Classic American-style India Pale Ale chock-full of that lip-smackin’ hop goodness!
Uinta Brewing Co., Salt Lake City, Utah; 7.3% ABV, 82 IBUs, Best before 11/03/13
Back in the late 80’s/early 90’s I saw Anchor Liberty Ale among the extensive beer list at Hubb’s Pub in Melbourne, Florida; as a fan of Anchor Steam Beer, I gave Liberty Ale a try. It was beyond anything my palate had ever experienced to that point. Initially, I wasn’t sure what to make of the floral and citrusy assault upon my taste buds; by the bottom of the bottle, unbeknownst to me at the time, I had become a fledgling hophead.
Over the ensuing years, this very American, very west coast interpretation of the English India Pale Ale style effectively captured the palates, hearts, and minds of thousands upon thousands of craft beer aficionados. It also became one of my very favorite styles, and one that has a permanent place in my brewing repertoire, not to mention my beerventory at home!
Rumors of Uinta Brewing and Hop Notch IPA preceded its arrival here in Ohio; I heard and read good things. Thus, when it stared back at me from the shelf one day as I perused the single bottle selection, I instinctively grabbed one without thinking. “This one wants to go home with me”, I thought. And so it did. (And I’m glad it did!)
Pours out a pale amber hue with a slight hop haze. Off-white head starts at a finger’s width and fairly thick, and gradually fades to a sustained thin layer.
Citrusy aroma, primarily tart grapefruit with a slightly sharp catty note.
Heavy hops up front – a little sharp initially, mildy catty but mainly citrusy (with grapefruit again the most prominent component) then piney. Caramel malt in the background with some lightly toasted character. Bitterness is well integrated and balancing, keeping the beer on the drier side into the lengthy finish. I do get a late tang of tart fruitiness. Loads of hop resins playfully linger on the tongue. Label and website do not reveal the hops used, but I’d guess there’s some C-hops in there as well as Simcoe.
Medium body with moderate carbonation and a fine bead; has a slightly oily texture, no doubt from the copious hops.
Leaves some beautiful foam sheeting on the glass.
This IPA really is “hop notch”!