Bourbon Paradise
Prairie Artisan Ales

Bourbon ParadiseBourbon Paradise
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Style:
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #24
ABV:
13.7%
Score:
100
Ranked #87
Avg:
4.59 | pDev: 5.01%
Reviews:
115
Ratings:
637
From:
Prairie Artisan Ales
 
Oklahoma, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  84
Gots
  78
SCORE
100
World-Class
Bourbon ParadiseBourbon Paradise
Notes: Imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels with coconut and vanilla
View: Beers
Reviews: 115 | Ratings: 637 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Pretty typical super heavy BA stout appearance: pitch black with a thin dark khaki head.

S: Very nice vanilla/coconut/bourbon aroma.

T: This beer stays true to what it claims to contain! I get the vanilla, coconut, bourbon, and chocolate all at once. They're not disjointed, but integrated perfectly. Though the coconut is noticeable, it's not overtaking any other flavor, and I feel that any more of it could knock some points off. Other flavors I get are marshmallow, caramel, graham cracker.

F: Thicc and syrupy but not cloying. VERY smooth for a >15% beer.

O: This deserves the credit that Beer Advocate gives it. It shows off every flavor that's advertised on the bottle, and in a masterful way at that. The bourbon comes through perfectly to halt that desert sweetness.

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Photo of DaveMaciolek21
4.06/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost jet black in the glass. In the initial sips--and this is certainly a sipping beer--coconut and vanilla are upfront, perhaps a little too much so. But as the beer warms, the bourbon warms to the task too. It blends beautifully for the remainder. This beer didn't quite meet my expectations, but it's still a brew to be reckoned with.

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DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey, May 17, 2020
Photo of emyers
4.59/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a snifter

Near black with half-inch light brown head.

Nose: All bourbon and vanilla. Great balance and depth.

Taste: Follows the nose. Rich bourbon and vanilla. Milk chocolate and caramel undertones. Finishes mildly sweet.

Feel: Incredibly smooth and luxurious

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emyers from Illinois, May 11, 2020
Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.53/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours pitch black with a one finger creamy tan head. Nice amount of clingy lacing.

S - Aroma is coconut, vanilla and dark chocolate.

T - The taste dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, light coconut, roasted malts, oak and bourbon,

M - Full body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a soft dry finish.

O - Outstanding BBA stout. Big dark flavors with light coconut and a boozy finish. Definetly a slow sipper.

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TreyIsWilson from Michigan, Apr 28, 2020
Photo of DoctorZombies
4.42/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured at 57 degrees; fast fizzy dark reddish tan head disappears quickly, poor retention leaving only a small island of micro dots and a thin ring sitting atop jet black liquid with ruby/cola edges; a few small suds of lace and heavy legs that sheet the snifter upon swirl. Nose is roast malt, bourbon and the barest whiff of coconut; boozy exhale. Semi sweet chocolate entry followed by a hint of toasted coconut and a tease of bourbon; middle is vanilla, charred oak and chocolate fudge; mix of bittersweet dark chocolate, coconut and vanilla in the finish. Silky smooth feel, medium body, light carbonation; warmth in the mouth from 13.7% with a boozy bite on the tongue. Overall, much mellower than I expected, and the feel is thin; it’s well balanced, but the flavors are subtle, where the booze is not...

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Photo of jrc1093
3.86/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 11/20/19

Pours a glossy, spent-oil black body capped with a quickly fizzing ¾ of a finger of dark mocha foam, which dissipates almost immediately to a bare, though highly effervescent, surface and a thin collar; no lacing left around the walls of the glass.

Aroma shows savory coconut cream-vanilla bean mingling to start before introducing charry bourbon booze and steady vanilla into a roasty milk chocolate middle; oaky heat and fudgy chocolate feature further into the close; a great overall bouquet, just a bit too subdued to shine completely.

Taste opens with a boozy bourbon heft evened out by sweet, oaky coconut, milk chocolate, and vanilla cake batter; faint dark fruit lingers far in the background as nutty hits of coffee and a sharp tinge of vanilla bean/coconut husk char come through on the back end; a flowing, deep dark chocolate exhale.

