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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

BOMB! - Prairie Artisan Ales

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543 Reviews
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Reviews: 543
Hads: 4,249
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 2.89%
Wants: 947
Gots: 1,717 | FT: 235
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.
View: Beers (63) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 543 | Hads: 4,249
Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a crazy beer, smell is unreal, taste is so complex and literally takes you through all the flavors it states.coffee and strong vanilla right off the top, bit of chocolate sweetness and then a very subtle afterburn from the chilli peppers.i am a huge stout fan and this is up there with bcbs and founders breakfast stout.absolutely lived up to the hype.special. (368 characters)

Photo of leantom
4.39/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Well, this beer was a blast. Here goes:

A: Very good. Pours pitch black with a huge head that's slow to dissipate. On the downside, however, the lacing isn't that great (probably a gravity issue).

S: Exquisite. Tons of cacao nibs. Lots of sweet, rich chocolate as well. The beer practically smells like heaven.

T: Follows the smell, which is a GREAT thing. This beer certainly lives up to the hype. Lots of milk chocolate and chili peppers. The cacao is also ever present. Delicious.

F: A little underwhelming - somewhat light. I was expecting a much thicker, richer feel.

O: A great beer. Will readily have again. (636 characters)

Photo of seedyone
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From bottle, at home. Dark, rich & opaque to look at. Dense dark smooth head with sparse lacing.

While cold the chili peppers are absent, but everybody else showed up. Very thick texture with very little aftertaste on the outset.

Really opening up as it warms. Chocolate & coffee having a friendly debate as to whose on first, vanilla showing usual mild support role with the chili heat bringing up the rear, but are in balance. Very nicely done. Pricey, here in NY, but well worth the experience & given the 14% ABV, that's probably works in my favor. (554 characters)

Photo of riTLce
4.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A few beers I have tried with a lot of hype around them I have been disappointed with..this one is the complete opposite of that. The biggest cacao nibs on the nose and taste I have ever experienced, fantastic coffee flavor and the very slightest tingle of heat (reminds me more of a cinnamon tingle) at the end.

I am going back to get several more, absolutely fantastic. (373 characters)

Photo of 4thFloyd
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A dark and viscous beer. Nice aroma with chocolate, coffee, and vanilla. Flavor is similar with a little additional heat from the chili. A full and complex, but well balanced stout. Alcohol is well hidden and it is very smooth for such a big beer. (250 characters)

Photo of donspublic
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks black like motor oil thin dark tan head. Faint smell of chocolate and coffee. Alcohol is present and upfront. When swished you really pick up the alcohol. Nice coffee presence nice chocolate hit. Good beer found on tap at local bar. Think I will age my bottle and see how it goes (290 characters)

Photo of makeyourself
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Just an excellent everyday go-to "spiced" stout which isn't hard to find when compared to other "spiced" stouts. I just love how you can pretty much taste every key ingredient in the beer especially as it starts to warm up. It really is a well balanced beer where there is not one single overpowering element to the beer. (321 characters)

Photo of emyers
4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a Great Lakes snifter.

Appearance: Pours black with a very thin brown lacing, not much head at all.

Smell: All of the components are there - coffee hits the hardest up front, followed by vanilla, dark chocolate, and a little smokiness from the chiles. A lot of depth in the nose. There is a ton going on and it isn't quite as integrated as it could be, but still excellent.

Taste: A lot more chocolate-forward than the aroma, with quite a bit of vanilla as well and a very subtle chile flavor on the finish. Coffee is there but not nearly as prominent as the aroma. Reminiscent of a Mexican chocolate shake. Not much heat from the chiles up front but it does slowly build as you get through the glass. Vanilla really picks up as well which leads to a pretty sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Very full-bodied, viscous. Low carbonation. Very smooth - excellent.

Overall: Excellent beer. If the coffee was amped up a bit and they backed off the vanilla it could really be remarkable (although I am hugely fond of coffee, so that may impact my opinion). Not quite as well balanced as the best Mexican-chocolate style stouts out there i.e. Abraxas, but still a great example of the style. (1,206 characters)

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

Appearance: 10w30 with a tan head of foam and lots of tiny bubbles.

Smell: Coffee beans and cocoa with hints of vanilla.

Taste: Coffee, cocoa, chili peppers, and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and rich. The finish is where the cocoa really stands out.

