Screen shot 2013-07-28 at 9.55.43 PM

Got a giant package of Prairie in the mail about a month ago, and their Bomb! was so impressive that I’ve almost been scared to try any more of it. You got to have an excuse to be so decadent, and since I spend 80% of my life wearing unwashed sweat pants I can’t justify feeling so fancy.

So let’s go with a beer held only in middling esteem, in spite of its exquisite packaging: Pirate Noir (which is French for “Grey Homosexual.”)

Noir is an imperial stout brewed by Prairie for the express purpose of aging it in different types of barrels. This makes sense for the kind of people who claim to be able to taste the difference between barrel varieties. I am not one of those people. Dudes, for example, will tell you that pappy Dark Lord is way different from the regular bourbon aged Dark Lord, but it’s totally not, they’re lying.

I mean, yeah, I can taste the difference between weird gross barrels and BBA stuff. There is no excuse for aging a stout in a tequila barrel, for example. Rum barrels? Eh… I hate to admit it, but I can taste the difference. It’s not bad, but it’s overwhelming, and the noir base is really timid for an RIS. So up front you got a big dose of Bicardi burn and then you get this watery-seeming, mildly hoppy and mildly vinious impy. The Noir might not actually be watery and mild, but it’s just not strong enough to stand up to the giant rum burst.

Sign up and we’ll send all our posts to you