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Uinta Brewing Dubhe: Which Dubhe You Be?

I had an amazing beer experience last night, and just had to share it this morning.  My friend Chad, the @BeerPoet from Twitter and Facebook Fame turned me onto the Dubhe Black IPA from Uinta Brewing in Salt Lake City.  Yes, them Mormons know their beer…apparently.  The name of this beer is an obvious double entandre, deriving as much from the spelling as its pronunciation.  See for those of you that don’t know Dubhe is the Utah State star.  It is a double star cluster at the end of the Big Dipper.  Was it just coincidence that they chose a star with the same pronunciation as “the Chronic?”  I’ll let you be the judge of that.  But this pronunciation thing wasn’t lost on the guys at Uinta Brewing and they added a little something special to the brew just to prove their point…

Dubhe is an Imperial Black IPA (I guess that would make it a B-DIPA!) that takes everything from a Black IPA and pumps up the jams!  So what is that special ingredient?  You guessed it–Hemp Seeds!  Aparently these aren’t illegal, just the plants are, and now that they are surrounded by Medical Marijuana states (Colorado, Oregon, California) there is a legal source for said seeds.

I can’t state enough how excellent this beer was.  From the pour to the last sip it was outstanding.  As you can see it poured a rich malty black, almost like a stout, and had about a one finger head that left a plethora of lacing on the glass.   The nose was not a typical Black IPA nose, smelling of hops and a whiff of malt, no this was a deep rich maltiness, again reminiscent of a stout, with an awesome fresh spice note that combined with the hops made me think that someone was fresh cutting herbs in the garden.

The flavor, here is where this beer shines like the heavens.  It begins with a thick and creamy mouthfeel.  Much different than many BIPAs, it well coats your entire palate and then attacks your taste buds.     First there is a huge maltiness with chocolate and toffee notes, very sweet and big.  Then there is a very fresh spiciness with a well rounded hop finish.  I am assuming that the spiciness comes from the hemp seeds that are mixed in the brew.  It gives it a kick like Rosemary would do, but integrates well with the hops.  I suppose it should since Hops and Hemp are kissin’ cousins.

 This was my first “Imperial” BIPA, and as such I was expecting a heavy alcohol flavor or chest warming or something out of this brew, but at 9.2% ABV the alcohol flavor was almost entirely masked, making this somewhat dangerous if you don’t know what you are getting into.  All in all, I’d say that these guys in Utah know their stuff, this is the third great beer I’ve had from them, and I think they are for real.  Other than the fresh herb in the flavor profile I can’t say as the Hemp seeds had much of an effect on me.  OK, Gotta go.  I have a bag of nacho cheese Doritos and Snack Pack Chocolate Pudding calling my name!

-Don

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26 Comments on “Uinta Brewing Dubhe: Which Dubhe You Be?”

  1. johnking82
    June 2, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    Yea hemp seeds are legal as hell, I eat Strawberry Hemp Granola from Whole Foods all the time. Nice write-up, I had a Midnight Sun XXX which could be comparable to a B-DIPA, but unsure if it fit the bill. You get the new Phish album yet?

    I keep thinking my neighbors are gonna call the cops on my with the hops I grow in my backyard.

    • June 2, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

      Well if they don’t, maybe you can plant something a little more interesting next year…

    • Don
      June 2, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

      Hey Man, Phish rocks! You know with all the home brewers out there growing their own hops, I wonder if you could integrate some hemp in the row? Not that I would condone such a thing, but I wonder if it has ever been done? This was a great beer. If you can find it get some. It will be worth the trouble!

    • johnking82
      June 2, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

      well considering Kentucky’s #1 cash crop is pot (sorry tobacco), I’m sure its been done. Mostly in cornfields though. And Eastern KY mountains.

      • June 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

        I watch Justified, I know what you folks are up to!!

        • Don
          June 2, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

          Yeah John, when you gonna lose some teeth?

        • johnking82
          June 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

          Sorry Don, I won’t “gum” you.

  2. June 2, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    I am intrigued by what American brewers are doing with IPAs, all the new directions that are being taken. Some not so good, but some just sublime! Wished that was available here in NJ, but I will have to check the Oak Tree Buyrite, not far from here… They usually have an excellent selection (I even found some Belgian beers I did not know yet there. Go figure).

