Moa Imperial Stout (Aged In Pinot Noir Barrels)
Moa Brewing Company

Moa Imperial Stout (Aged In Pinot Noir Barrels)Moa Imperial Stout (Aged In Pinot Noir Barrels)
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #803
Ranked #29,016
3.77 | pDev: 14.85%
Moa Brewing Company
New Zealand
Very Good
Moa Imperial Stout (Aged In Pinot Noir Barrels)Moa Imperial Stout (Aged In Pinot Noir Barrels)
Notes: Moa Imperial Stout Barrel Reserve is a very strong, upfront and rich offering of this famous Moa style. Aged in oak Pinot Noir barrels, this beer not only displays coffee and mocha characters but also some sweet and savory notes unique to Moa Imperial. This award winning Stout is seasonally produced and available for short periods each year.
Reviews: 153 | Ratings: 575 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
3.19/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Moa Brewing Co., 500ml Imperial Oak Aged Stout. Bought from Cold Storage supermarket in Singapore. 10.2% ABV
500ml bottle. BB date completely without trace on the bottle/label/cap/top/bottom/anywhere.
L- Inky black. 1cm tan head.
S- Toasty, deep molasses
T- Deeply toasty, heavy treacle, pungent, with smoky dry finish.
M- A rich smoky mouthfeel, coupled with a full-on 10.2% flavour/body. Might work better in winter than 35C Singapore.
O- Hefty brew. But at that level it balances with it's mouthfeel. Not your standard issu 'tropical refresher', but very interesting to try. Drunk 9/Feb/2019.

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Photo of Outsider_Brewing
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have seasonal beer tastings at one of my bars, The Vault. We had this in our winter tasting.
Pours jet black with no head. Good deep aroma with oak at the forefront. Taste is strong, stout with a lot of barrel and late bitterness. Mouth feel is quite viscous.
Very nice beer but wouldn't want too many.

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Photo of VoxRationis
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Decanted from a 12.7 oz (376 ml) bottle into a snifter glass; no production information.
A: Pours pitch black color with virtually no head formation, just a slight rim of bubbles, and no lacing. Rudimentary legs.
S: Aromas of espresso, unsweetened chocolate, pitted fruit (plum, cherry), berry, molasses, tobacco. A little nutty.
T: Semisweet and booziness evident. Flavors basically mirror the nose. Could I pick up pinot noir? In truth, maybe. Tobacco bitterness a nice offset to the sweet malts.
M: Full bodied and thick with virtually no carbonation.
O: This was an ambitious effort and certainly a complex flavor sensation. I tend to like high carbonation in my stouts and that was not an element of this bottle of Moa. Perhaps that is simply a product of barrel aging. Production information when the plan is to export would be helpful.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Vaguely translucent black pour into the center of a large snifter didn't produce any head at all... No idea about the bottling date, but this was really wine-forward beer! I'd almost go so far as to say it simply tasted like someone mixed pinot noir with a stout...

Lots of tannic berry and cherry-like impressions - not too tart, not too sweet, but very reminiscent of a dark red wine, with ample barrel notes - and then more traditional cocoa and coffee-like suggestions of stout ale... The body was very thin, smooth and easy-drinking - not heavy at all, and very slick and quick across the palate...

As it warmed, it became more stout-like, and I gotta say, I'm really liking it, but as a RIS, it may not be what you're looking for, but as an interesting brew... well, really cool...

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Photo of bwood06
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

My wife and I took a trip to New Zealand recently and as is per the norm with our trips, the vacation turned into a wine and beer tour of the county (along with some triathlon racing and sightseeing too). This was a beer that was hard to pass up for me since I found it rather difficult to find stouts while we were there (it was late spring, but still...).

This beer pours a pitch black hue with mahogany edges and no carbonation is visible. A thin khaki colored head dissipates quickly to a thin lacing that is retained nicely. 3.75/5 The aroma is very malty with dark roasted grains, wheat bread, dark chocolate, espresso, vanilla, and a light oakiness to round things out. There is a bit of an herbal hoppiness but this is rather muted and more of an undertone. 3.75/5 The flavor profile is just like the aroma with the same malt and hop notes. The intensity is moderate but flavorful with each note standing out quite nicely. Bitterness is moderate and lingers for a good while after swallowing. 3.75/5 This beer is a full bodied stout (as expected) that features a light carbonation tickle up front before transitioning to a light dryness that lingers after swallowing. Prior to the dryness kicking in, slight wetting sensation occurs. 4/5 This is a good stout that has a flavor profile that works well. Each flavor really has its moment in the sun and they all jive together nicely. The ABV is not noticeable to me, but this may be due to the fact that I regularly drink Imperials in the US. 3.75/5

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Photo of avalon07
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and an opaque texture. There was a small amount of foamy, tan-colored head that quickly dissipated. Pretty sparse lacing.

