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BOMB! - Prairie Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
BOMB!BOMB!

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

540 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 540
Hads: 4,231
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 2.67%
Wants: 940
Gots: 1,693 | FT: 230
Brewed by:
Prairie Artisan Ales visit their website
Oklahoma, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  14.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MinorThreat on 05-29-2013

Imperial stout aged on coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and ancho chili peppers.

ABV varies by batch.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 540 | Hads: 4,231
Reviews by shadetree67:
Photo of shadetree67
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with Blue Gray wax

Appearance - Very dark and thick during the pour. 1 finger of head was a bit of a surprise given the high ABV. A ring of foam stuck around for the duration.

Smell - Tons of Milk chocolate, some coffee, and a hint of booze.

Taste - Milk chocolate, coffee (though not as much as the smell would indicate), bitter burnt malt, slight vanilla, and a hint of pepper. The pepper comes in at the end of each sip and becomes more apparent as the beer warms. Some beers are heavy handed with spice, but I feel the level of pepper is perfect here. This flavor profile is very complex and every drink leaves you searching to identify all the layers.

Mouthfeel - This is really thick and creamy - near perfect for this type of beer. It coats your mouth but not in a bad syrupy way. The high ABV isn't noticeable and the only tingle / burn is due to the pepper.

Overall - This is an excellent beer and dangerously drinkable at 14%. Would love to get my hands on more (990 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jeffo
4.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle of this from Doodler in a recent box. Cheers man!

From a bottle into a snifter
Gold wax
Coffee, cacao, vanilla beans and chili peppers.
Nordaggios coffee

APPEARANCE: Muddy black pour yields a three finger, foamy, medium tan head with very good retention. Jet black body with slightly higher levels of carbonation. Slowly fades to a full foam cap, then a wisp and ring. A simple ring remains but leaves no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: All the adjuncts are there. Chilies are first, with coffee, vanilla and cacao nibs, showing up in that order. Light roast, sweet cream and milk chocolate notes. Everything is really balanced in the nose. Can't get much better than this really. Bold and wonderful.

TASTE: Really flavorful with vanilla, chocolate and light roasted notes up front. Creamy chocolate and coffee through the middle into a big and lingering finish of bitter chocolate and coffee, sweet milk chocolate, vanilla, sweet cream and some spicy chilies. Chilies are well measured and give a little bite and heat in the aftertaste, but aren't overpowering. Lots of adjuncts but they're all well there and well balanced. Perhaps a touch too much heat lingers, but just great.

PALATE: Medium body and slightly higher carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth with a chili scratch at the swallow, finishing slightly mouth-coating. A chili bite and some heat lingers, but still really good.

OVERALL: This is excellent. Could be a touch thicker and a have a touch less carbonation for top marks, I'm really getting nit picky here. Fantastic, and there's no way this is actually 14% ABV either. Easily equal to Mexican Cake, and a tick below Huna. World class in any respect. Thanks again Doodler. Highly recommended. (1,751 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Proving that there's much more to Prairie Ales than just Saison-nuevo, reaching into their goodie sack of all-things-dark has proven quite successful for the up and comers. Complex flavors from both the base beer and from additions, and then its roasted drinkability allows these guys to look like old pros!

As expected, the beer is black. Just shy of any mirror-like sheen, the beer seems to have a hazy density that's exacerbated by its absolute darkness. But then the beer takes on lightened proportions as a billowing mocha-stained column rises to match the rim of the snifter. Boldly carbonated, the beer easily retains the session with a thick creme of foam and laces with reliable concentric rings with each sip.

Incredibly roasty in aroma, the beer is spot on espresso and roasted walnuts. Sprinkled with a sense of cocoa powder and burnt molasses- the roasted grains are well supported with a more supple and sweeter counterpart. As the alcohols rise, it carries with it a hint of whisky, smoke, charred fruit but no real sign of the chili peppers that's promised.

One sip and it inflates the mouth with dry roastiness. Bitter espresso, cocoa, walnuts and scorched sugars all round into a lighter than expected burnt flavor. Its sweetness is supportive but doesn't steal the show. The middle palate introduces a fruitier tone with alcohol-soaked fruits: cherries, blackcurrant, raisins and a touch of licorice spice become the vehicle for its whisky-type alcohol. Reading into the beer a little, there's a slim fruit-vegetable tone that could be chili, but could also be hop and alcohol.

