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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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Reviews: 79 | Hads: 642
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at mrbubbler's tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, dark fruit, red wine, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with sour fruit and cocoa flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a solid red wine barrel aged presence.

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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 StonedTrippin
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

one of the more interesting variants of noir i think this one. its really heavy on the wine, red wine, and although i cant pick the wine specifically, i have to imagine its cabernet or zinfandel, given the robustness of the wine aspect in this beer. probably first or second use barrels too, since so much flavor gets imparted into the beer. bakers chocolate colored beer, viscous, and just a short mocha colored head. the smell is the wine tannins first, with the bitter dark malt and booze coming later. more wine flavor from the fruit than from the oak, not common, and odd in such a big stout, it seems a little out of place does the fruitiness, but it works in the flavor. blackberry notes as much as grape ones in the flavor, lending further to my cabernet theory. the stout is almost back seat to the wine, and with such a full flavored and bodied beer, it seems impossible. the dark malt comes through a little sweeter than i remember in the others, and the alcohol seems more up front. some desserty notes in here too, chocolate layer cake and unlit cigar. complex and fun, but the beauty of noir is lost to the wine a little bit. i rarely describe a beer as over barreled, but this may be. the wine is super intense in it, unmistakable, flavors more than mellows, and finishes long and a little tart even from the wine. clever but not my favorite of the series.

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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 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 jlindros
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was quite hard to get these days, but thanks to Duffy for sharing.

Dark super dark almost black beer,

Nose nice sweet malt, great barrel note, like fresh oak barrel without overwhelming, little vinous like note, bright fruit, candy caramel, etc.
Taste sweet candy malt, toffee and candy, brandy like fruity notes, little vinous note and vanilla clean barrel, little vanilla, etc. Some booze heat and tingle, fruity, little grape note interestingly, etc.

Mouth med bod, little syrupy fuller, nice carb.

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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 Rifugium
1.5/5  rDev -61.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1

Seriously...are there any Prairie beers that don't totally suck and/or aren't infected? Do people rate them up just because it's the only thing that comes out of Oklahoma?

Slight gusher from the bottle. Dark black-brown pour into a mini-snifter...but that wasn't cutting it...I needed a full-sized snifter to contain all the foam that came out even from a careful pour. The head never completely died down between when I opened the bottle and when I dumped the beer down the drain. Infection was apparent in the aroma right from the beginning, lesser notes of roasted malt, and not much else. Taste of rotten fruit, sour infection, wet wood, charred malts. Really bad, and completely undrinkable. Seems to be the trend with Prairie beers, and I don't know how they're getting away with it. Well, at least their glassware is neat.

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Photo of russpowell
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Opens with a very low-key pop

Pours jet-black with 2+ fingers of caramel colored head. Nice viscosity to this, above average lacing & head retention

S: Dark chocolate, oakyness & rum, plums as well

T: Plums, dryness, pruneyness, & oaky sourness, an odd bit of marmalade as well up front. Plenty of wine cask as this warms, figs & a touch charred oak, smokeyness, plus raisins& prunes. Finishes sooo dry, with figs, prunes & a touch of grape jelly

MF: Chewy, slight carbonation, but enough to push flavors forward, warming

A nice RIS, that will probably age very well, not in love with is as much prior Prairie stouts. Will try to buy a few to age if I see it again. Very few wine aged beers have impressed me, this is just another one not quite in my wheelhouse. Pretty complex not matter how you slice it

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Photo of chinchill
3.16/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

12 oz undated bottle prchased at Central Market (San Antonio) 2 days ago.

A - Pitch black; creamy brown head with great retention and sticky lacing.

Aroma: Moderate-strong red wine and wine barrel components dominate the dark malts.

Flavor: over-powering red wine and wine barrel aspects. The normal stout flavors start to come out mid-taste, but it's back to red wine and barrels

Feel: soft, medium-low carbonation; very smooth; full body.

O: an unsuccessful transformation of a fine Imperial Stout.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Northdown. Served in a snifter.

