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

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135 Reviews
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Moa Imperial Stout (Aged In Pinot Noir Barrels)Moa Imperial Stout (Aged In Pinot Noir Barrels)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Moa Brewing Company
New Zealand (Aotearoa) | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by KickbacksSteve on 01-14-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
135
Ratings:
514
Avg:
3.64
pDev:
30.77%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
67
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 135 | Ratings: 514
Photo of notchucknorris
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a nice thick black color with a slightly creamy tan head. Looks good.

S: You really have to work to get a smell out of this. After a lot of swirling, I picked up some powdery roasted malt, wet earth, some dark chocolate covered espresso beans and some blackberry jam that I assume is from the Pinot. Some tobacco as well.

T: I don't know about this one. The only way I can describe the opening flavor is "spur espresso." Powdery cocoa powder follows with notes of burnt raisin, smoked peat, and charred malt. Finish has some leafy hop resin and merlot barrel. I taste the elements at work here, but I just don't think they go together well at all.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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 PorterLambic
4.06/5  rDev +11.5%
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 liamt07
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by Jon, 375ml bottle into a tulip.

Black with a light mocha head. Good retention and a little bit of lace. Nose of smoke, tar, some burnt plastic and underlying hop character. Taste has heavy smoke, burnt plastic, charcoal, black licorice. Hops are again in the background, finishes acidic. Not sure what the wine barrel added here. Medium high carbonation, lighter medium body. Not something I enjoyed at all, weird flavours and a palate that was too light for me.

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Photo of Bung
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12.7 oz. it's black, pretty much no light gets through. Nice half finger of light tan head. Just stuck to the glass a bit.

Aroma, heavy road malt, anise, some plum and port like grape.

Taste, heavy roast malt, along with large plum, black currant. Herbal type hops, dark chocolate. Some earthy dry cocoa in the finish.
Struggled between 3 and 3.5 here, gave the nod.

Pretty thick body, could be full if not for the higher than normal carbonation. Drinks easy enough, but the high carb chops it up a bit, and adds a little more harshness. Improves as it warns though.

On the dry fruity side. Not overly expensive so worth a try, but temper your expectations.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.91/5  rDev +7.4%
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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Photo of cvm4
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A - Took the cage off & the cork immediately shot up! Then the beer started bubbling out. I hate it when this happens. But, when I cleaned everything up & poured it pretty black, with a nice tan head and good lacing.

S - Musty, roasty, earthy & slightly sour.

T - Some coffee that transitions to sour grapes & ends with a dry chocolate.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation. Not a fan of that combined.

O - It's interesting, to say the least, but just not well done, IMO.

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Photo of TheBigLebrewski
4.28/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very good looking. Very. Plenty of head, tinted coffee-brown. The coffee, and a touch of bitter chocolate hang around for the scent, coupled with yeast and the slightest inclination of red wine. An odd but appealing blend in the overall smell that implies a very well choreographed beverage.

Taste is initially pretty dry, turns to softly sour chalk, and fades to a dry yeasty mellow swallow that leaves a chalky red wine aftertaste. I very much enjoyed the flavor, though was left to desire a bit more dry bitterness characteristic of my favorite imperial stouts.

Mouthfeel, for the first time I've ever claimed such, is this beer's weak point. Seems to emphasize the chalky aspects in the taste, and the pinot noir barrels (and age) definitely tilted this beer's viscosity a touch towards that of wine. Indeed, for the amount of carbonation and head in the pour, and the complexity of the flavor, the mouthfeel ended up venturing off in a direction I didn't appreciate as much as I did the other novel directions this beer takes.

Overall, an awesomely appealing beer and a great concept that is very well executed, but is lacking in aspects personally desired of an aged imperial stout. I would imagine one who enjoys both beer and wine to an equitable degree might absolutely love this one, and I personally look forward to putting some more age on a few bottles and seeing what happens!

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Photo of ZiggySquid
4.32/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this both on tap and in a bottle. Much better from the tap if you can find it.

Appearance-Dark brown/black with nice mocha head. Not heavy in carbonation

Smell-Woodsy, almost earths with an aroma of red wine and roasted coffee

Taste-Very similar to the aroma. Quick bite at first, probably due to the high alcohol content, slight charcoal or roasted flavor, with a full flavor and the hint of dark fruits, but does not finish bitter or heavy. Finishes more like a rich red wine.

Mouthfeel-Expected the feel to be heavy and thick, but not really. Slight carbonation and rolls easily over the tongue.

Overall-Very different when you think of an Imperial Stout. Heavy looking but deceptive and the finish is really different. A lot more flavor characteristics are noticed from the tap rather than the bottle. Really good if you want a "Hey, this is really different" type of beer.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.7/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Moa Imperial Stout has a medium, creamy, beige head, and a very dark brown or black appearance, with lots of thick lacing left behind. The aroma is a mix of dark, sweet cherries and a dark-roasted malt. The flavor is strongly fruity, sweet, roasted, dark malts, and bitterness. Quite bitter. There is even a smoked aspect to this. Mouthfeel is heavy, and Moa Imperial Stout finishes dry, super rich, and pleasant. The alcohol is not present in the taste, but does show up in a strong way in the brain after a few sips. This is one to have! I rate it most excellent.

