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Hopwired - 8 Wired Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

117 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 117
Hads: 332
Avg: 4.06
pDev: 16.26%
Wants: 38
Gots: 32 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
8 Wired Brewing Co. visit their website
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ADZA on 11-26-2010

We're pretty sure HopWired is the first bottled new world India Pale Ale made with NZ grown pale ale malt and 100% unique NZ hops. We bet you'll find nothing else like it on the shelves.

Although there's plenty of malty sweetness, this beer is all about the hops. But unlike an American IPA, which will mainly challenge you with grapefruity and pine-like flavours and aromas, the kiwi hops used in HopWired produce something more like a tropical punchbowl: Passion fruit, limes, oranges and Sauvignon Blanc grapes to name but a few. A local Marlborough winemaker even said it smelled like gooseberries... Gooseberries? When did you last actually smell a gooseberry??

Decide for yourself, or just enjoy it without further complication. Cheers!

70 IBU
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Reviews: 117 | Hads: 332
Photo of KFBR392
2.34/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Appearance: Lighter orange color then one would expect from an DIPA/IIPA. Head was thin on the pour, struggled to get to about a finger. Slightly below average carbonation throughout.

Smell: Light citrus and lime zest. A musty hop aroma. A good amount of pine on the undertones as well.

Taste: Again just too faint. All of the flavor seem to run into one another and nothing stands out. Forgettable front of the beer which yields to a touch of crispy hops. Some orange peel and sour pine run through the body. A light dryness on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Word of the day is light. Forgettable overall.

Overall: This was a new product at one of the bottle shops I visit every once in a while. But I have a sneaking suspicion that this is an old brew. My experience is too far off what other BA'ers have experience to really be believable. I've been very impressive with New Zealand IPA's so hopefully one day I can edit this review.

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Photo of tigernipples
3.05/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

16.9 OZ bottle. Batch 12. Best by Sept.24th 2011 Sticker on bottom.

Poured a hazy hazy honey colored shade. This looks crazy, something is floating around in it. It sure isn'yt the prettiest IPA you'll see. You would think it would smell of the typical grapefruits ect. but you pick up kiwis, grapes, mangos and maybe some banana? I'm not smelling any malts whats so ever. A really odd smelling IPA. smeems to be some wine like characters to this.
Lets give it a try...well I don't know. where is the hops? they are here but very muted. Im getting all tropical notes. I wonder if my bottle is not fresh despite the sticker. maybe this IPA is intended to have a slight hop kick to it and more fruits popping?
Hopwired is very smooth, almost creamy somehow.
Overall, this isn't bad just different. Its an interesting take on IPAs. after the shock of the first few sips, its drinking pretty good right. This bottle came a long way so maybe its not the freshest or maybe it is intended to be this way. At any rate, i have to judge what is in front of me and I'm enjoying it kinda just not sure i'd grab it again. I'm glad i tryed it but i prefer more of a hop kick and its just not there.
think of yourself lost in the woods and you call out for your friend(the hops) and your friend finaly calls back but is way back far away in the distance but he IS there just slight. this is what the hops are like.

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Photo of champ103
3.08/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a dark copper/red color. At first a tow finger white head forms that gently recedes to a small ring. Patchy lace is left behind.
S: Pine resin, tree sap, dank musky hops. Burnt sugar and a caramel sweetness. Finishes with a strong bitterness.
T: Follows the nose. Lots of pine resin and dank musky hops. Some caramel sweetness. A big hop bomb with a long bitter finish.
M/D: A full body that is thick and syrupy. Sticky, like an adhesive on the tongue. A bit of alcohol. Though the strong pine resin followed by the long lingering bitterness makes this a one and done. Really harder to drink than I want.

