Saturday, December 17, 2011

Uinta Dubhe Imperial Black IPA

Uinta marks the first and only brewery I know of from Utah and they have not exactly left me pining for more.  Get it?  Pining?   You'd get it if you had tried the Dubhe Imperial Black IPA like I did.  It's a beer with a massive amount of pine in it, as though they brewed it with pine bark along with hops and malt. 

Black IPA's are all the rage right now and many brewers have bottled one in the last 12-18 months.  Some are better than others.  Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale is the top of the art form. I also enjoyed Grand Teton's Trout Hop IPA.  Victory's Yakima Glory is solid but unspectacular.  You only want one of those and then you're ready to yell "no mas."  I'd put the Uinta Dubhe in the same category of good, interesting, but one-and-done.

I'm not gonna lie. This beer is black.  If you've ever seen a black and white cat, where the body is char black and the belly is head-scratchingly white, this beer is that color.  The head on it is off white, rather creamy, thick, and leaves modest lacing.   It's a pungent beer smelling of desert flowers and sharp resiny pines.  The odor's not fooling anyone.  After initially tasting a bit of roasted caramel malt, the hops arrive in menacing fashion.  Angry hops attack the palate with massive pine and herb flavors, unyielding until the palate is coated with resins.  This is hardly a bad thing if you like hops and have experienced this kind of assault; but you would never credibly claim a beer such as this to be balanced. 

The creamy body soothes the palate somewhat to prevent this from being an outright palate-scorcher. Underlying roasted malts also keep this from becoming a hopicide (gotta coin that one) that might otherwise become too tedious to drink.  It's still a one-and-done beer due to the overly aggressive hop profile.

Would I have another one of these?  Absolutely.  I found it to be a unique brew.  The combination of roasted malts and the huge pine and herbaceous notes made for an interesting experience.  Don't expect to taste much else besides hops for 20 minutes after your last sip. 

1 comment:

BeerShaun said...

Around here we call them "cadcadian dark ales"