Pirate Noir | Prairie Artisan Ales

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Pirate NoirPirate Noir
659 Ratings
Pirate NoirPirate Noir

Brewed by:
Prairie Artisan Ales
Oklahoma, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Stout aged in Jamaican Rum Barrels

Added by russpowell on 05-10-2013

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 659 |  Reviews: 141
Photo of IndyHop-s
1/5  rDev -76.1%

Photo of TheMrFarnham
2/5  rDev -52.3%

Photo of Basoos1
2.5/5  rDev -40.3%

Photo of Chingringo
2.75/5  rDev -34.4%

Photo of Jaywalsh20
2.92/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of hiphopj5
3/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of jegross2
3/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of Hophead717
3/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of duff247
3/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of drummermattie02
3/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of SenatorSpaceman
3.02/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Photo of greg4579
3.17/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Photo of MinorThreat
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%

Photo of kristougher
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%

Photo of phishphorce
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%

Photo of chippo33
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%

Photo of thampel09
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.26/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received [email protected] in NBS BIF #6. Thanks Michael!
Undated, unless they use a Julian date code - 31916. Stored in a 42 degree reefer and served at 57 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 3.
Body – Dark brown/black, opaque.
Head – None. There is a brief fizziness around the pour site, but this ends with the pour. Very much later, a

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Photo of kojevergas
3.3/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Currently #15 in the Top 100 Oklahoma Beers list.

BOTTLE: Brown glass. 12 fl oz format. Branded pry-off crown cap. Acquired at a beer store in Austin, TX for ~$12 USD. Distributed by the Shelton Bastards (hence the high price). Bottled 12/17.

"Imperial Stout aged in Jamaican rum barrels." 12% ABV.

HEAD: ~1.5cm in height. Tan in colour. Not as creamy or frothy as one would hope, nor as robust; it's slightly thin and dies within 30 seconds, leaving no lacing on the sides of the glass.

BODY: Predictably and true to style, it's an opaque black. No yeast/lees are visible within.

Appears low in carbonation, which is fine in this style. It's not a great appearance for an imperial stout, but it can be forgiven for issues such as poor head retention given its 12% ABV.

AROMA: Vanillin. A scintilla of coconut. Specialty chocolate malt. Dark malt sweetness. I'm not getting any roasted barley/carafa. Vanilla bean.

It's quite reticent, actually, lacking evocative expressive aromatics. Still, the vanilla is teasingly enticing. I don't get any overt rum notes, just the tagalong vanilla and coconut I'd look for in a bourbon or rum barrel aged beer. Lacks any obvious oaky aromatics.

Suggests a somewhat shallow imperial stout with a well disguised ABV but not much in the way of evocative distinct flavours.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Thick and coating, with a slightly chewy mouthfeel. Not syrupy, but it is treacly and viscous. Slightly coarse and slightly dry. I'm not sure this is a better approach than a more standard smooth wet mouthfeel, but it's definitely balsy. Full-bodied and devoid of true faults (astringency, gushed characteristics, booziness beyond ABV expectations, etc.).

Taste is sweet but not cloying, hitting on big malty notes...chocolate specialty malt, dark malt/schwarz malts, probably 2-row. There's not much coming in from the base beer beyond that, which is unfortunate; I'm missing roasted barley, black patent malt, coffee-like bitterness, etc.

The barrel injects more flavour than the base does, bringing in nice notes of subtle coconut and obvious vanillin. Some barrel sugars too, I guess, but no rich white oak or toastiness, nor anything distinctly rum barrel-redolent. I'm not finding the sugarcane/rum flavour one would encounter in, say, Avery Brewing's rum barrel aged beers.

As reticent and shallow as the aroma, lacking expressive flavours and depth of flavour. It's a convoluted murky mess of flavour, lacking harmony and intentionality towards a cohesive gestalt whole of a beer. Slightly imbalanced with its high sweetness rendering it less drinkable than it ought to be, but I'll commend it for not letting its hefty 12% ABV shine through as much as it could.

Not oily, hot, scratchy, or harsh.

OVERALL: I do like it, and I'll enjoy sipping it for a good while, but its thick chewy mouthfeel may make it a slog for some. In a style renowned for its potential in terms of complexity, richness, and depth of flavour, this doesn't measure up to the best expressions thereof, and the rum barrel aging doesn't bring as much to the table flavourwise as one would wish.

Picking different rum barrels with more of an affinity for synergy with the base beer's flavours might be a good start to improving this, but longer time in barrels (and by the way, do tell us how long you aged it for transparency, Prairie) is definitely needed. I'd hate to see Prairie lean on the crutch of additives to make this better, but I can't help but think actual vanilla bean, coconut shavings, cacao nibs, and/or interesting coffee might be warranted.

Not amongst Prairie's best, but that says more about Prairie's high quality than it does about this generally likable brew. I wouldn't buy this again at its Shelton Bastards price and there are far better beers in the style to be had for less - barrel aged or not.

I wouldn't recommend it to others, but it's worthy of a try once and I'm glad I got to try it. Taking a step back, it's remarkable beers like this even exist in Oklahoma, but how did Prairie get Pirate Bomb! so right and this so...underwhelming?

Low B- (3.30) / WORTHY

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Photo of homebrew311
3.31/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours opaque black with razor thin head. Pretty lifeless appearance. Nose starts with a strong and astringent rum character paired with light chocolate and some wood. Smells a bit oxidized. Taste is one note with this rum character dominating the palate. The base stout just does not hold up to the barrel treatment in this case. Mouthfeel is a tad thin for style with mellow carbonation and a slight boozy heat at the finish. This beer was overall pretty forgettable. I had the pirate bomb immediately following this beer, which was proof that prairie knows how to use a rum barrel, just didn't work for this beer.

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Photo of SomethingClever
3.34/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into snifter

A: black in appearance with a small head that is chocolate in color that is gone in a flash

S: The rum is front and center with that molasses and burnt sugary smell but there is a good deal of chocolate on the nose as well

T: has a flat soda coca cola like flavor the flavors are hard to distinguish alcohol is very present chocolate I can not taste

M: thin and flat tasting

O: Very disappointed in this that coca cola flat flavor is not what I'm looking for in a beer. This is my first disappointment with rum barrel aging. If I didn't know this was a stout I never would have guessed from the flavor.

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Photo of nrbirge
3.41/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Tertullian007
3.42/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jason3125
3.42/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells of rum, burnt sugar, and coke. The taste follows the smell. It taste like a Vanilla Coke with rum. The beer is way to sweet and lacking any complexity. The mouthfeel is thin and flat.

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Photo of drone
3.47/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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Pirate Noir from Prairie Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 659 ratings