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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: 489
Avg: 3.62
pDev: 31.22%
Wants: 10
Gots: 57 | 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: 489
Photo of Zorro
3.14/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of McStagger
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes.

A: Pours an unimpressive murky brown. Minimal head, moderate lacing. Light can easily pass through the edges.

S: Milk chocolate, bing cherry, toffee, malted milk chocolate. Small amounts of roastiness and coffee.

T: Milk chocolate, the same cherry. Some spicy elements, more roastiness in the finish. Finish is sweet and rounded.

M: Small for the mouthfeel. Slightly flabby.

O: Not a bad stout. Misses the depth of flavors of what many would consider "imperial".

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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 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 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 LampertLand
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

MOA 'Imperial Stout' @ 10.2% , served from a 375 ml corked & caged bottle purchased for $6

A-pour is a dark cola brown from the bottle to an all black in the glass , some ruby red peeking thru the glass edge , with a small tan head leaving a minimal streaky lace ring along the pint

S-the 'Pinot Noir' barell aging really comes thru

T-again the 'Pinot Noir' can be tasted , butt it's the roasted coffe that my palate is tasting by the time you swallow

MF-low mild carbonation , full bodied

Ov-ok/good beer , average 'RIS' , curious to try the non-barell MOA Stout

prost LampertLand

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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 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 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 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 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 pkalix
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

interesting.... pinot noir barrels... but from new Zealand, I wonder?
no head to speak of, very dark brown; only a slight translucence at the very edge.... there is a minimal amount of foam with some vigorous pouring, but it really doesn't last....
smell is of.... dirt? I got some unique commercial 'purple' grape at the very first, but cannot replicate it....
smell is not getting me as excited as I was when I purchased this at Bevmo yesterday....
taste...stout, for certain. typical slight coffee, etc... but lots of 'band aid' flavor to it. always looking for that next ECLIPSE. this aint it. luckily, if i'm gonna drink it, it's got some serious alcohol to make me forget about it.... don't remember what I paid for it; hope it wasn't a lot. it's not bad. it's actually rather okay.... but like I said, I keep looking for that next ECLIPSE. that stuff is AWESOME. but hey, it's new Zealand. whaddya expect, huh? and is that an ostrich etched on the neck of the bottle???
if anyone is wondering what the 'band aid' taste is... it's that taste of sucking on a band aid when I was young, maybe 40 some years ago. I know band aid has changed its materials and designs, but sucking on the rubber-type band aid produced a distinct flavor, one which I have tasted in many chipotle-tinted flavored brews, most notably Stone's chipotle and vanilla stouts. very prominent in those brews.... anyway, I have a Supplication by Russian River sitting in my frig and I will compare that to this pinot noir-barreled brew. although I have already had a few Supplications and they are FAR SUPERIOR to this one. but just for comparison, ya know> apples to apples. except for the bretts... well, and this is a stout....

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a skim cocoa head. No real lace.

Big cocoa and french roast coffee aromas, and some dark fruit in the nose.

Nice dark chocolate and coffee note up front. Some alcohol, but well hidden. A little vanilla, a little dark fruit, nice mellow bitterness from the charred malt in the finish.

Full bodied and appropriate carbonation.

Very good drinkable RIS. I don't get as much of the wine cask element to this one as I expected, but it doesn't take away from it.

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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 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 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 CookstLiquor
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375ml bottle> pours a typically dark brown/nearly black with a modest reddish-brown head that doesn't last for long. Nose has some really pleasant molasses, booze, coffee and chocolate notes. Taste is big and rich with strong malt notes that are hearty and bold. A little sweet, a little savoury, thanks to the smoky notes of the dark malts. Excellent carbonation from bottle conditioning.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.87/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12.7 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: Pitch black with a nice tan creamy head that was 2 fingers thick.

S: Sweet and malty, it smells more like a barleywine actually. A bit of spicy grape in there as well.

T: I haven't had much pinot noir before but it lends the stout a great flavor. It gives it a more floral grape flavor with just a hint of alcohol there. There is a bit of roasty malt in there as well.

M: Nice slightly prickly carbonation every now and then but other than that it is quite silky smooth.

O: My first pinot noir aged stout, and it is quite good. It is an interesting stout that is for sure. The pinot noir barrels change it quite a lot from the standard barrel aging.

