The Big Smoke | 8 Wired Brewing Co.

The Big SmokeThe Big Smoke
BA SCORE
72%
Liked This Beer
3.84 w/ 150 ratings
The Big SmokeThe Big Smoke
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
8 Wired Brewing Co.
New Zealand (Aotearoa)
8wired.co.nz

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Now what is this? A smoked beer?? It really isn't as crazy as it sounds. 250 years ago virtually all beers were smoked (it's true, Google it!), but with the dawning of the industrial revolution most of the smoke lifted. However, in the German town of Bamberg the flame has quite literally been kept alive and to this day the town’s brewers produce world renowned beers brewed with their own special rauchmalz (beechwood smoked malt).

We’ve taken our best porter recipe and added a good measure of that same Bamberg Rauchmalz. The smoke mingles beautifully with the rich, dark roasted chocolate flavours of the porter without being overpowering. Although it pairs extremely well with smoked seafood, barbeques, strong cheeses and hearty stews, its food friendliness isn’t limited to savouries; chocolate and caramel based deserts are great companions too! Trust us; it really isn't as crazy as it sounds.

40 IBU

Added by ADZA on 11-26-2010

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#12,568
Reviews:
67
Ratings:
150
Liked:
108
Avg:
3.84/5
pDev:
12.24%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
12
Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 150 |  Reviews: 67
Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasty very drinkable smoked porter. Good and substantive hopping. Worth paying up for. I drink the bomber inside of half an hour. Nice colour and wine like hoppy smoked aroma. I was concerned about the chocolate muddling up the character of this smoked porter, rather it smoothed it out and improved drinkability.

 313 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of GRG1313
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a beautiful glass of beer. Pours black and viscous with a firm and thick khaki head.

Nose is medium dark chocolate and plumed coffee with undertones of sweet chocolate.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but with a nice creamy character and carbonation.

Flavors are all big smokey coffee, dark chocolate and big roasted grains with a sweet front palate and an espresso bitter kick.

Finish is all semi-sweet/bitter black chocolate with a hint of black licorice and burnt espresso. The finish goes on forever.

 515 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of metter98
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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

 1,048 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. Classy, upscale presentation - check. Dear import micro price - oh yes. And now for the rest of the story.

This beer pours a very, very dark chestnut brown colour, almost opaque, but for some broad reddish cola highlights when exposed to the June evening sunlight, with one fat finger of thinly foamy beige head, which leaves a few instances of arched lace around the glass as it quickly recedes.

It smells of roasted caramel malt - meaty to the bone, at first, as a smoked campfire essence bleeds with all things carnal, only to soon cede a bit of territory to a more easy-going cola sweetness - and some earthy and leafy bitterness. The taste is a pretty big sidestep from the aroma - right up front I get big semi-sweet chocolate malt, with a supporting stolid breadiness, the lingering ashes of a still relevant visceral smokiness, some oily nuttiness, a subtly sour milky note, and adequately bitter earthy and weedy hops.

The carbonation is quite soft, and unexpectedly caressing, the body a stocky medium weight, and mostly smooth - weirdly, in this particular case, fouled solely by the hops - yeah. It finishes sweetly malty, of the nutty chocolate bent, with a tame waft of the lead-off smoke now transferred to an oh so more suitable supporting role, as the hops persist in assuming the final balancing onus.

A smoked beer with the best tendencies, IMHO - freak me out with the aroma, do a context shift with the malt for the taste, and rest on your laurels thereafter - not a bad thing, here. Overall, a nice, multi-varied, if not overly complex, smoked beer. Recommended, if you've the cash to burn.

 1,630 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

S - It smelled very smoky, like a campfire.

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

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

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

 509 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

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

 613 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great new smoked porter from a New Zealand brewery that I have not seen before.Poured into an imperial nonic a deep dark chocolate brown with a one finger lighter mocha colored head that held well.The smoke is very faint in the aromas,I picked up mainly chocolate malt and some earthy tones.The palate is well rounded with the smoke coming more into play,it goes well with a nice shot of chocolate and dark roast.Not in your face smoke but a nice well rounded porter roast with decent complexity.

 498 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Gkruszewski
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

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

 1,190 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of mdfb79
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%

From 09/07/14 notes at The Jeffrey in NYC.

Triednext to a sample of Barrier's Undertow Rauchbier and found it less smokey and with less sweet chocolate. More chalk. Decent but not my favorite.

 194 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Big thanks to YaKnowBrady for this bottle!

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

 803 characters

Photo of BMart
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of JAHMUR
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of imbibehour
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Deep and super creamy large billowing light tan head. Thick filling cream of a fistfull, getting a little out of control, settling to thick lacing, minimal retention and meringue like lacing. Body color is thick walnut brown nearly black and very opaque.

Nice hints of subtle smoke aroma on the nose. More hints of subtle sweetness and a bit of mild roast character. Hints slightly acrid but very small. Mild hints of carbon dioxide qualites as well. Just relatively ok.

Palate improves nicely. Good solid and nearly rich and creamy palate but not quite. Mild senses of milk chocolate washed away by a bit of tonic water like carbonation. Smoke and a bit ash in the mid palate, but not with much meaty flavor. Aftertaste brings some classic solid porter roast, a bit of leafy and green hop bitterness that is a bit towards pine, which compliments this smoke angle nicely, giving and almost smoked pine tree finish. Hints a little bit of bakers chocolate as well getting darker and less milky, and certainly more bitter.

It's labelled smoke, but it's very understated letting some of the other flavors bounce and play off of it a bit, and getting more forward. It seems the smoke character actually took a back seat, but it still made for an interesting take on the final product letting the other qualities shine through. Unique take on a smoked porter. Decent.

 1,427 characters

Photo of a77cj7
4/5  rDev +4.2%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
The Big Smoke from 8 Wired Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 72% out of 100 with 150 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.