iStout | 8 Wired Brewing Co.

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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: 95 | Ratings: 288
Photo of hopsolutely
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

LCBO procured bottle pours a surprisingly thin near-black with the minimal chocolate-coloured head disappearing quickly. Mouthfeel is also thin with some creaminess in the finish, the only negative comment I'd have towards this exceptionally tasty beer.

The aroma nails all that is good about an RIS - barrel tannins and roasted dark and chocolate malts. These all follow into the taste, which also offers coffee elements and a nice hop bitterness to meld with those chocolate tones. May not have enough "barrel" for everyone, but has an ideal level for my own personal taste. Although there is definitely some heat in the finish, it hides its 10% ABV scarily well.

A very well brewed RIS. As I don't see returning to New Zealand any time soon, will look forward to any future 8 Wired offerings in Ontario.

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Photo of FanofHefe
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pt. 9 oz. bottle poured into a Bells tulip. Deep, dark, black body with a small, dark head. Light amount of lacing. Looks foreboding.

Enjoyable aroma. Starts with chocolate blending with the roasted malt, giving a first impression of sweetness. Light hop notes finish the aroma and set up the tasting very well.

Not too sweet. That's always my worry with stouts. This one nails it. Just enough of the chocolate to make the roasted malt lose some bite. The clencher is the right blend of hops which this brew also nails.

Thick texture in the mouthfeel, but nearly no notice of the alcohol. My first beer from New Zealand and this one does not disappoint.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with just a tiny cherry glint at the bottom of the glass. The compact espresso colored head lasts a good while and coats the glass with lace. Fresh roasted coffee, field berries and chocolate in the nose. A tropical fruit hop character is the most interesting part of the taste. Decent amounts of roastyness mix with a restrained dark chocolate, cocoa character and a complimentary alcohol heat make up the rest of the taste, hops being in the background of the more traditional RIS fare. The mouthfeel is full bodied verging on viscous with a light, intricate carbonation level. Some moderate bitterness mixes with roastyness, a bit of booze and some fruity hop aromas in the long finish.

This is a great RIS showcasing some nice kiwi hops. Though by no means an especially hoppy RIS, it's balanced, nuanced and drinkable for 10% beer. Worth a try.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.81/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

(4.25) A: Dark ruby tinged colour with a tall creamy and bubbly head. Very good retention and evident lacing.

(3.75) S: Caramel, plenty of dark chocolate, coffee bean, licorice, herbal elements, and some dark fruits. Slight boozy wooden aroma that is subtle and appealing. Good solid aroma that isn’t over the top.

(3.75) T: Dark chocolate, oak, caramel, licorice, herbal, and faint dark fruits. Alcohol well hidden considering the ABV. This is quite the well balanced stout with a very easy drinking (dangerously so) quality. A slight pleasant dryness in the finish.

(4.0) M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Incredibly creamy with a fairly oily texture (a nice trait).

(3.75) D: This is tasty, well balanced for an imperial stout, and deceptively easy drinking. A great Apple product, I mean 8 Wired offering.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.71/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of black chocolate with some light dry coffee notes is interesting. Taste is also dominated by black chocolate notes with dry roasted malt and light coffee with some dust and light smoky/tobacco notes. Body is full with medium carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Good drinkable stout without as much complexity as I was expecting.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled June 3, 2013

Beer is pitch black with a good-sized tan head, Fades steadily, a bit of lace.

Smell is a bit faint. Some coffee, chocolate and a bit of roasted malt. Coffee is the strongest scent, but nothing is too big.

Taste contains roasted malt, some molasses and chocolate. A touch of coffee and a small bit of dark fruit. Decent bitterness. Nice, but nothing remarkable.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation level. Feels a bit bubbly.

Overall, good but not anything special.

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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 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 beerdrifter
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up at a great little beer store in Arlon, Belgium, Miorge Mihoublon. Thick, pitch black pour with a caramel-colored half finger head with decent retention and nice lacing. Very rich and roasty nose with lots of cocoa and dark chocolate up front along with hints of licorice, toffee, and espresso. The taste follows suit with loads of roasty, bitter dark chocolate and mocha along with hints of espresso, tobacco, licorice, booze, molasses, figs, black cherries, and just a touch of vanilla. The mouth feel is thick as oil, chewy, and mouth-coating with some subtle sweetness and a nice bitter bite on the finish. Great balance and very drinkable for a 10% beer. Another excellent offering from New Zealand!

