Prairie The Beer That Saved Christmas | Prairie Artisan Ales

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Prairie The Beer That Saved ChristmasPrairie The Beer That Saved Christmas

Brewed by:
Prairie Artisan Ales
Oklahoma, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Cowboys9 on 11-10-2013

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Reviews: 67 | Ratings: 372
Photo of zerocrane
5/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one is close to a 10.

A - Dark, almost black with a thin head

S - You can tell this one is going to be sour. You get a hint of grapes or raisens

T- Phenominal from start to finish. That's all I can say

O- 90-95/100. this is a great beer. I wish it was an annual brew.

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Photo of mhaugo
4.37/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

16.9oz bottle decanted into a snifter. 10% ABV. Served at 55F and allowed to elevate to room temperature.

Appearance: Deep chestnut, pours brilliantly clear until you get into the dregs, relatively fat bubbles make up a pretty firm head (3.5/5).

Aroma: Wood, leather, molasses, bourbon, Cherry Coke, and a touch of sweet vinegar (4.5/5).

Taste: I’m initially struck by an interesting sour note that I did not expect. That flavor crescendos pretty quickly, and then it thins out and clears with only a soft touch of oak left behind. A little research has informed me that Prairie spikes the beer with a “mixture of wild bacteria”, so I’m glad to see the infection is intentional. I also get some tobacco, cherry, vanilla, and chocolate. As it warms, the cherry flavor comes marching into the forefront. God… what an interesting beer (4.75/5).

Mouthfeel: Rather thin with a touch of astringency from the oak (3.25/5).

Overall: Man, this is great. It’s an old ale, aged in bourbon barrels, and inoculated with wild bacteria. I’m (nearly) speechless. It certainly isn’t traditional by any stretch of the imagination, but I love what they have done with it (4.25/5).

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Photo of stephens101
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

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Photo of BaronRogue
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.26/5  rDev +13.9%
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

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

: Pours dark chestnut crowned by a persistent 2” creamy tan foam collar with a very fine bead. S: Prune, dark malts, some dark sugars, spice T: Starts creamy, foamy fruity and then finishes with a dry, very long lingering complex layering of malt loaf and caramel flavors laced with some alcohol heat. The dark sugars, some traces of anise to cola, a dash of pepper and a little alcohol dominate the finish and the aftertaste. F: A medium body leaning to saftig, very creamy, above average carbonation. O: A big, tasty, complex old ale.

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Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.15/5  rDev +11%
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.

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Photo of MikeB91c
4.14/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Just got this bottle from a newly opened store in Decatur, AR. I have heard buzz about it and other Prairie brews so I thought I'd buy a few. Lucky I did, as I went back later that afternoon and there were none to be found.

Starts off with a dark brown pour with a creamy toffee head. The smell is enticing right off the bat with hints of spice, oak, and leather...a great combination. The initial taste was a touch sour for my palate, but as I continue to "push" through, I found it to be very crisp on the tongue for a dark ale with a continuation all the way through to the end; ten minutes after a sip, you can still get the tartness and the hints of oak/vanilla throughout. Halfway through my first bottle, I realized that yes...this is a pretty darn good beer and one that I will obtain for my cellar.

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Photo of popery
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown, shaded with magenta. Opaque. Probably cloudy but it's too dark to really tell. Small light beige head. Decent lacing, retention for a beer of this strength. Stewed berries, cocoa, brown sugar and apricots in the nose. I think there's some barrel presence, but it's kinda hard to tell what's what. Possibly some spirit and oak knocking around. It smells like sugar cookies, fruitcake and rum (that's more a function of the alcohol and fruitiness, rather than any sort of guess at the barrels used). The taste also has lots of fruit and heavy sweetness. A tad medicinal. Some definite booze. Light chocolate. Berries and apricots soaked in caramel, wine and booze. Thick feel. Never gets too sticky, though. Interesting stuff. Definitely more legitimately old ale-ish than I expected, which is fun. It's not a barleywine, and there's a whole bunch of stuff going on. Good for a cold winter night, but this beer might catch some off-guard.

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Photo of SebD
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 bottle

Appearance: It has a nice dark brown almost black color to it. It has a nice creamy beige head that dies down moderately and leaves light lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of brown sugar, caramel, dark fruit, some roasted coffee, oak, vanilla and a slight tartness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some sweet caramel and brown sugar, roasted coffee, light grass, dark fruit, woody oak, light vanilla and some tart cherries.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by good flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of BierJager89
4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours dark brown with a creamy mocha head.

