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Tuatara - Alpine Beer Company

Tuatara
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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

60 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 60
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.69%


Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-07-2009)
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Ratings: 60 | Reviews: 30 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.63/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler from the ever-generous ArthurPendragon.

Poured from growler to nonic, two fingers of thick foam top a brilliantly clear golden body. Head retention is outstanding; a white cap lasts until the final gulp.

The nose is distinctly Alpine: loaded with herbal, floral, spicy dry hops. The hop aroma is unique, decidedly different from anything they've made with West Coast hops, more on the spicy, zesty side, but no less huge and aromatic.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly light and crisp, barely a trace of malt to be found. Zesty, herbal, slightly floral hops are supported by the lightest of crackery malt flavor. This one is dry from beginning to end, with very little bitterness coming through in the finish. It's incredibly delicate stuff, but so damn flavorful and refreshing. Drinkability is off the charts; I could session an entire growler of this over the course of a few hours. Another amazing beer from Alpine, I wish more breweries would make beers like this.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2009 06:38:55 | More by largadeer
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was an exceptionally great beer I have to say. Big thanks to my man out west for keeping me up with all the Alpine releases. This one was killed by yours truly last night while listening to the phish fest on the TV.

The pour was killer, light golden pale amber with a huge head of white that came up and over the top. Rich notes of light citrus hops are dancing all over this one, really very complex and quite the nice beer I have to say. As I take the first sip the clean crisp nature of the flavor really sets it apart for me. Nice crisp lemon zest on the tongue, light notes of grain and a touch of fresh grassy and herbal like notes. Warming brings some sweet, buttery balance to it and leaves a nice dry finish with a long taste of light hops that stays with you throughout the session.

Overall this was soo damn drinkable that I killed the whole thing before I even knew what had hit me. I could have this one on tap at the house forever, it was just that damn good!

Serving type: growler

10-31-2009 16:47:07 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of pmarlowe
pmarlowe

District of Columbia

4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at O'Brien's. Pint glass.

A: Pours a clear golden color with half finger of white foam, super super tiny bubbles. Very good retention. After a little bit has been drunk, almost half of the exposed glass is a solid wall of lacing. Nice.

S: Smooth, spicy pine and floral hoppiness. Subtle and very fresh.

T: Taste is the same, with a slight lemon. Not much malt here. Finish is mildly bitter.

M: Crisp, medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Ridiculously drinkable. Has all the great flavors of an IPA, but at a sessionable ABV. Great stuff. This is among my favorite Alpine beers.

Serving type: on-tap

08-06-2011 06:21:29 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of MiScusi
MiScusi

California

4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O'Brien's today. Crystal clear gold to light caramel color. Smell has a combination of earthy/spicy and fruity/tropical hops. The taste is zesty. Finishes with a bit that is quite reminiscent of many of sierra nevada's hoppy beers (a really distinct flavor I get solely from SN), but not with as much of the caramel aspect. Nice hoppy flavor to it. Mouthfeel is light yet pretty smooth. At 4.2% this beer is very nice for multiple rounds when you are in the mood for hops.

Serving type: on-tap

08-03-2010 21:54:10 | More by MiScusi
Photo of GJ40
GJ40

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at the Toronado in San Diego.

A light golden ale with great clarity and a creamy white head. The aroma is bursting with tropical fruit and citrusy hops. A touch of yeast comes through as well. The flavor follows with huge tropical fruit and citrus notes. The bitterness is low and there's a hint of toasted malt. The consistency is very creamy for a lower alcohol beer and it has a nice low carbonation.

This was quite a surprise. It's got all of the hop flavor of an IPA but is much more of a session beer. Alpine is quickly becoming one of my favorites.

Serving type: on-tap

08-18-2010 12:04:19 | More by GJ40
Photo of OlieIPA
OlieIPA

California

4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into an Alpine pint glass at roughly 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

A: Pale gold body that supported a 1-finger head and mild lacing.

S: A sweet wheat character along with a very unique hop profile. The New Zealand hops, which I believe are used in the hop bill, create a very sharp pine-like aroma.

T: Mild sweetness with a decent amount of hop-kick. Unlike anything I've tried, but closely resembles either a hopped up Pale Ale or California Common.

M: Light and dry on the palate with robust amounts of carbonation.

D: Perfect for a warm afternoon, this beer was easy to drink and exhibited tons of flavor.

Overall: Alpine...how do you do it? A must try. Cheers!

Serving type: growler

07-31-2010 22:19:09 | More by OlieIPA
Photo of Bubba83
Bubba83

California

4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this as a sample at the brewery during SD Beer Week.

Apperance was menacing. A light orange colored body with lots of super bright white head. Creamy looking head with insane lacing.

