Prairie Noir | Prairie Artisan Ales

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Prairie NoirPrairie Noir

Brewed by:
Prairie Artisan Ales
Oklahoma, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Prairie Noir is our bourbon barrel aged imperial oatmeal stout. We brew this beer with a huge amount of oats to give it an ever so silky mouth feel. Notes of coffee, chocolate, and toasted marshmallow can be found in the flavor and aroma of this beer. Notes of whiskey and carmel are also packed into this beer.

Added by chocosushi on 12-24-2012

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Reviews: 89 | Ratings: 715
Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours an inky black in color and fairly thick. A small, creamy, tan head forms and retains very well with a pretty good lacing job. Looks just like an imperial stout should in the glass.

S- Dark and roasty with a lot of barrel characteristics up front. Burnt and dark malts are also dominant in the scent with a touch of slightly bitter hops.

T- Lots of dark malts and a touch of hops up front. Lots of char and oak spiciness come next with the barrel flavors. May just a touch of vanilla in there with the bourbon flavors that linger with the dark malts and the hops. Hops and barrel spiciness are the predominant lingering flavors.

M- Thick and smooth with a low level of carbonation, which makes this beer an easy drinker despite the alcohol. Little to no alcohol heat with just the right amount of barrel flavor.

Overall, not as barrel and whiskey forward as I was expecting, but still a very good beer that displays a lot of underlying Russian Imperial Stout with a good amount of hopping.

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Photo of Florida9
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: appears to be a very dark shade of brown in glass. Almost black but not quite there. Forms just the slightest bit of head, but there really isn't much and whatever does form disappears quite quickly. No lacing.

S: Aroma is a pleasant blend of chocolate, roasted malts, licorice, and alcohol.

T: Taste is also pleasant. Very smooth. Mildly sweet. Notes of chocolate, dark malts, coffee grounds, and vanilla. There is a bit of an odd whiskey off-flavor, but thankfully it is fleeting.

M: full bodied,but very smooth. Lower carbonation. Mild bitterness. A hint of alcoholic heat.

O: a very nice and quite enjoyable brew. I do believe I enjoyed this one more than the vanilla version. Seems more balanced in my opinion. Dangerously drinkable for a beer of this strength.

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

12oz bottle, red wax, poured into a Prairie Teku. Reviewed from tasting journal.

The beer pours a jet color, oily texture, thick with a taut, caramel colored head that has nice retention but yields little lace. The aroma is of big malted grain, bitter dark chocolate, mild whiskey, oak barrel, a bit of roast and char. It's a simple nose, but effective. The flavors follow well, big, big barley, dark chocolate, bitter, lightly roasted, the whiskey is more pronounced, lighter oak barrel, minimal char, almost a bit chalky with a noticeable alcohol burn. The body is livelier than expected, but still feels a bit rich, coats the mouth very well, the finish feels a bit creamy, but ends surpassingly dry.

Verdict: A solid barrel aged stout from Prairie, straighforward but effective. Perhaps time with tone down the alcohol heat and maybe a bit of the chalky flavors, but this is very quaffable and enjoyable at present.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with red wax. Thanks David! Poured into a Surly Darkness goblet today, 4/14/2014.

A- Dark cola brown coloured body. Pours with a one finger dark mocha head, fine retention. Drops eventually into a thick collar along the glass. Not much lacing. Fairly placid.

S- Graham crackers, chocolate batter, earthy oak barrel. Not particularly sweet or boozy.

F- Milk chocolate, cheap whiskey heat, oxidized sherry, graham crackers, oak. Earth. Not particularly sweet despite the chocolate character, but seems to be quite balanced actually.

M- On the thinner end of the medium body designation. Not watery, but feels a bit thin on the palate. Still a sipper, as the cheap whiskey seems to contribute a bit more heat than any smooth umami.

O- Solid whiskey barrel stout. The base is solid, but seems to have oxidized quite a bit in the span of only half a year. The barrels could be bringing a better contribution in my opinion. But this is certainly not a bad or offensive stout by any means.

