BOMB! | Prairie Artisan Ales

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Brewed by:
Prairie Artisan Ales
Oklahoma, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial stout aged on coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and ancho chili peppers.

ABV varies by batch.

Added by MinorThreat on 05-29-2013

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Reviews: 897 | Ratings: 5,798
Photo of n2185
4.12/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with half a finger of brown head that fades into a frothy ring with little lacing.

S: Roasted malts with a lot of rich milk and dark chocolate and cacao notes. Booze and a touch of coffee and char come through as well.

T: Roasted malts here as well with creamy chocolate, cacao, a bit of robust coffee, some char, and a lightly boozy finish (considering its abv).

M: Very viscous body with low carbonation, this beer is silky smooth.

O: A good beer, overall. Very rich and decadent without being overly boozy or sweet.

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Photo of lewzer99
4.12/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: dark black-brown with a crema colored head 3.5
S: toasted coffee comes through strong, with hints of malty sweetness
T: loads of coffee that lingers through the end, some chocolate, some hot peppers, a bit of malty sweetness
M: thick an creamy
O: quite good. A favorite coffee stout

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Photo of TigheC
4.12/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Side-by-side with Hunahpu's and Abraxas. I rank it third among the three, however it is far from disappointing! As it warms the flavors become more present. Less spice among the three, which is what I was seeking out. Cinnamon would be a good addition. Great coffee flavors, hints of chocolate and a very mild heat from the chilis. Not overpowering or lingering. The 12oz bottle is perfect for a solo drink.

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Photo of zac16125
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a snifter
no bottling dates

Thanks to Narthax for sending this one over in a trade!

A: Pours an opaque jet black with 1 fingers width of dense, dark mocha colored head. Head dissipates down at a moderate rate.

S: Big coffee upfront paired with an equally big peppery heat are the first aromas I get. This is followed by roasted malt, subtle vanilla, and a burnt plastic-like aroma. I dont get much cocoa/chocolate at all, and probably wouldnt have even noticed it if it wasnt listed on the bottle.

T: Roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee are the first flavors I get. Cocoa is more prevalent in the taste than in the aroma. Chili peppers are noticeable but pretty subtle. Not nearly as much heat as a few other pepper stouts Ive had. Good but pretty one dimensional is that its so roasted flavors forward, and IMO it would benefit from a bigger pepper kick.

M/D: Full body but not thick, pretty smooth, drinkability is good, ABV is very well masked.

O: Very good, but I expected more. There are other chili stouts I prefer to this one like Huna, Mexican Cake and Lucador to name a few. Certainly worth a try though.

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Photo of mickmanhattan
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

$10 for 8oz pour at local bar. Drank from snifter.

It kind of tastes like a chocolate Pepsi mixed with vodka. It definitely improves as it warms up. Tastes light for a 13%. I would buy it again, but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.14/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

No wax... newer bottle... poured into tulip glass.

A- Dark, almost coffee brown. No speakable head, but thin layer of redish-brown bubbles.
S- Smell is complex. I get dark coco and peppers, but the coffee smells almost freeze-dried... not super appealing.
T- Again as complex as the smell. Waves of sweet and heat. Dark coco and light coffee, followed by pepper, washed away be coco and vinilla. Very well balanced. For being such a high ABV, I expected to taste the alcohol, but it is nicely hidden.
M- Smooth, but chalky at the same time. The chalky is like the mouthfeel of eating dark chocolate bars... not a bad feel, but intersting in beer.
O- I wanted to like this more with all the hype, but I wan't blown away. It's very, very good, but not as perfect as I thought it would be. Maybe the flavors have to meld for a while longer... glad I have two more bottles.

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Photo of Rob23
4.14/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a very special stout.Pours almost pure black with a half inch head but I was careful on my pour.Nice frothy lacing that goes away and leaves a little ring around the head.Smell is coffee right away and alcohol to follow.First taste is coffee and then as I swallow here comes the chilis which I am sure cannot be good for my acid reflux but I had to gamble with this is warm and fizzy.This is not my favorite stout but it is definatly different and lives up to the hype in my opinion for at least originality.A bit boozy for my liking but all in all a great stout if you are open minded.

