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!