Maybe there is a good reason why we try to hibernate in the winter…
It just seems when the temp starts to really take a dive, you want to just stay in bed or curl up by the fire (if you are that fortunate) and hunker down for the longer of the two seasons in NH: winter. That also may be the reason why this guy likes heavier brews when it’s chilly outside. Is this Mother Nature saying to carb-up? Well, if that is true, then it explains why I have an affinity for dark beers in winter. And here is the reason why we review Moat Mountain’s Imperial Stout just released in 16 oz cans.
Moat Mountain Smoke House & Brewing Company are located in North Conway, NH. Their food is great with a spectacular menu and worth a visit. Although they still brew on premises where their eatery and original location are (smaller batch seasonals for the restaurant and growler fills), their newest brewery upgrade is a state-of-the-art “barn” and artfully done. This place is their main 20 barrel brewery created in 2013. They added the canning line in the following year. It is not open to the public though. You can find out more about their offerings with a name search on Facebook or at their website: https://www.moatmountain.com
This Imperial Stout is full of chewy-deliciousness in a 16 oz can. The dark khaki head is creamy and rich with an opaque blackness expected with Euro stouts. Pouring the contents into a pint glass allows the head to really flourish. The roasted black and deep coffee malts almost lean toward a nutty flavor one might find in a multigrain bread. Hops are well balanced and contribute to the malt shinning through. According to Moat’s website, they have taken an extra step with this beer to bring forward the malt. It is referred to as a decoction where some of the wort (liquid that has steeped in the grains) is removed and boiled separately, then re-added to the wort. This important step provides that little extra maltiness that you sense with the Imperial Stout. They also allude to partaking this at 40-45°F setting instead of the 33°F. This enhances the malt even more.
At 9% ABV, this one will keep your interest. In fact it is so well balanced and unassuming, you might just find yourself attracted to another round. BeerAdvocate.com gives this one a “very good” rating of 83 out of 100 scoring and a Bros review of 92.
Make sure and also try the other offerings from Moat Mt such as Iron Mike Pale Ale, Bone Shaker Brown, East Intervale IPA and Hell Yes! Helles Lager, all in 16 oz cans.
I found this at Case-n-Keg, Meredith but you better hurry on this seasonal… brewed in New Hampshire for the love of the beer!
Jim MacMillan is the owner of WonByOne Design of Meredith, NH, and is an avid imbiber of craft brews and a home brewer as well. Send him your recommendations and brew news to