Dubhe Imperial Black IPA | Uinta Brewing Company

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423 Reviews
Dubhe Imperial Black IPADubhe Imperial Black IPA

Brewed by:
Uinta Brewing Company
Utah, United States | website

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

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Reviews: 423 | Ratings: 2,123
Photo of raffy313
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass, received through IP trade with crusian... Thanks Seth!

A clear dark brown appearance, with a dark tan one finger head that dissapates rather quickly, but leaves behind some nice lacing.

Roasted malt aromas are the intial smells I get from this. Dark chocalate, sweet caramel and a bit of coffee aromas are also present. Then comes the citrusy hops that balance out the nose rather well. Nothing is too overpowering here.

Taste follow the nose quite well. Bitter, citrusy hop flavors are abit more upfront on the tongue, but again... the roasty, chocolaty malt presence balance everything out nicely. There's quite a nice alcohol bite in this beer, but nothing I'd consider overpowering.

A medium to full body with an appropriate amount of carbonation. Very smooth, very drinkable going down, but make no doubt about it, this is a sipper.

Overall, this is my first ever Uinta offering, and after having my doubts being that I'm not a huge fan of this style, I rather enjoyed this beer alot, and would definately both have again and recommend.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- Half a finger tan off-white head. Longer retention for the relatively high ABV. Creamy and solid looking with ribbons of lacing. Very dark brown, mahogany colored.

S- Citrusy hops forward, caramel malts. Darker warm smell. Wish it were more complex. Maybe my nose is broken.

T- Powerful hops. Very bitter with a distinct chocolate flavor from the malts. Grapefruit, chocolate, earthy tones.

M- Light, almost lager like feel with a very dry finish.

O- Tasty, complex beer. Got a lot of things going for it. Will buy again, especially since I got it for like two dollars.

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Photo of tony223366
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with just hints of a ruby colored. Head is a solid two fingers but it's quickly receding to only one finger. Tan in color with a really fluffy top. Lacing looks pretty good. Hard to see much else as far as action. Would have like to see both a bigger head and better retention.

S: The first thing I get is a grassy, earthy hop leaf aroma. Some citrus but what I'm really getting is that huge pine aroma. The darker chocolate/rich caramel. Smells inviting!

T: I know a lot of people that really don't care for this beer and I'm solidly not in that crowd. I get a lot of that hop pine but I pick up some of that citrus too. But I get some nice malt depth of chocolate, caramel and even some dark fruitiness. Even some more burnt flavors from the darker roast.

M: Medium, slick body with medium carbonation.

O: I wouldn't say that the beer is balanced but it is good. I like the bold hops, bitterness and the rich malt flavor. I need to drink sublimely self-righteous again and to review it to see how it holds up.

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Photo of coldriver
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Slater's 50/50 in San Diego. Pours a dark black with adequate head and lacing. Aroma is a nice oily, piney, roasted malty, sensory boost. Taste is a little more hoppy than most I've had from this style, with pine and citrus dominating the roasted coffee and subtle cocoa malt. Mouthfeel is smooth, a bit boozy and warming. Liked this one - would have it again.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a dark brown with minimal clarity, short brown head, significant lacing

S: nose features deep and rich pine, a touch of earthiness, along with resin and a little roast, waves of caramel and molasses peak through at the end

T: things start off with a bit of malty sweetness along with a bit of roast, the bitterness then starts and becomes more intense on the finish. The finish also features some boozy heat.

MF: medium body, medium carbonation

O: Pretty decent brew. Its a little on the hot and bitter side, but good overall.

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Photo of Durge
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid black-brown colored DIPA with a decent chocolatey-tan head that settles to a respectae foam cap with a nice chunky lace in retreat. The aroma is quite evident and brings deep earthy malt with tropical fruit and citrus hop highlights. Woodsy and herbal and a bit of licorice. This gets the digestive juices going, very edible. The taste buds pick up on near peaty earthiness with more of a hint of chocolate-licorice and the hops take on more of the herbal/seaweed side for a pungent, somewhat swamp-funk. It mostly comes down to a herbal-grassy sort of hop bite that is somewhat mellowed by the root beer malt. It takes a little getting used to the flavors but they settle down and it’s definitely a goody. It’s a medium-plus bodied brew with modest carbonation for a satiny smooth feel. Very enjoyable!

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Photo of ahq514
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into Hopcat tulip.

Pours black with an off-white, finger sized head. Appears to have low to medium carbonation.

Aroma dominated by hops. Mostly citrus, pine, and floral hops. Dry, roasty grains are there but definitely take a backseat to the hops. Great lacing all around.

Starts out with some bitterness along with the combination of hop flavors as outlined in the aroma. Some of the chocolate and iced coffee comes from the roasted grains next which balances out the bitterness quite well. Some of the other abas I've had have the hops and roasted malt working against each other, but in the Dubhe, they complement each other quite well.

