Seven Beers, For Seven Years
Tiny Rebel, are without doubt one of my favourite breweries in the UK - they make some great beer, have a fantastic core range and they've featured on this blog several times. So when I received the Hop Shop Aberdeen newsletter, advertising their 7th birthday collab pack, I pre-ordered it straight away.
Now, I'm not usually one for ordering special edition boxes of beers, or beer advent calendars; I usually wince at the price, thinking that there's no way I can justify the outlay, but when I seen the lineup for this one (and the glass!) I just had to have it. Tiny Rebel have joined forces with some of the biggest hitters in UK craft brewing to put together a special collection of beers. The 7th birthday collab pack consists of seven collaboration beers with some of the hottest breweries in the UK, and a limited edition glass - all packaged in a rather awesome looking box (that can even be coloured in!). Each can, is a whopping 440ml and is wonderfully designed by the extremely talented Tamsin Baker, with each a interesting spin on a popular style.
Unfortunately, due to a supplier issue, I was a few days late in getting my hands on the box - but when it finally arrived, I didn't hang around in working my way through the beers...
Beer #1 - Citra Session IPA, 4% ABV, feat. Magic Rock
First up was a beer brewed in collaboration with one of the hottest breweries in the UK - Huddersfield's Magic Rock Brewing. The make some of the most drinkable session IPA's around, so that's exactly what they've brewed up - a 4% ABV Citra Session IPA. Magic Rock are a firm favourite of mine, so this was teed up nicely to be a hit.
The beer itself pours a murky dark golden colour leaving a foamy off-white head behind. There's a huge hoppy citrus aroma up-front, just as you'd expect to see from a citra IPA - lovely stuff so far. Flavour wise, there are loads of citrus flavours in there from the off, with grapefruit and a hint of pineapple, before it all becomes a bit of a hop bomb with some sharp bitterness rounding everything off.
All in all this was a very drinkable beer, and a really tasty session IPA, reminding me ever so slightly of Cybernaut from BrewDog. Overall, an excellent start to the collab box.
BEER #2 - DDH Pilsner, 5% ABV, fEAT. Fourpure
Next up, in collaboration with Fourpure was a 5% ABV DDH (double dry hopped) Pilsner. Now, I'm not usually a pilsner/lager drinker, but I do appreciate one when it's made well, and those are both styles that Fourpure have a reputation for. I also don't recall ever having a pilsner from Tiny Rebel, so it was certainly an intriguing prospect.
DDH Pils pours an almost crystal clear amber colour, leaving a fingers width of a foamy off-white head. Initial aromas are notably grassy, hoppy, and some citrus lemon. The first sip, is clean, crisp and refreshing with some nice citrus flavours before being followed up by a harsh hoppy backbone, and a touch of resin - which, if I'm being honest, don't think worked too well for me.
Overall, this was a decent enough beer, whilst not quite suited to my taste. But I'm maybe being too harsh on it as this isn't really my preferred style.
Beer #3 - Tropical Sorbet IPA, 4.8% ABV, Feat. Neonraptor Brewing Co.
The next beer is one that I was particularly looking forward to - a 4.8% ABV Tropical Sorbet IPA, brewed in collaboration with Nottingham's Neonraptor Brewing Co. Neonraptor are a brewery that I've yet to experience first hand, but their beers are always eye-catching, and come with a good reputation. So that, combined with the beer itself - a Tropical Sorbet IPA, things were already looking good.
Tropical Sorbet IPA pours from the can (how cool is it?!) a quite clear golden orange colour, leaving less than a fingers width of a bubbly white head behind. Initial aromas are very pleasant - sharp, zesty, citrus aromas with loads of lemon, grapefruit, pineapple and a hint of mango fill your nose. One sip and you are met with tart, juicy fruit flavours; more lemon, grapefruit, and loads of pineapple all come together nicely to make this very drinkable.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable beer - absolutely jam packed full of juicy flavours and extremely drinkable. The only thing I would say is that I would have probably said it was more a sour than an IPA? But that doesn't take away from how tasty this beer was!
Beer #4 - Dark Chocolate & Cherry Barley Wine, 11% ABV, Feat. Siren
The next beer, is certainly an interesting one for me, as it's a style that I'm not overly familiar with - barley wine. This beer, in particular, is a dark chocolate & cherry barley wine brewed in collaboration with Siren, that comes in at 11% ABV. Siren are usually on point when it comes to interesting flavours, so I was pretty excited about this one.
