12/21/18: Prairie Artisan Ales' Christmas Bomb!

4:40 PM

Well, we're pulling into the home stretch now that it's the longest night of the year. Have you finished your shopping? Did you put up your lights? What about your tree? Do you have one? Is it trimmed? (All of this, of course, assumes you celebrate Christmas. If you don't, are you prepped for the coming winter?)

As you can see from the picture here, Michelle and I finally have a tree. When we got to the farm, there were three ball and burlap trees left. We wanted one of these so we can plant it after the holiday. We bought the best of the bunch (an easy thing to do--the others weren't even in the running), took it home and decorated it. Tonight, it's providing the perfect backdrop for the beer I'll be discussing: Prairie Artisan Ales' Christmas Bomb!

Prairie, with locations in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, McAlester, and Krebs, OK, was founded in 2012 with the goal of making innovative beers. Exercising creativity, the company aims to make beers unlike any other you've had. Be sure to check out their website to see some of what those beers may be.

Or, you could just keep reading. Because, as I'm sure you know, I'm about to drink one of their creative, innovative, and unique ales: Christmas Bomb! This is a holiday variation of Prairie's Bomb! (which is a damn fine ancho chili-infused imperial stout in its own right) that's seen the addition of holiday spices. While I'm not sure what the exact spices in this 13% ABV behemoth might be, I'm excited to find out.

22 differences. Can you spot them?
My bottle's bouquet is all ancho. The nose itself packs quite a bit of heat. There's also a healthy amount of chocolate here, which makes me think of a chocolate mole sauce. I'm not finding any hint of holiday spice or vanilla, though. It's an aroma that appeals to me but not so to Purrl--she gave my can one reluctant whiff.

The chocolate sticks around for the taste, but the ancho only makes a tiny appearance--what little bit is here only serves to linger in the finish. I'm still not getting much in the way of individual, discernible holiday spices (EDIT: While proofing this post, I am getting some ginger), but I am getting some, and there is a hint of vanilla in the stout. Christmas Bomb!, seemingly miraculously, tastes like home-baked chocolate pie. It's Christmasy in that way, even if it's not so Christmasy in the more traditional Christmas ale sense.

Have you ever had a stout before? If so, you'll know what to expect from Christmas Bomb!'s mouthfeel. Full and creamy, perfectly befitting a beer so packed with chocolate touting such a sizeable ABV.

My old roommate makes one of the best chocolate pies I've ever had. While he now makes them for the "big events" Michelle and I put on (the most recent one he's made, to my knowledge, is the one he brought to our friendsgiving), he used to make them whenever the mood struck him. Seriously, I'd come home from work in the evening to found that'd he'd made a pie.

The chocolate he'd use was so rich, it alone made the pie worthwhile. He'd also sprinkle a pinch of powdered sugar on top of it, which really made the pie feel homey. It was a kind of comfort food for us or, at least, for me. His pie is the exact thing of which Christmas Bomb! reminds me.

Prairie Artisan Ales' Bomb! is one of the best beers I've had. I'm happy to say that Christmas Bomb! does a lot to carry on that legacy of greatness. Chocolate lovers, this one's for you. I'm giving my bottle an 8.5/10. Give it a shot if you can find it.

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