Just like you, but different
Tonight then – a 8 Wired The Big Smoke Smoked Porter. Brewed at Renaissance Brewing, in the style of a ” Smoked*”, and they do this in Blenheim, New Zealand.
“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.”
Previously I’ve tried the Yeastie Boys Rex Attitude, although that was before I had a pdubyah-o-meter, Suffice to say that it was a beer that really really really challenged me. Really. I like that about the Yeastie boys though they’re doing their own thing, and that’s ok by me. And the McCashin Stoke Bomber Smoky Ale of course.
Bu this is about 8 Wired though, they’ve settled on a packaging that’s similar over their range, it’s the new thing in branding. This is then a 500ml bottle of a 6.2% ABV beer.
Dark Porter colour, mocha head of a decent sized, and the immediate aroma of wood shavings like you get in woodwork shops, and then that settles to a smoked aroma.
To the taste. And I smiled. This.
The Smoked flavour really adds to this on the palate, there’s no battle going on for attention it just is what it is, beer in the smokey style. I think this is a nicely balanced beer, it’s drinking ok and leaving a decent lacing in the glass. Still smiling. That the smoke dominates this isn’t a bad thing, there’s no added sweetness from malts and no background bitterness from hops.
8 Wired have done a good thing well. The pdubyah-o-meter swings to a 8.5 arbitrary things making this a decent beer decently enjoyed. I’m getting harsher and more demanding of beers that light my fire so 8.5 is a bit good. I’d go another of these, but that would be because I’m enjoying it as a beer and a drink, you don’t have to contemplate at every mouthful what it is you’re enjoying. A beer for drinking and not for challenging you. It works.
*Smoked : the classic smoked beers hail from Bamberg in Franconia, Germany. These are made using malt that has been smoked over beechwood. The insistent smokiness may be applied to any lager style. In North America, the same technique has been used to make smoked porter. Whiskey malt beers are made using peat-smoked malt.