Total Score: 8.6/10
Yikes! The IIPA version of JAF! Gadzooks! [I felt that one of my reviews needed an anachronistic exclamation… finally Gadzooks, you have made it into one of my reviews]. Bacchus have bought home the bacon (i.e. by brewing JAF, a New England style IPA), now it’s time to fry it in the pan (i.e. go up against Australia’s most infamous – that is: more than famous* – Pirate Life IIPA). Who will win out of the West Coast/East Coast battle of IIPA styles? Spoiler alert: East Coast, always.
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Presents with a cloudy Gamboge body and a foamy 1 centimetre off-white head that leaves a couple splotches of lace on the side of the glass. Pretty decent head for an 8.8% ABV brew. 8/10.
S: Prominent papaya/Jackfruit tropical nose, this is going to be one BIG fucken brew – there’s no other way to sugar coat it… but hell am I ready to punch my ticket on this ride. If I’m being objective though this smells like a complete sugar-bomb of a brew, whether it is or not, well we’ll soon find out. 9/10.
T: Balance between sweet/bitter is spot on. Papaya/Jackfruit hops, touch of pepper spice, biscuit/dry cracker malt base, finish is, as typical for the style, restrained in its bitterness. As a comparison to JAF and Mini Fruits, the hop complexity is a bit thinner here – there was a bit more happening in Bacchus’s other New England brews… not too disappointed though, the flavour is still banging in this brew. Compared to Pirate Life IIPA, it’s not as dissimilar as you might expect, though Pirate Life’s brew (which I coincidentally drank last night) is a bit more “in yo grill”. 8/10.
M: Medium to heavy, lush with hop oils and proteins n’ stuff, with a creamy dense carbonation… mmm, creamy. Best body I’ve experienced on an Aussie IIPA yet. 10/10.
D: Ross (Bacchus head brewer) did his homework on this style – he’s slam dunked every single New England style beer he’s made. Interestingly each had strong points: JAF had flavour, bags of it, like money it rained on my tongue. Mini Fruits had drinkability – it went down easy… a little TOO easy. Top Knot has an unrivalled mouthfeel (it’s like a Founders brew here), cheers Ross! 9/10.
Food match: Malaysian, and make it spicy.
*Three Amigos reference. If you’re too young to have seen this film my advice is: Netflix it immediately. IMMEDIATELY.