Prairie The Beer That Saved Christmas - Prairie Artisan Ales

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Prairie The Beer That Saved ChristmasPrairie The Beer That Saved Christmas

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361 Ratings
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Ratings: 361
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 13.51%
Wants: 19
Gots: 60 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Prairie Artisan Ales visit their website
Oklahoma, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Cowboys9 on 11-10-2013

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 361 | Reviews: 69
Photo of magictacosinus
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Served at the January tasting at the Taproom. Thanks to whoever brought the bottle! Poured out of a 500ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a dark plum color of a beer, for lack of a better description. Cloudy, with minor sediment at the bottom, as well as a slightly foamy but most fizzy off-khaki head at the top. Head retention is poor, but that's expected with the amount of alcohol on this. Looks relatively viscous, especially for a seemingly "imperial" winter warmer - definitely what I've grown to expect from the average US-brewed Old Ale.

Wow, that is funky - it looks like the wild bacteria has already made a heavy mark on the beer just several months in. Notes of tart cherry, plums, and raisins meld with light pepper and wet leather that I believe would be a combination from the oak and critters that are starting to overrun this thing. There's a possible Pediococcus infection perhaps brewing here, but it might be too young to know. Still, after the barrel flavors exhibiting caramel and cinnamon, as well as a brief nuttiness, there's a strange cheese rind and light barnyard flavor way at the finish. Very strange, but slightly appealing as well.

Tastes a little better and more balanced in terms of bringing out the array of diverse flavors, but this is essentially a lot like JP's Noel De Calabaza, which was my first encounter with these winter funky ales. Strong notes of cherries and under-ripe currants wash the palate, followed by a funky prune flavor, as well as some slight spiciness, wet leather, wet hay, and sweetness from the caramel and molasses malt finish. Showcases a degree of different spices, ranging from cinnamon to allspice, but the extra tart/funk note is a bit off-putting. The booze isn't necessarily well hidden either, and its presence makes this a difficult one to go through. Gets a little smokier and charred as it warms up too, which is definitely the fault of the wild yeasts. It's unbelievably fascinating, but it's really unbalanced overall.

I suppose this is what you'd call a winter saison in principal, but it's a little too blown out of proportion to be fully elegant in execution. Not the worst I've had of its kind, but memorable for more bad reasons than great. The wild yeast is really giving the beer a beating at this point, and many of the oak and malt/spice nuances that would make this refreshing are going to become more overrun. I don't know if this varies from bottle to bottle, but it's definitely something I'm going to look out for every time this passes my way.

Photo of Sludgeman
4.26/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Purchased in Minneapolis and brought home in luggage (Oct 2013). Waxed top. $12.99 Poured into a chalice.

A very enjoyable beer. A nice sipping beer for a good book in front of the fire. Super complex aroma. Many win-like characteristics. I love old ales but this one is not at the top of my list. 4.25

A – Pours a cloudy rusty opaque (dark brown in the glass) with a one-finger rocky but dense tan head, good lacing, minor alcohol legs. 4.0

S – Alcohol, some sourness, tobacco, a bit of sour cherry, very port-like qualities. 4.25

T – Some lactic sourness, malty, molasses, a bit metallic, alcohol evident but not prominent. 4.25

MF – Medium-bodied, semi-dry finish with a bit of creaminess. 4.5

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally $13.50 for a 500 ml bottle, but 20% off because Tully's was unloading some Christmas beers. Still on the expensive side.

In a snifter the beer was dark brown. The thick tan head persisted to the end, and left a smattering of lace.

A sweet fruit and caramel malt aroma.

Plums and prunes, toffee, a little oak.

A nice, medium-bodied old ale. Enjoyed it.

Photo of jdhilt
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three-finger cream/beige head that fades slowly to a ring leaving some lace. Deep opaque brown color, ton of yeast left in bottle. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Dark fruit and oak nose. Flavor is dark fruit, oak, vinous grapes; high ABV is mostly hidden. Decent old ale. Pricey at $13.50 for a 500ml bottle from a Tully’s Beer & Wine Wells, ME. And first bottle from Oklahoma after 3400 bottles.

Photo of gueuzedreg
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Dark murky brown. Medium lacing, with minimal head.

S- Slight acetone upfront, dark fruit, oak and barrel

T- I get ripe dark cherries, barrel character, malt

M- Medium body for the style. A lot of carbonation for this ba beer.

O- Well done, but just not my style.

Photo of BaronRogue
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Lucky to scoop this one here in the Bay Area where Prairie is still a niche within a niche (thank you to all you distributors out there, keeping good stores alive). This one has a white wax seal.

