Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

BOMB! - Prairie Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
BOMB!BOMB!

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

709 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 709
Hads: 4,943
Avg: 4.48
pDev: 22.1%
Wants: 977
Gots: 2,135 | FT: 252
Brewed by:
Prairie Artisan Ales
Oklahoma, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout | 13.00% 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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 709 | Hads: 4,943
Photo of mechamifune
4.36/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black with a slight brown head. Pretty strong looking carbonation.

Smell is great, coffee upfront, then vanilla and chocolate. Don't really smell the chilies much. Really pleasant all around.

Taste is strong coffee upfront, followed by a nice bit of sweetness from the vanilla and then a bit of bittersweet chocolate, ending with a slight kick of chili spiciness. All well integrated with one another and just the slightest bit of alcohol is evident.

Mouthfeel is a touch watery for me considering the intensity of the flavors involved. Not a huge negative or anything, but it is not on par with the elite examples of this style.

Overall this is a really pleasant and well thought out beer. The mouthfeel is the only thing that keeps it out of the truly elite Imperial Stouts. The chili element is nicely subdued, though I honestly enjoyed its integration here just slightly less than I did in Huna. Give this a shot if you can.

 945 characters

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Bier Station as they unexpectedly got a keg of Bomb! along with their most recent Praire shipment. This would be the 2014 vintage and it was served in a small Belgian tulip glass.

Appearance - The body is as black as any beer I've ever seen, and the small cocoa-colored head, which appeared to be about a half-finger thick, has dissipated to almost nothing by the time the guy behind the bar is able to bring it over to me after pouring. All that remains is a thin line of brown around the edge of the glass, and no lacing. As I drink it down, some intermittent spots of lace cling to the sides of the glass in places, and when I tip the glass, the beer has noticeable legs, sticking to the side before slowly slinking back down to re-join the rest of the liquid.

Smell - Rich, almost overpowering, notes of coffee and chocolate do quite a bit of work in drowning out the other additives that supposedly reside within this beer: vanilla beans and ancho chilis. Instead the aroma is rich and roasty--like fresh espresso--with notes of the sweeter (but not much sweeter) cacao nibs. If I really work at it, I feel like I get the impression of vanilla, but it's entirely possible that my brain is just telling me that, since I know the vanilla beans are in there.

Taste - Again, the most present elements are the roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate, which combine to create the impression of a cafe mocha, but much stronger and more aggressive than you'd get at your local coffee shop. Here, I can finally get a good sense of the other participants, with the vanilla showing through more as the beer warms, and particularly lending a gentle sweetness to the aftertaste. But make no mistake, it is very subtle. Surprisingly, the chili element is subtle too--with just a hint of pepperiness giving the aftertaste a little bit of bite, but it really does feel like it's fighting a losing battle against the huge coffee and chocolate flavors. I can also sense it with a faint bit of burn in the chest long after I've swallowed the beverage, but that could also be from the 14% abv.

Mouthfeel - Heavy-bodied and thick, like a set of chocolate-coffee drapes have been flung over my tastebuds. Very rich and viscous, with low carbonation, as would be expected for a barrel-aged beer.

Overall, a very delicious beer and one that I would love to get my hands on in bottle format to see how much some time would let the coffee and chocolate fade back a little bit and perhaps let the chilis and vanilla come to the front. But as is, it's a wonderfully rich beer that hides it's alcohol very well.

 2,611 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.31/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From 02/19/14 notes. Big thanks to BeerLaywer85 for sharing this one. Batch 2 red wax bottle, poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a deep brown, almost black color, with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks very nice.

s - Smells of milk chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, roasted malts, green peppers, light coffee, and toasted malts. Awesome nose; everything comes through and there is a lot of chocolate. Peppers come through but not too much, which is a good thing to me.

t - Tastes of milk chocolate, peppers, hot spice, roasted malts, vanilla, cinnamon, toasted malts, burnt malts, bell peppers. Taste is definitely good but has a lot more peppers and spice, and a bit of a kick to it. Little too much for me, so a step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Light spice from the peppers but very easy to drink considering the ABV.

o - Overall definitely a good beer, but a little too much peppers and spice int he taste for me. I still would definitely prefer Hunahpu to this based on the taste (had a 2013 4 days before), and would put this on level with the normal Abraxas, with a tiny bit more spice in the taste. The nose is great and it is pretty easy to drink, and well worth checking out. Would like to try Pirate Bomb now.

