Abraxas - Perennial Artisan Ales

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AbraxasAbraxas

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

174 Reviews
THE BROS
95
world-class

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Reviews: 174
Hads: 1,690
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 10.07%
Wants: 1,110
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: 174 | Hads: 1,690
Photo of BratchAttack
1.24/5  rDev -71.6%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Awful! Last years Abraxas was great, but this year's bottle was terrible. No carbonation what so ever, waaaaay to spicy, overly bitter, and just complete crap in evey way. It taste like they threw a bunch of random shit into a brew kettle without measuring and didn't give it any care throughout the brewing process. I want my $20 back. (336 characters)

Photo of sukwonee
1.5/5  rDev -65.7%

ughh... can't believe this beer is rated this high.

Spice is too over powering and nasty.... to me it tastes very artificial (although probably not).

We had KBS, Grey Monday, and then this... even in this order this beer/spice was so... obnoxiously fragrant and overpowering, our tasting group couldn't finish this bottle. (336 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.43/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a walnut color just short of black. a finger of tan head with weak retention. opaque due to the darkness but lets some light through the very edges.

Smell: peppers, cinnamon and chocolate to mocha.

Taste: opens with spicy peppers, some cinnamon filters in. mocha and chocolate. notes of espresso but with a bit of smoothness from vanilla. some booze and ends with a bit more pepper

Mouthfeel: heavy , strong carbonation and some heat from the peppers.

Overall: strong spices and could be more chocolatey. If your into spiced beers go for it but I prefer more malt character (596 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.58/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 11/2013. 750ml brown glass bottle with appealing brown label art and branded silver pry-off pressure cap acquired earlier today at a local CO bottle shop and served into an Odell stem-snifter/tulip hybrid glass in me friend's gaff in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given its reputation and current 96 rating. 10% ABV confirmed per the label. Reviewed as a chili imperial stout.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a gorgeous rich dark tan colour head of one finger width. Fantastic creaminess and thickness. Beautifully soft shiny complexion. Lovely even consistency. The head is wonderful, but recedes inside two minutes - likely due to the high ABV. No real lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes, nor can I get any to stick by tilting the glass.

Body colour is a predictable opaque solid jet black. No floating yeast particles or sediment is visible.

Overall, it's a gorgeous looking stout with an impressive head. I'd call it a special appearance, but it isn't unique. There are no flaws here

Sm: Hidden roast, heavy cacao nib dust, chocolate malts, dark malts, dusty powdered chilis (but no overt spice or heat), rich cinnamon dust, and cream. Some burnt/caramelized sugars.

Really appealing.

The cinnamon obscures the chilis, but overall I'm really impressed. A mouthwatering aroma of mild strength. I can't wait to try it.

No yeast character, hop character, or overt alcohol is detectable.

T: Dark malts, cocoa powder/dust, chocolate malts, milk chocolate, caramel, caramelized/burnt sugars, well-integrated cinnamon spice, a faint hint of chili heat, brown/muscavado sugar, and cream. Cocoa dust is dominant, and boy is that note executed well here. A bit ashy and burnt. Any vanilla is pretty tame, and doesn't evoke authentic vanilla bean (or artificial vanillicin).

Very well balanced, though there isn't a great deal of complexity (relative to the style) or subtlety. It isn't an intricate brew, but the subtle chili pepper lends it some interesting nuance and the cinnamon is a nice touch.

Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. Very cohesive, but not quite gestalt.

Mf: Creamy, smooth, and wet. Thick and full-bodied. Unrefreshing. Really good presence on the palate. Comforting, approachable, and somewhat soft. A biteen overcarbonated.

Not too sticky.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh.

Dr: Drinkable for the 10% ABV, but the ABV isn't that well hidden. I quite like it, and I'd certainly order it again at a bar, but I don't know that it's world class. It's almost a unique take on an imperial stout, and I love the subtlety of the chili pepper. I'll have to try more beers from Perennial. This one is damn solid.

