Pirate Life Brewing Co. Imperial IPA


image“Crafting great beer is all about balance. At one end of the scale, if you’re brewing a delicate Western European lager, you have to ensure that the four ingredients work in harmony. These more delicate styles take incredible skill to brew well as there’s nowhere to hide any miscalculations or mistakes throughout production. Launching to the almost extreme opposite, the realm of IIPAs, balance, surprisingly, is still a defining factor. Instead of delicacy in balance, it’s now big flavour in balance.
Simplistically, to achieve a big flavourful IIPA you need: Big Malt + Big Hops + Big Fermentation. Pirate Life IIPA is a big beer with big delicious fresh flavours that we hope you will enjoy by sticking it in your big mouth. Peace.”

Served from a 500ml can in to an IPA glass. Nice bright amber with a slight golden-orange hue laced through. A healthy two finger crown is generated but it eventually collapses to a fine sheet over the top. Laced reasonably well. We’ve been eagerly waiting to try this IPA and the first whiff does not disappoint! It’s absolutely packed full of tropical and citric fruits like grapefruit, passion fruit, pineapple, mango, lychee, peach and rockmelon. Certainly some pine and hints of citrus peel also pushing through. A solid malt backing too, but it’s the hop show here. The bill of Centennial, Columbus, Mosaic and Simcoe take charge and we love it!! Superb aroma. The mouth feel is sharp and slightly astringent, but that’s to be expected when the ABV weighs in at a brawny 8.8%. There is a bold dryness but again a good malt profile smooths it over with a full coating of the mouth. Co2 is medium and so to is the body. A delicious burst of fruits is amplified by the prickly alcohol burn upfront. A delicate malt is introduced as it all carries through the mid, but once again the hops dominate as an aggressive bitterness takes hold of the tongue. A somewhat sharp piney note develops late and leads in to a dry, citric finish with excellent length on the back end. Brilliant IPA! And might we say almost sessional. Although there is a lot of bite from the alcohol it’s crisp and damn easy to drink. Only brand new to the craft beer world but this brewery has just made a clear statement. What a magnificent drop.