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Beer – #887 – Tuatara – XV

More celebration beer, this one 15 years, the Tuatara – XV – Russian Imperial Stout

15 years is a good enough reason to make a wee bit of a song and dance. I had this on tap a few months ago and thought it was amazing, but that was 3 months ago, I doubt things have changed though, it was good then should be good now. Right?

..” a wee bit of a song and dance.. “

This is a 500ml bottle, and the beer is 11% ABV and 100 IBU things, that’s about 330 calories a serve size, and this is 4.4 standard drinks.

Brewed by Tuatara Brewing Company this on in the style that is  Imperial Stout and that all happened in Paraparaumu, New Zealand

It seems like only yesterday Carl Vasta was scratching out a living brewing beer in a draughty Kapiti shed. 15 years later, here we are in a slightly bigger shed and in the mood to celebrate. We’re

High fives

High fives

marking the milestone with a nod to Carl’s ancestry by hand crafting this mighty Russian Imperial Stout. Like our little brewery, this beer will stand the test of time.

We like to think that 15 years is a good enough reason to make a wee bit of a song and dance – or at the very least a really monumental beer for the cellar-bratory ages!

So in 2015, our quindecennial year as a brewery, we created a limited edition Russian Imperial Stout, XV. It has been cellared (upright, of course – we do things a wee bit differently from our vinetarian cousins) over the past year and, just like this brewery, XV has improved with age!

Za zda-ró-vye!

So, what could possibly go wrong? Well I hope not so much

Initially sour gives way to a chocolate sugar, but it’s dull, and fruity too.

tuatara-xvSmokey predominates in this, and there is a burst of bitterness near the end that brings your attention into focus.

This is one of these beers where there really is a strong aroma that prepares you for what’s about to be drink, although they are slightly disconnected because the aroma and flavour diverge a bit.

This isn’t a full mouthfeel soft fluffy stout, this is quite brash and full of itself showy-off beer.

What happens when it warms is a dryness on the palate begins to assert, reminding you you’re drinking quite a big beer that needs to be given some respect, this isn’t a quaffing beer for after the chores, this is a sit and tend your aches and sip and reflect kind of beer.

It’s a nice beer for those couple of late afternoon hours between the chores and the dinner, the really lazy hours.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 of its things from the thing. I thought that the bitterness in this was just a bit too much for me, and distracting from the other fine things that this beer has, the aroma and layers, and the smokiness and softness in the taste, I just couldn’t find myself appreciating it as much as I wanted to.

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? The usual place, and it’s all over if you look.
  • Am I enjoying it? I’m pretty sure I enjoyed the keg fresh version more, and it was softer all round, this however is lovely and I’m happy smiling about it.
  • Would I have another? I would if they’re still around.
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? I think it’s worthwhile noting that a brewer choses to make a big stout flavour full-bodied beer as their celebration, quite right to want to celebrate that milestone, I’d share this because it’s not everyday you get to celebrate milestones.

Music for this: ” Zooey ” and an album called ” The Drifters” on Spotify 

The Drifters’ is the debut album from London based French duo ZOOEY


Imperial stouts are usually extremely dark brown to black in color with flavors that are intensely malty, deeply roasted and sometimes with accents of dark fruit (raisin, fig) or milk sourness. The bitterness is typically medium and often the low sie of that. Imperial stouts are strong and often exceed 8% by volume.


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