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Moa Imperial Stout (Aged In Pinot Noir Barrels) - Moa Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Moa Imperial Stout (Aged In Pinot Noir Barrels)Moa Imperial Stout (Aged In Pinot Noir Barrels)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

126 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 126
Hads: 490
Avg: 3.62
pDev: 31.49%
Wants: 10
Gots: 58 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Moa Brewing Company visit their website
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: KickbacksSteve on 01-14-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 126 | Hads: 490
Photo of tzieser
4.47/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

poured from a corked bottle into a tulip glass.

L: pitch black in color, completely opaque with a thin eggshell colored head that settles into a small lacing.

S: a modest aroma of roasted malt and rich sweet chocolate malt. there's a very subtle note of oak and alcohol. very nice.

T: roasted malt comes first, showing off burnt toast and dark chocolate flavors. lots of dark fruit and berries. there is also traces of coffee in there. the oak comes through near the end, adding a bit of tartness to the palate. incredible.

F: a bit thin but nothing awful.

O: an outstanding imperial stout. very impressed by this brewery out of New Zealand. keep up the great work!

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Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.

Appearance: black: void of light. Obsidian liquid coal. Head is a light tan color, which fades to just a lacing at the edge of the glass.

Aroma: sweet, syrupy maltiness with pronounced licorice. No alcohol or wine/wood (from the pinot barrels) in the nose.

Flavor: licorice and sweet with a pronounced black patent malt burnt toast roastiness. This beer is well balanced, and is very similar to Bell's Expedition Stout.

Mouthfeel: the body is a bit thin given the alcoholic strength of the beer. This is too thin to be a sipper.

Overall: Very good. The body needs to be increased though. At $5.99/12.7oz bottle, it is a good value and will be a repeat purchase.

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Photo of Furlinator
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From the corked and caged bottle.

Pours nearly black with a creamy tan head that never completely dissipates. There's a lot going on here. Oak, hop bitterness (100 IBU), lots of dark fruit and a hint of vanilla. Moderate booze presence. An interesting stout.

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Photo of dcotom
4.38/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 11.2-ounce bottle into snifter. Deep purplish-black color with not much carbonation at all. Aroma is very "barrel forward," with charred oak as well as dark coffee. Smoky on the palate, with more of the burnt coffee and a bitter, slightly tannic finish. The high ABV (10.2 %) is hidden quite nicely among the myriad hearty flavors in this one. Well worth an excursion "down under."

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Photo of jopezu
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

slightly violet black, with a small tan head. nose; burnt/spicy wood profile, cocoa and coffee bean bitters. odd nose for a ris, undoubtedly from the wine barrels. taste; shades of roasted malt, vanilla and cocoa get dominated by the wine/barrel influence (choked by it really). the entire middle wash is grape, chocolate and wood. aftertaste is dry, puckering wine-tannin, burnt oak, grape peel and cocoa. strong carbonation, and creamy mouthfeel. the big wine influence here makes for a very odd mixture that may delight some wine fans, and confound/displease most stout fans. definitely a tangent for the style that, while keeping some decent ris assets, simply isn't my favorite.

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Photo of Chris912
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A nice sized bottle, caged and corked. Received this as an extra. Had some nice dark fruits on the nose and during the taste. Mouthfeel was medium, not much to write home about. I'd drink it again, but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours an opaque black color. The head is a small cap of tan foam that dissipates within a few seconds. There is no lacing. The aroma is of chocolate and roasted malt with a faint whiff of astringent wine tannins. The taste is really mild for a 10% ABV beer. Hell, it would be mild for a 6% ABV beer. There is a more well balanced combination of the malts and tannins, but it is all really faint. The finish is quick, and leaves a clean palate. I don't really want a clean palate while drinking an Imperial Stout. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with mild carbonation. Overall, this beer is quite disappointing. I understand that not every huge stout is going to have a ton of complexities, but they should all at least have powerful flavor/aroma characteristics. This beer is simply weak.

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Photo of tkdchampxi
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Very humdrum.

I wish the pinot noir came through a bit more. Unfortunately, this was a 10.20% ABV beer that drank like a thinner 7.00% ABV stout. I'm not sure I liked this better than Sierra Nevada Stout, and definitely not better than Narwhal.

