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Prairie Wine Barrel Noir - Prairie Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Prairie Wine Barrel NoirPrairie Wine Barrel Noir

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

79 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 79
Hads: 642
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 35.73%
Wants: 55
Gots: 190 | FT: 22
Brewed by:
Prairie Artisan Ales visit their website
Oklahoma, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tronester on 06-18-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 79 | Hads: 642
Photo of vfgccp
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - An absolutely beautiful pour. Thick tar-black body with a dark mocha head that pours 3 fingers high. Awesome retention and nice lace.

S - Great nose. Chocolate, cabernet sauvignon, sweet prunes, charred mesquite. Awesome balance and integration.

T - Really interesting flavor profile. Opens round and semi-sweet with chocolate and prunes, and then dives into a deep dry cherry chocolate cordial center. Lazy finish lingers with soft charred bread and 70% dark chocolate.

M - Smooth, full body with a dry heavy-cream finish.

O - Great flavor profile with an outstanding nose and appearance.

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Photo of LloydDobler
4.46/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer was really complex. Starts off with a huge head from only a small pour. Very dark, but the dimple in my snifter shows bright garnet when held up to the light. Nose has oak barrel qualities that I am familiar with and some sour fruit. Very nice. What really stands out is the first sip. Really fooled me with how much this drinks as if it were a chocolate infused Syrah with carbonation. But really, the malts meld perfectly with all the wine characters, including the barrel. Mmmmm-hhhmmmm!

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Photo of jws6w7
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very cool beer. I have noticed that my wine pallet has gotten much better over the last year or so and I attribute that to drinking craft beer.

This was a 1+ year old bottle and it was awesome. Hint of fruitiness from the barrels made this great.

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Photo of lochraneg
4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aged 1 year

Look: Pours black, thick head, creme colored
Smell: Sour, Bourbon, no wine
Taste: Unsure of actual notes, but dissapointed
Feel: Think body, bourbon
Overall: Glad I tried it, but not something I would pay top dollar for

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Photo of IckyT2012
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

One of the best wine barrel aged beers I've had. Usually (for me) the red wine clashes with the dark beers, but this blend is near perfect. Great mouthfeel, lingering texture. All around a solid product. I've never had the base beer but I can't imagine the wine barrels have done anything but improve it.

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Photo of Mongrel
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours beautifully with a copious mocha colored head. Had to pour in multiple stages - impressive for a barrel aged imperial stout.

Smells immediately bright and grapey, with roasty coffee behind that. Really seductive nose, especially for those who appreciate a vinous character in beer.

Tastes quite fruity, with grape and berries taking the lead. An effervescent, almost tangy stout that remains somewhat anchored by a full, roasty body. I wouldn't say there's a complete marriage of flavors though - the fruit comes to dominate everything else, with citrus flavors even adding to the mix later. Faint chocolate brings up the rear. The wine barrel might have married better with a barleywine. Still a tasty and intriguing experience, especially for those who enjoy wine-y beers.

Mouthfeel is full and somewhat creamy. But also high on the carbonation/effervescence scale for an impy stout.

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Photo of PHBoiler
2.97/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer is deep black with minimal head. The smell is not inviting. It gives quad-like fruits and funk. The beer is completely out of balance. The base stout is lost by some layers of funk and light acidity. The tannins are really strong and boozy. It's a tad thin and an odd slickness from the tannins.

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Photo of marieli
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle. Started about 55+ degrees (too cold).
Poured dark brown, near black. Very dark tan head, two fingers, long staying power, quite foamy. A lot of carbonation.
Smell was wine. Maybe malt at one point, but ultimately it is wine, wine, wine.
And the taste? Well, that was wine too. First drink was, wow, is this a stout? Check that, is this even a beer? It was wine, and a bit sour at that. I chose to let it sit, breath and warm up. Good choice.
This beer started kicking in at 60 degrees. I was no longer drinking a sour wine. I could detect beer! But wine was still dominant flavor. Sourness dissipated, still in background. Or did I just grow use to it? Tart fruit. Hint (just a hint) of chocolate.
I took my time with this stout. In part to let it warm up, in part out of self defense. That's a good thing because I believe this is a sipper all the way.
Overall, not sure when or why I would drink this again. I wouldn't replace a wine with it like I might an aged Abyss. This beer never mellowed out like a wine or even a good bourbon barrel stout, for example. Never had anything like this one. Will be interesting to see what the Brandy Noir is like when I get around to that one. I love Prairie Bomb! One of my favorites. The only reason I would recommend this one is to experience its uniqueness.

