8 Wired – Mighty Imperial Ale: This is New Zealand strong ale is smoked and aged in oak and is brewed at a mighty strength of 11% alcohol level. I poured it into a snifter glass in anticipation and enjoyed it at home.
Aroma and Appearance: Pours a dark hazy ruby bronze colour with a touch of foam and a few tiny bubbles climb up the sides of the glass. The aroma is very complex with some smoke, sweet fruit, biscuit malt, toffee, molasses, raisins and cherries.
Flavour: Immediately you get just a bit of smoke, layered onto dark fruit, booze and earthy oak. As it warms, caramels and toffees show up and it finishes with slightly dry and bitter smokiness. The smoke is very subtle, but noticeable yet doesn’t over power.
Overall Impression: During the first few sips it is easy to dismiss this as a boozy imperial red ale, but if you let it sit and warm it develops into a much more balanced and highly enjoyable Imperial Strong Ale. At 11% it packs a serious punch, but the trick is to let it sit for a good 15 min or more out of the fridge before drinking, or even let it sit in your glass while holding it.
Rating: I give it a 8/10 as in excellent, this is my favourite offering from 8 Wired that is available here and it is very complex and a good experience beer.
Food Pairing: It would pair up nicely with rich blue cheese.
For more info on 8 Wired Brewing, please check out their website
Lots of great craft beer coming from New Zealand these days, I have made a point to look for more when I go to the local liquor stores, I say keep them coming! Here are all of my 8 Wired reviews.