The beer pours from the can (how cool is this can, by the way?!) a deep burgundy colour, semi translucent, leaving a small beige head, that disperses pretty fast. Initial aromas are very sweet, with chocolate & cherry immediately noticeable, with a hint of caramel running through it. Much like the aromas, the initial flavours are very sweet, with caramel, chocolate & malts, laced with black cherries - it was a bit like liquid black forest gateaux. The flavours all balance out pretty well, and there's a warming boozy finish that packs quite a punch.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this beer - the flavours were complex and interesting, and whilst it wasn't perfect - it definitely left me wanting to try out more barley wines in the future.
Beer #5 - NEIPA, 6.8% ABV, Feat. Deya
Next up is the beer that I was probably most looking forward to in this box - the 6.8% ABV NEIPA, brewed in collaboration with Deya, who are quite the masters of this craft. A particular favourite beer style of mine - there's not much better than a juicy, hazy, NEIPA hop bomb when it comes to beer.
This NEIPA pours from the can, a surprising haze-less dark orange colour, leaving a small foamy white head behind. Firstly, this beer smells absolutely wonderful, with loads of peach, apricot and citrus up front, which is backed up with a piney resin aroma. However, after the first sip - things aren't as great as they first smell. Something is amiss here, sure the peach and apricot show themselves, but they aren't quite working, and I think that there's also slightly too much carbonation. There's a good helping of hoppy bitterness at the end to rescue things slightly, but overall I was left unimpressed - this certainly wasn't what I was hoping for from these two.
Sure, it was a perfectly drinkable beer, it just didn't deliver on the levels that I was hoping for.
Beer #6 - Imperial Mocha Vanilla Shot Stout, 0.5% ABV, Feat. Big Drop Brewing
Next up we have a really interesting one. When I first ordered this box, I thought that this beer was actually 10.5% ABV, and then about a week before it was released, it came to my attention that it actually was 0.5% ABV. Initially I was a bit gutted, as this box was already expensive enough, but the more I thought about it, the more this beer intrigued me. For this one, there was only really one way to do it - join forces with the biggest low alcohol breweries around, Big Drop.
Firstly, I just want to mention the can. It is easily the coolest looking can in the box, featuring an awesome pixel art, video game style - I think it actually could be the coolest looking can I've ever laid hands on. This beer pours from the can, a dark black colour, leaving a thin beige head around the top of the glass. There's not much else to say about the aromas other than vanilla and coffee - loads of it! One sip of this beer, and you think you are drinking a rather tasty iced coffee; lots of sweet vanilla combine with lovely coffee and chocolate flavours to bring this beer together nicely. It is incredibly sweet, silky smooth and the lack of alcohol make it very easy drinking.
I was very impressed by this collaboration. If this is what low-alcohol beers can be, then I am all for it. It is about time we had a bigger, tastier selection on the shelves.
Beer #7 - Pomegranate & Molasses Belgian Strong Ale, 8% ABV, Feat. Yeastie Boys
Finally, we have a 8% ABV Pomegranate & Molasses Belgian Strong Ale, brewed in Collaboration with Yeastie Boys. Yeastie Boys have been part of some of the biggest collabs around over the last year or so (including the epic stout with Vocation), so it only makes sense for Tiny Rebel to team up with these guys to celebrate their birthday. This was another style that I was unfamiliar with, but the flavours sounded extremely interesting, so I was rather keen to check it out.
This beer pours from the glass an amber brown colour, leaving a thin beige head at the top of it. Initial aromas are caramel, orange, sweet fruits with a hint of spices. The first sip is full-on sweetness, with brown sugar, caramel and molasses followed by a hint of pomegranate and some orange. There's then a warming finish from some festive spices to round everything off.
Overall, I found this beer to be...Ok. There was something with it that I couldn't quite put my finger on that didn't work for me. It certainly wasn't horrible, and I drank the whole thing, but I think the combination of all the flavours just wasn't my thing.
And that's it! Although there were a couple of slight mishaps along the way, I really enjoyed working my way through special box of beers. In particular, my favourites were the Citra Session IPA (the first one I had!) with Magic Rock, and the Tropical Sorbet IPA with Neon Raptor, followed by the low alcohol stout with Big Drop.
If you are up for trying some really interesting flavoured beers, along with an awesome glass, all packaged together in a really cool box, then I would highly recommend picking this up whilst you still can. I guess the only thing left to say is happy birthday Tiny Rebel, here's to the next seven years! 🍻
Next up we have Peaches and Cream IPA by the kings of Wales, Tiny Rebel Brewing Co. I've previously reviewed two of their beers on this blog - Captain Insano & Clwb Tropicana, with both gaining very favourable reviews. So when Hop Shop Aberdeen dropped an issue of their newsletter a couple of weeks ago & I seen the words "Peaches", "Cream" & "IPA" together, I knew this was a beer I had to try.
