Friday, 21 September 2012

8 Wired Brewing Co. Fresh HopWired

Good evening all. Apologies for the lack of posting recently, I don't even have a reason to justify my blogging absence so I'll just get straight into the review. Tonight's beer is Fresh HopWired, an IPA from 8 Wired Brewing Co. (Blenheim, New Zealand). This is a reinterpretation of their flagship beer HopWired, and is a blend of two beers brewed with freshly harvested, or "wet" hops (namely Motueka and Nelson Sauvin) to preserve the incredibly fragile aromas and flavours that can be lost when hops are dried for general usage. Already sounds very promising, so let's see what it's like after the pic....

Fresh HopWired (7.3% ABV) pours a hazy dark amber colour with a thick white head that yields plenty of lacing in the early stages of the beer. Slightly darker than a standard IPA but still looks great regardless! The aroma is more subdued than I was expecting, but still manages to pack an impressive amount of fresh hop character including resinous pine, cloudberry, caramel, mango and grapefruit. There are also some background hints of oranges, acetone, cinnamon and even estery pear drops, which all combine to give a fortified wine aroma that becomes more predominant over the course of drinking. Towards the end of the beer it becomes easier to deconstruct these aromas, with the spice increasing in prevalence especially during the final stages. The taste continues the theme of subtlety, with pear drops, cloudberry, pine, grapefruit and some background caramel sweetness towards the end of drinking, accompanied by some light notes of acetone and mango. None of the flavours have any dominance, and the caramel and grapefruit are the only ones that linger on in the finish. The hop bitterness is also quite mild and occurs mainly during drinking along the sides of the mouth, diminished somewhat by the carbonation. The aftertaste contains some grapefruit and a bit of dryness which can cloy towards the end of the drink, and the mouthfeel is thick with relatively high levels of carbonation. Overall, this is a fantastic beer that represents a noticeable improvement on an already stellar offering. The wet hops deliver a surprising range of flavours executed with admirable balance, creating a satisfying drinking experience that will please all fans of the IPA style. Definitely recommended, I don't know if this is going to be a permanent offering but I certainly hope so!

Until next time....

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