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Photo of sdeese21
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours thick with plenty of head. Very foamy!
Smell: Boozy, fruity with some sweet and nutty from the malts
Taste:Vinous taste is absolutely apparent. Boozy, boozy, boozy...can't tell if I like it yet even after 5-7 sips. Will return to this........I'm back, and, after much deliberation, I like this beer more than not. It's "in-your-face-delicate" if you can follow me on that.
Feel: Love the feel! Has a nice body to it to support the intense flavors that are coming through.
Overall: Definitely an interesting beer and I'm glad I bought a bottle. I'm a fan of prairie and appreciate their more creative brews. This is definitely one of the slowest sippers I've had. I'd probably buy another and save it for the right time and I'd definitely recommend this experience even if you don't end up liking this beer as I can easily see this not being for everyone.

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Photo of dar482
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a dark black color with a tinge of purple and red in the dark brown head.

The aroma attacks of huge red wine quality, milk chocolate, some coffee, caramel sweetness.

The flavor hits of red wine throughout. It's almost as if stout was poured into a huge glass of robust red wine. The berries of raspberries, currant, cherries, and red grapes hit up front, then some smokiness, sweet chocolate, coffee. Lots of carbonation on this. Then onto a big attack of alcohol and lots of red wine tannic drying.

A fun fun beer.

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Photo of LittleDon
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Less chocolate and a bit thinner than previous Prairie imperial stouts I've had. Sour with a strong red wine presence. Berries? Carbonation medium high. Purchased in May 2014, so perhaps a bit past its prime.

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Photo of Jaxbrew
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a nice treat from a pal at work. A complex blast for the buds, if you will. Tons of raspberry, vanilla, toffee, oak, and chocolate in this. Super flavorful with a truly puzzling finish. I really enjoyed this and would love to see what some time does to the mix.

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.49/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

December 29, 2014

12 oz bottle, snifter

A – Jet black, not quite inky, but still very thick, viscous. About an inch-plus of dark khaki-brown foam made of tiny bubbles. Retention is moderate-low.

S – Vanilla, sweet, oaky, boozy. Highly roasted dark malts. Hops seem to be for bitterness mostly, some mildly herbal notes in the far background. Not getting any wine notes, but barrel character is very prominent. Perhaps some fruitiness as the beer warms, potentially currant or berries.

T – A combination of sweet, lightly tart, mildly bitter, the wine seeming to be much more noticeable here. A bit of the tannins and leather I’d expect of a cabernet or pinot noir. Plum, currant, a bit of mixed berries. Vanilla is light, as is the oak.

M – Highly carbonated, an almost fluffy feel, and very dry. Well-attenuated. No outstanding sweetness or bitterness, both are in excellent balance with each other and the carbonation helps balance both. Slightly astringent, especially as the beer warms.

O – Gives a lot of barrel-aged stouts a run for their money. Some interesting flavor from the wine, only the slight astringency holds it back. Excellent.

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Photo of nmann08
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a bottle, pours a jet black color with a big brown head.

The nose is yeast esters, dark fruit, raspberry, chocolate, red wine oak and molasses. The flavor is jam-like, raspberry, chocolate, molasses, dark malt and a little toasty. The finish is good, but thin. I would enjoy this more if it was a bit more substantive. It must have thinned out a little in the barrel.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.21/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pour is black with tons of tight mocha colored head. Nose is olive pit, a bit of roasted malt, some nice dry chocolate notes, a touch of juicy red wine, and a hint of booze in back. Taste is a bit sweet. Front end is sweet, sugary and cherry with some red wine notes, a fair bit of roasted malt mid palate, faint chocolate malt, and boozy in the finish. Full bodied, well carbonated, soft feel. Pretty solid but the booziness gets a touch harsh in the back on both the nose and flavor.

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Photo of kylelenk
2.8/5  rDev -28%

Bottle to snifter.

A- WB Noir pours a thick, motor oil body. No head whatsoever on this one. Light effervescent carbonation.

S- First note of something funky. Get a little bit of the red wine barrel character here with a bunch of sour notes. A little bit of cranberry shines through the muted stouts notes of chocolate, burnt toast, and smoked malts.

T- Big time funk here. Lots of metallic characters on the pallets. The faintest bit of red wine can be found if looked for.

O- Something went wrong here.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: black body with some dark brown around the edges; head is an attractive finger of brown foam. Great.

Smell: rich, dark and roasty with a very complementary sweet fruitiness. It's got some nice wood complexity as well; dang, this is a great-smelling beer.

Taste: roasty and sweet with a bit of fruitiness but not quite as rich and complex as the aroma. There's a little bit of tartness as well which sort-of works.