Undoubtedly full bodied, the ale is both cream-ied up by its expansive carbonation and also lightened by it. The bubbles seem to make the beer float just above the tongue with a semi-arid dryness and powdery roast character. By the time that the carbonation subsides, the sweetness has already faded and the spicy warmth of alcohol and capsacin linger boldly on the throat.

Prairie has absolutely knocked this one out of the park. Each sip delivers a new flavor, a new experience, and new complexion to the beer. I'm happy to see it being considered in the upper echelon of stouts because it rightfully belongs there. (2,219 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.56/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by someone - Jason perhaps? Served in a snifter.

A - Tan foam settles to a partial cap, thick collar, and specks of lace. Black body with a touch of lighter brown at the edges of the glass.

S - Huge roast, coffee, spicy chiles, vanilla, milled grains, semisweet chocolate, and no perceptible alcohol. Great balance and depth - pretty awesome.

T - The taste isn't quite as heavy on the chiles, but it's still quite enjoyable. Roasted malts, vanilla, cocoa, touch of coffee, and extremely well-hidden booze. Some chile spice and peppery notes late on the palate. Quite decadent.

M - Medium-full body, chewy, creamy, and soft texture, with lower carbonation. There's some heat, but I'm guessing it's from the chiles rather than the alcohol.

D - This is awesome stuff. Looking forward to grabbing a few bottles as well as the inevitable barrel-aged version(s). Really impressed and totally up my alley in the chile-stout flavor balance. Might be tough for me to drink mass quantities, but I'd love to try. (1,020 characters)

Photo of chefbigjon
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

So good. Only wish there was a touch more chili present. Terrific stout. 13% alc but you'd have no idea. Smells boozy but cannot taste it at all (144 characters)

Photo of superdoopersauce
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A sublime example of just how layered and complex beer can be. Each flavor -- chocolate, coffee, and spice -- come out clean and direct and strong. Plus it's boozy. Plus it's as black as night. An incredible beer. (213 characters)

Photo of AllDayAdams
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Friend brought me back a couple of these from TeXas and I couldn't be any happier. Such a amazing taste to this beer!!! (119 characters)

Photo of Ian_B
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black as the void, with a soapy, chocolate-milkshake-coloured head that dissipates very quickly.

Aromas of wonderful Mexican chocolate, with the cacao up front backed by an appropriately soft but noticeable amount of vanilla and the faintest hint of chili.

Body is thinner than expected -- more along porter lines -- but is robust and extremely complex in flavour and balance. Rolling waves of cacao, vanilla, and chile fight for dominance around the palate, with just the right amount of coffee so that it adds rather than detracts from the complex chocolate characters.

Chocolate and vanilla up front and throughout, with just enough chile and coffee on the finish to add a ton of complexity. Easily one of the best stouts I've had the pleasure of tasting. Thank you, Craig! (779 characters)

Photo of Beeroness
4.99/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is so good it's stupid. The smell is an intoxicating mix of coffee and dark chocolate that hints at the beer's heavy alcohol content. The taste of the coffee is awesome. I can see why the brewer featured the coffee brand on its label. The rich flavors of the beer hide the alcohol taste dangerously well. While it is a gorgeous rich dark espresso color, there was not much of a head on it. (399 characters)

Photo of TheCraftBrewReview
4.93/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fellow Craft Brew Review author Nicholas Publicover recommended that I sample this beer since late August, and I’m happy to report finally managed to get my hands on one! Ordinarily I’d shy away from beers that are infused with chili peppers since I had a really bad batch of Terrapin Brewery’s “Guano Loco” not too long ago, and this is definitely a beer that I’d suggest sampling first if possible due to its extremely high price tag (bottles run between $8-10, and the cheapest that I’ve seen a four pack of is $25). So was it worth splurging on? Did it live up to the hype? Let’s see.

Appearance – 95: Bomb! had all of the characteristics that I look for when reviewing an imperial stout: Black in color which remained true when led up against the light, and little to no head when poured (perhaps a tenth of an inch, which almost immediately dissapated).

