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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 126 | Hads: 490
Photo of Ozzylizard
4.13/5  rDev +14.1%

Bottle BB 7.30.14 at 40 degrees into imperial pint
Aroma of roasted malt and (weak) hops
Head small (1.5 cm), light brown, creamy, sloooowly diminishing to a 2 mm layer
Lacing excellent – covers entire inside of glass with tiny bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor begins with a typical roasted malt nuttiness and sweetness which is followed by a sort of melon taste with a quick flash of alcohol. No diacetyl.
Palate full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4, Overall 4.06. Final weighted score: 4.125
This is a very tasty RIS with an unexpected blast of melon from the New Zealand hops. The alcohol is noticeable at the end but is not overwhelming. In most RISs, I cannot detect the hops, but here they show up in both the nose and the taste – a pleasant surprise. Overall, this is a very good RIS of which I will buy more to age.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12.7 ounce cork and caged bottle into a small snifter. Tan head, moderate retention, slick, oily lacing. Beer is almost black, maybe a touch of mahogany. Aroma consists of mocha, roasted malt, light chocolate and some alcohol notes. Taste is dominated by coffee, and light mocha/chocolate. Alcohol heat is present on the taste maybe a little too much, probably just needs a touch of age to level out. Not picking up too many notes from the oak pinot barrel but maybe some of the subtle notes are dominated by the heat. Quite good beer, but would love to revisit in the future.

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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 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 Pencible
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque black, with lots of tan head. The cork shot of the bottle before I even finished loosing the cage.
S: It smelled like bitter dark chocolate, with some astringent dark fruit and earthy oak and smoky coffee.
T: It tasted like rich dark chocolate and tart raspberries, like a fine truffle, with some licorice and smoky coffee and oak. It had a clean and lasting aftertaste that was bitter, tart, and a little sweet.
M: It was very thick with fine natural carbonation. Fantastic body.
D: This was a great beer. Nice unique take on barrel aging a stout that added a lot of delicate complexities. It took forever to pour, but it was worth the wait, with great scent and taste and perfect body. The finish wasn't super smooth, but the alcohol was decently hidden. So it wasn't difficult to drink, but it was better to sip. Not sure how it would age, but I really enjoyed it fresh. Recommended.

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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 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 Bonis
4.07/5  rDev +12.4%

Very complex stout. Wood, burnt malts, smoke, bitter roast, booze along with some vinous qualities. A little tart. A pretty easy drink for the booze level. Would like touch more carb, but very solid beer overall. Gift from liquidcucumber.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.06/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A gentle pour into a snifter produced an explosion of dark tan foam atop a almost pitch black liquid with zero light penetration. Good lace but it shouldn't take 10 minutes to pour a beer, thus the low score. Head is creamy.
Smell is rich and malty with notes of dark fruits and spice. Good balance.
Taste is very rich. Malt dominates to start but notes of dark fruits, spice, especially pepper, and even some hops make themselves known after the initial sip. Notes of cocoa and nut show up in the aftertaste. Very nice.
Full body with a medium effervescence. Relatively smooth and nicely warming. Didn't see the wine barrel influence as a distinct presence though it was felt. Letting it rest definitely improves this brew. After 20-30 minutes the nose, tongue and mouthfeel all increase by at least a half point

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Photo of Flounder57
4.06/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12.7 oz bottle was poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a crazy three finger head that finally reduced to a thin layer and left some lacing on the glass. It is a pitch black color with no clarity or bubbles seen coming up through the glass.

Smell: Oak, chocolate, pinot noir grapes, toasted malts, a little booze, toasted malts, and a little smoke.

Taste: Smoke, ash, pinot grapes, oak, chocolate, bready grains, and a little booze. The grapes taste and smoke mask the normal chocolately and warm booze. Wait a bit and things taste better on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full bodied, low carbonation, bitter ash, a little booze, a little chewy, a little dry, and oakey.

Overall: I like the take of this style in pinot noir barrels. The character of the barrels rounds and softens the normal characteristics we all look for. Let the beer warm up a bit and take another sip, those flavors we expect are subtlety their. Very good price for a 375 ml.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 375mL corked & caged bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: completely black with nothing at all let in around the edges. Head is a thick finger of pillowy tan foam. Not too bad.

Smell: rich, chocolatey aroma with a hint of acidic zip, but only a tiny hint. Not complex, but sweet and rich. I like it.

Taste: sweet, rich, chocolatey malt mixed with a tart, dry fruitiness up front; at the end, though, it's all imperial stout. Somewhat harsh roasted malt and a hint of woodiness back this up. I'm not sure why this beer is so maligned; seems decent enough to me.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a huge carbonation and a concomitantly mammoth creaminess. I think it's great!

