07 February 2018

Tea time

Talk about working slowly through a beer range. I enjoyed Digital IPA, brewed at BrewDog for New Zealand's Yeastie Boys, in the first half of 2016. Now I've finally got around to taking a second one for a spin: Gunnamatta, another IPA, this time with added Earl Grey tea. This one is a murky pale orange colour with little more than a desultory effort at a head. It smells like a straightforward American-style pale ale, if perhaps a little old-fashioned, all orange candy on a caramelised malt base. The flavour continues in this fashion: plain drinking, lightly citric, though it does introduce the tea right at the beginning. I had been expecting this to be a bathtime blast of bergamot, but it's much more subtle. The tannins come through pleasingly, adding a classic tea-ness to the whole thing, the bergamot oil arriving right at the end, brushing past the back of the palate on its way out.

Whereas Digital was all about the hop fireworks, this is much more refined: delicate and refreshing like, well, a good cup of Earl Grey. We have to gloss over the unreasonably high ABV of 6.5%. It's good to see a brewer use an extra ingredient to enhance the base product without letting the novelty take over. Another quality effort from Yeastie Boys; give me 18 months more and I'll try the third one.

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