Barrel Aged Christmas Bomb!
Prairie Artisan Ales

Barrel Aged Christmas Bomb!Barrel Aged Christmas Bomb!
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #62
ABV:
13%
Score:
98
Ranked #268
Avg:
4.53 | pDev: 5.3%
Reviews:
26
Ratings:
193
From:
Prairie Artisan Ales
 
Oklahoma, United States
Avail:
Winter
Wants
  40
Gots
  26
SCORE
98
World-Class
Barrel Aged Christmas Bomb!Barrel Aged Christmas Bomb!
Notes: Imperial stout brewed with spices and aged in whiskey barrels.
View: Beers
Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 193 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Harrison8
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with half a finger of dark caramel colored foam. Head retention is poor. Aroma is rich and full roasty and toasty malts with caramely, nutty and bready malts adding a little further depth and complexity. Molasses, chocolate, spices, bourbon and oak add a little further depth and complexity, balancing out the initial malts with a little sweetness and heat, respectively. Flavor profile is roasty, toasty, nutty, bready malts for a firm, thick stout base. Spices, cinnamon, molasses, chocolate and toffee add a little dry sweetness that gets rinsed away by a touch of bourbon heat and oaky char. Mouth feel is thick and full with a chewy, lightly grainy texture. Overall, rich and full with a light spice character to add further depth to the otherwise clean and straightforward barrel aged stout. It's complex and full, with a big surprise in every sip.

Served in a 15.5oz Speigalau tulip from a 12oz bottle.

Harrison8 from Missouri, Feb 04, 2020
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.91/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle at Tulsa brewpub. No to-go, just drink here.

Silky black with a minimal bubbly head.

Aroma of huge spices and hot fudge, with emphasis on nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon, but with extended depth and oak sweetness. Slightly coffee, with coconut and more fudge.

The beer is like your childhood - but barrel aged. Huge fucking BARREL AGED nutmeg in your face. Cinnamon. It's so Christmas-y, and rich and full. Tons of fudge in the background with hot caramel sauce and peppermint coffee. Fading notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, fudge, and bourbon. This is magic.

Feel is a bit thin from the barrel but still within thick stout territory. Alcohol heat is evident and welcome, with a slightly slick feel and a hot finish. Good carbonation too.

Overall,. an absolutely phenomenal, incredible beer that I wish I could find here in Tulsa to take home via package liquor but unfortunately could not. Do not waste your time on mediocre beer. Life is too short. That is the greatest lesson I have learned in 3,000+ beers. If they suck, walk. Prairie does not. Worth the $17, even at the bar. Created a memory burned into my brain. THAT IS TRUE BEER!!! I would have to have Apple Brandy Noir side-by-side to compare, but this may be the best Prairie beer ever made.

The-Adjunct-Hippie from South Dakota, Jan 10, 2020
Photo of BEERchitect
4.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If the emperor gets to wear new clothes then this king of stouts dons its Christmas attire! This time enveloped in bourbon drenched Santa suit, the flavors of the Christmas Bomb! imperial stout are brought to the palate with generous additions of holiday spice and the warmth of the bourbon barrel.

Much like thatch, the Barrel Aged Christmas Bomb layers in the glass with a patient swirl of coffee-like creme. Ominously dark and carrying a mirror-like sheen, the deep and deviant perfume overcomes the nose with espresso, holiday spice, dark chocolate, grilled fruit, vanilla, whisky and cream. Its lavish taste slathers the early palate with toffee, vanilla, molasses and a general gingerbread flavor before the chocolate and char follows closely behind.

Develops a more earthy character through the middle palate, those fresh flavors are decadent with bittersweet chocolates and roasting walnut in its bitterness power. A syrupy chocolate taste and texture is matched with the spiciness of sharp cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove and vanilla as the barrel's taste of oak, caramel, toasted cherry and grape give a soft vinous tone in the end.

Remaining rich, viscous and off-chewy, the beer's full and creamy body weighs on the tongue with the low-lying carbonation that ensures full saturation of the tastebuds. Trailing with a long, heated warmth of good 'ole Kentucky bourbon, its the chocolate and vanilla that provide balance with a simmering warmth of holiday spice in mulled ale form.

BEERchitect from Kentucky, Dec 31, 2019
Photo of MJSFS
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Smells and tastes like Christmas cookies and Whiskey. Big aromas and flavors of cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla. Mouthfeel is velvety, and it finishes sweet, boozy, and slightly drying. Perfect holiday dessert beer.

