It’s always a good sign when you check out some stats on a beer and see more than a dozen medals ranging from bronze to gold over a decade have been awarded to it. That’s the case here and it comes as no surprise when we find out that Josh Scott (owner of Moa brewing) has local winemaking royalty in his blood, being the son of a very well known and respected Marlborough winemaker, Allan Scott. This passion for wine comes out in his beer as we take a good look at the bottle – corked and resembling a half bottle of champagne.
We proceed to pop the cork and pour into a wide rimmed tulip glass. We’re met with a hazy, honeyed amber appearance that’s capped off with a short white head which takes about a minute or two to peel away to a fine covering. Wet, streaky lacing is being omitted. Smells wonderful, enough to excite the most seasoned Belgian beer drinker. Big yeasty component here, we pick up lots of oriental spices (clove, star anise, nutmeg) banana, bubblegum, pepper and vanilla initially. A little muted honey sweetness, hints of pear/apple and citrus work nicely in the background. Great start, sticking very true to style and getting it right. Nice and creamy in the mouth with a healthy tickle from the 9.5% ABV. The carbonation is moderate with a beautifully weighted body. Certainly has some good grip on the tongue. Quite complex on the palate, upfront the taste buds are in a frenzy trying to isolate flavours of banana, clove, sweet malts, honey and slightly tart lemon. Incredibly, all these are carried forward through the mid as an evident warming of the mouth is brought on by the alcohol volume. The finish sees a tapering off of the alcohol and a substitution with a sharp and dry peppery spice that endures on the tongue. Damn fine brew here. We love how the brewer has kept true to style but put his little spin on it. Really good drop.