Mouthfeel presents a slick and light-medium with ample density and sporting minimal carbonation; consistent and nearly weightless along the palate, with minimal alcohol presence; a mild roasty grit develops on the back end into a light, nearly watery close.

A truly confounding BA stout, equally bold and expressive as it is inconsistent and timid; the vanilla and coconut in particular shine in spots alongside a dominant bourbon barrel, yet a syrupy tone across the profile hints at an artificiality while an awkward weakness to the mouthfeel hinders the overall intensity of the profile. As a whole, this is far from an outright mess of a stout, but needs alot more refining to be anything more than forgettable.

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jrc1093 from Connecticut, Apr 12, 2020
Photo of arizcards
4.34/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a single from the Craft Beer Hop Stop 12-30-19 for $12.99. Bottled 11-20-19; consumed 4-1-20.

Beer poured black as night with a nice brown head with the original pour.

Nose is very nice, mild roast along with vanilla and light bourbon come thru. Some coconut is present too.

Taste is really well balanced compared to the base beer. Malt base is light roast with a touch of coconut. Barrel presence is very effective in providing a tad of vanilla but the ability of the bourbon to cut thru and balance the sweetness extremely well. Finish is slightly sweet but balanced. Alcohol is warming with each sip.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and very smooth.

Overall the bourbon enhancement works very well with this brew! Glad i was able to try!

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arizcards from Arizona, Apr 01, 2020
Photo of mschrei
4.86/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

What an excellent beer. Doesn’t look like much, typical stout appearance, minimal head and lacing. Smells of coconut, vanilla, chocolate, barrel, fudge. Taste is extremely flavorful and an even more amazing balance of -mcoconut and vanilla and chocolate fudge, with a minimal barrel presence faintly in the background. Body is big and bold, thick, rich, and velvety. Bourbon barrel presence is more prevalent in those terms, as the boozy burn on the back end just completes this amazing beer. One of their best.

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mschrei from Illinois, Mar 28, 2020
Photo of Brutaltruth
4.59/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This astounding brew pours a
rich obsidian with a light head of off white foam that settles to a
thin ring with no lacing but with a stir....she's got legs! Nose of
faint coconut, coffee, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and fudge. Flavors
rock it.....rich fudge, subtle char, balanced bourbon, booze, hefty
vanilla cream, oak, dark fruit, faint anise, and toasted coconut.
Excellent mouth feel; smooth, light carbonation with a touch of
prickly effervescence, warming, coating, moderately slick, and
finishing full and rich.

pant.....pant....WOW! Outrageous.

Need to get another bottle to lay and rest.

Awesome!

Cheers

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Black body with a decent khaki head. Smells of coconut, vanilla, bourbon, and chocolate. Tastes of bourbon and coconut. Fudgy chocolate. Vanilla and oaky finish. Heavy but very tasty. It's a dessert beer for sure and slow to drink as a result, but it's quite tasty. I split the bottle with my dad, as I didn't expect to want to drink much of it, but now I want more.

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Photo of mogulskier
4.84/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is one of my highest rated beers, Simply world class, and then some.

No head on this at all. Pours just like BCBS. Nose is vanilla and bourbon with a hint of coconut after it warms a bit.

This is a sipper for sure. Taste is like pure chocolate, but not cloying or syrupy. Almost like fudge. But you definitely get the bourbon and some vanilla notes as well. Decent mouthfeel too. At this ABV, surprisingly, it is not all that hot. Glad I picked up 2 bottles. I don't know if aging one will make it better, because it is a near perfect 5 as it is now.

Simply one of the very best BBA beers I have ever had. If you see it, do not pass it up. Dare I say, smoother and more balanced then BCBS.

Prairie nailed this one to perfection.

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mogulskier from California, Feb 28, 2020
Photo of metter98
4.44/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with large wisps of tan bubbles on the surface (similar to the designs in a latte) and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of vanilla are present in the nose. As the beer begins to warm up, bourbon also becomes perceptible.
T: The taste has flavors chocolate with notes of bourbon and vanilla with hints of coconut.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation with a faint bit of warmth from the bourbon.
O: This tastes more like a stout that is 10% abv than something that is 16% abv and you don't really get any alcohol in the taste except for a bit from the bourbon. You need to let it warm up for all of the different flavors to shine through in the taste.

