St. Paul’s Summit Brewing Company has created a delectable barleywine that is the perfect thing to stay warm through the increasingly-colder end of autumn. This ruby / dark brown colored-effort hits imbibers over the head with a strong malt backbone, to which dark fruits, a decent alcohol burn, and sugar (Caramel, toffee) elements can all be discerned. There is a decent amount of off-white head that sticks around as one continues to drink the effort. The medium mouthfeel allows this beer to go down easily, providing a bevy of additional flavors along the way. Old Blaggard links together tobacco, oak, and a roasted, toasty set of flavors that work with the good amount of sweetness present in each sip. The beer’s high ABV (10.1%) adds just enough acerbic bite to the mix, allowing the disparate elements of Summit’s latest to work together in harmony.
Old Blaggard is a perfect sipping beer, but I feel as if it would do admirably paired with strong-flavored cuisine, stews, soups, and hard cheeses. Salty snacks (pretzels, chips) would also highlight the variety of tastes present in this offering. The high alcohol content of Old Blaggard will allow the beer to do well in cellars; when picking up a 4-pack, keep a few back for a year or two to see how things have changed.
We have reviewed other Summit efforts in the past; check out our coverage of Unchained #15: Make It So, Hopvale , Hop Silo,Unchained #17 : Harvest Fresh IPA and Unchained 15: Fest Bier. Summit’s website is a must-visit location for anyone that is seeking more information about Old Blaggard, the Union Series, or any of the brewery’s other year-round and seasonal brews. A brief visit to Summit’s Facebook or Twitter will provide surfers with information about new products and events.