Vanilla Noir
Prairie Artisan Ales

Vanilla NoirVanilla Noir
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Prairie Artisan Ales
Oklahoma, United States
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #1,064
Ranked #3,263
4.19 | pDev: 12.41%
Nov 29, 2021
Dec 11, 2013
Vanilla NoirVanilla Noir
Notes: Vanilla Noir is Prairie Noir aged on organic, fair trade vanilla beans, and let’s just say it takes a lot of beans! The vanilla flavor compliments the whiskey barrel aging process and adds a delicious layer to the beer.
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4.33 by Mastercamo from Georgia on Nov 29, 2021
Photo of Pete_Simpson
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
by Pete_Simpson from California

Had a weird flavor that I didn’t like much.
Maybe it was boozier than I like, can’t really say.
Wouldn’t have it again.

Oct 16, 2021
4.21 by Scottsbeer from Florida on Jul 11, 2021
4.15 by o29 from Texas on Jul 02, 2021
4.53 by WCKDVBZ from South Carolina on Apr 01, 2021
4.17 by psweendogg from Connecticut on Mar 09, 2021
4.47 by saymike32 from New Jersey on Dec 27, 2020
3.87 by mattjp03 from Alabama on Nov 14, 2020
4.25 by Jdells09 from New Jersey on Oct 06, 2020
Photo of DvdP
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by DvdP from Netherlands

11.14.2019. Most certainly does what it promises. Poors black, with brown foam. Smells soft, sweet vanilla. Smooth mouthfeel, but a tad alcoholic, thick enough. Taste is heavy vanilla, nice amount of bourbon, and smooth oatyness. Damn good, not their best

Sep 21, 2020
Photo of WickedBeer
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by WickedBeer from Alabama

Bottled 11.13.19.

Vanilla, chocolate, & barrel on the nose. A bit more booze on the palate, with the vanilla coming in nicely to cut through those oaky undertones. Could use a bit more body, but this one’s drinking pretty good.

Sep 14, 2020
3.9 by beersampler6 from Michigan on Sep 10, 2020
4.49 by Wisconsin_IPA_Lover from Wisconsin on Sep 05, 2020
Photo of MattDecker
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by MattDecker from Texas

Toasty roasty malt vanilla charred oak boozy goodness

Aug 24, 2020
Photo of johnInLA
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by johnInLA from California

12oz bottle, poured into snifter.

Black, small light brown head, which quickly diminishes.

Nose is oak and vanilla, with some leather, cherry

Nose carries forward into the taste, with a touch of whiskey.

Med/Full body, creamy feel with some warmth, finish is vanilla, dry, with light bitterness.

Mostly oak and vanilla, with other supporting favors, well balanced,

Aug 21, 2020
4.34 by kmoen from California on Aug 10, 2020
4.39 by BAsbill from California on Aug 10, 2020
4.25 by BdM from Netherlands on Jul 21, 2020
Photo of Treyliff
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by Treyliff from West Virginia

12oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- pours jet black in color with a one-finger creamy dark khaki head that has great retention

S- plenty of barrel on the nose with aromas if wet oak, barrel juice and caramel. Chocolate and molasses intertwine with fruity aromas of dark cherry and raisin. Burnt tobacco and vanilla close it out

T- vanilla is noticed immediately up front, coming through more so than the nose. Mid-palate gives notes of chocolate, molasses, figs, raisins and cherries. The finish brings out the barrel, adding oak, bourbon and enhancing the vanilla, which sticks around at the linger

M- medium-viscous body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a warming finish

O- vanilla comes through nicely, complimenting the barrel notes throughout

Jul 02, 2020
Photo of jwp777
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by jwp777 from Oklahoma

On tap:

Pours a slightly shiny jet black color with a light tan head. Head retains around the circumference of the glass.

Smell: get ready for this one. Powerful aroma of mainly whisky with just a bit of vanilla. There is perhaps an afterthought of coffee there.

The taste delivers the booze promised in the aroma. Whisky, oak perhaps, and vanilla up front, followed by dark chocolate and coffee. The coffee bitterness is very pronounced, especially in the finish. Finish is long and bitter with remnants of booze and sweetness.

Feel is surprisingly smooth for such a boozy nose and palate. Each sip is a bit like a shot of whisky with some other stuff (makes me think of Scotch and Splenda, if you’re a fan of The Office).

Overall, a good stout. Personally the combination of booze and bitterness was too much, but I appreciate the complexity and the character the organic vanilla beans bring to the table.

Jul 01, 2020
4.23 by Duncian from Pennsylvania on Jun 24, 2020
Photo of grover37
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by grover37 from District of Columbia

2017 bottle from NRG in June 2020 at home.

Pretty good. Probably better fresher but still fairly hot.

