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IStout - 8 Wired Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

89 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 89
Hads: 264
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 17.46%
Wants: 19
Gots: 38 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
8 Wired Brewing Co. visit their website
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dgilks on 11-06-2010

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
View: Beers (38) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 89 | Hads: 264
Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great stout. thick mouthfeel, bittersweet chocolate, complex hopping,well roasted, some smoke in finish. Opaque black. Its the taste, a little anise,bitter more than sweet.Somewhat Danish style.Very good drinkability.A bomber is not enough, go find some.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
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 metter98
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a quarter finger high dense mocha colored head that gradually died down but consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts in the nose along with some hints of licorice.
T: The taste has flavors of bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee beans and roasted malts in the nose.
M: It feels full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Considering its strength, the alcohol is well hidden from the taste. Although this is still a beer that needs to be sipped, the overall taste lacks interesting complexities.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the pour is thick thick thick, super dark brown, syrupy, with a minimal mocha colored head that fades fast. coffee and dark chocolate dominate the nose. there isnt much acidity though, and the dark chocolate brings out a very dark malt profile. its like burnt toast with a cup of cold coffee, only in a good way. the taste is less coffee and more chocolate, but still a good helping of each. the alcohol notes really come out here, especially when it warms up, as does a sweetness akin to a milk stout, although this isnt one. that sugar lasts through the finish. theres a pretty heavy body on this, tons of viscosity, but there is decent carbonation too. overall maybe its a little heavy in feel, even for a russian imperial. either way, an excellent brew worthy of the high praise its starting to get here in the usa.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Power, balance, complexity, and succulence are all delivered in the ultra rich imperial stout. With the influence of English stouts and American boastfullness... Let's see what'cha got New Zealand!

Decanting with a viscous pour, the beer settles with a very masculine dark, bark-brown hue and a lot of visual weight. Light carbonation fuels a dense and creamy tanish foam that retains most the session, leaving stray pockets of foam behind. The beer simply has an oily and robust appearance that's both appetizing and intimidating at the same time.

Rich malt aroms of burnt toffee, caramel, and maple are accompanied by strong counterparts of chocolate, freshly ground coffee, strong nuts, and a kiss of peated earth. With no real hop aroma the nose is all malt, but with a plethora of malt variety it carries.

Balanced malt flavors continue with the semi-sweet toffee, caramel, and maple that carry a slightly scorched taste. This provides the perfect bridge into the world of cocoa-rich chocolates, espresso and toasted walnuts. Flavors of whopper candies have a starchy chocolate taste that introduces nuances of light licorice, burnt cherries, and woody hop flavors and bring rise to the alcohol taste late.

Full bodied and highly robust, the beer engulfs the mouth entirely with a heavy blanket of malt and roasty dryness. As the carbonation subsides, the malt hugs the mouth tighter and denies to reliquish its grip. This provides a long-lasting taste of roasted grains, alcoholic warmth, and systemic savoryness.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of black chocolate with some light dry coffee notes is interesting. Taste is also dominated by black chocolate notes with dry roasted malt and light coffee with some dust and light smoky/tobacco notes. Body is full with medium carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Good drinkable stout without as much complexity as I was expecting.

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Photo of largadeer
3.36/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Jason for this delightful brew.

Looks black, topped by a small head that settles to a collar. The nose is OK; char and tar, some molasses sweetness, bit of brown sugar. Not particularly intense in any respect. Palate has anise, molasses, charred malt, heavy dark chocolate. Finishes with mild roast, tar, light tartness. An alright, somewhat bland but decently balanced beer. The body is pretty chewy, and it has no real flaws, but it's boring and lacks depth for a 10% brew.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle. Not bad for a hotel room in Grande Prairie, AB - brought from Edmonton, natch.

This beer pours a solid black, with very slight basal cola highlights, with one skinny finger of glistening, somewhat foamy tan head, which sinks away rather quickly, leaving some random specks of lace around the glass.

It smells of lightly toasted caramel malt, strong dark, yet still sweet chocolate, earthy black licorice, a bit of leafy hops, and some simmering alcohol esters. The taste is gritty medium chocolate, dark roasted coffee beans, a bit of dried cherry, semi-sweet licorice, some mildly astringent earthy hops, and a fairly involved sharp booziness.

The carbonation is quite soft, and kind of lucid, the body a sturdy, bulging medium weight, and tacitly smooth, that swirling alcohol trying to poke holes in the whole affair. It finishes pretty sweet, with the chocolate and licorice notes still loud and proud, though well enough offset by the identity-challenged hops, and edginess of the straining likka.

