Stone Chai-Spiced Imperial Russian Stout is the newest addition to the brewery’s Odd Beers for Odd Years offering, alongside Extra Hoppy Barleywine.
As you have probably deduced, this edition is inspired by chai tea. To achieve this nuance, Stone has added clove, ginger, black pepper, cardamom, black tea, and cinnamon to the bold imperial stout.
As it stands, the classic version of Stone Imperial Russian Stout is deep, dark, rich, roasty and perhaps even a bit sinful. The ‘Odd Beers for Odd Years’ part of the journey means the coming of each odd-numbered year provides the opportunity to take this traditional beer to new and mysterious places, embarking on an exploratory odyssey enabled by strikingly flavorful elements applied to a lovely onyx canvas. This beer, the latest ‘Odd’ transubstantiation, takes inspiration straight from the spice aisle, incorporating array of ingredients assembled to emulate the flavors of authentic chai tea. Cinnamon, cardamom, clove, ginger, a dash of black pepper and a dose of black tea combine with Stone Imperial Russian Stout’s incumbent flavors to take it deep into exotic, previously unfathomed tenitory. Expect a touch of earthiness in combination with a warm, tantalizing aridness. Asa one-time brew with enduring character, Stone CHAI-SPICED Imperial Russian Stout is crafted to be contemplated fresh or cellared under proper conditions for many years so that it may live on not only in one’s memory, but on his or her taste buds as well.
Stone Chai-Spiced Imperial Russian Stout is available in 22oz bottles, and draft. Typically arriving in March.
Style: Imperial Stout (w/ Clove, Ginger, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Black Tea, Cinnamon)
Availability: 22oz Bottles, Draft
AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA and Puerto Rico
International Distribution: Australia; Alberta and British Columbia (“Odd” release only), Canada; Japan; Singapore; Sweden; and United Kingdom
Release: Late-March, 2015
2015 is an “odd year.” Fans of Stone Brewing Co. know by now that odd years bring “Odd Years” versions of Stone Imperial Russian Stout and Old Guardian Barleywine.
Past Odd Beer versions of Old Guardian have included Oak Smoked, and Belgo-Barleywine. 2015’s Odd offering is Extra Hoppy. The Stone Brewing Co. team used Azacca hop varietal in a strong dry-hop in the base barleywine.
[The Azacca dry-hop]…gives the beer a big candied-fruit character and citrus, pineapple aromatics.
Stone Old Guardian Extra Hoppy is available in 22oz bottles and draft for a limited time.
Released: Mid-February, 2015
Distribution: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA and Puerto Rico
International Distribution: Alberta and British Columbia, Canada; United Kingdom; Singapore; and Sweden
The wait is almost over. Stone Brewing’s 2013 Odd Beer for Odd Years offering, Espresso Imperial Russian Stout, is set to launch on Monday along with it’s buddy, the original Imperial Russian Stout. This year’s version isn’t that crazy compared to other years, but definitely shouldn’t be written off. They brewed this beer with espresso from their friends at Ryan Bros. Coffee in San Diego and the beer boasts quite a huge flavor.
“We’ve been producing IRS since 2000. The recipe is timeless, yet, being the never-satisfied, forward-thinking-to-the-point-of-dreaming craftspeople we are, we can’t simply rest on our laurels and just stick with the tried-and-true. 2013 Stone ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout bursts with intense added roastiness that serves to magnify underlying flavors. Think of it as an amplifier for all of those symphony instruments.”
Style: Russian Imperial Stout (w/ Espresso)
Availability: 22oz bottles, Draft
Arrival: April 15, 2013
Another addition to Stone’s Odd Beers for Odd Years Series surfaced today – this time around – Stone Espresso Imperial Russian Stout.
Style: Russian Imperial Stout (w/ Espresso)
Availability: 22oz Bombers
Whether you are writing the correct year by now or not, it’s officially 2013. That means a new Stone Brewing Co. Odd Beer for Odd Years release. The first time around, Old Guardian was “Belgianized”. This year is a oak smoked edition. This beer makes uses of the same smoked malt used in recent collaboration The Perfect Crime. Look for it in February, 2013.
Style: Barleywine (Smoked)
Availability: 22oz bombers, Draft
2013 marks another odd year, and that means another Odd Year Release for Stone Brewing Co. A few years ago, the brewery decided to release a special take on a couple of tried and true favorites for odd years. That resulted in Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout, and Old Guardian Belgo Barleywine. The newest treatment for the coming odd year is Old Guardian Oak Smoked Barleywine, featuring German smoked wheat malt. Greg Koch (Founder) writes you a letter on the bottle.
