This limited-release Imperial Stout was brewed in collaboration with Evil Twin. They’ve working with “Even More Jesus” as a base, then spice it like Prairie’s “Bomb” with real coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla, and chili pepper. These selections are two of the best each brewery has to offer, so the concept of combining them sounds just like bliss. On the nose, you’ll find loads of espresso, dark roasted malts, chocolate cake, cocoa, vanilla, oatmeal, molasses, smoke, and black pepper.
First off, let’s get one thing straight, this beer is all about the malts. The palate begins with an immense amount of dark chocolate. Coffee slowly builds to become the main focal point of the brew. Chalky cacao nibs come in full force, blending together with an agreeable bitterness. Flavors like oatmeal cookies and walnut brownies fill in the gaps along the way. A quick strike of chili pepper wraps things with a kiss of spice. Post-finish, molasses tilts the balance beam, resulting in perfect equilibrium where sweetness takes the lead. A sour hint closes with a soft character hinting at dark fruits. Hops appear almost exclusively bitter, nearly devoid of intrusive flavors which may have detracted from the stubborn malts. Mouthfeel is wet, ultra-thick and chewy, with just enough carbonation to slightly uplift the body, departing with subtle pepper heat that settles in back of the throat.
Think of it like a fermented mocha with a spicy twist. It really is pretty amazing, and I have difficulty wondering how this could be improved. I think this is actually a bit better than the original Bomb, which I previously reviewed here. The only thing keeping me from buying more is the high price of $9 /12 oz. (or about $35 / 4-pack). When I leverage the amount of ingredients it probably took to brew this beast, this number appears more fair. I get the impression someone really spent their time making this special, and their effort shows. How could this get any better? It’s good to the last drop. I highly recommend it!