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Photo of TheBeerDrinker
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Red Wax if it matters.
Pours out dark as night with a small 1/2 finger head that is beige in color.

Smell is SLIGHTLY boozy, chocolate, and vanilla but the booze really seems to mesh well with the vanilla in a way that makes it smell fabulous. I get another smell in there but I just can't describe it -- maybe a little caramel.

Taste is slightly booze forward which I like but there are nuances of vanilla, chocolate, and other dark malts.

Mouthfeel is nice. Slightly thick but not overly so. I would like it to be a little thicker.

Overall this is a nice beer but it is a little booze forward in a way that masks what other attributes the beer likely has. Maybe this could use a little age but I love barrel aged, boozy beers so this is right up my alley. Probably would be better with a little more age.

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Photo of pknyc
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the 750ml corked and caged release from early 2013, opened 03/31/14.

A: The brew pours a standard imperial stout black. Completely opaque. A 1/4 finger tan head appears during an aggressive pour. This quickly settles into a nice ring which leaves pretty nice lacing for a stout this size.

S: Very nice blend of chocolate, oak, roast, and some light coffee. When the brew warms up a little bit, there is a little bourbon making an appearance at the expense of the coffee. Nothing is heavy handed (like Bomb!) in the nose after one year, its all very nicely complimentary and really working together.

T: Its all about balance right now. Oak and a bit more chocolate than the nose. A nice dash of bourbon and some roast. No alcohol heat and no oxidation notes. It's gentle.

MF: Medium, which compliments the flavors very well. Perfect carbonation.

O: Although I enjoyed Bomb!, I feel like that went more for the kill. This is a very well balanced and interesting beer. This was very much enjoyed.

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Photo of madtowndmb1
2.54/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.75

Red Wax 12 oz.

Pours a really nice black with a nice 1" head. Smells of yeast, very similar to Ommegedon. Tastes like burnt grains and harsh tannins, no barrel to speak of at all. Sad face... Mouthfeel is nice but it's held back by the lingering char.

Sorry Oklahoma, not that good.

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Photo of nh_hawkeye
3.36/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle (red wax) into a tulip glass.

A: Nearly black pour (brown around he edges) with small, light brown head.

S: Sour cherries dominate (although somewhat less so as it warms up). Dark fruits and light vanilla and coffee also present.

T: Harsh wood/oak notes at first, along with bitter chocolate and burned roastiness. Some dark fruits, coffee, and cheap whiskey flavors are there too, along with smoke and a touch of sourness.

M: Somewhat thin for the style.

O: It improves as it warms - I'd recommend drinking at or near room temp - but this was disappointing and borderline unpleasant. I like most offerings from Prairie, and really expected more from this beer.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass from a 12 oz bottle.

Pours a gorgeous black velvety and viscous liquid as expected. Nice thick 1.25 inch head that is nice and light tan. Head retention is incredible it doesn't seem to be receding or moving at all. Very dark and no light can get through.

Aroma is interesting. Starts off with strong espresso roast even though this isn't coffee noir. Nice deep dark chocolaty bitterness and surprisingly, some hop notes. Definitely some woody oak notes present in the nose. I can't pick up too much whiskey in the nose.

The flavor is not what I was expecting. Harsh notes of alcohol with some dry roasted dark malts. Notes of coffee and some dark bitter chocolate. Charred woody notes are present along with some surprising hop grassyness. The brew get better as it warms but I cant quite put my finger on why I'm not LOVING this beer completely. There are some nice dark chocolate and dark roasted malt notes but I wish there was some more barrel sweetness. Mouthfeel, however, is outstanding. Silky, velvety and smooth.

Overall I was a bit disappointed in this one. It's not a bad beer but I was expecting more. There are some good notes and flavors but I wanted a bit more fluidness and less harshness.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
2.54/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Bottle courtesy of Ed...750 ml....thanks buddy.

I simply cannot jive the beer in my glass with my tastes or other reviews. Harsh tannic barrel, cheap whiskey, some peat, and too much alcohol on the finish.

