Pours a dehydrated amber colour with a proud, but quickly receding, head. Quite a malty smell for an IPA – it smells as though it will be more bitter. First sip is quite heavy and woody. A very slight roll of something orangey and surprisingly fizzy considering there’s very little lacing. I’m not getting the hoppiness or citrus of the usual IPA – this reminds me more of a Bitter.
TSA & the incognito beer
Now, I must be honest. I had never heard of the Traditional Scottish Ale Brewing Company before I spotted this beer. Neither had I heard of Rok (rambunctious) IPA – however, the bottle grabbed my attention as it looks very similar to Brewdog’s Punk IPA. It wasn’t too much of a financial investment so I thought I’d give it a go. Before cracking the bottle I wanted to find out a bit more about TSA (this one’s a Twitter link!) and it’s surprisingly difficult. The website has a lot about beer in general, but no information on the brewery.
Their Bottled Beers page makes no mention to the Rok IPA or it’s brother-on-the-shelf the Wild Oat Stout. The logo on the website and the bottle are the same, so is this…being hidden? Maybe it’s just an ill-updated site (which is a shame) but I wouldn’t say there’s any need to hide this beer. Okay, it’s not groundbreaking or revolutionary (then again, I didn’t think Brewdog’s version was either) and I’m struggling to think of this as an IPA in itself, but it is by no means a bad beer. It tastes a bit heavier and thicker than the hoppy IPA I’m used to, I don’t get as much of that lemon flavour that seems to be rife amongst the modern genre. There’s a hint of orange that slowly rolls across your mouth and the finish is a heavy bitter rather than a wash of what I am now going to coin ‘hopkick’. It’s a touch watery, but the mouthful feels whole, it’s a tough one to explain.
To summarise, as I feel I’m getting absolutely bloody nowhere with this one, I would suggest picking it up (I got mine in Lidl’s for 99p), it won’t blow your
csocks off, it won’t give you a wink, make you take your clothes off then put the photos on Facebook after you’ve passed out (no, just me?), but it might just sort you out when you fancy a beer. Other reviews on this aren’t too favourable – I think this may be led more by the packaging. It seems to promise something it isn’t.
After finding out TSA stood for Traditional Scottish Ales whilst ‘Rok India Pale Ale’ ‘Rambunctious IPA’ is wobbling at me on the label I felt something was amiss. I think this is a more than acceptable beer and if it had a calmer label and maybe realigned itself as a bitter, there wouldn’t be so much disdain.