Oh boy, I love me some Pirate Bomb. I love running around town trying to scrounge up a case with two bottle limits. I love emailing trade partners with the exciting news. I love putting a few back for later in the year, and drinking the first one the night I get home. I drank this one the day it came out, eagerly anticipating writing my first review in a bit. Down the hatch, me mateys!
Company: Prairie Artisan Ales
Location: Tulsa, OK. Brewed in Krebs, OK
Style/Description: Imperial Stout Aged In Rum Barrels with Coffee, Cacao Nibs, Vanilla Beans, and Chilies Added (The Oxford comma is Prairie’s!)
Price: $9 (12 oz bottle)
Appearance: Pours a deep black motor oil, thick and sticky on the side of the glass. A very light tan head clings to the side of the glass and floats on the top of the beer.
Nose: Roasted espresso nose, thick and heavy. Definite notes of molasses and rum on the aroma. Coffee and dark chocolate.
Taste: Sweet chocolate, somehow both creamy sweet milk chocolate and bitter dark cocoa. Marshmallow crème and caramel abound, barely balanced by the roasty espresso. Barrel flavor is present if understated, rum and alcohol, with some pleasant burn on the throat. Amazingly mellow for a fresh 14% beer. There are some bready biscuit flavors melting with the sweetness, like a sugar cookie. Maybe it is the vanilla notes that remind me of cookies. A slight amount of chili heat, especially as the brew opens up.
Finish: Long sticky finish, mild burn on the way down. There is the slightest hint of spice on the finish, hardly any Bomb heat. Lingering coffee and chocolate, with a hint of rum.
Overall: Full disclosure here, Batch 1 Pirate Bomb! is perhaps my favorite beer of all time. And I’ve tried several (thousand) beers. This batch is excellent to be sure, but is missing something that the previous batches had. I think that it’s too sweet, too much chocolate and not enough barrel character. That being said, this beer is excellent and near perfect, but missing that little bit of magic that made the other batches other worldly. I’ve socked a few away for a rainy day, I hope that with a little age the adjuncts will calm down and let the barrel and booze shine through.