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 phildow
2.32/5  rDev -38%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not sure if this was bottled with Brett, but that might be the case based on my experience. Opened the bottle and half the contents gushed out immediately...

Appearance is pretty much the only thing here resembling an old ale. Hazy brown, too much carbonation leading to a three finger head even with a gentle pour. Lace remaining throughout the drink.
Smells funky, tart. Not really what one expects when they hear old ale.
Taste is full on farmhouse. That's it.
Mouthfeel is light and crisp. Again, not an old ale.
Overall, something went wrong, maybe this was sitting out too long before I got it and cellared it, not really sure. I just know it's not what I expected when I read old ale.

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Photo of Charliechu
2.65/5  rDev -29.1%
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 .


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Photo of StoutFox
2.96/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: brown, huge medium brown head
Aroma: a bit sour, bitter oaky,
Taste: Dry, I'm getting a number of spices, clove nutmeg, to name a couple, finishes tart and oaky
overall: not a huge fan it could have been a whole lot better. it almost tastes as though something got into the brew either in the bottle or the barrel more than likely form the spices added. the sour oakyness does fade a bit as it warms.

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Photo of JWD
3.04/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Are you kidding me!!! This is not an old ale. This is a tart slightly sour ale. I would be careful aging this as the sour flavor may get more intense. Great brewery bad, misrepresented beer. Stick to your big stouts, the bomb is world class.

This beer also had significant condensation under the cap/wax as report in the forum,not really an issue but could be down the road.

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Photo of Bierlerner
3.11/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

500ml generously shared by Cameron Clause on Christmas Day. It didn't quite save my holiday but always nice to try new Prairie.

A - Dark brown pour with tons of flecks floating about. Beige head is big at the start and retains pretty well throughout.

S - Light brettiness and kind of a weird smoky mustiness. Some dark fruit, red grape and caramel, but nowhere near normal old ale-level.

T - An odd mix of tart bretty fruits, raisin, oak and burnt caramel. Kind of a red wine feel and some alcohol. I assume it's at least a little bit infected, feels kind of off and messy, but not bad.

M - Very foamy and light, way too carbonated. Decent amount of alcohol there as well. The foam seems to calm itself after some time but still watery and meh.

O - It has potential but it's pretty much a mess. Old ale flavors are just decent, the brett is kinda boring for brett and there's too much of it, definitely too foamy. Not bad, I assume something went haywire with the brett and/or oak barrel.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Ruddy and muddy brown pour, minimal if any head. Aroma was old ale caramel, alcohol and wet wood.

Taste was boozy toffee, caramel, not overly sweet nor dry. Earthy tobacco, raisin, wood. Somewhat complex, no bad flavors, definitely fits the bill as an old ale. Doesn't have Christmas spice rack flavorings, just an old school old ale.

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Photo of cbutova
3.26/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Purchased on-sale at Coaltrain Liquors in Colorado Springs, CO over the summer. Consumed and fully reviewed at night on Christmas.

2013 bottle.

A- Super dark red around the sides with a deep brown body from the 500ml to a few glasses. A large cap makes it up to over one finger with a very foamy, fizzy texture; the bottle opened with a LOUD hiss. The cap dies to a large puffy ring and haze all atop the beer. Massive chunks of swamp things suspend throughout with some spots of lace here and there.

S- Probably the most pleasant part of this beer for me. Most of the roasty Old Ale part of the beer comes out here with a well aged vanilla toasted oak and woody buffer. Notes of raisin and aged caramel leading to cocoa and slight roast, lactic and slight acetic bacteria, figs and hints of sweets. Bacteria really opens up with time and it is probably more pleasant when there is more Old Ale feel before that.

T- More of a balance at this stage. It takes character from the deep malty base beer, the rounded out oak barrel and the tart and slightly fruity funky bacteria. Strong notes of cherry, lactic acid, red wine vinegar, raisins, figs, general spiced dark fruits, toasted wood, oak vanilla and musty caramel. The tartness and fruity bacteria gets pretty bold with time drowning out the Old Ale in the end.

MF- This is where things kind of get thrown off. The body is incredibly foamy as hinted by the noise when opening the bottle. Massive fizzy foamy carbonation fills up the entire mouth immediately as it feels like a champagne or sour. This does not suit a lot of the flavors for me.

This beer has all kinds of potential. I think the Old Ale notes are quite good when they shine through and I really like the amount of oak and barrel flavor. The mouthfeel really hurts it for me and the bacteria also take away from the good aspects of the beer after a few sips. I would like to try a non-soured version of this. Just lacks a total melding of the flavors presented.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.31/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

White waxed bottle served in a Prairie teku.

A - Dark brown body, with a small frothy head leaving behind bubbly legs.

