Brewery: 8 Wired Brewing Co. http://8wired.co.nz/
Beer: "The Big Smoke"
Style: Porter (smoked)
Origin: Blenheim, New Zealand
Alc. Vol: 6.2%
Bottle Vol: 500mL
Standard Drinks: 2.5
Approx price a bottle (AUD) : $ 12.00
The Big Smoke is Black as Black, so much so that taking photos in the bottle and in the glass, resulted in mirror like reflections. It has a solid foamy head, sandy in color with plenty of lacing.
A smoky aroma hits you straight away with a rich caramel and plum hint.
This beer is dominated by its smoky ashy hit but underneath there are significant notes of roasted coffee and chocolate. A sticky molasses sweetness is evident throughout ending in a touch of bitterness.
Lightly carbonated, solid, smooth and lightly oily.
It's a porter Jim but not as we know it! This smoked porter from No 8. appears a strange creation at first blush, but believe me its a clever twist to an old favorite. The brew contains a dose of rauchmalz or beechwood smoked malt for us mere mortals. The name really does match the brew here, sitting on my deck i could almost be relaxing after returning from the cotton mill. Each bottle packs a respectable 2.5 standard drinks and one can be forgiven for forgetting that as it drinks so smoothly. Overall a complex beer with a huge amount of personality.
Matches and occasion:
It would be a brave one who drank more than a few bottles of this porter, clearly not a session beer but one to be savored; it is certainly not a cheap option for mass consumption. The bottle claims that The Big Smoke will pair with seafood but if it's alright No. 8 I am going to give that one a miss, I like to taste my fish. I wouldn't rule out drinking this beer with a good winter stew; what it cries out for however is a rich dessert at the end of the meal or a strong blue cheese, both paired well.