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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:
Imperial Stout Aged in Oak Whiskey Barrels with Vanilla Beans

Added by HopsMatt on 12-11-2013

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Reviews: 95 | Ratings: 751
Photo of danjm21
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Should have bought more of these when I had the chance. Very underrated vanilla beer. Great taste, and smell. Next to vanilla rye, this is my favorite.

 151 characters

Photo of Intelbeerlord
5/5  rDev +22%

Poured from a bottle on 8/28 into a Prairie Teku

A: Pours a pitch black. Head is the color of Chocolate milk

S: Hints of vanilla abound with your typical stout -like aromas of coffee and chocolate. Great smelling beer

T: Vanilla tones with a slight whiskey taste. Hints of oak

M: Great big body, heavy mouth feel and medium carbonation.

O: Great beer. Maybe even my favorite as of this first tasting of it. Definitely ISO another bottle. Heard some were infected, glad my wasn't.

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Photo of TheWildWes
4.98/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This beer pours dark with a carmel head that dissipates eventually. It's beautiful and almost has a dark, dark, mahogany color when held to the light.

The smell is unbelievable with vanilla, chocolate, and a roasted note coming through.

The beer coats your mouth and is very smooth. You get a hit of chocolate and vanilla up front and the whiskey starts to set in as the beer finishes.

I have enjoyed a few of these and find myself enjoying them more each time I have one. The perfect stout.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.95/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Got a couple bottles of this and very glad I did. Here goes, reviewing this while I'm drinking it.

A - motor oil, looks just like it (dark and black; the natural motor oil, not the synthetic stuff)

S - vanilla! And whiskey right on the front of the nose; the roasted malt character of the stout is also present. As it warms, the vanilla becomes very prevalent, taking over the whiskey.

T - again, vanilla! and whiskey, also some coffee and oak, but I think this is more of the stout roasted malt character.

M - just right for the style, thick but too much so.

O - a very well done imperial stout that has been aged in oak whiskey barrels with vanilla beans. I wasn't sure when I picked this up just how much vanilla would be present in the beer, but it is there! If you like vanilla, whiskey, and oak, you're going to love this. As the beer warms, the vanilla becomes more present and takes over the whiskey to a certain extent, but I like that. Overall, a great beer.

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Photo of Klourie
4.91/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured jet black, with no head.
Smelled of bourbon and vanilla
Taste is very sweet, rich, tons of vanilla, and whisky, oak, marshmellow
Feel is med body
Overall this beer is world class IMO, just a very sweet, delicious, dessert-like beer, vanilla bomb. I would drink one every day (if I could afford it).

 305 characters

Photo of DrumKid003
4.9/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pitch black appearance, with about a finger of off-white colored head.

S- If there was a way to bottle this smell and sell it, I would. Smells exactly like the name suggests, very strong vanilla aroma with just the slightest hint of chocolate.

T - Again, the vanilla is very present up front with just the slightest hint of whiskey on the finish. However, as it warms the chocolate/(coffee?) becomes more noticeable in the middle and the sweetness carries over to match perfectly with the whiskey on the end.

M - Almost syrupy, but probably one of the smoothest beers I have ever had.

O - If there was anyone who was put off by stouts and other heavy beers, I would immediately hand one of these to them. This ranks right up there with the Prairie Bomb! & Pirate Bomb.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.88/5  rDev +19%
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!

 633 characters

Photo of superspak
4.84/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 9/30/2015. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1 finger dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of huge milk chocolate, vanilla, cream, marshmallow, cocoa, caramel, toffee, molasses, coconut, toasted oak, whiskey, light dark fruit, and roast/oak earthiness. Insane aromas with perfect balance of dark/roasted malt, vanilla, and whiskey barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of huge milk chocolate, vanilla, cream, marshmallow, cocoa, caramel, toffee, molasses, coconut, toasted oak, whiskey, light dark fruit, and roast/oak earthiness. Light roasted bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, vanilla, cream, marshmallow, cocoa, caramel, toffee, molasses, coconut, toasted oak, whiskey, and roast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Insane complexity, robustness, and perfect balance of dark/roasted malt, vanilla, and whiskey barrel flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth and creamy/silky mouthfeel that is heavenly. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely top class Barrel aged imperial stout. Incredible complexity, robustness, and perfect balance of dark/roasted malt, vanilla, and whiskey barrel flavors; and very smooth and easy to sip on for the ABV with zero booziness. A mind blowing offering.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.82/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

$11.99 for a *single bottle*. I really wanted to grab two, but for the price, I couldn't. I figured I'd regret it. Well, here goes...

Appearance: Poured this hard into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint and got a slow forming finger of a brown head that slowly died down. Vanilla Noir just looks "thick." The color is pitch black, of course. Virtually no lacing. Still a nice looking beer true to the style

Smell: Roasted malt, dark coffee, chocolate, whiskey, vanilla (which gives off a marshmallow and slight milky vibe), and alcohol. Phenomenal. The milk chocolate aroma I get seems to dominate, and I welcome that, because with the barrel and vanilla, it's fucking heaven. This smells sweet, a little boozy, a lot fantastic. I could drone on, but there's no need to.

