Inspired by NB’s front page add for Kiwi Express (gotta clear out the kits, I guess), I decided to give this a try. I was looking for a reason to go in on NB’s kit and try something new.
Disclaimer: I have no certifications and no qualifications to be judging beer other than my own tastes.
It poured a rich amber with a moderate head. The smell came on strong with a bright, citrus aroma similar to American hops. I was surprised to find only the barest hint of citrus on first tasting, instead finding an almost sticky beer dominated by resiny character. The citrus aroma and flavor dissipated quickly, leaving behind strong resin and extremely subtle tropical notes, which I only started to detect with continued drinking - more of an aftertaste, really. In fact, I woke up the next morning with a pretty pleasant pineapple/tropical taste lingering (yes, after all appropriate tooth-brushing and oral hygiene measures).
Overall, an interesting and good, but not great brew. If you love resiny beers, this may be for you. However, the citrus was a scant opening and the tropical notes were so subtle that it wouldn’t be out of line to call it a one-note symphony. Glad I tried it, but I wouldn’t recommend it against so many other beers on the market.
Still on the fence about Kiwi Express. It has a different hop bill, but the major problem is that I brew 2.5 gallon batches. Not keen to fork over a ton of cash for a bunch of extra ingredients I don’t need. Maybe next year I can get them a la carte.