On the fifth day of RIS-Mas my true love gave to me…Chocolate Rain!

In my self-imposed Advent calendar of Russian Imperial stouts, here is the 5th day’s festivities.  You can check out Day 1 (Deschutes Abyss),  Day 2 (Founders CBS),  Day 3 (Olde Hickory Event Horizon), and Day 4 (Fair State’s Giantsbane) as well to spread the cheer!


The Bruery’s Chocolate Rain 2014 Vintage

I’ve long been a fan of The Bruery, even making a field trip out there when Sj and I went to stay at Disneyland one year.  They have a huge range of beers but the most popular tend to be their barrel aged Russian Imperial stouts, including Black Tuesday, and Chocolate Rain.  Because of the high ABV on these beers they tend to sit on my shelf waiting for a special occasion.  This seemed like a good one!


Here’s how things went last night:

Eric: “Is opening a Chocolate Rain for just the two of us at 8 o’clock at night insane?”

Sarajo: “No more than us getting three new kittens is insane…”

And yes, we are indeed getting 3 new kittens.   Here are a couple of them to increase our readership…

Chocolate Rain (at least the 2014 vintage I have) clocks in at a whopping 18.5% ABV!  It is aged in bourbon barrels and has vanilla and Tcho Chocolate nibs added in the process.  Sj and I have had this beer several times and loved it.



Aroma: Oh my goodness this smells like straight bourbon!  Once you get past that, I can pick up vanilla, more bourbon, and a hint of chocolate.  Did I mention the bourbon yet?

Appearance: Much lighter in color than the other stouts we’ve tried this season.  More of a murky hazy dark brown than black.  I can see light through it at the edge of the glass.  Very faint whispy off-white head fades incredibly quickly.

Flavor:  Um booze.  OMG booze!  Sweet, almost cloyingly sweet–like liquid chocolate booze syrup.  Vanilla accentuates sweetness here and isn’t really needed.  Chocolate present but more side-line to the straight up bourbon flavors.  This is not quite “hot” but that booze is strong.  Sj does not like brown spirits so I can’t figure out how she likes this…but I won’t call her on it.  Body medium.  Carbonation low. Not much oxidation.

Overall: Still a great after dinner dessert beer, but it took a long time (one episode of Flash and one Master Of None) to get through the whole bottle.  So boozy it really needs to be sipped over time.  Should one add a few drops of water like you would in a whiskey or Scotch?  The chocolate in this one is fading compared to when fresh as well.

Rating (0-5): 4.25 Shots of Rye