Hopwired | 8 Wired Brewing Co.

123 Reviews
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Brewed by:
8 Wired Brewing Co.
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
We're pretty sure HopWired is the first bottled new world India Pale Ale made with NZ grown pale ale malt and 100% unique NZ hops. We bet you'll find nothing else like it on the shelves.

Although there's plenty of malty sweetness, this beer is all about the hops. But unlike an American IPA, which will mainly challenge you with grapefruity and pine-like flavours and aromas, the kiwi hops used in HopWired produce something more like a tropical punchbowl: Passion fruit, limes, oranges and Sauvignon Blanc grapes to name but a few. A local Marlborough winemaker even said it smelled like gooseberries... Gooseberries? When did you last actually smell a gooseberry??

Decide for yourself, or just enjoy it without further complication. Cheers!

70 IBU

Added by ADZA on 11-26-2010

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Reviews: 123 | Ratings: 352
Photo of Tone
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, dark maize. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of citrus hops, floral hops, hint of wet hop, hint of tea, slight sweet malt, and a hint of roasted malt. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial IPA. Mouth feel is slightly smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of citrus hops, floral hops, hint of tea, hint of wet hop, hint of alcohol, and slight sweet malt. Overall, the dark maize was a nice unusual aspect. The tea/wet hop aroma and taste were also an interesting break from the ususal American Double.

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Photo of eric5bellies
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark hazy honey colour, with a off white head that hangs a round.

S - Definitely some tripical aromas present, with some pineapple and melon present.

T - Some interesting flavours up front of dry roasted nuts, then comes the hops in abundance. Some nice malts present as well. Nice spicey grassiness also present. Nice bitterness on the finish.

M - Medium to full body with medium carbonation.

O - I'm a big fan of this one, and a great example of the style. A match for most U.S. DIPAS

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark and murky ferric oxide coloring obstructs any light allowance from coming through. A late developing head, chalky white and creamy, lies low but exhibits a good length of retention. A light effervesce rises with vast separation moving at a moderate pace.

S: The nose is quite interesting, filled with a dry tropical fruitiness of guava, pineapple, and a bit of kiwi. Some lime pulp blends well with a dash of pepper spice and a dry flowery fade. Really enjoyed the usage of local hops (New Zealand) and the different aromatic take, though was well on par with american ipa strength.

T: The flavor was dried lime with a influence of toasty specialy grains bringing a nice start that would soon be followed by a respectable amount of hoppiness. Spicy flowery hops mingle with the dry toasted grain palate with a bit of peppery spice. For hops we have a dried fruitiness (pineapple, guava) along with some pine and grassiness. Really love the fact that this has a great toasty malt support that adds body and depth to the abundance of hops. Great balance overall and strong level of hoppiness makes this parching and satisfying.

M: Strong tingle of carbonation is sharp and pronounced, Full bodied, creamy with a spicy flowery and peppery touch of the fade and swallow.

D: Good drinkability, on par with the hoppiest of American offerings but with a different style of hops which makes this different and refreshing , nicely suited for the spring time. Had high hopes for this just by the name and bottle label and alone, and it certainly didn't disappoint. I could go case here. Worthy recommend and repeat.

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Photo of crossovert
3.16/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A new arrival to WI. 500ml bottle.

It pours a murky brownish amber, not really a looker. The head is soapy and off-white with lots of hop bits. Normally I like these unfiltered dipas in appearance because they look organic, but this one just kind of looks murky.

The smell is pure caramel, are there even any hops in this thing?

The taste has caramel up the ass as well. This one tastes rather piney, ironic because the label says it shouldn't. There is no passion fruit here, just pine, some lime zest, and grassiness, but mostly caramel. The bitterness is medium but it is still a caramel-dominated brew.

If you like east-coast dipas give this one a try, i found the caramel to be overpowering.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.47/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber orange with a short pure white head.

Nose is cactus green and a grassy carmel. Almost a fresh sweet green pepper character.

Mouthfeel is lightly creamy and medium bodied with light/elegant carbonation. Feels nice and its inviting.