In short, a very disappointing and even somewhat unpleasant BA stout.

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Photo of ahbithwabm
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with tan foamy head that sticks around for some time

S: roastyness, coffee, slight caramel sweetness, chocolate

T: Roasty and slightly smokey, lots of dark chocolate and some coffee. slight vanilla and whiskey

M: A little light with mild carbonation. Extremely smooth and silky

O: Very good beer that is not too overpowering with the whiskey barrel

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Photo of brianmandell
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with burgundy color wax in snifter

Dark pour with ring of lacing. Scents of dark, roasty malts with chocolate, coffee and a hint of candied cherry - reminds me of black forest cake. Taste is sweet chocolate and bright fruit up front carried by the effervescent carbonation (this dies out a bit as the beer warms and the carbonation fades) followed by some vanilla. Then the roasty malts hit you - a bit ashy with a hint of bourbon on the back end. There is a charred, roasty bitterness along with some dark chocolate and coffee notes. The boozy finish is very dry. The mouthfeel is light but silky and will not please those who like their stouts chewy. The active, effervescent carbonation is quite nice. This is a finely crafted stout that changes as it warms. It has great depth of flavor but the the whiskey portion of the beer isn't fully integrated - That is my least favorite characteristic of the beer. Maybe some age would improve the balance. Drink closer to room temperature.

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Photo of McStagger
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From notes.

A: Black, small tan head. Excellent lacing in the glass.

S: Some booziness. Whiskey, dark cocoa. Huge roasty notes. Touch of toffee sweetness.

T: Very similar to the smell. This one drinks a bit hot. Sweetness of milk chocolate, candied vanilla. (Bottle said marshmallow, which is very spot on).

M: Medium bodied. Again, very warm in the back.

O: Very good beer. However, the heat was a tad distracting.

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Photo of Jimmeekrek
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is my first taste of Prairie, and had incredibly high hopes and expectations; unfortunately those hopes and expectations were not met in the least. Maybe I expected too much, but more likely this was an average Bourbon Barrel stout from a brewery that is way overhyped. Appearance was good, with just an average smell. The mouthfeel was smooth, albeit a little thin for the style. Taste was nowhere near as complex as I anticipated from decription and previous ratings. Heavy amounts of roast and Dark Chocolate, with no sweet undertones left me wanting more. It reminded me of a less complex BA BORIS, with nowhere near the mouthfeel or texture. Not bad, but certainly not great.

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Photo of d5001986
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into tulip. (Red wax)

A: Pours pitch black with huge, foamy, mocha colored head.

S: Coffee, roastyness, Caramel, and booze.

T: Booziness up front. It's sweet, roasty, and slightly smokey. Next there's coffee, chocolate,and a slight fruitiness. The smokey, roasted coffee taste lingers on the tongue.

M: Medium-heavy body. Very silky smooth texture that seems to coat the mouth.

O: An excellent stout, good complexity, and the barrel seems to add about the right amount of sweetness.

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Photo of kojevergas
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with uninteresting label art and red wax-ed over pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local Texas bottle shop and served into an Avery stem-tulip in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are very high given the brewery and that this is currently #26 on the Top 50 Southwest beers list. 11% ABV. Reviewed as an "imperial stout aged in oak whsikey barrels." Distributed by the Shelton Bastards - which explains the high $7.49 USD price point.

Served chilled and allowed to come to room temperature 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 gorgeous khaki colour. Full and supple, with a great soft complexion and shiny sheen. Smooth even consistency. Good creaminess and thickness. Head retention is quite good for the 11% ABV - about 6 minutes. Perfect even consistent lacing coats the sides of the glass as the head slowly recedes. Great looking head across the board.

Body colour is a predictable opaque solid jet-black. Some fine yeast particles are visible about the bottom of the glass. Appears adequately carbonated.

Overall, it's a really good looking imperial stout. That said, it's exactly what you'd expect and isn't unique or special. I'm really looking forward to the first sip. It's a rich appearance and the head is seductive.