For the major hop heads only. For me it is hard to finish. This has a lot of harsh bitterness that detracts for me. Not something I am coming back to.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.09/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into my De Struise glass.... The body is an ugly cloudy medium brown, not what I want my ipa to look like. A decent tope head leaves about a two finger cap, thick lacing. Tough call here on score, great head, terrible body. Sounds like this chick I once knew... At first whiff I really dig the aroma, but as I get deeper I'm quite scared off. Mostly caramel and lots of malt, then there is this weird body odor note that almost makes me gag, light tropical fruits on the back; pineapple. Very weak grass hops on the finish, maybe its too old? Not good... The taste is also very malty, tons of caramel and mixed with pineapple, sounds like it would be good, its not. The hops are stale grass on the back, chemically, a little bitter.

This is tough one for me, not very good at all. I'd like to blame the freshness but this just got into WLV so it can't be this old. At this point I'd have say pass on this unless you know its fresh or on tap.

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Photo of crossovert
3.16/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A new arrival to WI. 500ml bottle.

It pours a murky brownish amber, not really a looker. The head is soapy and off-white with lots of hop bits. Normally I like these unfiltered dipas in appearance because they look organic, but this one just kind of looks murky.

The smell is pure caramel, are there even any hops in this thing?

The taste has caramel up the ass as well. This one tastes rather piney, ironic because the label says it shouldn't. There is no passion fruit here, just pine, some lime zest, and grassiness, but mostly caramel. The bitterness is medium but it is still a caramel-dominated brew.

If you like east-coast dipas give this one a try, i found the caramel to be overpowering.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.44/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on Dec 11, 2012 and freshly arrived locally. A little disappointing given the almost 4 months of age on this one.

Poured in to tulip.

A - Translucent medium orange with two fingers of cream coloured head.

S - Passion fruit, peach, tangerine and a substantial honey malt sweetness. The bitterness is very restrained.

T - A moderate bitterness up front with mango, passion fruit and orange peel flavours. A prominent caramel malt sweetness provides a lot of balance. The hop flavours are very muted overall.

M - Medium body; somewhat sticky. Moderate carbonation.

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Photo of KDawg
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from bottle into a pint glass. Pours a dark orange color with a small head

very pungent and hop driven aromatics. Very noticeable aromas of navel oranges, hops, pine resin and some boozy aromas

medium/full bodied with rich flavors of toffee, resin, hops, caramel and navel oranges. Lacking a bit on the mid and it being a somewhat older bottling, it also has a somewhat oxidized flavor to it as well(mind you this isn't all that old, only from the fall)

A quality DIPA, but far from the best example. It's a problem when DIPAs fall off as fast as they do, because it's hard for a beer to hit the midwest near it's peak freshness when it's coming from NZ.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.47/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber orange with a short pure white head.

Nose is cactus green and a grassy carmel. Almost a fresh sweet green pepper character.

Mouthfeel is lightly creamy and medium bodied with light/elegant carbonation. Feels nice and its inviting.

Flavors are grassy, herbal and a bit medicinal pine bitter with a lightly sweet front palate. Finish is pine bitter but is long and gets a "heavy, droopy bitter" character in the end game.

Very drinkable and certainly not your typical English or American double IPA. (More towards the English than the American style).

There is no "freshness" in the bitter quality which is the biggest downfall for my tastes.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

All New Zealand hops. More subtle than an American IPA. Larger malt backbone. It's good, but not my favorite. Run of the mill................................

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Photo of Offa
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy pale amber, med. big creamy off-white head steadily shrinks to thin creamy top, then to foamy ring. No lace.

Aroma is Malvasia Bianca or Muscat grapes, sweet grapefruit, juicy yeastiness, hint of pineapple, strong and flowery.

Taste is very spicy-juicy, mostly grapefruit, and light sweetness with lightly dominating spicy-grapefruit bitterness that dominates finish and lingers a bit. Dryish, it has zesty, minerally faint yeastiness. It is pretty good and has some nice elements, but in the end, most of the elements a bit vague, it’s a bit too spicybitter and mostly ends up being one-dimensionally grapefruity with nothing else.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bronzey-amber colour with fairly opaque haze. Head is yellow-tinged beige and retains beautifully, leaving some very pleasant trails of lace. Sunk to a thin crown but all sticky and dense. Looks pretty good.