S: Brown sugar, some medium roast coffee, oak, a touch of vanilla, a touch of caramel.

T: Brown sugar, some oak, some vanilla, some caramel, but a surprising amount of fruity yeast esters.

M: Medium bodied and fairly smooth.

O: This is an interesting beer, the nose and taste seem to be on conflict, but it works beautifully. Definitely worth a try. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of hopley
4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Interesting beer but kind of looking for an identity (in a good way).

It's an old ale with some typical Prairie funk that adds some blatant complexity albiet in a slightly overpowering way - not sour or tart at all, but leaning ever so slightly in that direction.

Great looking beer - dark body with light head that stays with it as it around the edges as it warms. Nice mouthfeel bordering on chewey; this is where the hint of sour / tart comes in ever so slightly as it competes with the old ale sweetness. Doesn't get better or worse as it warms but the 10% ABV becomes a little more present at this point.

Overall I liked this beer and think it's slightly under-rated. I wouldn't get it again but am really glad I tried it. Thanks Prairie!

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of schwemjw
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: dark murkey Brown. No head. Very hazy.

S. Strong oak. Vanilla. Brown sugar. Dark fruits. Hints of citrus. Very interesting and inviting nose.

T: wow! Tart. Dark cherry and brown sugar. Molasses and white grape. Tons of oak. Pretty tart and acidic.

M: very effervescent. Lingering acidic finish. Good carbonation.

I: pretty awesome imo. Tart, dark cherry abd effervescent are what will stick with me! /92

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Photo of KYGunner
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of ThePaleRider
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was prepared for disappointment when I read the reviews on this brew. Turned out to be a winning choice!

This is the second BA old ale, that's sour(whether intentional or not), that I've come across. The first was from The Bruery and it was pretty disappointing.

Pours a lovely brown that's very cloudy. Very rich, light tan head that had a lot of retention.

Smell hits you with lacto and then the old ale caramels,malts, and alcohol sugars.

Taste hits you just like the aroma. Very sour bite that is followed by some alcohol and caramels. When colder the sour really kicked in. The more this guy warmed up the more the caramel and oak began to take over and at room temperature this brew was very smooth and oaky.

Medium body with a little alcohol present.

Decent beer, not sure if it was supposed to be sour or not but very enjoyable.

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Photo of bryanbullock
3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S- Oak aroma on the nose indicative of the bba, strong cherry aroma with a hint of tartness, almost sour in aroma yet this is a pleasing smell. Chocolate and malt undertones.

A- Pours a milky dark chocolate brown with small microbuble 2 finger head and good lacing.

T- Taste leaves more to be desired after such an inticing smell. light malt sweetness and light sourness at the onset that finishes with a high sour end. Some grapey fruit flavor all the way through.

M - Mouthfeel is lighter than expecting, with low viscosity for an 11 percent beer, but good effervescence.

O- All in all a very complex quality beer, not sure it is worth the 20 dollars I paid for it but I would definitely drink this beer again. Very Unique!

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Photo of boonzes
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

this is an english olde ale style, apparently. it probably needs a couple years in the bottle. that said, i really enjoyed the beer. the price was not great, but i think the investment in saving a couple bottles might be. light head and body, roasty, but almost like there was some lager yeast involved. the thing that stuck out for me was just like the wine barrel noir - it's like chocolate covered cranberries. it's not exactly "sour." it's not exactly "dessert" chocolatey. it's kind of an uncomfortable medium. i think a couple years in the bottle might do this well, but i also thought the mid-nineties cleveland indians would be unstoppable. i guess we'll see. until then, we can only get in line for a two bottle per person limit to pay for wax and amber glass. i hope the best for this beer.

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Photo of Ri0
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured 500ml bottle into chalice.

A - Dark brown with dark amber highlights around the edge and a 1 finger foamy white head that fades into a thin film. Very small spots of lacing on the glass.

S - Tart fruit notes along with chocolate, vanilla, dark fruit and brown sugar.

T - There is a bit of tartness up front, not so much cherry, with chocolate and vanilla. The oak is present and has an earthiness to it. I pick up some dark brown sugar and dark fruit.

M - Medium body and nice carbonation. Finishes dry and semi tart with a bit of earthy wood.

O - At first I was calling this a stout and remembered that it was an Old Ale. Cool idea and one I really enjoyed.

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Photo of seand
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of alaimoa
3.89/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of cvm4
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Prairie The Beer That Saved Christmas from Prairie Artisan Ales
3.74 out of 5 based on 372 ratings.
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