8 Wired Tall Poppy Indian Red Ale
Firstly, I have to mention that before indulging in the Tall Poppy, I had the Hopwired IPA, another of 8 Wired’s beers. I was made to guess where in the world the beer came from, and straight away guessed the US. How wrong I was… it was actually surprising to find that this beer only arrived after a short trip over the Tasman Sea from New Zealand. Now, 8 Wired and Montheiths are the only New Zealand brewers I’ve tried the beer from which brings me to my next point: 8 Wired really do produce the best New Zealand beers that I’ve tried. Actually, I’ve tried Steinlager too, but that doesn’t change anything about my second point.
On to the beer: the Tall Poppy India Red Ale does a good job of placing the image of a rich dark red hue in your mind. And so it should, because it pours an excellent coppery amber almost as dark as the bottle itself.
Whether or not they intended a blend of an IPA and amber style ale, they certainly created one. The expected hoppy bitterness from an IPA is what first hits you, but it’s more of a gentle touch rather than a smack. It’s not too overpowering or in your face. As the flavour develops, the more dark ale-y malt shines through and takes over. There’s a real full bodied warmth sourced from the above average 7% alcohol, which really emphasises this malt, allowing it to linger.
The smell is quite interesting too, as it also has adopted characteristics of the two beer styles. There is a prominent caramel nose accompanied by what I can only describe as fresh florally fruits. Think honeydew or rockmelon, and that pretty much knocks it on the head. As the end of the glass loomed closer, and the beer opened up to the warmth of the room, there was almost a doughy smell, which took nothing away from the flavour, but was something I just haven’t noticed before in a beer.
So would I get it again? YES. Simple as that really. After having two of the 8 Wired beers, I can safely say that I am keen to try their whole selection of beers. I can also confidently say that these guys really produce a beer that competes with top of the range US boutique breweries, and for that I give my congratulations.