Aroma – 97: Each time that I took a whiff I detected other notes in the beer, which was unexpected given the chili pepper infusion. True to the description, a rich roasted coffee aroma exists with a definite chocolate overtone. The pepper was noticeable, but unlike the beer’s namesake, I didn’t want to blow off my nose after the first sniff (thankfully). I could also detect the strong ABV right from the get-go.

Body and Texture- 98: I was incredibly impressed with the layering-effect of flavor that took place in my mouth. The body of the beer is medium-heavy, which is about what to expect for an imperial stout. I was worried that the chili peppers would dominate my taste buds from the start and drown out any remaining flavors, but surprisingly that wasn’t the case.

Taste – 99: The first flavor that I detected was smooth vanilla, followed by a coffee/ chocolate mixture and then finally the chili peppers. In every sense of the word, these flavors work to compliment one another and are very well structured. The vanilla bean beginning is just enough to wash away any lingering pepper aftertaste from a prior sip, the coffee/chocolate notes were prevalent and delicious.. and then perhaps my favorite part of the beer (which I never expected to say) was the chili peppers! Unlike “Guano Loco” which had a horrible aftertaste that made my mouth feel like it was on fire, there was just enough pepper in the beer to make it noticeable without being unpleasant or dominating. The roasted coffee and spiciness play well off of one another and mask the massive 13% ABV.

Overall – 98.1 (World-class): I don’t want to say that I went in with low expectations of the beer given my prior chili pepper disappointments.. rather the reviews that I read were so full of praise that I was skeptical that it would live up to the hype. This is my official “I’m eating crow” paragraph. Well done, Prairie Artisan Ales. The smell, look and flavor of this amazing beer is all world-class, and for anyone who enjoys imperial stouts, I can’t recommend grabbing and trying one of these enough. The price point is rather high, but well deserved considering the quality of the beer. I’m not afraid to say that this is the best imperial stout I’ve ever tasted, bar none.

Purchase Value – (C) Enthusiasts who find this beer should expect to dish out between $6.50 -$8.00 for the beer on average (Legacy sold it for $6.25 per beer). This is right about in-line with what I would expect for a “world-class” offering. They are hard to acquire and a bit of a splurge, but well worth “bombing” your wallet for. (3,515 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.31/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz stout-shaped bottle, blue wax sealed, and procured at Tipsy's Liquor World in suburban Denver a few weeks ago.

This beer pours a solid, abysmal black, with only the slightest hints of basal cola edges, and two fingers of puffy, silky, and tightly foamy mocha head, which leaves a large swath of spooky webbed lace around the glass as things sink away.

It smells of bitter dark roast coffee, medium baker's chocolate, earthy vanilla pods, an obfuscated caramel/toffee malt, and some musty, dusty weedy hops. The taste is more bitter cafe-au-lait, tending more to the former, dry powdery cocoa, bready, somewhat grainy caramel malt, a touch of astringent wood, a slight, slowly building red spicy warmth, one which hides any alcohol edge that must be brewing, and a mild green vegetal hoppiness.

The bubbles are quite understated, barely generating a wee frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and mostly smooth, but for a growing spice and alcohol insurgency. It finishes surprisingly off-dry, the sweetness of the malt and cocoa wresting a bit of the floor away from the coffee and spice guests.

Woooweee. One deliciously complex, and well-integrated imperial stout. Not too sweet, not too spicy, and definitely not too boozy (in the external sense, at least), rather, a deft blend of all these things, so much so, that this drinks like a regular, if still coffee and chili infused, dry stout. That said, I did my best to slow down and enjoy this, for I won't be able to get my hands on another bottle anytime soon, and of course, the more obvious reason - the 28-proof alcohol. Again, wow. (1,605 characters)

Photo of Belgeko
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Shared this from a 12oz bottle.
Pours dark with a tan head,
Smell immediately reminded me of a damp earthy smell, like edge of a damp wooded area, some one else compared it to a wet grain like smell.
Taste is so loud, all the coffee and cocao nibs explode right to the forefront the vanilla comes creeping in on the tail. Thick and delicious (344 characters)

Photo of GilGarp
4.66/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle served slightly chilled intoa tulip glass.

