Chai-Spiced Imperial Russian Stout | Stone Brewing

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Chai-Spiced Imperial Russian StoutChai-Spiced Imperial Russian Stout
Very Good
786 Ratings
Chai-Spiced Imperial Russian StoutChai-Spiced Imperial Russian Stout

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Jason on 01-28-2015

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 786 |  Reviews: 188
Reviews by t8dd:
Photo of t8dd
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More User Reviews:
Photo of Ryancthomas7
4.06/5  rDev +3%
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 +2.5%
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 MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

 1,433 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.26/5  rDev +8.1%
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 rawfish
2.53/5  rDev -35.8%
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 tbryan5
4.39/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Enderxwx
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Long time beer advocate observer first time poster and I've got to say this beer thread was the straw that broke the camels back for me. I'm also a owner of a store and let me first state that these d bag wannabe beer sommeliers represent less than 10% of the beer drinkers. However, their vocal nature on these forums and apps would have you believe otherwise. Don't mind these expletives, their the worst customers who buy a single bottle just to complain about it and add it to their untappd rated beers. They will never get another btl after requesting a case unless it's Pliny the elder. The chai spiced Imperial stout was good it had a great color little to no head that was nice earthy brown. My tongue didn't know how to process the complexity of the beer at first so it came off as bitter like the chai tea. I took another sip and it mellowed out and the spices really came out. I also allowed the temp to drop which it really advise and it allowed for some of the more subtle notes to come out. Overall a great quality beer and my average joe customers would have to agree.

 1,083 characters

Photo of sabitu
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of freshflesh
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jpinoniemi
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love the spices in this release. I think it's better than the regular Imperial Russian Stout.

95 characters

Photo of JakerLou
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of mctizzz
4.56/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

It's exactly what it claims to be, and well done at that, but I don't think chai stouts are going to be the new it thing after this. If the spice was a bit more subdued I'd probably seek this out, but I think once is all I need.

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Photo of aquazr1
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz Bomber poured into a Chamay goblet. Very strong Chai smell. At first taste it is really an assault on your taste buds. But after the second and thirds drinks, I was hooked. I got to say I liked it.Very spicy but some of the regular Stone imperial Stout taste was still there. I would love to get another one of these and let it sit for a while. Give it a try.

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Photo of ledouge
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of gibgink
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall, a bit of a disappointing "odd year" release from Stone. The chai dominates and overpowers any other flavor from beginning to end. If you don't like chai, I would steer clear.

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Photo of BCborn
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of rsquared59
4.46/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Franziskaner
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color an impenetrable to light. There's a fingernail of brown around the rim and the majority of the top. The chai tea leads the aroma, but I'm also getting some undercurrents of dark roasted barley. I'm tasting refreshing chai tea with dark roasted barley playing second fiddle. The mouth is very sticky, chewy, and thick.

 337 characters

Photo of buyyourfreedom
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of chickenm
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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Chai-Spiced Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 786 ratings