Beer review: Tempest storms back with Brave New World
When I first began working behind the bar at Munros, we often had beers by Tempest on tap, writes Blane McConnell, of Munro’s craft beer bar.
A nice little brewery from near the borders, Tempest dished out some pretty outstanding brews, with most being instant hits with the staff. And then they went silent. Fast forward to a recent trip to Hippo Beers, where Derek handed me “Brave New World” – a beer by none other than Tempest.
Apparently, in the last 18 months or so this small borders brewery had been fighting for survival, with their large Italian brew-house supplier going bankrupt, problems with finding larger premises to brew on and no small amount of wrangling over a new lease.
Finally, after almost 18 months of being in the shadows, they have returned with a flourish with Brave New World. And what a return it is.
When many of you read “IPA” and “7%” together, you would immediately think this beer would be a hoppy behemoth, possibly in the same vein of one of BrewDog’s big-hitters.
However, this couldn’t be further from the reality. Brave New World pours a beautiful orange-hued, deep amber with some mild carbonation and a small off-white head. A gentle sniff reveals scents of sweet citrus fruits and a little note of hops.
On the tongue, this is arguably one of the smoothest beers I have ever tasted. The dominant taste is of pine, with some mild smokiness rising to the fore. The usual citrus notes typical of an IPA are present but they do not give this beer an overpowering bite.
In the after-taste, the hops rise to the fore at the back of the tongue, giving a well-rounded finish, ensuring it is incredibly well balanced.
Overall, Brave New World is seriously drinkable in a way which completely belies how strong the beer is in terms of alcohol content. I cannot stress enough just how easily this IPA goes down.
After all their troubles, it is good to see Tempest are still producing brews of the highest possible quality. It may be a little premature but it is definitely a contender for my Beer of the Year, even as we only now begin May. Brave New World, indeed.
Brave New World IPA 7%, Tempest Brewing – tasting courtesy of Hippo Beers on Queen Margaret Drive