Serving type: bottle

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metter98 from New York, Feb 15, 2020
Photo of oberon
4.56/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 11/22/2019.Pours jet black into a snifter with a very thin quick to fade deep mocha colored head atop.Complex aromas of bitter chocolate,roasted nuts,vanilla,and toasted bourbon barrel.Even more complexity on the palate,vanilla and dark fruit hit upfront followed by fudge-like chocolate,and roasted nuts,finishing with a tinge of roast/earth that lingers.It's thick but mellow in the mouth,just astounding complexity,amazing.

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oberon from North Carolina, Feb 06, 2020
Photo of TheGent
4.61/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Prairie Bourbon Paradise. Tons of chocolate. All kinds. Sweet milk chocolate, bitter dark chocolate and cocoa. Chocolate cake batter. Fairly hot, but the ABV does not distract from the drinking experience. The coconut is really well done. Natural and not overpowering. Same for the vanilla. The feel is great. Pretty thick and sticky sweet on the lips. Loving it.

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TheGent from New Jersey, Feb 02, 2020
Photo of stairway2heavn
4.51/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light bourbon, dark chocolate... No soy flavor. Basically no carb, is thin, but good lacing. Not pastry stout sweet. Definitely coconut present. Worth a buy. Have another to age, but given flavor profile I don't think it'll benefit, so I'll likely save for later in the winter on a nice cold night....
Edit: ... As it's warming, vanilla and bourbon come out, in a good way. Definitely notice the booze more, but I'll stick by my original thought that being an adjunct stout I'm not going to bother with a year long aging when it's great now and I think balanced for what they were going for. But I guess if you want less booze and vanilla sit on it 6 months to a year though you might lose the light coffee background.

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stairway2heavn from New Jersey, Jan 21, 2020
Photo of TBoneJones
4.59/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Black enough pour, barely a head but brown it is. Body appears medium and still.
Nose has incredible smoked notes of coconut, vanilla (as described). Faint alcohol lurks.
Taste follows suit. Wow. Just all the flavors you could want in a BBA imperial stout doke just right, IMO. I don’t mean every flavor as in cocoa or coffee. I mean the sum of the ingredients, they were done so well it’s all that’s needed. It’s beast strength, however just having had some of ‘19’s Goose Island BBA stout yesterday (at just a bit less ABV), I can say this is more of a dangerous dessert beer because it isn’t as thick and sticky sweet...but make no mistake it is sweet enough because of balance. It’s medium-medium-thin for the style but it’s working. Coconut and a nutty chocolate aspect that I wish would be used more in these beer types. You’ll hear “walnut fudge” to describe this, and that’s very accurate. And the coffee I mentioned as not being obvious, it has delicious hints that appear as it warms. Some tobacco too. Complexities yes. Not sticky in feel, medium just right. I should have grabbed a 2nd to age. I will. This brewery makes top notch big stouts but this to me is their pinnacle.

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Photo of Kdouble
4.66/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A 12 oz. bottle date 11-20-19 poured into a snifter.

Look- A dark brown almost black thickness. Has a thin dark brown head that faded quickly.
.
Smell- It clocks in at 15.9% so lots of bourbon and booze. As it warmed, I get some chocolate and coconut. Eventually the chocolate starts to dominate and some vanilla mixed in toward the end. Give it time to warm.

Taste- The flavor changed as it warmed. A bourbon and chocolate explosion followed by a nice coconut finish. The optimal flavor for me was after about 15-20 minutes. Really sweet but the bourbon reminds you that you are having a real beer.

Mouthfeel- A great carbonation that helps to take the boozy edge off. A clean feel that was a little surprising.

Overall- A great high abv stout. One is more than enough but I am aging another one for about a year.

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Kdouble from Tennessee, Jan 18, 2020
Photo of BrewsOverHoes
4.64/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bottle poured into Prairie wine glass.

Not much in the way of a head; with some aggressive last pour managed to get a thin layer of mocha head which dissipated almost immediately.

Huge aromas of chocolate, vanilla, bourbon and coconut as expected.

