Sep 27, 2023

Vital Statistics  

Brewery: 8 Wired Brewing Co.

Beer: “The  Big Smoke”

Style: Porter  (smoked)

Origin: Blenheim, New Zealand

Alc. Vol: 6.2%

Bottle Vol: 500mL

Standard Drinks: 2.5

Approx price a bottle (AUD) : $ 12.00


Tasting notes


The Big Smoke is Black as Black, so much so that taking photos in the bottle and in the glass, resulted in mirror like reflections. It has a solid foamy head,  sandy in color with plenty of lacing.


A smoky aroma hits you straight away  with a  rich caramel and plum hint.


This beer is dominated by its smoky ashy hit but underneath there are  significant notes of roasted  coffee and chocolate. A sticky molasses sweetness is evident throughout ending in  a touch of bitterness.


Lightly carbonated, solid, smooth and lightly oily.


It’s a porter Jim but not as we know it! This smoked porter from No 8. appears a strange creation at first blush, but believe me its a clever twist to an old favorite. The brew contains a dose of  rauchmalz  or beechwood smoked malt for us mere mortals.  The name really does match the brew here, sitting on my deck i could almost be relaxing after returning from the cotton mill.  Each bottle packs a respectable 2.5 standard drinks and one can be forgiven for forgetting that as it drinks so smoothly.  Overall a complex beer with a huge amount of personality.

Matches and occasion: 

It would be a brave one who drank more than a few bottles of this porter, clearly not a session beer but one to be savored; it is certainly not a cheap option for mass consumption. The bottle claims that The Big Smoke will pair with seafood  but if it’s alright No. 8 I am going to give that one a miss, I like to taste my fish. I wouldn’t rule out drinking this beer with a good winter stew; what it cries out for however  is a rich dessert at the end of the meal or a strong blue cheese, both paired well.