Taste/feel: This is the closest thing I've had yet to "the perfect beer." The feel is perfectly silky in that it's like drinking a boozy chocolate milk. In a sense this reminds me of Chocolate Manifesto by Flying Monkeys, but with a much-needed bitter roast quality/more balance, and the beauty of a bourbon (in this case, whiskey) barrel. The taste is so complex and insanely well crafted, I can't get over it. I can't put it into coherent sentences. Like the smell, a laundry list of flavors coming in from all different angles. But on the taste, the roast qualities add a subtle smokeyness, a tiny bit of ash, a little woodiness (barrel a contributing factor there, I'm sure)... the sweet chocolate on the front with the roast and vanilla on the end is something that may sound very "been there, done it", but no beer has done it like Vanilla Noir. Every whiff I take I get a worry that each sip will be over-the-top sweet, but it's not ... the finish is a perfect level of bitterness to erase the sweetness. The aftertaste is roasty, a little chocolate Frosty-like, a bit bitter... in a word, luxurious. This beer is luxurious.

Far and away the best beer I've had to date. This bottle was fresh, and I find it unfeasible that an aged bottle could taste any better than this. I'm kicking myself that I didn't buy another bottle, but I'm glad that I got to try it, and know to buy the hell out of it if I ever see it again. My only reason for the 4.75 overall is, and I know it's unfair, because of the price. I shouldn't have that factor in, but it does -- at the same time, don't let that keep you from trying this unbelievable beer. IGNORE THE RATINGS. The first batch of this beer was apparently infected (at least in spots). For a guy who's normally a conservative rater, this beer just misses a flawless rating. Trust me, it's that good.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.74/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: black with a small foamy head. Pours very thick.
S: great vanilla and barrel presence
T: big vanilla, nice barrel flavors.
F: very thick and smooth.
O: it's a step behind vanilla rye, but a real treat.

 206 characters

Photo of drew42e
4.74/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours noir with little to no head. Aroma at first is barrel with some vanilla. This evolves as it warms and I start getting mocha and some black cherry, dark fruit. Taste is excellent , good dose of chocolate and vanilla , some booziness and oak, dark fruit. Mouthfeel is silk, heavy and viscous. I love the prairie imp stouts.

 331 characters

Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
4.71/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Pours a pitch black motor oil with 2 fingers of dark brown / chocolate head.

S - I get tons of vanilla instantly in the smell, along with some chocolate and caramel sweetness.

T - The taste is much like the aroma, with sweet vanilla at the forefront followed by sweet chocolate and caramel. The flavor is reminiscent of creme brulee. I'm pleasantly surprised at the amount of vanilla flavor; it's not subtle at all.

M - Thick and viscous, low-to-moderate carbonation. The alcohol is hidden very well.

O - Possibly my favorite Prairie beer. This is perfect for dessert, as the vanilla notes are absolutely fantastic.

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Photo of von_kaiser
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Pretty sure this is this years batch (11.5 abv). Thnx JDebourge for this whale!
A: deep dark (border line black), moderate lacing, 3 finger-nail thick head.
S: vanilla, chocolate, no sting. Heaven!
T: s'more w/ a tiny whiskey bite. sweet but not overly sweet. too smooth and I don't get a hint of alcohol. Me gusta (I'm Russian).
M: not overly thin for the style but it is a tad bit thin.
O: damn! this IS very comparable to vanilla rye. Vanilla Rye was like that tenured masseuse that got you off instantly just to get that buck. Vanilla noir is the one in training earning that dollar. Cheers!

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Photo of BeerSamurai34
4.66/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

WOW. Prairie really came through with this second batch of Vanilla Noir. This one is head and shoulders better than the OG. Pours a thick, rich black with a nice thin caramel colored head. Tons and tons of vanilla on both the nose and finish which covers up the high ABV very well.

 281 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Thick dark black colour with a thin layer of espresso foam coloured head.

S - Chocolate fudge, vanilla, oak, roast.

T - Sweet vanilla and chocolate fudge notes up front giving way to lighter roast and toasted oak flavours.

M - Full body; creamy. Light carbonation.

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Photo of jrodbeer
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Feels like I've waited a loooooooong time for batch 2 of this bad boy. Had both infected and non-infected batch 1. Absolutely LOVED the non, even the infected wasn't awful. Anyway, on to this batch.