Flavors are grassy, herbal and a bit medicinal pine bitter with a lightly sweet front palate. Finish is pine bitter but is long and gets a "heavy, droopy bitter" character in the end game.

Very drinkable and certainly not your typical English or American double IPA. (More towards the English than the American style).

There is no "freshness" in the bitter quality which is the biggest downfall for my tastes.

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Photo of burnheartsMKE
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer made me happy.

Poured a burnt orange with a nice frothy head; looks beautiful, sweating in the glass.

Served a bit too cold so the initial nose was faint, but as it warmed a nice bread & wine characteristic took over. Fruity, but not shockingly huge.

The New Zealand hops gave this a great "sauv blanc" fruitiness; passionfruit, blood orange & lime (ahem, yes it says so on the label) but I reiterate because it holds so true. The dry and clean kiwi hops leave plenty of room for the pale malts to shine through, making this an ideally balanced IPA.

The mouthfeel rounded out the balance with a plump and nicely carbonated fullness. It was heavy enough to stand-up on it's own, but light enough to me to just tip it back quite easily.

Overall, a refreshing double IPA that, unlike it's American counterparts, isn't trying to hop-bomb my palate, but rather, satiate my need for the weed and leave me thirsty for more.

Well done.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bronzey-amber colour with fairly opaque haze. Head is yellow-tinged beige and retains beautifully, leaving some very pleasant trails of lace. Sunk to a thin crown but all sticky and dense. Looks pretty good.

Smells a bit funny but pleasant. Very intense floral hoppiness with lots of passionfruit and pineapple. Odd saltiness at the back with a touch of pie crust. Yeah, that minerally salt character is distinctly odd, but it's otherwise nice.

Taste is a decent IPA affair. Slightly citric flavour on the front that dissipates into a malty mid with notes of burnt toffee and caramel. Hops come through on the back, but again very minerally with a salty, almost sweaty edge, blending with citrus and capsicum flavours and a mild but noticeable piney bitterness. Quite mellow finish in spite of its IPA leanings, and clean enough. Can't escape the oddness though.

Fair body but well structued. A bit dry on the back, but not puckering. Pretty good texture to it.

Yeah, I'm always in the mood for an IPA, but the overall flavour of this I find a bit unsettling. Almost want it sweeter, or at least more fruity. I applaud the unique take but it just doesn't entirely work for me.

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Photo of tigernipples
3.05/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

16.9 OZ bottle. Batch 12. Best by Sept.24th 2011 Sticker on bottom.

Poured a hazy hazy honey colored shade. This looks crazy, something is floating around in it. It sure isn'yt the prettiest IPA you'll see. You would think it would smell of the typical grapefruits ect. but you pick up kiwis, grapes, mangos and maybe some banana? I'm not smelling any malts whats so ever. A really odd smelling IPA. smeems to be some wine like characters to this.
Lets give it a try...well I don't know. where is the hops? they are here but very muted. Im getting all tropical notes. I wonder if my bottle is not fresh despite the sticker. maybe this IPA is intended to have a slight hop kick to it and more fruits popping?
Hopwired is very smooth, almost creamy somehow.
Overall, this isn't bad just different. Its an interesting take on IPAs. after the shock of the first few sips, its drinking pretty good right. This bottle came a long way so maybe its not the freshest or maybe it is intended to be this way. At any rate, i have to judge what is in front of me and I'm enjoying it kinda just not sure i'd grab it again. I'm glad i tryed it but i prefer more of a hop kick and its just not there.
think of yourself lost in the woods and you call out for your friend(the hops) and your friend finaly calls back but is way back far away in the distance but he IS there just slight. this is what the hops are like.

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Photo of rand
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle to Duvel Tulip glass

A: Pours a completely opaque, almost murky, mahogany. Really interesting appearance, I'm not sure if I've ever seen another beer that looks like this. A small head forms, maybe 1/2 an inch, that quickly recedes and leaves little lacing.

S: The nose is quite hop-forward, with pine and tropical notes prominent. Uniquely tropical, papaya perhaps, with notes of banana. The bouquet is honey sweet as alcohol is barely noticeable.

