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IStout | 8 Wired Brewing Co.

very good
91 Reviews
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Brewed by:
8 Wired Brewing Co.
New Zealand (Aotearoa) | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Beware, this is a BIG beer. Brimming with luscious roasted coffee and chocolate malt flavours which are balanced by a brisk bitterness and bold freshness from the hops.

If you’re feeling politically incorrect try it with your favourite cigar, or a dram of your best single malt whisky. Or, if your tooth is sweeter, why not jump in at the deep end with the most decadent dessert of all; half a bottle in a glass with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream on top (beer geeks like us know it as the Imperial Stout Float). Or simply enjoy it on its own as a decadent dessert or night cap - the perfect winter warmer!

If you don’t already know the history of Russian Imperial Stouts please check it out on the internet, it’s a good story. But remember, although based on that century-old classic style, this beer is a very modern interpretation, like all our beers!

70 IBU

Added by dgilks on 11-06-2010

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Reviews: 91 | Ratings: 273
Photo of EmperorBevis
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled and possibly bottle conditioned
Black body with quickly diminishing tan head
Boozy cocoa and blackcurrant jam aroma
Big coffee and booze flavours
Solid mouthfeel and solid beer

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Photo of FBGordon
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a room temperature tulip.

A: Pours a rich black with a thick chocolate milk head that thins out somewhat but maintains and laces beautifully throughout.

S: Big, bold notes of coffee, toast, chocolate and spicy hops.

T: Well-balanced flavors of chocolate, roast, toast and coffee, with some hopiness coming through on the back end and a lingering roasty bitterness building pleasantly on the palate. The alcohol is slightly warming.

M: A full, rounded body with some light carbonation.

O: A big, bold stout that lends itself to being a "Western" RIS with roasty flavor and lots of hops without being so bitter it becomes astringent. Large enough in the nose and on the palate to remind you that it should be respected for its double digit ABV. On the whole, a tasty RIS with versatility that I will add to my beer closet.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black pour with copious, thick tan foam; good lace with a cap that reduced quickly. Roasted malt and espresso nose. Roasted bittersweet chocolate and coffee bean; some dark fruit (prunes and figs) as liquid warms. Medium lite mouthfeel with bitter roast coffee tongue coating. No sweetness, just bitter roast with an alcohol linger.

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Photo of 50wolves
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Beer served in a dimpled beer mug, I have had this before and thoroughly enjoyed the beer, however had not reviewed. Appearance - pours dark brown with large brownish frothy head. Aroma - strong roasted coffee elements, has slight chocolate smells that comes through in the taste. Taste - as per smell, has roasted coffee elements with some chocolate and slight liquorice tastes to it. Mouthfeel - creamy and has warmth. Overall - I really enjoy this beer, looking forward to the other beers by this brewer, would recommend.

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Photo of leroybrown10
3.24/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours deep black. Looks thick and oily. Dark khaki colored head is slow to form and rather small. What head there is does linger but leaves minimal lacing once if vanishes.

Aroma is heavily roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and tobacco. Earthy.

Flavors are strong, bitter and acrid. Roasted malt, chocolate, smoke, tobacco, espresso, and earth.

Rich, thick, sludgy mouth feel. Minimal carbonation. Oily and lingering. Overpowering.

This is not a beer for the faint of heart. Dark and sludgy like used motor oil. Extremely bitter.

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Photo of mrmaps
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

App: Poured jet black with little carbonation. Swirling releases some carbonation up the sides of the glass which settles onto the top of the beer forming wee little islands of foam.

Sm. Slight sweet smell with roasted tones. Very little hop odor. Slight whiskey and dark chocolate.

Taste: Distinct dark chocolate and grains, dry hop finish. As beer warms (20 minutes), it balances better with the hops fading and the malt balancing the sweetness nicely.

Mouth Feel: Made creamy by the fine bubbles in the beer. thick viscous.

Overall: Excellent beer with an amazing amount of dark chocolate given no choclate is added. Well balanced by a nice strong malt flavor. One of the better beers I have had. Highly recommended based upon flavor.

Value: Excellent beer, but hampered by the high price ~ $14 for one pint. There are choices of equal quality available for a lower cost.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour at Shelton Brothers The Festival 2014 held at Crafted in San Pedro, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and slight smoke aromas. Taste is much the same with coca, char, and slight smoke flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great mix of cocoa and smoke qualities.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of PolarBear3
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%

Poured into my Duvel Tulip

A - Pours a lovely deep black with a dark tanned two fingered head, that laces well. Very impressive

S - Sweet roasted malts, cocoa, dark chocolate with a little hoppiness

T - Wow!..I get alot of dark chocolate, roasted coffee with a great balance of hops and a terrific slightly bitter finish.

M- A little carbonation and medium to full bodied

O - A fantastic complex beer that is balanced nicely, and highly recommended.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Viscous. Great hop bitterness. Good roasted malt character. Impressed.................................................................................

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Pours black with a dark tan head.
Nose shows chocolate and bready malt, fairly sweet-smelling. Some booze underneath along with a hint of liquorice.
Big, roasty flavours. More liquorice and cocoa along with heaps of roasted malt. Some booze. Fairly sharp.

