Christmas Bomb!
Prairie Artisan Ales

Christmas Bomb!Christmas Bomb!
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #898
Ranked #2,309
4.16 | pDev: 9.13%
Prairie Artisan Ales
Oklahoma, United States
Christmas Bomb!Christmas Bomb!
Notes: Christmas Bomb beer, which is an amazing base stout from Prairie Artisan Ales, is the best beer for this season! Left to age on espresso beans, vanilla beans, chocolate, featuring ancho chile peppers, and additional Christmas spices that bring a blast finish. Treat yourself with this popular holiday imperial stout!
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Reviews: 352 | Ratings: 1,898 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TychoNDC:
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TychoNDC from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Nov 17, 2014
More User Reviews:
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.2/5  rDev +1%

High roasted grain, heated booze and a kick of christmas-type spice provides a powerful but wonderfully arranged taste. Adorned with an ebola-riddled Macaulay Culkin label, the contents within are just as stout, just as challenging and bewildering as the marketing suggests.

Thick, inky and onyx- the stout pours viscous and in creeping fashion. Its dark roasted austere dispels similar aroma and taste- high espresso roast, bitter chocolate, roasted walnut and burnt toast rest upon the body of black-strap molasses and beautifully seared sweetness.

Its massive body invites a stern creamy carbonation that highlights the malt sweetness and provides a soothing milkshake consistence. Resting on the middle palate, notions of burnt marshmallows take hold ahead of unsettles spice and whisky that will command the finish.

Clinging to the mouth like tar, its coating action carries the spiciness of mature whisky, cinnamon, nutmeg and smoldering spruce. Even the grain's own char assist in bitter and tannic balance. A good moderate burn kicks in the aftertaste and gives the taste a bit of grit to go with its grace.

Nov 24, 2014
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at the Basin Hess in Bushnell's Basin, NY.

Pours a dark, deep black, with a small, quarter inch head white-ish head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like coffee, chocolate, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Not really getting any peppers.

This is a bit better than the recent batch of Bomb! that hit Western, NY- seems a little fuller in flavor, probably due to the extra adjuncts. I get some of the typical chocolate and coffee, with some cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, but no peppers, as mentioned above. It does feel pretty Christmasy, but it's not substantially different than regular Bomb.

This is fairly thick bodied, with a lower amount of carbonation, and a creamy mouthfeel.

A pretty good variant of Bomb. Interesting stuff here.

Nov 11, 2014
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kojevergas from Louisiana

3.79/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with incredible label art & design and branded pry-off pressure cap purchased at a CO bottle shop and served cold into a teku at high altitude in Castle Rock, CO.

Reviewed live as an imperial stout per the label. Distributed by the Shelton Bastards. 11.5% ABV. 2014 vintage.

Allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1 finger wide. Khaki-tan in colour, evoking mocha and espresso. Boasts a gorgeous shiny complexion and a creamy even consistency, with ample fullness and thickness. Soft-looking. Retention is excellent - easily 8 minutes. Leaves a nice even coating of lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Aptly for the style, it's an opaque ink black with no visible yeast or hop sediment.

The head is fantastic, and it looks very good overall. I don't notice any carbonation issues. I'm craving the first sip.

AROMA: Heavenly and inviting. It's a well-balanced medley of caramel, cream, dark malts, chocolate malts, fudge, roasted barley (an essential note in any imperial stout), and roasty coffee notes accompanied by a subtle hint of espresso and java. Unlike many imperial stouts, the coffee character actually stands out; it's not a generic shallow throwaway. I search for spices, and find only cinnamon. A bit of marshmallow and a hint of hazelnut round out the aroma nicely.

Aromatic intensity is moderate. It evokes a complex well-balanced brew, and doesn't seem too sweet or syrupy like many imperial stouts.

TASTE: The dark malt and chocolate malt base lends itself well to the dominant fudge-y character, immediately orienting the brew as a dessert beer. It's creamy throughout without feeling muted, and I definitely pick up on some molten milk chocolate throughout. Unfortunately, the rich roasty coffee notes promised by the aroma manifest in the taste as disappointingly generic hints of coffee grounds, which lend the mouthfeel some scratchy irritating roughness and run ashore of the sweetness featured in the rest of the flavour profile. The concomitant clash of flavour prevents the flavour profile from tasting like a gestalt whole.

Otherwise, the balance is a bit wanting; it's too bitter. The only spice I can pick out is cinnamon; I don't think the spicing is very strong at all. I pick up some marshmallow, hints of earthy Mexican chocolate-esque chile, unrefined sugars/treacle, molasses, and fringe notes of char and burnt sugars. The latter notes bring unneeded bitterness into play, further violating the balance.

