Prairie Artisan Ales

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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #35
Ranked #131
4.52 | pDev: 8.19%
Prairie Artisan Ales
Oklahoma, United States
Notes: Imperial stout aged on coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and ancho chili peppers.

ABV varies by batch.
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Reviews: 1,095 | Ratings: 6,570 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JayQue
JayQue from Virginia

4.29/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really good stout!!!! I bought a 12 oz. bottle at Half Time Distributors in Poughkeepsie NY, mainly because I am collecting bottle caps from all 50 states and Oklahoma was a real "find". I had no idea how really good this beer would be. Pours a totally dense black color with no light coming through. Surprising medium size dark tan/brown head with, what I would consider, a very long lasting head for a 13% abv beer. Aroma and taste have it all for a stout. Rich malty presence, strong coffee and chocolate presence, a little vanilla (good for me since I don't like prominent vanilla in my stouts and porters). I may have picked up some mild chili peppers in the first taste, but not after that. Mouthfeel is rich and fairly smooth, but with a little alcohol "bite" as befits the high octane. An excellent stout, I would gladly drink this one again as long as I was not expected to function 100% afterwards!!

Yesterday at 12:49 AM
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barnzy78 from Illinois

4.37/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle
date stamp says 02.04.2021 but I can’t tell if it’s a bottled on date or a best by date
knocking one off the top 250 list - I’m surprised at how many times I’ve passed on this one
12% ABV
L: jet black body, very thin brown head disappears quickly
S: coffee, cocoa, vanilla, roast, molasses
T: rich, sweet, spicy, complex: dark baker’s chocolate, roasted barley, coffee, cacao, molasses, vanilla, caramel, toffee, chili pepper, earthy hops
F: full body but could be fuller, boozy and a rich sipper, dark chocolate and chili pepper heat lingers
O: flavors and depth of complexity carry this one - it’s very good

Jul 25, 2021
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BucBasil from Rwanda

4.61/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer is a pure black color with a creamy dark brown head of one finger after a hard pour.

Smell is creamy with chocolate and mocha and vanilla. Not really toasty which is what I would have expected from this, but really like a candy bar. But this is not just a sugar bomb, it seems pleasantly sweet smelling, not cloyingly so. Not much in the way of pepper aroma.

Chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream, slight coffee way in the back. Mocha throughout. Spicy note comes in at the very end, almost in the throat, as a slight sting after swallowing. Balanced. Not super complex, but what it does it does super well.

Incredibly smooth. A real dessert beer for sure, but not sugary. It's like a quality fudge. I had high hopes for this one, and it didn't disappoint.

Jul 18, 2021
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blazerkor from Nevada

4.8/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I can smell the cocoa and coffee but besides that I'm just getting sweet malts.

I get a lot of chocolate flavors with an added coffee decadence.

It has a medium mouthfeel with just a little carbonation for something akin to velvet. It has a bitter finish that lasts a long time.

While I'm not getting the complexities promised of vanilla and chilis this is so so delicious. It's so well balanced and I barely pick up the 12 abv. I give it a 5.8 out of 6. BOOM!

Jul 01, 2021
Photo of bindtortureill

4.22/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bought on a recommendation at Blackbeard's Crafts on Sawtelle, this one surprised me. Everything in it is subservient to the cacao-- the vanilla stands in for sugar, the coffee offers bitterness where the malty stout would itself refuse to. It does really remind you of a milkshake, but not quite because of any desserty cloying sweetness. It's the viscosity, the half-and-half mouthfeel that delivers the vanilla and cacao while somehow sneaking in a full 12 or 13 percent ABV when you can barely even register the burn. Mine poured into a snifter with no head and barely even the sound of fizziness, and on the nose it's pure dessert-- chocolate milk or devil's food cake. I try not to inhale too much as I drink it, because I want to catch the ancho chili and the beer in a way that the aroma doesn't carry. Usually, this is not my kind of thing-- I don't like foreign flavors as a dominant element, and I like for a fine food to carry more layers, or maybe more variance between its layers. "Bomb!", instead, wields its complexity in a way that focuses your attention onto that single 65-percent-cacao sensory simulacrum, making you wonder how this is even beer.

I wanted to finish by saying that I respect this beer but didn't plan to buy another. Unfortunately for me, this beer feels like a perfect match for some of my favorite domestic blue cheeses. Rogue Creamery's exquisite "Caveman Blue" sings in the same key as this stout, and I have no choice but to try them together.

