Summit Unchained No. 14: Biere de Garde. Brewed by Jeff Williamson, who produced a fine version of a BdG when he was brewing at the brewery he founded, Flat Earth, also of St. Paul, MN.
I'm stuck on the subject of what glass to use. I have about 4 different Summit pint glasses, a dimpled mug made for Winter Ale, and a weizen-style glass for Hefe Weizen. They made a special glass for the Unchained Series when the Golden Ale came out, but it was not a tulip or a chalice or a snifter, more like a Willi Becher glass, the kind saisons sometimes use, similar to a pilsner glass. I no longer have mine, broke it one day. I'll blame myself, not Rollie the Cat.
So, the beautifully designed label suggests that we should use a tulip glass, or something similar. Which they've never made. Make one, Summit, and send one to me…pronto! Please. ("Best served in a tulip glass", the 6-pack carrier tells us, and I have many of those, but I want a Summit-branded one.)
I decided to go with the Winter Ale mug because I've never photographed a beer with it. Haven't even used it in years. Bought it on the occasion of my first visit to the original brewery back in the mid-90's. Used it as my tip jar when I was a bartender at the Guthrie Theater Dram Shop. Nostalgia has a strong pull.
Dark, mahogany brown coloring, big, lasting, creamy tan head. Looks great.
Malty nose, lightly spicy, bready. Absolutely inviting. Ooo, la, la.
Taste: Spices hit the palate first, followed by malty flavors, bread-y, biscuit-y. Lean bodied, with a slightly alcoholic bent. Spice and malt flavors meet with hops in the mouth, for a pleasurable menage-a-trois. Tres chic. Voulez-vous avez avec moi, c'est soiree?
Long, spicy finish, from hops and malt. Ever so tasty. Magnifique.
Would you like to hear more French words? Watch this: Summit Unchained Youtube video.