Prairie Artisan Ales – Tulsa, OK
The ninth beer in our countdown is another imperial stout, this one with a big twist. The base beer is big, bold, and sweet with chocolate and roasted malts. Then it is aged on coffee, cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, and ancho chiles, giving it additional roastiness, slightly bitter chocolate notes, and a kiss of pleasant hot pepper spice that registers on the finish.
Prairie Bomb is best poured into a snifter, at anywhere from 55 degrees to room temperature, which will really bring those aromas and flavors to the front. Like our previous entry, it will take a lot serious chocolate richness to match up well. Triple layer chocolate cake, chocolate truffles, rich fudge, chocolate lava cake, etc., and any of those items with an element of a dark, rich fruit, like raspberry, should also make a great partner for this beer. And of course, if any of the elements on which the beer is aged are present, this will add an additional dimension. I’m thinking of a Mexican torte with dark chocolate ganache and ancho chili powder that I saw on a local restaurant’s website today (Local Lime, if you’re a Central Arkansan.) Again though, I usually drink these beers on their own, as they are a dessert unto themselves.
Prairie Artisan Ales, out of the jewel of Oklahoma that is Tulsa, is an extraordinarily consistent purveyor of variations on imperial stout (the most interesting one I’ve seen was aged in Apple Brandy barrels), as well as sour farmhouse saisons that will knock your socks off. Even their “basic” beers are anything but basic, and are all notable. They have started distributing further north—at one time this was one of the few brewers I could get in Arkansas but not in Illinois, but that is no longer the case—so Bomb! should be available (if you can get your hands on it) anywhere Prairie’s other products are available.
JAB - 12/9/15