Total Score: 7.55/10
Holy shit! Can’t believe I haven’t reviewed Tuatara Tomahawk American Pale Ale yet. I’m a big fan of that giant lizard of the New Zealand brewing world – the mighty Tuatara, a modern-day remnant of the dinosaur days [talking about tuatara’s not the brewery]. Admittedly I haven’t reviewed many Tuatara’s [the beer now], but thus far they’ve all rated decently, with Double Trouble being my favourite of theirs, which means they’ve got some Pale Ale making chops. KAPAI however, sort of a sister brew to Tomahawk, has been my least favourite, so here’s hoping that Tomahawk is better [though it’s probably not likely – hey I’m a realist, you should know this by now].
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Fairly clear deep amber body with a nice chunky off-white cappuccino foam head that compresses to 1 centimetre. Some latticework lacing forms on the side of the glass, decent standard West Coast APA here. 8/10.
S: Classic West Coast APA aroma of piney/orange hops, earthy forest-floor overtones, caramel/biscuit malts, and dry juniper note in the finish. They’ve pretty much nailed the style AFAIC, without adding anything new or exciting. But hey, if it works it works. 8/10.
T: As above: piney/orange hops, earthy forest-floor overtones, caramel/biscuit malts, dry juniper… and a peppery/herbal character towards the finish. Finish is mid to high hop bitterness, probably a bit too cavalier with the bitterness – for an APA, this is in IPA territory here. Apart from the slant towards bitterness this APA is g-to-the-power-of ood [basically it’s good]. 7/10.
M: Medium-ish bodied with a bit of hop resins floating around and a light but prickly carbonation. Nice and chunky like a Campbells soup. 8/10.
D: Not bad Tuatara, not bad at all. Better than KAPAI, it has a bit more of a flavour hit, and whether you like it or not: a bitterness hit as well. My only critiques relate to differences in style from APA and IPA – this beer is definitely heading in to IPA territory, not necessarily a bad thing in of itself, but you need to know what you’re buying and it says right there on the bottle in big blue letters “American Pale Ale”. Also it could have used a bit more malt character (and sweetness). Other than that we’re sweet brah. 8/10.
Food match: BBQ grilled chicken Portuguese-style with a bit of peri-peri chilli sauce to kick it up just a notch.