8 Wired – iStout

“Number 8 wire is often used inventively and practically for applications other than for fencing. It is also used as a term that epitomises the “Kiwi bloke” as someone who can turn their hand to anything.” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_8_wire

The Basics

An imperial stout, this one comes from 8 Wired in Blenheim, NZ. Blenheim is a town I am familiar with only due to playing rugby tournaments when I was a young lad. I also remember an incredibly long straight road on the way.  However, recently I have learned there is 8 Wired, Renaissance , Moa, and Pink Elephant, all in the neighbourhood. That’s enough for us to have already planned a visit next time we are in NZ.

The beer is 10% abv and comes in a 500ml.  I got it from Slowbeer in Hawthorn.

How does it look?

Imperial stouts are typically imposing in appearance and this is no different. Black label, simple white font. It pours like a shadow. The tiniest of heads soon disappears and what’s left is black.

How does it smell/taste?

Initially it smells like you are about to use it to make beef gravy, then it opens to a smooth dark chocolate coffee smell. It smells like an alcoholic, rich, coffee, chocolate fudge. I’ve never eaten an alcoholic, rich, coffee, chocolate fudge, but it has to exist, and if not; we need to make one.

It’s a smooth beer to drink. Thick, creamy, velvety; and tastes initially bitter, before the dark chocolate/coffee taste spreads it’s wings and takes over. There is a hint of alcohol in the background, but just enough to remind you to slow down, as this is indeed a very big beer. The flavour profile is magic. It tastes like it smells, but better.

When should I drink it?

This ain’t no “after work Friday drinks with your co-workers” kind of beer. This is a “just eaten a roast dinner, it’s cold outside and we need to keep this roasty warmth going” kind of beer. It’s a beer that needs to be shared. The bottle suggests you make a iStout ‘float’  (glass, vanilla icercream, beer) with it. It’s the kind of thing that would impress the shit out of your dinner guests and is criminally simple. 8 Wired has done all the hard work with the flavours, now all you need to do is pour it over some icecream and bask in the compliments.


My verdict can be summed up by this short conversation I overheard recently.

Someone asked a brewer, named Soren Erikson, what his involvement was with 8 Wired. His response:

I am 8 Wired

I rate it; 4.5 Wire fences

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