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The Big Smoke - 8 Wired Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
The Big SmokeThe Big Smoke

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

126 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 126
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 7
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
8 Wired Brewing Co. visit their website
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style | ABV
Smoked Beer |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Now what is this? A smoked beer?? It really isn't as crazy as it sounds. 250 years ago virtually all beers were smoked (it's true, Google it!), but with the dawning of the industrial revolution most of the smoke lifted. However, in the German town of Bamberg the flame has quite literally been kept alive and to this day the town’s brewers produce world renowned beers brewed with their own special rauchmalz (beechwood smoked malt).

We’ve taken our best porter recipe and added a good measure of that same Bamberg Rauchmalz. The smoke mingles beautifully with the rich, dark roasted chocolate flavours of the porter without being overpowering. Although it pairs extremely well with smoked seafood, barbeques, strong cheeses and hearty stews, its food friendliness isn’t limited to savouries; chocolate and caramel based deserts are great companions too! Trust us; it really isn't as crazy as it sounds.

40 IBU

(Beer added by: ADZA on 11-26-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 126 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by dansmcd:
Photo of dansmcd
dansmcd

Australia

3.68/5  rDev -4.4%

A - Dark cola colour, almost black. Small skin of frothy head, sticky bubbles cover the glass.

S - Open fire, pot pouri, lavender, coffee, musty black truffle.

T - Much smokier than the smell, very much like a rauch. Burnt malts and coffee. Ashy.

M - Light body, moderate carbonation, lingering coffee bitterness.

O - Full flavoured from start to finish. Like a vegetarian version of a Schlenkerla rauch. If the Schlenkerla rauchbiers are smoked ham hock, this is barbequed eggplant (good but missing some grunt).

09-18-2011 10:36:42 | More by dansmcd
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +7.3%

A great new smoked porter from a New Zealand brewery that I have not seen before.Poured into an imperial nonic a deep dark chocolate brown with a one finger lighter mocha colored head that held well.The smoke is very faint in the aromas,I picked up mainly chocolate malt and some earthy tones.The palate is well rounded with the smoke coming more into play,it goes well with a nice shot of chocolate and dark roast.Not in your face smoke but a nice well rounded porter roast with decent complexity.

02-20-2011 03:03:55 | More by oberon
Photo of MadScientist
MadScientist

New York

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

A very dark brown with a deep garnet hue. The pillowy two fingers of light brown head has a long rendition time.

Big smokey, phenols in the nose with dark stone fruit aromas backing that up. A light caramel sweetness, moderate chocolate and some roast .

Lots of smoke blending with dark stone fruit backed by a moderate toffee-like sweetness and a light bitter chocolate note. There is medium hops bitterness with little hop flavor. The balance is about even between the bitterness and sweetness. The finish is off-dry with a smokey aftertaste.

The Big Smoke name is apt as this beer is defined by a moderately strong smoke aroma and flavor that is well supported by a solidly brew porter underneath.

04-14-2014 01:20:35 | More by MadScientist
Photo of FadetoBock
FadetoBock

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev +3.9%

07-13-2014 21:02:37 | More by FadetoBock
Photo of jazzyjeff13
jazzyjeff13

United Kingdom (England)

4.1/5  rDev +6.5%

A 500ml bottle with a BB of March 2012, so it's well out of date. However, the label suggests that it can be aged for a year or two so I'm hoping it has stood the test of time. Acquired ages ago from a webshop. I like the label design.

Poured into a Duvel tulip (thrice). A seriously dark brown hue that appears pitch black in the glass. Holding it to the light reveals plentiful carbonation. It produces a truly vast head of creamy beige foam with amazing stability; this lasts for ages before reducing to a thick surface layer (so much so that three pours were required). An aroma of rich, fruity malt and smoke: notes of prunes, dried fruit, roasted malt, smoke, phenolics, molasses, chocolate, mild coffee, faint TCP and earthy yeast. Intensely deep - total sensory immersion.

Tastes of rich roasted malt with a smoky character and a dry finish. Notes of dried fruit, roasted malt, smoke, mild burnt grain, molasses, phenolics, wood, coffee, a hint of chocolate and earthy yeast. Complex and dry, followed by a malty bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and mildly spicy, with good carbonation. The body is decent but a tad less substantial than might be expected. Rather astringent, with an aftertaste of smoky roasted malt and dried fruit.

Boom! What a beer - like bonfire night personified in liquid. The aroma and flavour have fantastic depth and complexity; a beautiful and well-rounded mélange. Perhaps this has something to do with the age of the bottle - maybe time has allowed the flavour to mellow out and smooth the harshness that a younger brew would have possessed. At any rate, this is lovely and well worth sampling if you have the good fortune to stumble across it.