S - Big cocoa presence, roasted malts, lacto tartness, vinous fruit, grapes, cranberry sauce, musty wood, vanilla. The chocolate becomes a back seat to the wood once it warms. Various spices, allspice is very present, brown sugar alcohols,

T - Woody chocolate malts followed quickly by acidic fruits, cranberries, tart cherries, pecans, brown sugar, allspice, dark currents. The malts have some roast and seem to be creamy but the tartness cuts through adding sharpness. Finishes dry and semi tart with spice and earth left on the palate.

M - Soft effervescent carbonation, medium body,

The beer smells great but the flavors don't meld like the aroma. The tartness has a middle ground so it seems to be in the way. I'll crack another bottle in a few years to see if this goes further on the sour train.

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Photo of magictacosinus
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of MartzMimic
3.39/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

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

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Photo of JebBeerFish
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Had this right after having Christmas Prairie Bomb. Found this to be much superior than CPB. Doesn't really have typical holiday spices to me, but that is not a criticism. A nice brew. Bought it at a reduced price after the 2013 holiday, and had aged in my cellar for a year.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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

S: Muddled fruitcake with toffee, wood and an Earthiness

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

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

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

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Photo of youradhere
3.44/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber with flashes of orange around the edges, small off white head dissipates to leave behind thick lacing. Smell is vinous Brett, bourbon and whiskey, cola. Taste is woody bourbon, some wine character, dry cola, cold coffee. Mouthfeel is off dry and slick. Overall not bad but not the best, could use some age to mellow out the bitter and bring up some of the fruitier Brett character.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A pleasant aroma of moderate strength.

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

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

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

On the sweeter side, for sure.

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

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

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

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

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

Drinks great from a tulip.

High B-

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P: Pours a murky brown swamp body with a khaki airy head. A small amount if milky off white bubbles congregate around the edge if the glass.

S: Rich aroma of Borbon soaked oak, chocolate, brown sugar, plums, sugared prunes, tart grape presence, star anise, pencil shavings and plant bulbs.

T/M: Chocolate and timid booze arrives on the first sip. Dark fruits, licorice, ground cumin, burnt toffee and the faint grape tartness shows up as well. I'm picking up some strange flavors that bring hoisin sauce to mind. Molasses drizzled scorched grains linger in the background after the swallow. Medium body with subtle carbonation and finishes semi dry.

O: I'm not really feeling this Prairie Ale. I'm a huge fan of the brewery but this one seems like a mess. It gave some off flavors. While it was complex the flavors didn't play well together. Good but not great.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.54/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Fine bubbled, khaki colored head. Ok retention and nice lace. Light saddle brown body - muddy and hazy.

S - Cherry, raisin, port wine macerated berries, oak, caramel, wet leaves.

T - Lots of dry cocoa, red wine, oak, currents, allspice, caramel, gingerbread, leather.

M - Creamy, medium-light frame. Well balanced carbonation.

O - Incredibly dry finish. Interesting flavor profile, but not necessarily may favorite holiday brew.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 11.26.13

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

S - Raison, oak, malty.

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

D - Good carbonation with a light body.

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

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Photo of russpowell
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
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

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.64/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of Ohiovania
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Rusted out all along the cap. Got this via trade in Iowa.

I didn't know this has wild bacteria in it until I took my first sip. Then I had to look up the specs on the prairie website. I love old ales so my first sip was awful. i see what they are doing here, though. The more I drink it the more I'm warming up this sour version of an old ale.

The tart fruits and chocolate and leather, I get, don't blend as cohesively well as I would like. I'm glad I'm splitting this one.

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Photo of imperialbeerdude
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I actually enjoyed this one, but it's definitely not an old ale unless it was infected. As far as the taste goes I get some mild barrel/old ale flavors, there are hints of vanilla but it's mostly a red grape/vinous tart flavor. Not overpowering and actually kind of pleasant, but I'm a fan of pretty much everything sour/funky. I'm really interested in the back story for this beer, overall pretty good. I'd give it a solid B, weird beer for sure though.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of gueuzedreg
3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

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

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

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

O- Well done, but just not my style.

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Photo of pkalix
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

pours a murky rust with thin, tan foam that falls apart quickly. smells like sweet chocolate through the bottle, but a very earthy, almost unpleasant, malt from the glass. raisin.
taste is a slight bitter, stoutness with a little tart on top of that. I get the tart cherries that others were referring to. a bit thin, which gives it a twangy, almost metallic taste, but for 10% it's pretty good. not a lot of alcohol in the taste. If I had brewed this, i'd be proud; but in the world of beer distribution, it's a little better than decent. artwork on the label is choice also....

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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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