The beer hinted at its fruit/ wine heritage, but I had to add a splash of my own red wine to make it enjoyable. There was not distinct roast or malt character to this beer to truly make it seem different or worthy of its small, corked bottle presentation.

Mouthfeel was possible the worst part of this beer - not as thick as desired at all, and the carbonation was too present.

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Photo of gopens44
4.09/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Currant, wine notes, a touch of dark chocolate and maybe a little heat on exit. Silky smooth mouthfeel and not much lingering around. Very impressed by this one.

This one has been in my house for a while, so let's say there's no less than 6 months on it but no more than a year. In any case I cant' for the life of me figure out why it isn't rated higher than it's current "81". It delivers everything it would suggest as an RIS aged in Pinot Noir wine barrels. So much depth of flavor. If you see this, please take a chance on it. It will not disappoint.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

App: Pours a very dark brown , light brown 2 fb head with good retention and lacing. Smells unlike any RIS/AIS I’ve had – muted unsweetened cocoa, roasted malts, leather and peat. Hint of sweet grape, oak tannin – an Irish car bomb with pinot noir rather than Irish cream.
Taste: Smooth, sweet malts forward, contrasting with pinot noir flavor profile, muddles with notes of cocoa and chocolate mid note and a slightly syrupy malty finish. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for a Stout, a tad syrupy throughout but alleviated a bit by the carbonation and the red wine like dryness.
Overall: I have to admit, its an intriguing beer – I’m a fan of stouts and pinot noir – so perhaps my review is a tad bias – I enjoyed it – my first beer from New Zealand and it was delish. At its price point, however (about $7 per bottle) I’d hesitate to buy again – but it was good (and I’m cheap)

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Photo of bobhits
2.57/5  rDev -29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A full rating this beer just doesn't deserve.

It looks great, lots of nice bubbles cling to the glass with each swirl. A nice head. Good dark body and color.

It has a bit of the "import" stout smell, not sure how to describe it. That aged hop and stout combo I've come to love in a well aged imperial, but i don't think this is all that old so the aged aroma is likely from some interesting hops and malt that just don't smell that great fresh. funny how I like it when I know it's the result of aging but not when I think it was intentional. No real positives in the nose either.

The flavor is really overly dominated by wine flavors. The chocolates and coffee notes are just killed by this odd wine flavor. The goal is for the wine and the stout to play on each other and create something better than either. The results are a conflict that never resolves itself.

It drinks well enough. You'd never guess 10%.

At 6 bucks it's expensive but not imported imperial stout aged in barrels expensive. It's something different so hey if you feel like something unique go for it. But I'm not repeating. Very average stuff.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.16/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Best before date of 12/2015. Cellared bottle served in a tulip glass at cellar temps.

Appearance: black as night in the glass with a firm brown head of tight bubbles. Poured with a reddish hue most likely from the pinot noir barrels.

Nose: complex dried cherries and raisins, chocolate cherry cordials, oak sweetness, vanilla, cotton candy and toffee.

Taste: vanilla, light coffee, cherries, roasted malt, dried fruit character is dominant, oaky, a little coconut, quick bitter finish with a slight lingering alcohol heat. Medium body.

Overall: My first New Zealand beer. Great start. I liked the cherry notes in the nose and taste presumably from the wine barrel aging. I really don't know when this one was bottled but still has a few more months of freshness if one goes by those dates (I do not of course). I really liked this one. It is a nice departure from the hop forward and heavily roasted character found in most American Imperial Stouts.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12.7 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color - this isn't some motor oil stout. The head is a finger high, and khaki in shade. Retention is nice for what it is, and the head has nice softness. Some lacing also sticks to the glass. (3.25)

Smell: I can tell you right now, I've NEVER inhaled anything like this. On one hand, there's a textbook European-style imperial stout, loaded with baker's cocoa, roast, and even a touch of peat. On the other hand, there's a massive pinot noir influence that brings notes of grape and oak tannin. And bah gawd, it works. The chocolate and fruit characters blend rather well, creating something ridiculously intriguing. (4.25)

