Dubhe Imperial Black IPA | Uinta Brewing Company

429 Reviews
Dubhe Imperial Black IPADubhe Imperial Black IPA

Brewed by:
Uinta Brewing Company
Utah, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Toasted, chocolaty dark malts align with an astronomical amount of hops.

109 IBU

Added by TheFlern on 03-10-2011

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 429 | Ratings: 2,156
Photo of avalon07
4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown / black color and a thick texture. There was a half inch of foamy, tan-colored, somewhat long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A nice, enticing aroma of hops, light fruit, malt, and coffee.

T: Tasted of some mild malt notes, a whole bunch of hops, some light (very light) coffee, dark fruit (a little bit of raisins), light chocolate, and some pine as well. Definitely a big, powerful flavor. It's incredibly well-rounded, complex, and forceful. Very hoppy, but never overly so.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is a well made, very easy to drink beer. One of the better ABAs I've tried.

 689 characters

Photo of dcotom
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into goblet. Inky black with tons of spongy eggshell-white head, lots of sticky lacing. Aromas and flavors of roasty malt, cocoa, and espresso, with a little pine resin in the background. Nice bite of hop bitterness and alcohol burn on the finish. All the characteristics of a good imperial porter, with an added hop kick. Well done!

 361 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dubhe has a phenomenal label depicting Utah's beautiful star spangled desert wilderness as well as the glowing Red Giant after which it is named. Indeed "black as the night sky", the beer is also capped with a foam that resembes the surface of the moon, craters and all. Squint closely and you may be able to make out a small constellation of subtle garnet highlights.

Biologically speaking, hops and marijuana are brothers from the same Cannabaceae mother. And in fact, many hop varietals actually do smell like marijuana - though none of the five types used in this recipe do. The bouquet has elements of tree resin and herbs (chive flowers especially) but, despite five pounds used per barrel, it's surprisingly the malt that dominates.

The palate is no different - medium-dark chocolate, coffee beans, sweet black licorice and even a bit of raisin monopolize the senses and certainly overshadow any delicate floral or fruity flavours. The bitterness is impressionable (as you'd expect from 100 IBU) but it's actually a gentle roastiness and vanilla-tinged bittersweet quality that define the mouthfeel and aftertaste.

I'm surprised something brewed with hemp would lean so far towards the malt - it's more Imperial Porter than Black IPA. Then again, let's be real: hemp is a grain just like barley or wheat. And, I'm sorry to be the "buzz kill" here, but the seeds themselves don't actually contain marijuana's active ingredient, THC (which isn't water soluble anyhow). So why use them?

The obvious answer is marketing but Uinta deserves more credit than that. Despite the comedically explicit name (Dubhe = "doo-bee" if you're yourself too half-baked to not have already figured that out), they barely advertise the hemp and formulated a recipe that suits what little nutty, earthy contribution it lends. It's not be the best example of a Black IPA but it's certainly a highly enjoyable beer in its own right. Recommended to those with and without the proper permit ;)

 1,984 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black brew, beige head with nice lacing. Sharp bitterness form both the roast grains and hops. Hops dominate the aroma, and most of the taste. It’s hard to determine if this a black IPA or an imperial, but who cares. It’s really good!

 238 characters

Photo of MoMaMe
4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's like a cross between a stout and an IPA.

This beer has rich favors of chocolate, and molasses - sweet, rich roasted malts with a strong bitter finish that lingers on the palate.

Look: dark brown, noticeable carbonation, small head
Smell: nutty and sweet
Taste: rich, mix of sweet and bitter, nutty, chocolate and molasses. Heavy on the malts
Feel: a bit of a spicy character
Overall: great beer. Definitely worth trying. Very unique.

 442 characters

Photo of MMOSNN
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - not quite black but very dark and dense with a creamy two-finger head. It also has some great lacing and impressive legs.
Smell - roasted malts, hop oil, slight coffee, and a little bit of chocolate.
Taste - chocolate and roasted malts hit first, hop oil forms a strong backbone and lingers in the aftertaste.
Feel - great carbonation, full body, smooth finish.

 370 characters

Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
3.77/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Artwork: What a beautiful label. I've always wanted to get a hold of this beer purely because of its label. A prime example of how packaging influences one's desire to purchase a product. So colorful, yet tactful, so American yet not necessarily patriotic, so aesthetically pleasant, it's just well-made all around. I know that Uinta just designed a new label for this beer (that looks however very, very similar to this one).

Appearance: Not so much black as dark brown/purple. Head disappears pretty much immediately but the lacing is nice.

Nose: Very malty. Can't detect any hops on the nose (this beer was consumed a month prior its best-by date). Smells a lot like a Scotch Ale.

Taste: Bitter/sweet but with primarily malty notes. Cannot detect the hops again (other than in the quinine-like bitterness - 109 IBUs!). Again, it tastes a lot like a very bitter Scotch Ale.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body. No detectable carbonation on the tongue. Quite syrupy.

