Joseph Formanek's picture


January, 2016
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
5 / 6
37 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Southbound Brewing Company’s Moondance is another one of the brewery's creative and interesting specialty beer offerings. There have been Belgian takes on a wide range of traditional beer styles by many breweries over the past few years; in this example, Southbound tried its hand at “Belgianizing” an Imperial Stout and was quite successful at doing so.  

This opaque, black ale with a fair tan stand of head delivers roasty, chocolate and black malt characters in the aroma with a funky, typically Belgian bite in the background. The flavor has the typical compounded dark malt expression (as would be expected in an Imperial Stout), but it is somewhat low in complexity for the style. Subtle brown spice notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and citrus-like coriander are also evident. A funky Belgian fermentation character behind this complements the package quite well. The middle and finish retains the flavor balance, with a very clean yet warming alcohol note that makes itself more and more evident upon swallowing. The blend of dark malts delivers a nice balance and an enjoyable, moderately lingering aftertaste. The body of this brew is, surprisingly, rather light for the style. This is not a big, chewy Imperial Stout, but rather one that is quite smooth and dangerously quaffable – especially for a brew pushing 11 percent ABV!  

This is a well-thought-out and well-constructed brew, and it delivers what it promises. If you're an Imperial Stout fan, this is definitely recommended!