Apr 2, 2013

Moa Imperial Stout

This isn’t going to be a full review of Moa’s Imperial Stout — a 10.2% ABV brew aged in pinot noir barrels. I knew immediately, well shortly after the cork and cage returned from orbit, that there was something drastically wrong with it. It was infected — soured and just down right not drinkable.

Instead, I’m going to touch upon a something (a trend, perhaps) that I’ve been noticing the past year or so. I’d like to think that maybe all this barrel aging is just too much for some brewers to wrangle — sort of like herding cats. They all try, but most just don’t turn out that well. But it’s not just infected barrels that are causing issues. I’ve encountered standard brown ales that have also taken a turn for the worse.

Here are a couple of run-ins since last August:

Now, I don’t know if it’s just I’ve been getting unlucky the past 12-15 months or what, but I’ve encountered more soured or infected products in that span than I have over the past 10-12 years! Is it too many breweries trying to get products out too quickly? Is it inexperienced staff attempting to meet a perceived demand for craft beer hurriedly? I don’t know what the problem is, but I do know that I don’t like it. And with the upcoming 1,200 plus U.S. breweries in planning for 2013, I can only foresee myself encountering more beers of a sub-standard quality.

Please note that this isn’t an attack on Moa. I’ve had several of their beers (many enjoyed and reviewed for this site) and this is the only time I’ve come across a bad one from them. This tainted imperial stout, unfortunately, may be the straw that broke the camels back in this regard.

As for this particular bottle the review is below if you’re interested.


Well, as stated, right after the last twist of the cage, it and the cork went flying. Not a good first impression for a stout. It poured with a massive stack of mocha foam and an opaque black color.


The beer didn’t smell too badly, but did have a distant sourness behind the dark roast coffee, cocoa and vinous grape notes.


And this is where it all goes to shit. There’s nothing stout-like about this particular bottle. It’s got that distinct sourness that can only come with an infected beer. The carbonation is over the top prickly. I made it maybe three sips before the decision was made to dump it. Damn.


I had hight hopes for this beer based on past experience with the company. Ah, well…

Rating: n/a

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