Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Review: Uinta Hop Notch IPA

Locale:  Salt Lake City, UT
Craft Circa:  1993
Style:  India Pale Ale
ABV:  7.3%
IBUs:  82

Label:  Sets you back in time, displaying how Utahns MUST of handled those mutant-sized hops.  It’s a play on “top notch” with a hoppy twist… setting a new trend for beer vocabulary, “this IPA is hop notch.”  This per the Uinta Brewing website.  Like it. 

Overall:   “Earth, Wind, and Beer.”  Nice pour, fairly standard for an IPA pour, there’s nothing theatrical about it, unless a standard IPA pour is a beautiful masterpiece of theatrical proportions.  Ok, the pour was amazing.  The smell was very impactful; the looks were a ball of joy as well.   I was craving a floral citrus IPA mid-day, and this served up exactly what I was hoping for.  Hop Notch is a satisfying and quenching IPA.  There are lots of citrus hops coming right at you but at the same time it balances nicely with bitters, mixing well with pine and a sweet malt background.   It teeters like a pound of bricks and a pound of feathers on a seesaw.  Nice equilibrium. 

What impresses most with the brew is that it comes off quite fresh, and refreshing.  It comes in at over 7% ABV, and I would never have guessed that it was above 6 points.  It has decent ROI, and could be a slightly dangerous brew.  It also comes in at 82 IBUs but none of the bittering units are abrasive or intrusive.  They’re like a Ravens fan at a Steelers game.  They’ll get noticed, but they won’t get roughed up too much.   As this brew settles on the palate, more bitterness kicks in, justifying the high IBU count, but it’s still enjoyable.  It’s a highly recommended brew.

The bottle indicates that the beer is best served in glass, which I do for the most part anyways, but just like wine, beers have their own unique characteristics and complexities that arise when poured nicely.   Not that we, or myself especially attempt to incorporate food pairings into any segment until I book a brew pairing class 101, but I will say this was phenomenal with Chinese takeout.  They complimented each other nicely.

This beer is a quality brew, nothing dramatic, nothing over the top, just a good old fashioned citrus IPA that hits the spot like a Weiner Circle char dog at 4 in the morning.

Acquisition:  6 pack - $10

Windfall:  Uinta Brewing is named after an east-west mountain range located in northeastern Utah, the Uinta Mountains. Many of Uinta's beer names are inspired by Utah's diverse landscapes or have historical significance.

Look out for other Uinta brews, they’ll be sure to follow suit:
* Cutthroat Pale Ale - Utah's state fish.
* King's Peak Porter - Utah's highest peak
* Golden Spike Hefeweizen - The spike used to commemorate the completion of the transcontinental railroad in Utah.
* Dubhe - The Utah Centennial star.


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