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Batch 31 Barrel Aged Imperial Stout With Coffee - 8 Wired Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Batch 31 Barrel Aged Imperial Stout With CoffeeBatch 31 Barrel Aged Imperial Stout With Coffee

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

86 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 86
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.41%
Wants: 30
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
8 Wired Brewing Co. visit their website
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Brad007 on 03-30-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

A barrel aged imperial stout made exclusively for our American importer, Shelton Brothers, who missed out on our first celebratory brew, Batch 18. Aged in American oak barrels for 6 months before release.

75 IBU
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 33
Reviews by greg4579:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a just a slight highlight of ruby when held to the light,a deep tanish colored thinner head atop.Lush and complex nose with dark roast coffee wich was expected to go along with a deep char,and bitter chocolate,even a hint of vanillaThe palate is just as complex with some alcohol,chcolate, and deep fruit sweetness at the onset than big drying earthy woodiness,dark roast coffee,and faint smoke.Wow this was a deeply complex rich stout,just great.

Photo of standardcherry
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle served into a snifter. Bottled January 2011.

A: Jet black, no light goes through it. Big mocha colored head at first but it dissipates in a minute.
S: Huuuge coffee, wood notes, chocolate, dark fruits.
T: Sweet fudge, vanilla, caramel notes. Lingering aftertaste of strong coffee bitterness.
M: Medium bodied, nice carbonation. A bit of an alcohol bite.
O: Spectacular beer. No idea how it's flown under the radar for so long. Seek this out.

Photo of ehammond1
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle

Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

Nearly black in color without much of a light brown head. This leaves the glass fairly clean on the way down.

Very nice, complex, evolving aroma. There's lots of chocolate and roast elements, as well as a welcoming wood character, and even something I discern as roasted chiles. Interesting, unique, and superb.

The flavor isn't far away from the aroma, and it's certainly similar, but it's not quite as unique and interesting. There's good amounts of virgin oak character, mild chocolate and coffee, and again an earthy chile character.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Good, and an unexpected treat.

Photo of thagr81us
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Green Man snifter. Poured pitch black with a minimal brown head. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, coffee, sweet alcohol, vanilla, dark chocolate, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, vanilla, dark chocolate, sweet alcohol, nutty, smoke, and very subtle dark fruit. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I was told by the crew at GBX that I needed to try this one. I understand now why they did so. This was a really nice barrel aged stout that definitely brought a huge amount of complexity to the party. Nice notes from the barrel going on here that carry over quite well throughout the glass. I was really pleasantly surprised with what I found here. I suggest you do as I did and try this one while you can. You won’t regret it if you enjoy barrel aged stouts.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night. Mocha brown head of about a finger or so. Very creamy and rich.

The aroma was mesmerizing. I let it sit for about 5 or so minutes and I am having a hard time bringing myself to take a sip because I just can't stop smelling it. The barrel is openly present, but not over-powering. There's oak, and vanilla, and a rich milk chocolate scent so velvety and alluring. The coffee actually brings some roast and depth-defying layers to this wonderful scent-storm.

The taste, white quite good, was not as alluring as the taste. Rich chocolate, vanilla and wood. Mild Oak and a hint of bitter hops/coffee, roast and molasses.

Feel was full, creamy, rich and luscious.

I saw this beer, and though it was quite pricey, I eventually brought myself to buying it. Boy, I'm going to have to get a couple more...

Photo of jegross2
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Batch 31 Barrel Aged Imperial Stout With Coffee from 8 Wired Brewing Company out of New Zealand. Imported by the Shelton Brothers.
Score: 92

According to the label, this beer was brewed 01/31/11, barreled 03/31/11, bottled 10/31/11 and best before 12/31/18. Served in a Duck Rabbit snifter and enjoyed on 08/12/12.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a thin dark tan ring around the glass. Good lacing and average retention. 4/5

Smell: Sweet boozy raisin, burnt brown sugar, sweet chocolate, toffee, and a touch of cherry and molasses. A hint of roast upfront and light booziness too. The flavor components are nice, but they are not well incorporated. 3.5/5

Taste: This one tastes much better than it smells. Tons of oak flavor upfront followed by cocoa and cherry. A touch of roasted coffee too. Dark chocolate and bitter hot cocoa flavor on the midpalate. A little brown sugar flavor. The dark chocolate sticks through the finish and lingers. Real nice bittersweet flavor balance here, though the sweetness starts to outweigh the bitterness as the beer warms. Unlike the nose, the beer is not boozy in flavor. Incredible drinkable; you would never guess this is 11.0% ABV from the taste. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, low carbonation. Syrupy mouthfeel. Bittersweet, leaning slightly sweet. 4.5/5

Overall: Too many beers smell better than they taste, but this one gets it right by tasting better than it smells. Batch 31 is a bit pricey for what it is, but I would buy another bottle to try again with a little age on it. Nice job New Zealand!

