Your Daily Pint for Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, is: PRAIRIE ARTISAN ALES PIRATE BOMB
What it is: A 14%-ABV imperial stout aged in rum barrels with coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla and cherries.
What it tastes like: Would you stop reading right now if we said this beer is the bomb? ’Cause it is. It smells alluringly chocolaty and pleasantly dusty, heralding a beer that’s not quite your average barrel-napper. A lot of spirit-barrel-aged beers taste huge, sweet and boozy, with prominent flavors of whatever liquor the barrel held previously. But here, rum only barely laces the flavor; instead, the barrels contribute a woody note, and served more to develop a sensually smooth mouthfeel. The flavor’s wonderfully chocolaty, but in a dry, bittersweet way; roasted coffee and the nibs’ earthiness combine to dry out the sip. The vanilla, cherry and alcohol combine to lend just a bit of sweetness; after the swallow, dry char and cherry lingers on the tongue.
Don’t be fooled: The small bottle doesn’t mean it’s an easy-drinker: This is something to share. Like, among four people.
Also try: Prairie Bomb! (the non-pirate version), which is equally roasty and chocolaty but kicked up with chili peppers that lend more charred dryness and just a hint of heat.