Jun 8, 2017

Heavy Seas Partner Ships Olde Ale

Last year, Maryland’s Heavy Seas started their Partner Ships series of limited beers. The program sees the company joining forces with other regional and national companies to produce one-off beers “…in the spirit of friendship, creativity, and adventure.” Having partnered with the likes of Maine Beer, Troegs and Stone Brewing in the past, Heavy Seas went more local for the first release of the 2017 Partner Ships series, Union Craft Brewing.

Together the two Maryland Breweries have crafted Olde Ale, an English-style Barleywine brewed with local Domino brown sugar. The result is a big beer (8.5% ABV) packed with a solid malt base, a smooth nuttiness, dark fruits (raisin) and soft molasses notes. The Olde Ale is richly flavored without becoming cloying or overly decadent. There’s a nice collaboration between a moderate sweetness and gentle hop tingle that keeps everything in check and balanced long after each sip.

I may have missed out on the four Partner Ships brews from last year, but so far I am on track to tackle the three that have been announced for 2017. If this lovely Olde Ale is any indication the remaining two should prove to be just as outstanding. If you happen to find a bottle of this collaboration with Union Craft Brewing, however, feel free to ignore the “best by” date — this one should do just fine for several months after. It’s rich, warming, full-flavored and just about ideal for any day of the year.