The Verdict: Infreakingcredible. One of the most balanced beers I've ever had. Just enough coffee bitterness, just enough cocoa bittersweet, just enough heat from the chili peppers, just enough vanilla bean flavor, just enough alcohol to make you grateful... just enough of a combination to create something beautiful. (576 characters)

Photo of beersnobraven
4.02/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

I was a little bit surprised by this brew, although definitely not in a bad way. It was way more pepper-forward than I thought it would be. Now that definitely isn't a bad thing in my book, except when I cracked this bad boy open I was really in the mood for the chocolate bomb that I thought it would be. Still delicious though! (329 characters)

Photo of Spiff
4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look is beautiful dark tan, like a peaty Scottish river. Head is thin. Smell tells spiff "I have coffee in me" - but taste is sweet and deep with just a hint of coffee ground bite to start. Feel is rich and creamy. Burnt carmel malt right away with a side of the tongue punch that fades to mellowness and no bitter peppery-ness after. A good sipper. Spiff is pleased. (371 characters)

Photo of hardysf
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark black with light Brown head that quickly fades. Smells like rich coffee and chocolate with a hint of vanilla. Taste is of coffee and chocolate. Maybe a hint of a dark fruit. No taste of alcohol which is surprising. The pepper is extremely balanced, which imparts no pepper spiciness, but leaves some tingling on the tongue and the back of the throat. The feel is extremely wonderful. Thin to drink but sticks in the mouth. Sticky finish. Want to keep on drinking. Warms the body. Wish I could buy on the shelf in Michigan. (539 characters)

Photo of joberlander
4.86/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

pitch black with very dark mocha colored head that disappears almost instantly. Tons of aroma flavors coming through. Coffee, dark chocolate, hint of smoke, slight sweetness coming through. The coffee and chocolate come through in the front of the mouth, and a slight heat comes through on the back end. The mouth feel is a little lighter than I expected, on the lighter side of full. Overall, one of the best imperial stouts I've had. So much going on and it's nice to drink a top tier stout that isn't BBA. (514 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
4.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This pours a dark brown. It has sumptuous brown hues. Thick and pours out slow like oil. A creamy head of chocolate colored foam reminds me of a milkshake. This beer will show you lace and legs. Nose is sweet chocolate caramel and cream. Earthy coffee and the bright presence of the pepper. No vanilla. The pepper seemed to fade into the beer as the malts took over. Caramel a bit nutty and a light airy chocolate. The taste is silken and long. That caramel is luscious alright and lasts on the palate. There's barley and a grainy roast that does not touch burnt so it's creamy. There is a cocoa powder so light so provocative that it actually feels like a dusting of cocoa powder on the back of the throat. it is delicate and that is a pleasant paradox. The pepper is earthy and shows you everything gently but no real heat. There is a touch of cream to this flavor that lets you see the depth of that roast but only askance as it finishes full, slightly chewy . The pepper finally flares up just a little in the aftertaste and the beer ends smooth, dry and beyond chocolatey.

As far as my taste score goes , the pepper was a brief moment on the nose and hard to find in the beer. That made it a pleasant stout for sure. The abv was impressive the mouthfeel exquisite. The flavor of the pepper was absent on the palate as well as heat from pepper was absent in the finish. No vanilla at all. (1,398 characters)

Photo of mr-jj
4.51/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Split a 12 oz bottle between two snifters.

Color is black with a thin tan head. The aroma is coffee, roasted malt and chocolate. Really nice. Flavor is delicious - a great balance of coffee and dark fruit with just enough hop bitterness to balance it out. Overall, a fantastic stout. One of my favorites. (310 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I love the nose on this one. Love it. Wads of coffee, cocoa, and chocolate. Flavor brings much of the same. Though the coffee is more tangy than I usually like and prefer. No matter though. It's an awesome beer. (211 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high dark tan head that died down, but never completely faded away, leaving a large thick web of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge, and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate strong aromas of coffee beans are present in the nose along with notes of the chili peppers and hints of cocoa nibs. Faint amounts of vanilla beans also become noticeable as the beer warms up.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste starts off with strong flavors of coffee beans but as it warms up the ancho chilies begin to creep in and provide a spicy balance to the underlying cocoa nibs.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer might be a bomb with the mélange of ingredients, but it tastes nothing like something that is 14% abv because it hides its alcohol exceptionally well. If you let it warm up, there becomes a good balance between all of the flavors.

