Total Score: 9.25/10
As I draw inexorably closer to my mighty 700th beer review I start to look for something special, something with joie de vivre. Well I wasn’t sure about Pirate Life IPA – I mean their IIPA and Pale Ale were both decent Australian examples, representative of their styles, but they didn’t blow me out of the water like a well-placed cannonade from a pirate ship. In any case I was recommended this IPA from a fellow beerethren who told me this IPA was hands down the best in the Pirate Life range and I saw that as a gauntlet (of beer) being thrown in my direction “The best Pirate Life brew? We’ll see about that!”.
Poured from a 355ml can into a nonic pint.
A: Decently hazed tawny body with a thin cream-coloured head that looks fairly dense and appealing – leaves some light lace on the side of the glass too. This is one tasty looking IPA! 8/10.
S: The hops be juicy and plenty in this glass with notes of piney/cannabis/floral mingling with a hint of grapefruit – this is big mouth-watering West Coast style IPA aroma that pushes the envelope with hop content. Having done a little homebrew with hop pellets I can tell you that the aroma I get from this brew is the same one I would get from sticking my nose in the sandwich bag of pellets and taking a deep breath: Simply brilliant! I am smitten by hops and this IPA brings them in spades. 10/10.
T: Yep, I think I’ve found my new favourite Aussie IPA! This mother is a pure West Coast hop-fest with the above noted hop characters (piney/cannabis/floral/grapefruit) balanced out with a toasted biscuit/caramel malt base. They haven’t shied away from hop bitterness in the finish either – with some assertive bite and a herbal/cannabis green aftertaste. Simply superb Pirate Life! 9/10.
M: Medium bodied with a touch of oil from hop resins and light but dense carbonation. 8/10.
D: The balance is there and even though this clearly West Coast inspired IPA doesn’t bring anything new to the table what it does bring is a freshness of hop flavours I am, for virtue of living in Australia, am unable to experience, and as such I imagine drinking this is as close as I will get to having a real fresh US IPA. This is where ye fresh hops be, arrgh! I’m going Pirate Life all the way brah. 10/10.
Food match: Pulled pork sliders with pickles and a chipotle slaw.