Aroma is immediately appreciated as soon as the bottle is opened. The smell of a rich, full-bodied stout with subtle but noticible hints of chili.

Appearance is very dark brown in color with thick tan colored head. It settles gradually and leaves lots of spotty lacing on the glass.

Back to that aroma, the smell of roasted malts, roasted chills, coffee, and vanilla all come forward.

Flavor is unique and complex with great balance and depth. Sweetness of chocolate and vanilla come through first followed by the coffee and chilis. The heat is subtle but noticible and it lingers just a bit.

Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, full in body, nicely carbonated, and good balance of flavors. The spiciness is well judged.

Overall an amazing stout. I'm anot usually one for chilis in my beer but this one really hits the mark. (879 characters)

Photo of SomethingClever
5/5  rDev +11.1%

A: Dark as midnight on a new moon eclipse with a deep tan head head does not stick around long

S: heavenly smell of tobacco coffee chocolate

T: like a dark roast with so much depth you hit the coffee and chocolate can still get a nice taste of beer you can still recognize a stout under the multiply layers and maybe a very very small taste of pepper then just a slight heat on the end from the pepper. Nice aftertaste of slight heat and roasted dark coffee super finish. this taste just envelops your tongue and assaults it in the best way so much going on here.

M: Hints of heat moderately viscous a very nice mouthfeel semi coating with some lingering heat from the peppers

O: Blown away just a well rounded fantastic beer smell crushes looks delightful and a taste that goes for miles beg borrow or steal this one is worth it. (836 characters)

Photo of spacecake9
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This stout is perfect. Looks great, smells great, super creamy and perfectly balanced. The 4 flavors are right there - coffee, cocoa, vanilla and chili peppers - in a perfect mix. And you do not notice the alcohol. I should have bought more. (245 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Freddy from the Biergarten in Jenks for holding one back for me!

Pours an effervescent pitch black with a fast falling mocha colored head. Nice viscious look, near zero head retention & lacing

S: Rich coffee & dark chocolate, caramel & vanilla

T: Follows the, vanilla, caramel & a general hint of creme brule' going on here along with dryness, just a little chille bite too. More pepper heat as this warms, coffee, mocha & oaky notes, strong caramel. Finishes with oaky dryness, chille heat, coffee & cocoa

MF: Medium bodied, fairly silky, thickens up over time

This is incredibily smooth & drinkable for such a complex beer. Deft use of chillles really sets this apart from the crowd. Easily my favorite big beer from Prairie, so far... Wanted to wring the bottle out to get every drop. I would love to see a barrel aged version of this, but pretty awesome in its own right (890 characters)

Photo of SLewis
4.96/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is one of those "holy shit" beers.
Pours an extremely dark brown, although not pitch black. Holding it up to the light, a slight red hue shines through on the very bottom.
Smells of sweet chocolate, vanilla, with the chilis barely making an appearance.
Tastes decadent up front with strong chocolate and vanilla notes. The chilis come in on the finish and just balance everything out extremely well.
Can hardly tell this is a 13% beer as it is not extremely thick on the mouth feel, and there is no alcohol burn whatsoever.

Bottom Line...this is one of the best beers i've ever had. If you see it, pick it up. You won't be disappointed. (648 characters)

Photo of TruePerception
4.31/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Prairie Artisan Ale's Bomb!, imperial stout aged on coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and chili peppers. 13% ABV.

A: Less than half a finger of slightly lopsided, brown head. Decent lacing and sheeting; both hold quite well. Black in the glass; very dark brown in the dimple. Very slight inkiness.

S: Up front, smells like a soft, yet very deep, coffee. Very fresh beans. Some definite dry cocoa nibs. Subtle vanilla. Slight chili pepper edge. Very faint char note. The scents are well controlled, so you have to really look for things other than what's actually added. I think of this as a plus, but others might disagree.

