Total Score: 9.2/10
“Pirate Life, f**k yeah! Coming again to save the motherf**king day yeah!” – is, in lyric form, how I feel about cracking open this sexy 500ml can of goodness right now. You see dear reader – I had a complete dud for my last review (Sample ¾ IPA) which tasted like a big glass of grain-flavoured soda water. So it’s great to have a brewer like Pirate Life to lean on, as I know that despite their lacklustre Throwback (mid-strength) IPA there’s a talented crew on board that big old galleon singing sea shanties and searching for booty [no comment]. Not only is this an IPA brewed by my favourite Aussie IPA brewer, but it’s a single hop IPA showcasing my favourite hop: Mosaic. My taste buds are palpable with excitement.
Poured from a 500ml can into a nonic pint.
A: Hazed golden-yellow body with a rather boisterous (though I did hard pour it) one inch white head that leaves fancy lace scrawl as it recedes – top notch looking brew. My preference for cloudy IPAs is well known, but this is one handsome beer right here. 8/10.
S: Dirty and full of fresh Mosaic hops, as any brewer will tell you: this truly is a wonder hop that can take on so many different characters depending on how it is utilised (my own brewing experience always led to mango flavours/aromas). In this case the hops have an almost aggressive slant with: Spicy/herbal and cannabis characters upfront, hints of orange and pine notes in the background, with not much on the malt side, but it’s in there somewhere. 8/10.
T: This is a real winner of an Aussie IPA: Bold grassy/spicy/herbal and cannabis hops throughout, hints of pineapple, with a solid but yielding biscuit malt base that allows the hops to really shine. The remarkable thing is how they’ve managed to hop the absolute s**t out of this without having an assertive bitterness in the finish. This is smooth, drinkable hop slamming goodness. Bit like a New England IPA in that regard. I’m loving this Pirate Life! 10/10.
M: Medium bodied with extra viscosity from abundant hop oils – tasty s**t, carbonation is light but dense. 9/10.
D: There was a slight apprehension approaching this that Pirate Life might actually balls it up, but no – this is dead set my new favourite IPA [until it runs out]. Mosaic all the way motherF**KAS!!! I’m really impressed with the finish too – bitterness this mild is remarkable in a full Aussie IPA, great stuff! 9/10.
Food match: SE Asia is a dead cert, other cuisines like BBQ or German will work too.