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Beer – #929 – 8 Wired – Lord of the Atlas

8 Wired – Lord of the Atlas. Sunday Barley Wine and Vinyl, what could possibly go wrong? Barley Wine too, perhaps the nirvana of beers, they tend to take ages and lot of care to make, as I understand it and they’re not a common find. This one is Oak Aged. Arn’t all beers Oak Aged these days? Seems a dreadful oversight if they’re not.

A true globetrotter

This is a 500ml bottle of a beer that is 12% ABV, which makes is 4.7 standard drinks in NZ (6 in the UK), this is about 360 calories a serve size.

Brewed by 8 Wired Brewing in the style that is of a Barley Wine and they do that just north of Auckland in Warkworth, New Zealand

Lord of the beer

American style barley wine.

Brewed with New Zealand malt, Australian hops, English yeast and aged on French oak.

A true globetrotter, a mighty Lord of the Atlas.

So, What could possibly go wrong?

What indeed? Well ‘American’ Barley Wine, which led me to ‘there are two primary styles of barley wine: the American which tends to be more hoppy and bitter with colours ranging from amber to light brown and the English style which tends to be less bitter and may have little hop flavour’  You never stop learning.

A strange aroma on opening, if I said strawberries you’d think Was a bit mad, but I can’t shake that initial take. I persevered and I get toffee. Whatever it is it is very nice.

Pour is quite middy, and the head is more coffee coloured than anything, aroma in the glass is toffee, sweetness.

Taste is bitter at first then you get a warm soft wash over of sugariness that feels sticky in the mouth to a short finish with a long long bitter lingering mouthfeel. I frowned.

I might give that another go. That aroma, it’s turned to a dank green grass hoppy thing.

As it warms the boozy alcohol tang begins to show up, but it settles down overall to be quite full of itself. I thought it was little off kilter at first, the bitterness was too sharp, obviously it needs just to breathe a little.

The bitterness is still there and the after taste lingering is still there, with that alcohol burn added. Still the frown.

This isn’t beer like Abby Quads for example that have big pillow of that sugariness in them, these are similar and yet different at the same time. Barley wine then isn’t a beer with a lot of body, which when you look back at the Barley Wine you’ve drunk is a consistent story, they have lot of flavour and nose and noise about them but fullnesss of taste in the middle isn’t one of the things, which might be pointed that I’ve been drinking it with the wrong expectation all this time. Who knew!  Then again it’s about 50/50 on the body and sweetness thing, and then I’m confused again between the Abby beers and the Barley Wine.

I ended up having a really nice beer in the sense  that kept me intrigued and guessing about it, and I enjoyed the way it unfolded and things changed, from that initial hoppy bitter to the alcohol bit that also faded to the growing sweetness about this. But I don’t think it’s finished or polished, it seem a bit hurried or rushed, and at the end it’s a beer that led with bitter, and ended the same, in the middle there was meandering but this didn’t fly right from the get go.

Ah and that oaking? Of course that could be the source of the bitterness, I don’t think it is though, but it’s hard to know what it achieved if it wasn’t. I don’t know enough to know since there is only the one version so you can’t side by side for instance to get a sense of what the brewer wants to achieve.

The frown however didn’t turn upside down

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 7 of its things from the thing. It isn’t finished, to me, and is still a bit here and there, it’s hard to see how any more sweetness might show thought as this isn’t heavy in that department to start with, it’s just a bit too bitter for too long for me to make it wonderful but I did find that I’d drunk it all and was still looking for all those flavour points.

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? The local Liquorland had  them, I’ve seen them around in good places.
  • Am I enjoying it? I am, when I got to drips with it.
  • Would I have another? I’m going to keep searching them out.
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? No, I don’t think it’s polished enough, it’s not rich anywhere, and leads with bitter, which isn’t a good thing really.

Music for this:  Working Week”  and their album ” Working Nights”

from 1985 –  Working Week was a British jazz-dance musical ensemble, active in the 1980s and 1990s.


A Barley Wine is a strong, top-fermenting ale, with an alcohol contents of at least 9% and up to 13% (or more) by volume. Hops may be hardly noticeable at all or very noticeable. Sip them out of the special glass, that will concentrate the aroma. They are excellent with cigars or with dessert.


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