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Uinta Brewing Dubhe Imperial Black IPA

February 18, 2013

So one of my favorite things about living in New York City is that instead of large chain convenience stores, there are a number of little small corner stores and delis that straddle lines between a convenience store, a grocery, and a sandwich shop. The thing that’s great about these places is that they’re more likely to carry products you can’t get everywhere, because they’re not using the same distributors as every 7-11 you’ve walked into. For example, there’s an awesome deli I go to with a great selection of short order sandwiches and also chocolate bars from England/Western Europe (Yorkie, Mars, Lion, Kinder, etc). What’s really great though, is that it allows me to sometimes walk into a place and go, “I want a beer I’ve never had before.”

Lo and behold, I’m in my corner store the other night looking for something new when I spot some Uinta Brewing beers. Despite having never heard of them before, Uinta is celebrating its 20th year of brewing in the great city of Salt Lake City, Utah.* They’re pretty forward thinking people, and they’re committed to doing cool things though mostly environmentalism and making great beer. Uinta brewing is 100% wind powered, and they draw their symbology and beer names from local landmarks.

The other fun thing about corner stores is that they don’t mind selling one beer out of a six pack. This means you frequently will grab a six pack only to realize it has a few missing holes. Don’t fret, that means you too get to mix and match. This is what allowed me to grab one bottle of the beer I’m talking about today, the Dubhe Imperial Black IPA, which is apparently brewed with hemp seeds.

Out of the bottle the beer pours a beautiful black color with a nice healthy brown-red hue when held to the light and a very light ring of frothy light brown, not quite white head. The floral hop scent is powerfully enticing, I could smell it while it was sitting on my desk. When held close to the nose for a deeper breath, I could smell a sweet fruity undertone, the sweet smell of booze, and something else perhaps honey or molasses. The mouthfeel is thick and chewy, with a nice velvety component to the profile. This beer gets into your mouth and tells you it is there.

The taste is good though not necessarily complex. I feel this is a beer that gets into your mouth and immediately shouts, “I’m a Black IPA, rah!” There’s a very light sense of roasted malt at the beginning and end. In fact, the bitter chocolate flavors are what linger more than the hops. Still, the majority of the flavor profile however is based around the hop with mostly floral flavors and a light hint of citrus hops here or there. Once again, it’s still good though, I wish I had picked up more than just one bottle.

*: I know who would have ever thought the Land of Mormons could produce booze, but the state is also home to High West Whiskey, probably the greatest American distiller of bourbon.

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