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Viscous black with tan film.
Ash, oily espresso, blackberry, and soy on the nose - thick and deep.
Treacle, fig, soil, and dark miso then cutting branchy hops.
Resiny, smoky end, black currant comeback, then rosin and tar linger.
Thick, oily, chewy.

Big! Amazing that a beer so *black* actually has so much depth - this is not just an overdose of patent malt. Pulls off both umami (lots of charred meat crust in there) and dark fruit. Definite hop presence, too.

A by-the-fire beer.

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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 viverlee
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Naptime beer. Biding time in the chill chest, you begin to wonder, “When am I going to drink it? It doesn’t go with the pizza I ordered. Or the burgers we’re having tomorrow. Should I just have it with dessert? As dessert?” No, it’s ideal not at any time, but at that key afternoon lull when an oily ten percenter is all that stands between you and some clean sheets.

STYLE: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 10%

LOOK: Panther black. Oily and pours like syrup, sleek to match the packaging. Soft, ginger head that doesn’t hold.

NOSE: Raisins, softer than expected. I can’t even say coffee because while I do get a hint I think it’s conditioning. “This is a classy Imperial Stout so there must be a coffee nose.” But no.

MOUTH: So very … Belgian? I’m somewhat unsurprised to learn that this New Zealand offering was crafted by a European. Bacon-wrapped dates, roasted coffee beans, malt chappiness (I thought I just invented that word, but Urban Dictionary not only says “no” but also “you’re an idiot, it means nearly the opposite – something disliked – of what you want it to mean – pleasant lipsmackingness). I don’t think the sweetness is chocolate. Rather something purple and fruity. It’s a nice departure from the usual humdrummery.

Beeradvocate Rating: 89

ratebeer Rating: 100

Hayward Abbey Rating: 89

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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 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 StonedTrippin
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

the pour is thick thick thick, super dark brown, syrupy, with a minimal mocha colored head that fades fast. coffee and dark chocolate dominate the nose. there isnt much acidity though, and the dark chocolate brings out a very dark malt profile. its like burnt toast with a cup of cold coffee, only in a good way. the taste is less coffee and more chocolate, but still a good helping of each. the alcohol notes really come out here, especially when it warms up, as does a sweetness akin to a milk stout, although this isnt one. that sugar lasts through the finish. theres a pretty heavy body on this, tons of viscosity, but there is decent carbonation too. overall maybe its a little heavy in feel, even for a russian imperial. either way, an excellent brew worthy of the high praise its starting to get here in the usa.

edit: this ages with the best of them, just had a bottle that has been hanging out for three or so years, and man does this mellow. the alcohol fades and the dark malts remain, no oxidation at all, rich but bone dry, really sensational stuff!

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Photo of bennetj17
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. Syrupy looking dark pour, very little head, with just a ring of tan foam lasting throughout. Not completely black as there is some light getting through about the edges. The nose is quite delectable with rich notes of roasted chocolate, and a firm and inviting booziness. Just what I expect for a true Russian Imperial, well done.

The taste is quite subtle to begin with, displaying a dry roastiness that creeps in and builds toward the finish. I'm suprised how mellow this actually is. Not overly complex, but with some burnt chocolate notes and a fine bitterness at the back, there is enough here to savor. The alcohol is slightly warming but otherwise kept well in check. The mouthfeel is decently thick, with an appropriate level of carbonation for style.

Overall this is a fine Imperial Stout to enjoy. Unfortunately it lacked a bit of intensity for what it could be, and that probably hurts the aging potential as it is already fairly relaxed. I'm glad to try it but considering the $10 price tag and this isn't even a 750ml I won't likely buy this again.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a sexy black with dark brown head. Nose is quite roasty with a big nougat aroma that I liked a lot - reminds me of Three Musketeers candy bar. Nice medium body, rich dark chocolate and roasty flavors meld with some hop bitterness to make for a very bold but drinkable imperial stout. The abv is exceptionally concealed for this one. Only negative is the price tag.

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Photo of outdoor7or24
3.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got my 32oz growler filled today at 5 points growlers in Athens, GA, $21

A: poured into sniffer, pours dirty motor oil black, it shines to me in the light, light brown foam head that quickly fades out and just stays around the perimeter to the finish, some lacing, love the look on this brew.

S: the aroma is dark baker's chocolate, coffee, anise, vanilla, molasses, and some boozy aroma at the end.