Smell is good, lots of lemony and grassy flavors, very fresh smelling, like being in a field. A bunch of bright but dry citrus is here too with an underlying biscuity smell and some spice and earth. Seems very New Zealand style.

They weren't kidding on their board. Lots of lemon/lime flavors come out in the taste, almost like drinking sprite, but not an odd kind of "is this beer?" feeling. It's definitely beer, but the hop flavor is very unique and refreshing. Lots of lemon and lime type flavors with some orange. Not too much grapefruit or anything bitter, just lots of brightness. There's a bunch of crackery/biscuity/grainy/cereal malt underneath but it's well hidden beneath the very spritzy/zesty hops.

The feel is very dry with a grainyness and good carbonation. Despite how abrasive you think it should be, there's a little bit of creaminess.

Drinkability is incredible. I could drink this all day every day for a year. Super dry and refreshing, almost like drinking a good ginger ale. Amazing flavors that make you contemplate what a hoppy beer is supposed to be and something so unique that you just can't get enough. Alpine, I know you're bottling a lot of your beers now, why not give this one a whirl and be completely surprised when it is your best seller?

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2010 09:42:04 | More by Bubba83
Photo of seaoflament
seaoflament

California

4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a pint of this at O'Brien's Pub on Nov. 10 while I waited for the Kopi Luwak Speedway to get tapped. This new hoppy Alpine beer was made with some New Zealand Moteuka hops (a cross breed with Saazer, giving it a noble hop characteristic and also known as "B Saaz") and Pacific Jade (a cross of New Zealand "First Choice" and "Old Line" Saazer Male hops).

Tuatara presented a great clarity with a light caramel color, a combination of light brown and light orange hues. A half inch of foam settled to a thin layer after a few moments, leaving some lacing behind.

Very tropical on the nose, must come from the Pacific Jade, with grapefruit, mango, orange, floral and lemony aromas that are reminiscent of Amarillo but with a slightly herbal and spicy twist. Hints of light toast and light caramel malts in the back.

Yum! These guys know how to make tasty and refreshing hoppy beers. Clean bitterness with creamy carbonation and a medium dryness in the finish. Balancing toast, biscuit and light caramel malts. Floral hops, citrus rind, bitter orange, and a bit of young nectarine.

Very smooth, creamy carbonation, and feels a tad light in the finish but suits well for the style and makes it very easy to drink. Could drink a growler of this.

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2009 22:03:05 | More by seaoflament
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O'Brien's and again at Pizza Port Carlsbad during SD Beer Week. What an awesome pale ale.

Great clear golden color with a foamy white head and some lacing that fades to a ring.

Aroma was somewhat mild and a little odd the first time I had it, almost like the smell after a rain, along with some citrusy hops. Second time around this funkiness wasn't there and it was mostly just fresh hops. Smelled great that time.

Flavor is lots of fresh rough citrus hops, some grain, and a little pale malt. Tasty and very well-hopped.

Palate is medium light with hoppiness lingering. Pretty refreshing.

A nice session pale ale overall, great for the style. Drinkability high.

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2009 02:43:30 | More by nickd717
Photo of Nugganooch
Nugganooch

California

4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Alpine Brewery
*Notes from 08/12/11

A: My pint of Tuatara arrived a crystal clear & effervescent soft caramel color with a nice frothy 2 finger white head of foam and some scattered lacing.

S: Aromas are chalked full of citrus fruit flesh. Lemony really. Fruity tangy hops and subtle breads.

T: Big citrus hop flavors. Zesty lemon. Wheat is subtle and brings a sugary breadlike maltiness to the table. Really nice hop zing for such a small brew. Light dry crisp finish. Very tasty.

M: An incredibly light bodied beer with a great creamy texture.

D: The very definition of drinkable. A super hopped light and fruity pale ale coming in at 4.2%. I can def drink this brew ALL day long!

Another great showcase of NZ hops from Alpine and something quite unique to the palate. Extremely refreshing for a hot summers afternoon.

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2011 22:05:04 | More by Nugganooch
Photo of mithrascruor
mithrascruor

California

4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Brien's, San Diego.

Pours a light copper color with a bit of light white lacing. Light but pleasant aroma of hops, some grains, and a bit of apricot. Similar flavor, with some bitterness building up towards & into the finish. Light bodied and generally smooth, with mild carbonation. A pleasant session ale, though I thought it was a tad too bitter.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2011 00:21:44 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Alpine - shared with friends.

A - Two fingers of soapy that dissipates slowly and leavings a solid cap with nice rings of lace. Transparent light golden body with a few stray bubbles.

S - Interesting hop aroma on this one - lots of peach and lemon, with touches of flowers and peppery spice. Not much malt character at all.

