Prairie Vanilla Noir - Prairie Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Prairie Vanilla NoirPrairie Vanilla Noir

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

556 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 556
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 16.08%
Wants: 148
Gots: 122 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Prairie Artisan Ales visit their website
Oklahoma, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Imperial Stout Aged in Oak Whiskey Barrels with Vanilla Beans
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Ratings: 556 | Reviews: 62
Photo of Intelbeerlord
5/5  rDev +25.6%

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.

Photo of TheWildWes
4.98/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This beer pours dark with a carmel head that dissipates eventually. It's beautiful and almost has a dark, dark, mahogany color when held to the light.

The smell is unbelievable with vanilla, chocolate, and a roasted note coming through.

The beer coats your mouth and is very smooth. You get a hit of chocolate and vanilla up front and the whiskey starts to set in as the beer finishes.

I have enjoyed a few of these and find myself enjoying them more each time I have one. The perfect stout.

Photo of TX-Badger
4.95/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Got a couple bottles of this and very glad I did. Here goes, reviewing this while I'm drinking it.

A - motor oil, looks just like it (dark and black; the natural motor oil, not the synthetic stuff)

S - vanilla! And whiskey right on the front of the nose; the roasted malt character of the stout is also present. As it warms, the vanilla becomes very prevalent, taking over the whiskey.

T - again, vanilla! and whiskey, also some coffee and oak, but I think this is more of the stout roasted malt character.

M - just right for the style, thick but too much so.

O - a very well done imperial stout that has been aged in oak whiskey barrels with vanilla beans. I wasn't sure when I picked this up just how much vanilla would be present in the beer, but it is there! If you like vanilla, whiskey, and oak, you're going to love this. As the beer warms, the vanilla becomes more present and takes over the whiskey to a certain extent, but I like that. Overall, a great beer.

Photo of DrumKid003
4.9/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pitch black appearance, with about a finger of off-white colored head.

S- If there was a way to bottle this smell and sell it, I would. Smells exactly like the name suggests, very strong vanilla aroma with just the slightest hint of chocolate.

T - Again, the vanilla is very present up front with just the slightest hint of whiskey on the finish. However, as it warms the chocolate/(coffee?) becomes more noticeable in the middle and the sweetness carries over to match perfectly with the whiskey on the end.

M - Almost syrupy, but probably one of the smoothest beers I have ever had.

O - If there was anyone who was put off by stouts and other heavy beers, I would immediately hand one of these to them. This ranks right up there with the Prairie Bomb! & Pirate Bomb.

Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
4.71/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Pours a pitch black motor oil with 2 fingers of dark brown / chocolate head.

S - I get tons of vanilla instantly in the smell, along with some chocolate and caramel sweetness.

T - The taste is much like the aroma, with sweet vanilla at the forefront followed by sweet chocolate and caramel. The flavor is reminiscent of creme brulee. I'm pleasantly surprised at the amount of vanilla flavor; it's not subtle at all.

M - Thick and viscous, low-to-moderate carbonation. The alcohol is hidden very well.

O - Possibly my favorite Prairie beer. This is perfect for dessert, as the vanilla notes are absolutely fantastic.

Photo of rjp217
4.49/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my Idle Hands snifter. No bottle date found...

A - Black as a marker with a light brown half finger head, decent lace left on the glass

S - A punch of whiskey waft hits immediately with hints of vanilla and chocolate in the background, nice balanced aroma

T - Close to the nose, I get whiskey at the forefront and then a solid balance of vanilla, malts, chocolate and oak. Slightly bitter whiskey notes in the finish. Again, balanced incredibly well

M - Awesome. Low carbonation with a creamy, smooth feel. Whiskey and oak can be felt rolling off the palate. Love it.

O - This is a really well done BA stout. The additions of whiskey and vanilla beans are incredibly balanced. The huge 11.5 ABV is pretty well masked if you drink carefully enough. As per usual, the aroma and taste become even more prevalent as the beer warms. Well done!

