Moa Imperial Stout (Aged In Pinot Noir Barrels) - Moa Brewing Company
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Ratings: 352 | Reviews: 96 | Display Reviews Only:
3.18/5 rDev -12.4%
Bottle I brought to share at Skuter's UCLA vs. USC viewing party.
Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and some slight dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with a smokey finish. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer that shows no real barrel aged aromas or flavors.
11-18-2012 01:15:01 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.29/5 rDev +18.2%
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.
05-26-2014 18:31:43 | More by Phyl21ca
3.53/5 rDev -2.8%
A: about a two finger very frothy off white head on a jet black body with really no light getting through.
S: lots of wood character, mostly cedar and oak. roasted malts and floral notes. dark fruit notes.
T: interesting and unique flavor for sure. coffee and chocolate malts with the pinot noir minimally represented, less so than in the aroma, and mostly competing with the crispness of the carbonation.
M: medium body and very very high carbonation, almost like club soda level.
Overall: This one is good in some areas and poor in others. I was very interested in this one given the pinot noir barrel aging but it didnt meet those expectations.
07-06-2012 02:44:51 | More by kylehay2004
3.73/5 rDev +2.8%
A - The cork blows out as soon as the cage is taken off and the beer pours with a huge, five finger head of medium brown foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head sticks around almost indefinitely and eventually leaves thick lace in its wake.
S - Dark malt with notes of oak and red wine.
T - Brown malt and some chocolate up front with a hint of dark fruit. Some much darker chocolate notes in the middle with a bit of black cherry and some oak. Finishes with licorice, dark chocolate, red wine, and charred malt.
M - Medium body, very high carbonation, and a balanced finish.
D - This beer is very intense and really is just too much on several fronts. The base beer seems like it would stand up really well on its own, but the pinot noir barrel character is just too much and it clashes with some of the darker, charred tones of the base beer. The aroma is much more promising than the flavor turns out to be. I feel like both the barrel aging and the base beer were done well here, but they don't play well with each other. I would like to try a whiskey barrel version of the stout and another of the brewery's beers (perhaps a Belgian) aged in a wine barrel, but I think they may need to abandon the idea of putting this stout in wine barrels.
07-06-2012 02:47:27 | More by nickfl
3.83/5 rDev +5.5%
This looked pretty interesting for a not too expensive BA Imp Stout in Pinot barrels, esp something from as far as New Zealand. I remember enjoying a lot of their beers at The Festival.
The pour had no sediment at the bottom of the bottle so it's gotta be filtered, and not as bottle conditioned as I thought, but pours a really nice fluffy slight airy 1 finger darker colored head fades semi slowly with tons of lacing, over an almost pitch black colored beer with touch of molasses brown light sneaking through the bottom of the stem.
Nose brings nice dark malts, some dark choc and powdered cocoa, lots of caramel, dusty powdered cocoa like, little black malt and mild malted milk ball, plenty of caramel and fluffy nougat, really candy like, faint hint of raisin too with the slightest vinous like note, and little coffee perhaps, and slight touch of vanilla barrel.
Taste starts with more dark black malts, cocoa, dark choc, mild black malt and dry acrid roast, hint of coffee with that, into little dry powdered cocoa. Then caramel and fluffy nougat, more candy bar, mild lactose powder, very very dry all around. Mild warming booze starts creeping up and gets fairly hot towards teh finish. As my mouth gets acclimated to the heat and lots of dark malts and cocoa, a hint of a raisiny flavor that's almost like dried grape and vinous qualities comes through, and mild barrel char note. Some earthy spicy hop bitterness ramps up too, and gets fairly bitter overall. Finish is very dry as it started, not sticky or syrupy either, more powdered cocoa and dark choc, bitter earthy spicy hops come through, and a little char and roasted flavors lingering... very late on the flavor is a small hint of actual pinot like mild wine flavor.
Mouth is med to fuller bod, fluffy carb, mild warming booze that gets a little hot as it goes.
Overall not bad, nice dark malts, roasted and black malts hint at acrid char but don't get over bearing, I wish the barrel came through a little more, but hints of a rasiny dried grape are present, booze is OK but a little warm overall. Still not a bad beer at all.