A little bit heavier than medium body, fairly low carbonation. Good drinkability for almost 9.2%.

After taking in the aroma, I wasn't sure I would enjoy this more so than other abas I've had. The hops were overly dominant and I thought it wouldn't have enough malt to stand up to the hops. Upon tasting it though, it proved me wrong. A great black ale overall.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark cola brown and garnet color mix. Nice tan head that recedes to a thin ring after a few sips. OK lace stickage.

Roasted orange peel. Roasted malt, cofee. Bitter overall from both the hops and the roasted malts I think.

Bitter roasted malts and lots of hops make for a complex hop bomb. Coffee meets citric peels. With a little alcoholic warmth on the finish. A good, bitter sipper.

The dry, yet smooth palate. Helps lubricate the palate for a long slow sip of bitter pleasure.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So my first beer from Uinta is an Imperial Black IPA/American Black Ale and I was really excited.

It pours a nice dark color, not pitch black but very dark and has a nice brown head.

The aroma is full of roasted hops, some caramel and of course malt. The taste is very similar; right away there is the roasted hops and in the middle some caramel and to end it all with some malt and a nice hop bitterness.

This hides the strong alcohol very well and it's light-medium bodied which would make for a great dark summer beer.

It was very enjoyable, but it kinda felt like something was missing too. I'm not sure what, but I would like to pick this up again.

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Photo of blackcompg
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from their 12oz bottle:

Appearance - Wow, poured a 4-finger cascading mocha colored head. Color is a deep transparent mahogany red. I'm getting fantastic lacing right off the first sip.

Smell - Moist grapefruit and orange peel, roasted grains/malts, freshly brewed tea, and some green & floral hop notes, really nice!

Taste - Oh this is really good - starts with semi-sweet grapefruit and orange zest, plum skin, big moist green, floral and spicy hops, some light coriander and pepper, and a touch of anise and black licorice. Long into the finish are juicy green hop flavors with bitter citrus and pine, and a touch of dark unsweetened tea. There is a wonderful sweetness like tart ripe plum and ruby red grapefruit that just falls off at the finish, a very nice pleasant transition. The alcohol will begins to appear as this beer warms above 55 degrees, but not offensively - otherwise it is nicely hidden.

Mouthfeel - This is just over medium, as the flavors are big, juicy and mouthcoating, but not thick - a bit syrupy maybe, but very smooth. Carb is somewhat low, leaving nice edges here and there, but not enough to scrub the palate - but it is enough to finish the transition to some bitterness that nears puckering.

Overall - What a fantastic beer, I am contemplative after every sip. There is so much depth and complexity here, but so completely well balanced. I would not recommend having weaker styles after one of these, as it will dominate your palate - but in a most wonderful way. My favorite style is a nice DIPA, and this has some nice similarities. Hop lovers take note, this is a must try!

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Photo of GilGarp
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 12/2/11.

12 oz bottle served cool into a pint glass.

Dubhe is a dark brown color with good clarity and thick head. It has great retention and lacing.

Aroma is full of fresh citrusy hops and just a hint of roast from the malts.

Flavor is definitely double-IPA hoppy but with a bold enough malt bill to stand up to it. Citrus like orange and grapefruit, roasted malt with hints of chocolate.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and appropriately carbonated. Alcohol is well hidden.

Overall a very good black ale. Probably second to Odell Mountain Standard but both are worth a try if you have them in your area.

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Photo of CHickman
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours black with brown around the edges when held up to light and a massive 2 finger creamy tan head faded very slowly and looked like a pillow as it went down, leaving excellent foamy lacing coating the sides and rings as it went down – a great looking beer.

Smells of sweet citrus hops, grapefruit, orange peel, floral hops, toasted grains, coffee, herbs, biscuit, caramel, piney hops, and burnt toast and/or charcoal. A great combo of sweet hops and roasted malts with a very mild whiff of alcohol; nice balance that matches the look of this brew.

Tastes of citrus hops, grapefruit, orange peel, floral hops, herbs, tea leaf, roasted grains, coffee, biscuit, burnt toast, caramel, pine cone/piney hops, cocoa powder, mild spices like coriander and pepper, and more oily hops kick in before the bitter roasted finish.

Mouthfeel is oily slick and creamy, with very mild carbonation, a heavy body that is a little chewy, and real easy flow to it like a stout, but with a bitter finish that leaves a hoppy and roasted malt flavors lingering.

This was a great black ale/black IPA that was perfectly balanced and extremely drinkable; it also hides the ABV very well and goes down easy. I will seek this out again and highly recommend trying it.