Overall: Admittedly not my cup of tea. The bitterness is just harsh and the accompanying aromas don't match it well. Had trouble drinking it but then again I'm not one to usually enjoy "Imperial" anything. Judging by other reviews though it seems that people that dig this style are quite pleased with this beer.

 1,285 characters

Photo of wumpshire
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I was curious about the beer, luckily my local grocery store let me sample before I bought a 4 pack. My first thought was it was it had a smooth mouthfeel yet very bitter, roasted hop flavor. A lot of contrasts to this complex beer. Very unique! I'd argue its more of a hoppy imperial stout, that said its very unique and worth a try.

 334 characters

Photo of LAp
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really impressed with this beer. Sampled in a 4-5oz tasting glass at a tasting event. Though I've been underwhelmed by the bulk of Uinta's beers, this one really hit the mark, and is one of the best entries in the style I've tried to date. The dark malt gives the brew notes of barley and a bitter component that merge well with the IPA-hop to yield a nuanced final product. A very well-executed beer.

 405 characters

Photo of dalizzie
3.56/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

(L) The color is dark cola but reddish on edges where light comes through. Khaki head and lacing.
(A) Smell is predominantly malt and raisins.
(T) Taste is bitter dark malt. More bitter than sweet. Sweetness comes from raisins and other dark fruits. Not getting much chocolate.
(F) Lighter and smoother than I was expecting for style and 9.2% ABV.

Personally, I found the raisin aroma and taste a little off-putting, but otherwise enjoyed.

 469 characters

Photo of Sabtos
3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark brown nearing black with burnt orange edges and a very large tan head leaving cobwebs of lacing.

Bright yet roasty aromas with wild mint and chives, and a touch of maple left on the rim.

A lot more roasted malt and coffee than I've experienced in other Black IPAs. While there is also some chocolate, spicy pine takes over most of the flavor, with a raisin and brown sugar finish.

Bittersweet for the most part, more bitter than sweet, with a fluid mouthfeel.

 467 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.44/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Uinta Brewing Co. "Dubhe"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "BEST BEFORE 06/28/16" on 04/25/16

Streaming review: I just noticed as I opened this that it's brewed with hemp seed. Interesting. I don't get it in the nose though. Mainly what I get is dark fruit and cocoa. Impressively dark in appearance. Black but with gleeming dark mahogany highlights when held to the light. Impressive head retention: dense, rocky tan. Roasty in the nose with pine and fruit. The taste follows with more caramel and nuttiness, soft chocolate and raisin notes, and a bit of coffee-like roastiness. (I've never been particularly impressed by beers from Uinta but I like this). Pine pops here and there, livening it a bit, along with a distinct grassiness. More chocolate comes out. It's solidly bitter, but not bold - or at least not harsh - and although the alcohol can be detected it mainly stays at the back of the stage. It finishes with caramel and dark fruit fading against rising notes of grass and pine, at which point it becomes very dry and the bitterness opens up completely (here it's bold). Back to the lacing - wow! it looks great with broken walls of solid patches that show thin rings within themselves... and the head remains, although a little thin to one side. Having not had a sip for some time I find it a bit ashy. The bitterness has subsided but the dull roastiness lives on. Perhaps I'm finding a little bit of the hemp seed there as well. Back to the flavor with another sip, my palate is refreshed and revived with dark fruit and toasty, caramelish, chocolatey and roasty malts. Then come the hops, grassy and piney, and once again into the dry, lingering finish. It's a simple cycle but there's a lot of complexity to it, and that keeps it interesting. Most importantly, however, despite it's strength and bitterness it never knocks you out. It can be intense, but I never felt I had to set it aside. Hmmm, that could be dangerous. How strong is it? 9.2%, ahhh, that's not bad. I think just the richness of the flavor would hold you back enough as you pause to enjoy it that you wouldn't go headlong. I could go for another though. And I wonder if I might go for a third beyond that if I had the opportunity. Pretty damned impressive. Black IPAs aren't a style that I normally go for but this one has caught my attention.

 2,328 characters

Photo of q33jeff
3.91/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

FROM OLD SPREADSHEET, never made it into RB.
nutty, vanilla, hops….nicecloudy greyish black. Decent head. Nice flavor. A smooth bitterness. Hints of coffee, but very light.A creamy lager that goes down well.Nice alcohol Kick; Uinta is 2 fer 2.

 270 characters

Photo of MacMalt
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an IPA glass. It pours a dark cola color with a thick, foamy, khaki-colored head and extensive lacing. It smells of roasted malt, chocolate, toast, tobacco, dark fruit, and floral hops. For an IPA, it's quite sweet with almost stout-like flavors of burnt coffee, dark chocolate, and sweet malt. There is a distinct hop taste at the finish but it is not bitter. There is also a certain fruitiness that is hard to pin down. The flavors blend very nicely. This ale has a nice medium body, is moderately carbonated, and packs some heat with an ABV of 9.2% Overall, it is very good - right up there with the best of this style.