Taste: The flavor profile smacks far more of pinot noir than a stout. It opens and closes with notes of buttery oak, pinot noir grapes, and vanilla, all while the imperial stout base add wisps of chocolate, roast, and peat. Somehow, it all kind of works. How a chocolaty, peaty stout can blend with such a massive wine presence is friggen' mind boggling. Of course, the integration isn't great by any stretch, but still...some credit needs to be given. (3.5)

Mouthfeel: Bone frickin' dry. I mean, seriously. A good wine does a fantastic job of being dry and not remotely boozy - so does this. It has a buttery texture seemingly, though it's rather thin. Quite thin, in fact. While I've heard stories about this being carbonated to hell and back, I have to report that this bottle's fizz is VERY weak. While the general texture isn't very appropriate for an imperial stout, I really enjoy how much this feels like a proper red wine. (3.75)

Overall: Looking at the ratings, I have to wonder if this beer suffers from infection issues - I've heard some bottles being over-carb'd/loaded with phenolic nastiness. Or maybe this is just marmite beer, I don't know. I do know that the stout portion of this beer is disappointing: it's thin and porter-esque. But the wine part of this beer kicks ass. It really does taste like a good pinot noir - ergo, wine lovers will get a big kick out of it. (3.75)

3.74/5: Caveat emptor, but I like it

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Photo of atom714
4.48/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Midnight Black
Smell: Strong boozy nose, hints of chocolate and cherry
Taste: Hints of chocolate and cherries. Nice finish.
overall: would bu it again

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Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

No bottle date

Look - Pours very deep reddish brown, nearly black. Very thin light brown head with tiny bubbles. No clinging. 3.25 paws.

Smell - Very woody, a bit of cherry. Hints of chocolate and smoke with noticeable wine aromas that are almost tart. The chocolate becomes more pronounced the more I smell. Alcohol hiding underneath it all. 3.75 paws.

Taste - Very woody as with the nose. Lots of chocolate on the finish, lingering bitterness. Somewhat medicinal, with a band-aid flavor that develops. The pinot blends with the smoky chocolate malt to give a chocolate-cherry flavor. Bitter coffee flavors on the finish a well. Noticeable alcohol. 3.5 paws.

Feel - Medium bodies, somewhat creamy. A little flat, not much tingle on the tongue. 4 paws.

Overall - Not bad but seems a bit confused. It see-saws between nice and nasty, with the medicinal flavors being the most off-putting. 3.75 paws.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle into snifter, best before 3/18/2016. Pours dense pitch black color with a thin tan head, that reduces to a spotty lace cap/ring that lingers. Slight spotty lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, tannic red wine, oak, light smoke/char, and roast/oaky earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of deep roasted malt and moderate wine barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, light smoke/char, oak, light tannic red wine, and roast/smokey earthiness on the finish for a while. Fair amount of roast/char bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, light smoke/char, oak, and roast/smokey earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance, complexity, and robustness of deep roasted malt and light-moderate wine barrel flavors; with a nice roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a nice creamy and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent wine barrel aged imperial stout. All around great complexity, balance, and robustness of deep roasted malt and light-moderate wine barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.79/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

375ml cork and cage bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Black in color with garnet and purple hues. Beige head initially stands at two fingers, but settles shortly. It can be revived with some swirling. Thin, broken rings of lacing.

S: Fruity and vinous. Blackberries and black currants. Pinot noir. Big roasted malt aromas of Fudgey chocolate and wafts of Woody and coffee-like roast.

T: Pinot noir up front. Prominently vinous. Blackberry, black currant, black cherry, chocolatey (in a wine sense). Wood. Vague sense of yeast . The base beer takes hold middle to end. Fudgey chocolate, chocolate truffles, woody roast. Soot and ash toward the end. Dark roast coffee. Big roasty finish.

M: Thick in body. Round and coating with a creamy and chewy texture. Low carbonation.

O: A nice 'change of pace' sort of beer. Wine barrel aging is more common with sour beer styles than it is with imperial stouts, but there are some complementary notes here between the Pinot noir barrel and the base beer. The wine barrel contributes much, perhaps becoming the focal point of the beer. Oenophiles especially should find this more familiar and approachable than the more traditional bourbon barrel aged imperial stout.

