Bomb! | Prairie Artisan Ales

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6,316 Ratings

Brewed by:
Prairie Artisan Ales
Oklahoma, United States

Style: American 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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Ratings: 6,316 |  Reviews: 1,024
Photo of Sammy
3.94/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sweet malt is a bit much, chipotle heat, chocolate.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

unprecedented and miraculous. turns out bourbon barrels aren't required to make excellent stout!? attention beer advocate, this is a public service announcement! rich and elegant as they come, flavorful as any beer out there, cant taste the booze, its close to perfect. motor oil consistency to this one, thick and syrupy and luscious. the color is like good dark coffee, close to black but still showing brown. patchy airy lazy caramel colored head appears. nose is huge, tons of roasty chocolate malt, plenty sweet, fresh and well toasted. the cocoa nibs add a lot aromatically speaking. they give it a buttery vibe and an earthy quality, while the contribution of the vanilla beans in obvious. the chilies are no robust in the nose. the first sip floors me, the texture if this beer is perfect. its so smooth, so soft, so delicate. its abv is impossible to guess, and it finishes long and warm. lots of milk chocolate flavors, and the chili is there just a little. like those good dark chocolate bars with pepper in them, this has that level of refinement as well. vanilla is sweet and dense, but not like the bourbon beers, its less caustic, less charcoal, and even more smoothed out. I cant say enough about this really. its beer drinkers beer, just wish it was more readily available. expect this stuff to blow up to whale status before long, its that good.

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Photo of jaydoc
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Obsidian black with mocha head, viscous pour
S: chocolate, coffee, mild spiciness, cinnamon
T: Coffee, chocolate, minimal spice, vanilla, roasty, mild booziness
M: Chewy, liquid chocolate, mild burn from alcohol
O: A fantastic beer that makes you wonder how many flavors can be packed into a world class ale

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tieman for sharing this one at his tasting.

Batch 1 (gold wax).

Pours an opaque black with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, vanilla, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, and very slight chile pepper aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder and dark chocolate flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip, but I am not getting any chile heat in the throat. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a fantastic set of aromas and a nice chocolate forward taste.

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Photo of Texasfan549
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Knapp85
4.29/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bomb pours out as a super rich black color with a brown colored head on top. The smell of the beer is full of roasted coffee and malt with a touch of spice too. The taste of the beer is a little sweet upfront but settles into the coffee and chili spices in the finish. The feel is oily and thick. Overall this beer is damn good.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of nmann08
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of metter98
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high dark tan head that died down, but never completely faded away, leaving a large thick web of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge, and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate strong aromas of coffee beans are present in the nose along with notes of the chili peppers and hints of cocoa nibs. Faint amounts of vanilla beans also become noticeable as the beer warms up.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste starts off with strong flavors of coffee beans but as it warms up the ancho chilies begin to creep in and provide a spicy balance to the underlying cocoa nibs.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer might be a bomb with the mélange of ingredients, but it tastes nothing like something that is 14% abv because it hides its alcohol exceptionally well. If you let it warm up, there becomes a good balance between all of the flavors.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of biboergosum
4.31/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz stout-shaped bottle, blue wax sealed, and procured at Tipsy's Liquor World in suburban Denver a few weeks ago.

This beer pours a solid, abysmal black, with only the slightest hints of basal cola edges, and two fingers of puffy, silky, and tightly foamy mocha head, which leaves a large swath of spooky webbed lace around the glass as things sink away.

It smells of bitter dark roast coffee, medium baker's chocolate, earthy vanilla pods, an obfuscated caramel/toffee malt, and some musty, dusty weedy hops. The taste is more bitter cafe-au-lait, tending more to the former, dry powdery cocoa, bready, somewhat grainy caramel malt, a touch of astringent wood, a slight, slowly building red spicy warmth, one which hides any alcohol edge that must be brewing, and a mild green vegetal hoppiness.

The bubbles are quite understated, barely generating a wee frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and mostly smooth, but for a growing spice and alcohol insurgency. It finishes surprisingly off-dry, the sweetness of the malt and cocoa wresting a bit of the floor away from the coffee and spice guests.