Overall: I'll have to go over the other reviews to see why people dislike this beer so much. I think it's a completely respectable Imperial stout with a lot of the characteristics I like. OK, it's not particularly complex, but it's competent and drinkable. What more do you want?

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Photo of wordemupg
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

32oz growler poured into tulip 6/9/13

A dark cola liquid with a deep edge, looks a little light for a big stout, two fingers of loose mocha foam sits around for a few sips leaving some polka dot lace

S dark roasted coffee and dark fruits, dark bakers chocolate and it smells much darker then it looks, faint smoke, some wood, chocolate covered raisins and well concealed booze

T sour plum at first but its quickly overwhelmed by coco and woody notes, I get some of the pinot barrel and just a little licorice, tastes pretty solid but I preferred the nose

M light for the style but has enough carbonation to cream it up little, tannins are there's but mild, just a hint of booze on the way down and dark roast and faint barrel notes linger

O smells great and the flavors there, not the best looks and feel for the style but I had no problems with the big serving and the most important aspects have been taken care of

looks like I'm way above the average yet again, I though this one was a winner and although not a big full bodied stout the booze is well hidden and it smells and tastes great

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Photo of canucklehead
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Lovely half size corked and caged bottle that retails for about $6. This was a very nuanced RIS that was much smoother than expected yet not giving up any complexity in the finish. The nose was also very redolent of chocolate and coffee thought the barrel aging did show a bit as the beer warmed up. Impressed by this beer and that fact that a bottle is not an arm and a leg ( and it came all the way from New Zealand).

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Photo of FLima
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deepest black color with a thick caramel head with medium retention, but keeping a constant plate.
Aroma with notes of cocoa, licorice, oak and mild grapes.
Flavor with predominant notes of dark chocolate and coffee. Hints of red wine tannins, pine cones, charred wood, oak and cocoa. Dry aftertaste with a long lasting roasted note and hop bitterness.
Full body with mild carbonation. Alcohol of 10.2% is very well hidden.
Very smooth and balanced Imperial Stout. Complex, intense and flavorful but still it does not come across aggressively. Flavors matched perfectly with the Pinot Noir barrel. Worth trying.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
4.02/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark black with a brownish white thin head, decent retention.

I smell lots of alcohol here, and chocolate, and coffee, and molasses. Lots of molasses actually, maybe too much.

Very malty and molasses tasting, some very strong alcohol undertones, malty sweetness, burnt toast and coffee taste.

Very delicious, definitely worth a try, but not something I would buy again. Definitely a sipper.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a dark dense black body with a deep tan cream and a carbonation of tiny bubbles that glide up the surface of the glass. The head last for a good bit before fading to a thin ring

S- The mellow soft red wine aroma blends with some dark roasted chocolate malt notes and a brewer’s licorice note in the finish.

T- The inky black roasted malt has a tar note to it with some deep chocolate malt flavors with some nice red wine tannin flavors underneath. There is a gentle bitterness in the slightly dry finish. There are some interesting cigar tobacco notes and green wood notes that come thru with the dark roasted malt flavors as the beer opens up.

M- The medium-full mouthfeel has a thick texture that coats the mouth after each sip and some gentle alcohol heat that comes through on the exhale.

O- This is a nice smooth Imp. Stout that has some good notes of Pinot Noir supporting it. They are not really strong and the rest of the flavors blend together making a nice bit of complexity although subtle. Even though the red wine tannins are soft it still gives me that classic red wine heart burn.

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Photo of dank203
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big chocolate malt aroma, very boozey too but I can tell its blended well. lot of tartness from the pinot, maybe a hint of toastiness, reminding me of wood but it's not obvious like some barrel aged. nevertheless solid, big warming, good burnt quality

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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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Photo of DIM
3.99/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a: After reading all of these reviews mentioning what a gusher this was, I cautiously took this outside to open, but the bottle opened with barely audible pop. I couldn't coax much of a head out of this one.

s: Plenty of grape and some charred maltiness, a hint of wood as well. Pretty subdued overall.

t: Lots more going on than the smell suggested. Deeply roasted, almost charcoal malts with hints of chocolate up front. Somewhat tart wine joined in and the two elements worked pretty well together. The finish is what I liked the most though. Toasty wood and a lingering vinous flavor paired with a hint of tobacco.

m: Thin and a bit still.

o: These reviews are all over the place. There must be significant batch variation. I'm glad I got a good one. Falvor wise, this was pretty much exactly what I hoped it would be.

