Vanilla Noir | Prairie Artisan Ales

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Vanilla NoirVanilla Noir

Brewed by:
Prairie Artisan Ales
Oklahoma, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by HopsMatt on 12-11-2013

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Reviews: 124 | Ratings: 866
Photo of SD-Alefan
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black wth a dark tan head.
The aroma is loaded with vanilla, dark chocolate and roast notes.
Taste follows. Lots of vanilla bean, milk chocolate, dark fruit and some warming, whiskey-like notes.
Mouthfeel is medium and smooth.
Definitely delivers on the vanilla.

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Photo of Roguer
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decent head production and OK retention for the style; body is inky and black.

Smooth, rich nose: whiskey, oak, chocolate, and vanilla. A lot of heat through the nose.

While the whiskey is potent up front, the base beer is incredibly smooth and soon takes over. Waves of vanilla and chocolate come through, with an almost marshmallow-like vanilla punch on the back third. Whiskey returns on the finish, which is slightly hot, with a lingering warmth in the throat and chest.

There's no disguising the 11.5% ABV, but it never feels unpleasant. It's a big, hot beer, but thick and chewy and smooth.

A truly decadent treat!

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Photo of FBarber
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a shiny pitch black color - completely opaque. Thin velvety brown head lingers on the top of the beer. Lovely head for a BA beer. Beer appears pretty viscous and thick. An almost oily appearance.

Smell has a strong aroma of vanilla ... tons of it. Also noted are cocoa, wet oak, musty wood, marshmallow and roasted malts.

Taste follows the nose with a strong vanilla forward flavor - vanilla is sweet, like ice cream. The cocoa from the nose takes on more of a mil chocolate flavor, but there is also dry cocoa there as well. Lots of musty oak and barrel character is noted with some whiskey on the back end. Slight burn, but not overly so - more of a warming presence. Lingering woody cocoa flavor on the back end. Beer is rather sweet overall.

Feel is medium carbonation, super smooth almost velvety in the mouth. Warming finish from the booze. Impressively full bodied for a barrel aged beer.

Overall this is a really well done stout from Prairie. Its a tad sweet for my tastes, but thats not a fault of the beer.

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Photo of Zoomslowik
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L- Black. Thin head and visible carb bubbles on initial pour, but disappears almost immediately. Thin ring of head lingers.

S- Aroma is mostly cocoa and vanilla. Just a hint of alcohol. Pleasing, it built anticipation for the taste.

T- The taste isn't as smooth as I had hoped. It's a lot heavier on the bourbon and roasted malts and a hair boozy. Not as much chocolate or vanilla as the nose, but it's still there.

F- More of a medium thickness. Not as rich as the base. Good carb level. Slightly harsh.

O- I like it a little more than the regular Noir, but I was hoping for more. The base had a mouthfeel and I was hoping it would have a nice fudgy base with a vanilla richness. This didn't get there though.

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Photo of goingbrokeonbeer
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pour was al oust black with no head what so ever. Smell is vanilla, some chocolate, with just a bit of the barrel. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth and the taste follows the smell. I would love to have this often, but for $13(I think the price for 12oz) it's not going to happen often.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.81/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Black with a finger of dense, mocha-colored head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell is fruity, sweet vanilla, strawberry marshmallow, sticky bourbon syrup and oak. I get a little brownie as well.

Taste is sweet chocolate, marshmallow, vanilla syrup, bourbon syrup, chocolate syrup...I mean, I'm not saying its cloying, but, it's surprisingly sweet compared to the other Noirs. I got a little nutty molasses in the finish.

Feel is surprisingly thin, a little hot, slightly fizzy, with a semi-dry but sticky finish.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an opaque yet still clear thick viscous jet black in color with light to moderate amounts of fine active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and very faint dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy dark tan head that reduces to a medium to large sized patch of thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of roasted, dark, and chocolate malts with cocoa and vanilla. Light aromas of whiskey and oak barrels.

T: Upfront there are moderate to strong flavors of roasted, dark, and chocolate malts with a moderate amount of caramel sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of cocoa and moderate to strong flavors of vanilla. Strong flavors of whiskey and oak in the finish. There is a moderate lingering flavor of whiskey in the finish.

M: Full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: Very enjoyable and one that I would definitely like to have again but it is definitely a slow sipper for me due to the strength/ABV, full mouthfeel, and intense flavors/aromas.

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pour is blackish with a small tan head that quickly recedes, no lacing. strong aromas of whiskey, oak, chocolate, toffee, caramel, touch of spice, licorice, and molasses. palate is whiskey soaked fudge up front, rich caramel and toffee notes are prominent, smooth vanilla showing up, finishes with a hint of spice and some boozy warmth... not hot at all. medium full bodied, somewhat chewy. overall a super enjoyable stout that's made for sipping due to its decadent sweetness.

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Photo of TruePerception
4.51/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Prairie's Vanilla Noir, imperial stout aged in oak whiskey barrels with vanilla. 11.5% ABV

A: About a finger of chocolate milk brown head. Black in the glass; very dark brown in the dimple, with a red-brown edge. Decent sheeting; no lacing. Faint inkiness.