Smells a bit funny but pleasant. Very intense floral hoppiness with lots of passionfruit and pineapple. Odd saltiness at the back with a touch of pie crust. Yeah, that minerally salt character is distinctly odd, but it's otherwise nice.

Taste is a decent IPA affair. Slightly citric flavour on the front that dissipates into a malty mid with notes of burnt toffee and caramel. Hops come through on the back, but again very minerally with a salty, almost sweaty edge, blending with citrus and capsicum flavours and a mild but noticeable piney bitterness. Quite mellow finish in spite of its IPA leanings, and clean enough. Can't escape the oddness though.

Fair body but well structued. A bit dry on the back, but not puckering. Pretty good texture to it.

Yeah, I'm always in the mood for an IPA, but the overall flavour of this I find a bit unsettling. Almost want it sweeter, or at least more fruity. I applaud the unique take but it just doesn't entirely work for me.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Murky orange color, foamy tanned head with decent stick. Looks great.

Aroma is clearly different right away. Pine is upfront, along with a variety of fruits and a note of wine. Mineral water as well.

The flavor is initially off putting in its fruitiness. Mango and tropical fruits along with pear. Grapes, in a vinous sense, also make an appearance. Quite skunky. Prickly alcohol heat in the finish. Very ripe fruit.

Solid mouthfeel, well carbonated without sacrificing body. The ripeness and skunky nature of Hopwired left me a little cold despite the high IBU nature.

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Photo of alexhahn82
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Cloudy with a 1.5 finger head, bubbles chase up the sides almost like a nitro tap when pouring.

S -- Spicy sweet hops, interesting different smelling hops.

T/M -- Sweet insane New Zealand hops, If you could imagine a west coast IPA inverted this is it. Very hoppy, but as the label states its not the classic Pine/Citrus this is punch like flavor with fruit. Awesome.

Overall-- Not too shabby, Like a Seinfeld Bizzaro world of upside down IPA in a good way.

PP (Price Point) -- $8.99 for a 500ml, 7.3% ABV, not bad for the experience of a beer from such a distant area, a little steep, I could see buying a bottle a few times a month if it were closer to $6 a bottle, but not bad considering.

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Photo of Gavage
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a cloudy and hazy orange color with a 1/2" head. Spotty lace develops.

Smell: citrus, floral hops, and a fruity sweetness is pleasant.

Taste: caramel, light grapefruit, mango, pears, and honey. Bitterness is slighty sharp and alcohol is well hidden. There is a bit of a bready quality here too.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp throughout with some mild dryness arriving late.

Drinkability: easy to quaff this beer. Mildly refreshing .

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Photo of inandon
3.64/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From first smell it has an overwhelming earthy, grassy, and hoppy feel. But as soon as it was tasted it wasn't as strong as it seemed.

It has a great look and smell but the taste and mouth feel just wasn't there. Wish it was more hoppier that would fit the name better.

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Photo of Reaper16
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle -- no bottling date -- served into a tulip glass

Pours a murky, septic-looking dirty dishwater brown color. It looks in turns like an Arnold Palmer and the contents of my toilet after I've taken a pee/poop combo. Unpleasant is the word that comes to mind. Also: poopy-pants color. That exact phrase came to mind. When held to direct light, it doesn't appear to have any floating yeast particles, which I initially thought were to blame for this ugly color. Alas, this beer's New Zealand-grown barley must be to blame. Close to a finger of thin, off-white head dissipates with a quickness.

There are lots of interesting flavors at play here. It's a shame that this bottle is old. It tastes past its prime (thanks Shelton Brothers, for importing this beer, but try to get it to the U.S. quicker next time). It is more than a little malty. The typical crystal malt overload of an IIPA is present, though this New Zealand-grown malt has an interesting greenness to it, like brussel sprouts. The hops, while dying off, are still strong enough to give you some unique flavor combinations: grapefruit, of course, but also an intense grassyness, lime, persimmon, gooseberry. It's the gooseberry & grass that is perhaps most typically New Zealand in profile. If you are familiar with New Zealand Sauvingon Blanc varietal wine, specifically from Marlborough (where 8 Wired Brewing is also located), then you will recognize these flavors. The same terroir that so flavors grapes grown in Marlborough also lend similar flavors to the region's hops. I'm big into New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc because it tastes like hops, so the taste reinforcement here does wonders for my palate. If only the beer were fresh. At this point, I'd do an awful lot for a fresh bottle of this. I'm scoring this a 4.0 anyway, because I can tell that Hopwired will melt faces if fresher.