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Photo of patpat
4.58/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a perfect black with some lacing that thinned quickly. The smell of this beer took me away to a better place. Exceptional. The aroma was an appetizer to a well balanced somewhat boozy, sweet, tart, thick joy of a sip. Key would be to sip this one I suppose... but as I poured it into a goblet... This is the best stout I've ever had.

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Photo of MylesMac
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%

Appearance (3.8)
Black as night
Some lacing
Mocha head but not much of it

Smell (4.3)
Dark chocolate
Warming alcohol

Taste (4.8)
Sweet Honey
Toasted caramel
Bitter dark chocolate

Mouth feel (4.0)
Full body
Slightly sticky

Overall (4.2)
Very complex on the noise and palate. Like a party in my mouth!
Smooth for the ABV
Very good

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Photo of bnes09
3.76/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ink black. Weak head on the pour.

Big roasted aroma of coffee and almonds with a soothing woody, bourbon edge.

Dark chocolate flavor, bitter espresso. Tobacco and charcoal. Spicy, herbal, earthy hop character. Somewhat rough bitterness.

Heavy, malty body. Low carbonation. Sticky texture. Dry finish from the hops.

Ok. Might need aged a little too mellow it out and blend the flavors.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $7

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, grains, coffee, hops

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and coffee. There is also some hops and a touch of the fruity flavours found in a black IPA.

Overall - Interesting RIS, kind of borders the black IPA territory with all the hops going on. Another well crafted beer from this brewer, and something I'd buy again.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

Pours pick black and up to 2-3 fingers of creamy deep mocha head that settles slowly to a creamy collar with some lacing. There is a big nose of deep roasted malts, dark chocolate, burnt espresso and some hot alcohol. On the palate, it starts out sweet, almost milky, malt and then quickly transitions to dark roasted notes, heavy black roasted character (cocoa nibs and dark ground coffee). The finish is very long and dries out nicely and hides its high alcohol content well. The body is full with subtle carbonation leading to a silky, rich and creamy stout. Really, really well done.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quick review....

Pours nice and dark, little to no head but what there is is a brownish color. The smell is nice, coffee, roasted malts and some leather there too. The taste is quite nice coffee and roasts come through but the leather smell also translates to taste. That's not a bad thing, just interesting. The mouth feel is full bodied with moderate carbonation.

A pretty good beer...I enjoyed it and would consider having more for this brewer and even another of these if offered.

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Photo of chinchill
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at the fork & Brewer (Wellington).

Pour was opaque blaak with a durable tan head; very good lacing.

Aroma: Slightly boozy; oak; dark roasted grains

Flavor: a tad sweet; excellent barrel-aging effect; no burnt grain; semi-sweet chocolate.

Feel: full body; soft, well-set carbonation.

O: a very good RIS.

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Photo of mick303
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

8 wired iStout
Poured a thick black colour with a plentiful dark tan head, and impressive lacing. Good film and looks solid all round. 4.25
S – tons of bitter dark chocolate, coffee, huge roasty dark malts, alcoholic presence is apparent, spicy pepperiness and chili, strong coffee, intense, and bitter, but rpunded and complex. 4.25
T – thick syrupy chocolate, dark and bitter, espresso and coffee grounds, ending with a dry roasty grainy finish and coffee grounds. Lots of chocolate, highlighted with a touch of toffee, hops are there with a big earthy woody character. Very big and the alcohol presence creeps in a bit, adding some chili, overall very robust, and a pleasing spicy intense sipper. 4
M – syrupy, light carbonation, a huge thick body, very full feel. Slightly slick and oily oily finish. Dry and spicy end. 4
It was a very good but not great imperial stout. It does well at this strength but could be said at this strength the flavours are bound to be intense. This hasn’t hit a bourbon barrel but shows some interesting woody notes and phenolic spiciness along with a ton of coffee. This is in the middle ground between a blow away lower-ABV IS and a mindblowing +10% IS, which it falls short on complexity of, at this strength it does work well but doesn’t really deserve the next level of accolades. Certainly worth a try if you see it, lots of rich chocolate, coffee, spicy notes, balance is pretty spot on, an excellent stout. 4.25

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Photo of BGDrock
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: black, with mochachino head that fades fairly quickly to a thin film

Aroma: dark chocolate, burnt coffee beans, hint of campfire, cassis

Taste & Mouthfeel: like chocolate covered coffee nibs - intense and bitter, and pulling it off in a good way - not that puckering bitterness of bad espresso, it has a richness to it; slightly powdery texture of hot chocolate; alcohol well hidden, adding just a mild burn; over time the bitterness mellows and the dark rich notes of chocolate and coffee really shine; touch of spruce tips hint at hops

Overall: a powerful and well crafted stout - managing the bitterness of the roast well so the rich flavours can dominate, and the balance of hops s just right; not for the faint of heart

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Photo of biegaman
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8 Wired i Stout is black as fire ash and concedes no highlights regardless of the angle to the light; it is a 'stout' in name as well as description. Its head has a deep tint but can't sustain itself and leaves not a single marking on the glass. What a shame.