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Photo of kojevergas
4.14/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing colourful label and orange wax-ed over pry-off cap served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. 13% ABV. Reviewed as an imperial stout because the label clearly identifies it as an "imperial stout aged on coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and chili peppers." Distributed by the Shelton Bastards.

Served chilled. Side-poured.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a quarter finger wide head of fairly rich tan colour. Nice thickness and creaminess. Decent complexion. Unfortunately, the head retention is poor - maybe 1 minute at best. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a predictable opaque solid black. Not quite a jet black, but certainly nontranslucent and nontransparent. No floating yeast particles or hop sediment is visible. Appears undercarbonated.

The head doesn't set itself apart; it lacks the richness and vibrance of superior beers in the style. Not unique or special. There are no obvious flaws.

Sm: Rich cacao nibs dominate. It's not a dusty or powdery cacao character, but rather feels like a very evocative, saliva-inducing chocolate. Right behind it in prominence is some coffee of equally impressive depth, evoking a subtle roastiness and layers of java. The base is your usual dark malt and chocolate malt foundation, but it's unobtrusive and seems to let the more interesting notes shine.

As far as any vanilla beans or chili peppers? Hm. I do find hints of faint chili powder - as though chili powder cut with Mexican chocolate, but honestly I wouldn't notice the chili character without prompting. And forget the vanilla beans; I'm not finding them at all.

No yeast, alcohol, or hops are detectable.

It seems to have the perfect amount of sweetness and I think it's a lovely aroma for an imperial stout. There's some faint cream and just a hint of roasted barley - which plays with the coffee roast wonderfully.

That said, it's quite a timid aroma for a 13% ABV imperial stout. Certainly understated, but I'd call it subtle rather than reticent. It's teasing. I can't wait for the first sip.

As it warms, I am noticing more and more chili powder on the back end.

T: Gorgeous. The cacao nibs are the stars here, blending beautifully with the dark malt/chocolate malt base and the subtle coffee roast. Though it's worth pointing out that taken on their own, neither the cacao nib character nor the coffee character is particularly deep. I've experienced far superior individual coffee and cacao notes in other beers in the style, but there they blend wonderfully, and the balance is impressive. Warm Mexican chocolate-esque chili pepper/powder is present throughout, but gears up more in the 3rd act without feeling too hot or spicy. It's hard to execute chili notes so subtly. Vanilla beans? Nowhere to be found.

The ABV is also not coming through; this stuff is dangerously drinkable for 13%. There's no yeast character or hop character either, but in spite of the lack of noticeable hop bitterness the beer never feels too sweet as many imperial stouts are prone to; I think the subtle roasted barley and light coffee roast do the balancing instead of hops.

I pick up on some light cream, and could use more. Overall, this is a delightfully well balanced flavour profile with impressive subtlety, notable nuance, good complexity, and fair intricacy. Good depth of flavour and flavour duration. Average intensity of flavour. It's very cohesive, and nearly gestalt.

I'd like to taste the vanilla bean, though I suppose that would entail more sweetness.

Mf: Lightly creamy. Smooth and wet. Almost perfectly carbonated. Has a nice softness to it. As it warms, the texture feels more and more powdery, crumbly, and dusty - like an unrefined Mexican chocolate. In other words, it feels exactly like the aroma doesn't smell - if that makes any sense. It's surprisingly light and easy on the palate, with a modest weight and not much thickness. The result is a very approachable texture which bolsters drinkability. This is about as far from overbearing and syrupy as an imperial stout can get.

Not oily, gushed, hot, syrupy, astringent, harsh, chewy or boozy - though there is some mild chili warmth.