6/25/2014-had it on tap and it looked amazing, smelled of roasted malt, coffee and citrus hops, and tasted of fresh citrus and floral hops mixed with cocoa powder, burnt coffee, brown sugar, charcoal and toffee. Damn tasty black IPA that had perfect mix of hops and malts along with perfect balance.

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Photo of Rutager
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a deep, rich cola brown with almost a finger of thick, orange-tan head.

Smell. Sweet grapefruit, some toasty malts, a little papaya. Smells good.

Taste. Toasty malts, pine sap and grapefruits, coffee and molasses. Lasting bitterness.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with medium-low carbonation.

Overall. Nice beer to satisfy your hop craving.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ Brewers Haven Boise ID. Served in a pint nonic.

A: Dark black with transparent red hues visible, fairly good lace from a tannish head.

S: Very hoppy, earthy, herbal, resinous, pretty pithy with plenty of grapefruit zest...hints of roasted malt but its mostly oily hop leaf.

T: Follows the nose...lots of oily and piny hop notes overwhelm the roasted malt and coffee notes...herbal leafy hop notes evolve into spicy citrus, orange and grapefruit rind.

MF: Fairly dry, oily and bitter, medium light body, with a touch of alcohol.

O: Aggressive Black IPA but really enjoyable.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.3/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown color with garnet hues and from what I can tell, pretty good clarity. Light tan head with a very pungent nose of earthy and citric hops along with huge malt bill of licorice and dark berry jam.

Kind of low in carbonation. Aggressive hop bitterness. The taste is a bit more subtle than the nose and not as all over the place as expected (but still a little all over the place) Big sweet roasted malt flavor up front with a touch of wood or smoke, something I can't quite put my finger on. Notes of dark chocolate and caramel on the sides of the tongue where the hop presence begins to make itself known with resinous piney and citric flavors (and a touch of grape fruit) Dark fruit and licorice make their presence known somewhere along the way with a touch of alcohol.

The big full body of the beer is necessary to contain all the complexities within it. Quite a tongue slapper. Some of the flavors play off eachother in a unique way while others are just bizarre. Not exactly a layered taste experience but not a well blended one either. Overall good and incredibly unique but not something I'd buy again. This one space visit was strange enough.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black ale brewed with hemp seeds eh? Must be the best they make from the reviews.

A - Pours a very dark brown, clear in color with a 1/2 inch of tan colored head. Lacing is excellent.

S - Like their other beers it smells moderately hoppy, citrus and apricot come to mind. With mild sweet malts and chocolate malts are apparent.

T - Amazingly balanced you get the hoppy of citrus then pine, quickly to sweet chocolate malts and the finish is a twang of piney goodness that doesn't seem to sticky for too long. Only beer I can remember close to this is Stone's Black IPA and this one is more enjoyable/less roasty.

M - Medium bodied but drinks pretty light. Only the ABV is noticeable later.

Overall I would totally consider it again but it's one of those "Halftime beverage" beers so I will have to pick up a few when they have another free shipping offer.

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Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear but extremely dark amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that died down, leaving small patches of bubbles on the surface, a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass and lacing running down the sides of the glass.
S: There are aromas of citrusy hops and dark roasted malts in the nose.
T: The overall taste is very similar to the smell and also has notes of chocolate malts.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and rather dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is a very nice representation of the style and hides its alcohol quite well.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: pours a clear deep brown with a two finger head that has very fine bubbles and is a little lighter than milk chocolate in color, head lingers very nicely and leaves a ton of lacing
S: nicely hop forward and has a nice maltiness in the back
T: citrus hops in the forefront, they linger nicely through the whole taste but in the middle there is a nice deep layer of maltiness that kicks in and brings some solid balance, the maltiness has a bit of a spice note and a slight bite at the end from the alcohol
M: smooth, its thin but also has a bit of a motor oil like consistency which is contradictory but i dont know how else to describe it, a bit strong on the carbonation tingle, slight alcohol burn
O: a nice double black IPA and my first for the style, i found it to be a bit strong on the carbonation and the alcohol was slightly unmasked but overall it was good

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Photo of 57md
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is black with at least a finger of tan head, some of which lingered for a reasonable amount of time and left nice lacing as the beer went down. The blend of licorice and hops make for a unique nose. Roasted malt and hops co-exist in an excellent combination. Spicy bitterness on the finish lasts and lasts on the tongue.

Perhaps my only critique of this offering is that the harshness of the alcohol on the finish was a bit overdone.

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Photo of riored4v
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to a tulip. 1 finger, khaki colored head. Black body with some hints of ruby. Slightly transparent. Good lacing.

Aroma was definitely hoppy. Citrusy and floral with some notes of grapefruit. Light maltiness. Mild sweetness.

Flavor had pretty upfront hop flavor of citrus, pine and mild grassy-ness. Through the body there was a light sweetness to back up the bitterness in the finish. Mild roasty flavor. Some light biscuity flavors. Finish was bitter that lingers for a short while. Notes of greapfruit, pine and floral hops. No signs of ABV.

