer begins…again.
    It will not end until I drain this glass…until…er…

  • Yummy! Though not a huge beer fan I really enjoyed the Iron Throne Ale and look forward to consuming their high quality stout.

  • I couldn’t find it last time and will have to use the find the beer link. Guiness is good in small doses because it’s so heavy so I probably won’t be able to drink more than one.

    Other suggestions:
    A wheaty Bell’s Oberon type of beer for the Riverlands
    A honeyweiss for the Reach

  • doesnt look like guinness. looks more like Killians black stout. either way i love both and i will consume much.

  • So, have they ceased production of the Iron Throne ale, or are they going to continue brewing batches of both?

  • What about us wine peeps…. Hopefully someday we could see a winery put out some fine Dornish Red

  • I was thinking maybe a Dornish Red Ale. Or maybe Riverlands Red Ale.

    They will undoubtedly do something much more clever than anything I would think of.

  • Sigh, the first beer was supposed to come Canada…and Ontario is at least close…but it never did…and I heard it’s hard to find throughout the states as well….so it’s not looking good for the stout around these parts either…..

  • too bad you’ll never find this in the store, might as well order it online. I went to 6 local places using the Ommegang Store Locator for the Iron Throne Ale and they were completely sold out.

  • Here’s hoping when they say ‘we upped our production’ they mean ‘we brewed about 100 times as much because it will make us rich and you happy’.

  • A shame it’s basically impossible to find. I would have spent $100’s of dollars by now, if I could have found even a single bottle.

  • RhymeswithWeak,

    Where are you in Canada? I found it in several places in Alberta on the shelf, and ordered it in direct as well no problem. It was about $13/bottle, and the order took about a month. I first saw it Early-May, and it’s still on the shelf at Co-op Liquor.

  • Not saying where I am, but found a number of bottles of the Lannister Blonde in the city. People grip at our government run liquor board but the ability to check the exact inventory of all stores over a wide area is very nice.

    There you go. Upstate NY and Buffalo can use this. They will tranship “Vintages” products to any store for you. Not sure if this beer counts.

  • As a stout enthusiast and having sold the last one (the restaurant managed to get one case of Iron Thone Ale and sold out as soon as we got it), I’m excited for this one. Still holding out hope that there’s a Red Wedding Ale in the cards.

  • When you are making beer based on the most popular show on TV right now, it’s best not to get conservative with production. There’s money to be made here, Ommegang, even your limited edition beer glass in the HBO store sold out.

    Deric Bondarrion:
    Here’s hoping when they say ‘we upped our production’ they mean ‘we brewed about 100 times as much because it will make us rich and you happy’.

  • Simone can make anything look good, even drinking TV beer. And it’s hard not to make good stout…. But thanks, I’ll pass.

    Beer named after any TV show is just too cheesy an idea for me to entertain. Ironically, I think a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode weeknight at the club is pure awesome.

  • My apologies for pointing out the obvious, but isn’t Simone Boyce gorgeous? I’ve always thought so…

  • Prince of Pentos:
    My apologies for pointing out the obvious, but isn’t Simone Boyce gorgeous? I’ve always thought so…

    Quoted for Truth. Outside of her little youtube circa 2012 studio, she really shines.

  • Damn I’d love to taste that black stout…

    Wait are we talking about the girl or the beer here??

  • I really hope a bar/retailer in Columbus, Ohio gets a hold of this! Wasn’t able to try the Iron Throne.

  • Lex:
    A shame it’s basically impossible to find. I would have spent $100′s of dollars by now, if I could have found even a single bottle.

    it’s even more of a shame when I stop in my local craft beer outlet on a Sunday, asking if they carry it, only for them to tell me that it will be in on Thursday and “don’t worry, we’ll have plenty of it,” and I go back on Saturday, and they tell me they sold out of the whole lot they planned to carry and weren’t getting anymore in!


    I almost cried I was so disappointed!

  • So will they no longer produce the Iron Throne Ale? I’m a fan of blonde ales, and Iron Throne was my favorite one!

  • I’m a huge beer fan, I drink it for the taste not to get drunk.

    My five favorite beers:
    Great Divide Yeti Stout
    Deschutes Black Butte Porter
    Sierra Nevada Narwhal Imperial Stout
    Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Ale
    Either Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat or Newcastle Brown

    I’m curious to see how this one stacks up. I missed out on the Lannister Blonde…

  • Gabriel,

    It’s certainly going to be harder to find at this point, but anywhere that stocks Ommegang should be able to at least order some in for you. The co-op liquor store on 16th ave NW in Calgary still had some on the shelves a few weeks ago; I would call them before you make the trek if I were you just to ensure they at least had some or could put some aside. They had a few cases last time I was there, if that’s any reassurance.

    Also, I ordered direct from Kensington Wine Market (on Kensington Road NW Calgary) back in May.

    Cheers and good luck!

  • Forget the damn beer…Simone looks beautiful in that picture! She rwhen I see the picture Simon doesn’t she look a bit like Talisa/Oona Chaplin ?

    Thank you Simone for your continued work on our behalf…

  • The Others:
    So will they no longer produce the Iron Throne Ale? I’m a fan of blonde ales, and Iron Throne was my favorite one!

    Yes, they need to bring back this! I haven’t had the chance to try it. :-( It sounds very much like my kind of ale, too. Pretty please, Ommegang?