The mouthfeel is a highlight for me, but the earthiness of the flavour profile detracts from the beer overall.

Low B (3,084 characters)

Photo of thebigredone
3.59/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jason for sharing this bottle. High expectations for this.

Looks great coming out of the bottle. Good color and nice tan head.

Smell isn't quite what I was expecting. Not much stout aroma, heavy on the pepper and cinnamon.

Taste - Starts out with heavy pepper, some cinnamon, and a touch of cocoa. Sounds great in writing, not so good in actuality. The pepper and cinnamon flavors were unpleasant, and there was not enough balance between the stout and the additions. No heat from the peppers comes through, also no vanilla that I could detect.

Mouthfeel is fine.

Overall, I was incredibly disappointed with this beer. It seems this has to do with my palate as opposed to getting a bad bottle, as the other tasting group members all really enjoyed it. I couldn't even finish my 4 oz taster of this. I did really enjoy Hunahpu, so I'm not sure why Abraxas didn't work for me, but it's not a beer I would seek to drink again. (938 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
3.66/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle. Pours dark brown-black with a huge creamy brown head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet fudgy chocolate with some cinnamon and spice. Kind of smells like a Mexican mocha. Alcohol comes out as it warms.

The flavor is sweet fudgy lactic chocolate with some cinnamon and spicy chili with a bitter roast finish and some booze and black licorice. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy.

Overall, very interesting with a lot going on. Everything doesn't blend real well - the chocolate is a bit too sweet, the roast is a bit too bitter, the black licorice is a bit strong. It would be interesting to try this aged to see if it mellows some. It is a bit pricey at $22 a bottle. (714 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color and almost flat. The aroma is almost herbal. Very much spicy, but it has an almost ginger aroma to it, though the chili peppers and cinnamon are there. Lots of licorice and roasted malt, too. The flavor is quite a bit sweeter than expected. Licorice, molasses, and burnt sugar to go with a bit of chocolate. The same chili character with a dash of cinnamon. Certainly an intensely flavored beer. (410 characters)

Photo of Etan
3.71/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle shared by Jason. Thanks!

A: Thick, oily black body with a nice milk chocolate-colored head.

S: Greenish pepper is most apparent, followed by cinnamon and chocolate notes. Pretty rich aroma - smells like a Mexican chocolate cake.

T: Cinnamon, bitter roasted malt, dark chocolate, some moderate pepper heat and slightly astringent vegetal pepper flavor. The pepper flavor, along with the roasted malt, gives the beer a somewhat off-putting bitterness.

M: Thick-bodied, moderate carbonation.

O: Although the spicing and base beer seem to have the potential to be really good together, the pepper flavors are throwing the beer off. I think the barrel-aged version is far superior, in part because the pepper flavor seems more subdued. (748 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
3.71/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle thanks to Auror to bringing this to the tasting. Poured into Founders snifter, shared 3 ways.

A- Pours a completely opaque dark black with about a finger of very creamy mocha brown head that has decent retention and leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Lots of cinnamon followed by light chilis and some chocolate. Definitely above average aroma strength. Kind of a little bit too much cinnamon and overall the smell is a little bit off-putting, definitely unique though.

T- Lots of cinnamon, some light chili peppers that don't add too much heat but a little bit of flavor, finishes with some dark chocolate mixed with light cinnamon that lingers on the palate. Interesting, not as off-putting as the aroma, but not bad. Chili builds a little bit as you drink but never too hot.

M- Creamy, a tiny bit thin for a double, smooth, a tiny bit syrupy but not bad. Easy to drink.

O- This was definitely an interesting beer. I wouldn't say I completely liked the taste but it was definitely an interesting try that I enjoyed having. I would have definitely toned down the cinnamon a little bit, I found that to be a tiny bit off putting but not bad. I'd recommend trying this if you like unique stouts. (1,208 characters)

Photo of Auracom
3.86/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another old review to be ticked in. Thanks to Marc for the share and Mike for the pour. 4 oz. into a generic snifter on September 2nd, 2013.

