When I first ‘discovered’ craft beer, like many people I naturally gravitated towards IPA’s. The insane amount of hops and flavour was such a stark contrast from the lifeless lagers I was used to consuming. After a year or two of consuming a lot of IPAs I was starting to get to a point where I was getting a bit over them. Partly because I had drunken a few but mainly because a lot of local examples don’t seem to be very good or very fresh.
Lately I’ve had a bit of a craving for a good, fresh IPA. I’ve been finding some great local examples and they are very fresh. I think the breweries and the bars are starting to understand a bit better how vulnerable these beers are and how to treat them right.
One beer I kept seeing around the traps and wanted to try was Pirate Life’s IIPA. Pirate Life is a brewery out of South Australia that is making waves quickly. The brewery has only been in existence since 2014 but is already securing good distribution throughout the country. Pirate Life’s IIPA would have to be one (it not the main) flagship beer. Coming in at a hefty 8.8%abv this is not a beer for the weak.
The first thing that struck me about this beer was the can design. It’s really pretty impressive and around the ring of the neck, it contains the process of how the beer was made including all the ingredients. Being a beer geek, I love things like this because I can then consider whether I am getting these flavours and whether I want to make one myself!
So how was the beer? I wrote down my tasting notes knowing that by the end of this can I was definitely going to lose focus. The aroma off this beer is what you will expect. I got a resiney, piney smell which I love about IPAs. The hops listed are Centennial, Columbus, Mosaic and Simcoe which seems consistent. The beer has a strong bitterness about it which balances the hefty malt bill. The colour is darker than a lot of IPAs giving a dark orange. I definitely picked up some alcohol notes which were not at all unpleasant and completely expected in a 8.8% beer best consumed fresh. Best Before was listed as April 2016 which makes me wonder when the beer was made. I would be very interested to try this at the brewery to really get that hop punch in the face.
This is a solidly put together IIPA which was very enjoyable. I gave it a 4.25 on Untappd but tend to rate beers really well when I’m a bit drunk (I’m a friendly drinker). I think my only criticism would be the freshness of this can as I expected a stronger hop aroma. In hindsight I would probably reduce the rating of this can to 3.75.
If we aren’t friends on Untappd yet, please feel free to add me: @benbrett1. Its always fun to have people as nerdy as me to talk beer with.