Second in line in my New Zealand reviews comes The Big Smoke – without question, the best beer I had in NZ.
The Big Smoke pours as a dark ruby brown, beautifully opaque in colour with a fine, steady head. Taking a good ol’ whiff leads to aromas of roasted malt, candied walnut and smoky embers.
The Big Smoke is a rich robust porter that exhibits strong malt and coffee characters on the palate. The smoke is well balanced and has a long lingering malt elements.
Essence of chocolate and liquorice dance hand-in-hand across the tongue until pushed over by the hops that remain constrained in the background. The smoke remains, ever present, to finally pick the malt characters up in the finale.
Like most good porters, this bold brew will go well around a camp fire, with a nice juicy steak on the barbie.
Beechwood smoked hops add to the smokiness of this great beer.