A - Not quite black coloring, but a super dark body with semi-dark toffee head. Quite frothy but minimal retention and lacing. Slightly filmy across the sides.

S - Plentiful dark cocoa. Cinnamon, caramelized brown sugar, and almost lactose-like. It really smells like a Starbucks mocha latte.

T - Dry, deeply roasted espresso. Strong, strong dark chocolate. I maybe sense a hint of the pepper skins but this has aged a few months and it's very minimal by now.

M - Medium-heavy body, very dry. Low carbonation, long bitter finish.

D - I can see why this is a great base for a barrel treatment. It's pretty similar to Hunahpu's but doesn't have anywhere near the same heftyness to it. (828 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.88/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Hops and Pie, I was glad to get to try this for significantly less than the $20 that bottles are (over)priced at around here. Dark black, tan head, looks good. Aroma is cinnamon and the slightest hint of pepper. Flavor seemed heavier on the cinnamon with discernible vanilla, not much pepper on the flavor. My friend said it reminded her of cinnamon life cereal. I liked this beer but I could never pay $20 for a 750, more like $10. (442 characters)

Photo of weatherdog
3.91/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into tulip glass.

Pour is deep chocolate brown with a nice size mocha colored head. Minimal retention and medium head retention.

Aroma is fairly mild, hint of cinnamon, some roast and sweetness. Nothing spectacular but nothing bad.

The chilli picks up in the taste, lots of roast (much more than the nose suggests). Chocolate and then some cinnamon. The flavors are fairly integrated and one doesn't stand out more than the other.

Creamy mouthfeel with present back end carbonation. Minimal back end heat with chillies.

I really enjoyed my first beer from Perennial. It's no fresh Hunaphu but it's still enjoyable (639 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
3.94/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml, 2012 batch
Lost Abbey TEKU

A: Pitch black. No light gets through. Looks pretty thick, but having side by side with Hunahpu it's not as thick as that. Alcohol feet. Some dark tan bits of lacing.

S: Lots of cinnamon here. Roast notes. Dark chocolate fudge. Herbal spiciness.

T: I hope you like cinnamon, which normally I do. This was almost like a dark winter warmer to me. The spice bill completely dominates the beer. I wish that the chocolate and the roast and the fudge/vanilla were played up more. Big beer. Round sip. Lingering spice on the end of the palate.

M: Full bodied. (591 characters)

Photo of DCon
3.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a 750ml 1 pt 9.4 fl oz. bottle @ the iTap House in Chesterfield, MO for $20 & Shared w/ ChrisF. Poured from the Dark Brown Labeled bottle w/ ABRAXAS cleverly branded into a 12oz Snifter Glass. Has "bottled 11/2011" on the side of the label.

Aroma- Has a coffee aroma from the beginning with light booziness. Rich malts then come through and a slight amount of hop. Double Coffee Stout aroma?

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger head that is dark brown and lasts for an average amount of time. Has a dark brown colored body that you can't see past. Leaves dark suds behind.

Flavor- Tons of coffee, malt, and sweetness make up this brew. Very rich and has a nice amount of intensity. Finishes with a medium bitterness level.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, Light Carbonation, Textured with grit that wasn't very favorable, and then leaves bit of alcohol with coffee behind.

Overall Impression- A nice 2X Stout and one of my favorites now from Perennial Ales! I'm glad the St. Louis beer community has grown so much in the past year to be able to enjoy nice ones such as these. The only part of this brew I didn't enjoy was the gritty finish... Would like to age one of these and see how it grows this next year! (1,209 characters)

Photo of zerocrane
3.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- perfect for pour. 1.5 finger tan head with great lacing

S - Boozy... Rum, with dark fruits and propery.

T - melo compared to Nose. Almost no carbonation. Everything comes together wel. Nose screamed rum, but taste screams white wine barrels

Mf. - surprisingly light with little carbonation

Overall. Meh... It's a good stout. Not great, but it didn't really dissapoint (375 characters)

Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.02/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go to Richard for the share.
 