Mouthfeel: medium-rich body with a good carbonation and creaminess.

Overall: outstanding aroma, although it promises a little more than the flavor delivers. Still a delicious beer, however.

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Photo of Severdali
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Chocolate...raspberries (from the red wine funk smell that i get ...its great warming up...funkier than your average red wine barrel beer...almost moldy/cheesy)...slight oak, slight oat, hint of coffee (small hint when colder really)...even slight citrus...not crazy bursting flavors but nice complexity. A bit more entertaining on the nose than in the mouth...but a great creamy mouthfeel and a unique beer on its own that is worth trying/aging. Carbonation stays nice throughout the beer warming up, and leaves a nice "tannic" feel in your mouth when warmed to 50s.

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Photo of nickfl
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%

Oil black body with a big, dark tan head. Notes of chocolate and dark, red fruit in the aroma. The flavor is full of vinous character with a fair amount of grain bitterness and a coffee like roast character. Medium thick body, slightly high carbonation and a dry finish. The aroma character is great, but it doesn't pull through in the flavor. The lack of sweetness emphasizes the bitterness which really clashes with the fruit, a bit more sweetness and body would go a long way.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +8%

Well vintaged imperial stout will generally trend dry, winey and beautifully oxidized to reveal layer upon layer of savory aroma and taste. But with the wine barrel at their normal disposal, the Prairie brewers simply cannot help themselves.

The darkest shade of brown settles into the glass with a hazy and muddled appearance. Its delicate lace swirls about the rim, giving a glimpse of stout first, but then sour red wine in waves. Its smoothly roasted sweetness reveal the burnt sugars, chocolate and molasses character ahead of grape puree, vinous barrel and oak.

Drier than expected, the lavish taste of bitter chocolate and french-press coffee are propped up with scorched sugars and a savory link that bridges across the middle towards a dry winey finish. Strong red wines of cabernet and merlot carry a sourness that associates with under-ripened berry, sour cherry, cider and plum although its grape presence remains strong.

Full bodied, but forgiving upon the finish, the stout lightens considerably upon its own acidic thinning, its warming alcohol and its powder-fine tannins. Oaky, caramel and vanillan-rich, its soft chalky exit is tangy and moderately bittered with char.

It takes a masterful hand to get these flavors to fuse together so seamlessly because their natural tendencies are to conflict in taste. The brewers and agers flirt with complication but rather are embraced by complexity.

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Photo of barczar
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

Dark chocolate, tar, roasty malt, and a hint of soy dominate the aroma. Flavor reveals a base of almost raspberry tartness initially, underlying a backbone of dark chocolate malt, which becomes roasty after the oak barrel kicks in mid palate. Fruity red wine grape character weaves throughout. Seems light and fruity enough to be a pinot grape, actually. The finish is dry and slightly chalky, and fairly bitter. Subtle vinous notes emerge late in the aroma. The bitterness that lingers is a bit much for my liking, but the chocolate and fruit notes are exceptional.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Black pour with a brown two-finger head. Aroma of roasted malt, dark coffee and a hint of alcohol. Flavor is very oaky upfront with some nice roasted malt and dark fruit tastes. Also has some wine like grape and cherry flavors. Medium bodied. Dark fruit flavors develop more as the beer warms giving an almost tart finish. Different from most stouts in that the body is a little thinner than expected and the roasted/burnt flavors are replaced by the fruit. But still very good and stands on its own.

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Photo of KYGunner
4/5  rDev +2.8%

On the nose I could sense dark chocolate malts, light coffee roast, fermented purple grapes and wine like alcohols.

The flavors were pronounced chocolate, coffee roast, light grape, some woodsy oak and a nice raspberry finish.

I found this to be an exceptionally balanced beer as the stout malts of chocolate and light coffee flavors did not over take the fruit and wine properties.

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Photo of kojevergas
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz brown glass with a branded grey/black pry-off pressure cap. Label art is nice, but strangely reminiscent of a diagram of female genitalia...or it that just me?

10%. Distributed by the Shelton Bastards. Reviewed live as an "Imperial Stout Aged in Red Wine Barrels" per the label. Served cold into a snifter. Expectations are quite high given the brewery and the series; I quite liked the original Prairie Noir.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Pours a luxurious, creamy, full head of fantastic dark khaki-tan colour. Evokes a rich dessert treat of a beer immediately. 2.5 fingers wide. Has a billowing soft consistency. Boasts excellent retention; the head stays at full mast for at least 15 minutes - longer than I can bear to wait for the first sip. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. I do think more thickness would be ideal, but that's nitpicking.

BODY: Solid opaque black. Dark, but not quite a jet black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible therein.

