Oi! Thank Thor the holidays are over! Every year, the Christmaquanzukkah ass-kicking boot seems to find its target more and more often on my delicate, beer-loving tushy. By the time January rolls around, I’m definitely in need of some of that cliché New Year’s resolution bullshit. Personally, my resolution is to get my chafed ass back in shape, but if you’re a perfect person and have no need for that self-improvement crap, then I have a year-long assignment for you. They say that only 8 percent of us will be able to stick with a resolution this year, but don’t despair. This assignment is simple: Get away from the flavorless, mass-produced swill and embrace flavorful craft-beer brands. Your perfect tongue, mind and body will thank you. Here are some fine examples to help get you on your way. Find the way with SLUG’s January 2015 beer reviews.
Brewery/Brand: Uinta Brewing Co.
Serving Style: 750 ml bottle /draft
Description: Poured from its beautiful corked and caged Champagne-styled bottle, this seasonal IPA has a deep, golden hue with a tight, white, foamy cap that lasts halfway through the beer. The nose has a great mix of pine, floral notes and citrus peel. The taste starts similarly, with big English-esque floral and pine bitterness. It almost has a lagered, pilsner quality. A touch of caramel malt sweetness comes next, adding a bit of balance to the bitterness. The end is surprisingly tropical and citrusy. It’s like the brewers saved the best for last. It finishes fairly hoppy and dry.
Overview: This is like two beers in one. It starts off like a hoppy lager and transitions into an American IPA—it’s worth your time and shekels. Also, a percentage of the sales go to fund the Utah Avalanche Center. Very cool!
Imperial Java Stout
Brewery/Brand: Santa Fe Brewing Co.
Serving Style: 12 oz. can
Description: This new offering into our market pours dark brown to black with some ruby highlights around the edges. The head is sturdy for a while, but will fade into a cap of espresso-style foam. The nose is full of dark-roasted coffee and roasted barley. Immediately, you know this beer is all about the coffee. The taste starts with an abundance of dark, bitter coffee. Nutty, dark chocolate comes in next with toffee, char and pine rounding out the end. The alcohol is well-hidden, as this doesn’t taste at all like an 8-percent beer.
Overview: For an imperial stout, this is not as viscous as you’d think. It has a body and sweetness more akin to a milk stout. This beer is new to the market, so you may have some difficulty locating it at first. Don’t let the can fool you—this is a great beer!
KCCO Black Lager
Brewery/Brand: Resignation Brewery
Serving Style: 12 oz. bottle
Description: Another new addition to our market, this dark lager pours a nice-looking, dark-brown cola color with a good two fingers of frothy eggshell head. The nose has some pumpernickel-like breadiness to it, along with some Quik chocolate milk notes. The taste starts with some biscuit and coffee-like flavors. Earthy, dark fruits and toffee notes come next, with a hint of ash adding a little balance. Unsweetened chocolate and piney hops round out the back end, providing a fairly dry finish.
Overview: For a dark lager, this has a light/medium body. It’s not a perfect example of the style by any means, but if you come across it and are looking to give your tongue a new challenge, definitely give it a whirl.