Yes, this offering gives up a lot of heat, but it seems to be absorbed at damned near every point, letting attention more or less fall on the decent savoury chocolate, coffee, and anise essences. A strong, bristling, big-flavoured stout, recommended if that's your thing.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks for the bottle. i was able to get most of the lineup locally, but needed to cross continent to nail this one!

deep dark, black liquid coming right out of the gate. Very dark, and completely opaque, there was no light getting through on this one at all. A nice three-inch high tan colored head then rose up out of the depths and reached out over the top of the glass.

rich and sweet, with the dark baker's chocolate coming through first. Nice sweet aroma that was then blended very well with the coffee like tones that were surrounding it. Very nice overall blend here, with a touch of bitterness in the back that could be picked up even in the aroma.The rich chocolate notes are coming through first, but have been supplanted in their strength by the coffee. It is a nice roasted, and sweet coffee flavor, without that biting bitterness you see sometimes. Nice touch of vanilla in there and maybe some molasses, definitely something sweet in it for sure. There was a nice overall profile though with loads of sweet flavor. The finish was strong with a touch of hops still left around to dry out the mouth enough to let the sweet profile come back around one last time.

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Photo of jlindros
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a SMBDC Stout tasting thanks to Amy and Michael, but don't remember who brought this one.

No head, dark black color hints of light.

Nose has creamy black malts, light caramel, light roast and syrupy malts, light vanilla.

Taste is creamy, milk chocolate, malted milk ball, biscuit, bready, oats, cocoa powder, light bitter earthy hops. Gets a bit astringent on the finish.

Mouth is med bodied, lighter than expected, hint of booze.

Overall a bit lighter than I expected, more like heavy brown ale or porter than RIS.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a dense black in the glass, topped with a finger of dark & angry looking mocha head. This retains with some rich bunching around the edges of the glass and a robust flare-up that leaves back a thick cascade of spotty lacing and a brown oily film. The aroma smells of chocolate, a touch of molasses, and a whole lot of ripe dark fruit. This is rounded out on the edges by some slightly astringent feeling roasted coffee character, while the ABV really pulls the sweetness out here in the nose and singes the nose hairs with a bit of heat and spice about every other sniff of this.

The taste has more bitterness to it, with a lot of underlying green citrus and crunchy coffee that spreads out across the palate in a roasty bloom. This is buffered by a thick blanket of chocolate and caramel sweetness, with harbors a good bit of dark fruitiness in the center of it as well. The finish is dry and bitter with a bit of warming roasty feel to it. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a thick mellow chewiness to the carbonation but does still lay down a bit of an underlying sharpness on the tongue at times as well, helping bring out those citric hops. That beefy 10-11% ABV is a big part of this beer, giving this a bold sweetness that carries a warm spiciness the whole way through the profile yet never gets overly hot feeling. The overall strength of this just seems right-on, being enough for the heavy flavors here but not going overboard with it.

This was a real nice example of a RIS, with a full richness to the flavors and a heady alcohol presence that complimented it well. At $15 a bottle, I’m not sure how often I would go back to this but it’s definitely comparable and easier to find than some of the other highly ranked examples of the style out there.

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Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Took a chance & picked this up at Lukas in Kansas City...

Pours jet black with a finger of mocha head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit, figs, & boozey carob

T: Figs, roasty grain, carob, some woody & leafy hops up front. More figs, a bit of black currant as this warms, some charred grain bitterness & a touch of cocoa, plus leafy hops & a bit of booze bite. Finishes with charred grain, carob, figs & a bit more booze bite

MF: Chewy, slight carbonation, thins out a touch as this warms

Like most Shelton Bros beers this is good, but bloody expensive. A good take on the style, the ABV is fairly well hidden. I do believe this would keep easily for 3-4 years as advertised...

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's not everyday that you find a ris that is this good. Smooth, even, multiple lines of flavor that mesh together evenly and well. Not obnoxious. No real detracting factors at all. This is a must try, in my opinion. The price is high and the bottle is too small (I just want more of it, ya know?), but this is a fine beer.

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Photo of chinchill
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
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 MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from West Lakeview Liquors. Served in a wide-mouthed chalice.

A - Tan foam settles to a thin ring and some faint wisps, leaving behind minimal lacework. Black body with a glint of brown at the fringes.

S - Dark roasted grains, slightly green cocoa nibs, nutty, dark breads, yeast, some caramel. Quite nice stuff, particularly if you let it warm up a bit.

T - Taste is a little less rich and more mono-dimensional. Plenty of caramel, milk chocolate, and roasted nuts. Low roast bitterness in the finish. Flavor profile reminds me a little bit of Hill Farmstead Earl but without the coffee bitterness.

M - Smooth texture, pleasant lower carbonation, medium-full body, and really creamy. No alcohol present at all, which is pretty impressive.

D - Not sure about the reviews stating this is too charry and burnt - I found it fairly sweet to be honest. Mike and I destroyed the 500ml bottle of this one pretty quickly as well. Alcohol wasn't noticeable at all, so this would be an easy, albeit pricey, way to get buzzed pretty quickly.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some light hints of dark brown when held up to the light and some very light visible carbonation along the sides of the glass near the surface of the beer. The beer has a quarter finger tall mocha head that reduces to a thin film and thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Moderate aromas of dark roasted malts with a lighter presence of coffee/espresso.

T: Following the smell, this beer starts with the taste of dark roasted malts along with some burnt coffee/espresso and some more subtle notes of bittersweet chocolate. Moderate amounts of lingering bitterness.

