Prairie Vanilla Noir - Prairie Artisan Ales
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Ratings: 182 | Reviews: 29 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by russpowell:
4.44/5 rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pours an effervescent ebony with 2+ fingers of mocha colored head. Sheets of lacing & very nice head retention
S: Vanilla & Bourbon
T: Follows the nose, caramel, dryness & faint roastyness up front, plus dark chocolate. More vanilla, a bit of caramel with dryness, a touch of smoke & booze as this warms, plus more oaky dryness. Finishes with vanilla & caramel sweetness & oakyness
MF: Chewy, low carbonation, so smooth
Drinks extremely easy, the ABV is extremely well masked, another great stout from Prairie,. I will pick some up to age if I get the chance
Serving type: bottle
01-13-2014 06:01:00 | More by russpowell
More User Reviews:
3.89/5 rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
12oz bottle with grey wax recieved in a trade from my man Jon in Texas. Thanks a bunch dude!
A - Pours jet black with a moderate viscosity into my Ommegang tulip. Light pour brings about a hefty 3 finger mocha colored head that doesn't stick around long and leaves no lace as expected. The size of the head was quite surprising, especially given the abv of the beer and the fact that it's barrel aged.
S - Definitely big vanilla notes, some roasted malt, cocoa powder, slight chocolate. The whiskey and barrel character is there but you have to dig for it.
T - Some slightly bitter coffee and big vanilla sweetness hit the tongue first, giving way to roasted malts, brown sugar, and powdery cocoa before finishing off with more vanilla, and some slight whiskey and charred oak. Nicely balanced but the flavors are a bit subdued. I was expecting more from a barrel aged stout.
M - Creamy, a bit over-carbonated though. A little thin for the 11.5 abv. On the upside it's quite easy drinking. Alcohol is well masked.
O - Nice stuff, but not without some glaring flaws. I would have liked more barrel character and the mouthfeel left a lot to be desired. Vanilla notes are great, and it's well balanced, but there's definitely room for improvement. A nice quaff but not worth the $8 price tag. Hopefully Coffee Noir is a bit better.
Serving type: bottle
03-09-2014 00:36:43 | More by cjoc83
3.5/5 rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
12 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing label art and grey wax-ed over pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local TX bottle shop and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are sky high as I loved Prairie Noir and my opinion of Prairie/Krebs as a brewery keeps rising and rising. Reviewed as an imperial stout because the label clearly identifies it as such. 11.5% ABV according to the bottle. Distributed by the Shelton Bastards.
Served chilled and allowed to come to room temperature over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
Pours a one finger wide head of nice khaki colour. Nice thickness and creaminess. Has a smooth even complexion and a fairly full and somewhat soft consistency. Head retention is average (but pretty good for the high ABV) - about 4 minutes. Great even lacing coats the sides of the glass as the head recedes, but little sticks and holds.
Body colour is a predictable opaque solid black - almost a jet black. No floating yeast particles are visible. Appears well-carbonated.
Overall, it's an appealing appearance for the style and I'm looking forward to the first sip, but it's far from unique or special and I've certainly seen better. There are no obvious flaws.
Sm: Oak tannins and strange whiskey dominate the aroma. The whiskey doesn't seem very high quality, and doesn't have much spiciness or evocative character. Cream, dark malts, chocolate malts, and maybe light caramel. I strain to find vanilla bean and barely can; it's quite restrained and reticent - to the aroma's detriment. In any case, it's a nicely sweet if fairly timid aroma which suggests a silky full-flavoured brew. I'm absolutely looking forward to the first sip, though I do wish the aroma were a bit more evocative and compelling. I search for roasted barley - a favourite note in stouts - and can't find it.
No yeast character, overt alcohol, hop profile, or off-notes are detectable. Aroma is of below average strength.
Mf: Nicely smooth up front, bordering on silky - but it soon switches to an unbecoming coarseness which comes off a bit rough on the palate. Well-carbonated. A bit dry - strangely so for a vanilla imperial stout. Has a surprisingly light presence on the palate; I'd even go so far as to say it lacks sufficient body and isn't thick or heavy enough. Could be creamier and softer.
Not gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, oily, or harsh.
Overall, the texture isn't an ideal complement to the taste, and there's ample room for improvement.
T: Chocolate, chocolate malts, cream, light caramel sweetness, and dark malts comprise the bulk of the flavour profile. The notes which should be best - the vanilla, oak, and whiskey - are the most faint. The vanilla is way too reticent, though that note does seem to arise from genuine vanilla bean - not some vanillicin extract or from bourbon. I don't find any whiskey spice, but I do pick up on a low quality whiskey taste. I really have to dig to find the oak, and when I do I'm underwhelmed - this is not the toasty rich oak wood character I hoped for. Overall, I'm not sure the barrel notes are necessarily an improvement on the base beer, and they hardly come through at all which is frustrating. Ideally, barrel aging is used to coax out/complement the subtleties and nuances of the base flavour profile, but that isn't happening here. I also don't find much roast/roasted barley, which is personally disappointing.
For an imperial stout - let alone a barrel aged vanilla imperial stout - this is rather simple and lacks intricacy. There's some subtlety here, sure, but the flavours feel closed off and unevocative. Lacks (relative) complexity and nuance as a result. Below average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.
That said, it does have a nice balance to it, and the sweetness is just right.
Dr: This is an extremely drinkable imperial stout for its high ABV, and while I'm enjoying it, I'm not loving it. Frankly, I think the regular Noir is a lot better. I think they used the barrel aging and vanilla bean components more as marketing ploys than well-executed alterations to the already great base brew. When you make the beer worse using more expensive methods, you know you've failed. I'll easily kill this bottle alone and I'm enjoying every sip, but I honestly wouldn't buy it again unless a source I trust identified a substantial quality increase from batch to batch. This is pretty good stuff, but isn't Prairie's strongest work. I expected a lot better given how good regular Noir is. I wouldn't recommend this to friends or trade partners per se at this price point, but it's nice stuff.
Serving type: bottle
03-08-2014 04:47:37 | More by kojevergas
4.4/5 rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
From bottle into snifter
A- Pours black with a brown head and fine bubbles. As the head dissipates, the surface has an oily sheen to it.
S- Vanilla and candied almonds are up front, followed by bourbon
T- The beer is slightly sweet. The vanilla is the most pronounced, as it comes from the barrel and the beans. The bourbon follows. It tastes like it smells.
M- Medium bodied carbonation. Slightly sticky from the vanilla beans.
O- Heard a lot of talk about infection with this, but I definitely did not have any issues. All the flavors were well balanced. A lovely experience!
Serving type: bottle
03-05-2014 03:36:11 | More by Can_has_beer
Prairie Vanilla Noir from Prairie Artisan Ales
94 out of 100 based on 182 ratings.