 1,300 characters

Photo of pkalix
4.99/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

tangerine-colored wax, my bottle says 13%.
opened bottle, smelled chocolate/espresso cream.... poured into glass, still laced with Pliny resin, and got a nice layer of chocolate milk-looking head, mostly chocolate brown (of course) but with spots of white(?). strong chocolate aromas, no chiles, and a tad of dark roasted coffee. taste is very flavorful. lots of chocolate; smooth chocolate without the bitterness. slight espresso bitterness. some vanilla. again, very smooth... slightly carbonated, but not much. this is so much easier to drink then Bourbon County in comparing the abv. similar to a Mogli from Caldera in the huge chocolateness.... this stuff would be awesome over some vanilla ice cream!
considering the abv, and the taste, and the sweetness vs bitterness, this one is AWESOME!!! it's beautiful, although standard-looking on the pour, excellent in the aroma and taste departments, and just feels good even after it's down the throat. no nasty aftertaste. no bitterness; jus a lingering chocolate/espresso cream... cheers!
oh yeah... and I LOVE the 12 oz bottle!!! awesome stuff!

 1,097 characters

Photo of shaneshort
4.71/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark like a good espresso, with a head that reminded me of espresso crema
S - sweet espresso with dark chocolate & vanilla
T - strong coffee flavor with notes of dark chocolate, no alcohol flavor
M - Thick, lightly carbonated & oh so smooth
O - Coming from a coffee geek, AMAZING!!! Really happy I tried this beer

 319 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.42/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Served at the 2014 RBWG in Asheville.

Strong black coffee aroma.
Hint of dark fruit and vanilla.
As bitter as black coffee despite some sweetness up front.
Burnt and charred grains dominate the finish and unpleasant aftertaste.
For burnt grain/espresso lovers only.

 266 characters

Photo of kaseydad
4.51/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap....now bottle format.

Pours a almost thick black oil like ale with a massive brown foamy head. Beauty.

The aroma is really nice. Dark chocolate goodness. Cocoa powder, cinnamon, hot chocolate, and vanilla. Could smell this all day.

The taste is very chocolatey on the initial sip but brings out the coffee and roastiness turns out. The chili is very subdued in the bottle format unfortunately. Got a lot more from the draft. Oh well.

Slick and oily mouthfeel. Just a tad watery.

Overall this is an outstanding beer. Unfortunately, the bottle version did not live up to the draft version. The draft version had every element on display, while the bottle version is a toned down version of all this can be. Still a world class beer that I will be searching for often.

 787 characters

Photo of hillvt4me
4.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with undertones of brown. Minimal head but solid lacing.

S: Bitter chocolate, spiced coffee and chilli pepper.

T: Prominent chilli peppers, coffee, caramel and chocolate notes.

M: smooth w/ almost no carbonation.

O: Spectacular! Complex flavor profile.

 266 characters

Photo of 1-sick-verse
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: poured into snifter, perfectly black with half inch cocoa head. Nice lacing.
S: coffee and chocolate dominate, vanilla, no chili peppers present.
T: chocolate and coffee huge up front, slight vanilla flavor, just a hint of peppers left on the tongue, a little tingle sensation.
M: coats tongue and mouth, alcohol is not really traceable.
O: I love this beer! Glad I finally got some :)

 388 characters

Photo of NCalement
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz Orange wax poured into a Sexual Chocolate glass!!

A- Pours bitch black with a thin, fast mocha head. Looks like an amazing stout!! Tick and rich.

S- Chocolate, coffee, fudge, vanilla, cinnamon, and a little bit of chili spice one the back end. Amazing!!!

T- Fudge, spice, vanilla, coffee, bakers coco, peppers, roasted malt and a slight bitter chocolate finish. Wow !!!

M- Smooth, rich, cant even notice the alcohol. It drinks like a desert. Perfect.

O- An amazing stout. One of the best of its kind. I love this beer and in the small format bottles it makes it a little more available and approachable.

 614 characters

Photo of DelMontiac
4.73/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Been a long time comin'. Orange wax dipped 12oz bottle poured into a Bodum double walled mouth blown glass.

Poured straight down the center of the glass leaves a beauty of a black pit topped with a golden brown creamy glistening 3 finger foam top that hangs on well. Lace covers the glass in a thick sticky webbing. Very pretty when poured properly.

My nose is met immediately by a bouquet of choco-coffee-vanilla sweetness. Like a highly anticipated dessert on Thanksgiving Day, this gets the salivary glands working double time. My god that smells good.

