Tuatara ‘hop head heaven’ APA


image“Spawned by freewheeling, Californian hopheads, American Pale Ale is the red-headed stepchild of the classic IPA. Big and extroverted with plenty of bitterness, a great APA shows off some fruit on the nose and the kind of earthy, herbaceous complexity Pinot Noir buffs drone on about when they corner you at a fundraiser. Anyway, we had a thumb through the Tuatara atlas and discovered that us Kiwis are New World too. So we reckon it’s time a New Zealand APA pulled on its dockers, ”

The second we saw ‘hop head heaven’ on the label we were sold! We served this in a shaker glass. The deep amber pour constructs a 1 inch off-white head that settles to a thin film on top. OK lacing. Aroma boasts great depth. Highly hop-aromatic with plenty of citric fruits including grapefruit, lime and passion fruit. Some herbal wafts with pine and resinous undertones are nicely balanced by the sweet malts. Brilliant stuff. In the mouth it’s smooth and well-rounded with mild-medium carbonation. Good body. The assertive hop bitterness cuts all the way through with a touch of grapefruit and pine dominating the palate up front. A good lashing of caramel and malt to smooth it out and a clean bitter finish and voila, you have yourself a top shelf APA. The 5.8% ABV flies just under the radar, it’s there but it’s well hidden. Not so sessional but definitely quaffable. A pearler of an American pale ale here. Another great beer from these Kiwi masters.