02-11-2013 00:35:00 | More by jazzyjeff13
Photo of chickenm
chickenm

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev +3.9%

07-30-2012 02:02:47 | More by chickenm
Photo of BGDrock
BGDrock

Ontario (Canada)

3.13/5  rDev -18.7%

Appearance: black, even under light; coffee foam coloured head is fine and full, but fades to a rim quickly

Aroma: cocoa, touch of anise, and peat accompanying lightly

Taste & Mouthfeel: light-medium body, feeling and tasting like drip coffee on the initial sips - quite bitter from the malt, and a little tart; only whispers of peat smoke in the finish, it's competing with burnt coffee bean and losing the battle; flavours linger several minutes, intense and bitter; some caramel malt

Overall: not as advertised! smoke flavour is almost non-existent, it's a coffee beer if anything, and in that respect not a great one, being intensely bitter and just a bit too thin

03-11-2014 01:28:00 | More by BGDrock
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

4.39/5  rDev +14%

The Big Smoke is a strong, appropriately thick very dark brown color that stops short of black but lets just a little in at the fringes. A big, soft but strong, creamy tan head ceases to rise at almost two finger in height and keeps itself up for a good while. It never falls to much less than one finger, and it drops some patching with a little bit of legging here and there.
This beer smells deliciously like smoke, almost a little tangy with a smoked meats essence. There's a slight touch of wood, but it's not quite as deep as the flavor. Still, it smells fantastic, and all the smokiness I want is here.
It tastes deliciously like meaty smoke as well. Smoke permeates the tongue without ever getting too harsh, completely part of the malts. Charred woods are all over the tongue too, with absolutely no astringency or harshness at all. There's just a touch of bittersweet cocoa at the periphery and some coffee grounds, part of the nature of the roast, but it's all kinds of smoky and fantastically tasty.
It's got the right depth and heft for a porter, offering a well sustained strength on the fuller side of a medium body. There's just a little carbonation, enough to keep things going, while a nice smoothness rolls along.

11-02-2013 22:19:53 | More by Brenden
Photo of wildcatboy
wildcatboy

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

02-04-2014 18:23:45 | More by wildcatboy
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +2.1%

500ml bottle. Classy, upscale presentation - check. Dear import micro price - oh yes. And now for the rest of the story...

This beer pours a very, very dark chestnut brown colour, almost opaque, but for some broad reddish cola highlights when exposed to the June evening sunlight, with one fat finger of thinly foamy beige head, which leaves a few instances of arched lace around the glass as it quickly recedes.

It smells of roasted caramel malt, meaty to the bone, at first, as the smoked campfire essence bleeds with all things carnal, only to soon cede a bit of territory to a more easy-going cola sweetness, and earthy, leafy bitterness. The taste is a pretty big sidestep from the aroma - right up front I get big semi-sweet chocolate malt, with a supporting stolid breadiness, and then the lingering ashes of a still relevant visceral smokiness, some oily nuttiness, a subtly sour milk note, and adequately bitter earthy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is quite soft, and unexpectedly caressing, the body a stocky medium weight, and mostly smooth - weirdly, in this particular case, fouled by the hops - yeah. It finishes sweetly malty, of the nutty chocolate bent, with a tame waft of the lead-off smoke, now transferred to a supporting role, and oh so more well suited for it, as the hops persist in assuming the final balancing onus.

A smoked beer with the best tendencies, IMHO - freak me out with aroma, do a context shift with the malt for the taste, and rest on your laurels thereafter. Not a bad thing, that. Overall, a nice, multivaried, if not overly complex, smoked beer. Recommended, if you've the cash to burn.

06-12-2012 02:57:26 | More by biboergosum
Photo of TLieu
TLieu


4/5  rDev +3.9%

12-05-2012 10:12:50 | More by TLieu
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +3.4%

Tasty very drinkable smoked porter. Good and substantive hopping. Worth paying up for. I drink the bomber inside of half an hour. Nice colour and wine like hoppy smoked aroma. I was concerned about the chocolate muddling up the character of this smoked porter, rather it smoothed it out and improved drinkability.

02-26-2012 05:39:00 | More by Sammy
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter

Oregon

4.13/5  rDev +7.3%

Poured into a pint glass. Finger and half of tan head, pitch black body.

Smells of beechwood smoke and burnt malt. Very strong aroma.

Strong burnt wood taste, then moves towards a creamy, milk and roasted malt flavor. Delicious.

It has a soft and creamy texture. Low carbonation.

Really good and well put together.

