Abraxas - Perennial Artisan Ales

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AbraxasAbraxas

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

175 Reviews
THE BROS
95
world-class

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Reviews: 175
Hads: 1,692
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 10.07%
Wants: 1,111
Gots: 411 | FT: 35
Brewed by:
Perennial Artisan Ales visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jmvecchio1 on 12-16-2011

Imperial Stout brewed with Ancho Chiles, Cacao Nibs, Vanilla Beans & Cinnamon Sticks.

2011 - 100 cases
2012 - 200 cases
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 175 | Hads: 1,692
Photo of gibgink
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Opened 11/27/14 slightly above room temp.

A: Jet black with minimal head. Poured thick.
S: Very hard to describe. Is that the alcohol heat I smell, the cinnamon, or the peppers? It all blends together. Second whiff I pickup some chocolate notes. Just a pleasure to smell.
T: Very similar to the smell. There is a spicy element that is a blend of heat and cinnamon on top of a roasted malt flavor.
M: Residual burn/sweetness that stays with you.
O: This beer is fantastic. It is a great blend of chilies and cinnamon such that both elements compete against one another, with neither gaining the upper hand. Definitely worth the praise it gets. The complexity this beer brings to the table blows other beers out of the water. (739 characters)

Photo of spoonhawk
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours thick, and has a muted carbonation. The body is slightly lighter than might be expected, but lands firmly in the "full" category. The feel is creamy and only slightly oily slick.

The flavor lays down a heavy baseline of rich malt, a touch of smokey roast, and dry cocoa. Playing of the underlying flavor is a bright mix of cinnamon and smokey spice. Midsip, the roast comes through more strongly, the spice dimension is more pronounced, and the flavor slides toward the drier side of the scale.

The lingering flavor mixes unsweetened chocolate, sweet smoke, cinnamon, and dry malt. It is also worth noting, that despite not being all that sweet, it does a fine job masking the alcohol.

All in this is a genius beer in both formulation and execution. It deserves its standing as a top of the heap beer. (821 characters)

Photo of Dnayew
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had it rated right below Hunahpu as the #2 beer on the planet until I tried this year's batch. Now I would rate it equal to Hunahpu in the world of special craft imperial stouts. (178 characters)

Photo of PhishNoC
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Just returned from Abraxas Day 2014. Outstanding event. Abraxas is an outstanding beer. Cinnamon, Chocolate come through nicely. I have heard that it fades in time over bottles, but I tasted 2014 next to 2013 (on tap), and 2013's flavors resonated stronger. Might just have been the recipe and process that year. Both excellent though. (341 characters)

Photo of ronricorossi
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rushed out of work early to get to Trappist Provisions in Oakland. The bottles were long gone, but didn't want to take any chances on missing this on-tap, especially with the vanilla being there, too.

So, for me, like Mexican Cake, this is a perfect beer and I have no hesitation in giving it a perfect score. Rich, sweet, spiced stouts hit the absolute heights of my taste preferences, and what beer hits that profile more dead-on than this one? Like a boozy mexican hot chocolate. Spices integrated perfectly. Just the right amount of heat from the peppers. Dreaming of the BBA version. Five stars out of five. (613 characters)

Photo of 4amepiphany
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is it. At least for someone who hasn't had BA Abraxas, Hunahpu & Dark Lord Muerte. Work the drive to St. Louis just to pick up a couple of bottles which they graciously saved the last of their batch for me. You guys are awesome. The first time I had a sip (poured from bottle) it was like drinking liquid fudge. I love my dark chocolate. The cinnamon is nicely balanced along with just the right touch of chilies. And I mean just the right touch. Doesn't linger too long, but is totally present. I can't stop sipping this beer whenever it's around. I do wish it was a little chewier in mouthfeel, though I actually really could care less because of how great a stout it is. A few more bottles aging in the cellar that I can't wait to try someday. Thank you, Perennial.

Side note, I'm part Thai, so I can't feel the heat of chili as much.. it came off mild to me, so in my tastes, it's nicely balanced. (907 characters)

Photo of T-Leb
4.98/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

You should be excited about this beer! It is fantastic.

