Pirate Life Brewery Tour

Pirate Life Brewery Tour – Port Adelaide

We took a tour of Pirate Life Brewery in Port Adelaide and it was VERY cool.


Established in 2014 by Perth brewers Jack and Red, Pirate Life’s first home was Hindmarsh, a suburb just west of Adelaide city center, where their brewhouse had a 2500-liter capacity. They launched their core range in 2015: an Imperial IPA, a West Coast style pale ale and their Throwback IPA. In 2019, after 5 award-winning years, the team moved to the old Dalgety Woolstores in Port Adelaide which doubled their capacity.

Pirate Life Brewery

Port Adelaide Brewery Tour

The Pirate Life Port Adelaide Brewery looks like it was made for purpose. The opening of their new site has brought new life into the old Port town. Featuring colorful murals, arcade games, shuffleboard tables, a barbers (that was almost a tattoo studio…), a merch store, food trucks and 24 beers on tap, where else would you want to spend your afternoon?

We booked a 3pm tour online for $20 each. It was a Friday afternoon and we were the only ones on the tour which meant we got very well looked after. All the staff we spoke to were enthusiastic about the beer and were happy to answer our questions. Our tour guide (and tour manager) Matty was great fun and took very good care of us. The brewery was actually being cleaned when we arrived so nothing was brewing during our tour, but this meant that we got to see some backstage areas up close that would otherwise have restricted access. After trying some different grains, smelling some hops and viewing the brew set up, we grabbed a South Coast Pale Ale from the office fridge and walked around the canning line, the fridge room and back to the bar. We got to taste some interesting craft beers before choosing a free schooner.

We tried the barrel-aged Lime Gose, Orange & Mango Sour, New England IPA, Slow Pour Pilsner, Mosaic, West Coast IIPA, Lemon Meringue Nitro IPA, and the Jujube Cola Sour Ale.

Beer Tasting at Pirate Life Brewery.

The beer that won for us was the barrel-aged Lime Gose. Pale, wheaty, zesty and finished in Chardonnay casks, it’s a super refreshing summer drink that goes down easy.

A favourite of mine was the West Coast IIPA. If you’re an IPA fan, this is the one for you. This double IPA had ALL the hops and was kind of piney. Very enjoyable, and more of a sipping beer than an all-nighter.

The Lemon Meringue Nitro was silky smooth and unlike anything I’ve tried before. I’d definitely recommend this, or the Jujube Cola Sour, for a taste of something unique from Pirate Life.

The only beer that really didn’t do it for us was the Orange & Mango Sour. If you handed me a pint and didn’t tell me it was beer, I’d guess it was a mimosa that had been sat out in the sun for too long. Mango puree and orange juice are late fermentation additions. It’s a little too fruity for my taste but I’m not the biggest fan of sour ales anyway. It could be someone else’s perfect pint, who knows.

Overall, we had an awesome afternoon. We’ll be back soon to start a shuffleboard team and win more South Coast Pale Ale prizes!

Talisker 25 Year Old

Talisker 25 Year Old Whisky Tasting Notes

This old island single malt whisky was matured in American Oak hogsheads and finished in refill European oak casks. The 2017 release is 45.8% ABV, which is much softer than the original cask-strength (59.9% ABV) releases back in 2001.

Price: £233.29 (Master of Malt).

Tasting Notes for Talisker 25 Year Old

Nose: A light, dry nose that is almost floral. Ripe apples with just a hint of smoke and polished wood.

Palate: Floral and lightly smoky! Hints of rose, sticky toffee pudding, milk chocolate, ground pepper and aniseed. Delicate for a 25 year old dram.

Finish:  Lingering spice from chilies, with some salted caramel and, again, just a hint of smoke.

Overall: This 25-year-old island whisky, from one of my favourite distilleries, was gifted to me on my 25th birthday. And what a treat! The time in the cask has really toned down the salty, smoky notes that are associated with Talisker, but it is still a delicious and interesting dram.

FEW Rye Whiskey

FEW Rye Whiskey Tasting Notes

This rye spirit has a mash bill of 70% rye, 20% corn and 10% malted barley, sourced from within 100 miles of the Chicago-based distillery. The bottle carries no ages statement, and has been matured in virgin, charred Minnesota oak.

Price: £63.50 (Master of Malt).

Tasting Notes for Few Rye Whiskey

Nose: Orange peel, caramelized brown sugar and a light cinnamon spice – a perfect balance! After a little while, apples and candy floss.

Palate: Cola and caramel sweetness balanced by orange zest and fresh green apple skins. A light chili spice and creamy toffee sweets.

Finish:  A long, spicy finish with all-spice, cinnamon and chili flakes as well as orange zest.

Overall: FEW whiskies never disappoint. This is another great dram that is full of well-balanced flavour (and serves as a great whiskey for mixing with cocktails).

Glenglassaugh Peated Virgin Oak Finish

Glenglassaugh Peated Virgin Oak Finish – Tasting Notes

46% ABV. This peated Single Malt whisky was matured in first-fill American oak casks and finished for 2 years in virgin American oak. This is the first “cask finish” release from the Highland Glenglassaugh distillery.

Glenglassaugh Peated Virigin Oak

Price: £62.83 (Master of Malt)

Tasting Notes

Nose: Honey barbecued bacon, salted caramel and millionaire shortbreads.

Palate: Sweet and smoky. The honey barbecue from the nose follows through. Burnt sugar syrup and grilled pineapple with the creamy nuttiness from peanut pralines.

Finish: A smoky finish, with the freshness of chilli flakes and menthol.

Overall: Not overly peated, not overly sweet, not overly complex. Simple and balanced.

Continue reading “Glenglassaugh Peated Virgin Oak Finish”

Kings County Peated Bourbon

Kings County Peated Bourbon Tasting Notes

45% ABV and aged for “at least one year”. The mash bill for this unusual bottling is 70% New York sourced corn (from Lakeview Organic Grain) and equal parts peated and unpeated British barley. It is also award winning: San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2016 – Double Gold. American Distilling Institute (ADI) Craft Spirit Awards 2016 – Silver.

Kings County Peated Bourbon

Price: £30.67 (for 20cl…) (Amathus Drinks)

Nose: Sweet vanilla, orange peels and a light smoke – like a subtle honey barbecue sauce. Also softer notes of red grapes, dry hay and light leather.

Palate: Initially oranges and burnt sugar, followed by grilled pineapple. Hints of vanilla and tobacco and a touch of aniseed. Salted pretzels.

Finish:  Dry smoke and spices: chilli, black pepper, cinnamon and aniseed. Slightly maritime.

Overall: An interesting mash bill, resulting in a sweet, spicy and lightly smoked dram. It could use a couple more years in the barrel to balance the flavours in my opinion, but you can’t deny that peat and bourbon make a delicious combination. The only thing that is stopping me from buying a bottle is the price.

Continue reading “Kings County Peated Bourbon”