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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: 59 | 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 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 RonaldTheriot
4.7/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Moa Imperial Stout has a medium, creamy, beige head, and a very dark brown or black appearance, with lots of thick lacing left behind. The aroma is a mix of dark, sweet cherries and a dark-roasted malt. The flavor is strongly fruity, sweet, roasted, dark malts, and bitterness. Quite bitter. There is even a smoked aspect to this. Mouthfeel is heavy, and Moa Imperial Stout finishes dry, super rich, and pleasant. The alcohol is not present in the taste, but does show up in a strong way in the brain after a few sips. This is one to have! I rate it most excellent.


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Photo of ckollias
4.49/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 12.7oz corked and caged bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark black hue with a tan-white frothy head that slowly dissipates into a solid lace leaving a nice trail down the side of glass.

S: Strong smoked malt scent with an alcoholic burn and slight pinot noir aroma.

T: Smooth smoked malt flavor with that same alcoholic burn and pinot noir flavor as the aroma – and finishes on the dry side of sweet.

M: Heavy body and medium carbonation

O: Phenomenal stout – well balanced and enough alcohol to make it interesting.

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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 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 twiggamortis420
4.47/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 mL bottle courtesy of fthomasl pours a black color with ample tan head. Nice lacing. No over-carbonation issues that seem to be rampant in this beer.

Fruity, coffee and wood. There is some definite notes of dark red wine. Interesting, and quite vinous.

Ohhh, taste is really nice....perfect cocoa and vinous fruit. I really like it, different for sure. The malts are tame, yet flavorful and the yeast plays a dusty, integral part. Tobacco...yes, yes with some roasty afterthoughts.
I am seriously impressed with this complex offering from New Zealand. Nice. Worth a shot even with the steep price tag.

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Photo of hoptualBrew
4.45/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed for what it is, obviously deviates from style somewhat.

Jet black with khaki mocha froth head, thin layer maintains. Good lacing, no sediment.

Nose is complex; bright tannic dark fruits, blackcurrant, coffee roast, oak, leather, tobacco. Really nice bouquet of an aroma.

Palate starts dark juicy fruit, bakers chocolate, bright acidity, mild oak and lengthens to dark chocolates, touch of vanilla, and sharp roast. Really complex and digging what some wine barrels can do to an imperial stout.

Full body, finishes slightly dry and pulling on the palate. Carbonation is right on target moving the beer along well.

For what they were trying to achieve with the aging in Pinot Noir barrels, I think they nailed it! Brings really complex oak, vinous tannic fruits to the style and it works.

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Photo of Derek
4.43/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black, pours with a nice tan head, thin ring of retention, hints of lace.

S: Dark caramelized raisins, licorice, wood, fruit cake, demerara sugar & booze!

T: Black strap molasses, oak, wine-like tannins, rum-soaked fruitcake, licorice, good bitterness, nice alcohol warmth.

M: Full body is viscous without much residual sweetness, average carbonation, light roasted acidity, drying alcohol finish.

O: Really great brew.

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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 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 JohnnyRay
4.35/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I like the beers Moa brews & I was stoked to find this one in my local bottle shop. It poured a rich dark brown, almost black with a touch of red at the bottom of the glass. There was a very thin layer of head which faded to nothing.

The smell was of chocolae & coffee- maybe a bit of malt.

The taste was amazing, really complex. Layers of chocolate, coffee, oak & roasted malt with the alcohol well hidden.

Well worth the purchase, I'll look for this one again.

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Photo of WickedSluggy
4.34/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, an excellent beer that is not getting the right attention...

I'm getting none of the reported issues with over-carbonation.

The beer is lovely. Black, ruby edges. Low carbonation. Thick. Rich. Chocolate (can't drink it slow...)

The aroma is chocolatey and sweet. Restrained barrel characteristics. Frankly flawless.

Taste is equally restrained. Equally flawless. Chocolate is still present with some woody character... some tannins and slight astringent bitterness. Overall balance just towards sweet.

Medium slippery mouthfeel. Very nice.

Overall, a beautifully executed beer. I will be buying more if I can find. No negatives. A magic bullet for friends timid of big aggressive Imp stouts. This one isn't huge, but it is nicely round and has nice nipples.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.33/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown, appearing black in the glass. Massive three finger medium brown head with great retention and tons of lacing. Interesting aroma of toasted malt, vanilla and a light fruity component that must be the wine barrel contribution, but it isn't all that vinous. Great flavor of dark toasted malt, chocolate and a light, intriguing vinous component. Finishes with toasted, slightly charred malt, chocolate, plums and hop bitterness. A unique and interestingly flavored stout. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. Wine barrel aged beers are usually not the most enjoyable of barrel aged beers for me, but this is superb. The flavor combination and progression is very enjoyable. An unusual and excellent stout. A brewery that tries to brew a bit outside the box, but succeeds with flavorful beers. I hope to see more of them.