T: The beer carries big fruity flavors up front, a mix of tropical fruit and berries. Mango, papaya, banana and raspberries. A slight earthy, almost tea-like bitterness is noted. It's a strange spectrum of flavors, but they work, nothing is off-putting.

The brew's malt-backbone balances nicely as the honey, slightly biscuity flavors are almost flush with the punchy hops. Alcohol is a bit more noticeable than in the nose, but only slightly so. Finishes sweet.

M: Oily, medium-bodied complexion. There's a bit more carbonation than noted in the appearance, which nicely washes the sweet residue.

D/N: I'm really impressed with this beer. It's big and bold and has all of the pop you would look for in a West Coast style IPA, but completely unique to its region. The beer is nicely balanced and seemed to go down easier as it warmed. I'll be looking for more of these.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.09/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into my De Struise glass.... The body is an ugly cloudy medium brown, not what I want my ipa to look like. A decent tope head leaves about a two finger cap, thick lacing. Tough call here on score, great head, terrible body. Sounds like this chick I once knew... At first whiff I really dig the aroma, but as I get deeper I'm quite scared off. Mostly caramel and lots of malt, then there is this weird body odor note that almost makes me gag, light tropical fruits on the back; pineapple. Very weak grass hops on the finish, maybe its too old? Not good... The taste is also very malty, tons of caramel and mixed with pineapple, sounds like it would be good, its not. The hops are stale grass on the back, chemically, a little bitter.

This is tough one for me, not very good at all. I'd like to blame the freshness but this just got into WLV so it can't be this old. At this point I'd have say pass on this unless you know its fresh or on tap.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.64/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Fortunately, I've tried this twice now. Once, at the hands of the generous Todd from Beermen.tv, and this second time as a gift from @epiclurk, shared with @tobeerornottobe and @LaitueGonflable. Fortunately, this is a fresh batch, seemingly much fresher than the examples reviewed in previous reviews.

Pours a pleasant enough slightly hazed orange golden colour, with a fine and reasonably respectable head of white speckled bubbling. Lacing is soft but subtle, leaving a scattergun of specks down the inside of the glass. Looks suitable for the style.

Smell is phenomenal, and almost proves singlehandedly that there should be a style called "New Zealand IPA". Fresh and sharp New Zealand hop varieties, giving big spicy, biting and zingy characters of passionfruit, cut grass and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Capsicum characters and delicious fresh crushed citrus. it so fits the IPA genre, but gives it a life all of its own. It's just gorgeous.

Taste is really deliciously and devilishly balanced. There's a robust hop presence throughout, but it never gets beyond the level of balance, even though the sharp and aromatic NZ hop varieties give a very green and pungent character to the bitterness. Indeed, it spreads throughout the palate very delicately, leaving an imprint of bitterness on the back that just blends perfectly with the malt to leave a slightly nutty finish.

Feel is crisp and light. Maybe lacking a little body, but matching nicely with the sharp nature of the hops.

Wow. What a phenomenal IPA. The fact that the beer I compare it to in my mind is Ballast Point's Sculpin gives you an indication of its quality. But this beer doesn't merely sit in the shadow of one of the greats, it strikes out in a bold new direction, defining something uniquely its own. Just fantastic.

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Photo of Reaper16
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle -- no bottling date -- served into a tulip glass

Pours a murky, septic-looking dirty dishwater brown color. It looks in turns like an Arnold Palmer and the contents of my toilet after I've taken a pee/poop combo. Unpleasant is the word that comes to mind. Also: poopy-pants color. That exact phrase came to mind. When held to direct light, it doesn't appear to have any floating yeast particles, which I initially thought were to blame for this ugly color. Alas, this beer's New Zealand-grown barley must be to blame. Close to a finger of thin, off-white head dissipates with a quickness.

