Vail Red White & Brew: This Gubna worth spending time with |

Vail Red White & Brew: This Gubna worth spending time with

Vail Daily staff reportsnewsroom@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyVail Daily review says Oskar Blues Gubna Imperial IPA is not a "session" beer that's meant to be pulled down during a poker game

Gubna is the newest offering from Oskar Blues Brewery, founded in 2002 by Dale Katechis in the laid back mountain town of Lyons, near Boulder. They were the first microbrewery to can their beer exclusively, believing that cans are more compatible for an active mountain lifestyle, preserve beer better and are less fuel-consuming to ship. Looking at the microbrew section of a store today, you will see that many other brewers are also coming to these conclusions about the former lowly can. Oskar Blues now cans six flavors with many, many more available at the new Longmont brewpub. So, onto the Gubna, their newest offering. The Gubna is an Imperial IPA coming in at 10 percent alcohol by volume and 100 IBU. IBU stands for International Bitterness Units and 100 is a lot. For some perspective, Sierra Nevada Pale is 37. When you pour the beer into a glass, it has a soft white head and a startling, beautiful orange-amber color. The bouquet of this beer is one you can spend some time with: spices, grapefruit peel, citrus and a bit of funk. The palate is an absolute blockbuster with the hops hitting the tongue in wave after wave of intense flavor leaving a long, long finish. All this single variety hop (Summit) goodness is draped over a spine of Rye and German Dark Munich Malts. North American two-row barley give the Gubna a firm, solid base on which all the flavors revolve. Even at 10 percent, Gubna does not suffer from any alcoholic heat whatsoever, just a hint of ethanol sweetness, which is well integrated. That being said, this is not a “session” beer, meant to be pulled down during a poker game. It would be great with most Asian food, or maybe some good, smokey barbecue. Spend a bit of time with the Gubna, he’s big and expensive and worth every single penny. This beer is available at Alpine Wine & Sprits in Vail, Avon Liquors and West Vail Liquor Mart.Clay Williams, Alpine Wine & Spirits

The first thing that struck me about this wine upon opening it was the aroma. I wafted the cork under my nose at least 10 to 15 times, inhaling the rich, earthy scent. This wine is aged in French and American oak barrels to achive this lusty fragrance, typical of many grassy chardonnays.In the glass, the Sonoma County Chardonnay was light yellow in color and lost some of its bouquet. I was a bit disappointed by this, as I huffed on it over and over again, trying to recapture the heavenly scent of the bottle. Slightly light-headed from all of the deep breathing, I took my first sip. I tasted the earthy notes and a few of the more subtle citrus and vanilla flavors. This chardonnay leaned more toward the buttery, rich side than the acidic, fruity side, although it had elements of both. I paired this first glass with a sunny afternoon on the back porch. Its simple, straighforward nature was pleasant and refreshing, if not lip-smackingly amazing.I put the wine in the fridge to chill, as I had taken the first draught at room temperature. I prepared a creamy chicken corn chowder, a partner recommended for chardonnay, to pair with my second glass. Chilling the wine, unfortunately, caused it to lose some of its more subtle flavors, and it didn’t have much success standing up to the slightly spicy soup. The grassy flavor remained, but the poblano peppers in the soup hid all of the sweet, fruity notes. Paired with something a bit lighter, I think this chardonnay would have a little more luck. I would recommend fish or poultry with a citrus-based sauce or marinade to bring out the flavors that were overpowered by the spice.This wine can be found at Avon Liquors and Riverwalk Wine & Spirits in Edwards.Krista Driscoll, Daily Staff Writer

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