It’s not necessary to remind any of you reading this that Christmas is less than a week away. By this point, you likely find yourself in one of two situations. Either you have finished all of your gift buying and deserve a beer or are panicking and stressing over last minute shopping and need one. The Christmas Bomb! is brewed by Prairie Artisan Ales from Oklahoma. Prairie consistently make absolutely amazing beers and are known for pushing style boundaries and for their unique creations. The Christmas Bomb! comes in at 11% which is slightly less ABV than their original Bomb!. The Christmas Bomb! is labeled as an imperial stout brewed with spices, and the lower ABV is likely a result of reducing the malt bill just a bit to let the spices come through. Far from a white Christmas, this beer has a tan head with miniscule bubbles dancing atop a viscous inky stage. The dense concentration of the bubbles results in a lingering head with nice lacing as it makes its slow recession into the dark depths of the beer. The aroma released is that of sticking your nose into a bag of freshly ground espresso beans. Through some bloodhound sniffing, the nose also discovers notes of dark chocolate and cherries. With a quick swallow, the mouth detects ginger and coffee with an aftertaste of dark roasted coffee and whiskey. Hold the beer on the tongue and explore a little deeper, and you are rewarded with a world of flavors opening before you. The first thing noticed about this beer is the thick, velvety texture of the liquid. The tongue is first surprised by the creaminess before the taste buds even begin to interpret the beer’s flavors. Not surprisingly, coffee flavors are dominant both early and late. Influenced by the discoveries of the nose, the tongue can also pick up on slight dark chocolate and fruits. Between the initial coffee taste and its stronger assertion on the back of the tongue, flavors of ginger, cinnamon and allspice make a brief appearance. The spices and coffee intermingle in the back of the mouth as hints of vanilla arrive on scene.The black malt, alcohol heat, spices, and bitter chocolate all contribute to a prolonged aftertaste that both pleasures and captivates the taste buds as flavors fade in and out. Eventually, the mouth is left with just the whiskey and coffee aftertaste with a subtle hint of chili burn on the lips. Immediately, the brain begs you to take another sip and see what else you can discover in this complex and well-rounded beer. Christmas Bomb! is around $28 for a four pack and is a beer definitely meant to be sipped and enjoyed. So if you are of the latter group of stressed procrastinating holiday shoppers, grab a pack, enjoy two yourself, and wrap up a pretty sweet (and spicy and bitter and chocolaty) gift for your favorite beer aficionado.