Dark and very nearly opaque, slightly fizzy. Looks like it's been hanging out for awhile.

Smell hits you strong and hard if you catch it outright... like a jar of prunes and olives pickled in raspberry vodka, inside an oak barrel.

Taste is complex and bright, like a sour without the sour. Lots and lots of oak, dark grains, dark berries. Definitely an old, wild, weird ale... don't go into this one expecting a stout. Alcohol comes and goes, maybe I should have sat on this one a bit longer.

Well worth the price, thank you Prairie for this late Xmas gift.

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours from a 500 ml, white waxed and capped bottle brown with reddish highlights under a 1 finger thick dark tan head which fades to a cap and rim leaving spotty lace.

N: Leather, plums, dark fruit cake, spices, brown sugar, candied glaze, rum raisins, and wood.

T: Some boozy spices, dark candied fruits, vanilla, complex roasted grains and malts, earthy, red wine, cranberries/cherries.

M: Semi-full body and moderate carbonation. Robust finish.

O: Lots going on, but in somewhat different directions. Not focused, but interesting.

Photo of seand
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark translucent brown, with a fair amount of tan head. A thick ring around the edge of the glass retains, leaving decent lacing.

S: Sweet and a bit musty, notes of brown sugar and ash. Maybe a touch of brett or similar.

T: Malty and sweet throughout, with a bitter touch toward the finish. Complex and more hints of must.

M: Medium to full body, medium carbonation.

Overall, pretty good, complex, and interesting. Tastes good too.

Photo of beergoot
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Brownish body, with some copper-like hues; thick, creamy head. Massive nose of booze, figs, dates; caramel hidden in there, too. Big alcohol flavor notes; soured cherries; slow-building hop bitterness at the finish; vinous. Heavy bodied; smooth; semi-dry finish.

An eye-popping beer that immediately reveals its wild yeast heritage and high ABV. The overall taste may be too phenolic for some, but if you're looking for an old ale beer on the wild side, this one may peek your interest.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, toffee, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour malt, caramel, and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but the slight tartness is unexpected.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Prairie The Beer that Saved Christmas
2013 Edition

The beer pours a nice dark mahogany almost black/brown color. There is a nice fluffy and dense 1 inch head that forms. The head is off-white to light cream/tan colored and is pretty dense with some nice stickyness. (4.0)

Aroma is interesting. Starts off with some sourness that quickly is enveloped by more bready grain notes and is followed by some notes of banana bread and some slight raisin notes. Mild funk and some tartness come back up near the end. (3.5)

Flavor starts off with some nice bready grain notes and some mild dark fruit sweetness; some slight sour notes and nice woody funk and earthyness then follow these flavors. Nice slight yeasty phenols are present mixed in with some mild raisin and banana bread notes. The barrel adds such a nice dimension to what could be a one-dimensional beer. Mouthfeel is nice and fluffy with good full carbonation and a light to medium body. (3.75)(4.0)

An interesting variation on an Old Ale. There are nice underlain traditional dark fruit notes and sweet bready notes but with a woody funk and mild tart acidity that makes this beer dangerously drinkable. (3.75)

Photo of stephens101
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fluffy tan head that makes you want to dive in and go to sleep. Dark brown in color with reddish hues at the bottom edges of the snifter.

Raisins, plum, brown bread, molasses and faint medicinal phenols to the nose. Complex but organized.

Tastes of sweet molasses up front with a bit of syrup left on the lips. Nutmeg, allspice, oak, earthy hops, grape juice and faint cherry form a fluid middle with tiny notes of vanilla to finalize.

Rich and creamy as expected. Alcohol pinches slightly, but doesn't squeeze. The sweetness controls, but doesn't dictate direction.

Really flavorful take on the style here.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 11.26.13

A - Pours a dark cola brown with a frothy, light tan head that has great retention.

S - Raison, oak, malty.

T - Tart and oaky, some dark fruits. Blah.

D - Good carbonation with a light body.

O - Mild flavors, but boozy and dark fruits try to show. Not that great.

Photo of alaimoa
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Overall I think it's better than some of the writeups. What it lacks in smell and appearance is made up on taste.
Pours murky brown with a bit of ruby in the light
Smell a bit of rust, wood, warming into a dark fruit type smell of prunes and dark chocolate.
Taste bittersweet choc, caramel, dates, prunes and leaves a dark chocolate coating behind.