This texture goes above and beyond, complementing the taste beautifully and coaxing out the nuances of the chocolate specifically; the mouthfeel and taste cooperate to create the effect of a crumbly cacao treat. Well-executed indeed. It's rare that a texture feels this dialed-in to a specific flavour, but boy does it work well here. Masterful work.

The tingly chili warmth is lovely.

Dr: Dangerously drinkable for its well-disguised 13% ABV. I'd absolutely buy it again. Any stout fan would do well to try this. I already want more. I'm glad I greedily kept this to myself instead of sharing it with friends. Some of Prairie's finest work so far - and that's saying a lot.


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Photo of Furlinator
4.14/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black. The 1/2 inch brown head settles to a thin film and ring on top that leaves thick strands of lace.

The smell dominated by spent coffee grounds with dark chocolate and a hint of chili pepper heat.

The taste is of bitter black coffee, faint dark chocolate and spicy chili pepper accents.

The texture is heavy bodied with medium carbonation.

Coffee dominates the aroma and flavor yet, the other ingredients blend into the mixture nicely. The 13% ABV is nearly undetectable. Personally, I am getting no vanilla in the smell or taste. No matter, this is an impressive imperial stout.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark body, reddish-brown highlights, with no real head, no lacing. The body is fine, but without a head, it is not your typical stout.

S - Huge nose of alcohol, big roast with nut and wood, a bit of pepper warmth, chocolate, brownie. Yum.

T - Open is chocolate and full, a quick drop to the middle with a sharp bitter bite, and a slow pepper warmth in the close.

M - Amazing feel, moderate and slick, so much easier than most beers at this ABV. This is the real stand-out characteristic.

O - I cannot say I love pepper infused stouts. But this is one well built version, with a great flavor open, and a feel that makes this a real treat to drink.

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Photo of woemad
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry’s in Spokane for $10.99. Among the numbers stamped on the neck is “20815.” August 20, 2015 born on-date? Your guess is as good as mine.

Poured into a St. Bernardus goblet, this was a blackish looking color that yielded a slightly muddy shade of darkness when held up to direct light. What head there was had a tannish khaki look and was whisper-thin and short-lived. A twirl of the glass briefly created sheets of lace, but they fled at the speed of a Grand Wizard at a rap concert. I didn’t expect much out of a 13% beer, but it was a pretty sad looking display of beer foam nonetheless.

The nose was dark, sweet and (especially) boozy at first. The sweetness of the cocoa and vanilla variety did emerge in greater volume as it warmed up, especially the vanilla, but it continued to smell like a woody booze bomb.

Whoa! Holy fermented liquid chocolate cream pie! Actually that pretty well describes it. It’s much better balanced than in the nose. The vanilla is much more in check for one thing (I’ve come to feel that a little vanilla goes a long way in beer – usually too far). It starts out chocolaty sweet, but the bourbon barrel booze and wood comes through in the second half of the taste. The chili peppers took a while to register, but eventually came to stand out near the finish of the taste. I like that there's just enough to provide a little flavor rather than impersonate the name of the beer, flattening everything else (like most brewers seem to do with chili peppers). One thing I didn’t get much of was coffee, except in a generic, dark malty bitterness way that I’ve found in beers with no coffee whatever in them. Still, it’s delicious, though I’m really glad I was able to get it in the 12oz format. A bomber of this would really be too much of a good thing.

It looked a little watery when I poured it, but the body is actually quite full, with a creamy, coating, velvety mouthfeel.

I was initially underwhelmed by the look and aroma of this beer but I gave it a little time to warm and was rewarded. I don’t know if I can call this the greatest of the style that I’ve had but it’s in the discussion. If it was only cheaper and a little more commonly found locally, I could see myself stocking up on it. As it is, I think I need to locate at least one more and set it aside to see how it ages.

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Photo of JaredinOmaha
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good. Just not great. I've tried this two or three times, trying to find the hype? I will take Founders Breakfast Stout for a quarter of the price. (Only drawback being the chili finish.....which I like a ton.)

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Photo of fx20736
4.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bought a single bottle from Brockport Beverage, Winter 2015/16. Poured into a Duvel tulip at cellar temp.

