Uinta “Oak Jacked” Imperial Pumpkin Ale is 10.31% ABV.
I poured some of a 750 ml bottle into a Belgian ale glass.
Appearance: This got a steady pour with some vigor at the end. This created two fingers of light tan head, which lasted a long time and left thick lacing along the sides of the glass. This has a slightly cloudy and beautiful bright red amber color, and looks to have moderate to heavy carbonation.
Smell: I get some dark fruit, with some sourish vegetal pumpkin. Not heavy spicing, but I do get some nutmeg to it. This is malt heavy, and has a lot of oak to it. The malt has some toastiness, and is accented by some dark sugar and molasses sweetness. There is maybe a little alcohol to the nose, but it is otherwise pretty smooth. Decent aroma. A lot of oak.
Taste: This is sweeter than I was expecting, but has great bold flavors. There is some strong pumpkin on the vegetal side, which brings in some bright fruit of plum and date. The spicing is nutty with a little clove, and has something kind of earthy like dark bark to it. The oak is really smooth and rounded. This has strong sweetness with dark fruit, molasses, and some brown sugar.This finishes on the sweet side, with some stronger spicing at the end, and some slight sourness from the pumpkin as well as a mild alcohol bite. There is some oak and dark malty sweetness hanging out in the aftertaste. Overall, there are good, smooth, and strong flavors to it.
Feel: This offering is medium bodied plus, with moderate carbonation. It is heavy and on the thicker side. But it has a creaminess, and isn’t sticky. The oak is nicely rounded and helps the feel to be great. There is some alcohol to it, but for a 10% beer, it doesn’t bite as much as I was expecting. Great feel. I love the oak.
Drinkability: This is a big beer. The oak and sweetness round it out quite a bit. There is some pumpkin, but a good bit of dark fruit and some spice. Not a beer for drinking fast, but something decent on drinkability for the strong beer that it is.
Overall: This is a big beer with good spice, and more spice as I drink. I get enjoyable pumpkin, but it seems to get a little lost as I proceed. There is great juicy dark fruit, which is bright with date and some dark plum. The alcohol gives a noticeable bite, but the oak and strong sweetness help. This is a great barrel aged beer. There are definitely not a lot of oak aged pumpkin ales that don’t have bourbon or rum, etc. in the barrels. So I think this is very nice. The pumpkin isn’t super heavy, but it is noticeable and smooth. The spicing is also not overdone. I think this is among the more serious imperial pumpkin ales on the market. If it chilled out on the booziness and had some more pumpkin it would easily be in the upper echelons of imperial pumpkin ales.
Overall Rating: ***3/4
About Uinta and their “Oak Jacked”: Uinta Brewing began in 1993 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Due to dramatic increases in demand, in 2001 they built a 26,000 square-foot facility for their new base of brewing operations. Uinta is named after a mountain range in northeast Utah, and takes inspiration from the Utah landscape in creating, naming, and labeling many of their beers. Currently they offer three main lines of beers: their Classic Line, Organic Line, and Crooked Line, with some of their more special and limited offerings being part of their Crooked Line series. The folks at Uinta have one of the most environmentally conscious breweries I’ve come across. Since 2001 the brewery has been 100% wind-powered. They were also the first Utah company to reach this mark. In addition, Uinta has also added significant renewable energy by installing solar-electric panels on their roof in 2011. This is among the breweries on my short-list to check out when it becomes feasible.
Uinta makes their “Oak Jacked” as part of their “Crooked Line” series. They use real pumpkin and spices. It is aged in oak barrels, adding more complexity, and rounding some of the flavors out. It sits at 10.31% and 39 IBU’s.