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Photo of Fcolle2
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown nearly black in color with a thin frothy tan head. Smell has notes of chocolate malt with hints of dark fruit and oak. Taste has a slightly roasted chocolate malt flavor forward with a slightly dry oak notes, dark fruits and a alchohol heavy midsection. More oak barrel and a slightly tannic wine finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with slightly high carbonation for the style and a dry finish.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.26/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from corked bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a pitch black color with a small head of tan colored foam. The head fades rather quickly leaving just a hint of a foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – A huge aroma of a roasted malt smell with a rather strong aroma of red wine and some notes of oak greet the nose. Along with these smells, comes some other aromas of a coffee and dark cocoa flavor. A light caramel and vanilla round out the smell and with a bit of earthy hop, produce a rather dry stout and red wine aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a blend of a dark roasted malt flavor mixed with a good showing of an oak flavor right at the start. The oak grows stronger and stronger as the taste moves on, with some flavors of a dry red wine come to the tongue as well. The oak and wine grow to a decent strength and are meet with some bitter coffee and cocoa powder joining the tongue as well. The little bit of caramel and vanilla sweetness that was upfront is lost by now, leaving a rather dry dark flavor overall. With the rather dry roasted and bittered flavor, mixed with the oak and dry red wine, one is left with a dry and roasty, slightly tanniny, and bitter stout flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is rather thin for a stout of 10.2 % abv with a carbonation level that is rather moderate. For the style a lower carbonation and thicker body would have likely been a bit better for accentuating the roast and dry flavors of the brew and would have made for a nicer base for the slow sipping style that the brew should have.

Overall – An OK brew, but really nothing all that fantastic. A bit too wine like and tanniny without having much of a body and all while lacking enough sweetness to balance the bitter and wine.

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Photo of T-34-85
4.22/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours virtually black with almost no head.

Aroma has a definite red wine note from the pinot noir barrels, which is unique and pleasant.

The taste is sweet, with some bitterness, a small boozy presence, and a residual note of the wine barrels again. Very deep and intriguing flavors in this beer, including dark fruits. The beer is also a bit boozy.

Although there is little head from the pour, it still has a solid level of carbonation. The mouthfeel is thick and somewhat syrupy.

Overall, this is a unique, wine-forward, beer that is a tasty change of pace. Recommended.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I wasn't expecting a lot given the scores this beer has received, but it is actually quite good. The red wine barrel influence is present but not strong, but the base stout is nice. Very smooth, sightly bitter, with chocolate and roasted flavours.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.42/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I was thinking about saving this beer a bit longer. Saving for what? Time to drink it!. Oh man was that a good choice.

It is really pretty. Black with loads of nice head and lace. The aroma is faintly, subtly, barely, something you don't think could come through - pinot noir... on top of a roasty malty stout. Well balanced, all of it.

The taste similarly is balanced. Roasty, malty, a little hoppy. With a gritty aftertaste but little bite. It gets better with every sip. This was worth the effort of the brewers. My compliments. I hope I can get more.

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Photo of antoneloc
4.97/5  rDev +37.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L - dark, but translucent dark dark purple to black

S- Roasted with a HUGE bouquet of wine grapes, smells like a wine aged in beer barrels

T- similar to smell, huge must notes and hearty red wine flavors

F- effervescent is the only word that comes to mind. incredibly light mouthfeel for an "imperial" stout, and I mean that in the best way possible

O- doesn't seem to be a crowd favorite, but this is one of my all time favorite brews. Everytime i see it I buy as much as possible

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Photo of VashonGuy
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%

It's a barrel aged stout, but not the familiar bourbon barrel aged stout. That's pretty interesting. The stout itself seems fairly typical for an RIS, which means I automatically like it. Rich roasty malts. Maybe just a touch bitter. Then the barrel aging here brings in the influence of the wine barrels. It's just a little tart, and a little winey. There's something about the barrel aging that evokes bourbon barrel beers, just without the bourbon, if that makes any sense. I like it quite a bit.

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Photo of TheMarkE
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Chocolate, coffee, mocha. Aged in oak pinot noir barrels, and you can definitely taste it. Medium body, sour pinot noir finish. Different, best marriage of beer and wine that I've had.

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Moa Imperial Stout (Aged In Pinot Noir Barrels) from Moa Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.