iStout | 8 Wired Brewing Co.

very good
94 Reviews
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Brewed by:
8 Wired Brewing Co.
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

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

Added by dgilks on 11-06-2010

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Reviews: 94 | Ratings: 287
Photo of laituegonflable
4.67/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drunk as my official 1000th beer review. Unfortunately enjoyed by myself with just a few sips going to the wife, who didn't much like it.

Pours a very dark brown; the only colour is around the edges of the blackness. Head is ochre, nice and dense but doesn't hang around. Nice trails of lace left behind and a good crown can be formed with a quick swill of the glass. Very good.

Smell is beautiful and stouty. Sweet with plenty of chocolate character, nice savoury wood notes and plenty of spice that adds a slight sour touch. Hints of nutmeg, licorice root and jasmine to it, with floral hops coming through at the back to round it out. It's beautiful.

Taste starts quite sweet, with nice cocoa flavour begetting smooth creamy dark chocolate on the mid that's roasty and spicey in equal measure. Robust, piquant spice with aniseed, black pepper and nutmeg all in a lovely, smooth equilibirium. Reachs a spike of flavour late-mid, with a touch of espresso coffee and smoothing out with some fennel seed action and more dark, roasty chocolate at the back. Mmm.... it's a seamless, hemless palate; wherever you find yourself in it you'll be striking a beautiful note. It's tasty, smooth, complex, yet so drinkable.

Smooth and velvety nearly all the way through. A spike of heat late on the palate, with a bit of the booze showing its face but otherwise beautiful.

Cracking imperial stout, perfect for a Winter evening. Warm, roasty, sassy but smooth, so smooth...

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Photo of Vierenner
4.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a delight! I've been searching for somewhat sweet big imperial stouts for quite awhile and very few have hit the mark. This one is nearly perfect. A rich, dark pour with coffee and chocolate aromas. Tastes like it smells with a little charred flavor entering the equation. Reminds me of Goose Island Big John and Oskar Blues Ten FIDY. Absolutely delicious ... only nit for me is it's just a tad sweeter than what I prefer and lacking a bit in carbonation. Other than that a fabulous beer!!

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Photo of joecast
4.58/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A gem of a beer this. Pitch black with a nice frothy brown head. Viscous but not overly so.
Hearty impy stout aroma. Meaning it's got heaps of the good stuff; chocolate, coffee and roasted barley.
Flavor is sensational. Has that great vinuous character I got from Sam Smiths IS but not quite as noticeable. In fact the other characteristics of the beer drowned it out until after the bottle was done. The main strength I get is the balance between the sweetness of the residual sugar and mouthfeel and the brashness of the alcohol and dark malts.
That completes my New Zealand six pack and I am blown away. Each one had it's own character, each one highly drinkable (well mostly - Rex), and all very well made.

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Photo of patpat
4.58/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a perfect black with some lacing that thinned quickly. The smell of this beer took me away to a better place. Exceptional. The aroma was an appetizer to a well balanced somewhat boozy, sweet, tart, thick joy of a sip. Key would be to sip this one I suppose... but as I poured it into a goblet... This is the best stout I've ever had.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.56/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Rich, nose-filling aroma is smoky and mouth-watering, having notes of licorice, roast malt, quality coffee and molasses with a hint of chocolate. It pours an opaque sable just a pixel or two above black and with a thick tan head. Smoky flavor has roast malt, semi-sweet chocolate, quality coffee and licorice tones with nutty, molasses and earthy hints. Absolutely lip smacking, leaving very little to be desired! Firm body is none too fizzy, but that is this brew’s weakest point - and it ain’t too weak. A must for stout fanatics.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into 16oz snifter. Very attractive silky black, with a gorgeous half inch dark tan head. Some lacing but not a ton and is still so lovely. Smell wow, dark chocolate and strongcoffee upfront, with some darkfruit and booze in the background. Taste like smell, but a little breadeness. Mouthfeel is nice and hearty for such a approachable stout. This is one of the best I have had, expensive but a must try if you love stouts.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Cigar City snifter.

Pitch black with about a finger of beige head. Head retains quite well and leaves a good amount of lacing behind.

Nose exhibits roast, espresso, and baker's/dark chocolate. A subtle earthy/floral hop presence makes an appearance as well.

Tastes of dark chocolate, smoke, tar, ash, and coffee. Finish is tar and chocolate with good bittereness, but the bitterness seems to come from the malt. Hop presence in the nose does not make much of an appearance in the taste.