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.49/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz 2013 bottle into a CS snifter. Having Noir and Vanilla Noir side-by-side. I posted my review on Noir.

A- Dark Dark Roasty brown/black. Thin layer of lacing around the rim, with very little head in the middle of the glass.

S- I am getting some vanilla, not a ton out of the nose. Charred oak, chocolate, dark fruits, charred toffee. Some whiskey muted in the back.

T- The vanilla smooths this beer out and creates a great component that makes this beer way better than Noir. Some chocolate, malts and slight whiskey. Nice touch.

M- Again, Prairie has the M down on RIS. So rich and creamy. Smooth like Bomb!

O- This beer is so much better than the base. The vanilla makes this beer worth trading for. It is not as noticeable in a beer like Huna, but it gives it a nice touch.

Photo of alaimoa
4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is the review after having the 2013 noir first. Pours jet black with much less head and basically none at all. Smell is less aggressive on the whkskey but present with vanilla, cocoa, molasses. Taste hands down much more developed than standard noir with a nice whiskey and aggressive vanilla to balance it out with some molasses and roastiness in the back end. Finishes dry without too much sweetness

Overall I think Noir needs some time to smooth out from the aggressive whiskey notes and booze heat but vanilla drinking amazing right now fresh

Photo of stephens101
4.46/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A resilient tan head tops this pitch black brew.

Aroma is simple but effective with prolific notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, vanilla bean, and brown bread.

Taste is the smoothest and richest I can remember having. Chocolate cake, cocoa, oak and vanilla notes are all working as one. A hint of taffy is noticed. Could up the bitter, but now I'm just nit-picking.

Perfectly heavy, creamy and somewhat syrupy with a striking fusel alcohol that blends quickly.

Not much else to say about this one because I'm too busy drinking it.

Photo of 4thelvofbeer
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Another awesome stout by Prarie. This is so smooth. My first taste was with big vanilla notes...you can definitely taste the vanilla and it really smoothes out the beer. But it starts to fade...maybe just my taste buds, but the vanilla is overwhelmed and eventually lost by the whisky about half-way through...not to say that is bad, but it definitely changed from the first drink to the end. Nice notes of whisky and malt....overall, really, really nice.

Photo of russpowell
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
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

Photo of Hopswagger
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

P: Pours a pitch black body with rich esspresso micro bubbles. Oily cap with a thin lace ring.

S: Aroma brings an abundance of vanilla, smoked oak, bourbon and cocoa. When swirled an herbal aroma similar to a bag of weed.

T/M: First comes cocoa nib love, then comes vanilla marriage, then comes bourbon with a baby carriage. This match maker also brings about flaked oats, dark roast coffee, almond butter and cinnamon in a semi creamy body with sharp carbonation. Finishes dry with lingering pine bitterness and chewing tobacco sweetness.

O: Good clean fun. Nice and blended with a cornucopia of flavors that mingle well with one another. Easy drinking and sweet but not cloying. I highly recommend this.

Photo of NCalement
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a deep black color with a fast head. Looks like most BA stouts, thick, dark and rich.

S- Vanilla up front with some nice whiskey and oak hints on the back. Roasted malt and chocolate throughout. Vanilla stout this is.

T- Close to the nose. Lots of vanilla up front but the whiskey and oak are more present. Leather, bitter coco, fudge and marshmallow.

M- Perfect for the style. Has light carbonation with a thick body. Alcohol is hidden perfectly. The flavors linger and has a residual characteristic.

O- What a great beer. Prairie is an amazing brewery and Noir and its variants are amazing!!

Photo of Can_has_beer
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
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!

Photo of DelMontiac
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I was lucky enough to find a couple of cases of Vanilla Noir right around the corner from where I live at Plaza Wine and Spirits. I didn't buy it all...but I thought about it. I sure as hell bought enough of it though, lol!

