Category Archives: New Zealand

8 Wired Grand Cru 2011

Brewery: 8 Wired Brewing Co.
Country: New Zealand
ABV: 11%
Style: Belgian Quadrupel
Other Notes: 2011 vintage. Pinot Noir barrel aged Strong Ale. Brewed with sultanas and funk

Brewer Description: (from bottle) This beer has been made with a little more love, care and attention than most other beers. After brewing this Belgian-inspired ale with a large dose of sultanas, we aged it in Pinot Noir barrels for more than a year. The barrel aging has added some funky sourness to an already very fruity beer, thanks to native micro flora left behind in the wood. If I should describe this beer with one word, it would be “vinous”. In fact, this may be the most wine-like beer I’ve ever tasted. So, maybe calling it “Grand Cru” – a classic wine descriptor – isn’t as preposterous as some wine snobs might claim it to be?

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.81
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.7

Intro: A 375ml bottle, 2011 vintage, and poured into a Chimay goblet.
Appearance: A cloudy dark rusty red brown colour with a just over one finger tanned head that dissipates slowly to a thin replenishing layer while leaving nice curtain lacing.
Aroma: Red wine, grape and raisin with hints of vinegar and tart cherry.
Taste: Tart and sour cherry, vinegar, lots of dark fruit, grape, plum and raisins, vinous red wine with hints of chocolate and a light black coffee bitterness on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: This was pretty good and definitely complex. However, lately I’ve tried quite a few wine barrel aged beers, and I’m thinking that perhaps it’s not my thing in that I don’t feel wine barrels add anything better to the base beer. It’s solid, but perhaps not “Grand Cru”.

Garage Project Touch Wood

Brewery: Garage Project
Country: New Zealand
ABV: 9%
Style: Belgian Tripel
Other Notes: Elderflower & honey Tripel

Brewer Description: (from inner paper wrap) According to folklore, the Elder (Sambucus nigra) is a tree imbued with a deep magic. It was said to ward off evil and even that couples who drank an ale infused with the Elderflower would marry within the year. In Denmark a female wood spirit called Hylde-Moer was said to inhabit the tree – woe betide anyone who took from the elder without its permission. The origins of the term ‘touch wood’ come from this desire to placate these woodland spirits. Here, malted barley and wheat infused with Elderflower sugar syrup, fresh Elferflowers and honey create a beer alive with the verdant joy of Spring. You need a bit of good luck to pull off a beer like this – so ‘touch wood’ (and be very careful who you drink it with)!

My rating: 2
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.26
My ratebeer.com rating: 3

Intro: A 650ml paper wrapped, stickered and string tied bottle. Bottle 1131/8500. Only when you unwrap the bottle do you see a best before date, which was 15th December 2016. It is very annoying when BB or bottled on dates are hidden like this, and I am perfectly fine with reviewing this beer even though its past BB date, because of this. Poured into a Chimay goblet glass.
Appearance: A lightly hazy golden orange colour with a half finger white head that dissipates fairly quickly while leaving some lacing.
Aroma: Honey, pear, flowers (which I will assume is elderflower since I do not know what that smells like), apple skin and light pepper.
Taste: Lightly sweet, honey, light caramel, pear, apple skin and flowery with some alcohol on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: This was ok, but not close to being among my favourite Tripels. I prefer fruity over flowery, and all good Tripels can hide their alcohol well, which was not the case here.

8 Wired Wild Feijoa Sour Ale 2013

Brewery: 8 Wired Brewing Co.
Country: New Zealand
ABV: 9.5%
Style: American Wild Ale
Other Notes: 2013 vintage. Aged in wine barrels. Refermented in bottle, please decant carefully of the sediment

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Ale brewed with feijoas & aged in wine barrels.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.77
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.6

Intro: First thing first… so what is a feijoa? After reading wiki, I’m still not really sure how to answer this correctly, other than that it is a fruit which is supposed to taste like pineapple, apple and mint. Anyway, this was a 500ml bottle with no clear bottled on or best by date other than that it was a 2013 version. Poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass.
Appearance: A hazy copper dark orange colour with pretty much no head and no lacing. Sounded like I was pouring a bottle of soda into the glass with all the fizzing sounds.
Aroma: Sour, fruity, grape, white wine, apple and wood.
Taste: It’s what you’d expect from the aroma. Sour, white grape, vinegar, wood, apple juice and hints of citrus.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with low carbonation (which was unexpected considering the soda like pour I heard).
Overall: At 9.5% ABV, the alcohol is well hidden. I still don’t really know what feijoa really is, but this sour ale is quite nice. The wine barrel aging also really comes through and adds nice woodiness, wine and grape flavours to the beer (unless it actually comes from the feijoa’s… lol…).

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8 Wired Le Fût

Brewery: 8 Wired Brewing Co.
Country: New Zealand
ABV: 6.7%
Style: Belgian Flanders Red Ale
Other Notes: 2013 vintage. Aged in Wine Barrels

Brewer Description: (from bottle) A complex sour red ale brewed in the Flemish tradition and aged in French oak barrels for two years. Blended from 15 unique barrels to create the perfect combination of acidity and sweetness, funk and fruitiness.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.04
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.9

Intro: A 500ml bottle, 2013 vintage. Poured into a Cantillon ballon glass.
Appearance: A clear copper red colour with a one finger light tanned head that dissipated quickly, but leaves some nice lacing.
Aroma: Cherry, vinous red and white wine, oak and wet wood with a touch of balsamic.
Taste: Lightly sour, tart, cherry, raisins, oaky wood, vinous red wine, soft funk and a red wine vinegar plus pepper punch at the end.
Mouthfeel: Dry, medium to light bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: I thought that there was less fruit and a more oaky vinous character than traditional Flanders Red Ales, but in this case, that was to be expected since it was aged in wine barrels. Enjoyable, I like it!

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Garage Project Day of the Dead

Brewery: Garage Project
Country: New Zealand
ABV: 6.7%
Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer
Other Notes: Brewed with smoked chipotle chili, raw cocoa nibs, vanilla and agave.

Brewer Description: (from can) Lager, but not as we know it. Garage Project’s Day of the Dead – a strong black lager inspired by the Aztec beverage xocolatl. “A bitter, frothy, spicy drink” combining cocoa and chili. Brewed with chipotle chili, refermented with organic blue agave syrup and conditioned over raw cocoa nibs with vanilla – rich and dark, Day of the Dead is smooth and drinkable with a complex mix of smoke, chocolate and restrained chili heat. A true celebration of the dark side.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.32
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.2

Intro: A 330ml can with a best before date of 24th September 2016 and poured into a Mikkeller pint glass.
Appearance: It poured a dark dark brown colour with a just over one finger tanned head that dissipated fairly quickly but settles to an extremely thin layer and left only sparse lacing.
Aroma: Chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, corn and a touch of chili.
Taste: Chocolate, roasted malts, cocoa, a touch of vanilla and light chili heat.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and moderate carbonation with light tingly spice.
Overall: Day of the Dead was sold as a pack with La Calavera Catrina which was also a spicy beer. However, while I did not enjoy La Calavera Catrina much, Day of the Dead was much better. The spice in Day of the Dead was there, but more restrained such that it did not take over the beer. Not great, but not bad either.

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