The mouthfeel is where this beer really stands out. Super smooth and silky. Low carbonation. Full bodied and viscous without being overly sticky.

For sure worth trying. Better than a lot of hyped up stouts out there without any waiting in lines/trading. I'm definitely buying more.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Poured black with one finger of espresso coloured head.

S - Huge coffee and cocoa aromas up front compliment a big roasted malt profile. Lighter licorice and molasses aromas in the background. A nice sweetness in the overall nose is balanced by a hop presence.

T - A robust palate full of roasted malts, char, espresso, milk chocolate and licorice. Moderately hopped to balance out the malt sweetness. A warming alcohol throughout and a bitter, dry finish.

M - Medium to full body. Chewy and somewhat viscous. Light carbonation.

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Photo of drpimento
4.46/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks for the bottle. i was able to get most of the lineup locally, but needed to cross continent to nail this one!

deep dark, black liquid coming right out of the gate. Very dark, and completely opaque, there was no light getting through on this one at all. A nice three-inch high tan colored head then rose up out of the depths and reached out over the top of the glass.

rich and sweet, with the dark baker's chocolate coming through first. Nice sweet aroma that was then blended very well with the coffee like tones that were surrounding it. Very nice overall blend here, with a touch of bitterness in the back that could be picked up even in the aroma.The rich chocolate notes are coming through first, but have been supplanted in their strength by the coffee. It is a nice roasted, and sweet coffee flavor, without that biting bitterness you see sometimes. Nice touch of vanilla in there and maybe some molasses, definitely something sweet in it for sure. There was a nice overall profile though with loads of sweet flavor. The finish was strong with a touch of hops still left around to dry out the mouth enough to let the sweet profile come back around one last time.

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Photo of avalon07
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and a completely thick consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, tan-colored head that quickly dissipated. Not a whole lot of lacing.

S: A big, warm aroma of coffee, malt, chocolate, and some hops as well.

T: Tasted of coffee, dark chocolate, malt, a little licorice, hops, and some random spices. This is a very smooth, subtle, and enjoyable flavor. Surprisingly, the ABV% isn't really a factor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a slick, viscous finish - in short, a typical stout mouthfeel. Full-bodied.

O: This is an incredibly tasty, very easy to drink stout.

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Photo of Brad007
4.36/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has been eluding me for some time. Until yesterday, I thought it was an ordinary stout.

Pours a strong pitch black with the thickest brownish head that I've seen in a while. Yessir, this is to the style.

Roasted coffee, cocoa and a bit of cream upfront. Not as acrid as previously thought.

Don't be deceived. This is one thick stout with plenty of roasted coffee to keep you alert. What? 10%? (according the label that is). I swear I didn't notice that until yesterday. You couldn't even tell by the taste. Creamy too. Nomnomnom.

Lingering roasted coffee and cream in the mouthfeel. Very mellow. Again, 10%? Feels like 5%.

Don't be deceived. This stout is marvelous. I previously balked at the price but not now. Good stuff!

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's not everyday that you find a ris that is this good. Smooth, even, multiple lines of flavor that mesh together evenly and well. Not obnoxious. No real detracting factors at all. This is a must try, in my opinion. The price is high and the bottle is too small (I just want more of it, ya know?), but this is a fine beer.

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Photo of 50wolves
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Beer served in a dimpled beer mug, I have had this before and thoroughly enjoyed the beer, however had not reviewed. Appearance - pours dark brown with large brownish frothy head. Aroma - strong roasted coffee elements, has slight chocolate smells that comes through in the taste. Taste - as per smell, has roasted coffee elements with some chocolate and slight liquorice tastes to it. Mouthfeel - creamy and has warmth. Overall - I really enjoy this beer, looking forward to the other beers by this brewer, would recommend.

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Photo of eric5bellies
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Duvel Tulip.

A - Pours a classic deep Ebony colour with a dark tanned head that retains well and laces.

S - Heaps of coffee and chocolate with some hop.

T - Heaps of Milk chocolate up front that lingers through some quite big expresso flavours. Nice balancing hop flavours compliment a very well hidden alcohol content.

M - Silky smooth, not full bodied and minimal carbonation.

O - This beer would be massive with some barrel ageing. Its a very good impy in its own right though.

