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'You Inta' Holiday Beers? 

Uinta Brewing starts-off 2022's holiday season boldly

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MIKE RIEDEL
  • Mike Riedel

Many of you may find this review on holiday beers a bit premature. I get it; it seems early for me too. But the optimal window for beers like these is quite short, plus it's better to get them in early rather than mere weeks before D-Day. I came across these new beers from Uinta the other day that are some of the first local brews of the season.

Uinta - Christmas Cheer: The beer pours a deep copper color bordering on a light brown/mahogany, with a small off-white head. The aroma of the beer is rather odd, with a spruce/pine smell mixed with a decently strong aroma of cocoa, as well as some brown bread. A little bit of caramel and a light herbal smell are there as well, rounding out the aroma.

The taste begins with a cocoa and brown-bread flavor with some hints of a piney nature present. The flavor is lightly sweet up front, with caramel fading a bit as the taste advances to the end. Some very light caramel and darker fruit flavors of fig and plum come to the tongue, but these fruit and caramel flavors are very light overall, and don't make up for the loss of the malt sweetness. Juniper flavors really come on more toward the end, and with the slight loss of sweetness and a slight increase in the roast tastes, one is left with a rather odd pine/herbal, brown bread and moderately sugary taste to linger on the tongue.

The body of the beer is average in terms of thickness and creaminess for a brew of 5.0 percent ABV, with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. The body was good for the odd mix of flavors, but a slightly higher carbonation level may have enhanced the drinkability and sweeter flavors of the brew a bit better (which were, in my opinion, the most pleasant).

Verdict: This definitely gave off a holiday vibe without hitting me over the head with it. Even if you think it's too soon to enjoy a holiday beer, this may still work for you. And if you're primed and ready to go for holiday cheer, this will be an excellent starter.

Uinta - Cinnamon Wheatwine: This is number six of six in Uinta's Pro Line of beers.

It poured an unfiltered dark apricot shade, with the head remaining solid after a vigorous pour. Earthy grains and a big, sweet tropical fruit scent were immediately discernible. Initially it was all about the fruit smell, like some sort of boozy panty-peeler made with pineapple juice. Fortunately, as it warmed up, the wheat malt began to provide some much-needed balance.

Flavor starts off with a big, fruity sweet taste, with earthy grain playing second banana. The 9.5 percent alcohol is present, but not overwhelming. This is definitely one you need to let warm up, as it was very one-dimensional at first, but became more interesting (and balanced) as it got up to room temperature. At that point, the wheat malt was far more noticeable, and matched up much better to the tobacco and fruit flavors from the wheat malt and yeast. The cinnamon and nutmeg are subtle and in balance with each other. It's very full-bodied, with such a brilliant, silky mouthfeel.

Verdict: This a different take on the Wheatwine style, and one that I appreciate more and more as the beer warms; the tobacco leaf character from the malt really makes this beer a treat. This a beer that you could lay down to age, but I'd enjoy this one fresh, as it's quite brilliant now.

Christmas Cheer is available on draft now at the brewery, and will be widely available in cans anytime now. Cinnamon Wheatwine is available at Uinta now, and soon to DABS. As always, cheers!

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