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It wouldn’t quite feel like winter if I didn’t have any stouts to share, now would it?  That this one happened to be a festive variant of an old favorite was certainly a plus and the fact that it was bottled on Halloween made it all the more irresistible!  Ahh, Halloween and Christmas together again…

Beer Name: Christmas Bomb

Brewery: Prairie Artisan Ales (Oklahoma City, OK)

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 13.0%

Description: The brewery used their popular Bomb! Imperial Stout as a base and added cinnamon to its already impressive array of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and ancho chili.

Appearance: Poured to a black body topped by a thin, dark tan foam that faded immediately upon completion of the pour.

Smell: Creamy dark malts with a blast of cinnamon at the end.

Taste: Creamy, rich malts upfront transitioned first to sweet chocolate and then towards a robust, spicy blend of vanilla and cinnamon.  Emerging on the finish were hints of roasted coffee and a distinct layer of heat from both alcohol and chilli peppers.

Mouthfeel: Thick, smooth body with low carbonation.

Hype: I was excited about this one.  I really enjoy the base brew and I was excited to incorporate a stout into my festive mix.

Overall: This was a very aggressively flavorful brew and I was immediately captivated by the potential offered by the aroma and first half of the sip.  After that however, the beer’s strong finish got to be a bit much for me. The cinnamon on its own had a pretty assertive presence, but in combination with the pepper and vanilla, the level of spice and heat on the finish was enough to really give me pause around a third of the way into the glass.  It wasn’t bad necessarily, but it was intense. Your feelings about these adjuncts and the flavor profiles they impart will very much determine whether or not this is the brew for you or not.