Sweet chocolate and vanilla on the first sip; alcohol isn’t shy, bourbon throughout finishing with a nice note of coconut and dried plums/raisin.

Slick mouthfeel, full bodied. Gets more enjoyable as it warmed.

Overall excellent BBA stout. A joy to drink. Going to try and grab another bottle or two even at $12 it’s too good to pass up on.

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Photo of brureview
4.47/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best Bourbon barrel stouts out there.

Rich multi layered chocolate, cherry, vanilla, slightly sweet, very smooth, creamy MF, and a moderate bitter finish. More balanced than the Goose Island BCBS

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brureview from Massachusetts, Jan 15, 2020
Photo of bret27
4.52/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Color black with very minimal brown head.
Smell of bourbon vanilla coconut sweet cream.
Taste is impressive. Similar to smell but get some chocolate malt and nuttiness. Also very viscous mouthfeel with some alcohol warming /burn. All the flavors are melded well into each other, the way only time can. Nothing overpowers. Minimal carbonation.
Overall: I haven’t had a stout this big and good since Black Tuesday’s release.

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bret27 from California, Jan 11, 2020
Photo of REVZEB
4.56/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Keep spending most our lives living in a bourbon paradise. Keep spending most our lives living in a bourbon paradise!
Bourbon and barrel, barrel and the bourbon. Stout after stout. Beer after beer! Everybody aging, but half of them ain't awesome! .... This one is though. Pitch black pour with a brown cap. Smell features prominently the bourbon, wood, vanilla and coconut, with semi-sweet chocolate, anise, leather and booze. Taste takes it the step further, really getting into the guts of the barrel and bourbon, with the adjuncts the supporting flavors shining a light on the barrel character. Add molasses, char, coffee, walnut, toasted caramel, and fudge. The qualm I have that stops me from putting this top shelf is the feel, great barrel character, adjunct smooth and seamless integration, but the booze is hot and the feel thins a bit as the result. Still, perfect beer for a special occasion, like new home, or at the very least share with another so you can have two tickets to paradise! Ok I'm done now.

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REVZEB from Illinois, Jan 10, 2020
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.57/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. bottled on date 11.20.2019. Pour into Crooked Stave "Snulip".

rated prior to this review. now sitting down to formally review the beer.

Served cellar temp / light chill on the bottle.

Appearance: Its looks like oil. Black body as dark as dark can be. Big 3 fingers tall dark brown head that aggressively fizzes away to a very thin ring around the glass.

Smell: Smells like brownie batter layered with deep oak & bourbon, and subtle hints of vanilla and coconuts.

Taste: dark chocolates, rich oak, leather, and spicy smooth bourbon are the big flavors that hit you right away. Layered complexities in the middle of this barrel aged stout include: tobacco, smoke/barrel char, caramel, and molasses. Long lingering vanilla frosting with dry coconut flakes in finish that is very notable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied stout with low carbonation levels. Carbonation is adequate. This is a thick substantial stout without being motor oil thick. Very smooth. Not boozy at all.

Overall: This is my third time drinking 2019 bourbon paradise. Every time that I drink Bourbon Paradise my mind immediately goes to this is what a pre-2014 Bourbon County Brand Stout variant aged on vanilla and coconut would taste like... sadly Goose Island never did it and they really should have! Thank you Prairie for making an outstanding barrel aged stout adjuncted stout. Its a show stopper. Glad to finally find it on the shelf.

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Photo of Wolvmar
4.46/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

1-4-20 Review
12oz bottle dated 11-19-19. Pours into tulip glass.

Pour: small dark tan head, medium ring and some lacing. Not quite as attractive as 2017 Review. 4.25

Nose: coconut, vanilla, bourbon/rum, oak. 4.5

Taste: follows the nose with chocolate, caramel, molasses. Really good. 4.5

Mouthfeel: silky, pillowy soft. Thick enough but maybe not viscous or mouth coating. 4.25

Overall: a really good/great beer that should be tried if you can get it. Good look, great nose and taste. 4.5

=====
Late 2017 Review
Split a bottle with a few friends so somewhat limited sample. 2017 vintage but didn’t record actual date (not sure it was on bottle anyway). Poured into a red wine glass (best available).

