Total Score: 8.25/10
From one dud brew to Tuatara Tu-Rye-Ay. These guys (and girls – let’s be inclusive) get. Beer. So I’m under no illusions that they will fudge up a brew by making it entry-as-f**k like Burleigh did with Twisted Palm. Let’s face it the bottle is attractive with that classic Tuatara lizard skin neck (Tuatara is a type of NZ lizard I discovered after drinking my first one – proving beer can be educational!) and denim dungarees (a tribute to the greatest band that ever existed, EVER: Dexys Midnight Runners!) adorning the label – who could resist its charms? Not I. Plus we all know I have an affinity with beers that contain Rye – Hook, line, sinker Tuatara.
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: More dark brown than obsidian body, but opaque? You betcha! Foamy mocha coloured head on top that leaves a real nice lace ‘scrawl’ on the side of the glass. One look at this and you know that you’re in for a real treat. 9/10.
S: Damn with a capital ‘D’ this is one bold aroma! Nothing unexpected from Tuatara – these guys (and girls – we discussed this already) know how to throw down a gauntlet. Aromas of: Earth and pepper upfront mingle with cacao nibs, dark chocolate, espresso and a piney hop character. Impressive work Tuatara. 8/10.
T: Earthy and peppery Rye notes right from the get-go. This is a Rye beer that you can tell has really had a decent quantity of Rye added to it [about time]. Dark chocolate/espresso coffee notes come in mid-palate, trample on your tongue a bit before opening up for a late herbal/piney bitter finish. It’s definitely slanted towards the darker beer flavour spectrum (think Russian Imperial Stouts), and the coffee notes are sublime (and slightly smoky) so if you go in to this wanting Stout flavours you will indeed be one happy camper. 8/10.
M: Medium bodied with a thin(ish) carbonation that could have been improved with oats [just saying]. Overall textures are good enough, though not on the same level as a brewer like Founders. 8/10.
D: What an unexpected hit (like ‘Come on Eileen’ no doubt was in the 80’s). It has been a while since I’ve dabbled with a dark beer – what with Queensland in summer and all those +30c days and whatnot. So this was a pleasant reminder of how great dark beers truly are, and I’ve even got a Sierra Nevada Narwhal sitting in my fridge atm, happy days! *ahem* Yeah, as advertised and delivered once again Tuatara, one of my fav NZ brewers, chairs bra! 9/10.
Food Match: Poor old Johnny Ray, you might want a cigar with this, come on Eileen!