West Coast Vs. The Milkshake | Drink | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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West Coast Vs. The Milkshake 

Two IPAs that will take you on very different flavor trips.

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MIKE RIEDEL
  • Mike Riedel

Epic - Pineapple Creamsicle IPA: You can't deny that there's strong appeal when it comes to these fruity, lactose-infused IPAs. They definitely seem to blur the line between smoothie and beer. I've found that those milkshake IPAs with lower levels of lactose (milk sugars) come across as more drinkable and sessionable.

This one pours a pale gold color, with about a finger of fluffy white head. Medium to full haze on this one, with minimal translucency and some darkness near the center of the glass; head retention is average, including some nice wispy lacing. You definitely get a lot of the hops on the nose. Up front, there's tons of bright, fruity hops, along with candied peach, pineapple and something a little more earthy (like blueberry). As it warms, the hops definitely start to contribute some dank aromatics—maybe a bit of tangerine and grapefruit flesh as well. Honestly, though, there's not really any vanilla on the nose, and the pineapple aromas seem to be coming more from the hops than the fruit. Nonetheless, it does smell like a really good citrus-forward IPA.

Okay, there are the adjuncts; he vanilla and pineapple definitely show up on the taste. Up front, I get a pop of Mosaic flavor (similar peach, blueberry, maybe something more tropical like guava). Behind that, there's a more subtle tart pineapple note that seems more fruity than hoppy—not exactly pungent, but interesting. Mid-taste, the vanilla comes through big time, layering a dessert-like sweetness and a vanilla bean ice cream flavor on top of the fruit flavors. Surprisingly, these notes disappear rather quickly, and the back end is dominated by the bready malt backbone until the aftertaste, which is when the adjuncts (pineapple/sweet vanilla) combine and really linger on the tongue.

Overall: This is a very good IPA—an enjoyable yet confusing beer, which might be helpful if you're on the fence about this style. Low lactose sweetness and 8.5 percent ABV make this a quite drinkable beverage.

Uinta - Pro Line Juicy IPA: This is release number four of six in Uinta's Pro Line of beers, an IPA brewed exclusively with hops from Roy Farms: Cashmere, El Dorado and Strata hops along with Star Party Yeast, which is designed to create vibrant notes of pineapple, passionfruit and papaya during fermentation.

It pours a delightful copper-tinged amber color that really captures the essence of what a good IPA should look like. The head is thick and beautiful, and releases so many aromas that are paramount to enjoying this complex brew, while leaving delicate and attractive lacing on the glass. It smells fruity and hoppy, with strong cannabinoid attributes. I can already tell it is a great beer. Citrus rind and pine are at the forefront, and I get a lot of dank earthy hops as well. The malts are, thankfully, on the lighter side, and very well-balanced.

Though it says "juicy" on the can, it tastes like the epitome of the West Coast Style IPA. I get hops galore, but in the right quantities and with the perfect balance. The 8.2 percent alcohol is subtle and well-hidden. It warms the tongue as the sip proceeds. I get piney, earthy orange rind, and citrus hops mixed with a perfectly muted, roasted grain malt-base. After the gulp, I notice tongue-smacking resin, oils, earthy hops, an ashy aftertaste and plenty of grapefruit and zest. It is so juicy and fruity and bready. The West Coast fruits and flavors and dank hops really come out beautifully; it is full-bodied and delicious. It finishes clean and smooth with a lingering bitterness that is cannabinoid and oil resins from the several hop varieties.

Overall: If coming through on that "juicy" description is a must for you, this may leave you wanting. If you're into West Coast Double IPAs, on the other hand, this will hit all of the beats.

Look for these at their respective brewery stores. As always, cheers!

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