Crafty Surprise No. 5 – Pirate Life Brewing IIPA

Pirate Life IIPA
Pirate Life IIPA

Today’s Crafty Surprise is an exciting one. I have been wanting to try Pirate Life Brewing IIPA for a while now and I can’t believe its finally happening. As with all Pirate life cans, they have the process and ingredients on the rim of the can. The malts used in this Imperial IPA are Marris Otter, Carapils and Wheat. The hops being Centennial, Columbus, Mosiac and Simcoe.


This Imperial IPA pours a gorgeous golden to light amber colour with a moderate 2cm creamy head that retains extremely well. The carbonation is well done with fast rising large bubbles that have begun to die off quite a bit to a low carbonation after a few swigs and swirls.

Pirate Life IIPA Appearance
Pirate Life IIPA Appearance


The aroma on the nose really is a smack in the face featuring citrus, pine and fruity notes. I know already before tasting this IIPA is going to pack a punch and really have some balls to it.

Pirate Life IIPA Aroma
Pirate Life IIPA Aroma


The flavour is not disappointing, to say the least. The alcohol is slightly noticeable with a bit of heat but not harsh at all, what would you expect with an ABV of 8.8%. The hop flavours are quite aggressive with spicy and resinous flavours shining through. It’s no surprise that this beer is hopped to the high heaven because I have found that Pirate Life are pretty aggressive with their hop additions in all their beers.

Pirate Life IIPA Flavour
Pirate Life IIPA Flavour

Mouth Feel

This beer on the palate is very creamy with a full bodied velvet feel. The carbonation on the tongue is still as the beer quickly lost carbonation and there is a very long finish from the bitterness.


At first, this Pirate Life Imperial IPA was a bit of a struggle and I was starting to question what all this hype was surrounding this beer that came in at number 2 for the 2016 Australian hottest 100. But after a few sips, my palate adjusted and I was in paradise. The massive addition of hops is balanced well with the sweetness of the malts and punch of the alcohol.

As I normally do, when I sit down for a tasting I tend to smash down the beer far quicker than I normally would. This time the 8.8% in a 500ml can is 3.5 standard drinks and I’m feeling a nice buzz as I’m desperately wanting to crack open another one. As usual with the Crafty Surprise I only have one can on hand and there are no craft beer stores around me that would sell this liquid gold, this is truly torture.


This is my first Imperial, but I have no hesitation to nearly give it a perfect score. I rate this big beer a 4.8 out of 5. Devarni in collaboration with Blackhearts and Sparrows in St Kilda sure have delivered on this week’s Crafty Surprise.

If you have had the pleasure of trying the Pirate Life IIPA let me know in the comments what you thought of it?

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