July 30, 2013 by 250 Beers
I probably don’t write about individual beers often enough. Maybe nothing has slapped me in the face hard enough (good or bad) of late to make me want to write about it.
There is one beer that made an impression on me recently and that’s an imperial stout from New Zealand’s South Island.
That beer is Bumaye from 8 Wired Brewing Co.
It’s pronounced Boomah-Yay (I think?) and not Bum-Eye like the bloke in a Brisbane bottle shop suggested. It boasts a whopping alcohol content of 16%. Just for the record, this is the strongest beer (in terms of alcohol) that I’ve ever consumed. It eclipsed the Bridge Road/Nogne Ø collaboration, Aurora Borealis, by just 1.1%.
The guy in the bottle shop also suggested that this was definitely a beer for sharing. Wrong again. “It’s all mine!” I guffawed to myself as I left the shop.
The name Bumaye comes from the world-famous Rumble In The Jungle boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman which was held in Zaire on the 30th October¹ 1974 (almost exactly two years before the birth of a certain beer blogger). Locals chanted “Ali, Bumaye!”. This translates to “Ali, kill him!”
Without a shadow of a doubt, the hostility of the crowd that day is reflected in the true grit of this beer. It’s a big, bold knock-your-socks-off type of beer that needs to be taken slowly.
With every sip came a deep, liquorice warmth full of alcohol. There was lots going on including hints of chocolate, raisins, brown sugar, molasses and vanilla too.
It’s a real winter warmer which I really enjoyed. It would have been perfect if I’d had a log fire burning in front of me with snow falling heavily outside. That was never going to happen in Queensland so I had to improvise. I sat outside one chilly evening (it was maybe 11 degrees?) in front of the glowing barbecue instead.
For me, the real knock-out punches came as each sip slid down my throat. The 16 months that this brew spent aging in Pinot Noir barrels from a local winery gave it a sense of sweetness that provided a fantastic finish.
As well as this beer being the highest in alcohol to have been processed by my liver, I think it can lay claim to being the most expensive per millilitre too. I’ve bought (and subsequently cellared) a few ‘special’ beers in the past but they were nearly all 500ml or above. I paid the handsome fee of $23 for this 330ml of Bumaye which equates to more than a dollar per sip. The good thing was none of those sips killed me!
I’d be very interested to see if Bumaye ages well. I might have to grab another and put it away in the ‘cellar’ for a
snowy rainy day.