Abraxas pours dark and rich as you would expect with a great bronze head. Once poured one can immediately start sniffing hints of vanilla bean and cocoa nibs. The taste is complex. I like to think of the taste of this beer like going to a Yonder Mountain String Band concert. The band plays together beautifully, but when each band member has a chance to solo you can really hear each component. The same is true for Abraxas. A taste of Abraxas develops in stages. At first it is a chocolate but as it warms up you experience more vanilla/espresso taste, but cold/warm it finishes with a chili spice and cinnamon perfection. (682 characters)

Photo of Tex_hex
4.94/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sorry, guys. I had this several days ago at a tasting and was so excited I didn't take all notes. Suffice it to say, abraxas is one of the best beers I've ever had. Warm, complex, syrupy stout goodness. Had slightly chilled and room temperature and cannot say anything bad. In fact, I think the beer got better with warmth. (324 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4.91/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had to take the time to post a full review of this special beer. This was an unexpected blow your mind beer. First I need to give a huge tip of the cap to Alex (Masterski) for providing this bottle in a recent box exchange. Shared bottle with tai4ji2x (Xenon) as part of a trade (and share evening)
Poured with a visual thickness to it and quickly a thick bronze head formed. Beer was glossy and the deepest brown in color. Some clingy lace remained.
At this point I need to mention that the flavor and aroma of this beer continuously developed and changed as we worked our way through the bottle. One of the more complex and chameleon like beers I’ve ever had.. (meant as a total compliment.
At first the aroma was of deep dark chocolate and this hung thick in my nostril. It was also obvious that chilis were a part of the brew. As mentioned above this continued to move and develop.
The first several sips were absolutely wonderful and screamed of a thick, deep dark chocolate up front with some spicy chili in the rear. Even if this had never changed, I loved this beer right from the start. (it had be at hello!) But this was just the beginning. I told Xenon that I would give him credit for this and I just did… He mentioned that the next phase was very reminiscent of chewing tobacco. He was spot on with this. A bit of spice, some tobacco and still the sense of chocolate. I think this was the beginning of the transition to the other flavors….. As the beer warmed first the cinnamon came to the forefront, and then the vanilla. While early it was dark chocolate, later is was cocoa powder…. And at one point I commented to Xenon that it was as if every permutation of the major components took their turn at center stage. As with life the beer seemed to come full circle and the ending was again the dark chocolate. I am sure that we became accustomed to the spice and other flavors came forward as it warmed… but it was clear to us that the spiciest three sips were the first three.
Body matched the complex flavors and was quite bold.

Just an awesome beer and one where I need to try to find another bottle… ISO to be posted soon. For me this was very special… Alex thanks so much for sending. Xenon, happy to share it with you. (2,254 characters)

Photo of jbriggs7
4.89/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into Snifter, dark with light orange foam around the rim [swirl of tiny bubbles in the middle].

Dark stout/sight coffee on the front end and the back end tasted like the milk at the bottom of a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

I would drink it by the gallon if I could. (278 characters)

Photo of thestateis
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is quite possibly one of my favorite beers right now. The chile on the nose is sometimes a little overpowering, but the overall taste is just incredible. Enormous chocolate malt, vanilla, cinnamon and chile provide a crazy, and oddly complementary combination of flavors. (276 characters)

Photo of cmdmzmjm
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 Bottle into a Oversized Wine Glass

A- Nice! Black as it should be oily, about a 2 finger head and tan. Very nice looking Imp Stout

S- Smells of smoke, coffee, chili and bit of cinnamon but not much. Smell was pretty delicious but not my favorite smelling beer.

T- Amazing! I was not ready for this beer to be that good. The coffee at first, then a bit of vanilla. After that i taste the cinnamon and finished with some spicy tingle of the chili pepper. IT was perfectly balance. Its actually hard to describe.

M- Full body, thick and creamy. I really enjoyed drinking this one

O- This is probably the best beer out of St Louis. Im not sure how limited this supply is but if you can get it do it! I was lucky to get a few bottles. One down and going to try and age the other. I highly doubt it makes it past next week. Its way to good right now to wait. (861 characters)

Photo of cnbrown313
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle shared between 3 friends in the back of a liquor store. Glassware: red plastic cup

A - Pours super thick and very dark brown. One of the thickest, most dense beers I've poured. Right away I was excited

S - Sweet chocolate, spices, maybe cinnamon, a little pepper

T - Lots of thick and rich chocolately malt flavors up front, followed by the spices, and finally a hint of heat from the chili peppers, but not too much. Every sip makes you want another. The alcohol is well hidden for the ABV too.

