This is my first in a series of beer reviews from my recent trip to New Zealand. New Zealand is on the forefront of craft beer production; they have an exceptional range in a myriad of different styles from the humble pilsner to bold porters. The purity of New Zealand alpine water and the sheer greatness of the countryside, has influenced the quality and style of their craft. New Zealanders (“Nu Zulunders bro”) have taken this inspiration from the land and crafter beer that is bold and not afraid to push the boundaries (you certainly won’t find your VB or Carlton, that’s for sure).
The Stoke Bomber Smoky Ale is a typical example of New Zealand craft at its best. The Bomber pours with a deep brown tone and a moderate, quickly evaporating head. This amber brew exhibits huge malt undertones, which combine perfectly with the beechwood smoke after taste. The smokiness of this brew is quite noticeable but not over-powering. The smoke is very woody and reminded me of a wood-fired barbecue – with charred logs and white smoke.
I found that this ale had a lot of earthiness similar to baked coriander (if you’ve ever had it on a pizza). The brewers describe this as “dried flowers”, which is apt. Whilst definitely a malt driven ale, hints of hops find themselves emerging toward the end – and this helps offset the roastiness and smoke characteristics from the malts.
I drank this beer, with great pleasure I must say, at Aoraki / Mount Cook. I highly recommend to anyone to visit this majestic place and enjoy with a couple Bombers and a plate of smoked salmon (another NZ speciality).