I picked this beer up somewhat begrudgingly. I say begrudgingly simply because I’m not a fan of brown ales. I find them to be too light in the body. The one American Brown Ale that I’ve tried that I really do enjoy is Dogfish Head’s Palo Santo Marron (review coming soon). But I never really thought of this as a brown ale. It was thick and meaty like an Imperial Stout. So why did I pick up Okie, you ask? Well, simply because it was made by Prairie Artisan Ales, and they just do no wrong in my book. I wasn’t expecting much when I sampled this beer, because well, it’s a brown ale. However, the aroma immediately told me that this was something different. I checked the label. How did I miss “Imperial” and “aged in oak whiskey barrels”? I quickly tasted it, and sure enough, Prairie once again had totally scored! A most pleasant surprise indeed. So I broke out the camera and the notepad, shot my photos and wrote down sampling notes, because this one had to be written about. It was astounding!
It poured a dark brown to almost black. In fact, I thought it was black until I held it up to the light, after which the dark brown colors started to emerge. There was little head and no lacing. When I set the glass down on the counter, the light reflected through it like a prism and shone a garnet hue onto the surface below. The aroma was very complex and bold but not overpowering. There were notes of sweet brown sugar, almond, subtle malts and dates. It was somewhat reminiscent of a Belgian dubbel. And the whiskey from the barrel aging was definitely there as well. The taste mirrored the aroma: complex sweet sugary booziness as expected from whiskey barrel aging. It was nice and even from start to finish with a warm smooth aftertaste and a sticky smooth texture.
At 12.00% ABV it’s generally not for repeated pints. However, the sweetness and brown sugar notes would certainly lend itself to pairing with a rich dark chocolate cake after dinner.