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 StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

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Photo of chugalug06
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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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 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 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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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 notchucknorris
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a hazy maple syrup color that gathers into a deep brown in the glass. Two finger tan head foams up pretty nicely and shows decent retention.

S: I've been getting a lot of different things since I poured this. Booze soaked fruit of some sort with a spicy oak backbone, but I can't decide if it's rum or brandy or maybe even bourbon. Toffee, caramel, dark fruit and a touch of a slightly sour raisin smell.

T: Dark malt and fruit flavors upfront, with a surprising sour edge. Raisin, mild toffee, red grape skin, rum barrel, sour plum and some tingling alcohol on the finish. Not that this says much, but this is probably my least favorite of their beers so far. Still digging it though and I'd love to see what this is like in a few years. Feels like it needs to round out a bit. It's not ready to save Christmas just yet.

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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 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 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 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 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 jlindros
3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to rudzud for sharing/splitting.

Light creamy head, decent lacing, dark murky molasses brown.

Nose lots of bourbon, barrel juice, toasted oak and light vanilla, sweet molasses and brown sugar, dark fruits, nougat and dark sweet malts. Torn between a 4.25 as it's pretty nice and good bourbon with other good malts, but the malts are a little meh for what they should be and bourbon destroys.

Taste stats with sweet malts, candy, molasses and brown sugar, dark fruits little fig, brown crystal malts, caramel toffee, mild bitterness, but quite sweet. Lots of bourbon, barrel juice, sweet bourbon and toasted oak. Finish is bland, little bourbon, little brown sugar. Fairly bland overall in flavor, mostly just washed bourbon.

Mouth is med bod, decent carb, mild warming booze.

Overall meh, pretty bland and one trick pony esp for so much bourbon.

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Photo of rudzud
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Shared with JLindros poured into a Kate the Great tulip.

A - Poured a nice dark rich hazelnut hue, thin light mocha tan head that leaves nice lacing.

S - Aromas of super sweet toffee, loss of bourbon, sweet malts, rather one dimensional.

T - Taste is sweet brown sugar, bourbon, toffee, caramel. Again, rather one note.

M - Mouthfeel is nice for the ABV, more carbonation than I expected.

O - Overall this was a relatively disappointing beer. Rather one note.

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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 BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ok, if you're a beer... and if you're going to save Christmas, there's a short checklist that must me achieved. Let's look at this a bit closer, shall we? 1) You've got to give me enough alcohol to make it worth while- those "Mom" voices aren't going away on their own. 2) You have to go well with those harvest fest-type foods- turkey, ham, stuffing, gravy and potato. ...and 3) You have to help me outlast all those kids!

This uniquely named Prairie beer pours with a dark rusty-brown color that carries a significant yeasty haze. Its unadulterated appearance follows with a creamy, dense but short-statured head to cap the beer. Its long staying power is easily rejuvenated with a gentle swirl and its slim lace.

Sweetened with elements of brown sugar, light molasses and sorghum, The Beer That Saved Christmas shows up with drunken fruit- figs, dates, cherries, apples and grapes all slumber in a blanket of molasses and spicy, rum-like alcohol. (Its just like that uncle that shows up that you know will be fun, but he's not quite right either.)

Its taste is rich with taste but surprisingly shy on sweetness. Where I get the taste of brown sugar, its sweetness is replaced by dry malt. This makes the beer drinkable and balanced, it also exposes many other benefits and consequences. What ensues is the fruitiness of fruitcake-type apples, cherries, dates, figs, raisins and prunes. Yet without the concentrated sweetness, its middle palate is lightened considerably. Finishing with a coffee cake-type sweet breadiness, its taste finishes rummy, spicy and with vinous-like acidity.

Mid-heavy in its mouthfeel, the beer simply has a lighter tone for its style, but its impressions of sweetness remains intact. All that dissolves off the tongue relatively quickly to ensure a finish of spicy booze, earthy hops and slight stale-aged tang.

Ok, so to recap- the beer made your mother's voice reconcilable. It did just the trick with that wide range of foods. ...but dealing with all those kids- It just might make you want to join right in!

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Photo of Cowboys9
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A limited edition, Christmas beer from Prairie. As is the case with other Prairie Artisan beers, this sold out quickly from Freeman's in OKC. Chilled to about 40-42F, served in a pint glass, then allowed to warm to 50-55F. Aside from the beer itself, the label is very elaborate and creative. The top, dipped in white wax, adds a neat "snowcapped" seasonal touch.

A- Dark, coffee colored, almost black. Poured very nicely into a pint glass. Toffee colored head had moderate staying power, little to no lacing. Pretty must the standard for winter/ holiday beers.

S- Started off very mildly funky (brett?) when cold. Picked up on a little bit of alcohol nose. Once it warmed, it smelled very strongly of vanilla. It was must more aromatically pleasing when warmer.

T- Alcohol hotness overpowers everything else when cold. Let it warm to about 50-55. A rich chocolate fades into vanilla/ oak with just the slightest bit of funk. Really nicely balanced when warmer. Highly suggest only moderately cooling the beer.

M- Has a really nice mouthfeel. Exactly what I want from a winter beer. Not thin, but not too thick, very drinkable. Again, the beer changes completely when warm.

Overall, let the beer warm if you chill it. My biggest mistake was chilling the beer too much. At lower temperatures, the beer is overwhelmingly dominated by hotness from the 10% ABV. To me, Prairie seems to over do the alcohol content in some of their beers. This was very borderline to me until I let it warm up. The hotness faded out and let the spices and the maltiness of the beer shine through. I wanted to rate the beer higher overall, but I can't get over the initial alcohol burn, which screams to me that the beer wasn't aged enough.

I wonder if this beer would be better if cellared or aged for a few more months. 10% is a doozy, but pretty standard by Prairie.

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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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