Saturday, April 30, 2011

Summit Brewing - Unchained Series Batch 6 Gold Sovereign Ale; Unchained Series Batch 7 Honeymoon Saison; Silver Anniversary Ale; Horizon Red Ale; Unchained Series Batch 8 Black Ale

The Summit Brewing Co. has been brewing in St. Paul, Minnesota for 25 years now, having started in 1986.  That really makes them one of the grand-daddies of the craft beer movement.  They are one of my favorite breweries and consistently make a great and tasty product across styles.

Unchained Series Batch 6 Gold Sovereign Ale - This beer pours a dark yet bright golden in color with a quarter-inch of white head that leaves light lacing down the glass.  The aroma is slightly sweet, a bit fruity, a little like a pastry, perhaps a hint of yeast.  The taste is, at the same time, both sweet and smokey, with a dry and bitter finish.

Unchained Series Batch 7 Honeymoon Saison - This saison-style ale is brewed with Minnesota honey and the brewmaster who created it timed its release with his wedding.  There was an old tradition that newlyweds drank honey mead for the first month of their marriage.  This beer pours honey golden in color, slightly cloudy, with a half inch of thick foamy white head.  The aroma is sweet, honey, yeast and grain.  The taste is a near perfect combination of malty grain, honey, and zesty, spicy yeast.  This is a very tasty, interesting and drinkable beer.  Cheers to brewer Sam Doniach!

Silver Anniversary Ale - This is a special limited release brewed to celebrate their 25th anniversary.  It is an IPA in style.  The beer pours orange and copper in color with a half inch of creamy, foamy head that is off-white in color.  The aroma is hop forward, floral, orange, tropical fruit, melons.  There is a creamy element to the aroma, orange dreamsicle like.  The taste follows the aromas directly.  While the hop flavors are predominate, they have have a solid malt pedestal on which to shine.  The finish is dry and bitter.  The aftertaste is the fruity hop flavors.  I love hop forward American-style IPA's, and this beer is awesome and amazing and nearly made me swoon.  Think I loved it much?

Horizon Red Ale - This beer pours medium brown and ruby, it is dark but clear.  There is a half-inch of off-white and creamy head.  The aroma is fairly subdued, slightly hoppy, piney, malty, slightly spicy.  The taste is roasted malt, a bit of caramel, a touch of pine and a bitter finish.  I have had this before fresher, and fresh it is very hop forward and one of my favorite beers.

Unchained Series Batch 8 Black Ale - This beer pours black in color, very dark brown on the edges if held to the light.  There is a quarter-inch of light brown head.  The aroma is piney, pine needles, pine bark, pine sap, a touch of sweetness, and just a hint of very dark roasted malt hiding beneath all the pine.  The taste is coffee and pine, a sweet note, followed by bitter, followed by fruity.  This is a very flavorful and interesting beer. 

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