I poured Vanilla Noir into a Bodum mouth-blown double-walled 13oz glass. The body is about as black as they come and covered with a gingerbread-colored two-finger dense head. Lace was off the chart making a nearly solid sheet of microbubbles all the way down. A thing of beauty.

Nose is loaded with vanilla bean, dark chocolate, bubbling brown sugar, and big booze. Mmm-mmm.

Note that this beer should be near room temp, only slightly cool. It requires time to open up. There's much to miss if it's very cold. The vanilla is huge here - wonder how it will be in a year's time. Bitter dark chocolate, burnt brown sugar, burnt marshmellow, and a lot of booze are all in your face at once. But it's that vanilla that keeps on giving. The alcohol is not covered as well as I would like and it comes in hard and hot at this point in time. It's definitely a sipper. I'll keep some in the cellar and check again down the road.

Feel seems thin for a barrel aged stout, but the smooth tiny carb bubbles make up for it. It's very sticky, however.

I wish I could give Vanilla Noir a better score, but right now it's still fairly fresh to the bottle. There's no telling how it will develop, but I feel if the vanilla hangs in there then we'll likely see some improvement overall. It's a very good beer.

Photo of OneEye78
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a wide mouth pint glass with a dark black/brown color and a 1/4 inch head. Smelled primarily of vanilla with a hint of bourbon. The taste was similar to the smell. Starts a little sweet with a very big vanilla flavor with some smokey flavor on the finish. It was very smooth despite the ABV. The bourbon was muted, but came through a bit more as it warmed. It was thick in the mouth, but not quite chewy. Overall this was an enjoyable beer, if not overly complex.

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours pitch black and rather thick out of the bottle. A sizable head that is chocolatey brown forms at about 3 fingers and retains very well. Lacing is also very good.

S- The scent of this beer starts off with bang of dark malts and a touch of hops bitterness mixed in there. Right after the slight bitter quality of the hops, the vanilla is evident, providing a slight sweetness underneath the entire scent. The vanilla sweetness leads into a little bit of bourbon barrel spiciness and oak smell before trailing off.

T- Starts off with the traditional dark malts and burnt flavor of any imperial stout with just a touch of underlying barrel flavor. Bourbon and oak flavors add a little bit of spiciness under the malt before the vanilla sweetness kicks in. The vanilla flavor takes over the middle part of the drink, blending with the malts and barrel flavors to sweeten and balance the beer. The lingering taste on the tongue is a pretty delicious blend of vanilla, dark malts, barrel flavors, and just a touch of hops bitterness.

M- Thick and fairly smooth on the palate. A surprising amount of carbonation limits the smoothness and creaminess. Alcohol is undetectable and the sweetness from the vanilla really lends this beer to easy drinking for an imperial.

Overall, much better than its base version. The vanilla adds a certain level of complexity that the plain Noir lacks and the barrel is a perfect compliment.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.31/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

awesome tweak on an already sensational brew. the vanilla here is not subtle in the least, and dominates the aroma and flavor of this beer, especially in the finish. its not too much though, since noir is already such an enormous stout, that it actually tempers the bitterness of the malt, smooths the alcohol intensity, and adds a complimentary layer to the chocolate cake flavor and texture of the base beer. rich and frothy look, not black but a sturdy brown, milkshake tan head, no let down. it smells like dessert, more vanilla than stout, but the bitterness of the roast still comes through. its alluring, i already know this texture, its like bomb almost, a little less thick, but in that vein. enormous vanilla flavors to this, more like extract than beans, it both softens the sting of the booze, but amplifies its flavor, especially after the swallow. noir doesnt need vanilla to be world class, but its addition makes it even more special and unique. i could drink a 750 ml of noir no problem, not sure i would want more than a 12 oz bottle of the vanilla edition, but i certainly think this is lovely stuff. prairie is just on fire this year.

Photo of jlindros
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Split with rudzud.

