Abraxas - Perennial Artisan Ales
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Ratings: 730 | Reviews: 108 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by LambicPentameter:
4.61/5 rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Enjoyed on tap for Bier Station's one year anniversary Midwest tap takeover event. They had both the 2012 and the 2013 on tap, so it was really fun to do a mini-vertical and compare the beer to itself after a year. The scores and review will be for the 2013 vintage, but I will make reference to the 2012 as well. Both were served in small Belgian tulip glasses.
Appearance - Yields a healthy two finger head mocha tan head of bubbles so small it looked a bit like chocolate mousse. The body beneath is a pitch black with zero light penetrating, not even around the edges of the glass. The dense head helps keep out the light as well. Retention is moderate, and the head dissipates to a rim of foam around the edge of the glass with a mottling of film across the surface. Lacing is spotty and very sparse. The 2012 is different in that it has much less head at first pour, starting out with a lazy half-finger foam that dissipates almost immediately. It also happens to have more legs than the 2013, with the foam leaving a sheet across the side of the glass when I tilt it, but it slinks back down, leaving zero lacing.
Smell - Rich with notes of cinnamon stick, dried chile, melting baker's chocolate and molasses. I also get a nice element of char from the roasted malt that you expect from a stout or porter. The aroma is so aggressive, with cinnamon and chile being front and center. The 2012, by contrast, has mellowed way out on the cinnamon and chile, allowing the rich, decadent notes of bittersweet chocolate to shine through. I think I prefer the fresh, although if I had never had it fresh, the one-year version would be an outstanding beer in it's own rite.
Taste - Like with the aroma, the cinnamon and chile work together to provide quite a punch to start. Spiced devil's food cake with an invigorating burn from the spice that is kept relatively in-check by the rich bittersweet element from the roasted malt and burnt caramel. The heat lingers for a long time, but it's a pleasant heat. Would be the perfect beer for a cold night. The 2012 vintage has mellowed considerably, with the cinnamon becoming a mere accent to the rich chocolatey taste and the pepper becoming a gentle tingle instead of the noticeable heat. Here, I think I prefer the 2012, but only by a shade. I still think the 2013 is unmatched for the right situation--when you want a big stout with some aggressive character.
Mouthfeel - Full-bodied, rich and creamy. Luscious. Carbonation is moderate and the finish is lingering and coats the mouth to a degree. The 2012 is a tiny bit thinner, but still nice and creamy. Lower carbonation levels are to be expected as well.
Overall, this is just a top-notch offering from Perennial. Outstanding and unique as a fresh beer, and wonderfully age-able as well. I've not had many different beers from this "Spiced Imperial Stout" sub-style that has been popular, but this one is fantastic. Now I just need to get my hands on the BA version...
Serving type: on-tap
12-30-2013 07:00:57 | More by LambicPentameter
More User Reviews:
4.2/5 rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
750ml bottle poured into Spiegelau tulip.
A: Pours very smooth and slowly, just like motor oil. Appears a deep inky black with a finger of caramel-colored head.
S: Slight booziness. Roasted malt, coffee, vanilla, cinnamon, molasses, and just faintly of chili peppers.
T: Damn, the richness smacks you in the face. Pretty sweet, not cloying, but a tad much for my tastes. The first thing I get is lots of cinnamon and vanilla. Next is chili pepper, accompanied by the slight burn. There is a bit of roasted coffee presence as well. All in all, nice, but gets a tad overwhelming, like drinking a sweet cinnamon cookie. It does get better as it warms.
M: Definitely the thickest beer I've ever had. It's like drinking eggnog. Coats the entire mouth and just sticks there. Some might call it 'chewy'. Very smooth and creamy. No carbonation comes through in a beer this heavy. Couldn't ask for more in an Imperial Stout.
O: As I mentioned, it's like drinking a cookie. Quite sweet, which can get overwhelming as you get further into the bottle. Good complexity of flavor, not as much chili pepper as others I've had. Definitely a bottle you want someone to share with. Someday I hope to the opportunity to try the BA version.
Serving type: bottle
04-12-2014 23:43:46 | More by d5001986
4.46/5 rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Bottle from a generous trader. Bottled 11/2013. Pours incredibly thick pitch black with a big dark brown head. Aroma of massive chocolates, a hint of spicy pepper, and a bit of cinnamon. Really nice. Flavor is super sweet chocolate, light roast, a bit of cinnamon dryness, with a lingering dry cocoa powder and light chile flavor left on the palate. The heat picks up a tad as I sip and the cinnamon definitely comes out as it warms. Thick bodied with low carbonation, but not as thick as I was expecting after watching the pour. Pretty good stuff with both sweet chocolate and bitter roast shining through here. Hoping to find the BA version someday.
Serving type: bottle
04-12-2014 23:07:25 | More by BMMillsy
Abraxas from Perennial Artisan Ales
97 out of 100 based on 730 ratings.