Me and a mate managed to succesfully add quite a few brews to my “Beers” list on the weekend and true to form, we found some quite bizarre drops to sample.

Blueberry hefeweizens (I was sceptical, but it wasn’t too bad), elderberry black ales (Great black ale, not sure about the berry), red rice ales (Pale-ale-ish, with a distinctive aftertaste), and even an Apple-Raspberry cider (which to be honest was more of a Pink Moscato. Hardly surprising seeing a winery makes the cider!)

However, whilst you do see quite a few beers involving berries around the traps, it’s not often you come across something like the 8 Wired Brewery’s “The Big Smoke”.

This curious concoction is, quite simply, a smoked porter.

Obviously, a porter isn’t that unique a style of beer. The smoked part? Well that’s something else. I’ve only had one previously – the Mad Brewer’s Scribby Gum Lager – and hadn’t seen any since, so it was quite a find.

According to the bottle and the website ( virtually all beers were smoked 250 years ago. It even challenged me to Google this assertion and check.

I did.

Wikipedia tells me it’s true. And who am I to doubt their infinite knowledge?!?

Anyway, the lads from 8 Wired used their own Bamberg rauchmalz (smoked malt)- with Bamberg a German city famous for it’s smoked beverages – and I’ve got to say it works.

You’ve got your chocolate and coffee notes coming from the porter, and it’s just got just the right amount of smokiness. Not overpowering, but it reminds you that it’s there.

Not entirely sure you could drink too much of it before the smokiness became a bit much, but I do think it’d a good cross-over beer for scotch fans, what with the peaty and smoky notes to it.


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