Derek Warren


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Beer: Valar Morghulis

Brewer: Brewery Ommegang

Style: Dubbel

ABV: 8.00%

Description: Valar Morghulis pours a deep ruby red with beige head that remains long and leaves behind a beautiful lacing on the glass. The aroma is filled with rich caramel, dark red fruits, clove, and Belgian yeast all intermingling perfectly with one another. The taste follows the nose and imparts very soft and delicate flavors upon the palate. The sweet caramel notes wash over the palate first and are soon followed by the red fruits emanating flavors of cherries, plums, dates, and raisins, which come through the most apparent and are quickly followed by a subtle bitterness from the hops before leaving the palate cleansed and refreshed.

The medium to full body and moderate carbonation give the beer a wonderful mouthfeel, and while there are many Dubbels, currently on the market, Brewery Ommegang has managed to brew a beer that certainly rises above many of them. This is a must-try beer not only for fans of “Game of Thrones,” but for all fans of Belgian style beers.

Ideal setting: Valar Morghulis is a beer best enjoyed with friends while enjoying a night out at a bar or at home watching your favorite TV show or movie. Something about this drink just screams communal experience; it is also a perfect beer to wax philosophic over, and no one wants to do that alone!

Ideal music: Valar Morghulis is beer that is paired with a musical landscape best described as being epic. After all, a beer whose name translated means “all men must die” certainly requires something grandiose with it! This is a beer that is best with a wide variety of music, specifically metal and even a bit of progressive rock would go well with it.
Some great albums to enjoy with this beer are:

Ideal movie: Before discussing movies, the most obvious pairing with this beer is with binge watching episodes of “Game of Thrones.” However, the epic-ness of this beer should not be left with the most obvious. There are many great films to watch while enjoying a beer of this high quality. If you are still in a mood for truly epic journeys, there is of course “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. However, if you like your epic journeys to be a bit darker, check out the film “Black Death” for a great pairing. One greater journey to enjoy with this beer is while watching one of Antonio Banderas’ best films, “The 13th Warrior.”

If you want to take a lovely journey back in time to the films that inspired the aforementioned ones, then enjoy Valar Morghulis while watching “Jason and the Argonauts,” “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad,” “Clash of the Titans,” or “Hercules in the Haunted World.”

Ideal book: This is a beer that requires sipping to truly appreciate the ever-evolving flavors locked within. A book that takes the reader on a voyage is a great pairing with this beer, so nonfiction is off the table. Some great books to enjoy while drinking Valar Morghulis are George R. R. Martin‘s “Games of Thrones” series, “Memories of Ice” by Steven Erikson, “Chronicles of the Black Company” by Glen Cook, “The Dying Earth” by Jack Vance, and “The Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss.

The perfect experience: This is a beer meant for celebrating and reflecting and is best enjoyed surrounded by loved ones. It is a beer that will cause many to reflect inward and enjoy the finer things in life. The ideal experience to enjoy this drink is sharing it with friends or family in a bar or at home, and simply appreciating the company and discussion.

How to Pair Beer with Everything is a weekly column about stimulating all of the senses through beer. Look for it every Thursday on NEPA Scene.