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Prairie Vanilla Noir - Prairie Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Prairie Vanilla NoirPrairie Vanilla Noir

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

78 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 78
Hads: 654
Avg: 4
pDev: 44.75%
Wants: 176
Gots: 175 | FT: 22
Brewed by:
Prairie Artisan Ales visit their website
Oklahoma, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HopsMatt on 12-11-2013

Imperial Stout Aged in Oak Whiskey Barrels with Vanilla Beans
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 78 | Hads: 654
Photo of Immortale25
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish traditional oversized snifter. Bottleneck says 27315.

A- Pours a 99% opaque black color with not much head, just some trace amounts of light brown surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves tiny specs behind.

S- Big blast of vanilla sweetness reminds me of cotton candy or cake frosting or something. Also, some milk chocolate, caramel and vanilla custard.

T- More vanilla sweetness with some accentuating barrel character. Some oak tannins in the aftertaste and some faint dark roast but the sweetness is the main element at play here. Cake batter, fudge, glazed donut...you get the idea.

M- Silky smooth with medium-low carbonation and a full body.

O- Great, but it would be even better if the sweetness was toned down just a tad.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Thick dark black colour with a thin layer of espresso foam coloured head.

S - Chocolate fudge, vanilla, oak, roast.

T - Sweet vanilla and chocolate fudge notes up front giving way to lighter roast and toasted oak flavours.

M - Full body; creamy. Light carbonation.

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Photo of Chris_Huston
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2015 batch, poured hard and slightly chilled, nearly impossible to get much of the brown sugar-colored froth from it. Sits in the glass blacker than any other brew I've seen. Smell is predominantly the whiskey -- although, quite nicely, it isn't as strong as most other whiskey barrel aged beers. Have to really snoop around for the vanilla smell, but it's there, and does help flesh out the whisky to be more than one-dimensional.

Getting the whiskey, again, up front on the taste, with a creamy, weighty feel, and again the vanilla is very reluctant to appear on its own but adds dimension to the whiskey. For what little head is generated on the pour, the leather tan foam laces and lingers the inside of the glass after each sip and movement, as a sign of the lush creaminess of the texture.

Overall, the flavor is rich and varied, but still rather simple and even muddled. That makes it fall short of brews like Breakfast Stout and even Prairie's own Bomb variations (including Christmas), but still super tasty and not a drink I would tire of or refuse. Quality, quality whiskey-themed stout.

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Photo of HeartofMiami
4.52/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2. Pours black with no head. Smells of Vanilla and whiskey Barrel. Little carb but great mouthfeel. Lots of whiskey and Vanilla with hints of oak, marshmallow, caramel and roasty malts. Excellent!

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Photo of bgold86
4.39/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a 12 ounce snifter at just above room temperature.

Has a great dark fruit nose, lots of vanilla sweetness/ tons of oak from the barrels, but the mouth feel is kind of thin, yes, tons of vanilla, super smooth, but for such a highly complex smelling beer, to only pull vanilla and some slight chocolate notes from the taste is kind of a shame.

This beer is too expensive to be lacking in a major department such as taste.

Final score, 93/100, does not stack well with beers in similar $ category.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.82/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

$11.99 for a *single bottle*. I really wanted to grab two, but for the price, I couldn't. I figured I'd regret it. Well, here goes...

Appearance: Poured this hard into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint and got a slow forming finger of a brown head that slowly died down. Vanilla Noir just looks "thick." The color is pitch black, of course. Virtually no lacing. Still a nice looking beer true to the style

Smell: Roasted malt, dark coffee, chocolate, whiskey, vanilla (which gives off a marshmallow and slight milky vibe), and alcohol. Phenomenal. The milk chocolate aroma I get seems to dominate, and I welcome that, because with the barrel and vanilla, it's fucking heaven. This smells sweet, a little boozy, a lot fantastic. I could drone on, but there's no need to.

Taste/feel: This is the closest thing I've had yet to "the perfect beer." The feel is perfectly silky in that it's like drinking a boozy chocolate milk. In a sense this reminds me of Chocolate Manifesto by Flying Monkeys, but with a much-needed bitter roast quality/more balance, and the beauty of a bourbon (in this case, whiskey) barrel. The taste is so complex and insanely well crafted, I can't get over it. I can't put it into coherent sentences. Like the smell, a laundry list of flavors coming in from all different angles. But on the taste, the roast qualities add a subtle smokeyness, a tiny bit of ash, a little woodiness (barrel a contributing factor there, I'm sure)... the sweet chocolate on the front with the roast and vanilla on the end is something that may sound very "been there, done it", but no beer has done it like Vanilla Noir. Every whiff I take I get a worry that each sip will be over-the-top sweet, but it's not ... the finish is a perfect level of bitterness to erase the sweetness. The aftertaste is roasty, a little chocolate Frosty-like, a bit bitter... in a word, luxurious. This beer is luxurious.

