Tag Archive: Tiny Rebel


Tiny Rebel: Captain Insano (Wales: IIPA: 10% ABV)

Visual: Hazy peach skin colour. Large mounded white head.

Nose: Dried apricot. Gherkins. Muggy, thick hop character and hop oils. Slight cucumber. Dried banana. Vanilla ice cream to raspberry ripple.

Body: Thick. Kiwi. Kumquat. Key lime. Hop oils. Moderate bitterness. Peach. Green hops. Resinous. Stewed apples. Custard cream biscuits. Nettles. Muggy hop character. Stewed banana.

Finish: Fudge. Kiwi. Hop oils – oily sheen. Apple pie. Pears. Nettles. Thick hop character.

Conclusion:This is thick and full of green, resinous, oily hops. In fact it very much reminds me of being around people with bags of cannabis (As always a disclaimer, I’ve never actually tried cannabis so this is purely from being around friends – I make no claim that it is like the actual cannabis experience). It is full of thick muggy hops, a mix of very fresh feeling and very pungent character dropped straight into a fresh green fruit dominated body. There are slight tart and fresh elements, but mainly the beer follows the thick, almost oppressively weighty style. Which I mean in a good way. Heavy laden flavours in every sip.

There is a hell of a lot of malt in the base, and normally that would be dominating the beer, but here the weight of the muggy hops actually shoves it to the back. You get custard cream biscuits, fudge and vanilla ice creamy from the malt, but it easily becomes second string to the high levels of green feeling hop action. It still kind of works – neither becoming too heavy or too obvious. It is as if by having two heavyweights smashing against each other they cancel each other out.

Probably one of the least subtle ((I)I)IPAS I’ve ever encountered – all of the stewed fruits, all of the hops, all of the malt, everything is desperately trying to be seen from the first sip. Sure as hell isn’t dull.

One of the rawest (however many “I”s it has) IPAs I’ve had of this abv range – I have run into rawer low abv ones, but this manages to match all the raw hop exuberance of an IPA with the massive malt load of an IIPA. Far from a refined, every element mastered, experience – but an enjoyable super enthusiastic hop bomb. Very raw and very enjoyable.

Background: Grabbed this one for two reasons. 1) Tiny Rebel’s Hadouken beer is very nice, so going for a triple IPA from them sounded like a fun thing to do. 2) Insane artwork pink can looked so cool! As always I am kind of easy to sell to. This was grabbed from Independent Spirit and drunk while listening to the epic metal influenced heaviness that is Buckethead’s Cuckoo Clocks Of Hell album. It seemed appropriately heavy and odd for the beer. I had just got back from seeing the stage play of “The Addams Family” had been a bit of a let down – they really didn’t seem to get what was the appeal of the original characters. Ah well.

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tiny-rebel-stay-puft

Tiny Rebel: Stay Puft (Wales: Porter: 5.2% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still. Moderate creamy brown head.

Nose: Chocolate milkshake. Creamy. Kind of marshmallow like. Vanilla.

Body: Smooth mouthfeel. Dry roasted nuts. Popcorn. Light bitter chocolate. Vanilla. Quite dry. Gelatine sweets. Sour dough.

Finish: Lactose. Chocolate milkshake. Light roasted character. Unpopped popcorn kernels. Roasted character grows over time. Slight bitter coffee.

Conclusion: Since this is described as a marshmallow porter, I have to admit I was expecting a sweeter beer than this.

My first encounter with this gave an impression of it actually being a bit thin, so very much unlike those fluffy marshmallows. However a bit of time definitely let it gain in body, but with that also seemed to become drier in taste. Despite heavy amounts of vanilla in the flavours, the dryness actually seems to call to the drier Irish stout interpretations in a lot of ways – with that vanilla laid atop that in stark contrast.

There is a softer chocolate and the aforementioned vanilla – in fact there is even what can be interpreted as marshmallow in a pinch – if you are feeling generous. So the needed flavours are there, but I find it off that the base is so grounded – with cereal like feel and an unpopped popcorn kind of character. Which I guess would just be corn. Hopefully you get what I mean.