Jun 18, 2021
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MostlyMetalz from Illinois

3.76/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I'm just not one for spicy beer. I've tried a few different years of this one and I just can't get past the bite of that spice. I know that's the point of the beer, just not my thing.

Jun 15, 2021
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JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

There's good carbonation, despite absolutely no head in the clear pint glass after this was emptied from a twelve ounce brown bottle. A hot peppery smell dominates and behind it, some roasted malt and chocolate. The color of this brew is the common black coffee and without any head, nor lacing, this looks like it could be a black coffee soda. But the taste is so much more complex and interesting. First, this is incredibly smooth for a laceless stout. It has a very good body, rich and velvety across the tongue. There's much to taste, mostly chocolate, somehow neither sweet, nor bitter, a hint of vanilla and just a little peppery heat. It's definitely not a burn, just a little heat. Actually, there's more pepper to the nose than to the taste. But that's OK. Why argue with a near perfect balance. Absolutely no clue that this rings in with an astonishing 13% ABV. This might not be the best brew you've ever had, but it is certainly one you must try, should the chance arise.

May 07, 2021
Photo of chitoryu12
chitoryu12 from Florida

4.05/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Extremely dark chocolate brown, almost black. One finger of fizzy tan head with short retention.

Smell: Dark chocolate, roast coffee, a little chili pepper.

Taste: Milder than expected. Mocha, a tiny hint of smoky chili. No real hop presence at all, bitterness included.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy, with mild carbonation.

Overall: Despite the reputation of the Bomb, I found it to be very similar to numerous other imperial stouts and not really a standout offer. Their Christmas Bomb was far better.

Apr 16, 2021
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Sigmund from Norway

3.31/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. Black colour, no head. Aroma of coffee and woodwork. Sweet flavour with loads of coffee, molasses, caramel, oak and vanilla.

Mar 22, 2021
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beerbully from New Jersey

4.19/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L- Jet black....mocha head...... moderate lacing

S-Aroma is faint......notes of chocolate, vanilla, caramel, slight coffee and a small whiff of the pepper

T-Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, chili's.....

F-Medium bodied.....some slight prickliness from the carb.....some heat from the booze and chili's

O- Solid, enjoyable but was hoping for more given the price

Mar 13, 2021
Photo of Limazulu
Limazulu from Idaho

4.72/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A-deep dark mahogany, no head to speak of
S-coffee, chocolate, and a bit of the chilis but no one note overpowers. That said, this was the least impactful element of the beer for me
T-a magical concoction. The coffee, vanilla, chocolate and chili peppers all in balance. Didn't even mention the alcohol because the 13% ABV hides so well, this drinks more like a 10-11%. Not overly sweet, bitter enough to balance things. Gotta give it a 5 of 5. The chilis shine on the backend after a few minutes.
M-Medium (+) body, below avg carbonation, pretty dang smooth and chewy.
O-A top-10 beer for me.

Mar 06, 2021
Photo of PepRyan
PepRyan from Louisiana

4.73/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: poured into Spiegelau stout glass, half inch reddish mocha head sits upon a full black. Pours a flat, creamy consistency.

Smell: coffee and vanilla bean first, chili in background, chocolate is surprisingly somewhat hidden.

Taste: coffee coffee coffee. Chocolate/ Vanilla bean throughout. Chili pepper on backend. Extremely flavorful and sweet, almost overwhelming at first... flavors settle after a few sips. Slightly boozy but alcohol content is scarily well-masked.

Feel: flat and creamy at first and then medium carbonation punches you on on the swallow, when chili also becomes evident...really well executed.

Overall: great beer. Flavors are impeccably balanced. It is extremely flavorful, couldn’t finish a 12 oz bottle, but perfect for sharing in a tulip on rainy, moonless nights.

Jan 31, 2021
Photo of Wattie83
Wattie83 from Pennsylvania

4.59/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter. Looks black with a dark tan head that starts thick and falls to a collar of suds. Smell hits hard with cocoa up front, coffee, a bit of pepper but it's subdued to me. Taste has a lot of depth and character. Starts sweet with chocolate and cream. Middle brings in coffee, sweet raisin and almost a berry jam. It's a good balance of sweet and bitter.. Finish gives you the pepper heat with a cocoa aftertaste. Let it linger in your mouth and you get a bit of tobacco too. Feel is medium body with very little carbonation. Coats the tongue but doesn't linger. Overall, this is a fantastic drink. It is complex, interesting, and changes nicely as it warms. Every sip is inviting. Higher ABV is well hidden. Excellent beer lives up to its reputation.