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Photo of bhyndthebottle
3.99/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No obvious bottled on date, but probably fresh given the source of a great local bottle shop, Market of Choice. Pours thick and black with good carbonation for a stout. Tan head dissipates rather quickly, leaving a little bit of light lacing. Smell is booze and cherries and a little bit of milk chocolate. Taste comes off pretty much the same, with the pinot barrels adding the little bit of cherry tartness at the end. Mouthfeel comes off quite well for an imperial aged stout; big and full bodied, with only a little bit of carbonation. Overall, a little sweet on the finish.The booze is only present on the nose, and i think that it could use a little bit of a higher percentage to take care of the sweetness.Very well done overall.Hit their marks if this is what they were going for. It is hard to make a beer over 10% that doesn't come off too boozy, and they have done a great job. Thanks Moa!

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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 WankelEngine
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12.7oz corked and caged bottle into a snifter

A: Pours an opaque coffee-black. Wispy tan head and minimal lacing.

S: Bittersweet chocolate dominates the aroma, along with some roasted notes, plum, and wood.

T: Similar to the aroma it is chocolate forward. Also some notes of cappuccino and a little bit of smoke. Just a touch of red fruit. Alcohol adds a bit of fusel bite that is not quite entirely hidden under the thick malt. The pinot provides some tartness near the finish.

M: Relatively thin for an imperial stout. Lightly carbonated.

O: A decent beer, but a little unbalanced. The bitter, roasted notes in combination with the alcohol are a little sharp. While the wine barrel character is certainly there, it is obscured by the heavy malt. Could have done with either great vinous character or a sweeter, less pointed malt flavor.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Parchment film over chestnut-black body.
Wood, vanilla, black cherry, and caramelized sugar nose.
Dark caramel, touch of coffee, vanilla, hints of red currant, a big wood hit, and some port/barrel notes.
Blackberry and pepper finish and spicy linger.

Round, smooth, and doesn’t club you like an American RIS. There’s maybe too many liquid smoke notes (cream soda, too) – there’s a lot of wood here. The wine is there, and maybe doesn’t fit, but there’s a good stout underneath.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The single most alarming beer experience I've ever had. Upon loosening the cage, there was a gunshot sound as the cork, complete with cage, rocketed out of the bottle and hit the ceiling with a bang. It took me a moment to gather myself and figure out what had happened. Foam began to jettison forth from the bottle, so I did my best to pour it into my Duvel glass. Mounds and mounds mocha-colored foam perpetually bloomed within the glass before I had even decanted a third of the bottle. Even as a write, the head has ascended to new heights, nearly spilling over the edge of the glass. It's at least three inches high. Suffice it to say, something went seriously, seriously wrong here. With that in mind, you may wish to take the rest of this review with a grain of salt.

Pours nearly black with no highlights to speak of and the aforementioned massive mocha head. Aroma smells of dark chocolate, molasses, dark fruit, and a hint of red wine--very seductive. After the outrageous pour and out of control head, I assumed the beer beneath would be close to flat, but to my amazement it is almost excessively carbonated for an imperial stout--distractingly so. The taste itself is pleasant but milder than I expected. There's a dark chocolate foundation with some plum and charred coffee bean. The 10.2% ABV is well-concealed initially but begins to fight through as the beer warms and the excessive carbonation subsides. Some oak and vanilla begin to appear in the finish as well.

I'm not sure what to make of this beer after the outrageous uncorking incident. All joking aside, I'm lucky I wasn't seriously hurt. I'm not sure what the cause of the excessive pressure was, as I bought two other Moa beers on the same trip and didn't have any issues at all. The bottle had been sitting in my fridge for nearly a month, so there was no jostling or disturbance for at least that length of time. Assuming you survive opening the bottle, I would recommend letting the beer warm a good deal to bring out the flavor and let the carbonation diminish. With that said, I still don't think I can give a fair review as there was something severely wrong with the level of carbonation here. I'd consider trying another, but I'll think long and hard before I take the leap.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.91/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An opaque, black bodied beer with a tremendous cap of khaki colored foam. Retention is strong and the lacing is clingy and copious. Good looking stout.

The aroma is immediately wine like and tannic; chocolate and roasted malt comes wafting in after; dark fruit, oak, and black pepper all emerge as the beer warms and opens and are even more prominent in the taste. Interesting blend of sweet and chocolaty flavors and Pinot noir characteristics; again pepper, oak, and jammy fruits all emerge as you work your way through the glass. Nothing overwhelms anything else; I found this to be well balanced. Also put me in mind a bit of a Cadbury fruit and nut bar.

Fortunately my bottle had none of the carbonation issues others have mentioned; I found both the body and carbonation to be average for an imperial stout and the mouthfeel had a decent amount of smoothness and creaminess. Needless to say I enjoyed this a good deal more than most reviewers.

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