The tongue is met with a massive wave Nordaggio coffee bitterness. Whoa, perhaps a bit overkill here. As the taste buds recover from the coffee blitzkrieg, dark chocolate moves in followed by raisin and a blooming sweet vanilla takover. There is no pepper heat per se, but there is what I call a chile pepper "tingle" at the back of the throat and the sides of the tongue. Aftertaste is owned by coffee and a pepper tinge.

Silky suede-like full body feel speckled with modest carbonation. Sticky stuff too.

So glad to see Bomb! make it's way to Northern OK stores this time. Within walking distance no less! The only thing that prevents me from giving Bomb! a clean 5 is the intensity of the coffee. If the coffee tones down with age, it could get there for me. Anyone who loves big coffee beers will love this.

 1,372 characters

Photo of d5001986
4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into tulip.
(Pink wax - 13% abv)

A: Deep black and viscous. Large mocha-brown head that dissipates quickly.

S: Lots of roasted malt and chocolate. Also, molasses, coffee and slightly of chilies.

T: Roasted malt and super chocolatey. The chili peppers come through quite a bit, and pack quite a bite. There is also some coffee and a hint of smokiness. Alcohol is extremely well hidden.

M: Thick and sticky consistency, moderate carbonation, leaves a good burn in the back of the throat.

O: As far as chili-stouts go, this one was pretty tasty. It has good complexity and being a chili-head, I enjoyed the little burn that goes with it.

 658 characters

Photo of yankeepride
3.96/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bitter roasted malts that were like burnt coffee. Didn't get any vanilla at all, but once the initial bitterness wore off, I got some dark chocolate followed by the spicy chiles. Certainly hides the really high ABV very well. Pretty interesting beer, and maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I were a coffee drinker. Otherwise, for how popular this is, I was a little disappointed.

 382 characters

Photo of Kramerbarthomer
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle unwaxed, most recent batch...

A - Jet black

S - Chili peppers with faint vanilla and coffee

T - Mind blown, such a great chili stout... as it warms, the vanilla and chocolate move a little bit more to the forefront

M - Smooth, creamy, not much more I could ask for from this style

Overall, I really really enjoyed this bad boy... not sure why some people are saying the newest batch isn't as good. This is freaking delicious!

 444 characters

Photo of OneEye78
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-review. Early 2014 bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a deep black with 1/4" deep brown head. Smells of brown sugar, some roast coffee and a hint of vanilla. Taste is vanilla, milk chocolate, dark roast coffee, and a dry burn from the chilies. Nice warming chile/alcohol finish. Mouthfeel is light upfront, but the chilies and coffee leave a nice lingering oily flavor behind. Overall this is still a great beer (especially at it is becoming a shelf beer). Perhaps not quite as complex as Huna, but a bit more chile forward. Definitely a favorite.

 560 characters

Photo of bmwats
4.36/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Black. Pours a 1 finger, foamy, brown head. Settles fairly quickly leaving a smattering of bubbles and a thick beer ring. Very spotty lacing, quickly retreats into the body of the brew.

S: Roasted espresso, dark chocolate, vanilla, and chili peppers all prominently on display.

T: Tastes like is smells... dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and chili pepper. No components overpower the others. Well balanced.

M: Thick and hearty. High alcohol is not apparent. A bit of a peperry finish lingers on the palate.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is really nice. Nice head, very little lacing. Nose is a great combination of coffee, chocolate, and chili pepper. Roasted espresso beans, dark chocolate, chili pepper and vanilla all subtly presented and expertly balanced. Overall, this is a great quaff.

 844 characters

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

P: Pitch black abyss with a deep espresso cap that hugs the edge of the glass. Phantom lacing.

S: First sip, rich caramel coffee syrup, eucalyptus leaves, roast chipotles, play dough, and vanilla cola. Aromas of latex paint, black strap molasses and columbian roast coffee. Rich and decadent but graced with natural aromas that balance this ticking time bomb.

T/M: Upfront carbonated water taste, follows by loads of velvety rich cocoa nibs and a slow building heat brings up the rear and tingles the inner mouth. Lots of earthy flavors, vegetation, roast chilies and medium toast oak. Booze becomes more assertive once warm and delivers dry smoky leftovers.

O: An explosive grand tasting brew by anyone's standards. I really appreciate the delicate balance that was achieved with so many variables that were in play. The heat from the chilies help the bourbon create a heating blanket inside your chest. Makes me proud to be a native Okie. Cheers!