Woooweee. One deliciously complex, and well-integrated imperial stout. Not too sweet, not too spicy, and definitely not too boozy (in the external sense, at least), rather, a deft blend of all these things, so much so, that this drinks like a regular, if still coffee and chili infused, dry stout. That said, I did my best to slow down and enjoy this, for I won't be able to get my hands on another bottle anytime soon, and of course, the more obvious reason - the 28-proof alcohol. Again, wow.

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Photo of oline73
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of kojevergas
4.14/5  rDev -8%
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 BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Proving that there's much more to Prairie Ales than just Saison-nuevo, reaching into their goodie sack of all-things-dark has proven quite successful for the up and comers. Complex flavors from both the base beer and from additions, and then its roasted drinkability allows these guys to look like old pros!

As expected, the beer is black. Just shy of any mirror-like sheen, the beer seems to have a hazy density that's exacerbated by its absolute darkness. But then the beer takes on lightened proportions as a billowing mocha-stained column rises to match the rim of the snifter. Boldly carbonated, the beer easily retains the session with a thick creme of foam and laces with reliable concentric rings with each sip.

Incredibly roasty in aroma, the beer is spot on espresso and roasted walnuts. Sprinkled with a sense of cocoa powder and burnt molasses- the roasted grains are well supported with a more supple and sweeter counterpart. As the alcohols rise, it carries with it a hint of whisky, smoke, charred fruit but no real sign of the chili peppers that's promised.

One sip and it inflates the mouth with dry roastiness. Bitter espresso, cocoa, walnuts and scorched sugars all round into a lighter than expected burnt flavor. Its sweetness is supportive but doesn't steal the show. The middle palate introduces a fruitier tone with alcohol-soaked fruits: cherries, blackcurrant, raisins and a touch of licorice spice become the vehicle for its whisky-type alcohol. Reading into the beer a little, there's a slim fruit-vegetable tone that could be chili, but could also be hop and alcohol.

Undoubtedly full bodied, the ale is both cream-ied up by its expansive carbonation and also lightened by it. The bubbles seem to make the beer float just above the tongue with a semi-arid dryness and powdery roast character. By the time that the carbonation subsides, the sweetness has already faded and the spicy warmth of alcohol and capsacin linger boldly on the throat.

Prairie has absolutely knocked this one out of the park. Each sip delivers a new flavor, a new experience, and new complexion to the beer. I'm happy to see it being considered in the upper echelon of stouts because it rightfully belongs there.

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Photo of superspak
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 8/4/2015. Pours dense pitch black color with a small dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, toffee, molasses, chili pepper, toast, dark bread, light dark fruit/smoke/char, and herbal/roasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with fantastic complexity and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, chili pepper, and coffee/vanilla/cocoa spice notes; with great strength. Taste of huge dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, toffee, molasses, chili pepper, toast, dark bread, light dark fruit/smoke/char, and herbal/roasted earthiness. Moderate amount of pepper spice and roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, toffee, molasses, chili pepper, toast, dark bread, light dark fruit/smoke/char, and herbal/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt chili pepper, and coffee/vanilla/cocoa spice flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and very full bodied; with a smooth, creamy, fairly sticky/chalky, and slightly slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Very minimal heat from the actual peppers as well. Overall this is an incredible spiced imperial stout style. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, chili pepper, and coffee/vanilla/cocoa spice flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the huge ABV. A highly amazing offering as expected.

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Photo of emerge077
3.73/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2015: Had a full glass recently, it was ok but not a big fan. Short answer is that it's a by the numbers adjunct stout. Vanilla, chocolate, and coffee gets a little tired, it's not unique. The chilies add a twist and some heat but the overall package is lacking. Thin bodied, it was a one and done. Spaghetti Western was a much better follow up, it had the requisite dry bitterness to balance.

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Photo of Boone757
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Bomb! from Prairie Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 4.5 out of 5 with 6,316 ratings