T/MF: Really smooth on the palate. Definite waxy sweetness from the peppers. Bittersweet chocolate and sweet coffee. Not overpoweringly sweet, but the flavors are all of a sweet leaning. Subtle piquancy around the edges. Actually, quite a bit like drinking a less sweet Mexican/Mayan/Aztec hot chocolate. Bitter notes of the chocolate and coffee "bloom" as you swallow. Fairly long finish. Very nice! (1,028 characters)

Photo of n2185
4.12/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with half a finger of brown head that fades into a frothy ring with little lacing.

S: Roasted malts with a lot of rich milk and dark chocolate and cacao notes. Booze and a touch of coffee and char come through as well.

T: Roasted malts here as well with creamy chocolate, cacao, a bit of robust coffee, some char, and a lightly boozy finish (considering its abv).

M: Very viscous body with low carbonation, this beer is silky smooth.

O: A good beer, overall. Very rich and decadent without being overly boozy or sweet. (544 characters)

Photo of TheHopBrewKid
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Big chocolate upfront followed by chillies at the back of the throat. Incredible mouthfeel and not hot. Just slightly more than a hint of the chillies in both taste and aroma.

Extremely well balanced for such a high ABV and I got little to no alcohol off it.

Expertly brewed and worth the hype. Glad I got to try it. Pricey at $10 for 12oz., but definitely worth grabbing a few and stashing them away for a special day/night. (428 characters)

Photo of Rammed96
4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Talk about a full flavored beer. This was a multi level mouth experience. The flavored changed about three times and lingered for a while. Chocolate, vanilla and coffee tastes. (176 characters)

Photo of MisSigsFan
4.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick jet black with light brown head that dissipates very quickly. No lacing. Smell is of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, a little vanilla, and some dark fruits. Taste follows the nose for the most part. More coffee in there though. Vanilla is faint and some sweetness on the back end. I kinda wish the chili peppers were more pronounced. They're really subtle. Mouthfeel is ridiculously good. No alcohol in there, really smooth and just the right amount of carbonation. As this beer warms the alcohol is a bit more noticeable though. Overall, awesome awesome stuff. Forget about barrel aged stouts, this is what I like. (629 characters)

Photo of DoctorZombies
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black pour with almost no reddish/tan head; no lace to speak of;dark roasted coffee beans and chocolate nose; some dry hop notes further along; chocolate and vanilla flavors, and a peppery bite on the tip of my tongue; medium plus mouthfeel - not quite heavy, but liquid "weighs" on tongue with a peppery after burn. Excellent - flavors mix so well together; I couldn't find the alcohol (until I stood up!). (408 characters)

Photo of AppaZappa
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 12 oz bottle into a snifter; dark brown almost black with decent mocha head. Smell is coffee, dark chocolate (bitter), vanilla, and chili underlining everything. Taste is a lot of dark chocolate, vanilla, a touch of caramel sweetness, coffee. The chili is slight, certainly less than I anticipated. The feel is superb-creamy and smooth.

Been wanting to try this for a while and it's lived up to the hype for me. For a 13% abv, this is really drinkable and delicious. Will seek out more of this for sure! (512 characters)

Photo of MimDIPA
3.5/5  rDev -22.2%

A- pours jet opaque black, 1/8 inch dark tan head that dissipates quickly
S- deeply roasted, arguably burnt coffee, with some raw green chile e.g. Pasilla or poblano. Honestly, between the coffee and pepper, I get a pretty unpleasant black olive flavor.
T- better than the nose, but not much. Strong coffee w very mild chile, and some roasted malt. Nothing resembling chocolate or vanilla. Not quite the same black olive flavor in the nose, but the clash between the chiles and the coffee is not terribly pleasant.
MF- Thin, even for a regular stout. Very slippery. One plus is that the alcohol is very well hidden, would not have told you this was 13% at all.
O- In light of the high regard for this beer, I have to wonder if something was wrong/off with the bottle I got. I let it scale in temp from 45 to probably 65 degrees, hoping it would open up a bit, but not much changed. If my bottle is at all indicative of what this beer is all about, I'm shockingly underwhelmed. I'm curious if some age could bring this all together, perhaps by dulling the coffee notes, but that would take quite the transformation. (1,117 characters)

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BOMB! from Prairie Artisan Ales
99 out of 100 based on 540 ratings.