There is also what feels like a lactose touch to the texture (Though I do not think lactose was used in making this) and that gives it some of the mallow like contrast it needs – but never quite enough to feel like its namesake, So, it does not really meet my impressions of what a marshmallow porter would be. So, is it good as a beer in itself?

It is a solid, quite dry porter, with sweet notes laced through – kind of halfway between a sweet stout and a dry stout – but in a porter. Pretty easy to drink despite the grounded character, but slightly over grounded in that base flavour for me to put it as a special beer. Apparantly there is a nitro version of this, and that may give it that bit bigger texture I think it needs to work – I will keep an eye out for it and let you know if it works out if I find it.

Still, I am sure that such a harmless thing from my childhood could never destroy me.

Apart from the alcohol. That is a mild poison.

A tasty, tasty poison.

Background: Ok, I bought this because of the picture of Stay Puft with the Tiny Rebel mascot’s head. I am very simple to sell to and a huge ghostbusters fan. Drunk at Small Bar, where I discussed with the staff on how exactly does a marshmallow porter work? It is made with marshmallow according to the ingredients. Are they added early on to ferment with? Is it made with actual mallow plant stuff? I have no idea. Anyway, one I loved the idea of.

NP10

Tiny Rebel: NP10 (Wales: Abbey Tripel: 10% ABV)

Visual: Clear with a colour like tropical fruit juice. Froths up a bit but the white head does not settle. Some carbonation mid body.

Nose: Yeastie. Dried banana. Fresh white bread. Mango. Candy floss.

Body: Banana. Candy Cane. Watermelon. Apricot. Hard Sweets. Yeastie middle.

Finish: Light bitterness. Dry malt. Pineapple. Yeastie. Candyfloss.

Conclusion: Ok, this is nice, maybe a bit rough around the edges, but, as I think I’ve mentioned before, I prefer a bit of a rough edge to my Belgian style beers, both because it feels closer to the native Belgian interpretations and also because that roughness often provides a lot of charm.

The thing is, that this never goes beyond just nice. It doesn’t use the rough edges to do anything. For that matter it doesn’t even seem to leverage any of the opportunities brought along with its high abv. It doesn’t do anything to push the boat out and make something special. When you have such a high abv, and when you have a roughness to your beer you really need that something special to make it worthwhile.

The elements of the beer are by the numbers Belgian ale. The yeast feel is there, the banana notes, the candy cane and hard sweets. The necessary elements are present, and all nice, if a bit more boozy feeling than it earns, but again none of them shine. The Belgian market is already flooded with very high quality examples of these kind of beers, and this needs something to stand out.

So, I guess in the end it is slightly disappointing. It is nice, but for an event beer and a beer from such a good brewery it doesn’t have any spark. It apes the Belgian style well but does not add anything nor stand alone.

So, not bad, just an underwhelming 10%er.

Background: Tiny Rebel seems to be finally getting the exposure they deserve, showing up around Bath and Bristol, and have their own craft beer bar in Cardiff. This was however found at the old trustworthy Independent Spirit. Tiny Rebels first attempt at a Belgian abbey style I think so I definitely wanted to grab it.

Hadouken

Tiny Rebel: Hadouken (Wales: IPA: 7.4% ABV)

Visual: Darkened gold. Massive bubble mound of froth.

Nose: Resin. Hop oils. Grapefruit. Fluffy hops. Pineapple. Custard cream biscuits. Wheat fields. Toffee. Lime cheesecake. Nettles.

Body: Rock solid bitterness. Vanilla. Hops. Passion fruit. Thick yeast character. Key lime. Bitter milk and digestives. Solid malt. Brown bread undertones. Egg plants.

Finish: Rough hops and bitterness. Resin. Vanilla yogurt.

Conclusion: HADOUKEN! SHOURYUUKEN! Yes, I’m a geek. Leave me alone.