Appearance: black as night, with a thin caramel colored head.
Smell: chocolate, vanilla, oak, whiskey, leather, nuts(?). Incredible smell.
Taste: follows nose, tons of chocolate. Vanilla balances the barrel nicely. Regular Noir has a huge barrel presence IMO, tons of whiskey. That is cut so nicely here by the sweet vanilla.
Feel: maybe the tiniest bit thin, but it could be me searching for a flaw.
Overall: Truly one of my favorite beers, not just from Prairie, from anyone. I'd love to know the rating of ONLY non-infected reviews, I know that's not how this works, but I'm curious. Non-infected B1 and B2 could get this beer up around a world class rating... It's a 95-98, in my mind, easily. Do what it takes to find some recently released B2, you won't regret it! Cheers

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Photo of ChiCubs78
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

 171 characters

Photo of M_chav
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L - rich black viscous pour, minimal tan/gold head fades quickly, really pretty
S - I can't help but think that this reminds me of BC Vanilla Rye - seriously awesome vanilla forward smell, its amazing! whiskey presence is obvious and smells a bit hot, but that nilla smell is the perfect counterpart
T - Oh man this is nice. Whiskey is nice, vanilla is nicer. this is an amazing beer, I wish I had 100 more. I feel like I'm trying to find things wrong with it when I say its a bit hot, but I think this beer needs it, the alcohol is a great addition to the big sweetness of the vanilla. just wonderful.
F - Smooth as butter, a bit hot and possibly a bit thin but I'm really looking for imperfections because this is one of the better stouts I've had in a while.
O - Wonderful, smooth, very tasty and I need more.

 815 characters

Photo of W_Des
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Never had batch one but wow batch 2 is delicious. Pours a black with a tan head. Really nice whiskey vanilla nose balancing each other out. The body is roasty and sweet with a good amount of vanilla. The whiskey is hardly noticeable and doesn't drink like an 11.5%. The mouthfeel is very smooth and this is just delicious overall.

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Photo of JaredinOmaha
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Extremely underrated beer. Just because it's not as hard to get as KBS, doesn't mean that it is not just as good, or actually better. Prairie has top notch beers. They do it right. It's one of my favorite breweries! (So maybe I'm biased?) :)

 241 characters

Photo of leroybrown10
4.59/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black and thick. Small dark khaki head disappears quickly. Thick lacing but it vanishes quickly.

Aroma is heavy whiskey and vanilla. Dark molasses. Oak, roasted malt, caramel, and chocolate.

Taste follows the flavor. Vanilla first and then the whiskey. Rich, sweet molasses and caramel. A bit of alcohol. Milk chocolate, medium roasted malt, and toasted oak. Hints of dark fruit.

Medium mouth feel. Very smooth and creamy. Moderate to medium carbonation. Boozy, alcoholic warmth. Lingering sweetness.

A really well done beer. Big vanilla flavor. Flavors blend well. Barrel is prominent without overpowering.

 632 characters

Photo of TheElectricOne
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip:

Appearance: Pours jet-black and visibly thick. Aggressively poured, but minimal head, though it did linger for a while. Mocha color on the head, topping the obisidian black of the beer.

Aroma: blasts of vanilla and leather. I've never really smelt the leather scent in a beer as powerful as this one, and it smells great. Some oaky wood, lots and lots of vanilla, and a nice foundation of chocolate from the base beer. Really inviting and dessert-y.

Taste: wow, tons of flavors going on here. Tons of vanilla, obviously, as well as chocolate, oakiness, and roast. The mixture of yummy flavors combines to make a s'mores taste, and it is really delicious.

Feel: viscous, though not as much as some stouts at this ABV. Maybe a touch more fullness in the body would really elevate this beer, though it's really nit picky at his point.

Overall: easily the best beer I've had so far in 2016 (out of like, six, so take that with a grain of salt). Really complex and delicious. I'll be seeking out batch 2 for sure.

 1,054 characters

Photo of smb
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black, nothing shines through even when held to the light. Maintains a tiny mocha head. Aroma is vanilla for days, as well as subtle whiskey and oak, a pleasure to smell. Taste is heavy on the vanilla but not quite vanilla-bomb status, light chocolate in the mix, as well as some whiskey and woodiness from the oak.

Can really feel the whiskey and a slight cloying sweetness from the vanilla. Somewhat of a thin feel on the drink down. Overall, this is a decadent and tasty ba vanilla imperial stout. Could definitely see this one benefiting from some age as well.

 578 characters

Photo of SinjaminBentek
4.54/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Jet Black. Very little head.

Smell - Big barrel, vanilla and sweet malt nose.

Taste - Big barrel, big vanilla...bit hot.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied. Thick and Sticky

Overall - Very good now. This has some serious aging potential!

Grade (A-)

 295 characters

Photo of HeartofMiami
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2. Pours black with no head. Smells of Vanilla and whiskey Barrel. Little carb but great mouthfeel. Lots of whiskey and Vanilla with hints of oak, marshmallow, caramel and roasty malts. Excellent!

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Vanilla Noir from Prairie Artisan Ales
4.1 out of 5 based on 751 ratings.
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