Gunnamatta | Yeastie Boys

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Brewed by:
Yeastie Boys
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by lacqueredmouse on 05-26-2012

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Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 100
Photo of doktorhops
4.34/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Tea leaf in an India Pale Ale is a classic pairing due to the simple fact that a well-made/classic English IPA should have a tea leaf aftertaste anyway. So it’s no surprise that Yeastie Boys (those Kiwi proprietors of experimental brews) have decided to drop a ton of Earl Grey into the wort and brought together IPA with its historical commodity partner tea - IPA was developed during the height of the tea growing era in India (Assam to be precise).

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Appearance is a lovely cloudy deep orange body with wispy half centimetre off-white head that sticks around. Given the 6.5% ABV I’m surprised that it even has a head to start with. 8/10.

S: Big lemon myrtle/bergamot nose on this brew - I hope it isn’t a huge Kiwi tease like Tuatara’s APA was - this is aroma is fantastic, right on the money for what I was expecting. There is a sweet caramel base and linger tea notes in the background. Rarely do I find a beer that I want to smell more than drink but this is one of those brews, amazing! 10/10.

T: Bam! The flavour hits you hard and is almost exactly what you’re expecting: Lemon, bergamot, black tea leaf and a buttery caramel base throughout. It’s the hops that you’re not expecting with real big dirty/earthy tones that balance the sweetness out. Then the finish is a mix of herbal bitterness and a dry black tea tannin. Promise made and delivered, thank you Yeastie Boys. Only negative I can is that tea notes may be off-putting if you don’t like tea. I happen to love a good cuppa though! 9/10.

M: Medium body that is backed up by almost no carbonation whatsoever, which makes it cloy a bit too much. 4/10.

D: Wow, overall a brilliant merging of Earl Grey with IPA, only thing that got me thinking was how it would taste if more American style hops were used (with their pine/citric characters), would it have been better? Who knows. Like I said above Yeastie Boys advertised an Earl Grey IPA and they totally nailed it. If you love tea and beer and have oft wondered what the meeting of these two would produce then get a bottle of this and wrap your gob around it. 9/10.

Food match: I kept thinking about lemon cakes whilst drinking this... I’ve never recommended lemon cakes with anything before, I guess there’s a first time for everything.

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Photo of Marius
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

33cl bottle. Pours a semi-opaque orange with a small white head. Smells of caramel, roses, bergamot, peaches and yeast. The taste is sweet and perfumey, with notes of roses and berries (not sure which, though) and feint bergamot. Incredible beer, unlike anything I have ever tried before.

Disclaimer: I am a big fan of Earl Grey tea, which is made with bergamot oil

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a gold colour, with an inexplicable cloud for an IPA. Possibly the tea doing something to it? Head is white, foamy, and retains pretty well. Decent IPA but could maybe use a bit more colour.

Smells nice, with lots of NZ hop notes that of course I love. Slightly floral character from the black tea which not only adds floral notes but a bit of bitterness as well. Really nice balance struck between the tangy hops and tea leaves.

Slightly nutty malt note upfront, then taken over by NZ hops and again that floral tea character. Not too much, in the sense of not being heavy-handed. Pleasant. Hint of tea leaves on back, but floral hoppy notes balance it out. Rose, citrus and spice. Very pleasant.

Bitty texture, very dry on the back. Good for the style.

Really nice addition to the IPA style. To their credit, the hops are not overwhelming which allows the other flavours to play their part too.

EDIT: it's obviously been a long time since I wrote the notes for this and I couldn't really remember this beer too well, but looking at the notes it's easy to see why this beer won the best of GABS.

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Photo of kitschiguy
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 330ml bottle into 350ml beer glass. Poured a cloudy, light bronze with a some head that lasted quite well.

On the nose Earl grey tea is evident immediately with some lemon and grapefruit as well. Quite nice,

Palate is nice and smooth with the tea coming through nicely and working quite well. Mild hop bitterness at the end and quite well balanced.

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer - light refreshing and well balanced.

It should be noted that the bottle I had was brewed by Brewdog in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Overall, a great beer and highly recommended.

Mouth is quite full and satisfying

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at GABS in Melbourne. This is the brew that ended up taking out the People's Choice award for the festival.

Pours a very faintly hazed golden hue, with a nice solid body. White head is slightly tinged with yellow, and is full, frothy and firm. Powdery carbonation. Looks good.

Pleasant hop characters on the nose, with perhaps a suggestion of Simcoe butterscotchiness, mingled with a pleasant green tea and slight tannin character. Pretty solid, and very decent.

