Pirate Life & Limeburners Create Whisky Stout

Updated: Sep 5, 2019

Originally published by Drinks Bulletin

by Alana House

A three-year collaboration between brewery Pirate Life and Great Southern Distilling Company is finally on the market: Whisky Barrel Aged Stout.


It’s one of 10 new releases that will be available at Pirate Life’s fourth anniversary party in March. In the meantime, a limited run of 4800 bottles are available at selected retailers around Australia.


“When [Great Southern founder] Cameron Syme dropped in to the Hindmarsh brewery for a few beers and whiskies with Red they got on like a distillery on fire,” Pirate Life notes in a blog post. “It didn’t take them long to come up with a few cracking ideas for a collaboration.”


Limeburners’ has won a slew of domestic and international awards. It’s Heavily Peated Darkest Winter whisky even collected the trophy for 2017’s best International Whisky in the World at the American Distilling Institute’s annual spirits awards.


Syme sent a shipment of single malt whisky American oak barrels to Pirate Life in 2016 to be filled with stout.


“That beer was a variation of our standard stout but a bit mellower, less bitter and a little sweeter to offset the astringency you get from oak,” Pirate Life explains.


“The first batch spent 18 months in barrel, and since then we have brewed it twice more, meaning the beer in the bottle is a blend from three separate “vintages” so it’s a little bit of a solera style – some of the original 18-month-old barrels are still in the warehouse maturing.


“The result is a beer which is layered with many years of complexity, first from the whisky and then from the stout. Dark and thick in the glass the aroma has hints of chocolate, vanilla and a touch of coffee. The barrel’s charred American oak gives the nose a subtle hint of campfire and roasted marshmallow.


“The palate is silky and sweet, vanilla is here again along with chocolate and honeycomb. This is followed by wisps of fine malt whisky, a touch of acidity, subtle unami and lingering, moreish finish.”


Next up, the Pirate Life crew will travel to Great Southern’s Albany base later in the year to have a go at making their own whisky, as part of the second stage of the Pirate Life x Limeburners collaboration.


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