Tempest are another Scottish brewer, like Tryst, who I hear a lot about on Twitter, but whose beer I never seem to bump into. So when I was up the road the other month, they were at the top of my hit list if I had the opportunity to buy any bottles. As it turned out, I ended up doing a bottle swap with Craig Garvie for the Double Cresta, he was after a Marble / Emelisse Earl Grey IPA, which I had easy access to. I managed to pick up the Brave New World IPA in Drinkmonger, which along with the Double Cresta, were the only bottles I saw all weekend.
The Brave New World IPA poured a hazy light brown, dirty orange amber colour, with a compact off white head. The head was easily formed, but I didn’t want to pour too quickly as I was unsure how well the yeast was compacted and didn’t want any in the glass. It dropped to a covering fairly quickly, but lasted in some form or other all the way down the glass. The nose was massive, the smell of thick resinous hops streamed out of the glass during the pour. It reminded me a bit of rhubarb and custard sweets, with some pithy grapefruit creeping in around the edges.
It was nice and full bodied in the mouth, the mouth feel almost getting heavier as it slipped down the throat. There was quite a bit of prickle in the mouth and not just from the hops, with quite a bit of crystal malt type flavours coming through the initial bitterness and fading before the after taste. And what an aftertaste it was, slightly sweet, intensely bitter, flavourful and lingering; you could still taste it minutes after finishing a mouthful. While it was quite flavorful, it was one of those beers you can’t quite give a definitive taste for; you end up saying generic things like, resinous, piney and thick. The flavours again reminded me a bit of rhubarb and custard sweets and also subtle grapefruit marmalade, but not in a brash and sharp breakfast grapefruit way.
A smashing beer, one to sit back and savour while the complex flavours dance across your palate. I should have bought more…
The Double Cresta 4 Grain Hazelnut Stout poured an almost jet black, just the faintest hint of a brown at the edges when held underneath a light bulb. The head was really slow to form and I had to pour from an increasing height to coax it into life. I did manage to get a compact tan coloured head to form, but it didn’t last and dropped to a faint ring round the edge of the glass. The nose was deep and complex, with quite a lot of initial rich stewed plum type notes, with some roasted malt notes, that were reminiscent of coffee, elbowing their way in as it warmed up. There was also what appeared to me, to be a slight vinious edge to it all that, which wasn’t so great.
It was very full bodied in the mouth, with some very complex flavours. It was really quite smooth, I was expecting it to have more roasted notes, they were there, but just really quite subtle. The initial coffee flavours were joined by some hazelnut character, or at least the impression of hazelnut, before a bit of a mouth prickle lead into a slightly vinous thick oily stewed fruit aftertaste. It was an interesting beer, but I didn’t think all the flavours melded together particularly well, it all felt a bit disjointed. Also, the vinious edge that it had was a bit off putting, especially in the death throes of the aftertaste where it felt like a bit of green apple was present too.
It wasn’t what I was expecting and may have just been a slightly duff bottle. I’d certainly give it another chance if I ever see it again.