Beer Review 0117: Uinta Hop Notch IPA

Uinta Brewing Company is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, and began brewing in the winter of 1993. Demand steadily grew for their portfolio of beers, and in 2001, they moved into a 26,000 square-foot facility, specially designed to brew beer. The company is named after an east-west mountain range in Utah.

The Salt Lake facility is 100% wind-powered, and Uinta was the first Utah company to achieve this goal. Uinta’s family of beers are organized by three different distinctions: the Classic Line, Organic Line, and Crooked Line, the latter of which being for bigger ABV (alcohol by volume) beers in larger bottle formats.

It has to be said that the bottle design and logo artwork on each Uinta beer is, to borrow a reference from the beer I’m about to review, top notch. The packaging is attractive and each bottle features a compass on the neck.

Hop Notch IPA is part of the Classic Line, coming in at 7.3% ABV and a tongue-twisting 82 IBU (International Bitterness Units). This beer is available year-round.

The pour produced an average size head, fluffy and creamy in texture, and of lasting quality. The beer was a faded orange color, clear and free of any particles or sediment. The lacing started right from when the head started to diminish, and continued full-force down the side of the glass.

The aromatics featured a classic IPA aroma, with grapefruit up front, combined with sweet caramel and bread/biscuit malt. Playing behind the first line was a nice backbone of sharp pine and some grassy notes. Hop Notch is a well balanced IPA to my nose, and I could sniff on this one all night. But we must taste it…

There’s a blast of pine up front, with just a hint of the grapefruit/general citrus, then some caramel malt. The drink is sweet in the middle but don’t let that fool you; the finish rides a fairly bitter note that dries out the mouth similar to crushed aspirin.

Overall, I thought Hop Notch to be a very decent beer but I did draw a parallel between the faded orange color and the hop flavors: they seem to both be muted. I just didn’t get the bright grapefruit notes I was sniffing on the nose. This is still a good IPA, with an excellent balance… but it could be better.

Uinta Hop Notch IPA, 87 points. Price: $2.49 for one twelve ounce bottle.


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