A - Tan foam settles to a partial cap, thick collar, and splotches of lacing. Black body with the faintest hint of brown at the edges of the glass.

S - Big red wine character here; jammy dark fruits and oak are quite present. Base beer contributes notes of roasted malt, anise, dark chocolate, and perhaps a touch of char. Slightly boozy, but not excessively so for 11%.

T - The taste has more malt sweetness to it, although the roast and char flavors appear late, leading to a bitter finish. Wine presence is a bit more restrained here, with the dark fruit character of the red wine integrating with the malt profile. There's some lingering vinous and lightly tart notes that linger through the finish and into the aftertaste.

M - Very dry, with loads of tannins, but also a good deal of lingering stickiness on the palate. Hefty medium-full body, with some obvious alcohol warming.

D - I enjoyed my snifter, but with Bomb! available this was a one and done. The red wine character is pretty intense, so enjoyment may depend on one's wine tastes. That being said, a well-executed and tasty beverage.

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Photo of mothman
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at petrol station.

1 finger of tan head. Splattered lace. Color is black.

Flavor profile: it kind of tastes like a sour stout. The wine barrels really come through on this one. Tart cherries and sour grapes. Roasted malts. Plums, black licorice, molasses, and black cherries. A decent amount of oak. Chocolate.

Mouthfeel: tart and roasted. Full bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall, a bit too sour/tart for a stout for me and too roasted on top of that. Other than that, I enjoyed it, but I won't buy more of this one.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Thick, inky black colour with a thin layer of medium brown head.

S - Roast, chocolate, coffee, molasses and a vinous wine character.

T - Chocolate and roast with a big vinous wine character and some rich and sweet red wine notes that really become noticeable as the beer warms. Fairly sweet overall with well hidden alcohol.

M - Full body and somewhat silky. Light carbonation.

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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 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 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 Davepoolesque
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bottle into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass. About a half a finger of a tight dark khaki head. Looks really good. Smelled like chocolate covered cherries, roasted barley and sugar sweetness. The initial taste comes off slightly tart that hits the sides of your tongue, but then mellows out with the roasted malts and finished clean. This was medium bodied stout, good lacing and coating of the mouth. Really enjoyed this beer. I haven't had too many wine barreled stouts, but I would say this is up there from what I have experienced.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mike M for bringing this one by and popping my Prairie Artesian Ales cherry. Or grape, I guess. I've been loving wine barrel-aged stuff recently, so I was very excited to try this one. Black and oily squid's ink on the pour with just about no head. It just sits in the glass, viscous and still, with barely even a collar to mention. Swirling the glass gets a little bubble movement, but it still looks relatively motionless and tranquil.

We're talking Rocky and Apollo Creed, Round 2, where Rocky is the roast and my boy Creed is the vine. A wonderful clashing of roasted malt and vinous inclusions; sweet, roasted cocoa beans, burnt caramel and delicate brown sugar is met equally by oaky wine barrel notes, tingly grape sweetness, and a faint, underlying, vine-like tartness. Many people are but off by the roasty and sour combo, but I've been falling in love recently, sinking like a fat kid in the summer camp swim class.

The taste teeters towards the wine barrel side, which is more than fine with me. Dominant bouts of tart grapes, vinous oak staves, wine, and mild tannins flow through a moderate sea of roast. The potency of the wine barrel aging is enough to bury the roast quite a bit, but over time, it starts peaking its head out a little more and really gives the tart essence an extra leg to stand on. Good complexity so far, though a little more balance may be necessary.

A few sips in, the vinous flavors and apparent tartness start stroking the saliva glands nicely before it turns into a full blown hummer. The increasing levels of tartness and the increasing robustness of the roast stretch the flavor spectrum of the brew and is sure to turn some people off, but I'm enjoying every minute of it. The bananarama fades to a timid sweetness in the finish with a complimentary roasty and grape-y flavor. Medium-heavy bodied, oily and thick and viscous on the palate with lower carbonation.