Mouthfeel was medium body with medium carb. Dry finish.

Overall it was very good. Nice amount of strong bitterness but a mild sweetness that complemented the flavor.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.67/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dubhe opens with the kind of powerhouse nose that lets you know this is a serious IPA: huge grapefruit rind and pine sap notes dominate, joined by a heavy, earthy vinous/dandelion stem backing, the hop aromas so massive that the beer smells more like concentrated hop oil than beer. Other aromas are comparatively difficult to detect against this onslaught, but a good measure of syrupy sugars (orange liqueur, apricot, berry), as well as brown sugars and French baguette still manage to break through. As a whole, the nose is enticing, but certainly lets the drinker know that if they don't like hops, they should perhaps consider a tamer brew.

On the tongue, the beer starts off with the kind of hop blast that would be expected from the nose: massive grapefruit rind and pine notes, as well as the earthy dandelion stems, translate almost directly. Not-so-subtle hints of a rye-like peppery spice are also present, assisting the hops in burning the tongue and soft palate. Perhaps these latter notes are from the hemp seed, though never having eaten raw hemp seed, I'm guessing. What I do know is that the hop and grain notes blend perfectly here, with orange liqueur and brown sugar and toasted wheat crust moving nicely into a peppery, grainy, licorice-tinted spice, then into a beautifully-balanced 109 IBU hop blast. Even the high 9.2% ABV is well hidden in this flavor profile. The aftertaste is more of the same, with a growing emphasis on the hops as the sugars die off, and lingers for a long time. Mouthfeel is a syrupy medium, carbonation is medium to medium-high.

Overall, this is fantastic beer, and should be on any hop head's must try list. Perhaps more brewers should consider using hemp seed, because this beer is so well blended that the massive IBUs come across cleanly, even if a little bite-y. Well worth seeking out.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a whim even though I'm not a fan of black IPA's. $9 for a four pack and it was bottled 12/22/11 so it was about seven weeks old at the point I drank it. Dark black color which is no surprise, decent head. Smells slightly hoppy, roasted malt, not bad at all. I like it already. Taste is oily citrus, kind of sweet, not bad and exactly what I like from a strong black IPA. Overall, I'll buy this again once in a while.

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Photo of jegross2
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Dubhe Imperial Black IPA from Unita Brewing Company.
Score: 91

12 oz bottle served in a Delirium Tremens tulip glass on 02/25/12 at Square Bar & Grill in Chicago while waiting for a table at my favorite restaurant in the city -- Kuma's Corner. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Totally opaque, pitch black color. No light from my iPhone set to 100% brightness and using the flashlight application cuts through this beer at all. Served with a half finger or so of creamy tan head that settles into a ring around glass and clump of bubbly tan head in the center. Oily lacing and above average retention. 4/5

Smell: Piney hops, lemon and chocolate malt. A little candied citrus, grapefruit and sticky pine sap. There is a sweet and sugary malt aroma in the background as well. The aroma is very DIPA-forward without much "black" ale characteristics save for the interesting chocolate malt twist. 4/5

Taste: The taste largely follows the nose, and is similarly DIPA-forward. Sharp lemon citrus, grapefruit and piney hops upfront. The hops have a fresh and moderately "mulchy"/earthy characteristic to them too. Subtle chocolate malt on the midpalate. Palate perking all spice and pepper on midpalate. There is a sugary "citrus candy" backbone to this brew. Lingering piney bitterness in the finish. This brew is pretty hop-forward. The 9.2% ABV is completely hidden. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, medium high carbonation. Oily and creamy mouthfeel. Bitter and slightly cotton-mouthy finish. 4/5

Overall: Easily my favorite black IPA to date. The bar tender who recommended I try this got an extra tip for making a super solid suggestion.

Recommendation: If you do not like IPA's you can skip this one, but hop heads should seek this brew out.

Cost: $6 for a 12 oz bottle at the bar.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a four finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Black color, faint mahogany highlights. Medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Grapefruit nose, flavor is grapefruit hops, lingering bitter aftertaste, the high ABV is hidden. Bottled Jan 2012, $3.45 for a 12oz bottle from Julio’s Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of NWer
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice deep dark almost black into a tulip glass. Abundant four finger head.
Very interestingly smooth mouthfeel and taste. Alcohol and apparent hop feel well hidden and sort of sneaks up on you.
An exceptional representative of the style.
Who'd a thunk? I never was able to pull the trigger on a beer from Utah before. Utah and beer? Unthinkable!
A gift of this beer made me a believer.
Never again will I travel to Utah and assume I will be beer-deprived.

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Dubhe Imperial Black IPA from Uinta Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 423 ratings.
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