Serving type: bottle (1,028 characters)

Photo of Mattygross44
4.89/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

You get the smell of the chili peppers right off the bat this beer gets better as it warms really nice sharp bite at the start followed by a coffee smooth taste that follows for me. Glad i picked up 4 bottles (208 characters)

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

This made a cross country trip with me from San Diego (Bottlecraft) to Western PA. Poured into the snifter. Absolutely pitch and devoid of light, with the thinnest ring of khaki head. Definite alcohol legs on this baby. Aromas of chocolate (and such deep, rich, REAL chocolate), very subtle vanilla, some alcohol sweetness that reminds me of Kahlua, dark roast coffee all at a very cold 40 degrees from the fridge. More vanilla working around as the glass warms. The flavors on this were immense. TONS of chocolate and coffee crashing like waves over my palate. Again subtle vanilla, and after a few sips I began to notice a slight warmth from the chiles. Vanilla and chiles (which can be overpowering flavors) were used with a very restrained hand. Big coating mouthfeel. One sip remained on my palate for what seemed like an eternity. Warmed up my chest after a few sips. This beer is an absolute monster, and the best stout that I have tried... possibly the best beer/beer experience I have tried. This bomb blew the hype out of the water, and stood tall. If you can find it, try it. (1,087 characters)

Photo of travolta
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Black, with a sticky, frothy coca-cola head.

Nose: Cocoa and vanilla, iced coffee, Mexican hot chocolate, caramel notes at the end.

Taste: Perfect balance of sweet/crispy, and dry. Chocolate with cinnamon and vanilla. A touch of coffee acidity in the middle which opens to some very faint hotness. Some hot spiced rum comes in from the middle and stays until the end.

Notes: Had this at the Shakespeare festival with Nina as a birthday present in Orinda. We are tasting it now in our chicken coop in Arcata. Probably on the top 3 list of best beers I've ever had. (587 characters)

Photo of snaotheus
4.21/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle split between 2 wine glasses at a rental home in San Francisco. 0765 WV1 07:14 06715 on the bottle. Purchased at a random Bevmo somewhere.

Pours black with a small brown head. Pretty still. Smell is rich chocolate and coffee, something sweet and syrupy, more coffee, and maybe molasses.

Taste is sweet, rich, boozy, chocolate, coffee, cherry syrup, roasty bitterness, and vanilla.

Mouthfeel is silky. Overall, very good. (447 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.39/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Prairie Artisan Ales "BOMB!"
on tap at The Distillery, Savannah, GA on 21 December 2014
12 oz. for $9

Listed at 11.5% abv, this Imperial stout is aged on cocoa nibs, ancho chili, vanilla beans, and coffee. The chili is clearly present in the nose, but not so much in the flavor, and the other ingredients are fairly mild, but surprisingly they all make an appearance at one point or another. The only drawback to this beer is that it doesn't quite live up to the rich maltiness that you might expect of an Imperial stout, although if it had I doubt the 'spicing' would have worked as well. Impressive, and certainly worth seeking out! (635 characters)

Photo of Ready4aHeady
4.39/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

had past incarnations that I wasn't impressed with, but this years version is a standout-- has the usual bitter-chocolate flavors, vanilla, etc... but the chili's are a real standout in the nose and taste--- a little thin but nice heat and serious green-chili flavor,... very unique! (283 characters)

Photo of BuccoFan
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look and lacing is just as I like it for an imperial stout--blackness in most of middle, and a solid light brown head circling. Aroma presents vanilla immediately. Chili is perfect. I actually don't like the habaneroed beers (Cake, Sculpin), so I was concerned about how prominent the bite might be. Turned out to be just right. As with most imperial stouts, this really enhanced itself with warming. My only drawback was that the body was not as robust as I expected for a 13%er. But it's unquestionably a stand-out. For non-BA imperial stouts, I'd still take an Expedition over this, but this was very good. (609 characters)

Photo of khmel
3.84/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Really smooth, big body, slippery and warming mouthfeel. The flavors are complex, with the chili noticeable but not over done. The only thing that brings this beer down is the nose. It smells like chili and something undefinable rather than of the nice malt and coffee notes present in the flavor. Worth trying, but there are better Russian imperials out there. (361 characters)

BOMB! from Prairie Artisan Ales
99 out of 100 based on 543 ratings.