Tuatara KAPAI
Tuatara Brewing Co.

Tuatara KAPAITuatara KAPAI
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Pale Ale - American
Ranked #704
Ranked #17,602
3.92 | pDev: 9.69%
Tuatara Brewing Co.
New Zealand
Very Good
Tuatara KAPAITuatara KAPAI
Notes: Formerly Tuatara APA (Aotearoa Pale Ale)
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Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 57 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of shiu-chan
shiu-chan from Singapore

3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear golden amber, copper tone, one inch head, good lacing.

Tropical fruits like pineapple, light jammy character almost like citrus marmalade.

Medium yet fresh throughout the mouth, well-balanced.

Nov 27, 2019
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The_Beergery from Singapore

3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Old beer in a new bottle! Poured from it distinctive 330 ml bottle into a tulip glass, it appears a clear orange gold shade, topped with thick white froth, which did not retain well, but left thick lacing on the glass. The aromas are exceptionally fruity, in a tropical way - mango, pineapple, grapefruit in the mix, with some floral and pine. Taste is lightly sweet, then fading to light bitter, through to the longish finish. Nice level of carbonation, not too biting, but complements the medium bodied brew well. The aroma and taste is a nice variation on the pale ale, showcasing what the NZ hops can do!

Aug 09, 2017
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Wer34truh from Minnesota

3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a calm cooper color with a large head.

Smells of exotic fruit, pine, resin, grass, and some kiwi.

Taste is full of bitter breadiness. Quite a bit of resin, some pine, caramel. There are some sweet undertones, but the bitterness and spiciness dominates. A lot of hops as well. Feels more like an IPA than APA.

Solid beer, but not really my type. Nice bottle though.

Jun 16, 2017
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Buck89 from Tennessee

3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. A fairly hazy amber-orange color with a frothy and modest light-tan head. Good lacing in the glass. Caramel malt on the nose with faint orange and citrus (not sure of the age here). The first sip brought dry, bready malt with a bit of caramel but not too sweet. A nice gradual bitterness with earthy and orange notes . Medium-bodied.

Jan 18, 2017
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Everydayoff from Thailand

4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

Bright golden copper in color with a clear texture, the pour yields massive silky white head that stands with very good retention before slowly subsiding to thin everlasting foamy layer atop along with several lacing patch and spot along the way down.

Citrus, grapefruit, orange candy, pine, spice, resin, and slight earthy, all of these aromas are derived from the hops while malt is in the back end with notes of bread and caramel.

Kick off with sweetness and breadiness from bread and caramel malt, hop thereafter overcomes with a solid taste of citrus and grapefruit while pine, spice, and some earthiness are slightly hidden in the second layer. Bitterness is at the almost end with a resiny touch that also a bit lingers in the aftertaste.

The body is medium with smooth mouthfeel and medium carbonation generated some crisp and refreshing feel through the palate, very dry finish that will quickly lead to next sip.

Good pale ale indeed with good hop and malt quality which surprisingly came from 100% local ingredient, so this one is good “NZ” pale ale.

Dec 01, 2016
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Andrewharemza from Australia

3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

this 500ml bottle poured a fine hazy orange gold with a hoppy citrus fruit aroma & a long-lasting head taste is likewise very fruity hoppy bitter with quite a dry finish

Jul 29, 2015
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patre_tim from Thailand

3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Copper with a light haze, a moderate amount of medium sized bubbles. A finger of off white head fades to a foam quickly.

S: Citrus pine and grapefruit, spicy and hot, caramel and orange candy all in one.

T: Mozzarella cheese melt with hot sauce meets orange marmalade. A hot, almost garlic like heat with some umami dankness and resinous pine cone. A light orange taste and bitterness.

M: Medium resinous body leaving a resinous coating on the tongue, lots of fine heated foamy carbonation.

O: Full of resin, it displays the style of hops very well. Awesome bottle style. Got in Chiang Mai, drank in Kunming Jan 27th 2015.