It’s the Friday after Turkey Day. In the US anyhow. Not here in Belize, but I had turkey yesterday all the same. Raised in the Belize countryside by German Mennonites no less. It was delicious. Gotta respect those who are focused on doing things the right way, which more and more in this world often means with less technology rather than more. The bananas are better here, too. Mostly because they’re picked ripe and ready for local consumption, ratherthan pre-ripe and green to ship off to the US and other far-flung countries only to be ethylene-gassed once they arrive to finish off the ripening process. Sudden flashback of when we visited our friends James & Martin @Brewdog in Scotland for our collaboration beer a few years ago called bashah (don’t think I ever spilled the beans formally before that the name is an acronym for black as sin, hoppy as hell). We had dinner at a great little restaurant in Aberdeen that historically was a banana-hanging warehouse. Later, they ended up buying the place. We actually shot a really cool video: [link) Back to the moment and Belize.Just finished a Crime. Great way to start the last night here. Now, as tradition dictates for the OG label, I’m having some 2012 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine. Sitting at a beach bar & sharing w/John & Barbara Cheek from Oakhurst (Decatur, GA). They regularly enjoy Stone IPA at their local haunts, Steinbeck’s and The Marlay. Got to know them a little today as we were on the same little boat going out to snorkel with the sea turtles. Yes, a bit ‘touristy’ for me, as I typically head a little more off the beaten path, but hell, it was kinda cool swimming with them all the same. Swimming in the ocean made my hair quite scraggly lit’s still rather mucked up from the whole red-hair fundraiser we did back in August), and with the headband I picked up two days ago at a local shop, I’ve gotta admit that I’m looking a bit laughably trustafarian. It’s like I became an overnight pseudo-beach bum. Heh, if only. Not really my thing though, honestly. I’m a bit higher strung than that. The driven/agenda type. Gotta change the world, rather than watch it float by. But then you knew that. Save now. It’s been a ‘float’ week. Nice to visit the float lifestyle every once in a while, but I wouldn’t want to live there. Cracked a Stone Enjoy By 12.21.12 IPA just now. That’s a beer to encourage the ‘watch the world float by” if there ever was one.The aroma is certainly suggestive of that lifestyle, now isn’t it? I’ll leave it at that. Loving it. Brought two cases of assorted 22oz & 500m1 bottles on the trip. The 12.21.12 is the next-to-last, w/Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale bringing up the rear. So to speak. It’s actually not legal to bring in beer to this country as their beer laws are rather protectionist. That serves no one, except a few. Nonetheless, I swallowed my bubbling outrage as I learned this at Customs on my way in and politely asked to speak with a supervisor. I said “Hi, I’m Greg and I own a small brewery in the US, and) like to travel w/beer to share w/people I meet. I certainly don’t mind paying a duty.” He surveyed me, then the beer, then me again and decided that my two cases “didn’t represent a commercial threat” and calc’ed out a modest duty for me to pay. I did so gladly. Now I’m at the end of the visit, and reflecting on the fact that all went quite nicely thank-you- C. very-much. Thankful for the brief respite. Time to get back to it next week. Lots to do. Lots to do.
Arriving together – Stone Brewing’s Russian Imperial Stout, and Belgo Anise Russian Imperial Stout. RIS is an annual release from Stone Brewing, while Belgo isn’t. It’s actually a part of the brewery’s new “Odd Beers For Odd Years” series. They took Russian Imperial, and tossed in a Belgian yeast, star anise, & oak chips. An oddity indeed.
Stone Imperial Russian Stout is so thing, rich and well, sinful you might feel certain that you are to be doomed to the fiery pits just for thinking about taking a sip. It almost seems evil. Rest assured, however, that our ever faithful gargoyle has done his job well by successfully warding off all evil spirits. In fact, we guarantee that no sin was committed in the production of this seemingly pernicious brew. We will admit that we used copious does of decadence in creating the viscous beauty you have before you, but no actual sin… You’ll have to add that on your own.
This particular edition is brewed in the authentic historical style of an Imperial Russian Stout, and then, shall we say… embellished. Specifically, by using a Belgian yeast strain, adding liberal amounts of star anise, and oaking it (which arguably could be considered “historical” as they used wooden barrels back then rather than todays stainless steel).
While our original version is “intensely aromatic (notes of anise, black currants, coffee, roastiness and alcohol) and heavy on the palate,” this Odd Year version doesn’t just have “notes” of anise… it screams it. Big, loud, & proud. LIke the Russian Czarists. Presumably. Truth is, we can’t say for certain, but one sip it’s easy to imagine it to be true.
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Taste Expectations: Licorice, coffee, dark roasty malts, & booze. Underlying Belgian complexity.
Availability: 22oz bombers, Draft. Brewed for odd year (2011. Next brew – 2013)