M - Thick and creamy. Like liquid fudge

O - This was one of the most enjoyable spiced imperial stouts I've had. I would love to try it next to a bottle of Hunaphu because that might be the only one that can hold a candle to Abraxas (barrel aged stouts aside...) (769 characters)

Photo of boothbeer
4.87/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Did a stout tasting with vicjr85 and some other friends on 03/07/15. This was my favorite beer of the night. List included: Marshal Zukhov, Abraxas, Speedway JBM, BB Temptress, Chocolate Rain and Bo & Luke.

Nice body with tons of great cinnamon flavor and finishes with a little peppery/spice from the ancho chiles. Picked up on some vanilla which pairs well with the cinnamon. All around great beer. (406 characters)

Photo of Cvescalante
4.84/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed this bottle with my buddy Gtermi. Big thanks to Arcook11 for working out a great trade and going out of his way to make this happen for me.

Pours black big dark brown head that holds for a little bit, then slowly fades to nothing. This gets overused, but it looked like I was pouring motor oil into a tulip.

Chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon invite the nose to dive into the glass and stay for a while. A little heat from the alcohol and chiles are present, but not overwhelming.

At the beginning of each sip, rich chocolatey goodness is what I got, followed by vanilla and cinnamon at the end. I know those damn chiles were messing around somewhere, but they showed up here and there, only for a positive contribution.

Thick and velvety smooth, exactly what I want in an imperial stout. Not much carbonation.

This one exceeded all of my hopes and expectations by so far. It definitely lives up to the hype it recieves and is worth trying hard to seek out. Could be a candidate for my favorite imperial stout. I loved it! (1,032 characters)

Photo of JohnG190
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%

Thank you Chadwicktorres for your profound generosity! Pours black with a thick mocha head and good lacing. Good retention. Aroma redolent of chiles, cinnamon, and chocolate. Spicy heat on the front of the tongue from the chiles with notes of sweet cinnamon spice. Rich chocolate follows with hints of roastiness. Full bodied with ample carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel. Overall, an extremely balanced offering from Perennial. (423 characters)

Photo of JustinMatthew
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 1, 2011 poured a very dark brown an almost black to a Victory tulip glass. Fingers with of rich khaki colored head dissipates on top. Smell is vibrant: chocolate and cinnamon come across very nicely maybe a touch of nutmeg and vanilla. The taste on this is fantastic: cinnamon really shines with a nice balance of chocolate and chilli peppers. Roasted coffee and slight vanilla peeking out in there. Perfect. Coating mouthfeel, very rich and soothing. This beer is top notch, the price is a little high but it truly is one of the best representations of the style.

Big Thanks to Andrew for this! (602 characters)

Photo of jmvecchio1
4.79/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Packaging reads: Abraxas - 10% ABV - Ale brewed with ancho chili peppers, cacao nibs, and cinnamon sticks.

As part of their 'The Cellar' series, Perennial has churned out their take on a Mexican hot chocolate. The beer is an American Imperial Stout in style and is brewed with ancho chili peppers, cacao nibs, freshly ground cinnamon sticks, and freshly cut and scraped vanilla beans.

The beer pours out deep brown with a light brown head and wonderful lacing. The smell of the beer showcases what you will experience during the drink. You're able to individually pull out each of the ingredients used both in the aroma and throughout the drink. Upfront on the drink you get the blend of chocolate and vanilla with a little cinnamon. On the swallow you get a pop of the cinnamon and a pleasant heat from the chili peppers. The heat - which isn't over or underdone - really comes from the peppers, not from the alcohol. The beer drinks dangerously smooth for it's higher ABV and is one you can sip all night if it suits your fancy.

Overall, an amazing beer that I highly recommend either driving to St Louis for or looking for people to trade with for their 750ml bottles. It's sure to be an highly anticipated annual release from one of St Louis' newest breweries. (1,267 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle shared by Curran at his tasting.

Pours a deep, dark black, with a cinnamon-colored orange-ish red head, one inches, awesome color. There's a little bit of lacing down the glass.

Smells like roasted malt, chocolate, and cinnamon, with only a small amount of pepper.