    • Don
      June 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

      Well you know Wim, I owe you, so if you want I could package this up and send one out to you. Why don’t you PM me on Facebook with your address! You’ll love this stuff, and you are correct, I think this is one of the most innovative and flavorful IPAs I’ve ever had!

      • June 2, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

        Why not just send it to me and I’ll make sure he gets it. I promise!! 😉

  3. June 2, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    I would be interested in giving this one a shot. I really like black IPA’s and I enjoy Uinta. I had their Cockeyed-cooper, which is their barley wine, and it was excellent.

    • Don
      June 2, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

      I’ve had the Cockeyed Cooper, and their Labyrinth which is a stout aged in oak with licorice, and it was amazing too! This is three for three with them, and when a brewer hits three out of the park in a row, I think they get it!

      • June 2, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

        They’re three for three with me too, except I had the Tilted Smile Imperial Pilsner instead of the Dubhe. I’m very impressed with this brewery and will keep my eye out for more of their brews. The Labyrinth was one of my favorite beers of 2010.

        • June 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

          I’m gonna have to see if I can get these in NJ. It frosts my flakes that Don can get Uinta in ID!!

        • Don
          June 2, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

          FINALLY!!! I got a great beer that you can’t get! I’d say Uinta is the Dogfish head of the west!

        • June 2, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

          Jim, we’ll have to check Oak Tree BuyRite. If anyone has it here in NJ, they will… 🙂

        • Don
          June 2, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

          Yes Alex, and they seemed like they came out of nowhere. 2 years ago they weren’t selling in Idaho, and now they are fast becoming one of my favorite breweries. I would put them up with Avery and above Oskar Blues in terms of how I like their beers.

        • June 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

          I think Utah only just recently allowed brewing beer above 4%, so we may be seeing a lot more beer coming from the Beehive State in the near future. That awesome Wasatch snow should make for some delicious beer!

        • June 3, 2011 at 12:04 am #

          Don, they are expanding rather quickly, indeed. Joe from Uinta (ex brewer and now sales guy) recently told me that they’re moving into California in a big way this month or next. I asked if that was going to cut into availability elsewhere. He didn’t think so, saying the the brewery was 60-some-odd percent of capacity right now. The Crooked Line and the Duhbe are wowing every new market they take them.

          Alex, I’m not sure of the details, but you’ve been able to brew higher ABV beer in Utah for a while, you just couldn’t sell it there. Even now, you can only sell beers higher than 4% in a bottle in Utah. You can’t get anything above 4% on tap anywhere in the state. That means breweries have to invest in getting their high ABV beers sold out of the local market if they want to make brewing it really worthwhile. Which, obviously, is a bit of a speed bump.

        • Alex
          June 3, 2011 at 8:18 am #

          Ah, thanks for the clarification, Beer Poet. Liquor laws can be truly bizarre sometimes. Colorado only allowed alcohol to be sold on Sundays a couple of years ago.

    • June 2, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

      I managed to get this beer in DC, but, shockingly, it was from Costco. I don’t know if that is awesome or just strange. Either way, I’m glad I had at least one of theirs.

  4. June 2, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    I know Uinta is available in Philly (not sure what part of NJ you’re in Jim)… And this beer sounds excellent. I’ve been tempted to homebrew a beer with a special addition but (1) I’m a good girl who has no idea where to get said addition and (2) I’m not really sure I want 50 bottles of “special beer” floating around.

    Cheers!

    • Don
      June 2, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

      Just go to your local high school. You can find anything you want there. 😉

  5. June 3, 2011 at 12:19 am #

    Glad you liked it, Don! I was fairly certain you would. From what Uinta folks have told me the hemp seeds likely don’t add much flavor per se. I did get some subtle good weed skunk in the nose. But I sometimes get that in DIPAs anyway from the hop oils. Makes sense. As you say, the plants are related. What the Uinta folks have told me is that the amazing mouthfeel in Duhbe is most likely due to the hemp seeds. Apparently they just release an oily goodness and body that gives you that luscious silkiness. Nice review. I almost had the last one I brought back from the brewery this evening because of your write up!

  6. Theresa
    July 6, 2011 at 11:57 pm #

    Hi, so how can I get this Dubhe beer delivered to my area? Orange County, CA Thanks!

    • Don
      July 7, 2011 at 8:51 am #

      My understanding Theresa is that they are in the process of expanding production and are currently moving into Cali. Being in Orange COunty, I’d guess they would hit that market first, so keep your eyes peeled. They will probably pop up at your local bottle shop soon.

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