Recommendation: Drink this one slightly chilled; seek it out if you can.

Pairings: Ribeye.

Cost: $15.99 for a 500 ml bottle.

Photo of metter98
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color in poured like motor oil, leaving only a thin collar around the edge of the glass and some wispy lacing on the surface.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of roasted whole coffee beans are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is filled with flavors of roasted coffee beans but is also acidic and bitter.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is incredibly easy to drink considering its strength because the alcohol is completely hidden from the taste.

Photo of beerdrifter
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up while at a conference in Denver. Pitch black pour with a gorgeous one finger creamy tan head with good retention and beautiful lacing. It smells as good as it looks with loads of roasty chocolate, cocoa, oak, and espresso along with hints of vanilla, and just a touch of booze. The taste follows suit and is nothing short of heaven. The oak is crazy and meshes perfectly with the coffee and chocolate along with subtle hints of vanilla, spicy hops and dark fruit. The mouthfeel is velvety smooth and creamy with a subtle, spicy hop finish. This is definitely right up there with beers like KBS and Parabola. My first experience with 8 Wired, but definitely not my last!

Photo of dbrauneis
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some light amounts of dark brown highlights and no perceivable visible carbonation. The beer pours with a quarter finger tall dark tan head that quickly reduces to a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Strong aromas of freshly roasted coffee beans with some lighter notes of dark roasted malts. There are light notes of freshly charred oak barrels. Very light notes of chocolate.

T: Upfront there are some light to moderate flavors of dark roasted malts before the coffee flavors really take over - flavors of freshly brewed espresso. There is a really pleasant acidity from the coffee beans which I really enjoy. Additionally there are some light amounts of dark chocolate and freshly charred oak barrels.

M: Full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Light hints of dryness in the finish.

O: Huge amounts of coffee in this beer - which I really enjoyed as I am a huge coffee fan. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden in this beer and it is fairly easy to drink. Nice amounts of complexity to the flavors and aromas.

Photo of jdhilt
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a three finger dark khaki head that fades quickly to ring, leaving traces lace. Black color, no highlights. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Earthy chocolate/coffee nose and flavor is roasted malty chocolate/coffee with burnt chocolate finish. High ABV is hidden. Decent IS. $11.99 for a 500ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, Vt.

Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black in color with a tan head. Nice coffee aroma to this one along with a moderate oakiness. A hint of smoke along with lots of roasted malt and dark chocolate. A touch of vanilla, as well. The palate is full of great coffee and dark chocolate with light smokiness and pronounced roasted malt flavors. Smooth vanilla with a moderate sweetness (molasses?).

Photo of champ103
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a pitch black, nearly opaque black color. A small tan head forms, and recedes to nothing. Light patches of lace.
S: Up front is a big coffee aroma. A bit bitter and acrid. Roasted malt, light charred wood.
T: Coffee is up front and center. Slightly bitter and acrid, but not bad. Roasted malt, chocolate, charred wood. Enjoyable.
M/D: A full body with good carbonation. Sticky, very thick, and viscous. The high alcohol is not noticeable, though the viscous nature makes this hard to sip on.

I think the thickness is the downfall here. Just to viscous and thick for me to enjoy. Other than that a stout to be reckoned with. Big, viscous, and extreme.

Photo of avalon07
4.77/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick, impenetrable consistency. There was a small amount of tan-colored, foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Average lacing.

S: A big aroma of coffee, malt, hops, and dark fruit. Smelled exactly like a stout of this kind should.

T: Tasted of coffee (a lot of coffee), some malt, a hint of dark fruit (plums), chocolate, and hops in the finish. An incredibly balanced, complex, flavorful beer. One of the better examples of the taste for this style.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth, silky finish. Full-bodied.

O: A big, bold, powerful, enjoyable, and drinkable stout. A fantastic beer.

Photo of tobelerone
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I’ve avoided buying anything from these guys due to the generally high price and apprehension about springing for hoppy beers that have flown across the world but when I saw this barrel aged stout for about 11 bucks I took a flyer on it and I’m really glad I did. Pours next-to-jet black with a light brown head that settles slowly; modest lacing clinging to the glass here and there.

The first thing that hits me in the aroma is prominent oak; slowly coffee, chocolate, roasted malt, burnt sugars, molasses, vanilla, anise, booze all emerge. Very nice nose, one that is surpassed in complexity and detail by the flavor. As this beer opens the oak, which at first struck me as overly assertive, recedes a bit, and the taste of fresh brewed espresso really comes to the fore. Has an almost spicy, smoky quality reminiscent of chilis but without mouth burning heat; good balance of roasted, charred character and sweetness, again, molasses, anise, vanilla and chocolate are all here. The sweetness of the beer lingers in the finish and there’s a touch of warming but the taste of booze is generally well hidden.

