The first time The Crafty Pint encountered this beer from Tasmania's Moo, it was in the company of a beer rep who was part of a group that had invested in a case of 24 bottles at a cost of $600 for a mate's 30th birthday present. That they'd chosen to do so was no doubt in keeping with how Moo viewed the jewel in their crown: the ultimate pool room beer; a rarity to be savoured on special occasions. And, as the 2,500 bottles that make up this year's release make their way from the brewery, it turns out the beer is rarer than ever.
For several years, Moo has been ageing a portion of each year's Seasonal Stout in oak barrels before being released as the Vintage Stout a year later, but this is the last time it will happen. Lovers of oak-conditioned stouts needn't worry too much, however, as Moo plans to expand its barrel program, rather than abandon it. For the stouts, it means from next year they will release their Seasonal Stout with a barrel-aged component of that same batch, making it a Barrel-Aged Seasonal Stout rather than a year old barrel-aged batch. Make sense? If not, we'll be speaking to the head brewer for more on his plans to expand the barrel program later in the week.
In the meantime, for the sixth and final Moo Brew Vintage Stout, expect more of the same lusciousness that has defined earlier releases, with the combination of new American and old French oak barrels adding coconut and toast characters to the rich, multi-layered coffee, chocolate and bitter roast of the base beer.
Published July 23, 2013 2013-07-23 00:00:00