1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

125 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 125
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)
View: Beers (22) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 125 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 05:39:00 | More by Sammy
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer appears black when viewed from afar but closer inspection reveals clear red colors (as well as a moderate amount of carbonation) at the bottom of the glass when it is held up to a light source. It poured with a finger and a half high tan head that took a long time to die down, consistently leaving a finger high head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of smoked malts are present in the nose along with some notes of cola and hints of chocolate malts.
T: Like the smell, the overall taste is dominated by BBQ-like flavors of smoked beechwood and has a slight amount of bitterness along with hints of chocolate and roasted malts..
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seemed to be over carbonated and requires a careful pour and a lot of patience waiting for the head to die down. However, it has a nice amount of smoke that seems to be well incorporated and balanced with the beer's aromas and flavors.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2013 01:43:02 | More by metter98
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

rich dark notes of a deep chocolate brown were underplayed with hints of a rustic red underneath. Almost opaque in appearance it was not at all easy to see through to the other side of this one, but no visible carbonation was noticed. A small head of maybe an inch rose up initially but quickly faded from site leaving little to nothing in its wake other then some decent side glass contribution.

The aroma was thick, rich with peat and smoked notes, if you like smoked beers, this was the top of the game for smelling. Lots of light fruity notes swilling around and an almost molasses like sweetness that descended upon it as it tried to warm up on me. Intensely smoked, huge rich notes of peat, charcoal, wood, lots of earthy and vinous properties as well. Rich notes of pine almost in the finish attempted to dry out the palate but were pushed aside by a huge smoked malts flavor that lasted on your tongue long after it was gone. For as rich as it was at times, it remained wonderfully balanced and continued to impress me with that aspect of it. The carbonation was kind of low, which caused a touch of flatness to it, enhancing the dry finish, but still causing a distraction overal;

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2011 00:44:48 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.09/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Bottle: Poured a black color porter with a light brown huge foamy head with excellent retention and some retention. Bottle even kept gushing after first glass had been poured. Aroma of light dry roasted malt with light coffee notes. Taste is also dominated by light dry roasted malt with smoked notes almost non-existent. Body is about average with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I must say that this beer was quite a disappointment compared to other beers from the same brewery with the smoked notes almost non-existent. Makes me wonder if bottle was infected or something since it was gushing a bit.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2013 18:57:13 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

2.75/5  rDev -28.6%

12-09-2013 17:08:17 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

09-27-2012 03:18:53 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

10-05-2012 13:47:59 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

09-07-2013 16:19:27 | More by jaydoc
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 03:03:55 | More by oberon
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2011 07:21:54 | More by GRG1313
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Big thanks to YaKnowBrady for this bottle!

Ooh, some smoked goodness from a new country (Kiwi-Land). Let's do this: It pours a clear deep, dark ruby-brown topped by over a finger of dusty tan foam. The nose comprises rich smoke (not too dark/peaty, but thick and heavy enough to really make an impression), light roasted malts, mild cocoa, walnut, and a few drops of maple syrup. The taste is mostly a lithe blend of smoke, chocolate, light roast, and maple syrup. Good times, indeed. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a moderate carbonation and a dry, slightly prickly feel. Overall, were this not a touch light and overcarbonated, it would be a downright great smoked porter. As it stands, it is very, very good, and I would never turn another down.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 21:26:05 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a jet black color with a two-finger, tan, bubbly head of long-lasting foam. It left sticky patches of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled very smoky, like a campfire.

T - It was smoky and roasty with come caramel and molasses. The smoke flavors mellow as it warmed up.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied brew with a fairly dry finish.

O - This is a pretty interesting beer. At first I thought I wouldn't be able to finish this smoky brew but it mellowed and was pretty tasty.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2012 14:41:02 | More by zeff80
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

06-26-2012 22:02:37 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at West Lakeview Liquors. Served in a Surly pint glass.

A - Three-plus fingers of light tan foam erupt as the beer is poured, slowly settles to a thick cap, leaving behind a few specks of lacework. Body is a dark, transparent, cherry-wood brown color.