It's an adequately complex brew and I wouldn't call it overt, but it's not exactly subtle either. Nice depth and duration of flavour, with a lingering baker's chocolate bitterness hanging on in the aftertaste. Flavour intensity is average for the style.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes come through.

I'm a bit confused by the spice profile, which doesn't evoke Christmas at all, really. There's more of a Central American cocoa drink vibe than anything festive.

TEXTURE: It's soft and creamy, melting on the palate. Smooth and wet for the most part, with a spot of dragging coarseness and scratchy dryness in the late second act on which I'm none too keen. Medium to full-bodied, with a necessary thickness and heft on the palate. Luckily, it's never too syrupy, sticky, or viscous. Overall presence on the palate is good; this is a comforting mouthfeel and it complements the taste well, but fails to accentuate the flavours or otherwise elevate the beer. Impressively, it's devoid of alcohol heat.

OVERALL: It disguises its ABV quite well, and I'll enjoy finishing the bottle. Definitely a dessert beer. It does have its shortcomings, and it's far from the best beer in the Bomb! series, but it's a tasty brew and I'm glad I tried it once. That said, it's unlikely I'd buy it again, especially at its high price point (courtesy of the Shelton Bastards).

A nice Christmas season imperial stout from Prairie best paired with milk chocolate and a crackling fire.

Low B+

Dec 09, 2014
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rsuarez1982 from Texas

4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nov 13, 2019
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SerialTicker from Michigan

4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aw, maaan!

I love BOMB!. I love the varietals I've had of it (although few). For some reason, Christmas BOMB! falls a bit flat for me. BOMB! with Christmas spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg) added? Dude, sounds like a total treat.

For some reason, some how, some way, this beer pales in comparison to regular BOMB!. There's a lot of cinnamon to be sure, which I don't mind at all, but the nutmeg and ginger (I think) are combined in a strange ratio that muddle the base of this beer, which, of course, is what makes BOMB! so special. The chocolate flavors I love so much are put on the back burner, while the beer instead starts to taste more like a generic imperial stout, in a way.

The cinnamon amplifies a bit of the chili heat which I'm okay with, but there's nothing in there to tone it down -- no smooth milk chocolate, no vanilla or oak from a bourbon barrel (which I'm aware this wasn't aged in)... it just disappoints, especially considering the fact that I believe a single bottle of this ran me eleven bucks. Is it good? Well yeah, obviously, it's still BOMB!, it's just not nearly as good as the original.

Dec 13, 2016
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amsguitarist from California

4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

I think people are being a little too critical of this brew. Overall it is very similar to regular Bomb but with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg in the aftertaste. The peppers are still discerned from the aftertaste similar to regular Bomb. This brew is a bit thin for what it offers but I don't think the overall taste is too muddled with the extra flavors added. I like this one.

Dec 02, 2014
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SpicyHippo73 from New York

4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Just fantastic. Pours as dark as Krampus' soul. Big spice aromas. Tastes like regular Bomb! had sex with a gingerbread man. Dirty spicy cinnamon Christmas sex.

Dec 06, 2015
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UCLABrewN84 from California

4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, char, vanilla bean, and some spice aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, char, earth, spice, and slight chile flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness and chile heat 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 good beer with great aromas and tasty flavors, but the Christmas spices that differentiate this from the base beer are not as strong as I was expecting them to be.

Serving type: bottle.

Nov 21, 2014
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StoutHunter from Michigan

4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Prairie Artisan Ales Christmas Bomb! a few weeks ago for $8.99 at The Lager Mill. I've had a couple different versions of Bomb and I thought I would I should give this one a try too, so lets see how it goes. 2017 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, it goes well with this beer and it's eye catching. It poured a nice dark black color that didn't change when held to the light and it had a little over a fingers worth of slightly bubbly darker tan head that was almost brown and it died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it was also a little fizzy and it left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This is a good looking Stout, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness with the bourbon barrels being the first to show up and they impart some nice bourbon, oak, vanilla and light boozy aromas that go into a little bit of dark fruit aroma that goes right into the spices which impart a mixes spice aroma with cinnamon seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes the coffee which imparts a nice black coffee aroma and that goes right into the malts which are on the lighter and impart a nice roasted malt, chocolate, sweet malts and light charred malt likes aromas. This beer has a good aroma, all the aspects show up on their own and they work well together.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of sweetness with the bourbon barrels still being the first to show up and they impart all the same aspects that they did in the aroma with those nice bourbon and oak flavors sticking out the most with a little more vanilla showing up in the background and that goes into the dark fruits which are lighter than they were in the aroma and that goes into the spices which impart the same mixed spices that they did in the aroma with the cinnamon still sticking out the most, but this time some of that pepper flavor and heat is noticeable. Up next comes a little bit of a boozy flavor and that goes into the coffee which shows up just like it did in the aroma and that leads into the malts which are just as light as they were in the aroma and they impart all the same aspects. On the finish there's a lower amount bitterness with some sweetness and boozyness taking it's place along with some lingering pepper spice and it had chocolate, coffee light spicy and bourbon barrel like aftertaste. This is a good tasting beer, it's similar to the aroma, but the pepper adds more flavor and it makes it even more complex that the aroma.