Appearance -- Pours a deep dark brown with a slim mocha head. Nice.
 
Smell – Rich with dark chocolate and vanilla, also with the faint aromas of cinnamon and smoky chiles. Inviting.
 
Taste – Semisweet dark chocolate, vanilla bean and cinnamon are the most noticeable, followed by licorice and leather and a very faint pepper smokiness. Well-balanced, if only a little too reserved. I wish there was less licorice phenolic flavor to muddle up the spice and pepper, but otherwise tasty.
 
Mouthfeel – Full-bodied with mellow carbonation – velvety, not syrupy. A fine line that Abraxas does not cross.
 
Overall – A pleasant surprise! Good mesh of flavors, though I wish there was more chile heat. Great effort, definitely worth trying, and I look forward to trying more from Perennial. (838 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was sent over the pond by bsuedekum. Cheers for the trade man. Really appreciate the extra effort you put into making this trade happen.

From a 750 into a snifter.
Bottled in November 2011
Brewed with ancho chili peppers, cacao nibs and cinnamon sticks.

APPEARANCE: A black pour yields a 2+ finger, medium looking, dark tan head with very good retention. Opaque black body and lower levels of carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a good foam cap. A slight wisp and ring remain but leave no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Medium nose of roasted and chocoalte malts, with a light touch of sweet cream and chili pepper notes. This is mostly roasted malts and cacao nibs, though there is a touch of chili and cinnamon in there as well. A nice nose with enough strength.

TASTE: Roasted malts and some nice dark chocolate up front. Nice initial flavor, with the chili and cinnamon coming out more at the swallow. Big, persistent aftertaste of peppery spicy flavors, cacao, sweet cream and some roasted malts. Chocoalte definitely plays a leading roll, but this is well balanced and very flavorful, with chili and cinnamon in just the right dose. Enjoyable and addictive.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Enough weight on the palate. Very creamy smooth, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating. A bit of peppery spice lingers on the tongue.

OVERALL: This is quite good. The adjuncts are definitely there with the chocolate taking the lead, and nothing dominates or is out of place. This reminds me of a more mellow Hunahpu; perhaps a bottle with a couple years on it. The nose could be a little bolder and adjuncts could be a touch bigger still, but overall, this was excellent. Thanks again for the beers man. I really enjoyed this one. (1,785 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sean for sharing this one. Served in a plastic cup at West Lakeview Liquors.

A - Big creamy mocha foam that settles to a thin cap, leaving splotchy lace behind. Dark brown body - doesn't really look like an Imperial Stout, but it is attractive.

S - Smells exactly as advertised - ancho chiles, cinnamon, and cocoa nibs.

T - The taste is pretty similar, with the aforementioned adjuncts dominating the palate, and some dark chocolate and roast character coming out in the finish.

M - Smooth, creamy, medium-full body. Lower carbonation, melted chocolate texture, and shockingly well-hidden booze - I had no idea this was 10%.

D - This was really good for 4-6oz, but I can imagine it getting fatiguing after that point. Still, it's quite well done and I would happily try it again. Best beer I've had from Perennial. (829 characters)

Photo of dashmartino
4.07/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Blind Tiger in NYC. Pours jet black with a trace of bubbles for a head. First sip you notice the heavy cinnamon, then the cocoa nibs, then the chili aftertaste. They sure aren't lying, you can taste all that crazy stuff in there. Its a very good beer, but I had a hard time finishing an 8 ounce glass of it because of all the other stuff thrown in there. Not exactly my style of beer, but definitely an experience. (433 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #2 bottle. Thanks Eric for the assist.

Into a mini pint, it pours black with an ample head of persistent dark tan foam, almost the color of dark leather. It leaves rings of intricate lacing all around.

Dark chocolate aroma, clean and dry, some light bitterness and a hint of spicy cinnamon in there as it warms up.

