A friend dropped round the other night to consume a few martinis, and paid me back with a few delightful beers from the Moa range, bought at the local New World: a bottle each of Moa Original, Moa Wheat Beer, Moa Harvest, Moa 5 Hops Winter Ale, and a Moa Belgian Style Tripel.
Now that's a deal where both sides win. They were delicious, even better than when I'd last tracked one down. My own favourites were the Winter Ale, which stood up to the competition provided by an Epic Pale Ale from the depths of the fridge, and the Harvest, made with locally caught cherries!
I'm looking forward to consuming the last of the bottles tonight, the St Joseph's Tripel. Geoff Griggs from the Marlborough Express lets me know what to expect:
Made in the style of a Belgian abbey style tripel and weighing in at a hefty 9.5 percent, Moa St Joseph's is exactly the sort of beer [brewer Dave Nicholls would] never have had the opportunity to create at a larger brewery.
Fermented with an imported ale yeast reputedly the same strain used by the Trappist brothers at the Westmalle Abbey in Belgium and refermented in Moa's distinctive 375ml champagne bottles, St Joseph's requires careful decanting.
I recommend serving it only lightly chilled, at about eight degrees, and preferably in a tulip-shaped stemmed glass. A large red wine glass is ideal.
St Joseph's pours a bright golden hue beneath an attractive pillowy white head. The aroma is sweet, spicy and very "Belgian", with suggestions of raw sugar, white pepper, bubble gum, vanilla and clove.
Given the potency, it is notably well balanced in the palate, with sweet malt cushioning the alcohol and hops right through into the long, sappy finish.
For the brewery's first attempt at a revered Belgian style, Moa has produced a very smart beer indeed.
I'm looking forward to it.
What's on your beer menu tonight?