This is a beer I am unfeasibly pleased with. Probably because it is called Hadouken. And I am a geek. I may have mentioned that. It is an interesting one though, solid as hell base, big and hoppy and a real stripped down character. No nonsense and joyously hoppy.

As you hold it though it expands, gaining and unusually yeasty feel and bringing with it soft touches of fruit in passion fruit and key lime. For such a fruity beer though it still feels grounded, almost brown bread or earthy to the base. The contrast works great and the lime character over hops reminds me of the excellent Union Jack IPA. Though this beer has more emphasis on the rough base and hop brutality. It feels more like a do it yourself punk joy than an ultra refined smooth experience, but loses none of the quality for that.

I am biased on this due to the name, but I love its feel, it calls to the harsher edges of Punk IPA but takes it further and makes it the core of the beer. Less showy and crisp than the USA take on IPAs, and closed to the more melded hop character of the UK style but with the USA’s full on fruit flavour.

So, yeah, I am biased, but I love this IPA.

Background: Ahem, Tiny Rebel I respect you. A lot. However to quote the bottle “A dedication to the classic finishing move from one of our favourite video games”. THE HADOUKEN WAS NOT A FINISHING MOVE! If it was I wouldn’t have had to put up with people spamming it until their wrist went sore and they had ruined their sex life. Anyway, that aside. ROCK ON. I tried this on tap a while back, just because it was called hadouken, and I have been searching for it in bottle ever since. I finally found it at the ever excellent Independent Spirit. If anyone out there is wondering what a hadouken is I feel sorry for you and your arcade game deprived life. Either that or I’m just getting old. Down, down forwards, forwards, punch. Repeat until wrist cramp, or your opponent punches you in real life for being a spamming tit. In other news I may have broken my camera’s ability to focus properly. Will have a tweak and see if I can fix it. Drunk while listening to Dan Le Sac Vs Sroobius Pip’s “Terminal”. That song is just hauntingly wonderful.

The Full Nelson

Tiny Rebel: The Full Nelson (Wales: American Pale Ale: 4.8% ABV)

Visual: Hazy apricot skin. Slight white rim of bubbles. Some carbonation.

Nose: Peach. Sour tayberry and grapefruit. Gooseberry. Very tart.

Body: Vanilla. Big pineapple. Lime. Toffee and malt. Grapefruit. Very tart raspberry. Light acidic feel.

Finish: Sour lime. Very fresh. Pink grapefruit. Very tart and tangy. Lime Kelly. Slight dry granite.

Conclusion: A tiny half from the Tiny Rebel, but this packs an anything but tiny citrus punch. Ok, that is a bit of a cliché opener, but it is also true so please forgive me it. The various grapefruit elements are the most obvious expression of its tart citrus style, and with little malt working against it, is full bore, acidic fresh and tingling. What really shoots the tangy levels up though is the sharp lime, pretty much like a real lime has been squeezed straight into the beer. Very much a wake up call to the tastebuds.

There is some malt working against it, light though it may be, and also there is subtle vanilla and toffee flavours, It is always sliding around behind the main flavours, accentuation them by way of contrast.

It is a lovely summer beer, very easy to drink even though it is so tart, and it both refreshes and shakes you awake with its tart citrus punch. A beer to take it easy with in the sun, or just to enjoy for the beer it is. It is higher abv than the perfect session beer, but you get such a long lasting finish, especially the lingering pink grapefruit elements, that you don’t have to rush the beer, so with a little effort you could make a few last for a moderate session.

Any which way a lovely, taste bud jangling, tart joy of a beer.

Background: Tiny Rebel! Love these guys so far, their Hadouken is bloody excellent and a reference to Street Fighter 2. Why have I never reviewed them until now? Happenstance. I’ve never had my book to hand, or I’d had a few and didn’t consider my senses up to scratch. Then I found this at the Bath Brew House one Saturday lunch. Game on as they say.

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