Total Score: 8.65/10
Pirate Life Brewing, who I’ve never heard of but whom I imagine to be a hearty group of scallywags – keel hauling innocent merchantmen whilst singing something “yo, ho ho” related and wearing birds on their shoulders while brewing a substance known only to them as “grog”… have I missed any further pirate references? No? All good then. This beer got a double recommendation from both Jamie and Dennis (of Plonk fame) and I take that as a gold standard for ‘beers I must review’ in this, that is to say, my beer-blogging world. Nuff said [Arrgh!].
Poured from a 500ml can into a Duvel tulip.
A: Hazed slightly-dark amber body with a large 2 cm foamy chalk head. The head quickly dissipates leaving ample spider lacing – this is going to be one terrific brew methinks *delivered in my best Jack Sparrow*. 8/10.
S: Aroma is Jackfruit forward and all over my face [in the good way] piney, with some Starburst candy orange… malt??? Worry not about malt dear grasshopper – it’s in there, somewhere. The biggest takeaway from the aroma is how much Jackfruit can be pumped into a brew – Pirate Life says “A great deal” evidently. 9/10.
T: Not the massive Irish-river-dance-on-my-tongue that I was expecting, though it is nonetheless BIG (Bearing Immense Gusto) this is a real easy going IIPA (the first “I” stands for “Imperial” aka “you’re getting into some big shit now”). Flavours are centred around that classic piney/earthy/citric trinity of IPAN(irvana), with a less than expected tropical note [Jackfruit where are you?!]. Finish is a medium and tolerable bitterness – again everything here is done with a modicum of discretion for your tastebuds. Well played Pirate Life. 9/10.
M: Medium bodied, as oily as a seal on a beach after an environmental catastrophe, with a mid to light carbonation that lets you know it’s there. 8/10.
D: Burps leave a lingering grassiness from the brew – another quality that becomes more apparent as you drink this near 9% behemoth. At the end of the day – apart from Kaiju! I don’t see many other Aussie brewers pushing the envelope of what is to be found an acceptable amount of hops in a glass of beer – this thing is tantamount to hop syrup in your glass. The only thing missing from this brew are those Jackfruit notes that were perceived in the aroma – that would really have kicked this up into a 10/10 IMO. 8/10.
Food match: Again I’m led to recommend Vietnamese or Thai cuisine – something light and spicy for these BIG heavy IIPAs.