Review: Dubhe, Uinta Brewing Co.

Unita Brewing Co. — Salt Lake City, UT

  • Style:  Imperial Black IPA
  • Bitterness:  109 IBU
  • ABV: 9.2%
  • Malts: Not specified
  • Hops:  Not specified
  • Special Ingredient:  Hemp seeds
  • Sampled: 12 oz. bottle  

Description: "Toasted, chocolaty dark malts align with an astronomical amount of hops. Named Utah's Centennial Star in 1996, Dubhe (pronounced Doo-bee) illuminates the front of the big dipper from 124 light years away. Dubhe, also known as Alpha Ursae Majoris, is a red giant that appears orange in color and has a mass 4x that of the sun." — Uinta Brewing Co. 

Random thoughts:  This is one of the few Imperial Black IPAs that I'm aware of that is distributed in 12 oz bottles. If you haven't connected the dots, please note the pronunciation of the beer's name in the description above and consider the fact that hemp seeds are used in this beer. I'm tasting Dubhe as part of my IPA Diversity series.

The tasting:  Dark brown color, with a tan colored head that dissipates fairly slowly. When held up to the light, I can see ruby hues. Aroma starts with a strong dose of piney and grapefruit hops, followed by roasted malt. Alcohol is not present in aroma. The bitter grapefruit and piney hops quickly make their presence known in flavor. There's no mistaking that this is a hop-forward beer (as if the 109 IBUs didn't give you a clue)! After the initial assault of hops, notes of chocolate malt, roasted malt, and coffee combine to provide a Dubhe with a solid backbone that helps to keep the bitterness in check. It's light to medium bodied, moderately carbonated, and has a slick oily mouth feel. It finishes dry with a touch of warming alcohol and long lingering grapefruit and resiny hop bitterness. Although some alcohol is noticeable, it's far below what I expected for a 9.2% ABV brew. So proceed with caution...

Rating:  4 star.  Really Good!  I want this again!   Although the hemp seeds are supposed to provide a mild nutty flavor, they didn't register on my palate amongst the lupulin barrage. No big deal though. Overall, I loved Dubhe! When I'm in the mood for an amped-up Black IPA, I'll come back to this. The fact that it's available in 12 oz (rather than just in 22 oz bombers) is an added plus!

Have you tried Dubhe? What's your favorite Imperial Black IPA?

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  1. This is a tasty beer. It compares to the other great Black IPAs. I'm really diggin' Uinta brews right now. I've tried and liked all of thier beers that I can find. And I know they make a lot of styles. Check out their website.

  2. I really enjoyed Dubhe, but for me, nothing compares to the Stone Escondidian Black IPA in this category - LOVE it.

  3. Mark, I checked out their site. They have quite the lineup! I need to taste more.

    Kevin, I missed the Escondidian. I've heard a lot of great things and hope they bring it back for an encore.

  4. As per Merchant du Vin, Orval was the main brett lager to arrive in America. I have no motivation to uncertainty them. Orval offers straight rye whiskey one and only lager, which they mix to immortal flawlessness inside of the dividers of Notre Dame d'Orval Monastery in Belgium.


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