S: A quite subdued aroma of chocolate, malt, a vinous quality, and caramel.

T: Tasted of a lot of roasted malt, a bit of dark chocolate, the aforementioned vinous quality (the advertised pinot noir), a lot of lactose notes, a hint of caramel, and a woody quality. None the ingredients, save the lactose, really shine through. Kind of a low impact flavor.

F: An average amount of carbonation with a dry as dirt finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Not one of the more memorable RIS's I've tried. Could have better.

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Photo of constantine_272
4.47/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thin and blackish brown with no head, highly viscous. Kinda looks like used motor oil. The nose brings chocolate rapberry and vanilla bean. The taste starts sweet with chocolate syrup, and a smooth the buttery oak. Red raspberry was prominent at first but receeds as you keep drinking giving way to fascinating eucalyptus herbal brightness and heat. Long cocoa nib finishes. Just the right amount of dryness. I was disappointed at first by the low carbonation but more might have overpowered the more subtle buttery flavors. This is a smooth sweet sipper. At first I didn't get it but its more of a liqueur or an apperetif then a beer. Hard to believe the ABV considering how easy and smooth it is.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Aroma Is raspberry, chocolate, plum. Dark black color. Thick. Small white head. Taste is cola, wood, earth, dark chocolate.

I’m a tad disappointed, but this is still a very good beer.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.52/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12.7 oz. bottle

Pours black with a dense creamy light tan foam head. Smells like big vinous grapes, red wine, oak barrel, mild smoke, dark roast coffee, bitter dark chocolate, dark roasted malt, toasted bread, caramel, with earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like dark roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, smoky oak barrel, vinous grapes, tannic red wine, caramel, toast, with earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, dense and creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a real nice red wine barrel aged imperial stout.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got on trade! 375ml bottle served at cellar temperature in a challis.

A- Opens well and pours a nearly 1" high brown head that films out within 2mins. Very dark brown colour

S- Lots of malt and barrel aging. Some heat

T- Mellow sweet and slight mild barrel flavor. Must be a second use barrel as I have had first use barrel brews and they are far more potent in the wine flavor. Not a bad brew but subdued in the barrel aging department. With a first use this brew is a 5 on the taste as the base stout is spot on

M- Creamy going down then dries out as expected.

O- Like this one. Mellow and rich. Excellent sipping brew. Super well blended. Will buy if I ever see it around

Food Pairing

This wonderful little brew was a bit easier to pair due to the subdued barrel flavor so... This brew went well with....... Slowly BBQ beef ribs with a home made rub


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Photo of Uscjojo
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The bottle design is nice. This stout looks really good. Poured ruby red while pouring and looks black. Head disappears to a nice ring. The smell is hoppy, grape, and oak. Tastes sweet with coffee bitterness and lingering hops. Feel is not thick, but good. This is a good stout and I reaaly enjoyed this. The price tag was 5.99, so I will probably buy another and age it to see how it changes. This is not bad for 100 IBU's. It's also pretty thin for a stout.

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Photo of ccg
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Looks like a really solid stout. Nice thin film of bubbles, some immediate lacing.
Smells more like wine than beer. Those pinot barrels really did their work. Tons of red grape and oak on the nose.
Flavor is oak, dark cocoa, red wine, smoky roasted malt, and a bit of bitterness in the background.
The carbonation works well, but I would like a bit more density.
Overall, a pretty solid expression of the style. The wine barrels complement the stout without overpowering it.

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Photo of manfromanotherplace
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a 4 case of these for $1.99.....yes 1 dollar 99 in bellmore, ny. Ridiculous price so gave it a try.this is surprisingly good, especially for $0.50 a bottle.smell has a definite oaky red wine smell and its also present in the stout, it combines well though and its a pretty good stout overall.

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Photo of sanha926
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Surprisingly good, can definitively smell and taste the wine barrel. Not the best balance -- at times the strong alcohol taste is overwhelming. Still, a nice imperial stout.

