Tuesday, February 20, 2007

This One Goes to Eleven

People outside of Utah seem shocked when I mention that our local brewers actually produce beers that hurdle the 4.0% mark. They seem to be equally surprised to find out that our beers amass pantloads of awards and praise, nationally and internationally. This past weekend at the 2007 Toronado Barley Wine Festival one of Utah's lesser known "big beers" came up smelling like a rose. Or at least Cascade hops. Fifty-four Barley Wines and ninety judges from all over North America converged at the Toronado in San Fransisco to enjoy and select the best.
First Place: Four Stars Big Nugget 200, Alaskan Brewing.
Second Place: Four Stars Angel’s Share, Port Brewing/Lost Abbey.
Tie for Third: Three Stars Anniversary 2004, Uinta Brewing and Doggie Claws Three Stars, Hair of the Dog.
I haven't tried the other three, but I'm very familiar with Uinta's. It poures a dark chestnut/orange hue. The nose is of burnt oranges, warm caramel malts with some heavy toasted breadiness with pungent hops that produce pine and citrusy overtones. Earthy notes sinder behind most of the hop twinge in the nose. It gives my sniffer an orgasm! The taste starts with hops up front, bittering with pine and dark citrusy stuff of orange and highly ripe peaches, malts play second fiddle with burntish caramel and toffee, crispy biscuit toasty edging, touches of chocolate, brown sugar, and then turns back to a hoppy finish of pine and citrus orange. The bottle says it's at 10%abv but it doesn't burn like it. I have six packs of the no. X and XI that I'm laying down to age. I just hope I can keep my paws off for the next couple years. This is without a doubt one of the best barley wines that I've ever had.
If you can find a X or XI snatch 'em up. If not try the XIII it's available now.

3 comments:

mike said...

Uintah Barleywine is very good. They tend to be almost undrinkably hoppy at first. Lay them down for a year or more. The old versions (5) (6) (7) and (8) are awesome.

mikey said...

I'm a Hop-head so the over-balace of hops work fine for me. I agree on the 5,6,7 & 8. Haven't had one in years. If you know of anyone willing to part with one, send 'em my way.

Bubba said...

I have been a big fan of the Uinta Barleywine for many years.I think it's well balanced as far as Barleywines go.Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot Barleywine is a very hoppy example.Im glad to see Uinta getting some recognition for the Barleywine.