Imperial Russian Stout - Chai-Spiced
Stone Brewing

Imperial Russian Stout - Chai-SpicedImperial Russian Stout - Chai-Spiced
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Russian Imperial Stout
3.98 | pDev: 11.56%
Stone Brewing
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Imperial Russian Stout - Chai-SpicedImperial Russian Stout - Chai-Spiced
Notes: First Release: March 2015

This one-time-only beer, a fascinating addition to our “Odd Beers for Odd Years” series, incorporates cinnamon, cardamom, clove, ginger, a dash of black pepper and a dose of black tea to emulate the aroma and taste of authentic chai tea. Combine these strikingly piquant ingredients with the classic version of Stone Imperial Russian Stout―with its incumbent flavors of chocolate, black currants, coffee and roastiness―and an already profoundly rewarding beer ascends to new, flavorful dimensions.
Reviews: 190 | Ratings: 789 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Hayes86:
Photo of Hayes86
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It tastes just as it sounds which is why the rating is what it is. Disclaimer. I am not a big fan of chai so i wasnt a big fan and wont be getting it again. Thank God for my gf who loved it.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Ryancthomas7
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Why the fuck would you try/rate this beer if you didn't like chai in the first place and then proceed to give it a poor rating?!?!

This beer totally lived up to what I expected. Great chai aroma with an awesome feel/taste. Needless to say, I'm definitely a fan!

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Photo of flagmantho
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: totally and completely black with a nice layer of creamy tan foam. Very good indeed.

Smell: rich nutmeg and cinnamon spicing on top of a sweet, caramelly and malty base. Good stuff!

Taste: this spicing, heavily nutmeg and cinnamon, works very well with the imperial stout base. The balance is a bit weighted toward the spice, but overall it's a very good beer.

Mouthfeel: big body with a good carbonation and a very smooth and satisfying creaminess. I like it a great deal.

Overall: this is a good sippin' beer that really works for me. I look forward to having it again.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 3/22/15.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, chai spice, speculoos cookie, ginger, and earth aromas. Taste is much the same with char, cocoa powder, chai spice, ginger root, and earth flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roast and spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with fantastic chai spice characteristics that come across slightly better in the smell to me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours near pitch black with a moderate amount of bubbles. Small finger of tan head that settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A very spicy and roasty dark malt driven aroma with big hints of spices and chocolate. Big upfront mix of spices with a scent of cinnamon, clove, cardamom, ginger, pepper, and allspice along with some hints of black tea. Dark roasted barley malt with good hints of dark chocolate, coffee, toasted bread, biscuit, smoke, caramel, and yeast. Also some hints of molasses and black licorice. Dark fruit hints of berries, raisin, and plum. A very good aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a very spice forward and roasty dark malt driven taste with big notes of spices, tea, and chocolate roast. Lots of spices upfront with notes of cinnamon, ginger, clove, cardamom, black pepper, allspice, and chai tea. Dark roasted barley malt with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, toast, smoke, biscuit, caramel, and yeast. Sweet notes of molasses. Dark fruit undertones of raisin, cherry, berries, and plum. Also some notes of black licorice. A really nice complex taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Rich, spicy, and fairly chewy. Alcohol heat is masked well.

Overall: A really good twist on an already great Imperial Stout. Really spicy upfront giving it a fall style taste. The base stout flavors come out fuller as it warms.

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Photo of rawfish
2.53/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours like a dark rich oil, nice mocha head of two fingers. Evident hops leave some smattering of lacing.

Strong cardamon and cinnamon, a bit artificial like potpourri or a candle store in Autumn. Stable chocolate and roasted malt notes. Really just a huge blast of chai spice here, residual alcohol.

What is this, the cinnamon challenge?! A mouthful of overpowering cinnamon and cardamon with clove and dried ginger thrown in. Absolutely no chocolate, coffee, any stout-like flavors or balancing sweetness, for f's sake. Dry like French kissing a chalkboard eraser.

Adequate body and heft with good carbonation and so much chai spice that I really wasn't paying attention to any evident alcohol. Very unbalanced stout, chalky, dry with no malt flavors.

Terrible experience, usually Stone is on point but this is a disaster of a beer. At least at the usual price point the drainpour doesn't hurt so bad.

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Photo of swierczt
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black color with brown head. Aroma is really spice forward with lots of cinnamon and apple pie. Taste starts sweet and spicy but gets quickly bitter and roasty with some dark chocolate. Medium body with soft carbonation. Really tasty but a little too spicy for my taste.

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Photo of Nucleosynthesis
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.69/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours dark cola brown with a dark tan, half finger head. Sub-par retention, quickly revealing a thin, broken layer of suds across the surface.

Smell - The aroma is very reminiscent of a pumpkin porter. Lots of cinnamon and spice, with a hint of dark malt character.

Taste - Follows the nose. Predominant 'pumpkin pie' spice flavor upfront with lesser notes of chocolate. Blackened tea flavor creeps in mid-taste and strengthens in the finish. Distant roasted malt notes. Lingering note of tea and spices in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full in body with low carbonation. Smooth, silky texture grants an exceptionally smooth drinker for something above 10% ABV.

Overall - Better than I expected, if I'm being honest. I'm not sure what possessed them to take their fantastic IRS and turn it into this, but I suppose you don't get the recognition as craft beer innovators without taking chances and making a few missteps along the way. I would hope they look toward a more befitting theme to their next experimental IRS. Smoked or anise varietal, perhaps?

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Photo of Homebrew
3.1/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of Sellen
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jaydoc
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Thedrizzle
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of johlac66
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful used motor oil dark brown with a one finger khaki head that left a curtain of lacing.
Huge earthy spicy sweet aroma. Maybe a bit of roasty chocolate flavor. Almost too spicy mid-palate but has a smooth slightly sweet tea coffee finish.
Low carbonation. Somewhat thick mouthfeel.
I understand why some might not be on board with this one. A lot going on in there.

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Photo of Gatordaddy
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of osuskin
3.29/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of VTR
3.47/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Finally cracked this open. Smells of chai tea, but not as powerful as I was expecting or wishing for. It is not easily missed but very similar to a pumpkin pie. Tried cold the bitterness was high but backed off as the stout warmed. What did not change was the huge burnt malt profile with a slight coffee taste which I think contrasted too much with the beer. While I think this was a valiant attempt I was not too impressed. The chai did not mesh too well with the bold IRS that Stone puts out.

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Photo of TonyLema1
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of spice on the nose and finish, works well with the RIS

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Photo of datpingao
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of wulfie85
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tpeters
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of KYGunner
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The flavor has glimpses of tea leaf but it seems to give off more ginger spiciness and an almost cinnamon and nutmeg tone. It combines well with the chocolate malt and coffee of the stout. It's a bit hot and astringent on the feel but overall is an excellent beer.

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Photo of Rshersnow
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Imperial Russian Stout - Chai-Spiced from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 789 ratings