Clean entry, in fact, almost spring water like in its light smooth cleanness, before some fruit characters come in mid-palate, giving a suggestion of raspberry leaf and weakly brewed black tea. Bitterness cleans up with a hint of tannin, but it's all fragrant and refreshing and never overdone. Very clean feel.

Drinkable as hell, and really very enjoyable. This was a worthy winner—if not the biggest, most interesting or exciting beer, it sure was one of the most drinkable, and one of the ones I'd most like to try again.

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Photo of admiral
4.14/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

An excellent idea and combination - IPA and tea can work very well!

aroma: orange, marmalade, caramel and earl grey tea. Quite fruity and floral.

taste: Earl grey tea, orange, lemon, marmalade, grapefruit, pepper and slight lavender.

Vey tasty and enjoyable to drink. The earl grey is well balanced with traditional IPA flavours so neither dominates.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a lightly hazy dull copper amber with a massive half glass head with decent retention and lots of lacing. Healthy aroma of tea, light fruit and sweet malt and very floral hops. Whoa, this is quite different tasting! A definite sweet, lemon tea with light stone fruit, sweet malt and other interesting, but unidentifiable fruit flavors. There's a lot going on here. Finishes with a hop and herbal bitterness with residual tea and pleasant floral character. Light to medium bodied. A very idiosynchratic take on an IPA, I have to say that trying to analyse the individual flavors comes up with a flavor combination that should not work that well, but this seems to meld these odd tea and floral elements into something well integrated and very pleasing to drink. I'm both impressed and glad I got to try this interesting beer. I will absolutely try their other styles. My only complaint is that this is very much overcarbonated and impossible to get more than a half glass from a careful pour. But it was worth the effort.

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Photo of rudzud
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

FINALLY getting around to entering my notes from The Festival in to Beer Advocate. Man oh man is this a big notebook...Fairly certain this was on tap and not poured from one of their bottles.

A - Poured a hazy, cloudy golden hue with a thin white head that fades but never really goes away. Solid.

S - Oh yeah, I smell tea. Tea and New Zealand hops. Floral almost bitter black tea notes. Awesome.

T - Taste is slightly malty and them kapow good floral tea leaves and some like citrus and spice from those New Zealand hops. Incredibly pleasant and drinkable here. Really enjoy the taste of the tea.

M - Mouthfeel is nice and dry. Solid.

O - Overall, enjoyed this beer. Had it before Rex Attitude and wish I could get my hand on some more of it.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.09/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Chocolate and Vines in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a dark-ish honey orange, with amber highlights, and a half inch head, and a good amount of lacing.

This one smells super floral, lots of tea, some lemon, slight perfume, and slight grassy hops underneath.

This is a very unique IPA- obviously the tea additions make it quite unique, but it also doesn't taste much like the usual IPA underneath. There's some lemon flavor, grassiness, and a wall of tea flavor. The tea flavor is warm and nice, some floral character, and a bit of tobacco. There's a slight perfume character that's luckily not too strong.

This is pretty juicy, mouthfeel-wise, with a higher level of carbonation, and a medium body, pretty crisp.

A really interesting beer here, first one from Yeastie Boys.

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Photo of Mantooth
4.02/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on draft at the Oregon Brewer's Festival - on draft:

Pours a hazy orange color with a creamy white head that dissipates quickly. Great floral nose and a hint of tobacco, which turns out to be the tea this concoction was brewed with - nice touch. Well balanced beer, floral and bitter with a dry tea finish. Super happy to have tried it.

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Photo of ADZA
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been looking forwards to this ever since my mate told me about it and it pours a hazy golden orange hue with a creamy off white two finger head and sporadic lacing aswell,the smell is really unique its like spring with aromas of pollen filled air,daffodils,earl grey and honey,the mouthfeel is medium bodied and has tastes of floral hops,honey,obviously earl grey tea in a good way,kiwi fruit,blackberries and finished with a floral hop bitterness and overall its a nice brew and the addition of Earl Grey Tea really creates a diiferent twist on a floral IPA,would buy again without doubt.