T - Taste is pretty similar to the smell, with more peach and less of the pepper flavor. Maybe a touch of cat pee. Again, negligible malt character, which is unsurprising for a 4.2% pale ale.

M - Thin, with light carbonation tingle, a touch of dryness and bitterness in the finish, but this is very clean.

D - A session pale ale that goes down easy. Nothing super special, but solid.

Serving type: growler

10-14-2009 23:42:30 | More by MasterSki
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Alpine

A: The beer pours a cloudy golden orange with a white head.

S: Starts off with nice grapefruit/citrus hops on the nose. Plenty of floral notes along with a mild bread note and a light wheat smell. There is plenty of pine hop character as well.

T: A moderate hop/pine bitterness to open up. Like with any hoppy Alpine beer, lots of citrus and pine hop flavors. There is just a light floral note and some light maltiness.

M: Medium in body and carbonation.

O: I've liked these lower alcohol, highly hopped beers from Alpine. A nicely done beer.

Serving type: on-tap

07-31-2011 22:32:23 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Cavery
Cavery

California

4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Alpine yesterday, was very pleased to see this on tap. Always looking for new Alpine beers to try!

A: Rustic orange body with mellow hazy hues. Slight amber character, but mostly deep earthy orange tones. Very frothy whip cream head remains like an ice berg. As always a solid looking beer from Alpine. high water mark lacing at the top of the glass.

S: Really nice honey suckle floral character that invites orange blossoms and juicy sappy resins. Zesty juice character of lemons, tangelos, and oranges. Having Nelson right next to this beer really helps pick out the fact that there is some New Zealand hops in here.

T: Super crisp cucumber with some deep floral earthiness. The florals are only lightly bitter with more leafy greeness to them. Light raw honey combs maintain a very organic flavor profile. Mild hop bitterness that sweetens a bit with the alcohol in the end.

M: Light sizzle to a medium-full body. The flavors lighten the mouth experience, but the bubbles really hold up for a long time in the mouth. The more I drink this the fuller the beer seems to be, as the light honeys and sensations of bubbliness accumulates in the mouth. Not too coating and not too drying, but a little bit of both.

O: Fantastic salad pairing beer, light flavors on an organic malt tasting backbone. The flavors really suggest watery veggies that crack with crisp freshness. Condiments of floral saps and honeys throughout. This is a really natural tasting treat with a lot to offer in terms of lightness. However, this doesn't hold up on its own as well as a great many other beers from Alpine. In terms of their traditional pale ale styles, I'd say this is 2nd behind Hoppy Birthday.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2011 18:34:16 | More by Cavery
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler shared with a few friends. Thanks Rich for continuing to satisfy my unending need for all things Alpine.

Pours a nice golden apricot color with a massive, frothy white head and good lacing and retention. Fairly sweet, citrus NZ hop aroma with light tropical and sweet malt notes. Flavor starts initially sweet and juicy, with surprising amounts of citrus and tropical hops before finishing with stronger pine bitterness. Pleasant toasted malt body throughout, with a mild herbal and floral presence that becomes more potent in the finish. Light bodied, soft and creamy, with moderate carbonation. Very easy drinking and enjoyable, but lacking the excitement of Hoppy Birthday. Nothing wrong with that and would happily have this again.

Serving type: growler

09-06-2011 00:32:05 | More by yourefragile
Photo of MisterClean
MisterClean

California

4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado SD.

A - Poured a strong yellow, with 2 fingers of white head. Dissipates slow and leaves little lacing.

S - Caramel and citrus.

T - Caramel, citrus, and bittering hops.

M - Moderate n body, hop dominated and smooth. Still slightly bitter from the hops, but good for the style.

D - A very good example of a pale ale. Definitely worth trying.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2009 02:57:15 | More by MisterClean
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

8/1/2010

On tap at Stone. Appears vibrant yellowish orange with a pillow white head and good retention.

The aroma is reminiscent of grapefruit, orange, and pine, with accompanying floral, earthy, and minty notes. The malt profile is faint and grainy.

The flavor exhibits a lemony, orange pith, and herbal bitterness with some mint notes. Sweetness is ephemeral midpalate, quickly reverting to dry floral/herbal/lightly citric bitterness. Pine and a light astringency are apparent in the dry and bitter terminus.

The mouthfeel is dry and sticky and carbonation is high. A flavorful and quite sessionable hoppy pale ale for a warm summer day, though I much prefer Hoppy Birthday.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2010 23:01:43 | More by HopHead84
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 08/21/11 notes. Big thanks to Nugganooch for sending a growler of this one my way; always interested in trying new Alpine beers. Poured into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a hazy golden color with two inches of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Light lacing left on the glass and not much head retention.

s - Smells of citrus hops, fruit malts, light pine hops, and light tropical fruits. Nice and fruity and not overly strong in the hops department, but very enjoyable.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, tropical fruits, and fruity malts. Again, nothing too strong but still very nice.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink.

o - Overall a really nice APA. Not nearly as strong or hoppy as some of their other beers, but at 4.2% ABV you can definitely have a few glasses of this one. A really easy drinking enjoyable APA; would like to have it again. Thanks again Dane!

