“Here at Pirate Life we are all about hops. Big hoppy flavours are at the centre of all our beers. We are stoked to announce a new collaboration brew with the boys from Hopco: The Hopco + Pirate Life NZ Pale Ale.”
Served in a shaker glass. Slightly hazy golden amber hue with active carbonation streaming up to form the two finger head. Reasonably well retained – only peeling off a cm or so before establishing a thin film with healthy lace trails decorating the walls of the glass as it ebbs. Very fruity on the nose, quite citric but it’s less acidic and more creamy. The brewers are spot on by calling out key lime pie as the dominant aroma. Hallmark NZ hop scents of green grapes, vines, kiwi fruit and lychee are also in abundance thanks to the use of Pacifica, Motueka and NZ Cascade hops. Very mild malt backing. Biscuity and or bready in character but it’s the hops that take center stage in this aroma. In the mouth it’s quite dry and bitter. The texture is light on and mineraly with a super easy swallow. Medium body, medium Co2. Untappd shows an IBU of 30 but it drinks more like 45-55. Not too bad, a little restrained but well sessional. We get distinct NZ hops on the front palate – grassy, herbal and vinous with a slightly assertive hop bitterness cutting through. Delicate bready malt notes are picked up in the background as the citrus and grassy hops punctuate the finish. Good length, a persistent dryness certainly hangs around between sips. Look, compared to the IIPA, Pale Ale and Throwback IPA it’s not as good. It seems they’ve kind of rushed it in to offer a 4th addition to their stellar range. Essentially it’s a tasty drop but no where near as good as their first three.