Black Chai | Short's Brewing Company

14 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Short's Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Black Chai is a sumptuous black ale that immediately entices the senses with aromas of dark specialty malts, cardamon, nutmeg, and ginger. The brew has a delicious creamy mouthfeel. Chocolate and roasted malt characteristics resonate throughout this black ale. The finish is playfully spicy and bitter.

Added by Zaphog on 02-08-2014

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Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 94
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.17/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Near black body with a thick beige head. Roasted malt, chocolate, spruce, how was your spice, tea leaves, earth. Smoke and char with chai tea. Mild to moderate sweetness. Bitter, ashy smoke in the finish. Interesting and creative, as expected with Short's. Fun to try once.

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Photo of jp32
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Good, but not outstanding. And more interesting than "good" necessarily. Looks beautiful poured into the glass. Very dark, very nice head. Smells nice, you do notice some slight chai spices in its aroma.

Toasted/roasted tasting with chai tea notes. At first sip I didnt notice them much, but definitely did by the end of the glass. Flavorful, but not quite as flavorful as it looks. Its worth a try if you're into chai tea.

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Photo of clager
1.78/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Tastes like a mix of burnt coffee and tea, not a desirable combo. Shorts often is hit or miss with their eccentric craft beers, but did not enjoy this one.

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Photo of Chris_the_Tartar
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle from a Short’s sampler 12-pack. Look is straight black, with a thick brown head. Smell is spices, though not as strong as I would have thought a ‘tea’ flavored beer would be. Taste is light, hints of spices which grow stronger in the aftertaste and as the beer goes on. Also some alcohol flavor in the aftertaste. Feel is smooth and light. Not really sure what to make of this beer. Maybe would be enjoyable for someone who loves tea (or maybe would be viewed as an abomination by a tea enthusiast, what do I know?).

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Photo of Marisol820
3.71/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It has a sweet, chococalatey scent with some chai and roasted malt. It has a thick and creamy mouthfeel. It has a creamy chocalatey chai flavor with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and just a hint of coffee. Overall a decent black cream ale.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.87/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

$5 pint at One-Eyed Betty's in Ferndale.

Came with a finger of head and is basically black in color. Aroma is mostly Chai tea with some roasty undertones, and the taste is similar -- big Chai tea on the front, and slow coming roastiness and bitterness that works strangely well. Pretty unique and well-made. Packs some nice flavor. Not a huge depth of flavor, but it tastes like I thought it probably would. Very nice.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from the Winter Pack poured into a Sam Smith imperial pint glass.

A- A normal pour creates 1-1/2 fingers of dense brown head. The body is near black. The head settles to a light foam. Solid, wide rings persist on the glass.

S- Lots of roasted malt with some spicing. Not necessarily what I think of as a "chai" aroma at first. The roasted aroma borders on smokey. Spicing seems like cardamom, maybe a little clove later. I keep getting hints of raisin.

T- Much as the aroma suggests. There's a bunch of dark roasted grains up front. Somewhere between coffee and a hearty, whole grain bread. Spices come through the middle, mostly cinnamon-like. Nothing seems overdone.

M- Medium-full body. Slightly grainy/chalky with lighter carbonation. Kind of creamy.

O- My wife is a huge fan of chai tea and chai tea lattes. Based on my experience, I just don't get a ton of it from this beer. While it misses on the label, it's still a very solid beer. I could see drinking 2-3 in a sitting because the spice/tea is subtle enough.

Edit: I noticed the bottle date of 11/17/14. Maybe the age has mellowed the chai spices?

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Photo of docoman
2.77/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I like Chai tea, but this wasn't my favorite incorporation of both beer and chai.. I give Shorts credit for trying just about any combination... finished beer, but didn't want to consume a 2nd one.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.37/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a black but hints strongly at being a deep mahogany. a half finger of a tan head that fades fairly quickly but leaves a fairly strong lacing behind. completely opaque and dark.

Smell: ginger nutmeg, cardamon, roasty malts and cream.

Taste: opens up with a good amount of ginger, along with fairly acrid malts and some burnt notes. back end is full of spices including nutmeg and cardamon. all of this overlays a nice creamy base.

Mouthfeel: light and creamy. lots of spices but not too much heat from the spices. drinkability is a little bit on the low side.

Overall: This beer is one of the things I love Short's for. The taste on this one is amazing. a near perfect incorporation of dark malts and chai tea.