Look: Black, thin cinnamon head which completely disappears

Smell: complex but I get coffee and chocolate

Taste: coffee, chocolate, some peppery heat

Feel: solid and slippery

Overall: pretty good

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from gregwilsonstl, thanks again for hooking me up with a long time want. Inky black color with a smallish short lived bubbly tan head. Coffee, chocolate, molasses, dried dark fruits, hints of peppers, vanilla and roast. Yeah this one is pretty damn good and hides the alcohol wonderfully! Need more.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Midnight colored body, a rough pour yields only trace head that disappears entirely. Tranquil, no carbonation apparent. It looks like motor oil in a glass, but not as viscous. Nose is sweet, with notes of semisweet chocolate, vanilla, marshmallow, coffee and a bit of its acidity. The vanilla takes the lead on the palate, but the rest of the entourage is close behind with the addition of faint chipotle pepper heat on the finish. I could use a bit more spice from this out-of-left-field flavor, or perhaps just less of the mollifying vanilla and almost out of control sweetness. After a while a note of fleshy overripe fruit like figs or dates comes through. Medium to heavy body, barest amount of carbonation but I wouldn't want any more anyway, fairly sticky. To its credit, the semi-light body is the only giveaway of the massive alcohol presence contained within.
Sugar BOMB! It was well constructed and gave roughly equal representation to each component (too much vanilla too little pepper), but damn was it sweet. It needed a heavier body as well.

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Photo of jdprmd
4.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served at 65 degrees in oversized snifter

This is a good beer. 2 fingers of dark kaki head, black as night. Smell is predominantly coffee and cocoa nibs with a subtle spice diced peppers smell. Taste gets a bit more complex with amplified notes of what you smell… No vanilla at all for me, kinda disappointing there. Feels great on the tongue like any good RIS. As I said at the beginning this is a good beer… this is not a great beer. Abraxas is a vastly superior mexican style imperial stout. Maybe this just needs age… will re review in a year or so.

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Photo of BuccoFan
4.17/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look and lacing is just as I like it for an imperial stout--blackness in most of middle, and a solid light brown head circling. Aroma presents vanilla immediately. Chili is perfect. I actually don't like the habaneroed beers (Cake, Sculpin), so I was concerned about how prominent the bite might be. Turned out to be just right. As with most imperial stouts, this really enhanced itself with warming. My only drawback was that the body was not as robust as I expected for a 13%er. But it's unquestionably a stand-out. For non-BA imperial stouts, I'd still take an Expedition over this, but this was very good.

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Photo of jaredsmith83
4.17/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was one of my more anticipated beers. Poured out dark black with very little head to it that went away almost as soon as I had set it down on the table. The scent wowed me as I really picked up vanilla and coffee. I couldn't really get much of the peppers at first, but they were in there. I got them much more in the taste, however. It wasn't as strong as I had thought it would be for a 13% ABV beer. This one seemed to be a tad more boozy than I had heard from others, but the initial coffee/chocolate hit really started this off right for me. The middle of the glass was where it hit its sweet spot for me. The flavors were mixed best by that point and honestly it was better as it warmed. It was my first experience with a high ABV Imperial Stout and first with a chili pepper blend, but it was a great first experience. Top notch beer.

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Photo of TexasRay54
4.17/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried Prairie Bomb at the Brass Tap in Round Rock, Texas (a great place by the way). This was recommended to me by the Bar Maid who had an absolutely incredible knowledge of her beers. The taste is rich with coffee / chocolate accents - mouthfeel was as smooth as velvet. I sipped and enjoyed this brew for at least 45 minutes - which honestly - is a long time for me to savor any brew. I've got to testify....this a Mighty Fine Ale!

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Photo of Biggtriksta
4.17/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Notes of chocolate and dark, roasty malts and finishes with a bit of heat. This one a little bit more balance in terms of chocolate to chili flavors, which is a positive. I've had some stouts in this same category that are over-the-top hot, which is probably what places this beer towards the top of a lot of people's lists.