Photo of MartzMimic
3.39/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a bubbly head that disappears quickly. Smells of chocolate, fruit and malt. Those all carry over to the taste. Also notes of cherry and prune. Oily tongue and lots of carbonation. The style isn't my favorite, but this beer is well done.

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. I found a lone bottle of this stuff at the local beer store a while ago, and have been holding onto it for this day - Christmas, and also my 600th beer review on BeerAdvocate! This is also my first review of a beer from Prairie Artisan Ales. Exponentially stoked to have this bottle!

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Pours an opaque chestnut with slight ruby hues around the edges when held to the light. Three big pillowy bubbly fingers of tan head falls down to a ring quickly. Looks very nice.

S - Smooth creamy vanilla, bourbon soaked oak wood, sour cherry, musty yeast, bretty funk, maybe some fleshy peach / cantaloupe like smell, and some kind of tart dark berries.

T - Ah yes, very nice. Silky vanilla, tart cherry, dark bitter baking chocolate, hint of cola, malt roast, dry vinous grapes & dark sour indistinct berries. Faint brown bread / yeast presence. The perfect amount of sour to complement the creaminess imparted from the oak barrel aging. Delicious.

M - Feel is smooth and creamy, with good roasty chocolate bitterness and some light tartness lingering on the palate. Light bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, I thought it was delicious, and I wish I had another bottle to age. Highly recommended, and I look forward to many more from Prairie Artisan Ales.

Prairie The Beer That Saved Christmas ---4/5.

Photo of FreshHawk
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Dark mahogany brown with ruby hues. Full, thick, creamy off-white head. Great retention leaving very little lace behind.

S - Dark fruit up front with prune, fig, and date. Tart cherry shows up on the finish. Underlying sweet brown sugar making it reminiscent of a fruit cake. Some Brett funk and some hints of barrel aroma.

T - Not as bold as the nose suggested (or what I was expecting from the description). Dried dark fruit is there like the nose but not as strong with prune being the strongest. A fair amount of dark, slightly tart cherry that is complimented by the hints of Brett. Slight tannin taste throughout. Notes of barrel throughout. Not really getting that sweetness found in the nose.

M - Light to medium body. Low carbonation. A little thin but not too bad.

D - It's not really encouraging me to drink more, rather I'm just sipping it whenever I haven't had a drink for awhile. Alcohol is well hidden.

Notes: I liked the sounds of the beer, particularly with Prairie's track record. This fell flat for me though. Nice looking and smelling but the taste a little bland. The dark cherry notes with the Brett was nice but it was too subtle to carry the show and nothing else stood out. Not a bad beer and a neat label. At $10-11 for 500 ml of barrel aged 10% old/wild ale it's not a bad price if you're curious, but I doubt I'll repurchase.

Photo of cvm4
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Poured very dark brown with a light tan one finger head.

S - Bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel and dark malts. There's also an ever so faint tartness on the backend.

T - Oak and vanilla sweetness up front that leads into dark fruits and some tart brett characters.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Has a dry ending and is oh so drinkable.

O - Not a bad combination of flavors, but not one of my favorites. It is definitely unique and gets points on creativity.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color with a thin but tightly knit cream colored head. I get some serious bourbon,carmelized sugar,and dark malt in the aroma. The flavor is molasses,Brett,plums, and bourbon and it somehow works together. The blend of molasses and bourbon are sweet,but the tartness of the Brett quickly follows. Mouthfeel is thick but dry.

Photo of russpowell
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours chestnut/mahogany with 1 finger of cream colored head. Some lacing & head retention

S: Christmas pudding & brandy, plums & vanilla & smokeyness

T: Oaky dryness, plums, boozeyness, a touch of leafy hops up front. Slight smokeyness as this warms, oak & plummyness too. Finishes dry, with a bit of toffee, boozey with a bit of plum & leafy hops

MF: Fairly thick, slight carbonation, warming. Thins out as this warms

Not bad, but certainly came up short of expectations. I'm sure this will age well, but very rough on the edges now. Maybe my least favorite beer from these guys. If I buy any more it will be to age

Photo of mdfb79
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 12/15/13 notes. Big thanks to Nugganooch for bringing this one out; thanks Dane! 16.9 oz. glass poured into a tulip.

a - Pours a murky, dark brown color with one finger of medium tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, vanilla, caramel malts, cream, sweet chocolate, oak, light dark fruits, and toasted malts. Nose is nice, more fruit as it warms up.

t - Taste follows the nose but much lighter. Tastes of more dark fruits, roasted malts, cream, figs, plums, raisins, brunt malts, and toasted malts. A step down from the nose for me.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. No heat, doesn't feel like 10% ABV.

