I picked this up because the Boy told me that he liked the bear on the front and it was that or some Beat Box. I'll likely pick that up another time. In the meantime, I am sampling the delights of Tiny Rebel's Fubar because there's a grenade on it and some small soldiers. Also, and I'll be honest, I regretted not having it back in 2016 at my first beer festival and despaired of ever seeing it bottled. So, here it is, bottled and ready for my eager tastebuds to attack it.
It's a pale ale, so clearly in-keeping with my current rhythm, and it's Tiny Rebel. What's not to like? Also, another attempt at animated photo that is either long overdue or a sad reminder of a crap set of past efforts. I'm not clear yet. Would you like to know more?
This has a fantastic aroma and nose, very refreshing and light after the welter of heavier ales I've been having of late (interspersed with the less difficult to find). Lots of fruit in this one, heavy on the citrus, but rounded and full and juicy in the air. The colour, being almost straw and thin in the brightly lit kitchen, captures the fruity orange in the living room by the fireplace and glistens invitingly to me. Something about that nose matches and suits the colour, which is nice and not entirely expected. At the bottle shop the owner shared that this was one of his favourites and I'm beginning to see precisely why. I get the impression of a sessionable pale in this one, it being just 4.4% ABV, and the head starts with a decent amount before calming into a nice little bit of a wort flowering.
Soft and cleansing on the tongue, following on from some highly flavoured pepperoni and gouda cheese on a toastie (my tea). Weak fruit, vague citrus but mostly juicy and full so that it washes through the mouth and fills the cheeks nicely without going the whole hog and becoming thin. Slightly orange-y at the beginning, a thin malt in the middle supports some delicate and floral hops at the roof of the mouth as it washes down the sides, then a fuller and pungent orange at the back of the throat. Immediately after falling down the throat there's a moist and juicy sensation that fills the mouth, fully exploding those delicate hops into a floral citrus burst, rinsing the sides of the mouth and quenching a thirst.
In fact, I think the aftertaste is the biggest part of this brew. It is almost too subtle at the beginning, well, for me (and that may be down to my choice of meat for the toastie) but then the aftertaste comes with a vengeance and grows with each subsequent quaff of the light orange brew that sparkles with the promise of a new dawn and the beginning of spring. Like crocus breaking the soil, daffodils turning the verges a lovely yellow or the birds swarming round the feeder in the garden, this is a vibrant and lively aftertaste that pays off the promise in the nose at the beginning. I half expect a Disney-esque chorus of cutesy animals to break out and start extolling the virtues of the turning of the year and the role played by this ale, which is somewhat... well, it's not like Tiny Rebel match those sorts of production values.
Enjoy this best on a cool spring evening, just as winter is easing its grip and the wind is that little bit less raw. There may be frosts, the snow-drops may be dominating the small flower-beds and the roadsides but there is a crispness to it all, a waiting and a feeling that the year is about to pivot. Crack open a bottle, pour it well, and gaze outside from an awning, the inevitable drizzle and sudden rains causing you to miss the sunlight but allowing you to catch the birdsong and the sparrows in the puddles having a bath. Yes, spring is here, summer is far off but coming and the winter, no doubt with some surprises yet, is in retreat.