Total Score: 8.6/10
Ironically this is a beer, I am told, that lives up to its name: (the) Bomb! This 13% ABV American Imperial Stout has an assortment of ingredients that conjure up images of a deep, shadowy and impressive brew that the Gods themselves might sup on within the mighty halls of Valhalla: Spaceship Earth roasted coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and ancho chilli peppers – yep, that’s a recipe for “awesome-sauce” in any legitimate definition of said word (which I borrowed from ‘Parks and Recreation’). Indeed I’ve never had the urge to waffle less in one of these preambles than I do right now: the desire to crack this dark temptress open and imbibe the black ooze within is a powerful aphrodisiac that I am too weak to resist *crown cap pops* [still managed to waffle though – the waffle is strong with me].
Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Deep opaque inky black nightmare of a body with a chocolate brown dense head that sticks around impressively well and belies that 13% ABV that is waiting to consume me soon enough. 9/10.
S: Earthy AF, roasty AF as well… verdant roasted cold-drip coffee mingles freely with vanilla and coffee cherry hints, a lingering sweet roasted malt base, then a bit of smoke and dark chocolate. Not getting much in the way of the ancho chilli peppers, but as we [I! The Royal “we”! You know, the editorial…] know that chilli in beer tends to come across more in the flavour profile (and generally in the back of the throat). 9/10.
T: Flavour profile hits with that pervading earthy AF/roasty AF character noted above and follows through to a broad mid-palate coffee/dark chocolate sweetness and a good sweet/bitter balance IMO (maybe a tad towards the dessert side if you’re not a fan of dessert beers though). Hints of vanilla and smoke come in towards the finish, and yes there’s a chilli bite at the back, though I reckon Bomb! could get away with more chilli. Balance is pretty sublime – a real Imp Stout sipper right here. Bit of booze in the aftertaste that detracts a little though. 9/10.
M: Heavy bodied and a bit too sticky and cloying here – less of that please. 7/10.
D: Apart from a mouthfeel that requires a good old tongue scrapping, this is a solid Imp Stout that puts Prairie on the map for me. It’s like a halfway between Founders Breakfast Stout and Omnipollo Selassie, with the chilli adding a nice touch of heat to the proceedings. Price is a sore point at $23 AUD a bottle, yep. 8/10.
Food match: Something dark and spicy: Mole Poblano with rice and black bean.