Level Crossing Eternal Pursuit and Uinta Chile Limón | Drink | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Eat & Drink » Drink

Level Crossing Eternal Pursuit and Uinta Chile Limón

Spicy or boozy, these beers will keep you cozy


  • Mike Riedel

Level Crossing - Eternal Pursuit: This dark strong ale was aged for 12 months in Ruby Port Wine and High West Rye Whiskey barrels. It pours a deep, clear copper-ruby color, with almost no head to speak of—just a thin ring of off-white foam that skims the edges, leaving behind a gentle cascade of light spotty lace. Those whiskey and port barrel flavors are right there in the aroma, and merge well with those of the base dark ale. Notes of dark fruit, caramelized sugars, cocoa, molasses, vanilla, burnt oak and herbal hops all have a place here.

The flavor, meanwhile, just has a rich and flavorful sweet booziness to it that is hard to beat. Like the nose, the taste has a lot of sweetness—cocoa, caramel, darker molasses, ripe citrus fruit, herbal hops, candied sugars and vanilla all combine to give this fairly complex profile that just coats the mouth with a warm and sticky sweetness. The finish is very dry and tannic, with an oaky feel that lingers. The mouthfeel is full-bodied, thick and chewy-feeling in the mouth, with a bit of sharpness that zips down the tongue. You can feel that 8.8 percent alcohol up to a point, but it never gets stinging, simply offering beefy warmth to the body that adds a bit of extra oomph to all of these flavors.

Verdict: I liked this latest addition to the Red Feather Cambium Series—a lot. The whiskey and port barrels' character matched up beautifully with the rich, fruity sweetness of the Belgian ale to make a decadent mélange of flavors that just bombed the mouth with richness. Yikes, they do barrel-aged beer the right way here!

Uinta-Chile Limón: This new lager is made with chilis, lemon and salt. It pours a clear golden color, with a one-finger head of off-white foam. The head has a decent level of retention, fading over time to leave just a trace of foamy lace on the sides of the glass. The aroma of the brew is quite subdued, with some light lemon peel, along with a decent hit of chili pepper and some toasty grain. At the same time, there is a good showing of floral and herbal hops, producing an overall nice, inviting smell.

The taste is surprisingly malty and a little sweet. The lemon is dominant but lively on the palate. Spicy and sweet. The spice from the hops mingles perfectly with the lemon and makes that wonderful sweet & spicy taste. The mouthfeel is excellent, with firm bubbles to add to the prickliness of the chilis. The peppers tingle a bit with bitterness, but this finishes sweeter. That sweet finish is more shandy than pilsner, IMO, but it is not cloying. The nose remains abundantly fruity and enticing throughout the drink; in factm the scent of the lemon and pepper is like perfume to me. The sweetness in the finish has to be from the lemon rather than the malt, and it is forgivable.

Verdict: You will notice some scratchiness on the back of your throat from the chilis. You may also notice the malt comes to a roundness, and the finish cleans itself up in a way from the peppers that keeps this from drinking like a soda. It has a refreshing, lemonade-like drinkable quality. The more I drank it, the more I liked it.

At 5.0 percent, you will be finding this lager on draft and in cans throughout the state. The sample of Chile Limón that I enjoyed came in a huge 20-oz. "tall boy" can. Eternal Pursuit's 16-oz. can provides plenty of liquid to help you find your happy place, and it can be found at both Level Crossing locations. As always, cheers!