Review #95 – 8 Wired iStout 96/100
It’s quite rare for me to come across a beer that breaks my the 90 mark on my rating scale and even rarer to find one that breaks 95 but this imperial Russian stout from 8 Wired has done it without even casting the slightest shadow of doubt in my mind. This is one of those very pleasant discoveries in the world of beer where you don’t know what to expect but are quickly blown away. There are plenty of critically acclaimed beers like Westvleteren which are fantastic beers but near impossible to get your hands on, the iStout is up there with the best of them and you can pick it up with relative ease and I highly recommend you do so if you happen to stumble upon it.
Out of the bottle and into the glass this beer looks like it could have been pumped out of a Texan oil field, this luxuriously viscous liquid pours like molten treacle and coats the glass with an oily brown film producing a smooth tan coloured head.
This is a beer so packed full of malt you almost feel satisfied just letting the aromas drift up your nose. The nosing experience with this beer started as soon as I removed the cap, with rich wisps of dark roast coffee reaching me from arms reach. Once my nose came to the glass I was enveloped in pungent aromas of decadently rich coffee cake, raw cacao burnt toast and a sweetness reminiscent of molasses.
On the palate I quickly realised the gravity of the beer I was sipping on (pun intended), this really is a massive beer, there is no getting away from the alcohol presence, it’s definitely there and in a not so subtle way, but that is what these beers are all about – big, punchy, decadent and ultimately satisfying. I’d describe this beer as the ultimate dessert beer, it has an unbelievably rich malt backbone which coupled with the high ABV carries those coffee and chocolate flavours very well. The sweetness of the beer is finished by a long, dry bitter finish reminiscent of burnt sugar and strong dark chocolate.
What a fantastic take on the Russian imperial stout, 8 Wired have added their own flare to this style and it has worked out wonderfully. I wish I got to try more of their beers, thankfully I’m seeing more and more of them cropping up in my area.