There are lots of interesting flavors at play here. It's a shame that this bottle is old. It tastes past its prime (thanks Shelton Brothers, for importing this beer, but try to get it to the U.S. quicker next time). It is more than a little malty. The typical crystal malt overload of an IIPA is present, though this New Zealand-grown malt has an interesting greenness to it, like brussel sprouts. The hops, while dying off, are still strong enough to give you some unique flavor combinations: grapefruit, of course, but also an intense grassyness, lime, persimmon, gooseberry. It's the gooseberry & grass that is perhaps most typically New Zealand in profile. If you are familiar with New Zealand Sauvingon Blanc varietal wine, specifically from Marlborough (where 8 Wired Brewing is also located), then you will recognize these flavors. The same terroir that so flavors grapes grown in Marlborough also lend similar flavors to the region's hops. I'm big into New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc because it tastes like hops, so the taste reinforcement here does wonders for my palate. If only the beer were fresh. At this point, I'd do an awful lot for a fresh bottle of this. I'm scoring this a 4.0 anyway, because I can tell that Hopwired will melt faces if fresher.

I mention the smell after the taste because 1.) I forgot to write it earlier, and 2.) the aroma is showing the effects of age more dramatically than the taste is. Caramelly malt aromas dominate. It's green, again, like a bit of alfalfa. I get some of the gooseberry/boysenberry thing going on, a considered grassy note, and some dim orange. This bottle smells like it has the potential to be great when fresh.

This is a medium-bodied IIPA; not on the thin side, not on the thick side, but rather decidedly medium-bodied. I prefer the thinner IIPAs but I can live with this. The carbonation feels nice and smooth here. You can tell it's there, but it isn't prickly at all. It works well with the tropical, somewhat vinous flavor profile.

I was extremely excited to try this beer. Unfortunately, it's old. If I ever get a fresher bottle I will be glad to revisit and update this review. Assuming that every bottle on shelves in the U.S. right now is as old as the one I'm drinking, I can say that this is a unique IIPA with potential, but is little more than "solid." Do buy if you're a big IPA fan and/or you enjoy New Zealand white wines.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at West Lakeview Liquors. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip. No freshness info, but I'm guessing this is from the late November 2010 bottling.

A - Pours with a finger of eggshell foam that settles to a thick cap, leaving a few fingers of lace. Murky brownish colored body that is kind of homely.

S - The hops have definitely faded a bit, and this is now fairly malt-forward. There's some residual tropical fruit and slightly grassy hop aroma over top of a hefy toffee backbone. Even though this is only 7.3% it has the balance and heft of a DIPA.

T - Tate is again heavy on caramel, toffee and faint burnt sugars, as well as tropical fruits. There's a touch of stale hop flavor/aroma going on, but thankfully very little. Finishes with a caramel apple note and light bitteness. Actually reminds me a little of a hoppy strong ale like Arrogant Bastard.

M - Carbonation is zesty but not overly harsh. Texture is quite chewy and sticky. Body is medium-full, and implies a beer bigger than 7.3%. There isn't any obvious alcohol either.

D - It's hard to be objective considering the freshness. I wish Shelton would be a little more expedient in importing this type of beer to the US. Still, for a 3-month old DIPA it's pretty decent. However, until they start bottle-dating this one I'd recommend staying away.

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Photo of avalon07
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a murky, brownish color and a thick texture. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A big, fruity smell, punctuated by a good deal of hops and malt.

T: Tasted of hops, grapefruit, passionfruit, some other tropical fruits, malt, a possibly a bit of caramel. There's a lot going on here. Much fruitier than a lot of DIPAs. Very tasty and easy to drink.

M: A nice amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: An interesting and drinkable take on DIPA style.

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Photo of baggio
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

[email protected]

A: Murky brownish with a big, creamy, head and lots of lacing.

S: Tropical fruit (lots!), Hint of pine, Caramel, Peach.

T: Peach, Caramel, Passionfruit, Grass and a hint of pine.

M: A little bit thin on the body but very nice balance with a dryish end. Plenty of carbonation!

Best beer i've had from .nz hands down! Lovely ipa!

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Photo of Gavage
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a cloudy and hazy orange color with a 1/2" head. Spotty lace develops.

Smell: citrus, floral hops, and a fruity sweetness is pleasant.

Taste: caramel, light grapefruit, mango, pears, and honey. Bitterness is slighty sharp and alcohol is well hidden. There is a bit of a bready quality here too.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp throughout with some mild dryness arriving late.

