I purchased this beer at the Wegman’s Wine and Spirits shop in Cherry Hill at the same time that I purchased the Maine Beer Company Lil One. While perusing the aisles after securing a bottle of Lil One, I stumbled upon a couple different beers from the MOA Brewing Company of New Zealand. There are three reasons why I decided to buy this beer:
- I’ve never had a beer from New Zealand.
- I really liked the packaging. Definitely eye catching!
- I’m always on the lookout for a new Imperial Stout.
And now for a few words about this beer from the MOA Brewing Company website:
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.
Let’s see if the New Zealanders can craft a tasty beer…
- Appearance: Pitch black color with lots of fizzy carbonation. The head maxes out at about an inch and a half, then slowly dissipates and leaves an eighth of an inch of tan foam along the top of the beer. A wee bit of lacing.
- Aroma: Had to let this warm up a bit before I could pick out any interesting scents. After about 15 to 20 minutes, you can clearly smell the bittersweet chocolate and light coffee scents. Thanks to the fact that this was aged in Pinot Noir barrels, I can definitely pick up some overripe grape scents as well as a healthy dose of oak.
- Taste: Very soft and creamy mouthfeel thanks to the bottle conditioning and residual foam. Definitely picking up the bitter chocolate at the onset. Also getting a cigar tobacco flavor as well as some of the wine influence, i.e. musty grapes and oak barrel. Dry, ashy finish.
- ABV: 10.2%
I’m not quite sure how I feel about the MOA Imperial Stout. If I were going to compare it to something else, I would actually have to compare it to not one, but two different beers. This tastes like a Maine Beer Company Mean Old Tom and Cigar City Maduro Brown mash up. While I like each of the individual flavor components on their own, I’m not sure if I like the way they come together in the end. I like the texture, and I’m particularly impressed at how it hides its high alcohol content, but when I get to the finish, something tastes a little off. There’s a bit too much of an ashy tobacco flavor for my taste. I think I need to try this one again.