12-27-2013 02:05:59 | More by jlindros
3.83/5 rDev +5.5%
Poured into a brandy snifter, there's still plenty of head and a blanket of lace. The liquid is near black where no light passes.
The smell has plenty of dark chocolate, cocoa powder and chalk.
The taste has a lot burnt elements to it, perhaps too much so. This dominates the flavor, although the alcohol content is quite notable. The mouthfeel is as one would expect from an Imperial Stout. The aftertaste is dry cocoa and alcohol warmth.
07-14-2013 17:03:34 | More by smcolw
2.59/5 rDev -28.7%
My second beer from this brewery. I didn't much care for the first. Expectations are above average; it sounds good and I'm in the mood for the style, but I'm suspicious of its current low (by beeradvocate standards) ratings. Self-identifies as an Imperial Stout; it doesn't specify that it's a Russian Imperial Stout. Cost was $5.99 at a nearby Whole Foods; I guess that alone should have set off warning bells - a barrel aged import from halfway across the Earth oughtn't to be so inexpensive. Imported by Moa USA - another red flag, as a quaint local kiwi craft brewery wouldn't have its own importing company stateside.
"Flavored ale." Aged in Pinot Noir Barrels. Bottle fermented and conditioned. 10.2% ABV confirmed.
12.7 fl oz dark green (ugh...) bottle with attractive text and symbols on the actual glass and a hood and wire cap (i.e. cage) over a cork served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.
Cork pops out with unnatural ease; that is the easiest cork to pop out I've ever come across and I've encountered one or two corked beers.
A: Pours a two finger dark khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and pretty good (~4+ minute) retention. Soft complexion. Light lacing as the head slowly recedes.
Body colour is an opaque (nontransparent and nontranslucent) solid dark black; not quite a jet black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.
Spot-on for the style, but not unique or special. Still, it's looking good. I'm starting to get a bit more confidence.
Sm: Chocolate, chocolate malt, white grapeskin, some generic woody notes but I wouldn't say oak, wine must, dark malts, a hint of vague lychee. The darker more conventional stout notes are up front whilst the wine-redolent notes are on the climax and finish - leaving me with the impression this is going to be structurally imbalanced and divisive. The notes don't feel cohesive and seamless, but rather opposing. Some cream. No coffee or roast. Some overly present hop character, including primarily floral hops. The out-of-place wine notes are unwelcome and supplant the imperial stout character. The barrel aging seems to overwhelm the base beer; this isn't seeming ideal at all. A mild strength aroma with a troublesome blatant lack of balance and subtlety. Nothing about the execution screams careful deliberate barrel aging. I'm skeptical of this.
T: Oh boy. She's imbalanced as hell. It's a warzone: overwhelmed traditional imperial stout notes - including chocolate malt, a bit of cream, and dark malts - struggle to fend off the pesky overbearing wine notes to no avail. By the start of the second act, the imperial stout notes have been defeated and only the wine notes remain, accompanied by an unwelcome untamed sweetness punctuated inappropriately by strangely artifical lychee notes. Nothing in terms of barrel or wood here; if you wanted refined oak you'll be disappointed. The wine notes grow a bit musty by the climax, evoking a raisiney caramel-ly vibe as the climax hands the baton to the lackluster finish. Aftertaste is all unwelcome sweetness that just plain doesn't belong in any beer of the style. Zero coffee, zero actual chocolate, zero roast. Some artificial grape juice. Syrupy.
I think I might be able to safely say this is a spectacular failure at an imperial stout; American Imperial Stout or Russian Imperial Stout style status notwithstanding.
Grows more and more raisin-y and a bit vinous as it warms. Whatever pinot noir the barrels previously contained was a poor wine.
Flavour duration is average. Flavour intensity is well below average for the style, but average overall.
Mf: Dries unnecessarily on the finish. Overcarbonated. Rugged. Smooth up front, but it coarsens as it goes, evoking a shriveled raisin-y character rather than whatever intricate smooth wine notes they unsuccessfully went for. Poor presence on the palate. Fails to facilitate the better flavours from the profile. Syrupy and thick - overly so for the lack of flavour diversity and depth.