M- Fairly smooth, a little spicy, a little boozy, a little on the creamy side, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel is good and it works well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and it's a good example of the style it had all the aspects that I have come to expect from this series and when it comes down to it I thought the only thing that really sets this apart from the original version is that is has just a little more spices in both the flavor and the aroma. This beer had ok drinkability, one is the perfect amount to me, anymore than that and the spiciness might start to get to me. What I like the most about this beer is the how well all the different flavors and aromas worked with each other, nothing clashed. What I like the least about this beer is the body, I wish it was just a little thicker and it could use just a slight bit less heat on the finish. I would buy this beer again and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a nice spiced and bourbon barrel aged stout. All in all I enjoyed this beer and it lived up to it's description. IT's one of the better beers that I've had from this brewery and it's a good example of the style. Good job guys, this is a tasty beer, keep up all the hard work.

Jan 08, 2018
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RaulMondesi from California

3.59/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Initially, kind of like your grandma in the 20’s, this thang has a strong aroma of booze and spice.

Let’s dig deeper.

Again, like someone’s grandma in the 20’s, this thang kinda lays thin and flat. Taste is like a Christmas bouquet bought from a gas station, while the mouthfeel is about as inspiring as a George Lucas prequel.

Don’t get the main man wrong, it’s not all bad, but when you’re dealing with the likes of Prairie, you kind of want a lil more.

Dec 16, 2017
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therubicon from Delaware

4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful, creamy looking brown head with watery lacing.

Smells of strong coffee; mocha, chocolate and subtle spices.

Tastes of mocha, chocolate and spices. A little bitter. Yummy!

Creamy, carbonated feel.

Delicious, flavorful stout that I'd love to drink all year round.

Dec 30, 2014
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PittBeerGirl from Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is an underrated silky smooth stout. Nose of coffee, anise, and molasses. Flavor upfront had a very mild earthy hop flavor overtones with a mild roasted and smokey malt backbone. A bid dose of milky sugary molasses and honey sweetness as well as nutmeg overtones hit in the middle and the concauction of flavors fades evenly. Mouthfeel is thick and poly and smooth with low carbonation. Overall an awesome beer.

Dec 24, 2016
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JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was chocolate in color.

Smell - The nose was a piney chocolate. It does not sound appealing, but it is.

Taste - At the front, I detect syrupy chocolate, cinnamon cookies, nutmeg, and pine. The spices really linger nicely with the chocolate. The beer is warm, but surprisingly not hot for 13%.

Mouthfeel - It does not have the viscosity of a Russian Imperial Stout, but it coats nicely.

Appearance - It is not my favorite bomb, but I like it.

Dec 11, 2016
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fankhauserg from Georgia

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I usually don't go for flavored beers or "spiced" drinks, but this stout was amazing. Smooth, dark, complex. The spices and the 11% both help to bring in the holidays.

Jan 05, 2017
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Red5StandingBy from Maryland

4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz short bottle into Spiegelau Stout glass. No date but the bottle does specify this batch is 13% ABV.

L: Black as pitch, no light comes through whatsoever, half finger brown head has decent retention but recedes into a thick ring.

S: Lot of spice on the nose, I get nutmeg, cinnamon, with a touch of heat from the chilies. A hint of chocolate, but not much else, inviting warm aroma.

T: Again this is a spice based beer, I love it. The same spices are present here as in the nose, you get a kick in the back of the throat from the chilies. Quite nice IMO.

F: Full body, below average carbonation, a little thick, lingering heat from the chilies.

O: Pretty damn good beer.

Nov 23, 2017
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JackRWatkins from Alabama

4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: pours a deep chocolate brown with a miniminal, deep khaki head
S: deep notes of cinnamon and gingerbread leap out immediately, along with slightly less prominent notes of coffee and cocoa, and some of the chili appears to sneak out from under these powerful aromas.
T: very boozy upon first impression, and less sweet than the nose might lead one to believe. The taste follows the trajectory of the nose, albeit in a more abbreviated fashion, cinnamon, gingerbread, coffee and chocolate, not much chili, and no real roastiness, with a small, but surprising amount of bitterness. Some vanilla comes through later as well.
M: feels either a bit thin for what it is or slightly under-carbonated, not sure which. On second thought, definitely under-carbonated.
O: Very good, want to stress that, but regular bomb! is better in my opinion, the nose in this showed such promise but the taste left me a little underwhelmed, don't get me wrong it's still great, I just felt a little let down after taking in the nose, it also felt somewhat watery. All of this being said, this brewery does some great work and this is a great beer, everyone should support them and what they do, give this a shot and decide for yourself.