Jan 28, 2015
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SmashPants from Australia

3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle: a solid brown 500mL bottles embossed with the scales and ridges of a reptile of some sort - crocodile? An average macro-looking label.

Appearance: poured into a tulip glass - a hazy light amber-yellow in colour with a finger of off-white head that hangs about for quite a time. drops to a creamy half-finger.

Aroma: this is a great smelling pale ale - definitely comes across more as an AIPA than an APA. Plenty of citrus and pine as usual, with some tropical fruits and biscuit malts. A promise of things to come?

Taste: the palate adopts most of the flavours evident on the nose, however with a definite diminishing of strength. It still comes across more as an IPA rather than a Pale Ale, but a bit wishy-washy.

Aftertaste: all of the flavours linger in the mouth, with a touch of bitterness. The bitterness does have some flavour, but only some.

Mouth feel: a light- to-moderate feel with a moderate carbonation that fails to provided a decent body. It comes across as a bit flat, which doesn't bring the flavours through properly. A pity, really.

Overall: this could have been a really nice India Pale Ale, if it had more oomph from the body, I know it is meant to be an APA, but the flavours and aroma are much more akin to an AIPA. The flavours are about right, but the body is far too flat and flaccid. Add a price of AU$9 per 500mL bottle - or an estimated AU$105 equivalent for 24 x 330mL, and this one ain't worth it.

Nov 26, 2014
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doktorhops from Australia

3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ahhh, land of the long white cloud (aka the “Aotearoa” in Tuatara Aotearoa Pale Ale). When Kiwi craft brewers put their thinking caps on they really can really knock up some beastly, for a hop lover like me, brews. Tuatara is no exception, and perhaps my favourite Aotearoian brewer [yes I realise I have only tried their Double Trouble, but it was that choice bro]. Now I will taste the might of Pacific Jade, NZ Cascade, Sauvin and Wai-iti hops in all their Kiwi hop glory. Let the tongue lashing commence!

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Presents a clear golden body with a nice 1cm off-white fluffy cloud head that sticks around quite well. I have deducted a point in the filtering - I likes me beers unfiltered, yarrgh! 7/10.

S: The solid biscuit malt base lends itself well to a variety of hop notes: Tinned pineapple rings, pine resin, citrus, spice and a hint of white wine grape (which introduces itself as Mr. Sauvin). A superb complex nose again Tuatara! 9/10.

T: Flavour is decent enough (which is an Aussie colloquialism that may confuse international readers as it really means “not that great at all”) but lacking in hop promise. A big multifaceted hop aroma actually leads to a mild, but well-balanced, mixture of biscuit malt, citric/pine hops with a vinous white grape mid-palate and a spicy but medium bitter hop finish. It’s missing a bit of oompf in the flavour department. 6/10.

M: The body and feel however is solid - medium bodied with a nice dense carbonation. 8/10.

D: At 5.8% ABV I found this beer lacking in flavour. It annoys me when I get an APA like this that smells fan-*******-tastic! But it tastes like BDM* It’s far too easy and unassuming to compete with the likes of Feral Hop Hog or LCPA, and really if you’re making an APA those brews, in the antipodes, are your target. 6/10.

Food match: It’s right there in Sauvignon Blanc territory for food pairing - light Asian cuisine (a very broad term but you should get what I mean), oysters, white fish, salmon and grilled chicken with asparagus and snow peas.

*Beer Drinkers Mouthwash - my initialism for brews that I could easily down before brushing my teeth - not to be confused with Births, Deaths & Marriages (the aptly-named Australian government department).

Nov 12, 2014
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FknClownshoes from Australia

4/5  rDev +2%

Caramel amber colour with a dense head. Good lacing.

Citrus, spice and grass on the nose with a slight cornbready-ness. Very aromatic!

Tastes how it smells, lots of citrus/spice and some slight tropical fruit flavours. The initial hoppy punch bitterness tapers out to some caramel maltiness at the finish. Has a really nice lingering hop flavour which I cant quite put my finger on (must be the NZ hops!)