Nice darker creamy darker colored head, inky dark colored beer.

Nose big sweet malts, candy, caramel and chocolate, ok vanilla but not a ton, nice cocoa though, decent creamy note.

Taste brings great vanilla, little sweet malt, toasty, little creamy choc and cocoa, little caramel like syrup,

Mouth med to heavier bod, nice carb, smooth, touch of warming booze.

Overall pretty nice.

Photo of rudzud
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Split with JLindros and Threelions.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice motor oil hue with a thin mocha head that leaves thin halo and wisps.

S - Aromas of nice chocolate notes the vanilla is relatively quiet, there but subdued.

T - Taste is nice chocolate with strong vanilla on the taste. Vanilla bomb, ABV hidden very eel. Good vanilla and chocolate very nicer.

M - Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with the alcohol hidden well.

O - Overall this beer was rather tasty, nice vanilla notes.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served alongside Prairie Noir.

The beer is opaque and black with a half inch or so of beige head. Grandiose vanilla aroma. Boom. Chocolate, oak, bourbon, roast are there as well but vanilla is clearly the featured ingredient. Sweet vanilla takes center stage in the flavor. Really delicious and well done, but at the same time, there's only so much sweetness and vanilla one can handle. More than a few ounces becomes cloying. Unless you have a sweet tooth for this kind of thing, I recommend splitting the bottle a few ways. Very good for what it is.

Photo of Ranz
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a 2013 gray-waxed bottle.

A: In my Stone stout tulip, it pours a rich black with a foamy creme head about a full finger in depth, which dissipated quickly, leaving some thick and even lacing.

S: Much more acidic medicinal qualities waft here than I had expected; is it from the vanilla beans' exposure in the tun? Or from the oak barrels? It's still subtle and complex with boozy bourbon, milk chocolate, and earthy malt.

T: The vanilla beans are much more prominent here--boozy coffee notes and chocolate are also present. A malty aftertaste with bready notes finishes it all, probably from the oak whiskey barrels.

M: Again, much more acidic here than I had anticipated, but it has a rather smooth finish. It's rich and creamy alongside the spiciness. There's almost an astringency

O: I actually prefer the normal Noir to this variant, but there's still much to discover here.

Photo of John_M
4.21/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Loving the look of this one. Pours like motor oil out of the bottle. Dark as night with a chocolate colored head that settles in nicely to a soft ring. Dangerous looking!

S- Cocoa nibs, vanilla, bourbon whisky, and oats for days. Some damp wood also comes through.

T- Balance much?!! Powerful heaps of imperial stout flavors. Some of the roasted marshmallow character from the standard noir makes its way through, generous oats and copious amounts of hops to stand up the massive malt.

M- Sticky, full body, smooth and chewy. I heard this one some of The Bomb! blended into it to give it a slightly fuller base. Not sure if it has made that big of a difference in the body from the original noir, but outstanding either way.

O- Absolutely love this variant. Just the right amount of bourbon barrel influence for me. It doesn't run you over like a mack truck, but rather it nestles in nicely and enhances the accompanying flavors.

Photo of StaveHooks
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz waxed bottle served in a Prairie teku.

A - Pitch black body with a firm espresso head on top. Retention is nice and uniform.

S - Rich chocolate, whiskey, oak, alcohol, charred chicory, vanilla.

T - Roasted/charred chocolate malts, vanilla, whiskey, grassy/herbal hops, chicory coffee, there's sweetness but it can't compete with the roast and dry wood. The finish is semi-sweet and slightly bitter with a very dry close.

M - Lighter body than I expected, but still quite smooth, extremely dry finish.

The vanilla is light but adds a nice touch to heavily roasted malt base and melds well with the whiskey. The body was light and smooth but seemed to lack that decadent feel I was hoping from an oatmeal stout.

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Prairie Vanilla Noir from Prairie Artisan Ales
89 out of 100 based on 556 ratings.