Drinkability: easy to quaff this beer. Mildly refreshing .

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Photo of PeteyPabs
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is reminiscent of good apple cider - dark and a bit hazy. Thin head, though it holds up.

A burst of tropical fruit dominates: pineapple and orange. Bright and sweet.

The tropical fruit trend continues. The sweetness is disarming - like nothing I've come across prior. Sharp hop bitterness shows up on the back end and doesn't linger.

Light body and medium carbonation. Extremely drinkable, as you'll probably be on a desperate search to figure out what exactly you're tasting.

Stumbled across this beer and decided to try it based on its promise of being a more exotic alternative to the standard American IPA. Also has a nice label, which is very important if you're a sucker of that sort of thing. It lived up to the promise.

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Photo of dgilks
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber colour with a moderate off-white head. Fair head rentention.

Sweet, fruity hop aroma. Notes of gooseberry and kiwi.

Sweet malt plays with lots of juicy, thick fruit notes from the hops. Firm bitterness. Lingering gooseberry note.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A solid IPA with lots of NZ hops. There is a little more malt than I would like but it works and the flavours are good.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy dark amber with a small head.
Nose shows super juicy hops with massive amounts of passionfruit leaping out along with a load of sweet malt contributing a faint toasty character.
Very similar flavours but teh passionfruit isn't quite so full-on, nor is the malt quite so noticeable. Instead there's a nice sharp bitterness. Very refreshing.
Carbonation is a little high really.

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Photo of spicelab
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany brown. Dense, two-finger head. Good lacing and retention.

Amazingly refined aroma. Freshly cut herbs and wet grass, sav blanc hops, passionfruit, pineapple and melons. Deeper down, the malt eventually gets a say.

The Sav Blanc hops really bite hard in the mid palate; all of the fruity notes in the nose are also there but have to work a bit harder to push aside the earthy, vegetative backbone.

Chewy, full, slightly drying mouthfeel.

Dangerously drinkable. The distinctiveness and spunk of this brew makes tracking down more an absolute necessity.

New Zealand, you're killing us! Not only are you absolutely schooling our craft industry you're giving our winemakers fits. If this is representative of a future direction in IPAs I'm very excited to be a particiapnt.

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Photo of juju7
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this is killing! Didn't know much about this but what a nice surprise. A nose that distances itself from others of it's ilk, bursting with mango pulp, passionfruit and yes, some sauvignon blanc. A beer that shows some terroir! Fresh, vibrant yet solid bitterness and a long tasty finish. Distinctively lacking the piney hop resin of American IPAs but you don't miss it at all. A brilliant beer that could show a lot of people how it's really done.

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Photo of brendan13
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy amber colour with 2cm of dense white head that falls quite fast.
S - Yes, has New Zealand hops written all over it; tropical, passionfruit, white grape, zesty citrus. Slightly herbal: Quite amazing.
T - Intense hop character; very fruity. Light biscuity, minimal caramel malt to balance the abundance of hoppiness.
M - Lighter side of medium bodied. Bitterness is up there. Moderate carbonation.
D - AN excellent example of an American IPA using all NZ ingrediants. I'll be buying this again

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Photo of ADZA
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First of all im just discovering this brewery and i must admit this NZ brewery does look quite good from previous samplings and this one especially,the brew pours a murky light amber/orange hue with decent carbonation that leaves a thick creamy two finger head and heaps of lacing everywhere,the smell is very unique and very hoppy and typical of NZ hops with hints of passionfruit,kiwi fruit,white grapes and gooseberries the aromas of this brew are almost like a fine white wine crossed with an IPA,the taste is just the same very tasty with flavours of goosberries,white grapes,loganberries,light sticky toffee and finishes with a bittersweet passionfruit bitterness that is almost more sweeter than bitter,overall this is probably my most favourite NZ brew going around at the moment and i must say im quite impressed and i just hope this brewery gets bigger and produces more fantastic brews like this one cheers keep it going guys.

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Hopwired from 8 Wired Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 352 ratings.
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