Most Friday nights at Breakpoint are usually pretty low key and tonight is no different. I’ve broken open a Great Divide Old Ruffian Barleywine and it’s reminding me why I love barleywines so much. While they are a bit decadent and they can easily become too much of a good thing, American Barleywines are an interesting beer toeing the line between the various American IPA style (IPA and Imperial IPA). The main difference is that American Barleywines typically stay balanced or err on the side of maltiness while IPAs err on the side of hops, but don’t use that as a main guide because American Barleywines can push the IBU level into the 100s.
Old Ruffian pushes the IBUs, but definitely stays in the malty category. Pouring out of the bottle with a nice deep ruby color and tan head, there is a nice warming alcohol taste – which there should be at 10.2% ABV – but it’s not overwhelming. Truthfully, there isn’t anything overwhelming about this beer. The malt profile suggests some caramel-y sweetness, while the hop profile has some nice American hop character to it. Overall, it’s an excellent beer and an even better beer to enjoy next to the fire.
The dogs are being cute and the wife is sewing. Overall, a typical, yet great Friday night at Breakpoint Brewery.