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Photo of Rogerlb
4.17/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black from a 12z bottle, looks like it's marked 4/15 so it's about a year old. Looks perfect, with no head. When I stop pouring it attempts to form some suds but gives up the ghost after barely getting a thin layer. No lacing.

Smells like cocoa -- instant chocolate , no coffee, no malt.

Taste is of bitter baker's chocolate, and dark fruit in there quite distinct, along with tart of the fruit. It's very nicely balanced, and malt gives it a caramel body, but doesn't go too bready. Very sippable, almost like a porter rather than an imperial. No push-back at all. Yes, it's resiny and heavy and boozy at the finish but otherwise the alcohol is hidden extremely well. Hard to believe this is 13%.

I'm not getting any of the ancho chili peppers. Maybe it needs to warm... the caramel malt becomes more evident and burnt coffee is a little more obvious as it opens up. Body is getting more complex the longer I swirl and sip --there's the ever so slightest hint of the chili peppers now but I'm looking for it -- the pepper thing is a non-starter, at least for this bottle, oh well.

I have another bottle to age to see if the pepper flavor might come out more -- at $10 a 12oz I'm not sure how many of these I'll be grabbing to experiment further...

Nevertheless, a fine imperial stout that's chocolate forward, and easily drinkable.

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Photo of GallowsThief
4.17/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Can we say thanks again to my man Kevinpitts. Out of a bottle into my tulip.

A – Black pour with a dark brown head that settles down. Looks like liquid chocolate.
S – Great aroma. Chocolate, lactose, vanilla.
T – Taste like liquid dark and milk chocolate to start. Not overly sweet however. Roasted malts, vanilla, brown sugar. Coffee flavors come on with a nice bitter flavor. Touch hot at the end.
M – Low carbonation. Creamy and smooth. Lingers with light sweetness.
O – You feel this beer. The flavors and the bite are wonderful. Mixes the sweet and hot bite well. Winner.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.17/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The nose is pure chocolate and chili pepper. I love how spicy (yet restrained) it seems, and yet the dark chocolate is so damn rich. Flavor wise, it follows the nose beautifully, only with greater touches of roast and coffee. The finish has a gentle spiciness and a touch of vanilla. It's complex, nuanced, and subtle - utterly miraculous for a big, adjunct laden imperial stout. There's no alcohol presence, yet the finish is respectably dry. It's a big, intense monster that's balanced and even delicate. And that, that's what beer is all about.

4.17/5: It's a bomb...and a scalpel at the same time

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Photo of Catracho5
4.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type: 12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Love the cap, my all time favorite now, a catfish.

Appearance: I think this is the best part of the beer, it has a world class appearance, pitch black, no light, nice creamy tan head, a lot of lacing that I have never seen in an imperial stouts.

Smell: Big coffee, a little roasted pepper smell on the end, a little bit of chocolate, but the coffee is the most prevalent aroma.

Taste: Coffee, a little roasted pepper, not getting any chocolate on the taste, some bitterness at the back end, a lot of heat like taking a shot. I think its a combination of the alcohol 13% and the roasted peppers, getting a big dry bitter coffee flavor, it's almost as if I am eating coffee grounds, really close with the dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Really creamy, dry mouthfeel that lingers.

Overall: I am not sure what to think about this beer, too much going on for me, roasted coffee, peppers, bitterness, heat, complex but I am not sure if this is a good thing. I love stouts and porters with peppers, but I think the flavors in this beer don't mix well, leaves a dry coffee bitterness that lingers on the palate. I was expecting more especially for the price, $9.99 for a 12 ounce bottle.

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Photo of Nicolaiw
4.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pour dark brown almost black, small tan head fades right away.
Aroma has cocoa, espresso, chili.
Taste is espresso, cocoa, chili, vanilla, fudge, caramel,

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BOMB! from Prairie Artisan Ales
4.48 out of 5 based on 5,798 ratings.
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