Tuatara Aotearoa Pale Ale

Total Score: 6.85/10 Biscuit1 HopFlower1 WhiteWine1 Nonicpint1

Ahhh, land of the long white cloud (aka the “Aotearoa” in Tuatara Aotearoa Pale Ale). When Kiwi craft brewers put their thinking caps on they really can really knock up some beastly, for a hop lover like me, brews. Tuatara is no exception, and perhaps my favourite Aotearoian brewer [yes I realise I have only tried their Double Trouble, but it was that choice bro]. Now I will taste the might of Pacific Jade, NZ Cascade, Sauvin and Wai-iti hops in all their Kiwi hop glory. Let the tongue lashing commence!

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Presents a clear golden body with a nice 1cm off-white fluffy cloud head that sticks around quite well. I have deducted a point in the filtering – I likes me beers unfiltered, yarrgh! 7/10.

S: The solid biscuit malt base lends itself well to a variety of hop notes: Tinned pineapple rings, pine resin, citrus, spice and a hint of white wine grape (which introduces itself as Mr. Sauvin). A superb complex nose again Tuatara! 9/10.

T: Flavour is decent enough (which is an Aussie colloquialism that may confuse international readers as it really means “not that great at all”) but lacking in hop promise. A big multifaceted hop aroma actually leads to a mild, but well-balanced, mixture of biscuit malt, citric/pine hops with a vinous white grape mid-palate and a spicy but medium bitter hop finish. It’s missing a bit of oompf in the flavour department. 6/10.

M: The body and feel however is solid – medium bodied with a nice dense carbonation. 8/10.

D: At 5.8% ABV I found this beer lacking in flavour. It annoys me when I get an APA like this that smells fan-*******-tastic! But it tastes like BDM* It’s far too easy and unassuming to compete with the likes of Feral Hop Hog or LCPA, and really if you’re making an APA those brews, in the antipodes, are your target. 6/10.

Food match: It’s right there in Sauvignon Blanc territory for food pairing – light Asian cuisine (a very broad term but you should get what I mean), oysters, white fish, salmon and grilled chicken with asparagus and snow peas.

*Beer Drinkers Mouthwash – my initialism for brews that I could easily down before brushing my teeth – not to be confused with Births, Deaths & Marriages (the aptly-named Australian government department).

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