Peaches & Cream IPA is exactly what it says on the label - a 5.5% ABV Peaches & Cream IPA and here's what Tiny Rebel have to say about it:
"Does exactly what it says on the tin! Peach flavours from, you guessed it, peaches! The cream comes from sweet, smooth lactose and the IPA from the bucket loads of Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe that compliment the sweet fruit flavours."
Tiny Rebel certainly have a reputation when it comes to jamming their beers full of awesome flavours, so I was looking forward to this one.
Before we go any further, lets talk about the bottle. Seriously, how cool is the label?! It features "Princess Peach" doing some spray painting and the signature Tiny Rebel Logo.
Peaches & Cream IPA pours a hazy orange colour leaving a creamy white head. The aromas are predominantly loads of sweet, juicy peaches with a touch of citrus. This is without doubt a beer that does exactly what it says on the bottle - on your first sip you are met an awesome juicy peach flavour & load of milky creaminess before coming to a every so slight bitter finish. Wonderful stuff! This beer is extremely easy (and enjoyable!) drinking & could easily see myself enjoying a couple of these in one sitting.
Overall, this has been another extremely enjoyable beer from Tiny Rebel. These guys are without doubt one of the most exciting breweries in the UK right now & I can't wait to see what comes next. Peaches and Cream IPA gets 4.5 out of 5 from me 🍻
Tiny Rebel Brew Co.
I'm quite fond of Tiny Rebel Brew Co, their Tropical IPA Clwb Tropicana, along with some extremely awesome can art have been a massive hit with me. So when they announced a 10% ABV TRIPLE IPA; Captain Insano...they certainly got my attention.
Here's what they have to say about it...
"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.
Introducing the biggest, baddest most brilliant beer the world has ever seen. The Triple to Cripple. The meanest IPA in the Milky Way. Weighing in at 440lbs of pure hop muscle...CAPTAIN INSANO.
We’ve turned all our dials so far past ten they’ve broken off in our hands. Named after the greatest wrestler there ever wasn’t, Captain Insano is our epic Triple IPA.
Double IPAs are for suckers. Go big or go home.
With nearly three times the hops as we've ever used in one brew before, big resiny hops give the beer a chewy, sticky texture and massive clementine and mango flavours. There’s nothing else to say. Hops front and centre, in your face and bigger than ever.
CAPTAIN INSANO SHOWS NO MERCY."
Yeah...sounds pretty crazy right?
Well this is one insane bitter hop bomb of a beer!
It pours a hazy golden amber with a beige white head, releasing big tropical, piney aromas as it does.
Those big bold flavours show up again when you take a sip too. Tropical fruits, orange & mango are followed by a HUGE piney bitter aftertaste that rounds this beer off with a proper smack in the face. You can definitely feel the full 10% ABV here - it's not to be taken lightly.
Overall, a cracker of a beer - but proceed with caution...this beer will blow your head off.
4 out of 5 hops from me 🍻
Tiny Rebel Brew Co.
Imagine Tom Jones on a beach wearing a Hawaiian shirt, singing Club Tropicana by WHAM...Yeah that's this beer.
Hailing from Newport, Wales - Tiny Rebel Brew Co. have created this fruity little number that is jam packed with juicy tropical fruits. Clwb Tropicana is a 5.5% ABV tropical IPA that caught my attention as soon as I set eyes on it in a Westhill Service Station newsletter.
Here's what Tiny Rebel have to say about it:
"This grown up fruit salad is as colourful as the most hideous Hawaiian shirt you’ve ever seen. It’s super juicy and crammed full of fruity hop flavours that will have your mouth watering. Imagine sitting by the pool in the blazing sun with a cocktail in one hand, but instead of a dainty little glass it’s served by the pint!
Packed full of American hops, amplified by Peach, Passionfruit, Pineapple and Mango flavours!"
Sounds awesome right? Lets get into it...
Cracking the wonderfully designed can open, you are met with intense, juicy fruit flavours; pineapple & mango are at the forefront which are rounded off with a slight piney aroma. So far so good.
Clwb Tropicana pours a hazy golden orange, with a small foamy white head. With the first sip...BOOM you're back on the beach, sipping on a cocktail. This beer is seriously fruity! Pineapple, mango & peach gives this beer the taste of those old school fruit salad sweets. Then the hops kick in and round this beer off with some nice piney, bitter flavours. This is one beer I would like to be drinking on a hot day.
It's not quite Tropigamma...but hey, what is? Clwb Tropicana is a fantastic beer that leaves me wanting to try more from this exciting Welsh outfit.
4 out of 5 hops from me 🍻