S - Smoked malt! A bit of dry-roasted nuts, char, and some mild dark fruit sweetness, but otherwise this is heavy on the campfire, smoked meat, and perhaps a touch of peat.

T - Taste is also pretty smokey, but with a milk chocolate finish - reminds me of those omnipresent foil-wrapped Easter egg chocolates. Aftertaste is mostly char and roast bitterness, but this somehow manages to avoid being overly burnt and astringent.

M - Somewhat over-carbonated, with harsh, prickly bubbles that burn the upper palate. Sticky, slightly gritty, medium body that leaves a mouth-coating smokey sensation. The texture is appropriate for the style, but the carbonation needs to be dialed down a bit.

D - The 500ml bottle would probably be better shared by two people, due to the intensity of the smoked flavors, but the lower alcohol made this fairly easy to finish. An enjoyable smoked porter - worked my way through the bottle while listening to Stravinsky's Firebird (1919 version).

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2011 04:28:02 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

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

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

07-19-2013 01:29:34 | More by Slatetank
Photo of XmnwildX12
XmnwildX12

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

11-22-2013 01:16:04 | More by XmnwildX12
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

1.65/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Pours a dark brown color that appears black in the glass with a two finger frothy beige head that slowly fades into a lasting cap. Spots of soapy lacing left behind.

Smoked malt aroma with lots of toasted malt without feeling burnt along with some faint sweetness. I was hoping that it would be smokier but it is pretty tame. Slightly meaty with hints of charcoal and burnt toast as well as some coffee bean and dark chocolate.

Medium bodied with lots of tight carbonation up front and an odd metallic flavor that covers up the smoke. Likely infected with hints of charcoal, burnt acrid charred toast and ash. Very dry finish really gross and extremely difficult to drink.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 05:47:43 | More by corby112
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cheers for the Xmas present from @laituegonflable.

Pours a deep, black colour, with a filmy head of beige coloured foam. Lacing is firm, but sudsy, loose in placed. Body is very opaque, but the edges are lightened a little, giving some brighter emphasis of garnet brown. The highlights look bright, like a gemstone. Looks very decent.

Nose is very roasty and dark, but only with hints of smoke. But contrary to this being a bad thing, it gives it a big and strong character like an American Impy Stout. Very robust and very tasty, with chocolate sweetness mixing with the bitter roasted character laced with smoke. It's genuinely lovely.

Taste is smoother, but still relies upon its heavy roasted character, and only giving a nod to the smoke. Smooth entry with some sweetness on the fore that gets rushed offstage in favour of the roasted and slightly astringent bitter character. Smoke is always in the wings, mingling with, but not dominating the other characters. Light finish means most of the smoothness drops out, leaving the bitter roasted note.

Feel is a little weak and thin, but this, if nothing else, exemplifies that it's a porter rather than a stout.

A very nice beer, and another good brew from 8 Wired. Very smooth, but with oodles of flavour. Great drop.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2011 06:17:08 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Explodes out of bottle with a five+ finger light tan head that fades very slowly leaving a good lace. Deep mahogany color, no highlights. Fierce carbonation and medium bodied. Smoky nose and flavor is a smooth smoky malt with a serious smoky aftertaste. Pricey at $10.99 for a 500ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2011 23:36:32 | More by jdhilt
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

4/5  rDev +3.9%

12-08-2013 06:41:56 | More by BillRoth
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First try for this brewery for me. The Big Smoke is smoked, but not all that big. But I'm not reviewing relative to name. So..

Dark brown, rich, almost black. Bright in a way. Small head, little retention. Would make a nice look if the head could pull more umpf...

Smoke isn't what I'd firstly say as the aroma. Darker malts and prune, some coffee, and metallic sents.

Chocolate malt begins and fades a bit fast, baked caramel is soft and underlying. Sweet underneath, prune and some anise in the middle. Smoke is fleeting, but still there. It borders on a metallic smoke, kind of tannin-y.

Nothing bad here. Solid beer, would like more smoke or something else that would provide strength.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2011 06:05:25 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Colorado

4/5  rDev +3.9%

07-22-2014 23:25:18 | More by afsdan
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
The Big Smoke from 8 Wired Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.