Danks Alot | Drink | Salt Lake City Weekly

Danks Alot 

Maximizing hops for full effect

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  • Mike Riedel

Shades - Dank AF: This beer was designed specifically to celebrate 420. Made with terpenes and mimicking cannabis, this beer is as close as you can get to real nugs in Utah—without a prescription.

Not hazy, but not filtered either. The mostly orange-tinged amber beer pours into a shaker glass with a two inch off-white head that recedes slowly, as if reluctant to do so. While receding it leaves lots of nice spiderweb and legs of lacing on the sides of the glass as it eventually becomes a thin cap of foam on the surface. Sipping creates arches, small patches and legs of lacing, many of which cling to the sides of the glass rather than slide back down to the liquid. The aroma is lightly dank, almost resinous, but with a lot of fruity character. There are also some hints of herbal and spicy character in the background. I'm not really picking up much malt so, not surprisingly, this one is all about the hops.

The flavors include a good bit of dank pine resin, some bitterness along with that nice fruity character, that seems to include some pineapple, mango and sharp orange zest. This is all backed up by some noticeable, but very restrained, malt sweetness. The finish begins as the fruity flavors slowly recede, to be followed by the sweetness. Although the resinous, zesty bitterness begins to recede as well, it takes longer, and so the ending has a nice resinous and bitter back-of-the-palate dryness to it that invites yet another sip. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with some active, crisp carbonation.

Overall: A well-made dank beer and a quite enjoyable IPA that I'd be happy to have again. The hops are a bit over the top, but that's why Shades made it—to mimic that cannabis dankness. Its weakness, if any, lies in the fact that while it is very good, its chewy dryness can wear on you quickly. Thankfully, the 7.0 ABV doesn't clobber you as hard as some 420 beers have been known to do.

Beer Zombies - Come Out to Haze: Though based in Las Vegas, Beer Zombies occasionally sends some of their more unique stuff to their SLC pub to satisfy our thirst for big IPAs. This latest Hazy is the real deal.

A hazy burnt-orange/peach-yellow with more than a finger of fluffy white head; solid head retention leaves froth around the edge and plenty of lacing spattered around the glass as it recedes. Aromas of creamy apricot and peaches, citrus, and ripe mango; taut, fleeting grassy notes add a delicate herbal edge to a lush, tropical and lightly hoppy bouquet.

Tastes of dank mango, dried oranges, candied peach and light grapefruit zest; deeply floral, herbal bitterness dances in harmony with hazy tropical hops on the finish, where the profile bursts excellently and reveals the height of its potential. Mouthfeel shows a medium-robust body with a good bit of dryness and an upper-level carbonation that has a slight presence but tempers itself well among the burst flavor profile; delicate, prickly climax smooths to a fluffy, fulfilling finish, with a juicy crispness maintaining on the palate throughout; minimal-alcohol presence.

Overall: A unique and eclectically-structured NEDIPA; there's so much character here, between the profile and construction on the palate, and it all holds together so tenuously at a very high level. It's smooth and borderline sessionable by DIPA standards, and at its peak is both spectacular and approachable. Regardless, it's one of the more balanced and approachable examples of haze I've encountered.

The Beer Zombie stuff is exclusive to their place at Hall Pass in the Gateway. Shades always has stuff at both of their locations, along with various pubs along the Wasatch Front. As Alway, cheers.

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