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Photo of superspak
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 11/17/2014. Pours pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky brown head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, cardamom, clove, nutmeg, ginger, and herbal/spice earthiness. Nice aromas with good complexity and solid balance of dark/roasted malt and chai spice notes; with good strength. A bit spice heavy but pleasant overall. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, light smoke/char, cardamom, clove, nutmeg, ginger, herbal, and roast/smokey earthiness. Fair amount of roast and earthy spice bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, light smoke/char, cardamom, clove, nutmeg, ginger, and roast/smokey earthiness on the finish fora while. Damn nice robustness and complexity of big dark/roasted malts and moderate chai spice flavors; with a nice malt/spice balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good spiced black ale style. All around good robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/roasted malt and moderate chai spice flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.82/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Short's makes a great choice in offering Black Chai as a part of the Winter variety pack. It pours perfectly dark, with a thin, tan head that leaves a sticky lacing on the glass as it's quaffed. The smell is Chai spices, and it's not subtle. Underneath is a hint of the roasted malts. The taste follows through, though with a bitter bite of roasted malts hitting up front.
A warm, spicy roast makes a great sipping beer on a cold night. Probably wouldn't enjoy it as much in warmer weather.

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Photo of MIbeer27
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, dated 11/17/14

Bottle pours an opaque black, with a slowly dissipating, one finger khaki head.

Aroma is primarily chai spices (cardamon, nutmeg, and ginger, according to Short's). Roasted malt peeks through in the background, but I'm getting mostly chai.

Taste is excellent. Chocolate and roasted malts initially take the lead, but the chai spices quickly join, displaying incredible balance through the finish. There is a creamy aspect present, as well.

Mouthfeel is medium, aided by the creamy, dark malts. Bitterness and carbonation are also medium.

Overall, Black Chai is a beer that really redeemed itself in the taste. The roasted malt really complements the chai spices and the creaminess of this beer is outstanding.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I got a bottle of Short's Black Chai in their new winter variety pack. I've had this beer on tap a couple times and I thought it was just ok, but since it came in this years winter variety pack I thought I would give it another chance, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I know it's fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a Short's Imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks nice, it goes well with the name, but I don't think it's too eye catching. It poured a nice black color that surprisingly didn't let any light come through and it had three fingers worth of bubbly mocha colored head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left lots of patchy lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints at all.

S- The aroma starts off with a lower amount of medium sweetness with the malts being the first to show up and they impart a nice roasted malt aroma along with a slightly grainy, light coffee and light chocolate like aromas showing up in the background. Up next comes the Chai tea which pretty much dominates the aroma of this beer and it imparts a very strong Chai Tea aroma. The aroma was decent, but I thought it was a unbalanced and the Chai Tea is just too dominating.

T- The taste seems to be very similar to the aroma and it starts off with a lower amount of medium sweetness with the roasted malt still being the first to show up and they impart the same malty aspects that I got in the aroma with the roasted malts and chocolate seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes the Chai Tea which shows up almost as much as it did in the aroma, it's still pretty dominating and it imparts the same strong Chai tea aspects that it did in the aroma. On the finish there's a pretty light amount of bitterness with a herbal and Chai tea like aftertaste. This was a decent tasting beer, but I thought the Chai tea was too dominating.

M- Fairly smooth, a little crisp, a little creamy, medium bodied with a slightly lower amount of medium carbonation. This beer had a nice mouthfeel, but the heavy tea flavor prevents it from being as smooth as it could be.

Overall I thought this was a decent beer and I thought it was decent example of the style, but in the end it lacked the balance that I was hoping it would have and I thought the heavy Chai Tea flavors prevented some of the subtle flavors from coming through. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, it was fairly smooth, a little crisp, a little creamy, not too filling, but the taste didn't do a great job at holding my attention and one would be enough for me since I have no urge to drink another one in a row. What I like the most about this beer was the appearance, it's one good looking beer. What I liked the least about this beer was the balance, the Chai Tea was just too strong for me. I wouldn't buy this beer on it's own and I would only recommend it if you like chai tea flavors in beer. All in all I'm still not a big fan of this beer, it's the strong chai tea flavors that really hold this beer back for me and after having a few Chai tea flavored beers I've come to the conclusion that they just aren't for me and I'm just not a big fan of that flavor in a beer and i doesn't seem to matter what style it's used it. So far it's one of my least favorite Short's beers. This beer just isn't for me, better luck next time guys.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A-Sampled at Extreme Beer Fest. Pours very dark, seemingly black.

S-Chai for sure. Whatever medley of spices make up the scent of chai, they are present. A little bit of roast.

T-As I read this beer's description, I dans see that they used all sorts of spices. I really pick up on the nutmeg. Hints of chocolate and roast.

M-Light bodied with an odd bitterness. Flavors lingers.

O/D-Happy this was only a 2 oz. sample.

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Black Chai from Short's Brewing Company
3.46 out of 5 based on 94 ratings.
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