In August, Prairie Artisan Ales announced a new variant of its extremely popular Bomb! blend, which is an imperial stout blended with espresso beans1, chocolate, vanilla beans and ancho chili peppers. Named Brimstone Bomb!,2 the new collaboration beer was aged in brimstone whiskey barrels from Balcones Distillery in Waco, Texas, is sold in 12-ounce bottles and comes in at 13 percent ABV.

Prairie Brimstone Bomb Balcones Glass

Brimstone Bomb! is a Texas-only release. Prairie held a handful of events in Texas which featured limited edition beer glasses and Glencarin whiskey glasses with both the Balcones and Prairie logos.3

“I filled 10 whisky barrels,” said Chase Healey, Prairie co-owner, when asked about total production of Brimstone Bomb! on a Facebook group posting. “160 half cases were filled.”

There have now been six different Bomb! releases in bottles and two draft-only Bomb! releases.4

  • Prairie Bomb! (2013-Present)
  • Prairie Pirate Bomb! (2013) — Bomb! aged in rum barrels
  • Prairie Fred’s Blend (2014) — Bomb! aged in port and whiskey barrels — Oklahoma Only
  • Prairie Pirate Bomb! (2014) — Bomb! aged in rum barrels
  • Prairie Brimstone Bomb! (2014) — Bomb! aged in Balcones Brimstone whiskey barrels — Texas Only
  • Prairie Christmas Bomb! (2014) — Bomb! with added spices
  • Prairie Double Chocolate Bomb! (2014) — Bomb! aged in rum barrels — Draft Only
  • Prairie Bomb! with Raspberries (2014) — Bomb! with raspberries  — Draft Only
The Brimstone Bomb! pours a jet black color with very little carbonation evident and almost no head at all. What little head there is shows a dirty brown color and leaves almost no lacing. Aroma from the glass is a combination of oak, vanilla, sweet fruit, smoke and slight chili.
Prairie Brimstone Bomb

The Prairie Brimstone  Bomb! has huge dark chocolate and coffee notes from the first sip, strong enough at points to almost overwhelm any other flavors in the profile. Other flavors of vanilla, oak, There is some whisky barrel notes on the finish, but almost no chili on the palate, and no heat at all. While the whisky barrel note is not a major part of the profile, it ends up being a complimentary note that increases the complexity of the overall profile, adding a slight smoky sweetness that makes the beer instantly recognizable and unique in the Bomb! portfolio. The mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I expected, but not thin enough to negatively affect the profile, and the carbonation is fairly low.

Prairie Brimstone Bomb!
BREWERY: Krebs Brewing Co.
LOCATION: Krebs, Okla.
STYLE: Imperial stout
ABV: 13 percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $12.99
RELEASE DATE: November 2014
AVAILABLE IN: 12-ounce bottles
BEERS POURED: Two
If you drank this looking to be knocked out by the interplay of Balcones Brimstone whisky and chili notes—or by any chili flavors in general, for that matter—you are going to be sorely disappointed. While the whisky barrel is fairly obvious, the chill note that is so integral to making Bomb! the beer that is is relegated mostly to the finish, and is never even close to strong enough to be a main player in the profile. In addition, the beer in bottles is very different from draft version that I tasted, which features more chili and almost no whisky barrel notes. Brimstone Bomb! is still a very good beer, but as I felt about both versions of Pirate Bomb!, the regular Bomb! is a better beer and significantly more balanced.
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