Bittersweet dark chocolate intertwines subtly with mellow cinnamon spice and a vague dark fruit component from the anchos at room temp. Very smooth and chocolaty, the foam itself has a chocolate milkshake consistency. Medium bodied and especially drinkable for an Imperial Stout. (606 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Cory for sending me this bottle. This is batch #1.

A - Pours black, mocha-colored head, nice collar, spotty lace.

S - The spice was very upfront when I first poured this, but it after it warmed a bit, it melded nicely with the chocolate and vanilla notes. Big baker's chocolate, spices, roast, and vanilla notes. Nice.

T - The chocolate and roast are really nice, and the spice adds a small kick on the end, but doesn't overpower the beer. Really a nice balance of sweet & spice, good stuff. The finish is creamy chocolate sweetness with a slight spicy kick.

M - Full, rich and smooth, good carbonation, creamy finish.

O - A really enjoyable Imperial Stout that we all seemed to enjoy. The spices and sweetness were right in-line with what I prefer, and there wasn't too much of either one. Looking forward to having this again and all the variants that will come along as well.

Edit: I think the spices were "turned down" because of the age on this bottle (being batch #1). I haven't had a batch #2 yet, so I can't comment on the spices in there. (1,063 characters)

Photo of ratedz
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my first beer from Perennial. I've been looking forward to trying their beers and I opted for this on a cold winter night.

A - Pours blacker than night with about an inch of milk chocolate brown colored head. The head never faded completely and a fair amount of lacing was left on the glass.

S - The nose is full of of semisweet chocolate, roasted malts, and vanilla. Hints of cinnamon and a faint smokiness are also present. Very complex and inviting.

T - The roasted malts lead the way on the tongue along with some dark chocolate. A little cinnamon and some spiciness from the peppers appears right before the finish. The flavors are all layered perfectly and nothing dominates.

M - Full bodied, smooth, and creamy. Little carbonation, which is expected from a big imperial stout.

O - Overall, a very enjoyable imperial stout. A little pricey at $19 for a 750, but I have a couple more bottles in the basement and am excited to see how it develops over time. I'm also looking forward to trying some of the other offerings from Perennial. (1,053 characters)

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap an opaque black color with a finger of rich mocha head. Left behind wet, silky lacing.

The aroma was faintly sweet and spicy with cocoa, vanilla, roasted malts and chili peppers.

The taste matched the aroma. Cocoa, dark chocolate, chilis, roasted malts, vanilla and berries. Nice warmth to the palate. Not sure how much came from the chilis and how came from the 10% alcohol.

Full bodied and creamy with a lighter carbonation.

A unique, delicious, and complex Impy stout from Perennial. (511 characters)

Photo of claspada
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, bordering black, with a big creamy mocha head that settles to a thin cap, leaving splotchy lacing as it recedes.

Aromas begin as advertised with chocolate and roast initially. Spices emerge more as it warms. Light vanilla, cinnamon and more milky chocolate as well.

The tastes follow the nose with dark roasted malt, cocoa and dark baker's chocolate. As you further sample you get light spice (light heat and cinnamon) that linger ever-so-slightly in the background after you get past the initial dark chocolaty malt backbone. Espresso flavors emerge as it warms more. Also much more spice in the aroma than in the flavor which is fine by me.

The mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied with ample carbonation. Finish is full, rich and smooth with a light roastiness that hangs around a little on the palate.

Overall this reminds me a lot of a Cigar City Hunahpu Lite. Not as intense by any means in any of the flavor aspects that both beers share, but all are present and created a much more balanced beer overall. The wow factor isn't there like with Hunahpu but a really solid beer overall; not sure it's worth the almost $20 outlay but it more accessible than Hunahpu which counts for something. (1,219 characters)

Photo of dcc449
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Evening Star.

Strong notes of cinnamon, taste is the same. Heat from chilis is very subtle. Really nice balance with the spices. Very good and well crafted, but not super drinkable for m - 10 oz was more than I needed. (232 characters)

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Abraxas from Perennial Artisan Ales
96 out of 100 based on 174 ratings.