 954 characters

Photo of shadetree67
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
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

Photo of DrumKid003
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Black in appearance with very little dark brown showing around the edges.
S: Heavy chocolate with a little chilli pepper.
T: Taste follows the smell almost exactly with a little bit of caramel combined with the chocolate on the front followed by a slight bit of chilli pepper on the very end.
M: This is by far the smoothest beer I've ever had, even compared to the Pirate Bomb!, it's like drinking a milk chocolate candy bar. Very thick and creamy.
O: This is the beer that every other beer I drink will be compared against because this, to me at least, is the gold standard and deserves to be in the Top 10 on BA.

 619 characters

Photo of zookerman182
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black with a dark brown half finger head.
Aroma is coffee and chocolate with some hint of booze.
Flavor is coffee and chocolate with a touch of vanilla and booze.
I'm not picking up any of the chilies.
I keep licking my lips to get the flavor off, it's a good one.
Mouthfeel is actually kind of dry I think.
This is great when it warms up.
Super solid beer

 372 characters

Photo of MikeB91c
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Without a doubt one of the best beers I have had. Great initial appearance in the glass with a coffee/toffee head with the aroma of rich coffee and chocolate. The mouth feel was fantastic, rich & full but not overly sweet, leaving a great coating. The taste was excellent with the initial flavors of coffee & cocoa, followed by s light vanilla in the middle with just a hint of heat from the chilies on the end. All in all, one of the bet beers I think I have ever had and one to be savored if found.

 500 characters

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

no wax, recent release
The beer pours an inky black-dark brown topped by a thin, loose tan head that fades quickly. There appears to be decent carbonation, some lace while drinking, but no sediment. The nose is initially cocoa and roasted coffee when chilled - notes of vanilla, caramel, some licorice, and booze come out as it warms. The taste is predominantly bitter and roasty coffee upfront, which is then smoothed out by the cocoa and malt sweetness and finished by lingering booze and bitter cocoa. Chilies? Naw son, don't get the heat, flavor, or scent (though they are possibly contributing to the beer's bitter finish?). Otherwise, the beer has bold, identifiable adjunct flavors, nothing is too muddled. For being 13-14% abv it has reasonably hidden booze, which is no doubt related to its sweet, full body, silky mouthfeel, and generous carbonation. For a stout this big, it's quite drinkable and maintains that shelf-status appeal. I'd drink this again, probably not if I'm out somewhere, but it's certainly appropriate for that day when you're just hanging out in your PJays and decide it's definitely 5pm in the middle of the Atlantic, so why not?

 1,161 characters

Photo of tronester
4.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a jet black with a thin brown head. Smells of milk chocolate, with some clean spicy chili flavor. The flavor begins with a huge vanilla burst, then some dark chocolate, a tiny hint of chili pepper, and finishing with a sweet licorice finish. Massive lush mouthfeel, coats your mouth. Overall an outstanding beer. Super sweet, but not at all cloying, the flavors meld extremely well together. Very proud of this local brew.

 428 characters

Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Blue glitter wax, 48°F, into a snifter.

A: Typical stout dark pour, with a nice 1/2" tan head, that quickly dissipated. Scant lacing during the session.

S: Very nice chocolate and coffee nose. Buttery vanilla as well…

T: Not as exciting as I had hoped. Perhaps I was expecting more, and the chili is very subtle. Good dose of cocoa, and a vanilla finish. THe coffee is a little lost in the flavor, not as string as the smell.

M: Lively carbonation. Dry finish. Not cloying at all.

O: Decent beer. Might be better barrel aged? A lot of evenly balanced flavors, and can not sense the 14% alcohol at all.

EDIT: Had the PINK wax version tonight, updated the taste and mouthfeel to 4.5 each. Much better than the Blue wax version IMO.

 738 characters

Photo of MartzMimic
4.88/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours from the bottle a dark reddish brown. Creamy milk chocolate head that lingers for a bit. Heavy lacing. Smells of chocolate, coffee and malt, with a hint of chili pepper. The chocolate and coffee explode on the tongue with noticeable alcohol. The peppers give a nice tingle. There's a nice bitterness to this. Nice and oily, it coats the tongue without being particularly thick. This is a superb beer. I liked the characteristics the rum barrels gave to Pirate Bomb! a bit more, but this is one you grab every time you can find it.

 536 characters

BOMB! from Prairie Artisan Ales
99 out of 100 based on 709 ratings.