RJT

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Photo of LubricatedWisdom76
2.87/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

I am a big fan of most of the Moa and had never tried this beer so was hoping for big things, especially with the barrel aging. Unfortunately the over-carbonation ruins this beer, big time. In a category that is filled with tasty complexity and outstanding examples, this is below average.

Appearance: jet black but way to much yeasty carbonation from the bottle conditioning, even when poured carefully.

Smell: probably the best part of the whole experience as it combines roastiness and burnt flavors with a sourness and musty element from the barrel aging. Not my preference with this style but definitely interesting.

Taste: Like the aroma, it is a mix of burnt coffee and some definite tart, vinous qualities and sourness. The carbonation, though, scrubs the palate way too quickly so none of this good complexity hangs around.

Mouthfeel: The great ruiner of a beer that might otherwise have some unique features.

Overall: I wouldn't buy this again. At a time when the market is flooded with Imperial Stouts and DIPAs as most breweries' showcases of flavor this isn't one that can compete. I'll stick to the MOA pilsner and St. Josephs Tripel.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.24/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

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.

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Photo of Lare453
2.59/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle Into a riedel Shiraz glass

First of all, fuck this beer. After barely loosening the cage, the cork, cage attached, blew out of the bottle grazing my forehead. Then started foaming like an asshole all over my new floor.

A unbelievable amount of foam... I'm talking about foam like I've never seen before. Soapy foam sits on top, thick dish soap foam like what you get from sanitizing when you brew. Black in color...

S very sweet, musty, like a used barrel...

T musty, sweet beginning, ou definitely get a lot of the Pinot noir/red wine in the middle and ntp the end, the end also has a slight malt and roast. The aftertaste is dry red wine.

M thin and way over carbonated. Not great...

O the only thing this beer has going for it is that it is one of the few beers aged in red wine barrels that you actually get red wine in the flavor. Other than that I would not get it again...

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown, appearing black in the glass. Massive three finger medium brown head with great retention and tons of lacing. Interesting aroma of toasted malt, vanilla and a light fruity component that must be the wine barrel contribution, but it isn't all that vinous. Great flavor of dark toasted malt, chocolate and a light, intriguing vinous component. Finishes with toasted, slightly charred malt, chocolate, plums and hop bitterness. A unique and interestingly flavored stout. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. Wine barrel aged beers are usually not the most enjoyable of barrel aged beers for me, but this is superb. The flavor combination and progression is very enjoyable. An unusual and excellent stout. A brewery that tries to brew a bit outside the box, but succeeds with flavorful beers. I hope to see more of them.

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Photo of spoony
3.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 375 ml bottle into a snifter.

A-Tons of light brown head...tons of it. Seriously. Like four fingers-plus from a gentle pour (the cork basically jumped out the second I loosed the cage, so this wasn't surprising). Anyway, the brew is inky black. I couldn't see if there was any carbonation, but I assume there was because the head hung around for the entire glass and left considerable lacing.

S-Some dark, roasty malts, but also quote a bit of red wine and oak. There are hints of vanilla, too. A slightly different aroma for an imperial stout, and maybe a bit on the lighter side. Not much alcohol is present until the beer is room temp.

T-The taste was strangely tart with black cherry notes to go along with some mild roasted maltiness. It reminded me a bit of Madrugada Obscura from Jolly Pumpkin (or other sour stouts). There was just a touch of bitterness and very little alcohol heat. There was a slight soy sauce quality to it, as well that was not terrible, but not entirely pleasant.

M-Way too light for an imperial. The brew itself wasn't particularly light, but the level of carbonation makes this difficult to savor, and really detracts from the overall experience.

O-This beer has some potential to be a different type of imperial stout, and one that I enjoy. In fact, I actually enjoyed the smell and taste. Unfortunately, the over-carbonated nature makes the unique taste difficult to enjoy.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 mL bottle courtesy of fthomasl pours a black color with ample tan head. Nice lacing. No over-carbonation issues that seem to be rampant in this beer.

Fruity, coffee and wood. There is some definite notes of dark red wine. Interesting, and quite vinous.

Ohhh, taste is really nice....perfect cocoa and vinous fruit. I really like it, different for sure. The malts are tame, yet flavorful and the yeast plays a dusty, integral part. Tobacco...yes, yes with some roasty afterthoughts.
I am seriously impressed with this complex offering from New Zealand. Nice. Worth a shot even with the steep price tag.

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Photo of StuartCarter
4.23/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A deep, dark black/brown as you would expect with a RIS. A moderately heavy pour produced a finger-deep tan head which subsided to a thin coating at the top of the beer.