MJSFS from Florida, Nov 26, 2019
Photo of REVZEB
4.54/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Whiskey was a great choice of barrel, it has that distinct booziness that doesn't over-rich the beer, in this case letting the coffee, vanilla, christmas spices, chili pepper and dry cocoa really bond well. Smell is impressively christmas forward. Feel is still a little thin for a massive stout, but for the christmas feel I think the thinness is an asset.

REVZEB from Illinois, May 20, 2019
Photo of Vidblain
4.61/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2018 vintage.

I have to admit - Christmas Bomb is not my favorite of the Bomb series. The spices tend to be a bit overdone, and in such a rich, thick, heavy beer, it exhausts my taste buds rapidly.

Interesting what a bourbon barrel will do to beer though - the spices seem to have been much better balanced when aged. The beer isn't significantly hotter, but the spices aren't so painfully in your face. The nose is tremendous - my favorite aspect of the beer.

I wouldn't have traded for this beer, but I'm very, very happy that a good buddy helped me locate one. I like this beer a lot and may have to chase it in the future!

Vidblain from Minnesota, Apr 08, 2019
Photo of pmarlowe
4.29/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2018 release.

A: Pours jet black with a cap of medium brown, frothy head. Very good retention and swaths of lacing.

S: Rich, velvety dark chocolate, cinnamon, clove, coffee, chili, vanilla bean, anise, and light spirits.

T: Dry, slightly tannic spice box (cinnamon, clove) in the forefront, with coffee, light oaky bourbon, cocoa powder, vanilla bean, chili pepper, and a touch of roast on the backend. Mild ethanol taste and a touch of sweetness.

M: Medium-full bodied and medium carbonation.

O: Lots going on here, which is nice. The hefty spice addition sort of dominates the flavor, and gives it a pretty prominent drying/tannic sensation which is not entirely pleasant. The bourbon treatment is extremely light-handed; I would’ve preferred slightly more.

pmarlowe from Virginia, Feb 05, 2019
Photo of michaelsmith11
4.52/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is for the 2017 vintage. Had on tap. The look was black with a nice tan head. The smell was great. Lots of cinnamon up front and then the oakey bourbon smell. The taste was Cocoa, cinnamon, and vanilla and bourbon and some spice on the end. The body was nice and thick. Overall this was a wonderful winter warmer.

Photo of JLK7299
5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

W.O.W! Got this last year and saved it for the holiday season and it was totally worth the wait. Going to have to figure out how to score one of these for every Christmas!

JLK7299 from North Carolina, Dec 30, 2018
Photo of edisacoolcat
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 opened on Christmas Day 2018!

A: loads of cinnamon and vanilla; caramel and maple hints with light background smooth BA notes, rasin, chocolate, coconut and toasted malts. Excellent!

A: opaque black with little to no head. Very light visible carbonation.

F: Loaded with smooth cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, chocolate, and caramel. Well rounded and filled by maple, coconut, and light boozy background.

M: medium body with lingering caramel and maple. Some cinnamon and spicy notes follow.

O: amazing! Exceptionally enjoyable beer. I want more please

edisacoolcat from Virginia, Dec 25, 2018
Photo of AyatollahGold
4.26/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I'm going to be doing this side by side with a original Christmas Bomb! Pouring both from 12 oz. bottles into pint glasses. This brew pours out a pitch black with coffee like highlights and forms a thin caramel/mocha colored crown. The original has better retention and the barrel aged didn't hold on long before showing nothing. The smell is nutmeg and cinnamon mixing with a warming whiskey and peppers. Some dark fruit notes like raisins are present as well. The taste is a little bit too heavy on the whiskey for my preference but does turn into smoother notes of peppers and vanilla. I get a lot more nutmeg and coffee in the original. The cinnamon is present in both. The mouthfeel is on the thinner side for a barrel aged prairie stout and could use a little bit more bounce for my liking. Overall, this is a solid barrel aged offering from Prairie, which should be expected, but just didn't blow me away. I will just stick with the regular and be perfectly okay with that. I would drink this again, but not go on a hunt and search it out. This is a bit more complex than the original, but once again I will say it, there is beauty in simplicity!!!

Photo of WickedBeer
4.56/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally decided to open this up. Stamped BA XMAS | 18:57 | BA XMAS.

Viscous black pour, with a dark tan head of bubbly foam that has a decent build up considering the cold temp it was poured. It settles quickly into nothing.

