ParrotDog Rarebird Tieke (650ml Bottle)
Until the 1960s the last refuge of the North Island Saddleback was Taranga, or Hen Island, off the Whangarei coast. Introduced pests had bullied them from everywhere else. But two generations of patient work and careful catch-and-release transfers have seen this boisterous and charismatic little bird steadily spread to other islands and eventually also to sanctuaries back on the mainland, starting with Zealandia here in Wellington in 2002. Icons of what can be achieved in conservation, several thousand Tīeke now noisily flit through the country’s trees, and the species is officially listed as “Recovering” — a word which calls for celebration without letting us forget our prior carelessness.
This latest RareBird release, a dunkelweizen, shares something of Tīeke's distinctive chestnut colouring, and has banoffee characters in a tart, lively beer.
A dark take on the German wheat theme, dunkelweizens have the same banana and clove notes of their pale cousins, but also have earthy, toasty, chocolatey notes from the addition of dark malts. They are "shoulder season" wheat beers to many drinkers - something a little more robust than a hefeweizen for the fall and spring seasons, but not as rich as winter’s weizenbocks. Alcohol is between 4.8-5.6% generally, bitterness is low, and carbonation is high. Occasionally, you will see dark versions of American Wheats, but these are uncommon.