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Photo of Brenden
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A soft, bubbly medium yellow brew with lots of brightness and an equally bubbly clean white head rests in my glass, the head developing to one finger's height and dropping down some pretty good stick.
There's actually a good hoppiness to this beer, certainly more than I've heard it get credit for from some. It's floral and perfumey, mostly, with a mild note of earth to the bittterness. Otherwise, this beer is strong on the tea. I think it's supposed to be black, but it comes together very much like green tea, dry, more herbal and leafy, and a bit brighter. Ultimately, it's like a crisp, hoppy green tea with lavender.
The feel is bright and crisp as well, keeping the bite all the way but dropping smoothness just a touch in the finish. The body is light but always verges medium.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Amber coloured body with big white head that retreats to the edge of the glass
Smells of Citra and tea
Smoke citrus & semolina flavour
This is unusual but quite good
& I don't really like tea

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Photo of fitzy84
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

My first beer from New Zealand. Bought at the Beer Shop in East Longmeadow, MA. The beer pours with a dark brown-gold appearance, little to no head or lacing for that matter. Interesting spiced aromas; could smell some herbs, tea, cloves, and citrus. Good, acidic taste with a sharp lemon zeal mixed with an Earl Grey tea flavor. Great, crisp body that helps bring out the citrus and acidic flavors. Overall, great aromas and taste.

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Photo of beergoot
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark honey-hued amber body; two-fingers of foamy, sticky head. Orange and lemon aroma; raisins; caramel; tea. The flavor immediately imparts a strong tea and IPA hop bitterness character; a bit acidic; residual caramel malt flavors. Medium body; glass smooth feel; a bit astringent; dry finish.

A unique twist on IPAs that offers a very satisfactory taste when taking into account the Earl Grey tea leaves. The citrus and tea flavors swirl and twist about on the palate and, for the most part, blend well. It's a somewhat sweet beer that is tempered with the dry, astringent tea and hop additions. My initial impressions were mixed, but after letting the beer open up, both aroma and taste really came together. I'd certainly go for another glass if given the opportunity...

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Photo of barczar
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My bottle says 6.5 percent abv.

Wow, where's the beer? Pours a murky medium brown with a 3:1 head to beer ratio. Concerned. The cream head lingers indefinitely. There's a sticky layer of sediment at the bottom of the bottle that makes me question this beer's age.

Perfumey, floral hops dominate, with an underlying herbal tea note and fairly strong citrus. There's a fairly sweet, honeysuckle presence, along with tropical fruit notes that combine with the floral character to form notions of peach.

Flavor is extremely perfumey and herbal, fairly bready mid palate, and finishing herbally bitter. Notes of tangerine, grapefruit, tea, and lemon, underlie grassy herbs and toasted breadcrust. Plasticy phenols emerge in the aftertaste, somewhat medicinal.

Body is moderate, with high carbonation and moderate alcohol warmth.

Interesting brew, to say the least! Very characterful. Glad I tried it. It's an odd combination, but it continues to intrigue me, the more I taste it.

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Photo of Farnsy47
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From notes:
A: Golden, slightly hazy
S: Tropical, slightly sweet
T: Honey, tropical fruits, strong earl grey presence, lasting bitterness
M: Medium carbonation
O: Great beer! The earl grey flavour adds complexity and a nice bitterness to an already delicious and well rounded IPA.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

floral citrus fruity aroma as poured cloudy orange with a lasting head the taste earl grey, citrus, banana, pineapple hoppy flavours bitter dry finish grew on me as it went down.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber with a large, lasting head.
Nose shows overt floral notes along with some tropical fruit (lychee, papaya). Nice herbal chamomile-like notes too. Underneath is a fair bit of clean malt.
Herbal tea notes are very pronounced as flavours too, almost becoming a bit astringent. Some soft fruit is noticeable underneath as well as pleasing clean malt.
A bit too much tea but pretty solid.

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Photo of dgilks
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear amber colour with a smooth creamy white head. Inviting is the right word here. The aroma is good with a touch of honeyed malt and some nice tea. The flavour continues the aroma with a light, slightly honeyed note. The tea character is good but I want to see the IPA come through. The body with moderate with a moderate carbonation being suitable for style. On the whole a nice beer and the tea character works well but I'm looking for more hop character to support the bitterness that is here.

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Photo of chinchill
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had this beer on tap in New Zealand a while back and liked it a lot, but this review is based on a 330 ml bottle purchased and consumed in the U.S.

The beer pours with a slightly hazy, copper colored body. The white head is semi-durable and leaves patterned lacing.

Aroma: surprised to find a detectable note of tea in the largely floral aroma.

Flavor: surprised to find some tea flavors that blended nicely with the base IPA. I think both the tea nd the hops contribute the very floral flavoring. The aftertaste carries a long-lasting. distinctive note of Earl Grey tea with subtle, floral hops.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Pours a light copper color with a soapy two finger head. The aroma is of black tea along with a hint of citrus hops. The taste follows suit, the beginning of the beer is a black tea flavor, in the middle it gets a little thin, and the end brings out a big citrus flavor. The mouthfeel is crisp and smooth. Overall a solid beer, nice flavor profile and an easy drink.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head IPA glass. No freshness dating present.

