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Leapbeer Review #345 iStout by 8 Wired Brewing

My love of all things 8 wired has been well documented. Their Saison Sauvin is still one of the best beers I’ve had all year. I was very eager to try this, the iStout, their version of an imperial stout. This is a beefy 10 percent stout, boasting 70 IBUs of bitterness.

I first had a chance to sample this down in Victoria with a few members of the BrewVic crew. This time, however, I really got to sit down with it and get to know it. This is a jet black beer with a chestnut brown head on top. When you swirl it in the glass there’s a real thick alcohol leg showing on the side of the glass. The aroma explodes with big Russian Imperial Stout notes. I’m picking up lots of dark fruits, plums and figs, along with roasted malts, anise, licorice, bitter coffee and molasses. Despite it’s high test this beer really feels quite delicate in the mouth. All the Russian Imperial Stout flavours are present, bitter coffee, anise and licorice. And then the latent alcohol burn kicks in at the end of the tasting. Another home run by the 8 wired crew.

Leapbeer #345 is iStout Russian Imperial Stout

iStout Imperial Stout by 8 Wired Brewing Company

iStout Russian Imperial Stout by 8 Wired Brewing Company

Brewery: 8 Wired Brewing Company of Marlborough New Zealand
Size/ABV/IBU: 500ml Bottle/10.0% ABV/70 IBUs
Availability: Unknown
Purchased:
Cascadia Liquor Quadra St Victoria
Website: http://8wired.co.nz/our-brews/istout-imperial-stout
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

A big thank you to Julie & Arlo of the BrewVic crew for sharing this with me. And thank you for reading.

Leapbeer Reviews – A Pair of Smoked Beers

Perhaps you’re asking yourself, what is a smoked beer? If you recall from my review of the Rogue Brewing Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon Ale I noted there was smokiness in the brew. But there’s actually a whole style of beers that are referred to as Smoked Beers or Rauchbiers.  When they dry the malted barley they do it over an open flame, imparting a distinct aroma of smoke and an almost peaty flavour. I chose to bring 2 different beers featuring smoked malts, to show 2 sides of this beer style.

First up is Dark Snout Bacon Oatmeal Stout. This is a Bourbon barrel aged oatmeal stout infused with bacon. It pours to jet black. The head starts off tan, but dissipates quickly. It really smells like smoke, with hints of bacon and bourbon infused sweetness. Not overpoweringly sweet though, just a touch. It tastes good, there’s all the stout character to it with malts and bitter. There is a lot of lingering smoke and bacon flavour at the tale end of the tasting. The Oatmeal stout is a  lot milder of a canvas for the bacon and smoke. This beer is definitely milder than I was expecting. Smoked beers to me are seeming like an acquired taste. While better than the voodoo doughnut, it isn’t as good as I hoped.

Leapbeer #258 Dark Snout Bacon Oatmeal Stout by R & B Brewing Company

Brewery: R & B Brewing Company of Vancouver BC
Released: Unknown
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/5.4% ABV
Availability: Limited
Purchased @: Cascadia Liquor Store, Victoria
Webpage:
http://www.r-and-b.com/?p=280
Other Reviews: Beeradvocate & Rate Beer

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Leapbeer Reviews – An Evening of Saisons

Recently I shared a trio of Saisons that I’d been eagerly awaiting with my sister. The three for that evenings tasting were, Saison Diego by Green Flash, Wasteland Elderflower Saison by Elysian and Saison Sauvin by 8 Wired Brewing. It was the beginning of the fall, and with the last harvests coming in it felt fitting to honor the ale of the farmhand.

First up was Saison Diego from Green Flash Brewing Company in California. I was really curious to see how the added spices (see quote below) added and played together in this Saison. The bottle has right on it, ale brewed with Spice. There is no ABV listed on the bottle, but I can find it out thru Untappd. This is a loudy golden coloured beer. It smells a bit sweet, but it also smells like a golden ale yeast. It sounds like a cop out, but this beer has a very beer smell. It’s definitely Saison-esque, although it is lighter than I expected. I would say that it is more reminiscent of an original style of Saison, where it was made to quaff the thirst of the farmhands. It is a very refreshing beer. You get flavours of spice, a bit peppery, but others as well. I really like it. Not much of a head on it, slightly carbonation. Rim of light bubbles. A very easy finishing, easy drinking Saison. Here’s the notes from their website (link below).

Unfiltered golden farmhouse ale, brewed with Seville orange peels, Chinese ginger and grains of paradise. Light, bright, spicy aromas, lively carbonation and earthy flavors co-mingle with musty notes that add funky complexity.

Leapbeer #253 is Saison Diego by Green Flash Brewing

Brewery: Green Flash Brewing of San Diego California
Released: Unknown
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/4.3% ABV
Availability: Limited
Purchased @: Top Shelf Liquor Store
Webpage:
http://www.greenflashbrew.com/our-beers.php
Other Reviews:
http://ithinkaboutbeer.com/2012/06/14/green-flash-saison-diego/

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Leapbeer Review #225 Hop Wired IPA by 8 Wired Brewing

I’m always eager to try new beers from different countries. While this wasn’t my first beer from New Zealand I’d say it is my first NZ Craft Beer. I’d already been exposed to a couple of kiwi hops strains with the Lighthouse Tasman & Hopoxinator, but this is a true blue kiwi brew. This beer came very higly recommended from the staff at Cascadia Liquor Store in Victoria.

It pours to a clear amber colour with a frothy white head. There are a lot of large  bubbles. It smells super floral, lots of passion fruit scented hops. I’m initially surprised about how bitter this beer is despite having such a large amount of fruitiness to it. I definitely get similar flavours of hops like Dean used in the hopoxinator, passion fruit and sweetness. I guessed this as a 60+ IBU(listed as 70 on the site) but delicious. As you sip it the pineyness resonates in your mouth. There is a prolonged bitterness that sticks with you. A very good IPA, although it is a bit pricey. $10/500ml bottle. 7.3% ABV. “Tropical punchbowl” agreed.

Leapbeer #225 is Hop Wired IPA by 8 Wired Brewing

Brewery: 8 Wired Brewing Company of New Zealand
Website: http://8wired.co.nz/our-brews/hopwired-ipa
Released: Unknown
Size/ABV: 500ml/7.3% ABV
Availability: Limited for Canadians
Purchased @: Cascadia Liquor, Quadra St Victoria BC
Site Notes:

We’re pretty sure HopWired is the first bottled new world India Pale Ale made with NZ grown pale ale malt and 100% unique NZ hops. We bet you’ll find nothing else like it on the shelves. Although there’s plenty of malty sweetness, this beer is all about the hops. But unlike an American IPA, which will mainly challenge you with grapefruity and pine-like flavours and aromas, the kiwi hops used in HopWired produce something more like a tropical punchbowl: Passion fruit, limes, oranges and Sauvignon Blanc grapes to name but a few. A local Marlborough winemaker even said it smelled like gooseberries… Gooseberries? When did you last actually smell a gooseberry??Decide for yourself, or just enjoy it without further complication. Cheers!

 

I’ve got a couple of other 8 Wired Brewing beers to review coming up. As good as this one is I’m really looking forward to the next ones.

Thanks for Reading.

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