S: Mmm. A good amount of dark toffee and char notes from the whiskey barrels. Dry, rich cocoa. Subtle rye. Decent amount of vanilla, but you have to get past the stronger notes first.

T/MF: Mmm! Very dark, very rich. Good amount of vanilla up front. Settles into a nice, rich semi-dark chocolate. Finish is straight up dark chocolate chips. A good amount of whiskey and dark toffee. Medium amount of char. Sweet, sludgy coffee. Slight honey note. Brownie, caramel. Pretzel. A hint of graphite. A bit of warmth in the chest. And, something sharper in the sugar spectrum, that's a touch acidic. What is that? Ugh. It's eluding me. It's good, either way.

Ooh. Oatmeal! Honey sweetened oatmeal is what I was tasting.

Very solid. We'll see how it stacks up against the other four BBA Prairies I picked up...

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of mschrei
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Cigar City Barrel aged Spiegelau glass. Dark, very little activity. Strong vanilla and barrel scent. Barrel and vanilla flavors really work with the roasty stout nature. Thick with a slight oily background.

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Photo of gatornation
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Fresh 2016 variants from Prairie. This one pours dark black chocolate with a mocha head. Smells of espresso roast with vanilla chocolate. Taste has roasted malt with vanilla bourbon , mouth feel is smooth with vanilla and balanced with roasted malts the barrel just adds to this. If you like vanilla first with bourbon and coffee/chocolate you will love this.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours deep dark black like motor oil, thin mocha colored cap spotty lacing all around the glass

Aroma - Very sweet milk chocolate, lots of vanilla, the whiskey is noticeable in the aroma.

Taste - Great flavors, the vanilla and whiskey are very well balanced. Milk chocolate, warming whiskey just a great combination of flavors.

Feel - Thick and rich coats your mouth great warming from the whiskey

Overall - I really loved this beer, the sweetness mixed with the whiskey is amazing.

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Photo of maximum12
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It’s Noir night at the ECK corral. Four bottles rounded up & popped open with my wife on a night that threatens to reach -26 degrees. This should keep us warm. 12 oz. bottle #2.

Pour? Black. Interestingly, I get more chocolate than vanilla in the nose, & the whiskey is more prominent than the ‘clean’ version. I don’t think this is bad.

Vanilla Noir is like the base Prairie Noir with all the harsh, rough edges sanded off. Whiskey smoother, booziness less aggressive. The chocolate is more prominent & super-sweet vanilla comes in mid-palate & does a Harrison Smith on whatever else exists: all gone, a mere memory that one might recall in therapy, but no longer has any bearing on the current experience. The whiskey does get up in the sinuses, though. Smooth & drier than the base. The chick-flick sweetness would limit how much of this I’d like to drink to may a pint. Or maybe an imperial pint.

I’m surprised to say that I prefer the unvarnished version: the sweetness brings this down a notch, but that still leaves it an afro above most beer. Excellent.

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Photo of bbtkd
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Prairie Vanilla Noir, 11.5% ABV, 60 IBU. Pours black, medium viscosity, slight tan head. Nose is vanilla, malt, and bourbon. Taste follows with vanilla up front, bourbon close, and vanilla aftertaste. Slightly coffee bitterness. Decent mouthfeel, overall excellent. I like this better than Prairie Noir, not as well as Pirate Noir.

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Photo of avalon07
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and a thick, opaque texture. There was a small amount of foamy, tan-colored head that quickly dissipated. Pretty good lacing.

S: A very alluring aroma of malt, bourbon, vanilla, coffee, and chocolate.

T: Tasted of a lot of the advertised vanilla, some hints of coffee, light chocolate notes, a fair amount of bourbon, a little bit of malt, an oaky quality, and a little caramel. A massive flavor, with lots of complexity and force behind it. Quite well-balanced and easy to drink.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a silky smooth finish. Full-bodied.

O: As usual, Prairie delivers. This is a well made and drinkable beer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sultry, succulent and lavishly sweet, Prairie's "Noire" series stops at the threshold of vanilla spice to appease the tastebuds and to round out the roasted aggression of barley.

Vanilla Noire carries a milkshake consistency into the snifter, slowly settling in with an ink-like weave and a thin, sparse espresso creme. Mouthwatering with decadent coffee, cream, pulled candy and dark chocolate. The taste is even better as the lavish maltiness slathers the tongue with molasses, chocolate, toffee and confectioner's sweet cream.

The middle palate reveals much the same as the weighted sugars wash the mouth with savory and toasty sweetness. Walnut, espresso, baker's chocolate and caramel latte. Like fine coffee-layered liqueur, its taste of pulled candy, marzipan and candied almond flavors pull from the malt and vanilla with nearly dessert-like richness.

Full, heavy and rich, the beer should really be served with a spoon. Its tastebud gripping taste is beautifully bright with vanilla and cream and evokes the sensation of cookies & cream with a spicy tinge of whisky and kaluha. A long, savory roast flavor flows into an impossibly long and sweet aftertaste.