Jun 20, 2020
4.71 by akopczyk from Ohio on Jun 10, 2020
4.13 by Bandi from New York on May 28, 2020
Photo of metter98
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by metter98 from New York

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short mocha-colored head that quickly settled down, leaving a collar consisting of medium sized beige bubbles around the edge of the glass and some lacing on the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of whiskey are present in the nose along with hints of vanilla.
T: Like the smell, the taste follows the smell and has lots of flavors of whiskey along with notes to hints of vanilla beans.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The whiskey barrel aging lends warmth to the mouthfeel, particularly in its finish.
O: This stout has lots of nice aromas and flavors of whiskey and the addition of vanilla beans adds a bit of complexity to the smell and taste.

Serving type: bottle

May 28, 2020
4.38 by Zonian1 from Ohio on May 16, 2020
Photo of AZBeerDude72
3.79/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by AZBeerDude72 from Arizona

Was not really impressed. Seemed a little overly boozy with light vanilla. Not for me. Very thin feeling beer.

May 12, 2020
Photo of DoctorZombies
4.69/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by DoctorZombies from Florida

Bottled 11/13/19. Pours inky black, but with ruby edges; dark tan head of mixed bubbles; some brief cap retention reduces to an island of micro dots and a fairly heavy ring; small soapy suds and heavy legs on swirl. Vanilla and chocolate on first sniff; boozy whiskey retro nasal on exhale. Taste follows tongue; oaky vanilla, chocolate, two day old fudge, whiskey. Smooth creamy feel, medium body, light carbonation; warmth from 13.7%; dry oaky/cocoa powder finish. Overall, more enjoyable than yesterday’s Pirate Bomb because the barrel/oak/whiskey notes mix well with the vanilla and the underlying chocolate flavors; a pleasant vanilla/cocoa finish makes this an easy drinking higher abv offering from Prairie.

Apr 25, 2020
4.84 by jcoleMA66 from Massachusetts on Apr 18, 2020
Photo of DaveMaciolek21
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

A pour that makes motor oil pale by comparison. Chocolate flavor undermined to a degree by a coffee bitterness. The bitterness makes it a bit harsh--a shame since for a 13.7% heavyweight, it's a pretty smooth imperial stout. The vanilla presence is nice, not overdone.

Apr 15, 2020
Photo of NoYouDidnt
3.89/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
by NoYouDidnt from Indiana

Pours black with a finger head on aggressive pour. Aroma- chocolate, marshmallow, a little alcohol, cherry, vanilla, Taste- cherry, plum, tootsie roll, a little dark bread yeast, a little alcohol hint. Has a slight mint to it as well. The vanilla is there but certainly not smacking the face. Dark chocolate and a slight coffee bitterness. Mouthfeel- it is a little thin for being such a high octane beer. Overall- this is just a little too meek. I know that some vanilla beers are just absolute vanilla bombs and some barre aged beers are just blasting alcohol. This is just a little too light in those categories.

Apr 01, 2020
Photo of SierraNevallagash
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by SierraNevallagash from Maine

12oz bottle - 2019 vintage - poured into a snifter at 50°F. Purchased locally for $13.

Glugs out of the bottle with a used motor oil appearance sitting black as pitch in the snifter. A fingernail of bubbly dark mocha head forms and quickly disappears, leaving a loose, airy, soapy collar with great retention - slowly deflating one bubble at a time. Zero visible effervescence.

Nose: This is one of those stouts you can smell from several feet away. Diving in, there is definitely a huge vanilla presence. Sticky, sweet vanilla beans lending an almost marshmallow note and vanilla icing. Plenty of roast, but it's not ultra dark or blackened, so there's no cherry, ashen, or acrid aromas to be found. As expected, the roasted malt lends plenty of cocoa, brownie batter a touch of cafe latte, and plenty of caramel which is accentuated by the vanilla. There is a metric TON of bourbon barrel in this. Fresh, wet, bourbon-soaked charred oak. Not only is there a massive barrel presence, but the bourbon itself just leaps out of the glass with potent oak, caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, and all the wonderful sweet bourbon aromas. There's plenty of heat from the near 14% ABV, which really highlights the bourbon note.

Palate: The beer greets the palate with an immediate sweetness and heavy vanilla presence. There is a healthy amount of roast, but the sweet vanilla really dominates, so there's essentially zero dryness, and instead of bitter roasty coffee and dark chocolate, the roast translates as brownie batter, milk chocolate, hot cocoa, with tons of vanilla bean, vanilla frosting, vanilla cake batter, Italian sweet cream, marshmallow, and some chocolate chip cookie dough. Heavy bourbon barrel presence, delivering both bourbon and barrel. The sweet vanilla aspect comes to a peak, and for a moment, comes across as an almost artificial vanilla flavour with. Slightly metallic artificial sweetness. It's very sweet, but not in a fishy way, but rather a too much sucralose or aspartame in your coffee way. This artificial vanilla/sweetener note lingers into the finish, where once again, there is just zero dry roasty bitterness. It's so vanilla saturated, that rather than finishing with cocoa, coffee, and blackened malt, the beer finishes with white chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, bourbon, and thankfully, some bourbon-soaked charred oak, which lends some much needed tannic dryness.

