At first glance, Umatilla is a sleepy little town about an hour northwest of Orlando.
It’s got a lot of outdoor activities. The inventor of the Slush Puppie lived there. It’s close to Ocala National Forest. It’s just where bad things don’t exist.
Unless you’re in one of the city’s infamous cemeteries.
Terrible, awful things live there. Unexplained screaming. Bright lights with no sources. Empty Slush Puppie cups.
All the things that inspired the mad scientists at BrewHub in Lakeland to name a beast of a beer after it, their wild Umatilla Coffee Barleywine (11.3% ABV, 47 IBU).
Take a look at the Frankenstein-esque list of ingredients in this thing: It starts with Canadian 2-Row and Simpsons Double Roast Malt. From there, BrewHub partnered with Tampa’s Buddy Brew (no stranger to craft beer) for three different coffee adjuncts: Burundi Nygawe, Sumatra Ardsenia, and Brazilian Yellow Bourbon.
Not finished yet. They also added Acerola cherries and Madagascar vanilla beans to the mix.
It’s just so deeply, richly, and wonderfully flavorful. The malt sweetness has a great mix of dark, meaty fruit flavors. Lots of raisin and plum swirled with a dark bready character.
The coffee is very well done. Some coffee beers tend to be overpowering, on your face affairs. Here, the coffee flavors were of note, but blended expertly with everything. They were definitely very soft, nowhere as bitter and brutal as some coffees can be. Sure, I have no idea what any of those coffee varietals are like, but I’m trusting everyone and I like how it turned out.
Not content to rest, BrewHub siphoned off some of the brew and aged it for a few months in 5 to 8 year old Wild Turkey bourbon oak barrels. This beer got the hand filled & wax dipped treatment.
Want some? You have one of two options. First is to join BrewHub’s Cellar Club, the exclusive membership club at BrewHub. Cellar Club members get exclusive purchasing access to the beer.
You can also visit HarbingerFest, BrewHub’s first beer festival with breweries from across the country. All attendees, regular and VIP, get a bomber of this in addition to all of the other goodies at the event.
It’s worth the drive to Lakeland. This beer is so good, it’s almost worth me making a cheesy ghost-related pun.
And you can leave the Slush Puppies at home.
Drink Florida Craft,