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Photo of ZiggySquid
4.32/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this both on tap and in a bottle. Much better from the tap if you can find it.

Appearance-Dark brown/black with nice mocha head. Not heavy in carbonation

Smell-Woodsy, almost earths with an aroma of red wine and roasted coffee

Taste-Very similar to the aroma. Quick bite at first, probably due to the high alcohol content, slight charcoal or roasted flavor, with a full flavor and the hint of dark fruits, but does not finish bitter or heavy. Finishes more like a rich red wine.

Mouthfeel-Expected the feel to be heavy and thick, but not really. Slight carbonation and rolls easily over the tongue.

Overall-Very different when you think of an Imperial Stout. Heavy looking but deceptive and the finish is really different. A lot more flavor characteristics are noticed from the tap rather than the bottle. Really good if you want a "Hey, this is really different" type of beer.

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Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep plum color with low visibility, thin tan head. Nose is fabulous, dark berry notes, black currants, earthy and woody, faint typical stout notes like chocolate and coffee, but they're not the highlights.

Nice beer, incredibly powerful. Almost decadent. Pairs amazingly with black pepper. Espresso, coffee, and chocolate up front, Medium bodied, but silky, oakiness comes through with berry like wine notes, a bit of alcohol on the finish and some earthy woodiness. Dark fruitiness, tobacco, coffee, chocolate, a deep complex brew, flavors blend well together, definitely a sipping beer, flavor is very overpowering on the finish, however food seems to hold up pretty well. A touch of citrus is in this as well, incredibly incredibly complex. Messy at times, but body is big and smooth and flavors are awesome.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.3/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with perfect retention and great lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with light dry bitter notes is perfectly balanced against some nice vinous notes. Taste is also dominated by roasted malt with some light dry bitter notes and some excellent vinous notes which really don’t clash. Light black chocolate notes can also be detected. Body is light for style with perfect carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Magnificent marriage of different flavours.

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Photo of Zraly
4.28/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Teku glass. Pitch black with a tan head; swirling reveals dark purple hints in the color. Very effervescent and with the pop on the cork, there is no doubt this is carbonated. Nice looking and smells great! It has a sexy, smoky nose that is very inviting.

I'm actually quite impressed with this -- as both a beer and a wine fan, I am finding it hard to not take sip after sip. The wine barrel comes through and gives this imperial stout a wine-like body with a grape skin flavor. But there is also no doubt it is a stout. Charred coffee beans and smoke-tinged malts come to the forefront. Soft oak and vanilla sit in the backdrop. With all of these notes, it speaks to me as if it were a light, smoky port. Complex and interesting. Medium to full bodied. Very tight bubbles -- beautiful carbonation and the mouthfeel shows. Very smooth for an ale over 10% ABV, and a stout at that.

With elements of velvety smoothness and the malt-smoke aspect, this makes for a one-of-a-kind type of of ale. I can say I wouldn't be able to drink every day, but it is certainly fine and is a nice night cap. Probably amazing with good beef BBQ or good with a rich, chocolate dessert.

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Photo of TheBigLebrewski
4.28/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very good looking. Very. Plenty of head, tinted coffee-brown. The coffee, and a touch of bitter chocolate hang around for the scent, coupled with yeast and the slightest inclination of red wine. An odd but appealing blend in the overall smell that implies a very well choreographed beverage.

Taste is initially pretty dry, turns to softly sour chalk, and fades to a dry yeasty mellow swallow that leaves a chalky red wine aftertaste. I very much enjoyed the flavor, though was left to desire a bit more dry bitterness characteristic of my favorite imperial stouts.

Mouthfeel, for the first time I've ever claimed such, is this beer's weak point. Seems to emphasize the chalky aspects in the taste, and the pinot noir barrels (and age) definitely tilted this beer's viscosity a touch towards that of wine. Indeed, for the amount of carbonation and head in the pour, and the complexity of the flavor, the mouthfeel ended up venturing off in a direction I didn't appreciate as much as I did the other novel directions this beer takes.

Overall, an awesomely appealing beer and a great concept that is very well executed, but is lacking in aspects personally desired of an aged imperial stout. I would imagine one who enjoys both beer and wine to an equitable degree might absolutely love this one, and I personally look forward to putting some more age on a few bottles and seeing what happens!