Dec 10, 2017
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FBarber from Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an oily pitch black - somehow blacker than the regular Bomb!. One finger brown head dissipates leaving no lacing, a tan ring of foam around the top of the beer and some spotty tan foam along the top.

Smell is full of aromas of milk chocolate, brownie batter, black licorice, vanilla, spices, and cocoa. It smells like a spiced, boozy christmas brownie.

The taste doesn't quite live up to the aromas. Lots of chocolate and black licorice up front with a definite mint flavor. There is a refreshing pop to the beer from the mint. Cant help but notice a slight metallic taste in the beer that is a bit odd, and not great. The spices are largely blended into the beer itself and don't shine through. Still get tons of chocolate, vanilla and caramel. Some heat on this one reveals the continued presence of the chills in the base beer. However, I could do without them and Im thankful for the slight age on this one.

Feel is a it thinner compared to the Bomb! and BA Bomb! variants, buts still better than most imperial stouts. Buttery, smooth and dry. Mild carbonation gives it a tingle and compliments the minty flavor very nicely.

I really enjoyed this one - very unique compared to the other Bomb! variants and most imperial stouts. there is a real complexity and depth to the flavors present here that I enjoyed. Also, don't like black licorice, but it totally worked in this beer - between that and the mint, it was like Christmas in my glass.

May 11, 2016
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CHickman from New York

4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2017 bottle, pours pitch black color with a 2 finger thick foamy brown head that was packed with small bubbles, fading very slowly and leaving decent foamy lacing clinging to the sides.

Right off the bat I can smell the difference between this and regular BOMB! as the cinnamon, allspice and chilie peppers are more dominant than the chocolate and coffee grinds in the regular version. I'm not a winter spice type of guy so I'm glad the cinnamon and allspice blend well with the coffee, chocolate, vanilla and chili peppers while also allowing the roasty, charred malt notes to peek through. I'm rating it for what it is, a Christmas/winter seasonal version of BOMB! so in that regard it's well done and smells good.

Flavor is just like the nose with cinnamon, chocolate, allspice, coffee grinds, vanilla and chili peppers dominating but also bringing in the roasty, charred malt and a fair amount of heat from the chili peppers. The spices linger as does the chili burn, which takes away the burnt coffee and vanilla that appeared and then faded with each sip. A winter warmer for sure, this nails the Christmas seasonal version but I'd take regular BOMB! over this any day.

Dec 01, 2017
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Dustin_Sallitt from New Jersey

4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A little disappointed here. Lots of cinnamon, with good chocolate, average coffee, slight pepper spice, and decent body. Not the biggest fan of the feel. Some sips feel good, but as it goes down if starts to feel watery. Meh.

Dec 02, 2015
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is like the other bomb variations very pitch black and good mocha head. Smell is faint but very good with mild hits of cinnamon and Nutmeg and maybe even some coriander since I'm getting that bright orange vibe. Taste was one of the better variations I've had the coffee and cinnamon spice worked well in the orange taste kind of shined more like an orange candy. Body is again excellent but I'm not sure how it could be 11% because it uses the base beer which is 13%but it's still drak very smooth.

Overall a great variation which is perfect for this time of season. If I were to find an affordable bottle I would probably pick it up again.

Nov 19, 2017
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goochpunch from Texas

3.69/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Black body with a light tan coffee froth. Smells of coffee. I'm having a hard time discerning other aromas and spices. Tastes of coffee and roasted malt with mild, warming spice. Medium full mouthfeel with smooth carbonation. Variations on Bomb! something something law of diminishing returns.

Mar 03, 2015
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kylesobrien from Canada

4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Thick, inky, black. Persistent cream-and-coffee head with fine carbonation.

Roasty, aromas of coffee, peppery spice, noticeable molasses and ginger overtones.

Flavour is intensely reminiscent of gingerbread up front, plenty of smooth but obvious bitterness, then the finish is more ginger/nutmeg/dark brown sugar.

Mouthfeel is incredibly creamy. Wow, the combination of carbonation and body is probably the best I've ever experienced in a strong stout. Extremely well done here.

Overall, a really balanced high gravity stout, not to mention a very smooth spiced ale. Really impressed with this one, and well worth a try.

Oct 23, 2016
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IrishColonial from Texas

3.88/5  rDev -6.7%

Dec 07, 2014
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iatethecloudsfor from Vermont

3.74/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Dec 30, 2014
Christmas Bomb! from Prairie Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 1898 ratings