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Photo of Buck89
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

An opaque dark-brown color with a motor oil-like viscosity. A thin dark-tan head made a brief appearance but it quickly disappeared without a trace. Great smells of whiskey, vanilla beans, oak, coffee, and chocolate. Surprisingly, the whiskey dominated the nose, but there was a nice complexity. If you like vanilla, you will love this beer. Huge creamy vanilla flavor on the first sip from front to back. Underneath were nice whiskey notes, only adding to the vanilla experience. There was plenty of chocolate on the finish. The beer had a nice heavy, rich, velvety feel. A bit hot on the finish with traces of the whiskey at the end. The best vanilla-forward beer I've had.

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Photo of pezhead_79
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A true vanilla bomb. Lots of barrel up front with a smooth vanilla finish. Really solid mouthfeel with a great finish. This and FO b2 are the best vanilla stouts I've had. This is a 2016 bottle by the way.

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Photo of Jadjunk
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

No label information. Vanilla Noir is brewed in the style of an American Imperial Stout, aged in oak whiskey barrels with vanilla beans. Available in single 12 oz. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a creamy frothed head of a pale brown shade over a very dark brown body. Retention is below average and lacing is light and patchy. 3.75

(Smell) Whiskey-infused nose, with moist chocolate cake, vanilla cream and a smooth caramel body, a touch of whiskey on the backbone plus gentle oak tannins. Potency is moderate. 4

(Taste) The flavor largely matches the aroma, with chocolate, vanilla and oak seamlessly merged together for a rich, velvety stout base forward, complete with gentle whiskey heat and flavor. Very nice display of authentic chocolate and vanilla flavor. Finishes clean. 4.25

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, moderately residual, chewy, medium dry. Carbonation is mild, generating a medium frothiness and a mildly crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, shy of heavy overall. Balance is slightly sweet over specialty malt character. Alcohol presence is modest and there are no off characters. 4.25

(Overall) Really an outstanding stout. The chocolate and vanilla blend together nicely for a rich, velvety dessert-like stout presentation, and the whiskey plays a nice touch of complexity without becoming overbearing. The price is a bit steep as in many of Prairie's releases but the end result is wholly satisfying and thus, a solid purchase. 4.25

Prairie Artisan Ales'
Vanilla Noir

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2015 version, can't compare to other bottles but this is holding up tremendously. Thick, black, oily body has no head, but does produce a thin brown ring around the glass. Smell is a blast of vanilla and subtle bourbon as it starts to warm.

Taste is perfect for my palate because I really like sweet stouts, and the barrel kick at the end really balances it out so that its not too hard to drink. Getting some cocoa notes too, but mostly vanilla and whiskey. Wouldn't mind a touch more malt/roast to go with it, but there's tons of flavor here and it feels great as it lingers on the tongue.

A+ and I can't wait to find some more!

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Photo of Amguerra305
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a tad thin. Sits black in the glass with hints of light poking through the edges. The vanilla smell is definitely present but it does not come off as a vanilla bomb. You get more barrel and bourbon than vanilla but even then I would prefer a stronger barrel profile than what the beer has. The roast is the predominant smell in this beer. The taste kind of follows the smell with the roast character of the beer taking center stage. It is sweet on the front end with a bitter finish. The feel is where this beer really falls short. Way too carbonated and a tad thin. Overall a really good beer worth seeking out but don't expect peefection. With a bit more barrel character and a flatter thicker body this would be a monster.

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Photo of puffthestuff
4.81/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: black oily typical of good stout. Few fingernail mocha colored head that left quickly.
S: definite vanilla huge on vanilla and marshmallow. Some barrel here but vanilla bean is the standout and it's almost absurd that it would come through with such a great smell.
T: This is definitely a desert beer and tastes like one from the first sip chocolaty and fudgey and a huge body of vanilla flavor. It is extremely well balanced I think the mark was hit on the head for what they were going for.
F: sticky to the lips decent lingering body low carb very good for a desert stout.
O: This along with the other Noir variants I've had so far have been extremely well balanced and taste excellent. I wish prairie came out with these brews more often than Bomb! Because, imo, they are vastly superior a Bomb! Does not compare.

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Photo of DraughtJunkie82
4.99/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Pours a thick midnight black with a tan head that fades fairly quickly leaving a halo around the glass.

S: Big vanilla and bourbon on the nose with hints of dark chocolate.

T: Big Vanilla Bourbon Fudge Brownie

F: Rich devils food cake decadence with just the perfect amount of sweetness.

O: This is one of my favorite stouts. Almost on the same level as VR. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of ChiCubs78
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Insanely good. Initially tastes like vanilla saltwater taffy. Finishes with a touch of bourbon that becomes more pronounced as it warms. I need more of this in my life.

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Photo of DevinK
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was nothing short of phenomenal. I wasn't sure how good this beer would be, I was pretty pumped for it and hoping it would live up to the delicious vanilla hype that I had read from so many others.... and it did! I haven't had a chance to try VR, but this is one of my top stouts of all time. I need to find a way to get my hands on more!

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Vanilla Noir from Prairie Artisan Ales
4.15 out of 5 based on 866 ratings.
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