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Photo of chogm54
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

COrked bottle, BB of Jan 2015, poured into pint glass.

A - black, opaque, pours a thick creamy pale brown head. There was a bit of sediment in this bottle conditioned bottle. Thanks to the dark label I didn't realise that the sediment was in there until it poured into the glass!

S - roasted malts with strong coke and brandy odours. Also faint coffee smell maybe?

T - dark choc malty taste with a strong dark fruit undertones (plum, raisins) and red wine. The malty flavours aren't as roasted as other stouts. Lingering wine and malt aftertaste. The alcohol isn't as potent as the ABV suggests, but there is a definite warming feeling in there.

M - Full bodied, syrupy texture,virtually nil carbonation.

O - The oak barrel fermentation is really noticeable with strong wine like flavours over the normal choc and malty base. Goes down much easier than the ABV suggests. Very nice.

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Photo of StuartCarter
4.23/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A deep, dark black/brown as you would expect with a RIS. A moderately heavy pour produced a finger-deep tan head which subsided to a thin coating at the top of the beer.

Smell: oh yum. Coffee, sweet fruitiness, a slightly earthy funkiness underneath the surface smells.

Taste: dark coffee bitterness, some alcohol, subtle dark fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: silky, but enlivened by lively carbonation. It almost dances on the tongue which is very unusual - and pleasing! - for a RIS.

Aftertaste: lingering hop bitterness with distinct coffee overtones.

As it warms: the bitterness subsides, leaving a rich roast coffee flavour with subtly sweet notes.

Note: this beer is corked and caged. This is for a reason. This is a RIS that is carbonated like a champagne. If you bear this in mind you won't have so much collateral damage to your nerves or your ceiling when you open it :P

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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 Greasy
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12.7 ounce bottle poured into a snifter

A: Mostly black, maybe a hint of brown when held up to the light. 1 finger reddish brown head that quickly dissipated.

S: Typical stout nose with hints of fruit, coffee and dark chocolate.

T: Very nice. Much better than expected. Aging in Pinot Noir barrels really adds an extra tasty element to this. Alcohol flavor is well hidden behind the powerful roasted malt smokiness.

M: Smooth. Not overly smooth, but smooth nonetheless. A bit dry. Left the tongue wanting more coverage.

O: Quite a bit better than expected. The low rating made me a bit wary at first but after my first sip I knew this was a diamond in the rough. Definitely better than some of the others of the same style. The fact that it was aged in Pinot Noir barrels made it a unique treat that was indeed a pleasant surprise.

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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 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 SPThirtyThree
4.14/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The cork pops loudly and forcefully. Pours all foam. Odd. The foam is tan and lumpy at the top of the goblet, and gets darker large open bubbes underneath. It sits on a finger of black beer. As I wait, the foam around the edges collapses faster than the middle, leavina a caldera, with spolotches of eruped foam lacing. It's so dense that when I topped up, a two-finger mountain of foam rose above the rim of the glass.

With patience, a drinkable level was finally achieved. The beer itsef is a black cola, dark, but not thick. Within the head, the beer stains the lowest foam a darker brown.

S: Wow. Wood, smoke, and syrupy pine resin combine elegantly in a strong, but pleasant scent. The nose features a jumble of different scents: pineapple, hot esters, raisins, fig, toffee, bitter cocoa powder, honey, and licorice. It's spicy but still pleasant even at room temperature.

T: The beer opens with hot alcohol. It's big and bitter, and maybe a bit oxidized. Behind the initial blast of heat, the hops assert themselves with a restrained fruitiness and grassiness. They seem less in-your-face than similar beers with west-coast hops, but they still make themselves known.

The guest ingredient, pinot noir, stands out in the flavor, with a tart, grape flavor. Moa succeeded in giving prominence to the wine, although I don't particularly enjoy the flavor of red wine. The wine lingers through the finish.

There's a big body, but lots of burnt malt contrasting the bready and sugarey malt. Toffee and sticky sweet molasses provide a platform for the alcohol, hops, and pinot. It also tastes slightly of salted rye bread.

M: The mouthfeel is astringent, and a little hot/fusel-y. It's heavily-carbonated, but the carbonic bite offsets some of the stronger flavors. A barrel stickiness glues your tongue to the roof of your mouth in the finish. Slightly creamy.

D: This imperial stout's actually really good, and has grown on me through our session. Initially, I was disappointed that it was over-carbonated, but the flavor, smell, and mouthfeel are prefect. The wine's bite is perfectly balanced with a sharp hop, a roasty malt, and spicy carbonation. This would be prefect with a sharp, sea salt cheddar.

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