Smell: oh yum. Coffee, sweet fruitiness, a slightly earthy funkiness underneath the surface smells.

Taste: dark coffee bitterness, some alcohol, subtle dark fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: silky, but enlivened by lively carbonation. It almost dances on the tongue which is very unusual - and pleasing! - for a RIS.

Aftertaste: lingering hop bitterness with distinct coffee overtones.

As it warms: the bitterness subsides, leaving a rich roast coffee flavour with subtly sweet notes.

Note: this beer is corked and caged. This is for a reason. This is a RIS that is carbonated like a champagne. If you bear this in mind you won't have so much collateral damage to your nerves or your ceiling when you open it :P

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.94/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of Phelps
2.39/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A stout aged in pinot noir barrels. Poured from a green bottle (why still use these?) into a snifter.

One twist of the cork cage: everything’s fine. Two twists: fine and dandy. Three twists: BOOM! The bottle begins spewing foam like molten lava and the cork is lodged somewhere in the ceiling. This bottle could be used in warfare. What I manage to salvage sits in the snifter at about an 80-20 head-to-beer ratio — the head taking up the majority of the space. This is what overcarbonation looks like. The liquid is inky black; the expansive head a cavernous graham cracker-brown.

Acrid aroma. Bread burnt to char, licorice, tangy soy sauce, oak barrels, a touch of plum. Fairly wine-heavy.

The flavor isn’t much better. Dark chocolate and plum are sadly hidden behind blackened, overly bitter wood and soy sauce tang. The fruit imparted by the wine barrels is the only redeeming quality of this brew. Better as it warms, becoming fruitier and less bitter.

As expected, the liquid explodes the second it touches the tongue. A thin, whipped body quickly fizzes like aerated soap, filling the mouth with foam. Tang and burnt bitterness settle into the back of the tongue.

Moa's imperial stout isn't pricy, but it’s not even really worth the low price. I’m off to fix the ceiling.

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Photo of MisterClean
1.95/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Purchased from total wine roseville, hope it's good. Shared with Abecall and others.

A - After unleashing the cage, I nearly lost an eye. As soon as the cage came undone, the cork did not pop, but fired out. The beer started gushing and oozing out of the bottle. Not a good sign and could be infected. The color was dark brown to light black with some garnet highlights. Head would not drop out, which is a little unusual for an imp stout.

S/T - Smokiness, which could have been phenolics or a suggestion that the brewer was a little too generous with black patent (easy does it big man). Some huskiness and graininess and some sourness with a rich tannic quality, which could have been from the barrel the beer aged in. Bittering hops were present, and there may have been some aroma/flavor hops included, but was masked from the smoke, husk, and slightly sour taste imparted from the barrel.

M - Malt dominated and medium-full bodied. The beer was a bit hotter than warming, and could have stood to age further to reduce heat. Moderate levels of huskiness and astringency. Additional levels may have been imparted from the use of black patent malt as well.

O - A bit disappointed to say the least. An imperial stout typically doesn't have many flaws, but found a few here. Would recommend for the brewer to age longer, use much less black patent (Carafa III is my darkening malt of choice), make sure there are no "bugs" crawling around the barrel, and lowering the original gravity.

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Photo of DonDirkA
3.01/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crazy, death-level carbonation. Strange smell. Chocolate, sour grapes and cherries, coffee and some strange funk. taste is sharp and acidic. Grapes, dark roasted coffee, slight chocolate, and sour cherries. The mouthfeel is very light and bubbly for a stout. The pinot noir notes may be a bit too strong for the base beer. Not bad but not something I'd buy again. The $5.99 price tag just made it too tempting to pass up.

So insanely carbonated that as soon as I removed the cage the cork exploded across the room. Murderous.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

No BB - from Warners.

Pours a massive four-finger tan head over black body. That from half the bottle first-up. Good lacing. (Plus five minutes to get the cork out!!!)

Aromas of roast malts, chocolate.

Taste is more chocolate, warmly alcoholic. Add coffee. Moderate bitterness builds as the bottle goes down to become quite roasty and charred..

Mouthfeel - quite light bodied, moderately carbonated.

I seem to be somewhat in the monority here, not really as bad as could be. More like an over-alcoholic foreign stout than an RIS tho.

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Photo of ArrogantB
2.34/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I picked this up mostly due to teh $5 price tag. You don't see many barrel aged imperial stouts that cheap. Unfortunately there is a reason for that... First off this thing had the worst pour. No matter how slow and carefully I poured the glass was completely filled with foam. It had been chilled for at least a week. The smell was a little off too, like maybe it had some brett or maybe it was just the wine but I didn't care for it. The taste was not bad, little roast, little stout but almost no barrel character whatsoever. Overall this was pretty disappointing and it just goes to show that you really do get what you pay for.

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Photo of nickfl
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Moa Imperial Stout (Aged In Pinot Noir Barrels) from Moa Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 135 ratings.
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