Typically, stouts smell either like coffee or espresso - the distinction being the varying degree of intensity - but i Stout, however, has elements of both: caramel macchiato as well as Caffè Americano. Warmth reveals a high degree of milky lactose sweetness.

The flavour incorporates virtually every element one can expect in an RIS: black licorice, dried dark fruits, dark chocolate, black coffee as well as a vinous hoppiness. On some sips it tastes like a burnt brownie with a side of ouzo or sambuca - heavy and rich - while others its flavour resembles Cocoa Puffs, like a sweetened, chocolate and marshmallow children's cereal.

i Stout has considerable hoppiness - it may not boast of it in the aroma or even in the flavour, but the finish is dry and clipping, with a very herbal, bitter aftertaste and an astringent coffee-like roast (courtesy of the malts) that enhance it.

When the craft beer revolution started, the richest stouts belonged to the United States. Now that microbreweries have spread around the world, however, the title for biggest and boldest is up for grabs and New Zealand, via beers such as 8 Wired's i Stout, is making a strong claim.

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Photo of MenryAZ
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of this a few months ago and just now poured it into a snifter. It's difficult to tell its age (though I found it sitting dustily on the shelf of a local bottle shop that's not always good at rotating product).

Appearance: Opaque with very little head. Blacker than it is brown. One of the darkest beers I've seen.

Smell: Not super fragrant, but hints of cocoa nibs and coffee.

Taste: Roasty, choclately up front with a surprisingly hoppy finish that reminds me of a black IPA. However, clearly a stout. It gets hoppier as I drink it, making it a rather unusual imperial stout and one that's rather enjoyable for its novelty.

Mouthfeel: Coats the tongue and is lighter in carbonation.

Overall: A unique imperial stout. Overall enjoyment was diminished a little because of unexpected hoppiness which, although I initially enjoyed, began to wear on the palate as I finished the beer. This is strange, as I consider myself a hop head. In general an interesting version of the style and one I'd like to try cellaring in the future. Worth picking up for sure.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

LCBO procured bottle pours a surprisingly thin near-black with the minimal chocolate-coloured head disappearing quickly. Mouthfeel is also thin with some creaminess in the finish, the only negative comment I'd have towards this exceptionally tasty beer.

The aroma nails all that is good about an RIS - barrel tannins and roasted dark and chocolate malts. These all follow into the taste, which also offers coffee elements and a nice hop bitterness to meld with those chocolate tones. May not have enough "barrel" for everyone, but has an ideal level for my own personal taste. Although there is definitely some heat in the finish, it hides its 10% ABV scarily well.

A very well brewed RIS. As I don't see returning to New Zealand any time soon, will look forward to any future 8 Wired offerings in Ontario.

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Photo of FanofHefe
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pt. 9 oz. bottle poured into a Bells tulip. Deep, dark, black body with a small, dark head. Light amount of lacing. Looks foreboding.

Enjoyable aroma. Starts with chocolate blending with the roasted malt, giving a first impression of sweetness. Light hop notes finish the aroma and set up the tasting very well.

Not too sweet. That's always my worry with stouts. This one nails it. Just enough of the chocolate to make the roasted malt lose some bite. The clencher is the right blend of hops which this brew also nails.

Thick texture in the mouthfeel, but nearly no notice of the alcohol. My first beer from New Zealand and this one does not disappoint.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with just a tiny cherry glint at the bottom of the glass. The compact espresso colored head lasts a good while and coats the glass with lace. Fresh roasted coffee, field berries and chocolate in the nose. A tropical fruit hop character is the most interesting part of the taste. Decent amounts of roastyness mix with a restrained dark chocolate, cocoa character and a complimentary alcohol heat make up the rest of the taste, hops being in the background of the more traditional RIS fare. The mouthfeel is full bodied verging on viscous with a light, intricate carbonation level. Some moderate bitterness mixes with roastyness, a bit of booze and some fruity hop aromas in the long finish.

This is a great RIS showcasing some nice kiwi hops. Though by no means an especially hoppy RIS, it's balanced, nuanced and drinkable for 10% beer. Worth a try.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.81/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

(4.25) A: Dark ruby tinged colour with a tall creamy and bubbly head. Very good retention and evident lacing.

(3.75) S: Caramel, plenty of dark chocolate, coffee bean, licorice, herbal elements, and some dark fruits. Slight boozy wooden aroma that is subtle and appealing. Good solid aroma that isn’t over the top.

(3.75) T: Dark chocolate, oak, caramel, licorice, herbal, and faint dark fruits. Alcohol well hidden considering the ABV. This is quite the well balanced stout with a very easy drinking (dangerously so) quality. A slight pleasant dryness in the finish.

(4.0) M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Incredibly creamy with a fairly oily texture (a nice trait).

(3.75) D: This is tasty, well balanced for an imperial stout, and deceptively easy drinking. A great Apple product, I mean 8 Wired offering.

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IStout from 8 Wired Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.