06-24-2012 21:01:06 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of woodchip
woodchip

North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

05-31-2013 00:16:49 | More by woodchip
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Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

11-22-2013 20:26:28 | More by Kegatron
Photo of joemcgrath27
joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +2.1%

A - effectively tar black, thumb of mocha head dissipated quickly to a thin covering
S - definitely has big smoke, a little sour peat aroma, charcoal, and faint hint of fruit syrup
T - definitely delivers what in advertises in terms of smoke, beyond that there are hints of caramel and boozy sweetness
M - medium body, fairly creamy, the smoke gives it a somewhat dry ashy finish
O - its says big smoke and that's exactly what you get, so its hard to argue in terms of rating it, don't bother if you're not a fan of smoke flavour

07-21-2012 02:38:01 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -8.3%

Served from tap into an imperial pint. Poured a massively dark ruby red brown with a two finger tan head that subsided to half a finger slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, smoke, smoked meat, cream, and dark chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, smoke, and smoked meat. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. While the smoke was definitely present on this one it really wasn't the star of the show. The roastiness on the armoa definitely dominated this one upon first inspection. On the flavor I was really quite surprised to find a sweet malty aspect going on. I don't think it was needed and rather clashed with some of the smokey and roasty notes. Not a bad representation of the style, but defintely not my favorite.

08-07-2012 16:32:18 | More by thagr81us
Photo of DougT
DougT

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

05-08-2014 03:23:09 | More by DougT
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

This is a beautiful glass of beer. Pours black and viscous with a firm and thick khaki head.

Nose is medium dark chocolate and plumed coffee with undertones of sweet chocolate.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but with a nice creamy character and carbonation.

Flavors are all big smokey coffee, dark chocolate and big roasted grains with a sweet front palate and an espresso bitter kick.

Finish is all semi-sweet/bitter black chocolate with a hint of black licorice and burnt espresso. The finish goes on forever.

03-05-2011 07:21:54 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Bung
Bung

Michigan

4.13/5  rDev +7.3%

500ml. Very dark brown, almost black pour. Just a whispy layer of off white head.

Aroma, some roast, dark chocolate. More smoked peat, bacon. It's not real strong though.

Taste is more pronounced. Very well blended chocolate like malt, canadian bacon, smoked peat. Finishes with the barbeque smoke and some roast, very subtle coffee.

Lighter side of medium bodied, a complimentary amount of carbonation. This drinks very easy, as long as you like it. A real good brew, my first from this country. No buyers remorse with this one. Up there with the Norweigan Wood for my favorite for this style.

04-17-2011 03:12:48 | More by Bung
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%

A: Dark otter-brown pour appears deep black in the glass with a slight creamy khaki colored head that was mostly lasting thoughout the course. Lacing was good providing a thick spongy coating of good coverage on the glass.

S: Freshly burnt timber, burnt chocolate with a earthy campfire minerality of modest strength. Aromatic retention was lasting 4-5 minutes before any show of weakness.

T: For flavor there was a fresh roasty flavor, yet light and easily manageable. Very clean flavor, of fine german quality, with some highlights of freshly burnt timber, chocolate and liquid smoke. As the label states, this is not a smack you in the face flavor, rather one that is clean and finely tuned for a easy consuming experience. Nice level of smoked malt presence but not quite up for the labeling of the big smoke name.

M: Light bodied, smoky charred warmth with a earthy bitterness. Silky texture and feel turning to a creamy and bubbly texture on longer holds. Leaves a fairly clean and gently smoky charred reminder.

D/O: Overall a very easy and clean drinking smoked porter. The emphasis is on its smooth drinking character, lightbodied style that pleases without overwhelming. At 6.2% this would probably of faired better being a point lower in abv% making this a easy drinking smoked session porter.

05-19-2011 22:44:06 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of wesley14
wesley14

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

05-08-2012 01:37:22 | More by wesley14
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Luweezy

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

06-11-2013 02:01:56 | More by Luweezy
Photo of CrazyDavros
CrazyDavros

Australia

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Pours black with a fading head.
Heavy smoke on the aroma, with nice smoked ham and campfire notes. Also caramel, soft roast and sweet bready malt.
Lots of smoke as a flavour too. More roasted malt presence though, along with a little sweet malt underneath. Also some soft piny and earthy hops which seems unnecessary.
Could use more carbonation.

06-15-2013 03:02:04 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74

Ohio

3.7/5  rDev -3.9%

500 ml bottle. Served in a mug, the beer pours dark brown with a couple inch frothy tan head. The head stays around a very long time, and there's a good amount of lacing. Aroma is smoked and roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and a bit of coffee. Although smoke is noticeable in the aroma, it's not close to being overpowering at all. Taste is pretty much just like the aroma, the brew tastes like smoked and burnt/charred malt, coffee and bittersweet chocolate. I think the bitter/roasty flavors are bit stronger than the smoky ones, but it's still a tasty brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and has high carbonation, way more carbonation than I would like for this beer. I think it's a decent enough brew overall, I'd buy this again at some point in the future.

11-26-2011 00:18:45 | More by bluejacket74
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The Big Smoke from 8 Wired Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.