1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

IStout - 8 Wired Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

211 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 211
Reviews: 83
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.45%
Wants: 13
Gots: 28 | FT: 2
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:
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

(Beer added by: dgilks on 11-06-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 211 | Reviews: 83 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a modest dark brown head, not much retention to speak of.

The nose is a little subdued. Aromas of charred oak and liquorice, with an underlying menthol. Lots of hops, piney fresh hops.

The palate displays dark cocoa, hints of caramel, molasses, burnt coffee and more piney hops. The mouthfeel is a touch thin for an imperial stout.

This is a nice stout, especially coming from the southern hemisphere. I would definitely revisit.

, Feb 14, 2012
Photo of largadeer
3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

largadeer, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of Soneast
3/5  rDev -25.4%

Soneast, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Kegatron, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of popery
3.35/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours black with a small light brown head. Looks a bit thin. Aroma has cola sweetness with some roast, coffee and chocolate (in that order of strength). There's a bit too much cola flavor (probably from some lacto) for me. The taste starts out a bit too sweet and picks up a bit too much coffee and roast, as it progresses, but it's still a pretty decent experience. Mouthfeel is thin for the abv and flavors. For a beer this sweet and strong with roasted malt notes, it needs a thick, luxurious mouthfeel. This beer is just too harsh and sticky in its current state. It's not a bad beer, but as for imperial stouts, it's nothing special and definitely not worth the rather high price tag, here in the US.

popery, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev -0.5%

sholland119, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of Hopstout
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Hopstout, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of danieelol
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Whoa, classic RIS appearance. Midnight black with chocolate soy milk head. Head dies a little quickly but can be reinvigorated.

Smell is lactic sugar, coffee and banana. This is well hopped with some more classic German style hops. Largely banana and coffee grounds with some berries in the background. Fair bit of alcohol and some whiteboard marker.

Taste is again, banana coffee grounds. Real solid bitterness and ash to finish.

Mouthfeel is thick with quite a bit of carb and roast bitterness/alcohol/hop bitterness/sweetness in that order.

Really brings a bunch of flavour to the table. Cannot call this a bad beer by any standards. Not massively to my taste however. Wild Thing by contrast (at its best) has more enjoyable hopping and a greater balance between roast bitterness and sweetness on the palate.

danieelol, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of TrickkyGangsta
5/5  rDev +24.4%

TrickkyGangsta, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of bluntedboywonder
5/5  rDev +24.4%

bluntedboywonder, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of Satchboogie
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Satchboogie, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of ralree
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with a deep brown head. Retention insanely good. Lacing great. Perfect.

S: Chocolate, sweet, great hops.

T: Rich and sweet, this is definitely a dessert-y beer. Hops are nice and bitter, and the bitter chocolate is full-on. Burned toast after swallowing.

M: Thick, syrupy, chewy, quite a bit of astringency.

D: Really rich and sweet, so not the easiest to drink, but goes down well for the style.

ralree, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of drpimento
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Man, this is some pretty good stuff. Really good stuff. I let it warm a bit out of the fridge and then poured a voluminous, foamy, frothy, fluffy, tan head that slowly settled down and good lacing. Color is an absolutely opaque pitch black. Aroma is malt, cocoa, toffee, roast, yeast, coffee. Flavor's like nose, extremely well balanced (especially for the style), with just a little of the sweetness on top. Body and carbonation are perfect. Finish is like flavor, fairly long, only a bit of alcohol, and super easty to drink especially considering its strength.

drpimento, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.22/5  rDev +5%
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.

lacqueredmouse, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of rudzud
4.1/5  rDev +2%
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.

rudzud, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of BullDurham
2.05/5  rDev -49%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into my DFH signature glass

Appearance: Very dark, not black as I would expect from an RIS. One finger mocha head turns to nothing quickly after a hard pour. Nothing sticking to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Not much of anything here. Coffee? Alcohol? Im trying way to hard to pick up what little I can smell

Taste: Not nice. Charred almost burnt malt at the beginning and ends in a coffee like bitterness that is fighting with a really off putting sweetness and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation which is ok, but it feels so thin. Needs to be thicker

Overall: I would pass on this beer. The only thing it almost did right was the appearance. Not easy to drink, that sweetness is killing me.

BullDurham, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep pitch black with a quickly dissipating medium tan head. Smells mostly of dark almost burnt roasted malts with well ripened dark fruits supporting. First sip is Dark lord like in its malt make-up as those rich malts have that burnt flavor so reminiscent of that amazing FFF beer. Also adding to the comparison is the character of the bitterness due to dark chocolate and heavily roasted coffee. Unlike DL, this puppy is thin in body & complexity and has a body nowhere like motor oil. Lightly carbonated to the point that any less carbonation one could considered this aspect the beer’s only fault. ABV is well hidden. Overall a very nice beer especially for anyone would thinks Munster, Indiana is a great place to be the 3rd week in April

ATLbeerDog, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of jdhilt
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

jdhilt, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second double digit ABV bottle of the night consumed by Alex and I during the White Whale FFL draft.