Medium-full body, pleasingly thick without being over-the-top chewy; smooth and creamy feel but still possessing some life in its carbonation. Highly recommended, this is full of deep flavor and lip-smacking heft.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's with tremendous complexity and balance that 8 Wired celebrates the creation of the coffee infused imperial stout. From notes of fruit and bourbon to espresso and toffee, the brewery covers all the bases without complication or overwhelming the palate.

Sinfully dark, the onyx-black beer pours with a viscous visual weight that takes on proportions of motor oil and ink. A lumbering head finally releases from the beer underneath with a confident brown espresso-like creme. Light on lace but bold on legging, the beer swirls as much like brandy as it does beer.

Coarse aromas of espresso, burnt wood, cocoa, walnut, charred black currant, cherry, and plumb all allow a plethora of roast and eatery qualities to sculpt the aromatic profile. Background notes from the barrel offer varying whiffs of oak, caramel, vanilla, and coconut to complement the roasty main stream.

All that's delivered in taste as the coffee and bittersweet chocolates claim top honors while the complementing taste of charred dark fruit, dehydrated pitted stone fruit, burnt toffee, and bourbon alcohols seem to take turns delivering wave after wave of new flavors with each return to the snifter. Deliciously complex and satisfying aggression both challenge the palate and rewards it through and through.

Rich and velvety as the toffeeish malts coat the mouth, but the alcohol slices through the silk with bold bourbony warmth and slight abrasion on the gullet. Finishing long, warm, and rich, the taste of roast and fruit linger well into the next sip.

With as many different attributes that this beer lays on the palate, and with such intensity and balance I would have expected the beer to be somewhat muddled. But the way the beer patiently delivers the individual tastes one at a time makes the session patient and savory.

Photo of Brad007
4.73/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This isn't Batch 18 for sure.

Pours bleak as night with a thin brown head. It certainly is sinister!

Cocoa, roasted coffee and light oak greet the nose. Wow. I want it.

Oh my! Rich roasted coffee with strong cocoa undertones here. A good balance of oak and coffee here with a touch of cream to unite both extremes.

Mouthfeel is wonderful. Soft, sweet and creamy. My three favorite characteristics of an imperial stout.

Pick it up, fool!

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at the bottle share hosted by Adam Fine Wine & Liquor held at Sophie’s Place in Redondo Beach, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, roasted coffee beans, cocoa, and woody aromas. Taste is much the same with lot of coffee flavors and a woody finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a great smell that is quite tasty as well.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The chalky vanilla tone on the nose of this one reminds me a lot of the other big stouts I've had. The flavor profile delivers what I would expect, however, it only did so when it had warmed up a good bit. Nice coffee tones with a thick body. Very consistent flavor. Only detractor is a tangy thing that I find on a lot of stouts. Overall, this is a good one. This brewery is one to keep an eye out for.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my 2000th beer review, and what more deserving brewery is there for it than 8 Wired, who are really turning out some of the best beers in the world.

This one looks the part as it's poured into the glass: a sensuous slick of black-brown, that forms some slightly bubbly, deep brown head. Lacing is minimal, but the weight of the body ensures that there's something sticking to the glass at least. Body is surprisingly fluid, while maintaining its gravitas. Excellent stuff.

Nose is potent: big roasted stout notes, mingled with some softening oak characters, but the main event is the coffee, lending a brusque bittersweet bite that clears the sinuses. It's fragrant and bold, but still welcoming. It lends it fruitiness, oaten biscuits, and almost a vegetative piney character. Wonderful stuff. So powerful and complex, but so inviting.

Taste is also as good as you would expect. The coffee is powerful again here, but the base beer supports it. Firm chocolate, dark cacao, and biscuity, deep stout characters give an already roasty, burnt character, and to layer the coffee on the top just pushes it to excessive intensity. Excessive is too harsh: it's melodramatic and intense, and over-the-top, but that's exactly what it needs.

Feel is fluid and smooth, but with a sparkle or tingle from that coffee. Intense stuff.

Oh yes, wonderful stuff from 8 Wired. This is very intense and very complex, but hangs everything off that potent coffee character. It gives it a centre, a purpose, and allows you to comprehend something solid in the madness surrounding you.

Photo of AgentMunky
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a half-litre bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. Brewed on 21 January 2011. Barreled on 21 March 2011. Bottled on 31 October 2011. Best before 21 December 2018.

A: Deep brown head forms and fades, leaving great lacing. The beer is impenetrable mahogany.