Once again, this isn't something that many people will fall in love with. But for some sick and twisted reason, I've been really "coming around" to some strange sour and roasted combo beers, especially darker brews that have been hanging out in wine barrels. A little more or heavier roast would do this one well, but it's pretty damn good as is. Not something you'd drink on a daily basis, but an enigmatic and delicate brew for when you're feeling frisky.

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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 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 champ103
4.34/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a completely opaque black color. An incredibly well formed, silky smooth tan head rises to two fingers. Excellent retention, and rings of spiderweb looking lace. This is a looker.
S: A huge aromatic nose. Dark fruits of cherries, plums, and grapes comes billowing out of the glass. Light wood/oak aromas from the barrel. Milk chocolate in the finish. Actually not a lot of stout character in the nose, but still so enjoyable and unique.
T: Chocolate covered cherries, plums, grapes. The fruit flavors are almost jammy. Lightly vinous, light wood/oak flavors. More stout like character comes through as this warms. Some roast, vanilla, slightly bitter bakers chocolate pokes through for a second time. Incredible, and really unique.
M/D: A big full body of coarse. Though not nearly as viscous as other stouts of this size. Which seems to be a Prairie MO. Some bubbly carbonation on the tongue that is a little strong for the style. Though still plenty smooth. The alcohol is warming, but never over barring. A great sipper.

At first, you really don't get any stout character at all. It is just dark fruits, wine barrel and chocolate. As this warms a bit more stout comes through, but still certainly not what you expect from an Imperial Stout. That is perfectly fine cause it is so enjoyable, and unique. Well done.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.05/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed from a Dino glass.

a - brew pours black with a thin off tan head that didn't hang out long but never fully went away.

s - nose is chocolate roast with vinous notes.

t - chocolate covered cherry a bit medicinal, as the red wine seems to fight for prominence with the stouty base.

m - prickly carb a hint of booziness, fruity on a stout.

o - overall, not really my bag but drinkable. The red wine doesn't really seem to work too great here and seems to take away more than it gives. Fun tick, but skip able brew.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.39/5  rDev -12.9%

12oz bottle poured into a TG snifter 8/22/2014.

A- Dark black body, almost opaque and brown. For an imperial stout, this comes with a suspiciously large tan head that persists for quite a while. [3.75]

S- Wine barrel, a bit of diacetyl butter, oak and graham crackers. There isn't a lot of the base imperial stout to be smelled here. [3.5]

F- Dark fruit, blueberries and raspberries, oak, red wine tannins, graham crackers and a bit of cocoa. Not as much of the base beer as I'd expect, but at least this isn't infected as far as I can tell. [3.5]

M- On the thinner side, a bit lower in carbonation. Drinkable, but that's as good as it gets. [3.25]

O- Not that great. Thin body kind of kills the wine barrel flavours that otherwise come across fairly well here. [3]

Final score: 3.3875

(Using the above ratings for each category and the weights below, per the old system)
Appearance 5%
Aroma 20%
Taste 45%
Mouthfeel 10%
Overall 20%

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle from trade. Pours dark brown to black with a mocha head that keeps on growing well after the pour and I to a mountain on top of my glass. Weird. Wonder if this is a slight gusher. Gotta wait a bit to drink this I guess. Roasty chocolate aroma and some definite dark vinous fruitiness head still sticking around 5 minutes later. Flavor is a big punch of sweet red wine behind dark roast and cocoa powder. If infected then not too bad. Body is soft and rich with lowish carbonation. This has some big time red wine notes. Slow drinker for me but a definite must try for the red wine barrel stout lover.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.26/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: black, brown finger head, decent lace.

Aroma: red wine, oak, vanilla, chocolate and roast. The wine is really prominent and I'm digging!

Taste: again, big red wine notes, mild acid, chocolate cherries, oak and roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: solid near full body with a quite pleasant creaminess.

Overall: huge on the wine notes, and for me, its delicious! My personal favorite Noir!

Thanks Herf!

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