Pouring The Lush into a wine stemware, it unveils an ink black hue crowned with a thick mocha foam that lingers, leaving behind impressive lacing. The initial presentation sets the stage for an aesthetically pleasing experience.


The olfactory journey begins with subtleties of black olive, tar, and semisweet chocolate, gradually evolving into a complex blend of blackberries, graham cracker, toasted marshmallow, and hints of fresh cinnamon roll with vanilla frosting. The aroma, while initially muted, reveals a multidimensional profile as the beer breathes.


Contrary to expectations, The Lush surprises with its restrained sweetness, scoring a 6/10 on the sweetness scale. This Imperial Stout, with an 11% ABV, avoids the trap of overpowering sweetness often associated with vanilla-heavy brews. The bitterness, unexpectedly elevated at 8/10, reminiscent of classic imperial stouts, is likely attributed to the judicious use of cacao nibs and pecans, offering a tannic structure akin to Cabernet wine. Dark berry flavors such as blueberry and blackberry join the symphony, deviating from the typical pastry stout profile.


The mouthfeel of The Lush is a highlight of this brew, perfectly aligning with the characteristics expected in the imperial stout style. Incredibly viscous, dense, oily, and palate-coating, it navigates from start to finish with a well-balanced interplay of sweetness, bitterness, and tannins. The integration of pecan, vanilla, and cacao nib adjuncts is seamless, contributing to a dry finish that maintains composure despite the hefty 11% ABV.


While sweetness may be divisive, The Lush impresses with its ability to balance intense flavors. The beer, despite its high alcohol content, avoids descending into a boozy muddle and preserves its integrity until the last sip. The sugar and vanilla nuances, more pronounced for some palates, contribute to a subjective experience, with some finding it too sweet. However, in my estimation, The Lush stands out as a quintessential imperial stout, where special ingredients elevate rather than dominate the overall profile. Enthusiasts, both hardcore and casual, are likely to find this offering from Moksa Brewing a dream come true, appreciating its meticulous attention to details in mouthfeel, balance, and bitterness.