Formerly brewed at Tuatara Brewing Company (DB Breweries)
Style: Barley Wine
Paraparaumu, New Zealand
Serve in Snifter


on tap


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RATINGS: 11   MEAN: 4.12/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.82/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
You may think you are having a beer, but Tuatara XI technically a licorice black Belgian barley wine. That adds up to a complex stew of flavours and aromas from Belgian yeast, roast malt and actual licorice from RJs in Levin, all balanced nicely with New Zealand hops. It also adds to a alcohol content in double figures, so take it easy with the heavy machinery. Perfect with a chocolate dessert or an enterprising cheese board.

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buzz_and_hum's rating

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
buzz_and_hum (153) - Wellington, - FEB 9, 2012
I had this first at Beervana, and found it a bit sticky-sweet and boozy amongst the other lighter ales on the day. Now, having splashed out on a bottle, able to drink from a decent glass, at an appropriate temperature at my own leisure, I can appreciate the genius of this ale. It wasn’t until I read the description here that I realised that the dark, bitter-sweet salty flavour which was making this so delicious was licorice. (Yes, I’m sure it’s on the bottle, but the black on black text gave me a headache so I just skipped the reading and went for the drinking). And now that’s all I can taste. But, hey, it’s damn delicious. So rich and smooth in the mouth too. I think the wickedest thing about this luxurious black ale is how well it hides it’s alcohol. It’s wine strength, but cocoa-before-bedtime drinkable. Dangerously yum.

bozoNZ (778) - Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND - JAN 19, 2017
Deep from the cellar selection. Light black licorice nose. Such great text texture. Like black velvet it just glides down the throat. Has held up so well. Liquid black gold. Beer of the year albeit for its age!

Wombata (625) - Kobe, JAPAN - JAN 5, 2013
From bottle made in May 2011. Aroma and flavor: light black licorice, rich dark but not overly bitter chocolate, smooth finish. Not as sweet as I had thought based on some previous comments.

maekchu (4024) - Hirakata, JAPAN - JAN 4, 2013
Bottle. Thanks to Wombata. Smokey fumes, dark fruit, chocolate, and ash nose. Black, translucent at edges, very little head. Smooth sweet chocolate initial; mid palate extends the chocolate and adds a bit of licorice; final gets a little tangy. Medium body, with a dry finish. Good stuff! Alcohol is hidden well and flavors are well integrated. Didn’t event think about driving heavy machinery.

KyotoLefty (10603) - Kyoto, JAPAN - JAN 3, 2013
Bottle. Nose of chocolate, licorice, a bit spicy, lightly phenolic. Not as sweet as expected, with spices and chocolate, dry cocoa, earthy hops, some minerals. Alcohol is well hidden. Light body. Very original and nice.

beerledgend (1196) - Waterloo, Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - OCT 29, 2012
Aniseed aroma. Dark black in colour with big toffee coloured head. Roasted mouthfeel,smooth flavours, hides alcohol well.

ciaranc (1102) - Dublin, IRELAND - OCT 8, 2012
Wow. So much going on here. Pour is tar-black with a medium creamy tan head which dissipates fairly quick. Nose is smoky liquorice, tar, hints of dark fruits, earthy leather, molasses/candi sugar, coffee, Belgian yeast and a hint of alcohol. Flavour is a rich fruit sweetness, glace cherry, plum, date, prune, more smoky liquorice and some notes of coffee. A lovely thick, slick mouthfeel accompanies a body which is not overly heavy. Carbonation is quite flat (think the bottle is quite old). More fruitcake sweetness and dark, faintly astringent liquorice in the finish along with some lovely warming alcohol. Best non-Belgian Belgian Ive had.

drpimento (3733) - La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 14, 2012
Very interesting, nicely done beer. Poured at a good temperature with a large, foamy, frothy, fluffy, billowy, tan head that soon settled down and no lace. Color is a very dark, but in a bright light, seems to be a clear brown red. Aroma is roast, dark ripe fruit, maly, hint of licorice. Flavor is similar to nose, with all qualities much bolder, bittersweetness is mammoth, slight carbonic tang, alcohol reinforces all of that. Body is very good although surprisingly light with good carbonation. Finish is like flavor, on the long side, and kind of drinkable for the larger bottle size (exact size, unknown as the label is a virtualy unreadable black on black.

Spud69 (21) - Bedfordshire, ENGLAND - JAN 16, 2012
Pours jet black with a tight creamy head, aromas of Molases chocolate and well Licorice, Chocolate Anise and Licorice with a smooth creamy mouthfeel, No acidity and balanced by the slight bitterness.

maneliquor (3514) - Perth, AUSTRALIA - JAN 1, 2012
UPDATED: JUN 7, 2012 Off notes. Had on tap at Beervana 2011. Murky brown pour with some nice off white lacing left by a quickly diminishing light mocha head. Heavy sweet roasted malts and mass amounts of liquorice on the nose. Liquorice is very pronounced in an interesting way. Roasted malts and liquorice are again the dominant flavours in the taste. Very dry, belgiany finish. Quite boozy but it works well. Interesting and enjoyable beer. I remember going back for more

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