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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BA SCORE
85
very good

64 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 64
Hads: 362
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 10.08%
Wants: 20
Gots: 61 | 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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Reviews: 64 | Hads: 362
Photo of BaronRogue
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
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. (758 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (562 characters)

Photo of seand
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (446 characters)

Photo of beergoot
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (487 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.64/5  rDev -3.4%
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. (562 characters)

Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
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) (1,172 characters)

Photo of stephens101
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
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. (613 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
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. (294 characters)

Photo of alaimoa
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (349 characters)

Photo of MartzMimic
3.39/5  rDev -10.1%
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. (260 characters)

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
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. (1,402 characters)

Photo of FreshHawk
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (1,363 characters)

Photo of cvm4
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (477 characters)

Photo of Franziskaner
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
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. (338 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
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 (620 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (904 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.43/5  rDev -9%
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. (513 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.47/5  rDev -8%
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- (3,162 characters)

Photo of Charliechu
2.65/5  rDev -29.7%
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 .

Cheers (521 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (612 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a Flanders-inspired wild ale, despite the base of an old ale. Souring bacteria and wild yeast were used, making it a wild ale.

Reddish brown pour, dark brownish black in the glass. Light tan foam with a creamy surface texture, intricate irregular lacing that sticks well around the edges. Long lasting surface skim that eventually breaks after awhile.

Woody aroma with notes of dried cherry and chocolate.

Full bodied and vinous, creamy feel with a welcome mellow tartness. Light roast in the background, coffee, chocolate, and cherry. Dry woody tannin in the finish. Slight clover honey traces. Virtually no trace of the base old ale, it's defined by the barrel and expressive wild yeast/bacteria. Tastes a lot like an Oud bruin with amped up chocolate and cherry elements. Enjoyable slow sipper with a well hidden double digit abv. Recommended to fans of Noel De Calabaza/Madrugada and top tier Oud Bruins.

Overall a great wild ale that sadly appears to be misunderstood here. (990 characters)

Photo of Bierlerner
3.11/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Out of a bottle and into a Prairie snifter

A - murky brown with dark caramel tones. 2 finger head thats quick to dissipate. Seems highly carbonous in appearance. Hmmmm.

S - Coffee, maple syrup, and cherry syrup. Little bit of warm cacao.

T- Again...maple, chocolate, coffee. Nice hint of cherries. Toasted pecans and brown sugar. Not bad at all, but very light.

M- meh. Disappointed with this part. Not heavy or viscous or creamy. Its light and more carbonation than I prefer.

O- Disappointing. Light in taste (which some could say its nice and subtle), and light in body and mouthfeel. I wish I could like it as old ales are one of my favorites. This is probably the least favorite I've tried in that style though. (720 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

very cool packaging on this, white wax, funky red label, very cool, very holiday, not cheap, but a darn good beer inside too. barrel aged old ale, cool stuff. light brown color, thick and hazy, with a red tint, looks like a big English barleywine, without a ton of head. nose of sweet bourbon, rich caramel malt, oak, and brown sugar. its sweet for sure in taste, but about midway through comes a flash of tart fruit, maybe cranberry or raspberry, before the bourbon woody dusty old ale finish we all know and love. its a short burst, but a memorable one. it confuses the mouthfeel between sweet and tart, and between heavy and light, and this is a rather tough beer to classify as a result. it also has a slightly wild yeast element, indicative of other prairie beers, and it sort of shakes up the old ale conventions, but not so much as to render it out of style. sweeter in the finish too, with brown sugar and a little holiday spice hanging around after the swallow. a good beer, but a little to much going on to be fully cohesive, even in light of the bourbon barrel, which is usually unifying. prairie is starting to price their beers out of reach for me to have them regularly, I took a chance on this and don't regret it, but not something I will revisit at this price. (1,277 characters)

Photo of chugalug06
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Toasty oat colored foamy three-finger head. Moderate lacing. Deep brown brew with lots of purples; kinda cloudy.

Sweet, grapes, good amount of acidic tartness on the nose. Interesting. Odd cherry chocolate aroma. Nearly tangerine. Watery aroma.

Thick feel. Weird collection of flavors. Farmy, like a dark saison, vanilla, red grapes, dry mild lemon tartness, earthy, apple, lots of fruit, light pine, brett, horsey, good amount of used barrel notes. No heat. Small booze bite. Carbonation is high and detracts from the overall experience. Sweetness is odd and miss placed. Licorice esque bite shows up on the very back end of flavors, off.

Oddly put together. Missing a backbone. It seems as though TBtSC is a bit of wanderer...it doesn't have a definitive beer base. It's good, but not memorable. It may end up not being what you sought out for...but it's kinda like Christmas in a bottle, in an odd way... (913 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The absolutely darkest of brown colors this ale holds a creamy thick head that sat atop the ale throughout the entire glass.

The aroma is filled with cream, marshmallow, Graham cracker, slight bourbon and barrel.

The flavor improves as it warms as there's a lot bourbon whiskey creaminess, coffee, malt and light char. There's a strong malt backbone that isn't sweet but more grain and barley with a pinch if kilned toastiness. This is not a barrel aged beer and I would assume it should not have this bourbonesque flavoring but that is simply what my palate interrupted.

The feel is creamy, not entirely thick but very smooth. (630 characters)

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Prairie The Beer That Saved Christmas from Prairie Artisan Ales
85 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.