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Beer Man is a weekly profile of beers from across the country and around the world.
This week: Ommegang Candi Stout
Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, N.Y.
One of the main taste ingredients is Belgian candi sugar, which is actually somewhat hard to describe — yes, it is sweet, but it has a flavor that is not-quite caramel, yet different from regular white sugar.
The ale also features cocoa nibs, which is noticeable as more than just a generic chocolate or chocolate malt flavor. The 6.7% ABV Candi Stout differs from a regular stout in that it is a tad less bitter and roasted than a typical stout.
The Special B and Aromatic malts used are great — I have used them for homebrewing in a large number of English mild ales, barleywines and Scottish ales. Special B is a cross between chocolate and caramel malts, and a bit richer.
Candi Stout is hopped with Styrian Golding and Saaz hops, which are noticeable in the aroma with their floral and grassy aromas, with little bitterness.
More:Beer Man: Ommegang returns with another tasty ‘Thrones’ brew
Despite the “Candi” in the name, I would not consider this a strongly sweet beer. There is enough sweetness to bring out the flavors of the chocolate and caramel, but not enough to assault the palate with sugar.
Ommegang also just released yet another Game of Thrones-inspired beer, Hand of the Queen Barleywine Ale, in a 750ml bottle with a 10.7% alcohol content. Under the Game of Thrones text on the label it states, “Royal Reserve Collection.”
The Ommegang website states that this special collection will feature four new beers during the year.
More:Beer Man: Ommegang adds flavorful complexity to the sour ale style
Ommegang has been releasing so many Game of Thrones-related beers, I think they should be put in charge of producing the show! The HBO series started out as 10 episodes a year, then eight episodes about every 16 months, and the latest information is that the show’s last season won’t happen until 2019!
Ommegang has been releasing beers related to the show at least twice a year — the last one I reviewed was in December 2017.
This latest offering, however, is a somewhat perplexing barleywine, in that it has more citrus flavors in it than the norm for the style. However, it still has nice barleywine flavors of caramel, bready malt, biscuit, raisin and molasses.
More:Beer Man: Honey elevates Ommegang’s latest ‘Thrones’ beer
Both of these beers were technically well made, with nice heads, carbonation and mouthfeel.
Ommegang has widespread distribution throughout the U.S.; its Beer Finder link is at the top of its home page.
Many beers are available only regionally. Check the brewer’s website, which often contains information on product availability by mail. Contact Todd Haefer at email@example.com. To read previous Beer Man columns, click here.