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.
I must say I am a bit of a sucker for a double IPA. Whilst I love a good balanced beer sometimes we all need an over the top, alcoholic hop bomb which blows us away. It’s always important to make sure that you don’t plan on sampling any more beers after this because usually they are wasted (as are you).
I recently had the opportunity to try the Nomad Supersonic DIPA. This was a beer fresh in the fridges of Cellarbrations Stafford so I thought I would snap one up in the hope it was super fresh and super hoppy.
Nomad Brewing Co is relatively new to the scene having brewed their first beer in August 2014. Nomad Brewing is a joint venture between one of Italy’s leading craft brewers Birra Del Borgo and a beer importer, Experience It and is based in the northern suburbs of Sydney.
So how did I feel about the beer? Sadly, very disappointed. The first thing I noticed was that there was very little hop nose on this beer, in fact, literally none. I really can’t say if the bottle is old but I suspect it is not. They really need to consider dialling up the hops on this one.
The appearance was a dark orange with a little haze. I read after I poured the beer that it was bottle conditioned so this may explain the haze as I poured without concern for this assuming it wasn’t. The first sip I had knocked me back a little in how alcoholic the beer tasted. Whilst I acknowledge the 8.5% is quite a bill the alcohol taste should not have been as sharp. I suspect it was young which is good, but still no hop character.
I tasted a strong, sticky full body and would have preferred to see a dryer beer to achieve the high alcohol. The description on the bottle described it as ‘double dry hopped’ which makes me wonder what the single dry hop tastes like. All in all I wasn’t blown away by this beer and gave it a 2.5 stars on Untappd. I’m hopeful that this is perhaps a bad batch but won’t be rushing out to buy anymore Nomad anytime soon.
If you’re looking for a justification to drink a lot of beers, why not get Untappd and add me as a friend? The badges give you the sense of accomplishment the beers take away from you. Check me out on username: benbrett14
I have previously talked about how much I love Saisons and farmhouse ales in general. Whether its the dry taste, the complex yeast derived flavours, or just the simple joy of being able to pronounce something most people stuff up, Saisons are right up my alley. Read More
I’ve become a little obsessed with ‘farm ales’ as of late. Particularly saisons. Something about the romance of them being produced in a barn by methods passed down from generation to generation really appeals to my inner hipster. The fact that the modern day saisons are rarely produced anything like their forefather counterparts does nothing to destroy this romanticism for me.
For those who don’t know what a saison is, it is a style of beer originating out of Western Europe. The uniqueness of saisons stems from the flavour driven yeast they use which performs well in temperatures its other yeastie brothers would turn their nose up at. I have heard of saisons being fermented in the mid 30’s and still coming out amazing. Read More