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The Big Smoke | 8 Wired Brewing Co.

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The Big SmokeThe Big Smoke
BA SCORE
3.84/5
Very Good
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:
#13,323
Reviews:
67
Ratings:
150
pDev:
12.24%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
12
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 150 |  Reviews: 67
Photo of JasonLovesBeer
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Blackish-brown, definitely reminded me of tobacco. Didn't get a lot of head - one finger that only lasted a minute or two and reduced to lacing.

S: Sweet mix of chocolate and charred fruits, some smoke, maybe a little black licorice as well. Sharp woodiness / earthiness too.

T: Smoke is front and center but not over the top. The chocolate and fruits have pretty much disappeared for me, but there is a creamy caramel malt texture towards the finish. Smoke is a mix of cigar, cigarette, and charred wood.

M: Thick for 6.2%, creamy. Despite the small head, the carbonation feels right. I think there are some hops doing a bit of work here.

O: I am not a big smoked ale fan (despite my love of heavily peated scotch) but this one was nice despite being significantly smoked. I'd have preferred the chocolate and maybe some coffee notes stepping up to match the smoke.

 877 characters

Photo of Brenden
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Big Smoke is a strong, appropriately thick very dark brown color that stops short of black but lets just a little in at the fringes. A big, soft but strong, creamy tan head ceases to rise at almost two finger in height and keeps itself up for a good while. It never falls to much less than one finger, and it drops some patching with a little bit of legging here and there.
This beer smells deliciously like smoke, almost a little tangy with a smoked meats essence. There's a slight touch of wood, but it's not quite as deep as the flavor. Still, it smells fantastic, and all the smokiness I want is here.
It tastes deliciously like meaty smoke as well. Smoke permeates the tongue without ever getting too harsh, completely part of the malts. Charred woods are all over the tongue too, with absolutely no astringency or harshness at all. There's just a touch of bittersweet cocoa at the periphery and some coffee grounds, part of the nature of the roast, but it's all kinds of smoky and fantastically tasty.
It's got the right depth and heft for a porter, offering a well sustained strength on the fuller side of a medium body. There's just a little carbonation, enough to keep things going, while a nice smoothness rolls along.

 1,232 characters

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 BMart
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Brianhophead
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - The Big Smoke is deep black, sinful looking in its darkness. Head is packed, tan colored, and lasting.

S - There's definitely a smokey, peaty note to the nose. But there's a definite maltiness to the nose as well. Maltiness starts off with the chocolate mousse aroma you'd expect from a good proter. Moves into a caramel center, supporting the smoky elements. The finish is sweet and lush.

T - First sip starts off dry, but moves into a lush, rounded quality. Malts come through less chocolate than the nose would lead you to expect. Flavors give you a little more roasted malts, and not so much of the smokiness as you might expect from the nose. Finish is dry, and roasted malts give a little bit of bitterness to balance the beer's rounded center.

O - as things go, this is a pretty solid porter. It's flavorful, lush, and not tooo heavy with its roasted qualities. The only thing I find disappointing is that it's not as smoky as it could be given its name.

 968 characters

Photo of Apathetiq
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of JohnnyRay
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I'd heard a bit about this & looked forward to trying it - it didn't disappoint. On pouring, it nearly foamed out of the glass with over three fingers of light brown head, which eventually settled to about half a finger which stayed all day. There was moderate lacing. The colour was almost black with a touch of red at the bottom of the glass. There was light carbonation.
It smelled nice but not strong of smoked malts.
The taste was strong and intense of smoky, dark, roasted malt - very tasty

 497 characters

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of peensteen
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of danieelol
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

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 IanSpindler
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of CrazyDavros
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours black with a fading head.
Heavy smoke on the aroma, with nice smoked ham and campfire notes. Also caramel, soft roast and sweet bready malt.
Lots of smoke as a flavour too. More roasted malt presence though, along with a little sweet malt underneath. Also some soft piny and earthy hops which seems unnecessary.
Could use more carbonation.

 345 characters

Photo of rudzud
3.49/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Recently stumbled across my notes from The Festival 2012. Lets do this!

A - Poured a wonderful dark brown nearly black hue with a good two finger mocha head that faded to leave a thick blanket and light side lacing. Very, very nice.

S - Aromas of tons of smoke, think I heard someone say Beechwood. Burnt malts. For me, this is just too acrid/burnt/smoky.

T - Taste is the nose personified. Tons of smoke and chocolate char, creamy milky chocolate malt and faint vanilla. For my personal taste it is too smoky, but I understand where they were going.

M - Mouthfeel is very nice, light carbonation makes a very silky/creamy beer.

O - Overall, this beer sure delivered what it promised, a very smokey potent brew. Very glad I got to try this one.

 749 characters

Photo of FreshmanPour77
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Luweezy
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of woodchip
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Photo of graybayou
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of LinusBohman
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of lisagirl
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of SDG1070
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of bostonryan
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A 500ml bottle with a BB of March 2012, so it's well out of date. However, the label suggests that it can be aged for a year or two so I'm hoping it has stood the test of time. Acquired ages ago from a webshop. I like the label design.

Poured into a Duvel tulip (thrice). A seriously dark brown hue that appears pitch black in the glass. Holding it to the light reveals plentiful carbonation. It produces a truly vast head of creamy beige foam with amazing stability; this lasts for ages before reducing to a thick surface layer (so much so that three pours were required). An aroma of rich, fruity malt and smoke: notes of prunes, dried fruit, roasted malt, smoke, phenolics, molasses, chocolate, mild coffee, faint TCP and earthy yeast. Intensely deep - total sensory immersion.

Tastes of rich roasted malt with a smoky character and a dry finish. Notes of dried fruit, roasted malt, smoke, mild burnt grain, molasses, phenolics, wood, coffee, a hint of chocolate and earthy yeast. Complex and dry, followed by a malty bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and mildly spicy, with good carbonation. The body is decent but a tad less substantial than might be expected. Rather astringent, with an aftertaste of smoky roasted malt and dried fruit.

Boom! What a beer - like bonfire night personified in liquid. The aroma and flavour have fantastic depth and complexity; a beautiful and well-rounded mélange. Perhaps this has something to do with the age of the bottle - maybe time has allowed the flavour to mellow out and smooth the harshness that a younger brew would have possessed. At any rate, this is lovely and well worth sampling if you have the good fortune to stumble across it.

 1,708 characters

Photo of ZinFanDave
4/5  rDev +4.2%

The Big Smoke from 8 Wired Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 150 ratings
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