Far and away the best beer I've had to date. This bottle was fresh, and I find it unfeasible that an aged bottle could taste any better than this. I'm kicking myself that I didn't buy another bottle, but I'm glad that I got to try it, and know to buy the hell out of it if I ever see it again. My only reason for the 4.75 overall is, and I know it's unfair, because of the price. I shouldn't have that factor in, but it does -- at the same time, don't let that keep you from trying this unbelievable beer. IGNORE THE RATINGS. The first batch of this beer was apparently infected (at least in spots). For a guy who's normally a conservative rater, this beer just misses a flawless rating. Trust me, it's that good.

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Photo of M_chav
4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L - rich black viscous pour, minimal tan/gold head fades quickly, really pretty
S - I can't help but think that this reminds me of BC Vanilla Rye - seriously awesome vanilla forward smell, its amazing! whiskey presence is obvious and smells a bit hot, but that nilla smell is the perfect counterpart
T - Oh man this is nice. Whiskey is nice, vanilla is nicer. this is an amazing beer, I wish I had 100 more. I feel like I'm trying to find things wrong with it when I say its a bit hot, but I think this beer needs it, the alcohol is a great addition to the big sweetness of the vanilla. just wonderful.
F - Smooth as butter, a bit hot and possibly a bit thin but I'm really looking for imperfections because this is one of the better stouts I've had in a while.
O - Wonderful, smooth, very tasty and I need more.

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Photo of jws6w7
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big want for me so bought 4 even though they came with an $11.99 price tag. Now there's no question I made the right decision. This is one of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of OmahaKF
4.06/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell is vanilla, sugar cookies, baking spices, whiskey, and brown sugar. Taste is a nice blend of whiskey and vanilla, with a complementary oakiness. The sweetness of the beer actually hides the alcohol quite well, and I wouldn't guess that it's a 10+% ABV.

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Photo of Best_Enjoyed_In_Texas
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

As it usually goes with "vanilla" versions of an already established barrel-aged beer, I have a difficult time noticing the vanilla. This beer is no exception. I felt that noticing the difference in smell and flavor between Prairie Noir and Vanilla Noir was lacking.

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Photo of W_Des
4.62/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Never had batch one but wow batch 2 is delicious. Pours a black with a tan head. Really nice whiskey vanilla nose balancing each other out. The body is roasty and sweet with a good amount of vanilla. The whiskey is hardly noticeable and doesn't drink like an 11.5%. The mouthfeel is very smooth and this is just delicious overall.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This thing is dark. No light can fight its way through. A very thin tan head was coaxed out of the beer with an aggressive pour but didn't stay. Some suds held on to the edges and left a wee bit of lacing. The smell is amazing. There is oak, vanilla, whisky, and chocolate. These are all in the taste as well and play perfectly off each other. This is definitely a sweet beer that hides the high ABV exceptionally well. The beer has a nice body that seems to me to be a bit over a medium. Overall this is a well crafted and delicious beer. Prairie seems to do these big beers as well as anyone.

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Photo of smb
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black, nothing shines through even when held to the light. Maintains a tiny mocha head. Aroma is vanilla for days, as well as subtle whiskey and oak, a pleasure to smell. Taste is heavy on the vanilla but not quite vanilla-bomb status, light chocolate in the mix, as well as some whiskey and woodiness from the oak.

You can really feel the whiskey and a slight cloying sweetness from the vanilla. Has a thin mouthfeel on the drink down. Overall, a decadent and tasty vanilla imperial stout, although a little bit boozy and thin. Could definitely see this one benefiting from some age, although it is still great fresh.

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.59/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black and thick. Small dark khaki head disappears quickly. Thick lacing but it vanishes quickly.

Aroma is heavy whiskey and vanilla. Dark molasses. Oak, roasted malt, caramel, and chocolate.

Taste follows the flavor. Vanilla first and then the whiskey. Rich, sweet molasses and caramel. A bit of alcohol. Milk chocolate, medium roasted malt, and toasted oak. Hints of dark fruit.

Medium mouth feel. Very smooth and creamy. Moderate to medium carbonation. Boozy, alcoholic warmth. Lingering sweetness.