T: yes, rich and dark, the taste is similar to the aroma, dark baker's chocolate that is bitter (duh, of course), anise, molasses, coffee, and some bitterness towards the end that leaves your mouth watering along with the booze hit (abv 10%)

M: smooth up front, surprisingly medium body as I would have thought this would be more on the thick side, carbonation, kinda oily and coats the tongue

O: This is one RIS you should try, good version that is a little more on the bitter side than others I have had.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into tulip 14/9/12

A even right out of the bottle its pretty black, just a thin cola edge when held to the light, noisy thumbs width of head quickly falls too a thin film leaving only a speck or two of lace

S nice rich dark roasts with bakers chocolate and espresso taking center stage, some citric hops are still in there with some earthy notes and faint smoke

T more hops then I expected with well concealed booze but there's just a little detected, some dried fruit as it warms and the roast is rich and dark

M smooth as silk then the bubbles come out and cream this up, thick and a little oily with a slickness left behind, my lips are sticking together and the aftertaste lingers strong for long, just a little heat hits the chest but its a good feel

O loving the hops mingling with rich dark malts, 4.25 would be nice for this one as both smell and taste were would've deserved it so slightly higher here.

I could drink another bottle no problem and I just might, rich and thick with what I like in a stout, must have been a hop when bottled and another beer I don't know if I'd want too age or not

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Photo of heygeebee
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

No BB. From Platinum.

Might be the last cold night for a while so here goes...

Pours syrupy black. The one finger tan head dies very quickly indeed.

Moderate aromas of aniseed and licorice. Malts do not smell too roasted(!). Some coffee.

Sledgehammer taste. Roast bitterness roars in with more coffee on plate than on nose. Palate length only moderate. Dry finish. A bit one dimensional in terms of the roast bitterness being detached from rest of palate.

Carbonation very low, medium weight body rather than heavy.

Hmm - not the best RIS I have ever had. Screams for time in cellar, suspect I need to buy a couple... an excellent beer just waiting to get out

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Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great stout. thick mouthfeel, bittersweet chocolate, complex hopping,well roasted, some smoke in finish. Opaque black. Its the taste, a little anise,bitter more than sweet.Somewhat Danish style.Very good drinkability.A bomber is not enough, go find some.

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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 biboergosum
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle. Not bad for a hotel room in Grande Prairie, AB - brought from Edmonton, natch.

This beer pours a solid black, with very slight basal cola highlights, with one skinny finger of glistening, somewhat foamy tan head, which sinks away rather quickly, leaving some random specks of lace around the glass.

It smells of lightly toasted caramel malt, strong dark, yet still sweet chocolate, earthy black licorice, a bit of leafy hops, and some simmering alcohol esters. The taste is gritty medium chocolate, dark roasted coffee beans, a bit of dried cherry, semi-sweet licorice, some mildly astringent earthy hops, and a fairly involved sharp booziness.

The carbonation is quite soft, and kind of lucid, the body a sturdy, bulging medium weight, and tacitly smooth, that swirling alcohol trying to poke holes in the whole affair. It finishes pretty sweet, with the chocolate and licorice notes still loud and proud, though well enough offset by the identity-challenged hops, and edginess of the straining likka.

Yes, this offering gives up a lot of heat, but it seems to be absorbed at damned near every point, letting attention more or less fall on the decent savoury chocolate, coffee, and anise essences. A strong, bristling, big-flavoured stout, recommended if that's your thing.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle from Hop City (Atlanta, GA). 10.49. No discernable bottling date. Served in a Terrapin snifter. 

Pours black with a dense three quarters finger tan head. Not much in the way of lacing. 

Smells earthy, roasty, sweet, coffee and cocoa. 

Taste is bitter dark coffee, cocoa, roast, char, cherry skins and leather. The whole time there's a hefty booze wallop. 

Moderate bodied with light carbonation. Slightly slick/ creamy. Long bitter coffee-like aftertaste. 

It's good but nothing special. I think it would get much better after 18-24 months but I'll be passing- there are far better options that cost less. Pretty good and worth a try, if not the price. 

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Photo of liamt07
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml shared by Jason, into a tulip.

Black with a light brown head. Light retention with little to no lace. Nose is big, got most of it coming straight out of the bottle. Syrupy, molasses, chocolate and subtle coffee notes. Quite sweet on the whole. Taste takes a different angle, with a lot more roast, dark chocolate and coffee - much less sweet and syrupy. Drying finish, with some hops in there. Medium body, smooth texture and easily consumable. Avoid being the overly sweet, cloying beer I had anticipated which was good.

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iStout from 8 Wired Brewing Co.
4.02 out of 5 based on 288 ratings.
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