The nose has that Mexican hot chocolate goodness. Roasty coffee, creamy chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and chili peppers. As it warms, the barrel becomes a little more present, as does the predominance of that cinnamon.

Again, the bottle doesn’t specify what ‘spices’ are in this beer but there has to be chili peppers. There is a nice spicy warmth that is present throughout, helped by that barrel aged booziness. Dark Roast on the backend, subtle vanilla, and dark chocolate. The chiles and coffee are predominant in the flavor, but this beer has great balance and while it’d be much better on a snowy day, 105 degree heat in Southern California will have to do. The whiskey flavors really emerge as the beer has time settle on your taste buds. Really nice lingering sweet bourbon flavor.

Nice full bodied stout, creamy and warm. The chiles and whiskey combine for such a nice finish. There is an expected stickiness, and for 13 percent this is so smooth.

WickedBeer from Alabama, Jul 26, 2018
Photo of CanConPhilly
4.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BA Christmas Bomb - Prairie
Imperial Stout aged in whiskey barrels - 13% abv

L - 1-finger mocha head recedes quickly into a pitch black body.

S - fudge, chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, whiskey.

T - a cinnamon blast at first. Fudgey milk chocolate comes next. The barrel is present but not in your face. Low bitterness. Moderate sweetness. Moderate booziness.

F - medium-full body with minimal carb.

O - If you love cinnamon and whiskey like I do, this will hit your pleasure spot.

CanConPhilly from Pennsylvania, May 27, 2018
Photo of Masonz223
5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smell: Big spice notes. Cinnamon is definitely the dominant spice along with a light nutmeg and ginger presence. Really rich milk chocolate, vanilla, coconut. A good amount of pepper and earthy medium roast coffee. With a splash of barrel character. Sweet not really boozy whiskey and toasted oak. Smells a lot like the regular but a bit more amplified. The beer smells wonderful!

Taste: Right upfront your greeted with sweet rich milk chocolate and vanilla notes. That sweetness clears out for a beautiful smooth medium roast earthy coffee and dark chocolate notes in the mid palate. The coffee is really prevalent and complex in the mid palate and changes almost to an espresso like flavor as the beer moves into the finish. Also the spices mostly cinnamon along with a spicy pepper note start to show there teeth as the beer moves into the finish. In the finish you get some barrel character, but not in your face character. You get some toasted oak, coconut and a smooth whiskey presence. The beer never becomes boozy and the heat is generated from the big cinnamon and pepper presence that takes the lead in the finish, just as the heat becomes almost overwhelming a quick flash of sticky carmel and rich milk chocolate comes back through as the beer is touching the last parts of the back of my tongue and adds just enough balance to the spice and heat to make the beer a really unique one of a kind experience as this spicy sweet liquid is going down the back of the throat. The whiskey milk chocolate, carmel, cinnamon and pepper linger in the aftertaste with the cinnamon really adding a drying effect to the tongue and back of the throat.

Feel: The beer has a beautiful full mouthfeel that is verging on that thick chewiness that all great Barrel Aged beers should strive to achieve. The beer finishes dry due to the big cinnamon presence in the finish. The complexity and full mouthfeel make this a beer that deserves to be sipped on, so one can truly enjoy all this wonderful liquid has to offer.

Overall: What a great job on taking an already damn good base beer and making it outstanding with the barrel aging process. Prarie has one of the best Barrel programs in the country. This is definitely world class and is no doubt in that top tier of Barrel Aged beers. By far the best spiced stout I've ever had.

Masonz223 from Michigan, Jan 18, 2018
Photo of WhaleSlayer85
4.56/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016
Pours pitch black with little to no head. Nose is coffee, Rich chocolate, cinnamon. Taste follows the nose, coffee and cinnamon. Not getting a lot of barrel here, but smoother than regular Xmas bomb. Delicious beer and a great one to open over the holidays!

Photo of RedhawkPoke
4.76/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2017 bottle

A: Beer pours a cola like black color from bottle. Not much head at first pour. The slight head was tan in color. Almost no lacing while drinking.

S: Pepper and cinnamon at first smell. Smells seemed to change as the beer warmed. I started noticing more barrel and coffee notes as the beer got warmer.

T: Outstanding varieties here in the beer. First tasted spices and cinnamon. Later on picked up more chocolate sweetness. Many different fllavors melded well together. Nothing over powers and I seemed to notice different flavors almost every drink.

