Saturday, February 26, 2011

Moa Noir from Moa Brewing Company

Moa Brewing Company, is something that I just happened to come upon at my local beer store in Oxford, Ohio, called Main Street Gourmet.  What intrigued me with this beer is both the label and the name.  The label has an extinct bird that once lived in New Zealand/Australia, in which the brewery is named after.   Moa, is a wingless bird that became extinct only 600 years ago.  It was a rare bird and the tallest on record at 2m (6 feet 6 inches) tall at it's back on average.  The tallest species of Moa was 3.7m (12 ft)!  Like an ostrich here in America, it has a long neck to feed on vegetation at different heights.  Enough on bird, lets get to the beer!

Moa Noir is a premium dark lager out of New Zealand.  It is described as: 

"Seductive flavours of chocolate and richly roasted coffee beans dominate, with a long, smooth finish."  

The grains that are used is a combination of pilsner, munich, crystal and a touch of chocolate.  There is no information on the hops they used, other than the amount of hops were low so not to detract from the malts.  The beer itself is 5.5% ABV and is served out of a wine bottle 750 mL (1 pt, 9.3 oz.).

Appearance:  Pours a blackish copper color.  Very pretty!  The head is light tan in colour and is one-finger in height and slowly dies leaving a sticky residue on the glass.

Aroma:  Malts of caramel and chocolate powder are present with a slightly nutty toffee on the nose.  Fruity esters of grapes and cherries are present if only slightly.

Taste:  Dark malts that washes over the tongue with a slight hint of sourness.  Bitter notes are present of hops on the back of the palate.  Notes of biscuit are present.

Mouthfeel:  Slightly carbonated with lingering cocoa left in the mouth after each swallow.  The beer has a dry finish.

Overall:  I think that this is an exceptional beer.  Something different that has what taste like it has some wine influence in the beer.

I've seen one other variety of Moa on the self, I will have of pick this one up and see what other styles of beer that they produce.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Thirsty Dog Cerberus

Thirsty Dog brewery, from Akron, OH, is a new discovery for me. Besides coming out of the Midwest, it is a Ohio brewery (in which isn't many that I know of).  Thirsty Dog brewery has won many awards both at Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup

The Cerberus, in which the bottle tells the tale of it as being:
"The three headed Hellhound of Greek Mythology, that stood at the gates of Hades, lends his name and three heads to this elegant, full-bodied Belgian Trippel Ale. A deceptive golden color and wonderful malty palate bring bold complexity to the big brew."

On the web page it describes it as:

"This beer is made with one grain and 4 Belgian yeasts, a deceptive golden color, and a malty palate lend complexity to this Belgian Trippel Ale."
They also write on the web page that it comes in 1/2 and 1/6 barrels, but not bottles (which I bought).  The beer itself is 10% ABV, with 31 IBU. It was served in a pint glass at 50°F.

Appearance: Pours a golden light hazy orange color with little to no head that ends with a thin sparse lace on the top of the beer.  Carbonation rising from the side and bottom of the glass.

Aroma:  A faint very sweet candy lemon smell with caramel malt.  I have some spiciness on the nose that comes either from the yeast or from the alcohol, I can't tell.  The hops are noticeable, but very faint.

Taste:  On the tip of the tongue, very hot from the alcohol, with very noticeable fruity esters of lemon, passion fruit, and papaya.  As it goes across the palate, sweet caramel light maltscomes out with some sweet bread flavors.

Mouthfeel:  Very thin and hot on the mouth and tongue that has a dry finish. Medium to high carbonation.

Overall:  Alcohol is very noticeable and makes a nice warm drink for the cold winter months.  This is not a session beer by any means.  It is drinkable, but needs some polishing.

I feel that I need to search out some more of Thirsty Dog to see what else they have to offer.