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Photo of smcolw
3.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had on-tap at One-Eyed Betty's in Ferndale, Michigan as part of a paddle.

Appearance: Pitch black with a miniscule, slightly tan head. Lacing is phenomenal, and my sample glass was full of it from top to bottom.

Smell: Smokey. That's what I think of when I smelled and tasted this beer... a really smokey, ashy sort of character to it that I wasn't really expecting -- I felt like this was a smoked beer. I don't KNOW if they smoke this beer, but it gave that to me, and I actually enjoyed it. A lot of ashy, smokey roasted malt smells. Despite that, this doesn't come off as burnt to me at all.

Taste/feel: A lot like the smell. It tastes very good, but it's sort of one dimensional. There's that smoky flavor with the roasted malts, but that's really it. I do love the slight bitterness of this one, and that it's not sweet or syrupy. I'd still like if Moa RIS maybe had a fruity sort of sweetness to it though, so it doesn't just drink like ashy/smoke water.

My description of this beer makes it sound pretty awful, but I think the BAs' consensus of this beer is just about spot on -- it's a good beer. It doesn't have a rich body that I think of most RIS's of having, and I don't even think that the alcohol comes through at all in any way for this beer. So if you're expecting a big, bold, rich and heavy RIS to warm you up in a foot of snow, this probably isn't the choice. For a guy like me, who tends to enjoy a good stout, but necessarily an RIS, this would be worth trying out. It has that nice smoke/ash flavor, it's easy drinking (too much so given the ABV), and I'd have it again if I wanted a smokey stout.

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Photo of BAS
3.86/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from a corked bottle into a 10oz Pilsner tasting glass at 50F. Perhaps not coincidentally, I had a similar experience with this bottle as other's have had. I was skeptical of the quality of this beer when I purchased it because it is an import and does come in a green-glass bottle, which I have definitely not had good luck with in the past. The cork released extremely easily with a slight pop, as if it were greased, leaving a pool of mist hovering in the neck of the bottle. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was no skunk to the scent of the mist or the cork.

A - Poured with medium vigor, it produced a nice tan head that held its ground for a few minutes. This beer is very dark, but not totally opaque, and slightly on the thick side. A great looking stout.

S - The scent was fresh but felt a bit sharp. Coffees, chocolates, and alcohol vapors equally present on the nose.

T - First reaction: Creamy. Chocolate forward followed by coffee, but not too strong on the coffee. A nicely balanced mocha aftertaste. Extremely good.

M - The alcohol and carbonation is slightly on the sharp and sour side, but not out of balance with the flavors. It coats the mouth just right, not too thick, not too thin, just about right. The alcohol burn with the well balanced mocha flavor was enjoyable.

O - I really enjoyed this one and would recommend it. I want compare it to other Pinot Noir barrel aged beers. I haven't tried enough of these yet to make any intelligent comparisons.

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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 bmwats
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 375 ml bottle into a snifter.

A: Very dark brown or black. Pours a 1 finger, foamy, brown head. Settles quickly leaving a smattering of foamy carbonation on the surface. Strong spider web lacing. Head renews fully with each pour.

S: Roasted espresso, dark chocolate, earthy malt grains, with some raisin and molasses. The raisin is a little strong and almost overbearing.

T: Charred malt grains. Bitter dark chocolate. A little cardboard, and a hint of heady, pungent sweetness.

M: Thick, hearty, and heavy. Syrupy feel. The wine-y flavor comes through as the finish approaches. Pungent, peaty aftertaste. Dry finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is really nice. Dark hue, decent head, and some strong lacing. Nose is dark roasted malt and espresso, accentuated with chocolate and wine grapes. Charred malt flavor with some bitter dark chocolate, and some heady slightly sweet wine character. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.62/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.


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Photo of vickersspitfire
3.32/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a nice dark brown color, almost black and is topped off with a nice dark tan head that’s very bubbly. The bubbles are thick and creamy and there seems to be plenty of carbonation I this one. Mild chocolate aromas come through; fig and raisin are also detectable, light floral smells are also present. This one is very crisp and is rather light bodied for an imperial stout, it’s also pretty bitter there are some berry flavors that come through. It looks and smells good but this is not what I expected from this beer, not bad overall just not what I expected from a RIS.

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