Fearful Symmetries

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02 August, 2016

Sunny, Tropical Leipzig: Flamingose by Uinta Brewing



What compels you to place your faith in a brewery?

My run-ins with Salt Lake City's Uinta Brewing have all been pleasant experiences. Far from being a den of Mormon misfits eschewing brews, Utah's capital is home to some really good beers. After a fantastic black lager and a fine rauchbier, Uinta earned my faith and trust. And so I let them take my tongue on a tasty detour with a cucumber saison.

If someone were to say that two beers is not nearly enough to place one's trust in a brewery, I'd say that's a fair cop. Unless you are a new brewery, two beers is a small and likely unrepresentative sample of your brewing acumen. Just because a brewer masterfully whips up batch after batch of [insert style modifier] eyepahs doesn't mean that he or she can automagically concoct a good helles. So, statistically speaking, I had no good reason to put my tongue in Uinta's hand, if you will. Yet I did.

Earlier this summer I heard that Uinta was going to release a pineapple gose called Flamingose. I like goses; I like pineapple. It sounded like a great combination.

I should really unpack my beer glasses as I've been using all of two types of glasses for reviewing purposes since I moved. While I don't want to, I might have to use one of those ubiquitous shaker pints for a little variety if I can't quit being lazy.

Flamingose poured a dull medium yellow. The gose is brewed with no small amount of wheat so I didn't expect this stuff to be clear but it was, like, totally turbid. There was about an inch of fluffy white foam in my glass and it lasted a good long while. My gaze could not penetrate the haze so I couldn't tell how effervescent it was.

An inviting aroma had a surprisingly restrained pineapple scent as well as a little tartness that was vaguely citrus-like. I was not expecting to smell hops. Sure, the gose is traditionally brewed with hops but they are generally faint. Here I caught a little dank hay and a goodly amount of tropical fruit. Ruh ro, Raggy!

Although I was unable to see any bubbles inside my glass, I could sure taste them as Flamingose has a nice fizziness to it. My tongue and nose agreed: the pineapple was pretty mild all around. The tartness was also toned down in contrast to most goses I've head. Even German imports are more sour than this. The salt wasn't tasted as much on its own as was its effect on the other flavors. Sure, there was a hint of salinity but everything else had a fullness to their taste that one wouldn't normally get with such a light bier. A dash of coriander brought up the rear while tropical fruit and melon flavors from hops led the charge though they didn't add much bitterness.

For the finish there was more of those fruity hop flavors and they lingered as a mild bitterness settled in. There was Schaumhaftvermoegen aplenty with many a thin foamy streak lining the glass.

My wife said it best after tasting it, "I don't like this stuff at all." Well, perhaps not the best because I really think there's a good, if understated, gose underneath all the Ballast Point trappings. The nouveau hops used here are Galaxy and – quelle surprise! - Citra but they are not listed on the label, although they do appear at the bier's webpage. While Flamingose is not very bitter, I do find the fruity hop flavors to be cloying. It has a nice medium-light with an emphasis on the latter body (it's 4.2% A.B.V.) but the paucity of tartness means there isn't much sharpness or zing to it because the carbonation can't do it alone. Instead it has a very muddled flavor - of fruit punch.

A big disappointment from Uinta but I have by no means given up on them.

Junk food pairing: Flamingose is a bier that deserves to be be counter-paired. Put those fruity hops in their place! Try something spicy like Kettle Brand Red Curry potato chips or just something potent like salt & vinegar popcorn.

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|| Palmer, 9:00 AM

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