Medium body, relatively low carbonation.

Clean and hoppy and packing some interesting fruit flavours, a highly sessionable APA

Oct 21, 2014
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tuatara APA (Aotearoa PA) 5.8% in a 330 ml brown reptilian bottle purchased and consumed in Wellington, NZ. BB date of August 2014.

Pours deep amber with a bubbly bone-colored head. Excellent lacing.

A big pale ale featuring NZ hops, with a very aromatic herbal/weedy aroma and a citrus-herbal flavor.
Long lasting hoppy aftertaste. Appropriate malts for balance.

Feel: medium body; smooth; good carbonation.

O: A fine transformation of an actual APA to a NZPA.

Jan 16, 2014
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gillagorilla from Maryland

3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had from a bottle at Max's Hopfest (from notes, 8/16-18/13)

A: Dark, golden.

S: Deep grass notes and floral. There is some weird, sweet funk here.

T: Interesting taste. Tastes like it smells. Quite a flavorful APA.

M: Even carbonation and crisp.

O: One of the better APAs that I've had.

Oct 29, 2013
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CalgaryFMC from Canada (AB)

3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle. Beer was a light orange/amber with a surprisingly impressive head, which for some reason kept going and going ... Nice balanced aroma of subtle toffee malt and spicy/citrus hops. The hopping regime puts this in IPA rather than APA territory. Taste was weighted towards the hops rather than the more subdued malt, with more of a lemon/lime citrus leaning (Wai-iti hops, although you can taste the Cascade as well) with less of the American grapefruit notes, some gooseberry (Nelson Sauvin hops?), a little tropical fruit although I detect more bitter, peppery flavors and a pronounced crispness. Some medicinal/camphor notes but little to no overt pine. Solid malt backbone that evokes toasted caramel. The Kiwi hops are different (in a good way), and this beer is less malty and sweet than many American takes on this style but has some interesting tropical fruit and citrus character than differentiates it from said American brews. I was very excited by the notion of "exotic" Kiwi hopping and tried to put this aside and write a legit unbiased review. Its a solid offering from Tuatara.

Aug 02, 2013
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CookstLiquor from Canada (BC)

4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle. Pours a very rich, deep lemony yellow. The nose is almost as lemony! Very strong aromas of bright-smelling New Zealand hops. There's a little spice in there as well. The taste is terrifically balanced between caramel malt flavours and citrusy/peachy malts. This is a really good version of an American Pale Ale made with Kiwi hops.

Mar 01, 2013
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StJamesGate from New York

4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale copper with a ribbon of white froth that speckles.
Fresh resiny leaf, papaya, and tart Pacific Gem blackberry nose.
Some very English toffee malts with mango and peach then passionfruit, pink grapefruit and some Nelson Sauvin gooseberry.
Kiwi (Wai-iti?) finish and tart white grape linger.
Medium, chewy, crisp.

This is NZ hops. Great tropical fruit salad notes but with a fruit tartness rather than heavy IBUs to give it a clean finish. Individual hops shine through (or at least I imagine they do.) No pine, little citrus, therefore very much not Cali. A great summer drinker.

Nov 26, 2012
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Cookeeman from Canada (BC)

3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I guess, based on the label, I was expecting a Pale Ale, but this is not one. It's an IPA for sure. The smell was a huge bouquet of hops, lots of citrus, melon and grapefruit. The flavour is great, the body is thick and full, lots of sappy malt. The finish is all hops, with lots of citrus and tropical fruit that is typical of these New Zealand hops. I'm quite impressed by the quality of this brew. I picked up their mixed 6-pack earlier this month, but this beer far surpassed those in flavour and quality. As a hop fan, I'm very glad I took a chance on this beer.