Sm: Has a notable oat presence; they really used the oats for taste here - not just for the smooth texture. That's ballsy. Has a lovely milk chocolate aroma which comes off authentic; this is genuine chocolate, not artificial chocolate character or mere chocolate malt. Wonderful succulent cream, subtle hints of coffee, and well-integrated caramel notes are detectable, and work brilliantly with the other notes here. I also get a fantastic underside of roast (both barley and coffee) which I hope to God gets preserved in the taste. As it warms, some marshmallow emerges.

The barrel notes seem very motivated. The subtle whiskey spiciness, buried faint oak, and kiss of vanilla complement and accentuate the notes of the base beer instead of overwhelming them.

If this tastes as good as it smells, I'm in for a real treat.

No yeast character or overt alcohol is detectable. There are no off-notes.

T/Mf: The open greets the drinker with a welcoming creaminess and a smooth almost silky feel which remains throughout the beer. It's very soft for an imperial stout; this isn't the aggressive heavy texture you might expect. Ideal thickness and weight on the palate. Full-bodied. Has a great presence and texture overall. Excellent carbonation as well.

Not gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or rough.

The creaminess is marvelous, and the oats work incredibly well in the body alongside the dark malts. There's no booziness at all here, and no yeast character or alcohol makes an appearance. The subtle milk chocolate is magnificent and integrates very naturally into the flavour profile. Light caramel, marshmallow, and vanilla lend still more nuance to an already wondrously complex and subtle beer. A very cohesive brew; I'd say the build is gestalt - there's nothing extraneous here and if you took out any individual note the beer would suffer. The whiskey barrel character is unfortunately a bit reticent, but that may be a plus because spiciness wouldn't really suit this taste too well; bourbon seems like it'd be a much better fit.

Good depth of flavour. Above average duration of flavour. Slightly below average intensity of flavour.

Constructively, it's a touch too sweet and there are some wisps of sticky dark fruit which never really amount to anything. Similarly, there's a barely present coconut note (probably from the whiskey?) which should really be amped up. Additionally, the roasty character I loved in the aroma is much more tame in the taste, which feels like a major missed opportunity.

Dr: Sinfully good and obscenely drinkable for the high ABV. This beer is a real treat and is a hell of an imperial stout. Really solid work from Prairie; I was beginning to think they were a one-trick pony what with all their farmhouse ales, but I'm happy to say I was dead wrong. I can see why it holds a spot on the Top 50 Southwest - and it definitely deserves it. I'd absolutely recommend this to friends, and in spite of its high price point I'd definitely buy it again. As far as imperial oatmeal stouts go, this is right up there with Founders Breakfast Stout in my estimation. I could easily have another. I'll go out of my way to hunt down the variants. Incredible stuff.


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Photo of Uanof
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From 12oz to a tasting snifter.

A: dark brown almost black as the night, not much of a head, but he bubbles sure are persistent. Quickly dissipating tan foam to be expected from the barrel aging.

S: picking some dark chocolates and whiskey fumes from the aging as well, luckily this isn't too strong as it would have ruined the whole beer experience.

T: getting chocolate, vanilla, very mild roast and again the whiskey, but it such a small amount that it balances and complements very well the rest of the flavors bringing them all together.

M: medium bodied, sticky, goes down well. As it warms up the roastiness start to be more noticeable and a nice warming feeling follows shortly after, makes you just want to keep on sipping until it's all gone.

O: excellent beer, nicely balanced, they managed pretty well the whiskey barrel aging as to not overpower the beer but complement it. It's a keeper!

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Heavy pour gives way to a thick voluminous light brown head and a black body. Plenty of lace and good retention.

The aroma presents whiskey, chocolate, roasted malts, touch of vanilla and caramel sweetness.

Whiskey and oak from the barrels, lots of coffee from the roasted malt, chocolate and caramel.

Drinking this on a freezing day and it provides a nice warmth. The carbonation is low and the body is medium. The oats give it a nice smooth feel.

