Just like you, but different
The Tuatara Conehead it’s been beckoning to me. 2014 Vintage.
Limited Release. Tuatara’s first go at a green-hopped beer (made with fresh or wet hops, meaning they have not been kilned or dried). On 19 March, the brew team headed down to Motueka to pick up 200kg of freshly cut Nelson Sauvin hops from the Mac Hops farm. Those aromatic hops were chucked in the back of the brewery’s refrigerated truck and, with some help from the ferry, driven back to the brewery where they went straight into a brew which was already running. Brewer Carl Vasta says the beer, which has been nicknamed Cone Head, is hoppy but not quite as hoppy as the Tuatara APA. It has a huge amount of late fragrant hop and is about 5.5%. The style is broadly an APA though some may consider it more of a Cream Ale.
Conehead is Tuatara’s annual tribute to green-hopping and a legend in the world of the hop-struck. It’s as close to a pagan fertility ritual as brewing gets, adding a load of Nelson Sauvin that’s never seen the inside of a kiln to a richly malted pale ale. If we’ve succeeded it should bolster notes of passionfruit, gooseberry and grapefruit with a balanced bitterness, but the vicissitudes of the process mean anything could happen. Did we do it? There’s only one way to find out.
Hopped with Citra and Amarillo in the boil and green/wet Nelson Sauvin in the hopback for aroma and flavour.
a lot of words… an Aside these have the best bottles ever, custom made with bumps and ridges like… a Tuatara 🙂
Green hop aroma on opening, bit intense.
What seemed like a pale pour turns out to be a reasonable golden orange one, with a real decent fluffy head. Hop strong aroma. Would not have picked that as Nelson Sauvin hops. Quite peppery.
A hop that requires judicious application in the brew house, this truly unique dual-purpose variety can be used to produce big punchy Ales as well as subtle yet bitter Lagers. The fruitiness may be a little overpowering for the un-initiated, however those with a penchant for bold hop character will find several applications for this true brewer’s hop
Back to the beer though .
Quite sweetly bitter, but without the bitter bite on the whole palate, and then you get a really arid dry coating finish, almost too dry and as if it’s really ‘dry’ and dusty in the mouth feel.
So two things going on. A really sweet and intense hop nose, and then a green grass and dryness on the palate.
It’s a confused thing is this. It’s not bitter enough for long enough and it is really maddening dry in the wrong place and in the wrong way on the tongue, more middle than end.
The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 6 a of its things from the thing. Average. Very average. I’m sure there are people that’d get off on the aroma and care less about the taste, I’d like the one to be the other, same/same.
The double dip review
American Pale Ales are light in color, ranging from golden to a light copper color. The style of this beer is defined by the American hops used. American hops typically have high bitterness and aroma.This is a perfect beer for big fare like grilled burgers or combination pizzas, as well as lighter fare like sushi and green salads.