Beer Reviews – October 2010

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While Utah has managed to maintain an archaic bubble that leaves the majority of us dry humping away at sanity, occasionally there is a small glimmer of hope that makes us think there is a chance. Recently, this small glimmer of hope comes in the form of “on-premises bottling for higher gravity beer.” Utah has already seen Epic Brewing open based around this law, and with many local breweries dishing out high point beers, one can only hope it will further the Utah beer scene.

Big Cottonwood Amber Ale

Brewery/Brand: Squatters
ABV: 6.4 %
Serving Style: 22 oz Bottle
Description: Coming out of the bomber, this brew pours a copper-amber color with a medium white head. The nose breaks open into heavy citrus hops and pleasant caramel malt. The flavor is backed by a caramel sweetness and a piney American hop bitterness.
Overview: This new brew is from the Small Batch Series. If you are a regular drinker of Squatters brew, it is an amped up version of Emigration Amber Ale with a fresh dry hopping technique that brewmaster Jenny Talley picked up at this year’s Craft Brewers Conference.

Elephant Double IPA

Brewery/Brand: RedRock Brewing Company
ABV: 8 %
Serving Style: 16 oz Bottle
Description: After much anticipation, this double IPA pours a hazy orange-copper color with a dense white head. The aroma is nothing short of immaculate: It is packed with grapefruit, pine and sweet apricots. The flavor is an evenly balanced bitter with a sweet fruit hop background.
Overview: Just when I had given up on the boring, overly hopped American IPAs, RedRock has restored my faith that there can be a well-balanced IPA that is not a one and done drinker. The aroma does nothing short of conjuring up ideas of running through a forest filled with pine-grapefruit-citrus trees whacking you in the face.

Stein Knocker Lager

Brewery/Brand: Hoppers
ABV: 6%
Serving Style: 12 oz Bottle
Description: Out of the bottle, this Oktoberfest-Märzen-styled lager is a brilliant clear orange-honey color with a small off-white head. The aroma is clean, with very soft hints of malty sweetness and just a hint of toast. The flavor comes through with balanced sweetness and finishes dry with a light caramel malt that lingers alongside a soft hop bitterness.
Overview: Just in time to line up with Oktoberfest, Donovan Steele (Head Brewer at Hoppers) has released this brew in his line of Storehouse Reserves, and that will keep us asking, “What’s next?” I cannot say as of yet what it will be, but I can hint that a Belgian is in the future.