 642 characters

Photo of Samlover55
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

bb march 8 2016
12oz bttle poured into tulip
L- black as night with thick foamy tan head which is here to stay
S- great citrussy pine smell "gets the glands going" (to quote @todd) slight coffee smell as well
T- hits the tongue all malty with notes of toasted caramel & coffee, lingers real nice and smooth and finishes like a beautiful IPA with tons of pine and some resin leaving a real pleasant bitterness
F- medium bodied great feel with awesome drinkability despite 9.2%ABV
O- prob. best beer I've had to date, covers all the bases and then some a Home Run by OU bearing Uintas
wish I had another one

 606 characters

Photo of jtwhicker
4.39/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The best black ipa I've had. Lots have tried and failed to deliver.

My favorite thing about this beer is how the dark complexity of the malt compliments the hop bitterness so well. Thick off white head sticks to the side of glass, great lace. Way too easy drinking and way to dangerous. Hints of cocoa, soft hop, maybe roasted coffee. Love it

 344 characters

Photo of the_awesometeer
4.36/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Very dark beer with a light cream head that lasts through the drink. There were some visible carbonation bubbles but hard to see in the dark beer. The beer smells with heavy toast and slight chocolate malts followed by tart fruity hops. The beer is very well balanced beginning with a nice bready malt flavor with mild sweetness followed by a fresh hop flavor. Nice carbonation and medium bodied.

 400 characters

Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. Deep dark brown mixed with chocolate color with 1 finger head and good lacing. Really hoppy but balanced considering 100+ IBU. Nice roasted malt notes provide the balance with cocoa nibs and dark chocolate.

 242 characters

Photo of HopsAreDaMan
3.87/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, fresh.

Look: Pours a dark amber, with lots of light brown head (mostly tiny bubbles), that lasts (with nice lacing in the glass).

Smell: Malts, sweetness, perhaps a hint of dark fruits.

Taste: strong malts and hops, with an interesting something on the finish, which may be a spicy heat.

Feel: Medium, reasonably smooth.

Overall: An enjoyable double IPA that is a little different than the pack considering the spicy finish. I love the bottle label artfully depicting a sunset in the desert Southwest.

 520 characters

Photo of lwillitz
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12-oz bottle into New Belgium globe

A - shallow layer of medium tan foam over an opaque body of deep brown with visible sediment suspended throughout

S - coffee, hint of chocolate, dark fruits, wood

T - roasted malt, pine, grapefruit, bone-dry piney finish

M - smooth medium/full body, high carbonation

O - Dubhe is a very enjoyable black ale. It's a touch lighter in body than I expected, but that's not really a drawback. Very nice brew all around.

 457 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown to light black in color with minimal light seeping through. There's a good inch and a quarter of thick beige foam resting on top. Light lacing. The aroma is comprised of bitter piney hops and deep, forbidding malt. The taste is a blend of sweet resinous piney hops and sharply bitter dark malt. The mouth is sticky, chewy, and bone dry.

 352 characters

Photo of Hop_God
3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark to murky brown

S: some sweet dark fruits..lots of resinous hops

T: hoppy with some almost chocolate notes

F: crisp bite

O: pretty good. could use more balance though.

 178 characters

Photo of hoppymcgee
4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on draft.

L: Black, but with a shade of translucence, and a light tan foamy head.

S: Pine, slight wood, some chocolate.

T: Roasted malts, smooth hoppiness, light caramel. No unpleasant acridness.

F: Slightly chewy, and lighter-bodied for the style and ABV.

O: An excellent offering in this style. Cannot sense the 9.2% ABV.

 332 characters

Photo of L0ne
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.

Pours a deep, dark brown with significant light penetration around the edges. Pillowy tan head lingers and leaves big sheets of lacing.

Tons of roasty, toasty malt. Some caramel malts emerge and add a layer of sweetness and complexity. Fragrant, piney hops add yet another layer, without overwhelming anything else. Everything comes together really well.

Mouthfeel is smooth but not very full. Significant carbonation livens and lightens everything up. No noticeable alcohol.

Awesome black ipa!

 512 characters

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rick toasted, dark roasted malts with a big piney kick in the mouth wallop of resinous hops. Good stuff. Pours a deep dark brown almost black and leaves a pillowy lingering head with tons of lacing. Moderate to heavy bodied with plenty of carbonation. 6 pack worthy and makes me regret only buying one as a sampler.

Best before: 8/19/15
I'm going to have find a fresher one and see if the hops are even more intense on top of the already massive malt and pine flavors.

 470 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Dubhe Imperial Black IPA from Uinta Brewing Company
4.09 out of 5 based on 2,156 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.