Definitely not an IPA, but also not quite a porter. Somewhere in between those two rests the black IPA — and this imperialized version from Uinta Brewing Co. is one of the best I've had to date. It's creamy and roasty, but also bouncing off the wall with hops. With this in your glass, you'd best be ready for some flavor.
Beer Details: Dubhe Imperial Black IPA from Uinta Brewing Co., Salt Lake City, UT (Imperial Black IPA, 9.2% ABV, 109 IBUs)
Appearance: Dark dark brown with ruby glints against the light, topped with a creamy head of latté-colored foam. Very syrupy and sticky.
Aroma: Aroma seems surprisingly light to me. Mineral notes, bitter chocolate, burnt raisin, and a touch of something sweet.
Taste: Definitely roasty, definitely hoppy. It starts off tasting like a porter that wants to be a stout — lots of earthy bittersweet chocolate flavors, spent coffee grounds, and dried figs and raisins. The hops kick in mid-palate with a wave of piney resin and a touch of licorice. Mint in the lingering bitter aftertaste?
The hop flavor builds with each sip. It seems almost tame at first, but halfway through the glass, my tongue is tingling with hops. The alcohol sneaks up on you, too! This is an imperial beer that definitely doesn't show its boozy side.
This beer walks right up to the edge of seeming completely insane. I found it to be incredibly well-balanced between the deep roasted malts and the cascade of evergreen hops. A good beer to have summer, spring, winter, or fall — whenever you're craving something with a kick.
Food Pairings: I drank this with a big dinner salad of fresh summer veggies and roasted chicken and was very happy with my choice. With the bitterness of the greens, the vinegar dressing, and the sweet flavors of the roasted chicken, there were lots of overlapping and complimentary flavors going on.
Have you tried this beer?
(Image: Emma Christensen)