A: Pours a nice caramel color. Good clarity. Creamy off white head retains well and leaves thin broken rings of lacing.

S: Strong aroma of mashed blueberries and iced tea. Wet leaves. Earthy. Hints of mint. Both lemon and orange peel. Menthol. Toasty bread and caramel. Big on the tea though.

T: Very tea forward, as in the nose, but there's more bite here. Earthy and spicy hop notes. Wet leaves. Quick flash of orange peel and marmalade. Big floral flavor of lavender, blueberries too. Modest bitterness coming from both the oily hops and the tea. Dark caramel and crusty bread from the ample malt base. Sweet finish of caramel, tea, and dry herbs with a semi-aggressive bitterness.

M: Medium body sports some heft. Rich and chewy in feel. Mild astringencies. Low prickling carbonation lets the weight sit on the palate perhaps a little more than it needs to.

O: Exotic? Absolutely. They lead off pretty strong with the floral and fragrant tea. Well, either that or the rigors of shipping this beer across the world have let the hops fade. Both are likely. The larger body makes it more of a steady sipper than a sessionable offering. I was happy with one bottle.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%

As one of the more peculiar groupings of palate sensations- only in craft beer would such a compilation of flavors exist in one homogenous taste.

A strong herbal nature captivates the nose long before the eye fully explores those deep honey hues. But with strong tea, leather and tobacco seducing the senses, its easy to forget that there's an IPA buried within.

Laced with all those earthen complexities, its sweeter maple and sorghum notes are juicy early but trail into a sherry-like leathery aridness late. But in the middle, its fruit and grain sweetness align to resemble "Fruit-Loop" candied cereal characteristics in the most oddly but charming kind of way.

Its undoubted tea focus takes charge late in the taste and carries a firm tannic balance that rivals the herbal bitterness from hops for an even-keel offset to sweetness that is quite spot on. But the problem is- IPA's aren't supposed to be balanced so all those wonderful complexities rival the IPA base taste underneath.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BOTTLE: 11.2 fl oz brown glass. Unbranded black pry-off pressure cap. Appealing label art.

Imported by the Shelton Bastards. 8.5% ABV. Reviewed live as an IPA per the label. Served cold into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 3 fingers wide. White colour. Has a nice smooth even consistency and a good complexion. Full, creamy, and sufficiently thick. Retention is good - about 5-7 minutes. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Clear copper of average vibrance. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's a good looking IPA but isn't unique or special. Appears very well carbonated. Has no stand-out characteristics.

AROMA: The tea-like herbal notes are immediately obvious, but don't bring the problematic bitterness or astringency I anticipated. Pale malts, herbal hop character, incredible flowery hop character. Subtle lemon. Buttery caramel (but no diacetyl). The tea works fantastically well in the aroma; I hope this translates to the taste.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

Overall, it's a remarkable aroma with unique tea-like notes that have me very curious to try it. Incredible.

TASTE: The herbal tea character is nice and does set this flavour profile apart, but it fails to deliver on the potential promised by the aroma. It's a unique character for an IPA, and I applaud it, but it could be far more evocative. The pale malt base slips beneath the hop profile, but neither cloying sweetness nor overt biting bitterness is present; this is well balanced. Flowery, herbal, and featuring a tea-like bitterness that never overwhelms. There's no astringency or tannins. The unique hop profile is nice, but it's worth noting what isn't present: pine, citrus, resins, oils, evergreen, tropical fruit...this is a different IPA build than what most drinkers are likely accustomed to.

Nice depth of flavour. Above average flavour duration, with that herbal tea character lingering into the aftertaste. Mild flavour intensity. This has ample nuance for an IPA and sets itself apart, but could be more intricately and subtly built.

TEXTURE: Crisp, nicely carbonated, smooth, wet, refreshing, fresh, and approachable. Medium-bodied and aptly thick. This texture complements the taste well, but doesn't quite elevate the beer.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent (in spite of the tea), harsh, scratchy, or rough.

OVERALL: Highly drinkable and enjoyable, Gunnamatta is an IPA that will please any fan of the style but will fail to deliver on the lofty promise of the aroma. The tea is well-integrated, but could be far more evocative and interesting. Well worth trying. I always applaud brewers who don't follow the herd, and with work this could be great. A great foray into tea-leafing (leaving?) IPAs. I'm eager to try other beers from the cats at Yeastie Boys.


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Gunnamatta from Yeastie Boys
3.76 out of 5 based on 100 ratings.
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