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

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BA SCORE
83
good
137 Reviews
THE BROS
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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)
moabeer.co.nz

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:
137
Ratings:
518
Avg:
3.64
pDev:
15.93%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
67
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 137 | Ratings: 518
Photo of JohnnyRay
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
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 +14.6%
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 +7.1%
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 +6.3%
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 +5.5%
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 +5.2%
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%
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 +22.3%
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 +5.2%
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 -28%
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.

C-

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Photo of vickersspitfire
3.32/5  rDev -8.8%
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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Photo of Pencible
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque black, with lots of tan head. The cork shot of the bottle before I even finished loosing the cage.
S: It smelled like bitter dark chocolate, with some astringent dark fruit and earthy oak and smoky coffee.
T: It tasted like rich dark chocolate and tart raspberries, like a fine truffle, with some licorice and smoky coffee and oak. It had a clean and lasting aftertaste that was bitter, tart, and a little sweet.
M: It was very thick with fine natural carbonation. Fantastic body.
D: This was a great beer. Nice unique take on barrel aging a stout that added a lot of delicate complexities. It took forever to pour, but it was worth the wait, with great scent and taste and perfect body. The finish wasn't super smooth, but the alcohol was decently hidden. So it wasn't difficult to drink, but it was better to sip. Not sure how it would age, but I really enjoyed it fresh. Recommended.

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Photo of Prospero
1.45/5  rDev -60.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Terrible, agreed with others, tastes and smells like band aids. No coffee roast like one would expect in a RIS and while the pinot is apparent, it lacks the fruit character. It must be infected I can't imagine this being intended to taste like this. Like the rating suggests, the appearance is the best attribute and not that great as the head retention is next to none (somewhat expected with barrel-aging). Back to the drawing board on this one.

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Photo of Johnnyramirez
1.29/5  rDev -64.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

The appearance was the only appealing thing about the beer. I'm hoping it was infected because it smelled of antiseptic. When I drank it all I got was band aids, must have been dry hopped with plastic. As did everyone else at the tasting. Instant drain pour. Probably the worst beer I've ever had

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Photo of Derek
4.43/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black, pours with a nice tan head, thin ring of retention, hints of lace.

S: Dark caramelized raisins, licorice, wood, fruit cake, demerara sugar & booze!

T: Black strap molasses, oak, wine-like tannins, rum-soaked fruitcake, licorice, good bitterness, nice alcohol warmth.

M: Full body is viscous without much residual sweetness, average carbonation, light roasted acidity, drying alcohol finish.

O: Really great brew.

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Photo of WickedSluggy
4.34/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, an excellent beer that is not getting the right attention...

I'm getting none of the reported issues with over-carbonation.

The beer is lovely. Black, ruby edges. Low carbonation. Thick. Rich. Chocolate (can't drink it slow...)

The aroma is chocolatey and sweet. Restrained barrel characteristics. Frankly flawless.

Taste is equally restrained. Equally flawless. Chocolate is still present with some woody character... some tannins and slight astringent bitterness. Overall balance just towards sweet.

Medium slippery mouthfeel. Very nice.

Overall, a beautifully executed beer. I will be buying more if I can find. No negatives. A magic bullet for friends timid of big aggressive Imp stouts. This one isn't huge, but it is nicely round and has nice nipples.

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Photo of themind
1.29/5  rDev -64.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Instant drain pour! in theory this brew could have been amazing, unfortunately is doesnt just fall short...it drops off the map! This crap was nasty, what a let down. I really thought I would like this being a fan of Supplication but Moa is flat out toilet water.

Bottom Line: Drain Pour~

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Photo of BigBarley
3.16/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours jet black with about a finger of tan / light brown head. Decent lacing

S - Tart, woody aroma, almost like a cassis or kriek, with a faint scent of roasted malt. Strange boquet of fruity esters and even tropical notes. You get some sweet, sour pineapple, some figs and prunes. The nose is all over the place, a little messy even.

T - Taste is a lot closer to a dark belgian beer, similar to a stout made with wild Belgian yeast. Does not jive well, I personally taste a little too much woody sweetness and the belgian characters don't sit well with the flavors of the malts. It's entirely too messy and jumbled, with no real subtlety or blending among the flavors. Disappointing.
[EDIT:] After you give this beer a good 20 minutes in the glass, and a few sips in, your palate adjusts, and the temperature kind of helps smooth out all the flavors. Definitely not as offensive after awhile as at first.

M - Not thick enough for the style, and carries the flavor poorly.

O - disappointed as hell. Wish I hadn't sunk 22 dollars into 4 of these I'll never drink. [EDIT:] now that I know how much more this beer improves when it sits in the glass for a little while and gets a chance to kind of settle, I'd say I can probably finish these. Still, for 22 dollars, it's not really worth it.

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Photo of Claribrew
2.79/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.75

A - pours into tulip glass with an enormous head. This beer is extremely overcarbonated. almost opaque black with a deep tan head.

S - be careful breathing in after pouring this beer... So much CO2 escaping I can barely smell anything. Once that's gone, deep dark fruit,tobacco, burnt oak, orange peel, molasses, and toffee.

T - the first word that comes to mind is "tart." Tobacco, oak, slight alcohol warmth. Aftertaste is tannic, astringent, and sharp. sourness, then nearly metallic. Lingering tones of red wine and tartness, and later, bitter husk and chalk.

