Content and opinions by Kristi Yorks and Adam Kagy All Good Things in Time I’ll be honest. I didn’t like this beer the first time I tried it. It was stubborn and difficult. It wouldn’t be tamed. The experienced reminded me of my first mountain bike ride. The promise was there, the passion was there, but it never quite came together. It was an experience marked by intense hope and the sting of never quite making it. This beer, like my passion for mountain biking and all good things, took some time and a bit of patience to fall in love with. Utah’s Calling Mud season pilgrimages to Gooseberry Mesa and Moab are a kind of religion in the West Elks. Every April without fail the lifts close, the snow turns to slush, and the red slick rock and open skies of Utah begin calling. By May, the call is impossible to ignore and myself, dogs, husband, bikes, and all personal possessions are stuffed into and on top of a car. May flies by in a blur of shifting campsites, endless miles of singletrack, blown shocks, twisted tires, and long, sweaty nights under the stars. Uintas brewing has a special place in my heart for contributing to those dirty-beautiful evenings. And when a bottle of Uinta’s Imperial Black IPA, Dubhe, landed on my doorstep midwinter, courtesy of Bikepackers Magazine, I was practically giddy. I settled in by an artificial fire and filled a glass. Utah’s Shining Star Uintas takes its names, its beers, and its philosophy from the mountains. Named after a mountain range in Utah, its beers are crafted with love and are inspired by the landscape. On every bottle, the words “Earth, Wind, and Beer” shine – a nod to the process by which Earth and wind contribute to every beer made. Uintas is 100% wind powered and is committed to renewable energy resources. Dubhe is named after Utah’s Centennial Star, a deep, orange light that cuts through the dark. Brewed with hemp seed, it’s a part of Uinta’s Classic series and is available year round. It’s also pretty popular having won a Gold Medal at the 2012 North American Beer Awards for Cascadian Style Dark Ale. It poured black with a creamy, brown head. The aroma was floral and sweet, herbal. There wasn’t a hint of malts. If I closed my e yes, I could smell nothing but hoppy bliss. The first taste was surprising. The malts struck me first. They were heavy and thick – coffee, caramel, and a touch of chocolate. It was robust and roasty – delicious, but not what I was expecting. Where were my hops? Just when I was about to be disappointed, the hops emerged on the back end – piney and herbal with just a touch of citrus. The bitterness came and lingered, cutting through the malts and balancing their richness with a hoppy brightness. At first, I disliked the sharp contrast. Dubhe punched me, hit me with its malts, then with its hops, (and later with its alcohol content). I was prepared to write a review that marked it as good – not great. Then, last night, I had another. What a difference a day makes. This time, I sat and explored all of the flavors that hit my tongue. I appreciated the sharp edges that gave way to creamy, delicious-ness. I began to savor the complexity. I began to crave more. Too bad this beer only comes in a 4 pack and at 9.2% that’s probably a good thing…I think. ABV: 9.2% Value: $9.99 for a 4 pack Taste: 5 Style: 5 Appearance: 5 Aroma: 5 Verdict: An incredible beer that takes time to explore and love. Savor this one and drink more than one. This is a beer that you grow into.