M: Beer has a full mouthfeel. The many flavors mask the barrel aged kick. Some tingle during swallow. Flavors and feel linger about after swallowing.

O: The variety and noticeability of all the different flavors stand out on this beer. Would have liked to have seen more carbonation and head on the pour. Overall, an outstanding beer and worth waiting in line for release.

RedhawkPoke from Oklahoma, Dec 10, 2017
Photo of Knapp85
4.31/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out black with a thin brown head on top. The smell is of spicy peppermint and sweetness. The taste is of chocolate and peppermint. There isn't a lot of barrel to this one but still very good. The feel is thick and silky. Overall it's a wonderful beer.

Knapp85 from Pennsylvania, Oct 03, 2017
Photo of RAlmeida77
4.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Trying to get caught up on ratings. This beer was phenomenal. Prairie beers are always just so consistent to me. I usually love them all and then the BA versions just take them up a notch. This beer is no different.

RAlmeida77 from Massachusetts, Sep 20, 2017
Photo of Radcpa
4.27/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark appearance with slight tan head. Nice caramel aroma. Taste is a slightly spicy caramel with some alcohol aftertaste that suggests further aging is required for optimum taste.

Radcpa from Washington, Aug 28, 2017
Photo of Gambyt20
4.73/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow! very rich and complex from all the spices yet balanced with the whiskey barrel notes. Spices are slightly more pronounced but is a good way, Yet another solid BA brew from Prairie.

Gambyt20 from Illinois, Apr 29, 2017
Photo of von_kaiser
4.93/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Did a side by side with regular Xmas variant. I enjoy regular bomb more the regular xmas. However, this variant is better than bomb and any other variant thereof. This is a slept on impressive beer. Another one of those wow moments in beer tasting for me.

von_kaiser from Connecticut, Mar 26, 2017
Photo of DoctorMyEye
4.9/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: poured into Prairie Christmas Dino, jet black, 1 finger dark tan head with decent retention
S: in your face cinnamon, pleasant whiskey barrel, chocolate and coffee take a back seat.
T: like Christmas in your mouth, only better. Heavy cinnamon without being artificial, smooth whiskey sans the burn, finishes with pleasant winter spice. Unlike its corelease, sherry noir, the barrel here is perfect and in my mind, doesn't need time. Less pepper than regular bomb or pirate bomb but that is a benefit here.
F: Oddly, this beer has the body and mouthfeel that I felt BA bomb was missing and vaults it to a vastly superior beer. Thick without being chewy.
O: This beer tastes like you want every other cinnamon adjunct stout (short of BA Abraxas) to taste. Handily edges out BA Oro Negro and CC BBomb as my new attainable favorite for the style. If you like cinnamon, its hard to beat. Hope BA Bible Belt is on par with their last two releases (BA Xmas and Pirate Paradise)!

DoctorMyEye from Oklahoma, Dec 28, 2016
Photo of Fireman_RK
4.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Dark and viscous onyx pour with a thin sandy head
S: Cinnamon, nutmeg, espresso, and cacao nibs
T: Exceedingly complex - vanilla beans, ancho chiles, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, dark chocolate, and a healthy dose of Christmas cheer
F: Medium bordering on thick with ample carb
O: This was a vast improvement on the base beer in my opinion. For a Christmas day beer I couldn't have hoped for anything more - thick and well executed stout with a bit of heat and ample holiday spices. Very nice.

Fireman_RK from North Carolina, Dec 27, 2016
Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.73/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: pours thicker and black! But had a cola fizzy brown head for a bit then faded to nothing.
S: cinnamon, whiskey, chocolate! Wow
T: oh yeah! Like the nose, cinnamon then smooth whiskey barrel.
F: medium thickness but sticky.
O: knocking at the door of baa. But still a few steps away.

Photo of mothman
4.6/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tan head. Black in color.

This is all of the goodness that bomb has and then more. Cinnamon and cocoa. Chocolate and oak. Vanilla and bourbon. Holiday spice. Chili spice in the back end and finish. Lots of cinnamon.

Full bodied. Smooth and spicy.

This beer is everything I want in a holiday ale. Amazing barrel flavor, perfect spice, and perfect heat. Incredible.

2017 vintage: a little less pepper spice and slightly less bourbon, but still fire. Great beer. Prairie continues to kill it! 4.55

mothman from Minnesota, Dec 18, 2016
Barrel Aged Christmas Bomb! from Prairie Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 193 ratings