Saturday, February 25, 2012

Beer Review: Dubhe Imperial Black IPA

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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