Craft beer review: Prairie Artisan Ales Bomb!

Brian Sorensen

Craft beer fans across the country are searching high and low for Prairie Artisan Ale’s Bomb – an imperial stout aged on espresso beans, chocolate, vanilla beans, and ancho chile peppers. Produced in Oklahoma, Bomb was only released to a handful of states. Limited availability has created a massive hype around this beer. Fortunately we can find it in northwest Arkansas at most liquor stores with a craft beer focus.

The beer resembles spent motor oil when poured into a glass. It’s black with a thin, tan head that quickly dissipates. First impressions are very, very good – it’s a beautiful beer to behold.

Chocolate is the prevalent aroma in this beer, with a little bit of coffee to back it up. Some imperial stouts feel thick in terms of mouth feel, but Bomb is somewhat slick and oily when tipped back.

Traces of vanilla join the chocolate and coffee to create a flavor profile that is complex and delicious. As expected from an imperial stout, roasted malts and some bitterness are also present. The chile pepper comes alive towards the back end of the swallow. It is a subtle heat – not overdone like other chile beers out there.

At 13% ABV I expected Bomb to be somewhat boozy, but the alcohol is well-hidden and the beer is easy to drink. It finishes dry, without the residual sweetness that can be found in other examples of the style.

Bomb is a delicious beer, and probably deserving of the hype. One aspect that I did not care for, however, was the sticker shock. A four-pack cost me over $27! With such a steep price I would recommend making Bomb a part of a mix pack – you’ll find it for around $8 a bottle. This is a much more reasonable way to sample this beer and decide if you love it as much as I do.

Brian Sorensen
Brian is an admitted beer geek, occasional home brewer, and member of the Fayetteville Lovers of Pure Suds (FLOPS). You can follow him on Twitter at @EBSorensen.