Imperial Stout Barrel Reserve - Moa Brewing Company
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Ratings: 39 | Reviews: 9 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev +7.2%
32oz growler, a fortuitous find at Wine and Beyond Sherwood Park during a roundabout tour of the suburbs today. How is this any different from the Pinot Noir barrel aged stuff, if it is also 'barrel reserved'?
This beer pours a solid black abyss, that is until you take a peek at its nether regions, and discover some prominent basal cola highlights, all supporting a few solid fingers of densely foamy, underdeveloped creamy, bubbly beige head, which leaves a decent example of caveman painting lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.
It smells of chalky medium toasted cocoa, bready caramel malt, faint red wine barrel residue, bitter dry roast coffee beans, a slight oily nuttiness, and tame earthy, leafy hops. The taste is gritty toasted caramel malt, semi-sweet cafe-au-lait, bittersweet baker's chocolate, rather ethereal cherry and wooden cask esters from the purported barrel treatment, a bit of blandly spiced alcohol, and subsumed earthy, weedy hops.
The bubbles are pretty understated, yet adequate for the purpose at hand, the body medium-heavy in weight, undeniably smooth, and creamy to a lesser, more pedestrian extent. It finishes on the sweet side of things, the chocolate gaining a degree of corner store milkiness, the coffee ducking its head in cover, while the hops brave the furor to cuddle with the leaks and spurts of that damned-near bursting alcohol, given its heretofore restrained nature.
As my question about barrel treatment was duly answered early on, I will hence focus on the nature therein. Pinot Noir, while a pleasant enough red varietal, especially in the hands of New Zealand's finer vintners, lacks the general weight to really add anything perceptible to something as big as the base beer here seems to be. I would be hard pressed to tell you that the fruitiness in this offering was sourced from anything other than the robust character of the malt, all other things being equal. So, after all that, we have nothing more than a sturdy, enjoyably warm Imperial stout, one where the rather impressive booze gets only more so, despite its persistent shyness.
08-27-2013 05:14:10 | More by biboergosum
3.95/5 rDev +5.9%
Cheers to my brother-in-law for the bottle, purchased from Oak Barrel in Sydney. 375ml and like Moa is wont to do: it's green.
Pours with a rather disappointingly fluid and light body, and requires a bit of airtime to promote a head. Once this forms, though, it's pleasantly fine and creamy, and sticks around until the bottom of the glass. Lacing is good, forming in sweeping, fine bands. Colour is ostensibly black, but actually is an umber brown colour on the edges. Head is a pale mocha. Looks pretty good.
Nose is also pretty pleasant, while being a little weaker than I expected. Pleasant, rounded roasty characters with a hint of oak to adds some sweetness. Some vanilla comes through as it warms a little, but so does a bit of booziness, giving some fruity tones and a little pepper and medicine character. It's still pretty good.
Taste is also good, fairly broad, but with a lightness to the front palate. Some of those medicinal, slightly fruity characters appear towards the middle to back, possibly the Pinot, while on the back towards the finish is a good dose of char. Aftertaste is slightly astringent, with a powerful roast buildup that turns to bitterness after a while.
Feel is actually pretty smooth, even though it feels like it retains a bit of that lightness in the appearance. Still, it's very good.
Overall, yep, this is most definitely a good beer. It has a number of parts to it that I don't necessarily agree with, but it's still crafted with thought and rigour. Probably not the equal of the best Impy Stouts in the world, but a very solid example of the style nonetheless.
02-19-2014 06:23:32 | More by lacqueredmouse
3.73/5 rDev 0%
Very good, dark brown to black colour with a creamy tan head. Decent retention.
Mild aroma with notes of roast and coffee. Light tart fruitiness in the background from the Pinot Noir barrels.
Rounded roast flavour. Spicy alcohol. The oak and fruity wine notes work well.
There is a touch too much carbonation here and the medium body isn't enough to hold it up.
A nice take on the style by Moa. The flavours could be aided by a slightly mope robust base beer with a bit more mouthfeel.
10-03-2010 07:00:53 | More by dgilks
4.03/5 rDev +8%
Ah the perks of being a beer shop janitor. Got this little treat from a distro rep. Pretty stoked. 375ml bottle poured into a snifter.
A - Pitch black, small caramel head. No lacing.
S - White whine and oak overpower most else. There is a hint of roasted coffee on the back ned.
T - Flip flops the nose. Heavy in the Roasted coffee department, hint of grape sweetness and bitter chocolate in the back.
M - Surprisingly dry for an impy stout.
O - A super complex and interesting take on a big American stout. The Pinot barrel add a nice dimension to the style. It will be really interesting to see how these flavors develop over time. I can see the rich sweet chocolate coming out along with the pinot sweetness to make something phenomenal
09-26-2013 23:11:45 | More by Zach136
3.95/5 rDev +5.9%
Poured from a corked and caged 12.7oz bottle into a snifter.
Pours pitch black with a bubbly head that retains rather well for the style. The aroma is roasty, but with a bit of sharpness from the Pinot Noir treatment. The taste is rather interesting, this is a very unique imperial stout treatment, with a sharp, vinous feel cutting an edge through the traditional roasted malts and coffee flavors of an imperial stout. The mouthfeel is highly carbonated for the style, and a bit lighter than normal. It works with the wine flavors though. Overall, a perfectly enjoyable and interesting beer that's worth trying. I don't think it'll be one of your favourites, but it's unique and worth trying.
03-09-2012 05:47:48 | More by shand
3.2/5 rDev -14.2%
Bottle: corked and caged, awesome embossed and stylish 375mL dark green bottle, restrained yet stylish label.
Appearance: very dark black body, mid-brown mocha head, 1.5 fingers with good lacing.
Aroma: medium-to-light bread and chocolate roasted malts. If anything, a bit light for a RIS.
Taste: well made, but it is hugely coffee and mocha orientated. Not my style of beer.
Aftertaste: coffee and mocha disappears, to be replaced by the bread and chocolate malts.
Mouth feel: medium-bodied ale with a medium carbonation also. Perhaps a bit too much for the style.
Overall: a fairly well made Russian Imperial Stout, but the flavour is well and truly dominated by coffee / mocha flavours. Even if I liked coffee and mocha, I think it would be too dominated by the one flavour.
07-02-2012 13:47:40 | More by SmashPants
Imperial Stout Barrel Reserve from Moa Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.