Momi Hiwa - Avery Brewing Company
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Ratings: 131 | Reviews: 22 | Show All Ratings:
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2.91/5 rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75
12 fl oz brown glass bottle with gold foiled-over branded Avery pry-off pressure cap and appealing label art acquired at a Colorado bottle shop and served into an Avery stem-tulip in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are extremely high given its current 92 rating as well as the description - a barrel aged coconut porter? Count me in! Bottled June 04 2013. 17.09% ABV. Production: 283 cases. There's zero indication on the label (or on Avery's website or in news articles on the release of this beer) that this is a baltic porter, so I'm reviewing as an imperial porter since it's high ABV and the label calls it a porter (and an ale).
Served chilled and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
Pours a one finger wide head of pale khaki colour. It's disappointingly thin and recedes to a floating ring within 15 seconds. The ring lingers a bit longer, but ultimately head retention is quite poor - though this is excusable at this high an ABV. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass, even when I tilt it.
Body colour is a very dark brown-black; opaque. I'd prefer a more solid jet-black. Clean; no floating yeast particles/sediment is visible. There are no egregious flaws here, but it's far from unique or special for the style. I'm really looking forward to trying it.
Sm: Coconut, dark malts, rum, sugarcane, wood barrel, raisin, a light booziness, fermented fruit, red grape, unrefined/turbinado sugars, and heavy malts I'd associate more with an English barleywine than a porter. The yeast character is hard to ascertain; I'd say the aroma suggests an English character and it's definitely an ale. A sticky and sweet aroma but nevertheless a pleasant one. I'd hoped for some toasty and/or roasty character, but I'm not getting that from the aroma.
No hop profile is detectable. The alcohol is surprisingly tame given the ABV; I'd guess this was 13% at most based on the aroma. There are no off-notes.
An inviting if intimidating aroma of average strength.
T: Sweet sticky rum and sugarcane notes overwhelm the coconut - which doesn't seem to possess any toasted character at all. There's lots of sticky fruit - raisins, grapes, maybe even plum. Coconut is a tough note to incorporate because actual genuine coconut has a very timid flavour (as opposed to coconut extract). Unfortunately, Avery didn't quite figure out how to integrate it well.
Burnt sugars. A kiss of char. Some sherry/brandy touches. Prunes. Some fig. Port wine.
I get plenty of dark English malt character in the foundation, but I'm not finding the chocolate/chocolate malts promised by the label's description. Also, any wood or barrel notes (aside from the boozy rum) are too buried to be noticeable, to the beer's detriment. Certainly on the sweeter side.
As it warms, I pick up marshmallow and a very faint toasty quality.
There's plenty of complexity here, but not as much as you'd expect. Lacks subtlety and intricacy. The rum and coconut do lend it some needed nuance, but this is far from a unique or special flavour profile. Rum and coconut have both been better executed elsewhere (the former by this same brewery). This profile feels a bit messy and certainly lacks balance. The build has a loose cohesion but isn't gestalt. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. Overall, I think this is a case where the execution just doesn't deliver on the premise.
No hop or yeast character comes through. I do think the alcohol is very well disguised, as I'd guess this was maybe 11% if I had it blind. Astounding.
There are no off flavours.
Mf: Sticky, chewy, thick, smooth, and wet. That said, as it warms it becomes more dry and chalky - to its detriment.
Well-carbonated. Syrupy. The viscosity is a bit off-putting, and makes me fear this will really decline with age. The texture doesn't accentuate the flavours of the taste particularly well, and isn't ideal for an imperial porter. Execution could be better. Luckily, the booziness is tame.
Not oily, astringent, gushed, or harsh.
Dr: It does hide its ABV pretty well and in that sense it's quite drinkable even though it's obviously a sipper.
This is the kind of flavour profile that could become a nightmare with age. Drink this now if you have one. I hoped and expected to be blown away, but this is far from Avery's finest work. I'm pretty disappointed. It doesn't deliver on the premise and frankly I wouldn't buy it again if I saw it on shelves tomorrow. Not worth trading for. I wouldn't recommend it to friends. I love what they were after but this just isn't up to par. Definitely a dessert beer. It'll be difficult to finish all 12 ounces, but I'll manage - much to my dentist's chagrin.
Serving type: bottle
02-21-2014 02:36:50 | More by kojevergas
Momi Hiwa from Avery Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 131 ratings.