I mention the smell after the taste because 1.) I forgot to write it earlier, and 2.) the aroma is showing the effects of age more dramatically than the taste is. Caramelly malt aromas dominate. It's green, again, like a bit of alfalfa. I get some of the gooseberry/boysenberry thing going on, a considered grassy note, and some dim orange. This bottle smells like it has the potential to be great when fresh.

This is a medium-bodied IIPA; not on the thin side, not on the thick side, but rather decidedly medium-bodied. I prefer the thinner IIPAs but I can live with this. The carbonation feels nice and smooth here. You can tell it's there, but it isn't prickly at all. It works well with the tropical, somewhat vinous flavor profile.

I was extremely excited to try this beer. Unfortunately, it's old. If I ever get a fresher bottle I will be glad to revisit and update this review. Assuming that every bottle on shelves in the U.S. right now is as old as the one I'm drinking, I can say that this is a unique IIPA with potential, but is little more than "solid." Do buy if you're a big IPA fan and/or you enjoy New Zealand white wines.

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Photo of AngusOg
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap.

The hop flavors in the finish are really nice, but there's just a little too much sweet maltiness muddying things up for me to really love this beer. Almost reminds me if a hoppy barlywine. And for the price, I definitely will not be ordering again.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange color with many streams of huge carbonation bubbles. The frothy ivory head lasts a short while. but coats the glass in lace patches. Sweet, bready pale malts mix with light tropical fruit notes in the nose. Soap, white grape, orange and lemon hop flavors fill the palate. In toe, the doughy malt profile keeps things balanced. Hop bitterness builds with warmth, but contends with a light fusel alcohol flavor. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with less carbonation than the appearance would let on. Tropical fruit hops and a moderate bitterness last a while in the finish - as does that boozyness.

Its great to have some more NZ hopped IPAs in Ontario, even if a tad pricey (6.25 for 500ml). This one could have a more nuanced alcohol presence and more intense, lively hop flavors, but its still a decent IPA. Worth a try.

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Photo of jrecchiarife
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep burnt orange color. It is quite cloudy. Very little head. Almost no lacing.

The aroma is very tropical with lots of mango and white grape. The smell of the sweet malt is very prevalent as well.

The taste is a surprising balance of hop and malt. The hop character comes off as very tropical, with some deep strawberry notes. The grape taste is not as obvious as it is on the nose. The malt is very sweet and compliments the strawberry flavors.

The bitterness comes through near the end leaving the tongue numb. This is a dry one for sure. The carbonation is hard to ignore as it leaves an almost stinging-like tingle.

Overall a very interesting beer. Having had New Zealand hops before, this one is still different. It doesn't have the usual skunk, nor the usual citrus. This beer is mostly dark fruit that is ultimately balanced out by a very sweet and smooth malt.

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Photo of Hendry
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber orange pour, 1 finger of off white head, spotty lacing.

Aroma is subdued in the hops arena: malts are what shine through and likely due to the freshness factor, or lack thereof.

Taste is malt forward with some moderate hop bitterness in the mix.

Mouthfeel is medium, brisk carbonation.

There is a reason they don't export these bottles with dates on them: it is a long journey from the other size of the world to the United States, where it can be challenging enough finding a fresh domestic IPA, never mind one from down under. This tasted much like other Kiwi hopped IPAs that I've had that were also past their prime: when fresh, they are excellent.
It is likely this bottle was produced 6 months ago, which is not the fault of the beer, but the end result is an underwhelming 16.9 oz. $11 bottle that will never be purchased again.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled with a production date of December 11, 2012.