M - this is where they really missed the mark. The beer is so carbonated that even a very careful pour produces 80% head. The carbonation left in the beer is low, but with a sharp taste of carbonic acid. This makes the body seem very thin, and for the already-sharp flavors going on in this beer, it really doesn't work.

Overall - not worth the $5. Judging by other reviews, I don't think my overcarbonated bottle is a fluke. The problem here is balance - too many sharp flavors (roastiness, tannins, unsweetened chocolate, tartness, over carbonation) and not enough residual sweetness. Quite the opposite of the velvety smoothness that oak (and particularly wine barrel) usually brings to a beer.

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Photo of corby112
1.48/5  rDev -59.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

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.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Somewhere between dark brown and black, sits this beer. Massive carbonation, head initially, leading into a deep recission and a drinker wondering "dude, where's my foam head?" Solid amount of roast, white wine barrel and smoke in the aroma.

Taste, interesting, made me think of Mikkeller's White Wine Barrel Black Hole at first, and while many think that beer (and this one apparently) are abominations, I kind of dig the juxtaposition of a white wine barrel and a 10% imperial stout. The excessive carbonation only furthers the influence of white grapes/white wine, the wood barrel is very rich in this one too. Because of the white wine and carbonation, I thought this one really hid the alcohol well and stayed light on its feet throughout. If you loathe white wine/pinot, you're going to loathe this beer I suspect. Its really prominent. The beer tastes anything but what it looks like. There even seems to be a little white pepper aspect to it as well.

$6 at Total Wine. I dunno if its worth it or not as a repeat purchase, but I think its good and different enough that everyone should try it at least once.

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Photo of eric5bellies
3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Drank from my Duvel tulip

A - Pours classic ebony colour with an off white head the retains as a film

S - Tinny hoppy aromas, no wine or oak.

T - Up front some nice vanilla flavours with a hint of bitter wood pinon noir type notes. The finish is a little bitter, the booze is well hidden.

M - Silky smooth with low carbonation.

O - Would have liked to have tasted the barrel influence in this beer, tastes pretty much like a standard impy stout, and I expect more.

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Photo of Hawksfan79
3.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Pitch black with no highlights. Thick soapy, rocky mocha colored head.
Smells incredible, chocolate, very sweet and alcoholic. Slight caramel and licorice notes, and little bit of wine in the aroma.
Unfortunately it doesn't taste as good as it smells. Mostly Alcohol taste of alcohol and licorice. Little bit of roasted malts.
Thick medium to full bodied mouthfeel with a thick texture and an average carbonation. Alcohol warming with a dry finish.

This beer is really impressive in smell and appearance, unfortunately it's very average in flavor.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.66/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep black in color, with a small, very dense tan head, thick glass-coating lacing. No carbonation is discernible.

Aroma: Begins with a strong punch of hops with notes of pine, and bitter grapefruit rind. Faint notes of coffee and roasted barley are also discernible, but are overwhelmed by the hops.

Taste: Opens with a strong wave of bitter cocoa, soon followed by cold coffee and roasted barley. The high alcohol content (10.2% ABV) is artfully concealed, it is a faint presence in the taste, and only mildly warming. As the taste progresses, the roasted barley and hops rise to ascendency. Late in the taste, distinct wood notes appear. Finishes with a moderate, herbal bitterness, which lingers on well after the end of the taste.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, full, quite pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A pleasant,example, perhaps a bit lacking in balance, or perhaps it merely needs a few months of cellaring.

Presentation: Packaged in a 12.7 ounce custom green glass bottle with a cork and cage, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Sourcing information: Purchased at Spec's in Texas on 02/15/2013, at $19.99 for a four bottle package.

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Photo of AltBock
3.21/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Odd sized 12.7 oz dark green bottle that was corked and caged. Very simple gray wrap around label. Right on the front under the black letters in yellow is where they tell you it's an Imperial Stout aged in Pinot Noir bottles. There was no date or bottle code anywhere. There was however the imprint of an ostrich or an emu on the neck of the bottle. $5 for a barrel aged New Zealand Imperial Stout? What's wrong it? If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

I poured this barrel aged Imperial Stout into a Cycle Brewing Snifter. It poured a moonless night pitch black color. It was pitch black, but it wasn't oil thick. When I held it up to the light, all I saw was a reflection of myself in the glass. On top was a creamy 1/2 an inch light tan colored head of foam. Nice retention that left behind a big string of foamy rings and a number of small blots of lace around the glass. No $5 problem here.

The aroma was on the faint side of things. I got a faint whiff of roasted malts and dark chocolate. The majority aroma is this weird sour like grape and oak aroma. I'm sure that's the Pinot Noir kicking in. Funky can be a good thing, but this is a funky bad aroma. Slight $5 problem here.

For an Imperial Stout, the taste was on the weak side. This beer had a little roasted malt, a dab of dark chocolate, and a subtle taste of roasted coffee. The end of the taste goes to the weird bad funky grape and oak taste that was in the aroma. Too much Pinot Noir and not enough Imperial Stout. There's a $5 problem here.

The mouthfeel was light to medium bodied with a minor aftertaste of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and more funky grape and oak. This was a very light Imperial Stout. I think the problem with this beer was that the Imperial Stout wasn't strong enough to handle the Pinot Noir barrel aging. This is more of a novelty beer than a good tasting beer. It's cheap enough to try. If you don't like it, you're only out $5. That's only 5 $1 scratch off tickets.

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Moa Imperial Stout (Aged In Pinot Noir Barrels) from Moa Brewing Company
3.64 out of 5 based on 518 ratings.
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