Dr: Fails to hit the key elements of the style on a fundamental level. Frankly, I'm unsure what to give it. Partly because in spite of all its flaws, it's still damn drinkable for 10.2% ABV. I don't hate it, though I could certainly see where such a response would be justified. It requires an alteration of one's expectations; if you're expecting and in the mood for a good imperial stout, this will massively disappoint. Wouldn't recommend it to friends and I wouldn't get it again. I'll concede that it's a failure at what it's attempting to do, but if we consider it aside from its purported style, it's not a bad beer per se. I can see this beer being a love/hate brew for many. But at its current price point, I'd say it's worth the roll of the dice.
It may be the biggest waste of barrel aging I've ever come across.
06-19-2013 05:40:06 | More by kojevergas
1.41/5 rDev -61.2%
Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears pitch black in the glass with a massive three finger head that takes forever to dissipate. Looks to be over carbonated with large chunks of soapy lacing left behind when the head finally settles into a lasting collar.
Deeply roasted dark malt aroma with a strong oak presence but not much wine or vinous fruit character. Charred oak, burnt sugar, stale coffee, toast and ash. Desperately in need of some sweetness to prevent it from being so acrid in the nose. Not sure how long it was in the barrel but all I'm getting is oak and the Pinot noir character is completely obliterated.
Medium bodied, extremely dry and way over carbonated. I could see how some would think there's an infection but its just insanely acrid and dry and the carbonation level is off the charts. Burnt wood, ash, cigarette butt, smoke, rotten coffee bean, burnt malt and toast dominate the palate. Just like the aroma, it's in disparate need of some sweetness and the Pinot noir flavor is not detectable. The high ABV is well masked but this beer is an unprintable mess. Drain pour.
03-05-2013 08:13:34 | More by corby112
2.95/5 rDev -18.7%
A: Poured a way to overcarbonated jet black color with a big brown cap that took about five minutes to settle.
S: Charred wood, licorice, chocolate, dark fruits, nice and light funkiness
T: Some dark fruit notes upfront, with charred wood, hint of funk giving way to acidic, coffee and licorice
M: Way overcarbonated, medium to big body, boozey
O: Meh. Pass.
09-01-2012 16:32:42 | More by barleywinefiend
4/5 rDev +10.2%
(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.
01-02-2013 21:17:50 | More by rhoadsrage
3.55/5 rDev -2.2%
Pours a light brown, three-finger head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Black color, no highlights. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Dark roasted malt nose, flavor is earthy malts and bitter chocolate, hints of pinot noir. $5.00 for a caged & corked 375ml green bottle from Vinodivino Needham, MA.
05-29-2014 22:30:53 | More by jdhilt
3.13/5 rDev -13.8%
Thick pour gives me a black colored beer with a small brown colored head.
Scents of chocolate and fruit the wine scent is easy to find. Scents of raspberry and faint mint.
Starts out heavy on the patent malt and a bit smoky. Dry wine flavor taste more like Grappa. Semisweet with some coffee flavors, but mostly I taste mountains of patent malt. One of the more heavily charred of the imperial stouts.
Mouthfeel is thick.
Overall this is just an average stout. Wine barrel does little for this beer type, they should use whiskey or rum barrels instead.
11-20-2013 02:49:00 | More by Zorro
2.18/5 rDev -39.9%
I like Moa, and their attempt to make an imperial stout aged in pinot noir barrels attracts me. Bottled in a small 375 ml corked and caged container, on to the beer:
Gusher! Once that cage is untied, the cork pushes right up and pops, bringing the force of the beer behind it. Reset. Still pours very foamy. Soapy looking suds sticking around on topand leaving a lot of lace. The body below is obsidian colored and looking pretty. The nose is two worlds, offering a good roasty and smokey stout on one hand and a sourness in the other. The melding of the two isn't perfect, so I'm a haveta deduct from the score.
Extremely carbonated and bubbly, and even this level might be too much for a Belgian. If you can get past the carbonation, you find the taste, which is a bland sourness (possible infection) and some stout character (smokey, roasty, and some molasses). Just the stout base that I can sense would make it a good beer, the rough sourness (whether it's infection or the aging in pinot noir barrels) and hyper-carbonation make this tough to drink.
That's a bust. I still like the Mao brand, but this is not the reason why.
11-20-2012 07:59:56 | More by DoubleJ
Moa Imperial Stout (Aged In Pinot Noir Barrels) from Moa Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 352 ratings.