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Beer of the Month: Uinta's Dubhe continues to please [Chicago Tribune :: BC-WBS-BEER-MONTH:TB]

The beer: Dubhe, Uinta Brewing (Salt Lake City, Utah)

What it is: An imperial black IPA made with hemp seed. It's also our first two-time beer of the month! Way back in January 2012, I called Dubhe "weighty and unforgettable ... a complex array of notes that include an earthy nuttiness - presumably from the hemp seed - followed by a mildly boozy burn." I'm not sure I'd had it since, so when spying a fresh batch in 12-ounce cans, which it migrated to this year from bottles, I decided to see how Dubhe has fared during the last six years. The news was good.

In the can: My previous evaluation mostly holds up. Dubhe is a deeply dark beer allowing in a touch of light at its ruby-tinged edges. Aromatic notes of earthy pine leap from the glass, matched on the palate and then followed by roasty coffee-baking chocolate bitterness and a touch of lingering herbal spice. As stated in 2012, Dubhe also finishes with a touch of boozy weight - quite welcome considering everything else going on in the glass. Black IPAs have mostly fallen out of favor since their brief surge of popularity about seven years ago. The fact that Dubhe remains in Uinta's seasonal rotation is a surprise. But I'm glad it does.

Alcohol: 9.3 percent

Find it: Dubhe will be available in six-packs of 12-ounce cans through summer.

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