Pirate Noir | Prairie Artisan Ales

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Pirate NoirPirate Noir
665 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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 665 |  Reviews: 142
Photo of kylehay2004
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of jaydoc
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of acurtis
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 7/8/15.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy super dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. A foamy lattice of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, dark fruit, rum, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, char, dark fruit, rum, wood, and slight soy sauce flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with great rum barrel aged aromas, but there is a slight soy sauce flavor that diminishes the drinkability for me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of GRG1313
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours black and pours thick with a nice khaki head that quickly fades

Nose is a bit sweet boozy but nice. Chocolate and vanilla tones; mild toffee notes.

Mouth feel is thick and creamy with light carbonation and is inviting.

Flavors are licorice, booze, burnt toast, dark black coffee, and hints of sweeter Irish Whiskey.

Finish is long and booze with a big licorice/anise carryover from taste profile.

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Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of djrn2
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

With a get-back-to-roots value and a decadent rum accented taste, the somber imperial stout of Prairie joins forces wit an extended rum-barrel aged character and an absolute monster is formed.

Rich on the nose, the robust fragrance of dark chocolate, french press coffee, toffee and coconut lay on the nose above a dainty chantilly lace of foam and an ominously dark body. Its taste is savagely sweet with brown sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, chocolate and roast.

As the sweetness wraps around the tongue, its large linger of sweetness is linked with the spicy tingle of cinnamon, peppercorn, fennel, coffee and cocoa. Creamy sweet flavors of french vanilla coats the tongue while its sweet and lathery character takes on a broad woodsy layer of flavor.

Long, sweet and rummy, the texture is deep and strong keeping a molasses tilt until the complementary tastes of coconut wheat, chocolate and smoky char chase a long kaluha, rum and whisky tone.

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Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kojevergas
3.3/5  rDev -21.4%
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 emerge077
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jet black, thin layer of tan foam on the surface. No lace really, but that's to be expected for a 12% BA beer. Dissipates to a glassy still obsidian surface.

Aroma is ok at first, rum and pecan, cola, vanilla. Oxidized malt creeps in soon after.
Feels a little rough, slightly astringent and fairly boozy. Roast malt, rum soaked, dry and prickly alcohol heat. Minor pecan and cola rum notes, dry and astringent from the booze. Overall it's a slow sipper, probably best consumed in the dead of winter.

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 11/14/2016. Pours dense pitch black color with a small dense tan head with solid retention, that reduces to a minimal spotty lacing cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, fudge, vanilla, coconut, cream, toasted oak, brown sugar, and dark bread; with lighter notes of molasses, rum raisin, fig, date, cherry, licorice, smoke, charcoal, roast/toast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and rum barrel notes; with great strength. Increasing booziness in the aromas as it warms, but not overwhelming. Taste of huge dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, fudge, vanilla, coconut, cream, toasted oak, brown sugar, and dark bread; with lighter notes of molasses, rum raisin, fig, date, cherry, licorice, smoke, charcoal, roast/toast/oak earthiness. Light roast/char bitterness and rum/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, fudge, vanilla, coconut, cream, toasted oak, brown sugar, dark bread, rum, light dark fruit/molasses, and roast/toast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and rum barrel flavors; with a great roasted bitter/sweet and rum/oak spiciness balance; and zero cloying/astringent flavors after the finish. Light dryness from roast bitterness and rum/oak spiciness, lightly increasing through the glass. Light-medium carbonation and full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky, and lightly slick/chalky/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is great. A small pleasant warmth of alcohol from 12%, with minimal barrel booziness. Overall this is an incredible barrel aged imperial stout. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and rum barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV. Incredible stout/barrel balance; never acrid/astringent on roast or tannic/drying on the barrel. A highly enjoyable offering.

 2,107 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a deep black color stout with a medium size deep brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of deep sweet roasted malt notes with some chocolate and rum notes are also noticeable. Taste is a mix of sweet black chocolates with some rum notes and light oak notes are also noticeable. Body is full with nice oily texture and good carbonation with some arming alcohol notes. Another intense imperial stout from Prairie.

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Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mothman
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black. Tan head.

Thick and heavy. The rum and spice notes are awesome. Chocolate and oak with vanilla, raisins, and molasses.

Thick and chewy. Roasted feel.

One of the best noirs out there.

2016 vintage:
Just a good. The rum is delicate but noticeable. Dark fruits, dark chocolate, and barrels. Spices and molasses. So much flavor. A nice treat.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a thick viscous opaque (yet still clear) 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 two finger tall foamy dark mocha head that reduces to a large patch of thin film covering a little more than 80% of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark malts, roasted malts, charred malts, cocoa powder, vanilla, dark fruit (plum), and rum with moderate aromas of wood/oak barrels.

T: Upfront there are slightly heavier than moderate flavors of dark malts, roasted malts, and charred malts with moderate amounts of lactose + dark fruit (plum) sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of cocoa + dark chocolate + vanilla and moderate to strong flavors of rum + wood/oak barrels. Light amounts of roasty bitterness but the lingering flavor is a moderate amount of lactose sweetness.

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

O: I like the combination of rum barrel and Prairie Noir -nice rich combination of flavors of aromas. Enjoyable and a nice slow sipper, very dessert-like.

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Photo of largadeer
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chinchill
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Shared large bottle. Poured very dark and opaque but with red-toned edges.

Feel: Very full thick feel with low but adequate carbonation. Alcohol burn reduces the rating.

Flavor: Tastes very rich with moderate complexity. Prudently restrained rum barrel effects.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Black color with mocha head. Aroma has intense dark malt, dark sugar and some spirit barrel, I wouldn't really guess it's rum. Taste starts promising with chocolate, fudge, caramel and some vanilla sweetness. In the middletaste I get a weird acrid flavor, maybe some tannins from the wood barrels. This doesn't fit very well with the rest of the flavors. Body is heavy and has a very smooth mouthfeel. Really nice overall. The only thing that spoils it a bit for me is the slightly tart note from the taste.

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Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Pirate Noir from Prairie Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 665 ratings