S: Oh my gods it smells like heaven. And by heaven, I mean Péché Mortel (which I guess is actaully the opposite, but whatever). Strong and powerful, it wafts across the table, enticing me from feet away. Deep-sweet coffee, black licorice, aromatic bark. The high ABV gives it an almost medicinal character, but in a pleasant way -- like a balm or a salve. (Tea tree? Eucalyptus?)

T: What a stout...Rich and sweet, with a healthy dose of dry-bitterness, seemingly from hops as well as chilled coffee. The maintaste is full of chocolatey, roasted, mature malts. The barrel aging seems to have done wonders. Cacao and The lingering aftertaste is nutty, lightly fruity, and has hints of molasses.

M: Full-bodied and smooth, almost creamy, while never distracting from the periodic dryness and slight spicy accent. Unlike some barrel aged beers, it's not so silky as to be flattish.

O: Excellent. Superlative. Would definitely drink again. Highly recommended. An excellently crafted barrel-aged imperial stout.

EDIT: Another bottle opened on 1 December 2013 forced me to downgrade the overall score from 5.0 to 4.75. Still a great beer, but the aging seems to have made it thinner and more sour.

Photo of beergoot
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Solid black body capped with a thick, creamy, medium tan head. Coffee and bittersweet chocolate are the primary scents, complemented with cocoa. Velvety sweet and heavy body. Excellent roasted grain, rich chocolate overtones, bitter coffee mixing with alcohol heat at the finish.

Well done, balanced, very drinkable coffee imperial stout. Lots of great flavors and aromas swirling around and popping up in various combinations with every sip. Highly recommended...

Late note: I see the brewer's name is Danish. Perhaps that's why I get the feel that this particular brew reminds me of some the stronger dark beers I enjoy from Northern Europe...ah, New Zealand's gain...!!!

Photo of rudzud
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this while up in VT with JLindros.

A -Poured into my Duvel tulip a dark brown nearly motor oil black with a quarter inch dark chocolate head that fades to leave thin clouding and a thin halo.

S - Big aromas of dark chocolate, light coffee, faint fudge, roasted malts, vanilla, and bourbon. Nose is very, very enticing!

T - OOohhh yah. Massive lingering fudge brownie finish that is cut in to wonderfully by bourbon. The start is bitter espresso beans and roasted malts that soon become intermingled by the dark, dark chocolate. Very nice barrel notes (vanilla, oak) in the middle lend ways to the fudge brownie and bourbon finish. Lovely.

M - Surprisingly thin here for the style, and the tingly carbonation doesn't help that thin feeling at all. A shame

O - Truly would have been a top tier stout if not for the poor mouthfeel. Very complex flavours here. Very well crafted stout courtesy of 8 wired.

Photo of codsmith
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a bottle from Armanetti's in Chicago

A: Pours jet black with a medium mocha colored head that dissipates rather quickly, but laces the glass well.

S: Picking up chocolate and smoked malts, with a good amount of sweet oak off the nose. Missing the coffee that is supposed to be present

T: The smell is a lot like the taste. Delicious chocolate and smoked malts that play nicely with a sweet oak flavor. There is a slight coffee taste. There is a good alcohol warmth on the back-end of the beer... just where it should be for this.

M: Full bodied, very smooth.

O: VERY IMPRESSED with this beer. I need to pick up a couple more before they are gone. The malts, hops and adjuncts all blend fairly well together. I would the aroma to have a more noticeable coffee smell. This reminds me of KBS, but with smoked malts and no bourbon.

Photo of xnicknj
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle poured into tulip

Pours an inky blackness with a crop of tanned dark head. Fades out completely with some bubbly film on the collar and some patches of lacing on the glass.

Fragrant roasted dark coffee beans with bourbon and oak. Vanilla and chocolate sweetness with dark malts. Warm and boozy.

Rich and sweet up front with cocoa and chocolate. Oaky bourbon with hints of vanilla and roasted malts. Dark and heavy, driven by sweeter malts and bread crust. Finishes boozy and sweet with chocolate and caramel.

Full body, decent carbonation, sticky and full on the tongue. It's not quite KBS but this really hit the spot. Plenty of bourbon barrel character with delicious coffee overtones.

Photo of ADZA
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After reading the back label it sounds like it was meant for the American market so wonder if its better than their last attempt and pours a dark black non see through which lets no light in whatsoever and leaves a two finger chocolate laced head and a rim of lacing,the smell is dark belgian chocolate,oak,boozy alcohol and dark expresso,the mouthfeel is full bodied with a nice smooth carbonation and has tastes of dark chocolate,milky cappicino,raisins,dark plums,oak and finished with a nice hoppy bitterness that carries the sweetness a long way and makes this Imp Stout very drinkable and i think this is definately something to drink fresh cheers.

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Batch 31 Barrel Aged Imperial Stout With Coffee from 8 Wired Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.