This beer is one of the best beers I have tried. I say one of the best because there are some great beers out there that are great for their style, but in this case it is just the mix of flavors that really make it quite spectacular. As the name would suggest it is in the theme of a mulled wine beer, infused with all the flavors you would expect in a mulled wine like cardamom, star anise, and cinnamon.
Throughout the entire experience the main flavor is star anise. The nose is rich with star anise, along with general spices and orange that you expect from a mulled wine. The taste is very smooth and where the flavors really come out, the cardamom, star anise, citrus, and cinnamon all shine here and create a sweet medley. The finish is again dominated by the star anise but with all the other flavors making an appearance as well. The orange is also quite prominent in the finish, which is quite nice. The taste sticks with you for a bit, making this a perfect beer for just sipping and enjoying.
A perfect beer for a cold winters night, although given the flavors it would also do well at Christmas as well. Unfortunately, at this stage it isn’t still around many (any?) places, as it was only released on tap and that was a little while ago now. I was lucky enough to try it at the Moa cellar door where they had one keg left that had just gone on tap, and I got a mini keg of it to go (pictured below). Warmed up a bit the flavors really start to come out, that was a real treat to try, and while this beer is still flavorsome cold, it should really be enjoyed closer to room temperature or even slightly warmer. Moa have really created a king of beers here, it isn’t for everyone I’m sure, but this combination really tastes perfect to me. Hopefully, one day, we will see this beer come around again, and maybe in wider distribution. Until then I will remember it fondly.
Who: Moa Brewing Company, New Zealand
Nose: Star anise, orange
Look: Clear dark amber/rose
Taste: Smooth, star anise, cardamom, cinnamon
Finish: Star anise, orange
Form tried: On tap/2l growler