Serving type: growler

08-22-2011 17:37:28 | More by mdfb79
Photo of popery
popery

California

4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to largadeer. Growler. Very nice. It’s light and dry with lots of hops. I love these beers that are basically scaled down West Coast-style IPAs. Pours pale gold with a white head. Nose has plenty of hops and leans toward the citric and tropical flavors - grapefruit, tangerine, kiwi, pineapple, mango, mild pine and grass. Light on the palate with just a touch of pale malt flavor. Rather dry. Very pleasant mild bitter hop bite in the finish. A good beer for an afternoon of drinking.

Serving type: growler

08-14-2011 20:27:13 | More by popery
Photo of notchucknorris
notchucknorris

California

4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronados

A: Amber color with a thin tan head.

S: Pretty nice floral and pine hop aroma with some hop resin in the background.

T: Caramel malts upfront with a bit hit of pine hops and hop resin. A really solid pale ale. Not the best out there, but a really good one.

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2011 16:36:50 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to mdfb79 for sharing this growler. Served in an Alpine pint glass on an Alpine coaster while wearing an Alpine t-shirt. That's right, Paul. Aside from demolishing Paul, the beer was also quite pleasant to drink.

Pours a nice apricot color with a two-finger white head and good lacing and retention.

Nose carries a light dosing of New Zealand hops. Citrus rind and light tropical notes, plus just a touch of pine. Nothing too strong -- they could have gone with more here. The flavor adds a bit more character and isn't quite as tame, with nice fruity notes throughout.

Light body with crisp carbonation and a light bitterness. Nothing too intense, but a great summer brew.

Serving type: growler

08-22-2011 01:59:07 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear honey, nice near white head, slow to leave. Some cling remains.

S - Light malt, straw, NZ hops def in there.

T - Taste close to smell. Malt not overly sweet, and grassy. Clobbered by hops in finish. Clean overall.

M - Good carb and balance. Med to light body.

D - The very definition of session.

Serving type: growler

10-06-2011 03:53:41 | More by srandycarter
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronado. I passed this up at O'Brien's and Alpine so I made sure I ticked it before I left San Diego. Nice yellow-orange, white head, huge lace. Smells quite hoppy but all fruits. The flavor is also very fruity hops, not much bitterness if at all and a strange malt background that I could not lay a finger on. Went down very quickly and while it is very hoppy it does not measure up to Alpine's IPA's. Solid beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-18-2012 00:18:00 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled growler into a glass.

A: Pours a golden, peach-colored body with an off-white head that leaves some tendrils of lace.

S: This has a grassy, leafy, citrusy hop nose that is a departure from the usually bright citrus pith aromas of West Coast pale ales. The malt is restrained and lends a bready accent to the beer.

T: Tuatara evokes a natural comparison to Nelson, being that both have NZ hops, but this one doesn't shine as brightly as the latter. I notice the bready malt in the background, and the citrus is weak in favor of grassy, leafy flavors; the overall combination makes for a drinkable, but not standout, profile. I like it but find myself reflecting on how much better most of Alpine's other beers are. That being said, a poor showing for Alpine is still an excellent showing against just about anyone else.

M: Light-bodied; the beer is crisp and clean. No lingering bitterness or any sort of sticky aftertaste. Each sip is as fresh as the one before it.

O: I'm not completely blown away by the beer, but I enjoy it and find the growler diminishing rapidly before my eyes. I love the flavor to ABV quotient; I wish I could find a comparably tasty, light beer like this closer to home. That's a big selling point for me.

Serving type: growler

08-28-2012 05:00:23 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull

California

3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a fresh growler. Pours a clear golden straw in color and sports a half inch of creamy off-white foam which offers strong retention, particularly for a growler pour. Moderate lacing follows all the way down the pint.

Pleasant hop nose of primarily citrus notes. Some lemon and tangerine with a touch of pine in the background, with a bit more orange and malt notes with warming, along with some resinous funk.

Flavor is light and smooth, matching its light ABV. Citric malts are light but pleasant and somewhat complex for the lightness of the brew. Offers a light body but is not too thin by any means, thanks in part to a nice hop and spice character on the finish which gives the beer more texture and fullness than one might expect from a low ABV brew. Carbonation also yields a creamy feel and an makes for an easy drinking brew.

Note: From notes written Aug. 2010

Serving type: growler

03-07-2011 04:42:38 | More by HalfFull
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Tuatara from Alpine Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.