Saturday, December 13, 2014

Prairie Christmas Bomb!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1238) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 13, 2014
I don’t usually factor in a beer’s price, rarity and current trendiness when I grade it, but it certain instances it’s a defacto baseline. Case in point: Prairie Christmas Bomb!, which is one of the must-have bottles of the moment in my area and also runs $10 a bottle. Needless to say I went in with high expectations, and while this is indeed an excellent beer, it doesn’t quite live up to the hype or justify the price tag.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a goblet. It was bottled on 10/16/14 and cost $9.99 ($0.83 per ounce).

Appearance: Dark, opaque black in color. Pours to a small, brown, frothy head which laces and retains extremely well.

Smell: Strong coffee notes, though that might actually be spices and/or peppers. Distinct chocolate. Nice but not amazing.

Taste: There are three major flavor components to this palette: chocolate, coffee and spices – in that order. Up front there’s a slightly sweet chocolate sensation, though not quite to the rich sweetness of a milk chocolate candy. More in the vein of dark Belgian chocolate, but without the abrasive bitterness. Through the middle a strong coffee flavor emerges, which complements the chocolate well and makes for a tasty mocha sensation. On the finish is a mild spice character; part cinnamon and ginger and part chile pepper of some sort. There’s a warming sensation right as it goes down, which is the logical conclusion. All these flavors flow in the proper order and taste quite good, though I’ve drank brews with similar palettes that were superior (e.g. Cigar City Hunahpu), so it’s quite impressive to be sure, but isn’t quite the mind-blower I was expecting.

Drinkability: A heavily spiced beer that weighs in at 11.5% ABV, Prairie Christmas Bomb! Is surprisingly drinkable. In fact, it’s amazingly drinkable! The mouthfeel is soft and comfortable with a smooth texture and finish to match. There’s a gentle warming sensation from the alcohol, but at no point does this ever come across as a boozy or obese beer. It leaves a slightly dry lingering aftertaste, but it’s easily tolerable. 
Grade: 9/10

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