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Photo of LampertLand
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8 Wired "iStout" Russian Imperial Stout @ 10.0% , served from a 500 ml bottle purchased for $9 ,
A-pour is a dark mocha brown , with a small tan head that quickly dissapates leaving a small lace ring after every sip from the pint glass
S-old raspy new zealand style
T-crisp and clean tasting RIS , anise comes thru at the end , very smooth
MF-full bodied , tons of viscosity , taste the booze , warm feeling
Ov-very good beer , favourite of the RIS tasting ,
cheers LampertLand

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Photo of PolarBear3
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%

Poured into my Duvel Tulip

A - Pours a lovely deep black with a dark tanned two fingered head, that laces well. Very impressive

S - Sweet roasted malts, cocoa, dark chocolate with a little hoppiness

T - Wow!..I get alot of dark chocolate, roasted coffee with a great balance of hops and a terrific slightly bitter finish.

M- A little carbonation and medium to full bodied

O - A fantastic complex beer that is balanced nicely, and highly recommended.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark black color with a thin ring of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind a touch of lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of dark chocolate malts, raisin and other dark fruits, molasses, vanilla, black licorice, and some coffee, earthy hops, and a touch of booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of dark chocolate malts with raisin, plums, and other dark fruits and some black licorice and vanilla. Through the middle, more cocoa comes through with some coffee, a hint of vanilla and smoke, molasses, and some earthy hops. The finish is a mix of dark caramel and dark chocolate with dark fruit, molasses, black licorice, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with mild carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice bold RIS with good overall balance. Good mix of chocolate, dark fruit, and other malty flavors.

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Photo of ralree
4.3/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16.9oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pitch black with 1 finger of dark brown head that dissipates quickly.

Toffee, caramel, charred sugar and semi-sweet chocolate.

Big rushes of caramel and candy sugars. Notes of toffee, semi-sweet chocolate and dusted cocoa. Finishes with cocoa nib and scorched dark chocolate. Touches of piney bitterness.

Full bodied, silky and smooth.

Really smooth and rich. Very easy drinking. The 10% abv is expertly hidden.

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Photo of Brabander
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle a few days ago from Dgilks. We met in Belgium and went to the abbey of Saint Sixtus together.

Wanted to try this beer as a start for the weekend.

Poured in my Struise glass (as always) this beer has to be poured with some force in the glass....but then it shows itself! Pitchblack with a super nice head. After a while some lacing in the glass.

Not really very much to smell but the taste is very good. Not heavy on the palate, just good. The alcohol is well hidden. Great beer and this must be my first one from the other side of the earth!

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500mL bottle, part of the LCBO Fall release. I had a sample from a bottle of this recently and enjoyed it - glad to see some more 8 Wired stuff in Ontario.

Poured into a snifter. As jet black as the bottle's label would suggest, with a quarter inch of espresso mocha head, which forms a thick circle and leaves some lacing streaks.

Nose is quite nice, but as pleasant as it is, it isn't the brew's strong suit. Mild smokiness, licorice, roasted malts, caramel, coffee.

Very, very tasty stout, with loads of smokiness and a lovely toasted character. Espresso, dark chocolate, faint dark fruit, maybe a bit of peat. Far smokier than I remember, but still outstanding. Finishes with a puckery dry hop kick that is positively salivating - just makes me want to take another sip, despite the high ABV. A top class stout.

A bit hot, medium bodied, reasonably slick.

An outstanding stout - these New Zealanders know how to brew.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - jet black, two fingers of tan head, respectable retention with plenty of lacing
S - semi sweet chocolate, burnt coffee beans, dark fruit and alcohol sweetness
T - starts with dark chocolate and candied cherry sweetness, light roast coffee, very mild piney hops
M - chew but lightened by the high ABV%, creamy smooth, roasty bitter finish
O - very tasty and extremely sneaky 10%, if you are a stout fan this could be sessionably dangerous

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Photo of spicelab
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

With thanks to [email protected]

Pours black with a mocha head that takes a bit of coaxing to heave up to a centimetre or so. Falls to a film and slight curtain of sticky lace.

Nose shows equal measures of roast and sweet esters. There's brewed coffee, cocoa, banana skin, strawberries and cream lollies and a smattering of savoury crackers. Yum.

If the nose is a bit subtle, taste leaves nothing to the imagination. The aroma elements are cranked up and joined by liquorice bullets, dark palm sugar and bay leaves. The roastiness acts as a canvas that allows the sweet flavours to shine.

Full and viscous. Envelops the palate beautifully. Carbonation is just above low and pretty well spot-on for the style.

Very well executed and balanced stout that definitely tends towards the sweeter side. Just lacking in high-end complexity and wow-factor for me to rate this alongside the creme de la creme.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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iStout from 8 Wired Brewing Co.
4.02 out of 5 based on 287 ratings.
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