In the world of barrel aged stouts it doesn't stack up to the big boys. Still a solid beer.

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Photo of Brob245
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - dark brown almost black with deep carmel color head. Retained very good lacing in the glass.

Smell- faint hints of smoke and oak.

Taste - toasty, slightly sweet malt character with a dark chocolate finish.

Mouthfeel - light carbonation with a silky smooth texture.

Overall - an enjoyable beer, very silky texture. Nothing overwhelming but I liked it none the less.

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Photo of alaimoa
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a teku. Not sure of age but likely around 8-12 months
A: black with mocha ring and mocha lace
S: caramel, whiskey, burnt sugar
T: sweet caramel, bitter chocolate, whiskey notes no burn
M: smooth, thick, silky
Overall great and will buy whenever I can

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

Pours a dark colored creamy thick but smaller head that leaves some lacing, pitch black thick beer with some legs too.

Nose big cocoa and bakers choc, big fluffy nougat carafa and mild biscuity malted milk ball, coffee roast, nice caramel layers and toffee, mild chewy hops and nice fluffy malts, little candy bar chocolate. Very light vanilla barrel notes but not really whisky.

Taste starts a bit sweet, lots of dark malts, cocoa, dark choc, bakers choc, into a mild smokey note and roasty, slight char, into a big spicy earthy hop, little peppermint like note with its own tingly anesthesizing feel, but then dies as the malts come back through again, with more cocoa and roast, very slight hint of barrel but barely. Finish gets a little warming booze, more roasty and dark cocoa, lingering earthy spicy hops and fair bitterness.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, decent fluffy carb, little warming booze.

Overall nice but nothing too special, just a basic imperial stout.

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Photo of rudzud
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Received this as an extra, shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a very nice dark brown nearly black hue with a thin mocha head that leaves light lacing and a creamy blanket.

S - Aromas of chocolate, bourbon, alcohol, barrel, coconut (due to barrel), light vanilla, light dark fruits.

T - Taste is light smoke, roasted malts, dark chocolate with a weird minty thing going on in the middle. The bourbon is super faint, which is unfortunate, light barrel notes. Not much vanilla either.

M - Mouthfeel is nice for the style, alcohol hidden well.

O - Overall this beer was a bit disappointing when compared to bomb or pirate. Not nearly as much whiskey as I would like.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served alongside the Vanilla Noir.

Deep black with an oily beige head. Lovely aroma with all the usual suspects. Oak, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate. Fabulous flavor and wonderfully smooth. Rich flavor with ample dark chocolates. Mild alcohol presence. Full bodied with soft carbonation. Complex and well balanced. A top notch imperial stout.

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Photo of darthvohn
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Glass Used: Nonic Pint

Appearance: The pour was a viscous obsidian with very little head, however it retained quite a while. About one poker chip thickness, with a melted dutch chocolate ice cream color.

Smell: Juicy black cherry, chocolate and bourbon. Booze.

Taste: Chocolate and oakey bourbon. I am getting some dark fruit sweetness but nothing overpowering. The oak and bourbon linger on well after you finish your drink. Very nice. The 11% booze is surprisingly well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and light carbonation. Very smooth and silky.

Overall: A very nice barrel aged oatmeal stout. The chocolate and bourbon notes are fantastic mellowed by the nectar that is dark juicy fruits. I bet this would be very interesting with some age on it. Recommend.

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

Appearance: Pitch black, 2 finger head, great lacing

Aroma: Cherries, stone fruit, chocolate, bourbon, molasses, boozy.

Taste: Bourbon and stone fruits dominate the flavor. Earthy tones emerge, followed by a slight hop bitterness. There isn't a massive amount of oak, but it is definitely detectable. Vanilla is the primary flavor from the barrels. Full body.

Overall: This is a well crafted brew. It's well rounded and smooth. Would recommend for bottle trades, special occasions or cellaring. Enjoy!

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Prairie Noir from Prairie Artisan Ales
4.16 out of 5 based on 715 ratings.
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