o - Overall a decent old ale, though I was hoping for more having heard great things about their other beers. Nose is nice but the taste is light and a lot of dark fruits and burnt malts. Decent but looking forward to trying their other stuff.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Poured a murky caramel color with a nice dirty white cap. decent head retention and moderate lacing

S: Muddled fruitcake with toffee, wood and an Earthiness

T: Initial old fruitcake with raisins, bread, cranberries, toffee and a woody Earthiness to it. The finish is dry, sweet and Earthy with lingering flavors of caramel and toffee

M: Medium bodied, carbonated well, a mild sweetness but muddy on feel and flavors

O: Not a bad beer but the beer seems to be a hot mess of flavors sordove running together.

Photo of kojevergas
3.47/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint .9 fl oz brown glass bottle with fun label art and white/silver wax-ed over pry-off pressure cap acquired at Argonaut Liquor in Denver, CO and served into an Odell stem-tulip/snifter hybrid glass in me friend's gaff in high altitude Fort Collins, CO. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high given the brewery, though I'm not sure I've had a past beer of theirs that would suggest they could handle an old ale well. Reviewed as an oak-aged old ale. 10% ABV confirmed. Distributed by the Shelton Bastards.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of light khaki colour, nice creaminess, and nice thickness. Head retention is average - about 1 minute. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Nice even consistency. Fairly soft complexion.

Body colour is a dark opaque brown (or burnt caramel for the pretentious). No floating yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it doesn't look like much. I'm beginning to have my doubts.

Sm: Cream, raisin, caramelized sugars/fruit, brown sugar, dates, plums, prunes, brown malts, and biscuit malts. Rum-soaked stonefruit. Sugarcane. A bit of oak wood. Bread crust.

A pleasant aroma of moderate strength.

No yeast character, hop character, or alcohol is detectable.

T: Rum-soaked stonefruits, dates, prunes, plum. Bready malts, biscuit malts, brown malts. Cream. Light raisin. Sugarcane. Oak wood notes come through, but I don't get any toasty character or refined barrel notes. Maybe some faint vanilla? Marshmallow. Faint grape. Fruitcake.

Alcohol presence is noticeable but forgivable at this ABV. No hop character really comes through. Vague biscuity yeast character comes through.

On the sweeter side, for sure.

There's some fair complexity here, but not a whole lot of subtlety. Not particularly intricate or nuanced. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour for the style.

Mf: Nicely creamy. Smooth and wet, with some dryness and coarseness emerging on the climax, to its detriment. Thick and full-bodied. Coating on the palate, with a decent presence. Bready and filling. Unrefreshing. It's a meal in glass.

Not oily, astringent, hot, gushed, or astringent, though it does have some rough and harsh patches in the structure. Suits the flavour profile generally well, but doesn't complement/highlight specific notes and doesn't feel custom-tailored specifically to the taste. It facilitates full delivery of the flavours, but could be improved.

Dr: A nicely executed little old ale with nothing unique or special going on. Pretty middle of the road but enjoyable and drinkable for what it is. I wouldn't get it again, though it might be interesting aged. ABV could be better hidden. I won't say that Prairie/Krebs should stick to farmhouse ales, but I will say they execute those types of beers better than they do heavier styles. Likable but unremarkable.

Develops a bit as it comes to temperature. Serve chilled.

Drinks great from a tulip.

High B-

Photo of Charliechu
2.65/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Overall , I was a bit disappointed after drinking this beer . There were many different notes within the beer but I feel like it was trying to be too much but at the same time not delivering any one of it . It left me wanting more , more of the flavor , more of the aroma , and more of a satisfaction . I guess they're experimenting with this beer but my poor ratings reflected how much of a good beer it COULD be but unfortunately it wasn't . I tried it on tap and wouldn't be having anymore of it anytime soon .


Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from craftshack.
Pours a solid dark brown bordering on black with a decent sized off white head that shows great retention. Aromas of caramel and brown sugar, a hint of oak and higher spirits, a bit of papery oxidation, and a light lactic cherry fruitiness. Light chocolate comes out especially as she warms. The flavor is sweet and dark sugary up front. Alcohol, tart cherries, tobacco, and chocolate fly in midway through. Finishes with a lingering caramel and fruity tartness. Medium body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sugary but somewhat tart mouthfeel. Decent brew I enjoyed it.

Prairie The Beer That Saved Christmas from Prairie Artisan Ales
84 out of 100 based on 361 ratings.