Mouthfeel/Body: For what this beer is - a huge bourbon barrel-aged vanilla imperial stout, the body is a touch thin. Now, this thinner body paired with essentially zero cherry bitterness results in this being insanely drinkable for 13.7% ABV. It isn't a thin beer by any stretch - it's sweet, sticky, and full-bodied, but it lacks the viscosity of many other big stouts. Effervescence is naturally on the low side, and very fine in nature. Some ABV heat is evident, particularly in the swallow.

Overall: This is a truly outstanding barrel aged stout with vanilla. Despite my notes on the artificial vanilla/artificial sweetener note, make no mistake, the vanilla beans in this are 100% natural. In fact, they're organic. Often times, but stouts with insane amounts of vanilla will take on that artificial note. It just shows they didn't skimp on the beans. Yes, it's a touch thin, and yes, the vanilla could be a little more floral, but even as it stands, this is an absolute home run. Incredible bourbon barrel presence, no shortage of vanilla, and drinks like an alcoholic dessert. Pricey, but if you like vanills stouts, don't sleep on this one.

Mar 29, 2020
4.5 by Dope from Massachusetts on Mar 23, 2020
Photo of Brutaltruth
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Brutaltruth from Ohio

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This beautiful beast pours a
luscious coal black with a rich brown head that settles to a thick ring
with subtle lacing. Nose of vanilla, mild coffee, rich cocoa, spicy whiskey,
and light oak. Flavors hit the note. Whiskey and cocoa to the fore; spicy
and sweet notes overflowing with fudge and brown sugar. Mild coffee
and cream meld nicely with brulee and moderate char and cascade over
warming booze. Excellent mouth feel; full body, smooth, slick, lightly
coating, and finishing warm and vanilla sweet with a hint of dryness.

Overall----another WOW and perhaps the biggest WOW I have had
from the good Prairie folk......excellence....PERIOD!


Mar 22, 2020
Photo of emyers
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by emyers from Illinois

12 oz. bottle poured into a teku glass.

Near black with thin light brown head.

Nose: Very vanilla and bourbon forward with a hint of cocoa powder.

Tase: Follows the nose - vanilla and bourbon with a subtle malt/cocoa base. Not much alcohol heat.

Feel: Medium body, light carbonation, extremely drinkable.

Mar 22, 2020
Photo of Damian
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Damian from Massachusetts

Drank from a 12fl. oz. bottle purchased at Fort Point Market, Boston, MA
Bottled 11.13.2019
Served in a snifter

Total pitch black appearance. The viscous, oily looking body was topped by a thin, finely bubbled, terra cotta colored crown that fell to a thick collar. A few drips of lacing trickled down the glass after each sip.

The aroma was fantastic. Powdered cocoa notes came through big time. Loads of fresh vanilla bean too. This was definitely made with high quality stuff. Vanilla spiked brownie batter came to mind. Sweet bit not excessive so. Roasted malts were noticeable as well. There was a moderate booziness too. However, for an almost 14% ABV beer, the alcohol was well buried.

The flavor profile was similar to the aroma and nearly as impressive. Roasted malts were noticeable on the front end. Loads of chocolate fudge and raw cocoa in the center. Vanilla was apparent as well but not quite to the extent it was in the nose. Strong brown sugar presence too. The beer finished with more roastiness and a lingering boozy, bourbon/whiskey-like kick.

Nice rich, fuller bodied mouthfeel. Fothy, slick and smooth on the palate. The liquid contained a finer beaded, moderate effervescence that was perfect for the style.

Prairie’s stouts often have a tendency to be thin in body and excessively boozy, but fortunately this beer was neither. The copious amounts of fresh vanilla beans used in this came through front and center, and the whiskey barrels merely added to an already rich and decadent beer.

Mar 13, 2020
4.31 by Eyedoc27 from Illinois on Mar 08, 2020
4.61 by kkarimi from Texas on Mar 08, 2020
4.17 by blissfulNemo from Michigan on Feb 23, 2020
Photo of Sparty1224
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Sparty1224 from Michigan

Brief Review:

O: I was not a huge fan of regular Noir. Found it very boozy and one-dimensional. With Vanilla Noir, I was hoping for an injection of excitement into the base beer, and for the most part it delivers. It's still a bit boozy and thin on the mouthfeel for my liking but the vanilla notes add a bit more depth to the flavor. It's much more drinkable, but still doesn't hold to some of the better variant BA stouts out there today.

Recommendation: Was likely better several years ago, so don't buy too much into the hype today. But overall, still a decent beer worth checking out if you can find it.

Feb 21, 2020
Vanilla Noir from Prairie Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 1089 ratings