May 16, 2014 by Matt Michini
This week I grabbed a bottle of Uinta Brewing Co.’s Detour Double IPA. Uinta beers are usually quite easy to pick out due to their eye-catching labels and unique compass bottle. This particular label depicts an old truck towing one of those space-age rounded camping trailers. The truck and trailer are approaching a fork in the road and evidently have opted to drive toward the great outdoors in lieu of the hustle and bustle of the city.
Uinta Brewing Co. is located in Utah, which is known for its puritanical laws restricting beer sold in-state at many establishments to 4 percent ABV. This restriction is due in large part to traditional Mormon beliefs about alcohol and the fact that the majority of Utahans are Mormons. I bet you didn’t know that people from Utah are called Utahans (which I like to think rhymes with “croutons”). Uinta Brewery is named after the Uinta Mountains of northern Utah, which form the only east-west mountain range in the continental United States. Bet you didn’t know that either.
Uinta recently found itself in a trademark dispute with a brewery whose name I won’t mention (lest they receive undeserved attention) over the name of its flagship IPA “Hop Notch.” The small contract brewery in Massachusetts apparently owns the trademark on the word “notch” as it relates to brewing and beer, and Uinta was forced to change the name to “Hop Nosh.” As my personal nonviolent act of civil disobedience against our unnecessarily litigious society, I will continue to pronounce Uinta’s delicious IPA “hop notch.” If you drink a few and look at the bottle it starts to read like that anyway. Now on to the review of the Detour Double IPA!
Poured into a goblet, the beer appears to have a slightly hazy copper color with a thick white head and excellent lacing. As the beer warmed, the haze dissipated, indicating what’s known as a “chill haze.” This effect occurs when cold temperatures cause suspended proteins to bond with chemicals from hops, causing an unsightly (but flavor neutral) haze. Taking a sniff, there are great aromatics noticeable, with floral and grassy hop notes rounding out the crisp aroma. Flavor-wise, resinous hop notes dominate and a mild bitterness is present but does not detract from the beer’s character. This is certainly a veritable hop bomb. There are some malt flavors in the background, but hops way in the forefront here.
Overall, Detour is a solid double IPA. It’s thick, resinous and lingers on the palate the way a double IPA should. It’s hard to really stand out in this crowded class of craft beers, but this is a good example of the style and notable for its great hop aromas and crispness. Really hop-notch stuff. Cheers!