- Mike Riedel
There's appearance, aroma and taste. Those are the primary sensory factors that we focus on as we get acquainted with our beers. Upon researching this week's beers, however, I came across a new sensory experience—one that, for now, we'll call the "eructation." While sampling these beers, I noticed that they were both akin to the mighty mullet: All business up front, with some partying in the back, in the form of a burp (the layperson's term for "eructation"). The burp provided an equally interesting experience after my session with these two beers had ended. I think it's time we investigated this new fourth sensory phenomena together.
Uinta Piña Colada Milkshake Pale Ale: When poured, it kind of looks like pineapple juice crossed with apricot nectar. There's a healthy finger of off-white, effervescent head that dissipates pretty quickly and leaves some spotty lacing. As advertised, there's a huge burst of coconut and sweet pineapple in the nose that echoes piña colada. Digging past the cocktail aromas, there's a great deal of grassiness, and maybe a little musty white grape. While it's hard to get past the true-to-form piña colada characteristics, it's fun, appealing, and comes off as mostly natural.
That piña colada effect is less successful on the tongue. The coconut feels a little overdone, and where you should be getting sweet pineapple notes, you're instead getting citrus-driven qualities more akin to dried orange peel—sharper and more bitter—along with some lemon peel. Eventually, the pineapple begins to appear, but it's having a tough time punching out from behind the citrus, which becomes more evident as the hop influence emerges. Regardless of the source, the pale ale portion of this beer begins to assert itself (and by pale ale, I mean IPA). The hop profile towards the end of the beer primarily adds a bitter dryness on the tongue, and leaves you with an ale that's fairly dry. While it's fun to try, and delivers the flavors promised, this is most definitely a full-on IPA. The eructation could be perceived as a Cabo San Lucas hangover (not vegan friendly)
Quarantine Desirability Rating: Gimmicks aside, this 7.0 percent ale provides just enough cocktail satisfaction and brain-fogging heat to give it two raised Spock eyebrows and a gasp of disbelief as you watch the neighbor's toddler draw an innocent phallus on the side of mommy's new minivan. The cloistering factor is "medium" to "pretend we're not home when the missionaries come by."
Templin Family Durban Space Terpene: A moderately vigorous pour yields a honey-like hue that has light opacity, leading me to believe this is not filtered. There's a frothy single finger of head with mild retention and some visible collaring. The beer has somewhat dry and resinous, heavy terpene and herbal notes in the aroma. These are paired with subtle citrus, floral and cannabis, along with light touches of a simple sugar sweetness. Hints of green tea are also present.
It's hop-forward upon first swig, but without the piquant zest found in your traditional IPAs. Ghostly touches of dry wood, earth and lemony elements fade in and out at mid-palate. The malt backbone is there, but you hardly notice it due to the terpene smack. The finish is dry, and just shy of refreshing. The 7.5 percent alcohol keeps your head appropriately spinning while crisp carbonation plays on the tongue with a certain dryness; the aftertaste is similarly dry and lingering. The eructation could (and should) be perceived as "apple bong."
Quarantine Desirability Rating: Due to the flavor representations from the cannabis terpenes, the cloistering factor is dialed-up to eleven. I'd put it somewhere between a trippin' H.R. Pufnstuf and a Truman Capote giggle fit. Nobody is doing beers like this in Utah. Seek this one out.
As always, cheers!