Jan 20, 2021
Photo of Rapscullion
Rapscullion from Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2020 brew poured Jan 2021 into own brewery goblet. Jet black with insignificant head and no effervesence.
Light fragrance spices riding on coffee.
Sweet lead immediatly followed by bitter espresso and milk chocolate, raisins and a hint of port wine. There is a persistent bitterrness on the long finish with a subtle ancho chili burn that is accentuated if you take a quick second sip.
Mouthfeel is on the lighter side but carries great depth of flavor with no reliance on barrel aging.
A very well made beer and I was very impressed by the sublety of the chili. Too much coffee for my taste that left an unpleasant bitterness on the finish. Interesting but not one I would rush to seek out. Will leave the other one in the cellar a few months and see if it improves.

Jan 11, 2021
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12ArmedGoon from Kansas

4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was my first beer from Prairie, and it's been one of my favorite shelf beers since then. Around here it runs about $5.49-6.49/12oz bottle. A bit pricey, but for what you get in the bottle, it's worth my money.

Standard stout appearance. Dark body, tan head. Not incredibly thick, but good character.

Smell is almost all chocolate and coffee.

Taste follows smell with slight pepper burn on the back end. The pepper is mellow compared to beers like Mexican Cake, but it's definitely there.

Feel is nice. Like I said earlier, not thiccc, but kinda slick. Leaves a coating on the tongue.

Overall, this is a beer a walk past a lot lately, but it's always good a special place in my heart. My favorite shelf beer by far!

Jan 05, 2021
Photo of NCSapiens
NCSapiens from Indiana

4.44/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured on draft into a snifter. Nearly black color and viscous looking body. Light beige ring around the rim dissipates leaving no head or lacing. Appearance is attractive but nothing particularly special or out of the ordinary. The aroma is quite nice, mostly a sweet smelling cocoa with a hint of vanilla and spice. The flavor profile is perfectly balanced with no off-tasting notes. Cocoa nibs dance around with coffee and vanilla. Mild ancho chili spice rounds out the taste, keeping this interesting and preventing it from becoming cloying. This is on the sweeter side, and while there is a hint of roasted chocolate malt, it isn’t dry or smoky like some stouts. Highly potent at 13% abv, but the alcohol is masked. The mouthfeel and body is nearly perfect. Overall an outstanding tasting beer with a nice creamy mouthfeel. I’m glad to get a break from all the barrel aging on this one and still enjoy rich and complex flavors.

Jan 02, 2021
Photo of nick_perry
nick_perry from North Carolina

4.88/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Silky smooth texture. Rich flavors of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla. Chili note is fairly subdued, but balances the sweetness. Fairly low carbonation, head is nonexistent. You feel the alcohol, but it doesn’t taste too boozy.

Dec 26, 2020
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk from Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Utter blackness, rich cocoa/tan head, a good 1/2" sitting pretty on top.

In the nose: chili pops out first, coffee next, then cocoa fills in next....sweet, hot, rich, immense.

In the mouth: sweetness first, coffee follows, then comes the heat. Nicely integrated hugeness--a calamity of flavors that somehow comes together. More sweet, more chocolate, more coffee, more huge. The chili becomes a little more subdued as the other flavors commingle.

Has alcohol arrived yet? Oh, it's only 13%, is it? It's slowly, inevitably becoming apparent.

Boom, boom,'s a BOMB!

Oh, this is tasty. The chili heat takes a back seat at first, letting the other flavors shine.

Tremendous beer, simply amazing. Astonishingly good.

Dec 16, 2020
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

4.38/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 fl. oz. bottle dated 01/06/2020. Sampled Dec 5, 2020.

Gorgeous dark brown to black pour with very dark, foamy head that slowly fades to nothing.

Big aromas of chocolate, vanilla and a hint of coffee.

The body is better than medium but also chewy.

The taste is sweet and full of chocolate and vanilla. I pick up some of the 12% alcohol in the taste. Warming finish. Slow sipper.

Dec 05, 2020
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TedHead from Illinois

4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a totally black with a near non existent head. It smells mostly like vanilla with hints of chocolate and coffee underneath. The taste is mainly a sweet dark chocolate with vanilla and a slight coffee bitterness with a very slight hint of the pepper on the finish as it warms up. This one is very lightly carbonated and goes down more than easily for 12% alcohol. Overall a very very good stout.

Nov 26, 2020
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Scotchboy from Idaho

4.33/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle of the 2020 vintage, poured into a goblet.

