The beer equivalent of the Chewbacca Defense
A Review of Dubhe Imperial Black IPA by Uinta Brewing Co.
Posted on 6/7/2011 by Chops
                   
Great
Sometimes you come across a beer that is a complete sensory overload. Nothing matches, nothing makes sense, nothing is indicative, nothing fits together. It's just a free roaming spirit where look, smell, feel and taste all go their own directions. It's the beer equivalent of the Chewbacca Defense.

For those of you who didn't get the awesomely awesome reference:
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But here's the rub... Dubhe Imperial Black IPA... is delicious. Somehow all the chaos magically aligns to form a really flavorful beer. My favorite local pub just started carrying this bad boy on tap, so naturally I had to have it. My co-founder was also in town at the time, so we decided to take the plunge together. I want you to pay close attention to his face in the helpful pic. The caption should read, ''uuuhh, what's with the stouts?''

That's pretty much your first impression of Dubhe: they served you the wrong beer. Granted, it is a Black IPA, but even that style has it's own distinctive look. They range from dark browns to near black, but rarely do you come across one that is stark black like a strong stout. It even sits in the glass like a stout with a creamy coppery head. It was, well, intimidating.

Then comes the smell, which throws you for one hell of a loop. Black IPAs tend to have some charred or roasted qualities to their aromas depending on the type of malt they used. But not this one, a pure imperial IPA complete with the big hops and big citrus, all crisp and nicely balanced as if it was a transparent filtered gold. No roast aroma anywhere to be found. Weird.

Oh wait, it gets stranger. You're staring down a monstrous black imperial IPA with big strong aromas, so you know that first sip is going to be a gut punch. Nope. Not even close. It drinks like a fruit laden straight IPA with lots of sweet undertones complimenting a mid-level hop profile. What? The mouthfeel adds even more confusion because it feels like a thin Munich dunkel with a light to medium body. Ummm... what? The finish is pretty bitter, but at that point it could taste like pumpkin pie and I wouldn't have been surprised.

So here's the thing: Dubhe is a really tasty beer. It works, and I have no idea why. I can't recommend it to a novice drinker because their head is liable to explode. But I do recommend that any and all seasoned beer lovers try this beer, if nothing more than for the sensory adventure.

In closing, I have only one thing to say... look at the monkey!

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Dubhe Imperial Black IPA by Uinta Brewing Co.
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