A really well done beer. Big vanilla flavor. Flavors blend well. Barrel is prominent without overpowering.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.71/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I get a great vanilla and barrel presence in the smell and the taste. It's really fantastic, and I'm going to try to get more. But unfortunately I've recently had vanilla bcs and it's a step behind that. But this is a great beer in my favorite style, (barrel aged stouts)

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Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.66/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

WOW. Prairie really came through with this second batch of Vanilla Noir. This one is head and shoulders better than the OG. Pours a thick, rich black with a nice thin caramel colored head. Tons and tons of vanilla on both the nose and finish which covers up the high ABV very well.

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Photo of jrodbeer
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Feels like I've waited a loooooooong time for batch 2 of this bad boy. Had both infected and non-infected batch 1. Absolutely LOVED the non, even the infected wasn't awful. Anyway, on to this batch.

Appearance: black as night, with a thin caramel colored head.
Smell: chocolate, vanilla, oak, whiskey, leather, nuts(?). Incredible smell.
Taste: follows nose, tons of chocolate. Vanilla balances the barrel nicely. Regular Noir has a huge barrel presence IMO, tons of whiskey. That is cut so nicely here by the sweet vanilla.
Feel: maybe the tiniest bit thin, but it could be me searching for a flaw.
Overall: Truly one of my favorite beers, not just from Prairie, from anyone. I'd love to know the rating of ONLY non-infected reviews, I know that's not how this works, but I'm curious. Non-infected B1 and B2 could get this beer up around a world class rating... It's a 95-98, in my mind, easily. Do what it takes to find some recently released B2, you won't regret it! Cheers

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Photo of thesteve1000
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The nose is mainly whiskey & malt. Vanilla is a great counterbalance to the boozy whiskey barrel aspect. Great beer to be certain, nice weight and mouthfeel. Not thin, just right.

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

I know to not rate beers that are really not at their premium but this infected vanilla is quite tasty. I could only imagine a clean bottle. A little funk makes this heavy stout quite smooth

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Photo of HopSavant
1.41/5  rDev -64.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Clearly one of the notoriously infected bottles. Acidic--tart cherries and funk throughout. Oddly, taste is okay given the circumstances. Since this isn't Prairie's intent, however, I have to hammer it on the rating.

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Photo of mbmiche
3.09/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Infected unfortunately. Still some vanilla and decent base. Mildly sour with a dark bitter aftertaste. Probably really solid if you get a good one!

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Photo of John_M
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Really enjoyed this beer, as I thought the vanilla (there's a lot of it) and the whiskey barrel aging blended very well together. Also, was drinking this with a cheese selection, and that seems to really bring out a huge chocolate component as well. A very fun beer to drink, with a lot of coffee, whiskey, vanilla and chocolate showing at this point.

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Photo of gcamparone
3.41/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Prairie Dino Glass.

Pours a deep brown, opaque body with a chocolate colored head that reduces slowly and leaves nice retention and lacing.

The aromas definitely indicate infection, lacto, funk, sour grapes, some coffee and chocolate.

On the tongue.. well, it's infected. If this were a sour stout I'd rate it as such, but tonight I was expecting a rich, vanilla forward imperial stout. Instead I got tart cherries, funk, leather, coffee, chocolate, no vanilla.

Mouthfeel is thin, which I'm assuming is due to infection. Medium carbonation.

Honestly this wouldn't have been a terrible American Wild or sour stout, but that wasn't the original intention and there's really no vanilla or heavy stout character here.

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Photo of Intelbeerlord
5/5  rDev +25%

Poured from a bottle on 8/28 into a Prairie Teku

A: Pours a pitch black. Head is the color of Chocolate milk

S: Hints of vanilla abound with your typical stout -like aromas of coffee and chocolate. Great smelling beer

T: Vanilla tones with a slight whiskey taste. Hints of oak

M: Great big body, heavy mouth feel and medium carbonation.

O: Great beer. Maybe even my favorite as of this first tasting of it. Definitely ISO another bottle. Heard some were infected, glad my wasn't.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours out black. Chocolate milk colored head. Stout base is redolent of chocolate and coffee aromas. The nose hints at vanilla, and has a pronounced bourbon barrel character. The flavor has big roasted malts, although I don't get an outright coffee flavor or chocolate. Vanilla comes out more in the flavor than in the smell. Bourbon barrel gives a bit of sour-ish heavy oak. Mouthfeel is full, smooth, and creamy. This is solid, but I'm not crazy about the barrel and vanilla combo on this one.

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Prairie Vanilla Noir from Prairie Artisan Ales
89 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.