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One of the goodies that made it home with me from my recent trip out of state was a lone bottle of something I’d been curious to try for awhile.  As promised here is my review of Prairie Bomb!

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Beer Name: Prairie Bomb!

Brewer: Prairie Artisanal Ales

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 13%

Description: A big imperial stout aged on coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and chilli peppers.  (That’s quite a list of ingredients!)

Pour Info: Poured from a refrigerated 12 oz. bottle into a snifter glass.

Price: $9.99 for a 12 oz. bottle.  A bit steep for a random pickup, but my love of stouts and the beer’s rock solid reputation convinced me to pick up this highly sought after beer I won’t see in my home market.

Appearance: As expected, a thick black pour topped off by a thin tan head.

Smell:.Lots of light, roasty coffee dominate the smell.  A little bit of pepper snuck through on the finish at warmer temperatures.

Taste: The front end of the beer is some more of that roasted coffee mixed in with some bittersweet chocolate.  The ending of the beer is where you get hints of chilli peppers; just a little bit of an extra bite mixing with the roastiness.  Somewhere in the middle is subdued vanilla in the background that bridges the two ends of the beer.  As the beer sits for a bit and warms up, the chilli peppers come out a bit more and the coffee fades off a bit.  The peppers pick up to a point that the beer does get a slight spice at the end.  As for alcohol heat, there surprisingly isn’t that much of it.  I think there’s probably too many other tastes going on for it to really come through.

Mouth Feel: Not to be nitpicky, but it was more of a medium thickness. It wasn’t really a flaw, and perhaps it was necessary to get through a monster beer like this; however, I was expecting more body.

Hype Factor: Sky high.  There’s a lot of buzz around this beer, and it has received just about the highest possible scores on the big rating sites.  Adding in that it was a chance find and fairly significant purchase, I was really looking forward to this one.

Overall: This is certainly a very, very good beer, and I certainly can see why it gets the attention it does.  There are a lot of complex tastes going on in here. The blending of flavors was spot on.  I really appreciated how the different tastes were able to stand on their own without clashing. I also liked how this was a chilli beer that didn’t go the route of having to be overly spicy (something that I have yet to see turn out well).  I am, however, at a bit of a loss as to how to categorize this now.  As a chilli stout, this is hands down the best I’ve ever had.  As a coffee and/or vanilla stout, it is also a superior brew, but is perhaps edged out by some of the other “World Class” rated options.  Evaluated solely by its own standards this is an excellent beer.  It has a lot to offer and is worth seeking out and trying.

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