Oct 31, 2012
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wordemupg from Canada (AB)

4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into tulip 23/10/12

A very slight haze in a golden amber body, slow tiny bubbles work their way to a thin cap that retains well and leaves lots of unorganized lace

S near perfection, tropical Kiwi notes, pineapple, passion-fruit, guava and a little melon and citrus mix well with some caramel and spruce with a hint of pine

T a little dark bread and the toffees stronger and the beautiful tropical notes are still there but toned down compared to the nose, the pine notes are stronger and there's a little orange rind I didn't smell

M the little bubbles have a pin prick thing going on, leaves just a little behind and has a mild bitter bite with a tropical rind iced tea finish that lingers faintly for a while

O great stuff no questions asked, I could jack up the overall to a 5 to compensate and would have no guilt, fuck it I'm pumping the smell as high as it goes this one deserves a "perfect' somewhere

Dug it! dig it? one of those beers that I could drink all day and the Kiwi hops are kicking ass. I'm still waiting for the South Pacific styles to get some props, New World Pale? South Pacific Pilsner? wait for it these beers are distinct, drink up!!

Oct 24, 2012
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Rutager from Canada (BC)

3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle recomended by the always helpful staff at Brewery Creek in Vancouver, BC.

Appearance. Pours gold with just a bit of amber and a very slight haze with over 2 fingers of foamy off-white head.

Smell. Nice citrus rinds and tropical fruits, a little cedar and pine along with some toasted light grains. Smells like a good american pale ale.

Taste. Good toasty malts followed by some bitter grassy and floral hops. A little citrus and tropical fruit, but quite dry. Some lingering grassy bitterness. The hops taste familiar but slightly different than most apa's.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, below medium carbonation.

Overall. A good hoppy pale ale, maybe just a little on the dry side for me.

Sep 22, 2012
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. Is the reason for the two entries here the switch between using American-sourced vs. local NZ hops, or just the label change, or a combination of the two? Anyways, this is a new brewery to grace the store shelves in Alberta, and a new species for me to look up - the titular Tuatara appears to be a New Zealand relative of something like an iguana, and he stares out at me from the well rendered cap.

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium golden amber colour, with two fingers of moderately foamy off-white head, which leaves some random islet streaks of lace around the glass as it steadily recedes.

It smells of ripe pineapple, mushy guava, sugary grapefruit, bready caramel malt, and a mildly acrid floral pine hoppiness - all quite enticing. The taste is softly bitter tropical fruits - pineapple, kiwi (natch), and yellow grapefruit, with a stoic, somewhat tangy caramel malt backbone, and a subtle passionfruit and gooseberry fruitiness that screams out NZ terroir (at least in terms of tasty intoxicating beverages, that is).

The bubbles are presently restrained, or maybe it's restrained in their presence? Anyways, the body is a pleasantly plump medium weight, and decently smooth, save a few hoppy pricks. It finishes off-dry, the fruit and lesser malt sweetness waxing, and the bitterness of the hops petering out, with but a few too many indicative death throes.

A rather enjoyable, big-H hopped APA, one where the A for American is shaky at best. Which is the point here, I suppose, in this display of what a foreign, yet true to the original intent, take on a standard can be. Big and hoppy, with nothing really lost in translation, I must say.

Sep 13, 2012
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bylerteck from Canada (ON)

4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Beer Deluxe. From notes.

A - Poured a cloudy dark gold. Good carbonation, one finger of beige head. Sticky lace and a film of retention.

S - Nice juicy hop. Pineapple, mango, peach, some good malt as well. Really inviting.

T - Citrus, pineapple, orange peel, mango, malty too, really nice Kiwi hops galore.

M - Good carbonation, medium body, mild bitterness.

O/D - Pretty nice stuff. Really tasty. Hop forward and showcases Kiwi hops really well. Decent malt body to back it up. Nice.

May 17, 2012
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CrazyDavros from Australia

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours rich amber with a large head.
Nose shows fruity confectionery, peaches, green apples, grapes, lychees. Underneath is sweet caramel and crystal malt.
Similarly tasty flavours, with more fruity and resinous hops, caramel and cookie dough-like malt, and finishing with an assertive but well matched bitterness.
Could use a bit more carbonation.

Apr 30, 2012
Tuatara KAPAI from Tuatara Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 57 ratings