A: Pours dark as night and fairly viscous; opaque in the glass, with a dense mocha-colored head.

S: I expected less cocoa nibs and vanilla honestly, but this is all milk chocolate and solid roast malt with dose of mocha coffee and a sweet vanilla twist; peppers and spices are fairly invisible.

T: Yeah, it’s the same as the nose, just solidly sweet and roasty with mild coffee notes and faint peppery/cinnamon on the finish. It’s delicious.

MF: Smooth, lower carbonation, creamy, full body.

O: Really enjoyed this one; would have liked more coffee and a touch more spice/heat, but this is still delicious.

Nov 22, 2020
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trevormajor from Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle cellared at 53F poured into a tulip snifter. 2020 Vintage
L - Dark with a dark frothy head that disappeared quickly with no lacing
S - Dark cocoa, coffee, malt, vanilla. Complex and intriguing
T - So delicious! Malty chocolate cocoa flavor up front with a subtle chili shot on the finish
F - Frothy and full bodied, thick mouthfeel, almost like drinking a melted milkshake
O - Excellent beer, thick and very flavorful. Can't tell it's 12%. Chili is understated, which is perfect for me!

Sep 23, 2020
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TheBeerWolf from Nevada

2.63/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is a strange one. I love imperial stout especially big strong ones. However I prefer them a bit drier I suppose. This is much too cloyingly sweet for me. The nose is mostly chili. It looks decent like thick motor oil has legs. No head to speak of though. As I said taste is too sweet. I don’t get much other than booze and the chilis. Mouthfeel is super thick. Overall disappointed I paid so much for the bottle. I usually go for even more Jesus love that one way more, or Stone IRS. I have had so many of the style I enjoy a lot, can’t say this was one of them.

Sep 14, 2020
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Yokoono76 from Colorado

4.63/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A glorious, dark chocolate, thick, almost black look. No head at all, sparse froth along time of glass. Looks like a gloriously dark cup of coffee. The smell is delicious! Coffee and chocolate perfection dance in the nose. Rich caramel notes appear as well. The taste is extraordinary! Rich, sweet dark chocolate, with mild coffee and buttery mouthfeel. Vanilla beans add warmth and comfort to the mouth, in a subtle manner. Chili peppers are not forward and present themselves, just barely after crawling up the throat. Just an ever since slight heat. The feel, is silky and rich, but not heavy. This is an excellent beer and would be perfect for and after dinner desert. Mmmm, it’s delicious!

Jun 15, 2020
Photo of just1cho
just1cho from California

4.38/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

*Poured into a Teku glass from a 12oz bottle*

The look of this beer was a very dark brown, reminiscent of cold brew coffee. This honestly didn't really have a head to it, so I can't really comment on the head, but there was a very thin dark drown lacing around my glass.

The aroma was heavy on the ancho chilies, which was super pungent upfront. It wasn't a one-note smell though, the ancho chillies served as a backbone for an overall savory, slightly sweet, and unique aroma supported by bitter coffee notes and a slight caramel sweetness from the roasted malts. The aroma almost reminded me a little of Korean red pepper paste, but I can also see people thinking this also smells a bit like soy sauce.

The taste more or less followed the aroma. The taste of the ancho chillies with a mellow coffee backbone permeated throughout the entire stout from start to finish. Although this beer primarily tasted of ancho chilies, I was also really able to taste most of the different flavorings added to this beer. Upfront, you get the taste of ancho chilies with a mellow coffee herbalness/bitterness that was complimented with a caramel sweetness. The sweet taste of the caramel seemingly disappeared towards the middle and end, which left me with the roasty taste of coffee that was also paired with notes of bitter dark chocolate and of course, ancho chillies. I couldn't necessarily taste the vanilla beans which was added to this, but I felt like it served to mellow and round out the other bolder ingredients which were added.

The feel on this was medium to full bodied, had little to no noticeable carbonation, and had a moderate lingering bitterness. All which contributed in making a silky smooth drinking experience. For the ABV, this was stupid drinkable and I felt like I had to keep reminding myself to slow it down and sip. That being said, I couldn't really taste the alcohol in this and there weren't any burning sensations.

Overall, I have to say that this was definitely one of the more unique beers that I've ever had. The addition of ancho chillies worked pretty well when combined with coffee, cacao nibs, and vanilla beans, which I felt made this beer a satisfying explosion (no pun intended) of savoriness, sweetness, and roasty bitterness. Definitely good, and definitely worth the price tag.

Jun 14, 2020
Bomb! from Prairie Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 6570 ratings