IndyMan, you remember that right?
Even if you weren’t lucky enough to attend you must have been comatose not to have noticed the furore that followed what was for me at least the best beer festival ever, be that on blogs, twitter or word of mouth. Well that was where I had my first proper taste of Tiny Rebel
I walked in, massively excited at the prospect of an awesome day of beer and immediately faced a dilemma, what beer to try first?
I scanned the along the wide expanse of the cask bar and stopped, one pump clip leapt from the bar, a spinning, whirling mass of jaggedy edges, clip fixings, fire and lightning. It screamed HADOUKEN in a slightly stereotypically oriental voice, drop kicked me between the eyes and before I knew it was back on its hand pull, a slightly smug smile on its plastic, flat face.
OK, OK, there may have been an ever so slight air of exaggeration there, but for anyone who grew up playing Street Fighter, you’ll at least get where I’m coming from. Anyway, tonight, I’m back there again, memories flooding back as I tuck into a bottle of Hadouken magic.
First off lets look at the Tiny Rebel branding, modern, bold, clear, simple and instantly recognisable, I just love it. I love it so much in fact I’d better get this bottle open…
It smells incredible, there’s an immediate hit of fruit bubblegum balls, the type you used to get in jars. Stick your nose in and try to pick your favourite from the kaleidoscope of colours that bizarrely whirl around your nostrils. Then more, candied strawberry, melon and a slightly savoury twist, lets take a stab at salted caramel, it’s one of the best smelling beers I’ve had for a good old while..
The taste is much more contained, but nonetheless pleasingly good. There’s a sweetness there but its very much restrained, like Chun Li bound tightly with the bitterest of bitter hop shackles.
There’s a sort of softness underpinning the whole thing, a warm malted bready-ness that carries the whole thing along nicely, but again can’t override the resinous, grapefruit pith hop bitterness that coats the tongue with every mouthful and lingers long.
This is a seriously good beer, Amplified IPA it has scrawled graffiti style on the label and it certainly lives up to that. I can’t wait to get stuck into the rest.
*Massive thanks to Chris Dixon, who very kindly lugged these from the West Midlands for me, top bloke and worth a Twitter follow if you love good beer.