M: Full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: This is a very enjoyable beer and a nice one to pair with breakfast/brunch. This is a sipping beer - there is no way this beer could be sessionable. Nice complexity and the alcohol presence is well hidden.

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Photo of liamt07
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml shared by Jason, into a tulip.

Black with a light brown head. Light retention with little to no lace. Nose is big, got most of it coming straight out of the bottle. Syrupy, molasses, chocolate and subtle coffee notes. Quite sweet on the whole. Taste takes a different angle, with a lot more roast, dark chocolate and coffee - much less sweet and syrupy. Drying finish, with some hops in there. Medium body, smooth texture and easily consumable. Avoid being the overly sweet, cloying beer I had anticipated which was good.

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Photo of biegaman
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
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 TheSevenDuffs
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Poured black with one finger of espresso coloured head.

S - Huge coffee and cocoa aromas up front compliment a big roasted malt profile. Lighter licorice and molasses aromas in the background. A nice sweetness in the overall nose is balanced by a hop presence.

T - A robust palate full of roasted malts, char, espresso, milk chocolate and licorice. Moderately hopped to balance out the malt sweetness. A warming alcohol throughout and a bitter, dry finish.

M - Medium to full body. Chewy and somewhat viscous. Light carbonation.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared with @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a heavy and extremely dark black-brown, with a crunchy and excitingly rich head of mocha brown. Body is extremely heavy, and forms some tight, dirty brown carbonation when tilted or swirled. Lacing forms in waves when tilted, but the only residual is the legs of the body itself as it's swirled. Looks very impressive.

Nose is extremely interesting. Instead of the big toasted, roasty, bittersweet charred grain characters I was expecting, the first smack is of fresh New Zealand hops, giving a crisp green vegetation and sharp fruit character. Sure, under this is a mellow roastiness that gives it a slightly deeper note, but it's really excitingly hoppy, which is a pretty unique experience. If anyone was going to do it, I'd trust it to the New Zealanders though, and 8 Wired in particular.

Taste is extremely smooth and mellow (I love that I've started each paragraph with "extremely"), with a caressing roastiness and a fluid back palate that is so supple that you don't even realise you're drinking anything. The hop character from the nose has disappeared, but surprisingly, the roast doesn't really come up to takes its place in the bitterness stakes. Instead, it's an exceptionally drinkable 10% ABV mellow smooth-bomb.

Another great brew from 8 Wired. I love the amped up hops on the nose, and the exceptionally creamy finish, that make this a dangerously drinkable brew. They continue to impress.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a one finger light brown head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights. Light-medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Light chocolate nose and flavor is almost sweet chocolate, some bitterness at finish. Higher ABV is hidden, label has ABV at 10%. Pricey at $12.00 for a 500ml bottle from Tully’s Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into tulip 14/9/12

A even right out of the bottle its pretty black, just a thin cola edge when held to the light, noisy thumbs width of head quickly falls too a thin film leaving only a speck or two of lace

S nice rich dark roasts with bakers chocolate and espresso taking center stage, some citric hops are still in there with some earthy notes and faint smoke

T more hops then I expected with well concealed booze but there's just a little detected, some dried fruit as it warms and the roast is rich and dark

M smooth as silk then the bubbles come out and cream this up, thick and a little oily with a slickness left behind, my lips are sticking together and the aftertaste lingers strong for long, just a little heat hits the chest but its a good feel

O loving the hops mingling with rich dark malts, 4.25 would be nice for this one as both smell and taste were would've deserved it so slightly higher here.

I could drink another bottle no problem and I just might, rich and thick with what I like in a stout, must have been a hop when bottled and another beer I don't know if I'd want too age or not

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Photo of rudzud
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up on a whim from Julio's.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a rich, dark oily black pour with a one finger mocha head that faded to leave light clouds/wisps.

S - Pretty nice aroma here. Good chocolate and coffee notes along with the usual roasted sweet malts. Some dark fruits in there too.

T - Not quite as nice as the nose, there is still alot of good chocolate and coffee. Quite bitter coffee on the finish. Good sweetness to counteract the coffee/chocolate.

M - Nice mouthfeel. Its not that thin, not super thick. Enjoyable.

O - Overall, I enjoyed this offering from 8 Wired. About on par for me with their IPA offering. Might buy again.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
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 dgilks
3.41/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

iStout pours pitch black with a creamy tan head. Poor head retention.

Mild chocolatey and fruity aroma. There's a touch of sweaty, overripe fruit in the background. I'm looking for a bit more coffee and roast.

Sweet malt plays with some sweaty NZ hops, mild fruit esters and a touch of bitterness. This lacks the roasty bitterness expected of a RIS and the hop character is a touch offputting.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. It's a touch prickly but still good.

Overall, I'm not sure about this beer. The hop character is weird and I think Soren has picked the wrong hops here. Further, the malt character isn't quite right and lacks the roast, coffee and chocolate expected of the style.

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