Moa Imperial Stout

Spring is here! Since this is the time of the year where life becomes skittles and even beer  (and rhymes apparently) I thought I would make my return to the blogoshere with a review of a fine craft beer. So, without further delay and interruption:

The Moa Imperial Stout

The back of the bottle has this to say:

Moa Imperial Stout is a very strong, upfront and rich beer hopped to over 100 IBUs. Aged with French oak, this beer not only displays coffee, mocha and smoked cedar characters but also some sweet and savoury notes unique to Moa Imperial Stout. A great beer to cellar and age

It is certainly heavy right up front. My impression was that cocoa rather than coffee is the dominant flavour and aroma. Blunt, and perhaps a little too heavy, since the other flavours are squished to the edges of the glass. I didn’t quite get the cedar, which I think to be quite a dry, sharp scent (as to the flavour of cedar I have nothing to go on since it is not in my habit to lick cigar boxes). Instead the stout reminds me of something still growing. Something sappy like the Norfolk pine my siblings and I would climb as children. Perhaps that is too pretentious a remark to be taken seriously. Nonetheless I dispute the smoked cedar claim.

Rich? Certainly. I was going to pair it with some Whittaker’s dark chocolate, but could not bear to take a single nibble of the block. This stout should probably be enjoyed on its own. Like an obnoxious noble it won’t allow others to be on the stage with it. However, it should not be imbibed on an empty stomach. As I have confirmed this is a heavy craft beer. 500 mls with an alcohol content of 10.2%. According to the bottle that is approximately four standard drinks. I am no Hemingway, so a third of the bottle has got me sufficiently wiffled without risking incoherence. There is no shame in being a lightweight, but even if you happen to have a stronger constitution this is not a drink to be sandwiched with a dozen others on a conveyor belt to your liver. I don’t mean to be strident with a sensible drinking message, for one thing such a stance is all too easy to ignore. To binge drink with a beer like this would be to utterly miss the point of what it is; a drink to think about. Generally one’s mental faculties need to be functioning for this to occur. So try taking it easy.

The Moa Imperial Stout is one of the only Moa craft beers that I remember having previously. I first tried it in an overpriced Queenstown pub and took a liking to it. That may have been due to the company I was in at the time, which in a small way contributes to my argument that this is a beer to engage the mind rather than depress it.  It is definitely responsible for sending me further down the path of dark beer. Since that initial exposure Porters have supplanted stouts as my favourite type of craft beer for their tastiness and versatility. Unlike the stout a porter is an excellent accompaniment to a hearty meal. Now one Imperial Stout sends me to bed. It is all in the name I guess, is supposed to be a conqueror.

I look forward to hearing other opinions, please feel free to  comment.

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