Dubhe Imperial Black IPA

Dubhe Black Imperial Stout
The first time I had a cold beer in a hot shower I had no idea how much I’d love the contrasted combo of soothing liquids.  I was fifteen and visiting my sisters at their college’s satellite campus in Austria.  One of their friends threw me a cold one when I announced I was heading to the shower.  Kaiser.  I thought the idea was weird but being fifteen and around college guys I figured: Well, when in Austria…Seventeen years later the ritual has stuck. This time the beer is Dubhe Imperial Black IPA and the locale is mi casa. Still, a Black IPA is completely new to me so I can tell myself I’m blazing new trails while nursing a backache and lamenting the end of the weekend. Usually, a first impression, good or bad, forms quickly and is reinforced either through confirming subsequent factors or the application of one’s preconceived notions once the decision has been made that there’s nothing new to see (taste) here. Occasionally, one gets treated to the rare event in which his mind is made up then changed within less time than it takes to finish a twelve ounce bottle. Initially, Dubhe is exactly as billed: its approach is dark like a stout with a bitter, hoppy IPA finish. The part that threw me was the smoky, porteresque finish. Not a fan at first sip, by the third I was wishing I had bought a six pack instead of mixpack with only one of these beauties. 9.2% ABV made me smile and being brewed with hemp seed gets two thumbs up for yet another use for one of America’s oldest and certainly most unfairly prejudged crops. The moral of this story: be slow to judge or you just might deprive yourself (and maybe millions to come) of some refreshing, good, clean fun.

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