(4.0) A: Beautiful clear copper with a creamy/bubbly white foam head. Retention isn’t the longest lasting but good lacing.

(3.75) S: Pine, citrus rind, bit of toffee, and baked bread. Slightly damp and earthy. Emits an overall mellow aroma that isn’t overpowering.

(3.75) T: Similar to aroma with pine, citrus, and biscuit tastes predominant. Light herbal qualities that comes across minty. Pleasantly dry and bitter with a clean finish. Easy to drink.

(3.75) M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slight grainy texture without much oily character.

(3.75) D: A nice IPA that has all the textbook qualities of the style.

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled December 11, 2012.

A: Pours a wonderfully clear bronze with 3-4 fingers of big fluffy light tan head. Clumps of lacing scattered all over the sides of the glass.

S: Mixture of pine, citrus, tropical fruits and a slight skunkiness together with some sweet notes of caramel malts. Notes of floral scents and possibly coriander.

M: Pine notes are more dominant in the taste as compared to the smell together with orange peel, and tropical fruits. Mid notes of sweet caramel malts and finishes with mild bitterness.

M: Medium bodies with light to moderate carbonation. Slightly coating.

O: This was a nice IPA with more tropical fruit presence and malts than what we normally have here in BC. While my shop just received this it was far from fresh and I would love to try again when fresh.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

....and I thought that I was getting a 22 ounce bottle. I need to read bottle labels better before I buy. What I did read was that this was an IPA from New Zealand, which was enough to excite me. On to the beer:

Quite murky in the body of this washed out, orangish amber colored beer. Even the head is little and retains a paper thin lace around. The nose is likeable, but on the other hand, I do love me some New Zealand hops. Real fruity sweet, like kiwi, come to mind. Some orange slices, passsionfruit, a little resin, and residual sugar keep the spirit alive.

Being so used to American hops in IPA's, the Kiwi hops are a refreshing change of pace. The intensity is there, but the profile is different. It's like a liquid fruit tray; kiwi, orange, assorted berries, hints of grapefruit and pineapple. It's creeping into 4.5 territory, though some resin hitting around the palate put a small dent in its chances. For a beer of its size, the body is really light, and the carbonation level is very low. Nonetheless, I'm still liking what I have here.

American-style with a New Zealand twist. A twist that I like a lot. Who would have seen this wave hit the US shares even three or four years ago?

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Photo of MasterSki
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at West Lakeview Liquors. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip. No freshness info, but I'm guessing this is from the late November 2010 bottling.

A - Pours with a finger of eggshell foam that settles to a thick cap, leaving a few fingers of lace. Murky brownish colored body that is kind of homely.

S - The hops have definitely faded a bit, and this is now fairly malt-forward. There's some residual tropical fruit and slightly grassy hop aroma over top of a hefy toffee backbone. Even though this is only 7.3% it has the balance and heft of a DIPA.

T - Tate is again heavy on caramel, toffee and faint burnt sugars, as well as tropical fruits. There's a touch of stale hop flavor/aroma going on, but thankfully very little. Finishes with a caramel apple note and light bitteness. Actually reminds me a little of a hoppy strong ale like Arrogant Bastard.

M - Carbonation is zesty but not overly harsh. Texture is quite chewy and sticky. Body is medium-full, and implies a beer bigger than 7.3%. There isn't any obvious alcohol either.

D - It's hard to be objective considering the freshness. I wish Shelton would be a little more expedient in importing this type of beer to the US. Still, for a 3-month old DIPA it's pretty decent. However, until they start bottle-dating this one I'd recommend staying away.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a bright orangey color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of floral hops with light tropical fruits notes is quite enticing. Taste is also dominated by some tropical fruits notes, with some flora hoppy notes and almost no bitterness. Malt backbone is quite solid but doesn’t interfere with the hops profile. Body is about average with good carbonation. Very well brewed but I was expecting an even more powerful explosion of tropical fruits.

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Hopwired from 8 Wired Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.