The Rex Attitude

May 3rd, 2011

Extreme beers evoke extreme reactions. Everyone remembers the first time they tried Rodenbach Grand Cru, and anyone who has tried one will have mischievously given one to an uninitiated friend (or enemy, depending on your appreciation of the beer) just to see the look on their face. It was the thought of these looks that had me grabbing my camera and heading along to the launch of Yeastie Boys Rex Attitude at Regional Wines and Spirits last Saturday.

Rex Attitude, Yeastie Boys’ new all-year-’round beer, is an extreme beer. It is brewed with malt that has been smoked over burning peat. This peated malt is what gives Islay whiskies, such as Laphroig and Bowmore, their distinctive smokey, medicinal flavour. When common lore says that a beer brewed with more than 5% peated malt would be undrinkable then it’s not hard to push the limits towards the extreme. But when The Yeastie Boys announced their new beer would be made with 100% peated malt many suspected they had lost their common sense.

It only takes one sip to decide whether this beer is genius or folly. Either way, hopefully someone will be there with a camera.

These are my photos of what I call The Rex Attitude. I’d love to see yours. Post links to your photos in the comments.

Here’s a photo I took of Rex Attitude to help you find it.


  1. Moose Says:

    Middle photo of the second row from the top is the best!

  2. Stu as "Stu" Says:

    @ Moose: I remember that woman loving the beer. And being pretty savvy about whisky.

    @ Jed… Einstein is sometimes quoted as having said: “Common sense is nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down by the mind before you reach eighteen.” I’m not sure if he really did say that but, either way, I don’t half agree!


  3. Mike Says:

    Jed, Please Please someone add witty subtitles to the face’s

  4. neeko1979 Says:

    well done! picked up a few bottles this evening from regional, looking forward to my own reaction ;)

  5. Simon Says:

    @Stu – It’s all good… if one thing the internet has taught us is that quotes are fluid, and often made up ;)

    Enjoyed a bottle of this last night… the aroma reminded me of my dad using Coal Tar Soap on his psoriasis as a kid, i’m assuming this could be the ‘medicinal’ note that people mention about peat smoked malt – I’m not sure, as I’m not a whisky drinker. Then the sweetness and smokiness comes through in the flavour, and just screams pork at me… at first I wanted to say bacon, but there’s definitely something ‘porky’ and sweet about the flavour. As a vegetarian of 15 years, I was surprised that I enjoyed it… that being said, my vegetarian friend (who is also a whisky drinker) got through about half of his before leaving the rest for me to finish :)

    As always, a Yeastie Boys beer has got me thinking and talking about beer in new ways… although, in the grand scheme of things this beer is always going to be somewhat of an oddity for me. Much like how I like to bring out a Smokin’ Bishop when people start telling me about beer… but appear only to be talking about supermarket lagers.

    ps. Love the photos Jed… i know the feeling a lot of them appear to be going through ;)

  6. Dan Says:

    Image 21 is me , I had to laugh when i saw that image it definitley doesn’t paint a true image of what was running through my mind as Rex bounced all over my tastebuds ….
    I Loved the beer , The strong smokey flavor brought an instant flashback as i closed my eyes of my teen years camping in the hills of wellington with my mates , campfires and smoked eel hmmmm

  7. Jed Says:

    It was funny, Dan, a lot of the people with the most disgusted and horrified expressions were people who really liked the beer. I think it’s just a reaction to the unexpected. No amount of description quite prepares you for the sensory overload. Mmmm, might have to open another one now.

  8. Stu as "Stu" Says:

    @ Dan – campfire is the first thing I think of too. Interestingly, If you put it in a flute and sniff outside the glass (instead of right in there) there is this jellied fejoa note that. Maybe quince paste?

    @ Simon – I don’t really get the bacon/pork thing that people mention… but I don’t really eat either, so it may just be a lack of practice. Smoked salmon is probably the closest “meat” I associate with the beer.

    @ Neeko1979… did you live to tell the tale? ;-)

  9. Eric Crampton Says:

    You’re at a bar that’s been around for a century. Until smoking in bars was banned five years ago, this is where folks came to smoke their cigars. The top of the bar is leather that’s been there since the bar was built, absorbing the dank cigary aromas until they became part of the material. The owner gave it a washing with some leather soap before you came in. Put your nose to the leather and breathe deeply.

    Simon’s not far out with coal tar soap either though.

  10. Rex Attitude: Scotlands Burning! | Beer@Brewzone Says:

    […] This is not a beer for the faint of heart. It pours light like a good whiskey, and overwhelms the senses when drunk. The smokey malt pervades, with notes of burnt plastic and earth, and hints of straw, and even some hops in the finish. To a trained palate, it has the flaws of a wild homebrew. Yet these are intentional. (For some great visuals of first sips of this beer, see Jed Sloans TheBeerProject. […]

  11. NZBLOKES Beer News! | nzblokes Says:

    […] If you want to see some of the reactions to Rex Attitude go to Jed Soane’s photo blog The Beer Project. […]