Pour: dark, dark black with a small tan head. Great viscosity with an oily film trailing behind every time I swirled or drank. Lacing was consistent throughout. Really beautiful.

Nose: dark chocolate, dark fruit, slight vanilla and roasted malt. Even with a weak nose like mine, this came through.

Taste: wow! Smooth blend of dark chocolate, bourbon, dark fruit, slight sugary/molasses sweetness. Amazing. Alcohol is there but not overpowering.

Mouthfeel: this might be one of the best. Like the oily residue and lacing on the glass, the beer coats your tongue and mouth. Milkshake consistency without being “thick.” A pleasure to drink.

Overall: this is really good. Ranks with Goose Island, Black Note, slightly preferred to KBS. Since my sample was small, I want to try again to confirm. Can’t wait!

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Wolvmar from Michigan, Jan 05, 2020
Photo of DokiDokiLitFam
4.65/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Deep dark brown pour. Dense and heavy looking. A tiny ring of foam that disappears very quickly.

Nose is bourbon, booze, and malt first. Booze hits hard. Being almost 14% this is no surprise. Giving this one some time and it has me captivated like a good book. After warming the bourbon sits nicely atop everything else that is going on. The coconut comes out nicely. That distinct nutty, sweet, tropical quality that coconut brings becomes ever present. Chocolate pushes to the front next and keeps growing. SO MUCH CHOCOLATE. Giving it a candy bar quality. After even more time the vanilla comes alive. It's like vanilla bean ice cream topped with chocolate drizzle and coconut shavings. This is phenomenonal.

Taste is immediately chocolate and bourbon. Boom! Pow! One right after the other. Coconut is there but less present on the pallete compared to the nose. Malt comes in at the end. Nice roast. Not too smoky or invasive. I feel like I'm picking up the slightest hint of cinnamon as well. Booze makes its presence known. This beer is on the cusp of being too sweet. For me personally it falls short of that boundary, but it may be too much for others.

Mouthfeel is fullbodied with some nice carbonation. Not high per se, but providing a cleansing feel that prevents it from feeling too heavy or sticky.

This is a dessert beer through and through. Make no mistake, there is nothing casual about this brew. But it is a delicious one nonetheless. Presence of chocolate, coconut, and vanilla giving a candy shop sort of feel, but bourbon and carbonation higher than your normal stout reigning it in from being too sweet. A masterpiece from Prairie. Extremely well done.

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DokiDokiLitFam from New Jersey, Jan 03, 2020
Photo of jlindros
4.66/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I can't find a date on teh bottle, but I've prob had this for a couple years.

Pours a very dark black but bubbly fizzy head that fades almost instantly, very inky long legs, pitch black thick beer

Nose is loads of bourbon, like straight bourbon from far away, getting closer brings the beer with dark roasty stout malts, plenty of dark chocolate and cocoa, fudgey, with lots of vanilla and baking spices, cookie dough with vanilla ice cream and buttery oak as well, plenty of coconut in the center blended nicely with the vanilla, and no real alcohol after the bourbon, even getting some butterscotch

Taste brings big chocolate coconut up front, dark chocolate cocoa and a little fudgey, with fresh coconut shavings and coconut milk, then into big vanilla, and again that vanilla ice cream like character, dark roasty malts in the background bring more baking spices and cookie dough, a bit of buttery oak in the background, switching to bourbon juice, like a nice juicy bourbon flavor with vanilla and caramel in juice form with very low alcohol burn, smooth and rich, a touch of bitterness late, lingering very light spicy hops and roasted malt bitterness, a bit of perfumey but smooth alcohol, lingering caramel, cocoa, a little coconut cream

Mouth is full bod, rich heavy but smooth and not oily or boozy, some warm slight tingly alcohol that increases as it warms, lower carb but OK for the style

Overall this was worth the hype. Alcohol was hidden fairly well, loads of all the awesome flavors between dark chocolate, coconut, vanilla, and bourbon, although I would have liked the bourbon to last a bit more as it was up front on the nose then disappeared, and on the back end of the taste but didn't stay too long, however, I will def be buying this again even for the high price tag.

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jlindros from Massachusetts, Jan 03, 2020
Bourbon Paradise from Prairie Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 637 ratings