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Photo of Czarkazm
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A light brown, almost bronze looking color on the pour. In the glass, the body is a few shades short of black, allowing some ruby red highlights to shine through. The head that did form was short-lived; a soft cocoa powder tan color and consistency that clings to the glass. In the aroma, toasted English malt, caramel, milk chocolate, tart cherries, cranberries, French oak, toasted hazelnuts, balanced roastiness, and some earthy hops. The mouth feel is full medium, with strong sweetness and mild bitterness. The flavor imparts heavy notes of oak, brown sugar, toffee, cocoa, prunes, grape skin tannins, roasted malts, some coffee, and an underlying nuttiness.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter. The color is jet black with a thin, khaki-colored head and lacing. It smells of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and toffee, with a whiff of smoke. The taste is complex: smoky firewood, red wine, burnt coffee, and dark chocolate. There is also a hint of caramel and the finish. On top of all this, this stout is quite bitter. in all, it has one of the more complex palates I've experienced in an Imperial Stout. This stout is medium-bodied, very smooth but packs a punch at 10.2% ABV. Overall, it is an ambitious Imperial Stout and a very good one! While it's a sipper, I also think it would pare well with a nice piece of beef.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Wow, a shit ton of carbonation on this one, understated black, lots of brown color.

Interesting aroma, you get plenty of vinous white wine barrel, roast and just a tinge of smoke at the end of it.

Taste is more white wine barrel, the mouthfeel is extremely light given the carbonation and wine barrel for a beer of this magnitude. Its not just unique, its good, but not great by any means. Certainly a better price wise alternative than the Mikkeller White Wine barrel black hole, coming in between 2-3x as much cost wise as this beer, for essentially a thicker mouthfeel.

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Photo of josephandbrown
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle pour into a mason jar.

This imperial stout poured a very dark brown with hints of a pinot noir color. The latter I can only see when shining a light through it. It is almost opaque, but the light gets through a little. It had a reasonable head which was probably mitigated somewhat by my glass choice.

The pinot barrels dominate the aroma for me. I get strong oak scents and some wine notes in every sniff. The flavor is similar- there are very strong oak notes with hints of the wine. The malt comes through on the aftertaste, as well as an extra bitter bite to tame the excess sugars.

The beer is very smooth, almost oily, in my mouth. The carbonation is strong, which is to be expected considering the style.

Overall, a tasty and nuanced stout. I wish I would have had this to pair with my Thanksgiving food, as I think it would complement those rich flavors well.

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Photo of tzieser
4.47/5  rDev +18.6%
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 MichialTanner1
4.04/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Having thoroughly enjoyed my first Moa brew, St. Joseph's, I was compelled to pick up the "other" Moa brew available here in Texas. Poured into a Harviestoun stem glass.

As this beer has all of the characteristics of a good imperial stout, let's get to what is unique about it. I'm pairing this with a NY strip steak and there is a notable smoked malt flavor (altbier/rauchbier) present, which couldn't work any better--this could be an affect of the red wine barrels used for aging. The head lasts to the bottom of the glass, but little lacing on the sides.

Hopefully, I won't have to travel to another hemisphere to enjoy further Moa offerings, as I liked this one and St.Joseph's so much. Check this one out.

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Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
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 Furlinator
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From the corked and caged bottle.

Pours nearly black with a creamy tan head that never completely dissipates. There's a lot going on here. Oak, hop bitterness (100 IBU), lots of dark fruit and a hint of vanilla. Moderate booze presence. An interesting stout.

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Photo of dcotom
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
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 jopezu
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

slightly violet black, with a small tan head. nose; burnt/spicy wood profile, cocoa and coffee bean bitters. odd nose for a ris, undoubtedly from the wine barrels. taste; shades of roasted malt, vanilla and cocoa get dominated by the wine/barrel influence (choked by it really). the entire middle wash is grape, chocolate and wood. aftertaste is dry, puckering wine-tannin, burnt oak, grape peel and cocoa. strong carbonation, and creamy mouthfeel. the big wine influence here makes for a very odd mixture that may delight some wine fans, and confound/displease most stout fans. definitely a tangent for the style that, while keeping some decent ris assets, simply isn't my favorite.

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Photo of Chris912
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A nice sized bottle, caged and corked. Received this as an extra. Had some nice dark fruits on the nose and during the taste. Mouthfeel was medium, not much to write home about. I'd drink it again, but wouldn't seek it out.

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Moa Imperial Stout (Aged In Pinot Noir Barrels) from Moa Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 575 ratings