A - Black beer with a brownish head that left a little bit of lace on the sides.

S - The smell is pretty nice and has a lot of things going for it. A little bit of green cocoa nibs as Alex said, with some good nut/earth tones, dark fruit, and toffee. Lots of things to pick out that blend together well.

T - Taste is good, although not as good as the nose. Comes across a bit sweeter and thinner than expected, with caramel, chocolate, and more of that distinctive nut flavor that was on the nose. Some fruity sweetness on the end, I actually think this could have used something to bitter or roast it up a little bit.

M - Smooth, lower carbonation, fuller side of medium bodied.

O - This one has a good taste, and Alex and I downed the bottle rather quickly, particularly considering the ABV. It's a rather good beer, and some people will like this one quite a bit.

AgentZero, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

MasterSki, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of Bendurgin
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared courtesy of Andy. Poured into a tulip. Sits black in the glass with a finger of dark mocha colored head. A little bit of soapy lace.

The aroma is robust and full. Leather and rich dark chocolate come to mind. Just a little bit of fruit in the background. Very alcoholic on the pallet. Everything I would expect from the aroma is here; Rich dark chocolate with a little bit of dark fruits in the background but this one is hot. The alcohol masks the flavor quite a bit.

The feel is full and the carbonation is subtle. However, it simply burns a bit. Overall a decent stout. I wonder if a bit of age to mellow it out would be benificial because I feel like the flavors are mostly there. They are just a bit too concealed.

Bendurgin, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of andrewinski1
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. The color is black with notes of amber at the edges. There is a half inch head that is brownish clay colored.

The aroma is chocolatey with the slightest hint of dark cherry. There is a faint aroma of smoke when I go in for a sip.

The taste has lots of roasted flavor and coffee. The finish is slightly fruity. This is overall slightly sweet.

This is on the lighter side for an imperial stout and the carbonation feels like it's delivered in large bubbles (if that even makes sense).

This is a good beer, I just wish it wasn't so pricey.

andrewinski1, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of broken22
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out into a tulip glass. Hardly any head formed at all. This beer is nice and dark like motor oil. The only indication there is even carbonation in this beer visually is a little ring of bubbles on the outside of the glass. The smells I am getting are a bitter sweet almost chocolate like with alcohol notes and a little bit of hops drifting in. I can easily smell this beer wafting out of my glass, it is very fragrant. No surprise the beer tastes much like it smells. The hops are real subtle giving up the flavor profile to be dominated by the almost smoke like alcohol notes I was picking up. The beer itself is full bodied. The overall mouthfeel is very light in carbonation.

Overall this is a pretty good brew. I really cannot say anything distinctive or surprising about this beer that would make it special. It's just a good beer worthy of a purchase.

broken22, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of mulder1010
2.15/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

500 ML bottle poured into a Mikkeller Tulip

Thanks to Mr Kennedy for opening this up!!

A-- Dark cola that settles black. Minimal carbonation to this. Big, black, thick and sludgy looking. Nice looking half a finger of leather head. Some visual spotty lacing.

S-- Thin and quite weak. Muted chocolate, muted malt, muted coffee. A small bit of hop presence in the nose. Alcohol well hidden so far.

T-- Scorched earth policy!!! Scorched malt, scorched coffee, scorched chocolate, some hops to keep the scorching to a minimum and provide a burnt hop quality to this.

M-- Thick and coating but not sure I wanted to taste Sherman's march to the Ocean. Everything scorched beyond belief. Lots of ash, char, and burnt cigaretts and tobacco to this and all other flavors have been scorched into submission.

O-- Probably a good idea to throw this into a barrel so to mask all the scorching with fresh oak. Honestly could not drink this. Maybe it was a bad bottle? I could not finish this and dumped the rest of my half.

mulder1010, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of MrKennedy
2.58/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

500ml bottle purchased from Warners at the Bay and shared with mulder1010 with my portion poured into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip style glass.

Pours a nice black colour with a nice beige/tan head of foam that settles to film after a little while and re-emerges after some agitation.

Smell is very muted, some coffee coming through but that is about it. Was expecting a lot more from a 10.5% ABV stout and this didn't deliver.

Taste is dominated by a real over-charred malt flavour, burnt and not roasted this really detracts from the minor other flavours that could be there.

Mouthfeel again is dominated by the over-roasted malt that makes this very tough to finish half of a 500ml bottle. Too much in this regard and lacking balance.

Overall a beer that has over-charring as its main characteristic that serves to drown out all other flavours. Too simplistic, too dull otherwise and too dominated by burnt characters. Something that failed to live up to anywhere near the hype.

MrKennedy, Aug 21, 2011
IStout from 8 Wired Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 211 ratings.