The pepper is stronger in the taste for sure, and quite tasty. There's a ton of sweet, rich chocolate, a little bit of spicy cinnamon, and lots of roasted malt. The flavors meld together really well. This is just another great example of the "Mexican chocolate" style of stout.

Thick, viscous body, coats the mouth with goodness. Very drinkable, because of how well the flavors meld together. Low amount of carbonation.

Just a real treat and pleasure to drink this one, it's so decadent and complex. (776 characters)

Photo of Tbub18
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A--Pitch black, one inch mocha/tan head that fades with time.
S--Really nice! Cinnamon, anchos, dark chocolate, raisins?
T--Unreal. Sweetness comes through but not overdone (see Dark Lord), cinnamon is there but in a complimentary role, while the dark chocolate/roasted malts are absolutely delicious. It moves through the flavors seamlessly.
M--Very thick, creamy, slick! Not sure if its the chiles or the booze but it warms the chest.
O: Glad to finally check this off my list. I'm not a huge fan of the style, and can really appreciate when I encounter an Imperial Stout that is so complex and balance. This is the best imperial stout I've ever had. (658 characters)

Photo of KCSerdy
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Abraxas is a beer that I have not been able to get in Colorado but found at a local restaurant on the bottle list. I was extremely surprised. I have drank but not rated a lot of stouts before this. This ranks as one of my favorite ever. Smooth, rich, creamy and the cocao nibs follow through. This beer is extremely balanced and a must have for stout lovers if they get a chance. (385 characters)

Photo of cvm4
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Pours pitch black and seems thick with a one finger dark tan head.

S - Cinnamon, cocoa, vanilla bean and fudge... Not your normal nose of "roasted malts and dark chocolate." Very rich, almost indulgence.

T - The taste is dominated by the chili. But, picture a chili wrapped in cinnamon chocolate. To me, it didn't seem overdone, but hit the right notes. You get some pepper heat on the finish.

M - Thick & chewy with medium to high carbonation. Velvety smooth on the texture.

O - This is a rich beer that deserves attention when drinking it. Absolutely stunning in this style. (586 characters)

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - The beer was a dark black color, looking like used motor oil. A slight mocha head topped the glass.

Smell - The aroma I detected was almost a syrupy coffee smell. The sweetness in the aroma was almost overwhelming.

Taste - This is heavy. Initially, I am led to believe this will be sweet like molasses. Then, I notice cinnamon, vanilla, and a hint of pepper. The malts give the impression of coffee, but it is not overwhelming. The warming in the aftertaste is mild, but it is the thick sweetness that gives the biggest impression.

Mouthfeel - This is thick and coats the tongue and throat. It leaves an impression well after the swallow.

Overall - I liked this one a lot. This is a fantastic stout. (716 characters)

Photo of humuloner22
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I recently had Huna I have had Bomb in the past so far I still think Bomb is the best, but this one does edge out Huna, next will be Mexican Cake to finish off the big 4 Horseman.

Appearance: Black as night, head is relative to the type of beer. Kind of light around the edges with swirls in the middle of tan creamy head.

Aroma: Initially I got cinnamon as a strong characteristic. After a while sweeter dark fruits join the bouquet of aromas. Nicely done, its pretty complex on the nose.

Taste: I can tell the cinnamon, some sour yeasty note is present but it isn't off putting at all its just there, it could also be the peppers. The taste is cleaner and not very sweet, but just sweet enough. I liked the heat that hits the lips and tongue as it warms. Very nicely done beer. Its also less cloying than Huna came off to me and to the others who drank these with me.

Overall: I did like this one more than Huna, now after almost exactly a year the 2014 Huna I drank might have lost some impact, this bottle is not as old, they came out in (early November?) I believe so it has held its adjunct impact pretty well in that amount of time, now after a year in bottle like Huna I may be saying the same thing. I really need to revisit Huna as soon as I can to give it a more thorough analysis. So far, however, I still like the heat and earthiness of Bomb the best of the ones I have tried from this style. This is a close second. Love the cinnamon impact, goes really well with the combination of flavors they are working with. (1,535 characters)

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | 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 (fresh) 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... (2,982 characters)

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Abraxas from Perennial Artisan Ales
96 out of 100 based on 175 ratings.