Overall, it's a good looking imperial stout and its head retention at this high an ABV sets it apart. I'm, looking forward to trying it.

AROMA: Dry cocoa powder, roasted barley, a hint of peat and subtle accompanying smokiness, chocolate malt, a kiss of fennel. I get some very subtle dampened oak barrel notes, but what's sorely missing is a toasty oak character, or a woody richness. The oak lends too little, and while I pick up some faint vague fruitiness, I find neither grape nor red wine. The roasted barley is the highlight for me personally, but overall I find this a weak, reticent aroma for an imperial stout - yet one that promises subtlety.

There's no overt booziness or any other off-character. It's rather low-intensity for an imperial stout aroma. Not the big bold aromatics you expect from a beer in this style, which isn't a bad thing in general - but I do want more than this is providing. I hope the taste delivers what the aroma doesn't.

As it warms, though (as I wait for the head to recede enough for me to drink it!), some dark deep red grape notes do emerge, accompanied by a slight unanticipated tartness. I don't pretend to know wine, but this seems to tend towards a sweeter red wine rather than a drier one.

TASTE/TEXTURE: The open gives us what we expect - dark malts, some chocolate malts, maybe the beginnings of the roasted barley that doesn't hit until the climax - but it's the sharp left turn into tart fruit and shallow red wine territory at the midpoint that immediately seizes the drinker's attention. A guiding undertone of damp oak barrel throughout lends the build ample cohesion and helps ensure it never comes off too sweet...in fact I'd say the malty sweetness is perfectly balanced by the unnoticeable bittering hops and the hints of bitter herb from the anise/fennel family.

That is until the aftertaste, when some slight bitterness catches up, accompanied by a lightly scratchy mouthfeel which violates the up-to-then pleasant smoothness and wetness of the texture. Admittedly, it's thinner than most imperial stouts, but also more approachable. And the apt (if slight over-) carbonation makes sure the texture doesn't distract too much. It's soft, almost refreshing.

Getting back to the wine notes - wow, not what I expected. Shallow, certainly, but the tart fruit works very well here - like a good wine and chocolate pairing. Don't expect a whole lot of depth of flavour - especially where the barrel notes are concerned, but I do think overall the barrel does complement and add to the base beer well. It doesn't overwhelm it.

It's not a burnt, boozy, coffee-redolent, or bourbon-y stout. As it warms, the tartness even gives a bit - admitting a kiss of sourness into the profile. Any hopping is unnoticeable in terms of flavour.

It preserves the lovely marshmallow notes and creaminess of regular Noir, but not the caramel. In any case, it's excellently balanced, and while not the most complex imperial stout out there, boasts more than enough intricacy to engage the discerning drinker in the discovery of the many notes in its gestalt build.

OVERALL: At 11%, this is one drinkable imperial stout, but the evident high quality still demands the drinker slow down, if only to fully appreciate its subtleties and intricacies. I admit I haven't really preferred most Noir variants to the original base brew, but this is easily the best contender. I'd absolutely recommend this to friends and trade partners. It surpassed my already high expectations given the brewery responsible. I'll greedily finish the bottle alone.

For the nitpicker, or the discerning drinker seeking a superior beer with a similar flavour profile, look for Mikkel's Black Hole Red Wine Edition.

Chocolate covered strawberries or cherries would pair sinfully well with this brew.

I'm not sure I'd age this one, but maybe that kiss of sourness will take hold and blossom?


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Photo of Premo88
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

12 oz. bottle poured into snifter

L: pitch black topped by huge, thick tan head of foam -- classic big stout look, and the head sticks and is now lacing ... perfection

S: like the look, classic big stout -- all coffee and chocolate, super sweet with some nice dark roasted malt notes and only a hint of red-wine sour-grape note underneath all of the typical stout notes; after the first sip, wow -- the red wine notes really show through ... once the palate gets triggered, that red wine mixes with the stout chocolate/coffee and offers a big vanilla-cherry milkshake kind of thing

T: burnt bitter malt, so dark bitter that it masks much of the sweetness picked up in the aroma; definite tart/sour note from the red wine, especially in the lingering aftertaste; the 10% ABV warms the throat but doesn't seem present in the taste -- too much malt flavor to notice alcohol

F: full and weighty but not overly slick or thick ... very drinkable for a beer that should be nursed

O: fantastic spin on a style I love straight up. the red wine barrels impart a cool sour/tart note that's very subtle amid the sweet coffee/chocolate tastes of the stout. a perfect sipping beer

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Prairie Wine Barrel Noir from Prairie Artisan Ales
87 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.