Prairie Artisan Pe-Kan

Is this a stout? A porter? A black ale? A black lager? In their very artisanal fashion, Prairie has decided not to tell me. This is exactly the kind of thing that made me decide not to buy any more of their beers. I had one that had coffee in it, and they said nothing about that on the label, so they can go pound salt. BUT Jeremy convinced me to get two and give them another chance, but I am warning these people that they are on my very last nerve.

The beer is thick and black. The head does not want to come out to play, so I really did my best to get the head as thick as you see here. It didn't hang around for too long, and there's no lacing or anything else going on. There is simply a mocha-colored smear on top with a ring around the glass. The aroma is thick with chocolate and alcohol.

First sip is thick like a brick. It is sweet with chocolate and oak and definitely has hints of (but no actual) coffee. It is managing to be both too sweet and too bitter at the same time, and that really does take an artist - a masochistic artist, but an artist nonetheless. A full swig will deal with this "art" thing.

Tip-in is bitter in the middle with sweet around the sides. Chocolate is in front with oak and licorice backing its play. The middle come along with an intensifying sweetness that is joined by earth and coffee (it is not a great combo). The finish rounds things off with the sweetness turning bitter as the alcohol jumps up and screams, "HEY! Look at me!" And there is no ignoring that wet, fibrous alcohol slap.

Bottom Line: Unbalanced and unhinged, this might be a good beer in the proper hands.



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