Prairie Noir – Prairie Artisan Ales
Purchased through The Rare Beer Club ($66.95/four 25.4 oz. bottles) and poured into pint glasses.
Oklahoma-based Prairie Artisan Ales only produced 100 cases of this “imperial oatmeal stout aged in oak whiskey barrels”, which pours a deep onyx with a scarce brown sugar head. Prairie Noir offers a distinct nose of sawdust, bitter chocolate, coffee grounds, and fire-hot whiskey, but has a little more moderation and complexity on the tongue. Freshly sawed lumber is the main flavor up front, followed by the expected coffee and chocolate notes, and some scorched sugar and burnt cereal on the retreat. There is almost as much barrel as beer here, with that sawdust-y wood flavor coming to dominate the profile, along with hard alcohol and vanilla bean. Allowing the beer some time to warm brings out more of the rich stout flavors.