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Abraxas - Perennial Artisan Ales

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

191 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 191
Hads: 1,824
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 26.65%
Wants: 1,178
Gots: 460 | FT: 39
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Abraxas Alström Bros
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Reviews: 191 | Hads: 1,824
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to DarthKostritzer for sharing this one at MrVonzipper's tasting!

Batch 2. Bottled November 2011.

Pours an opaque black with a khaki head that fades to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form all over the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, cocoa, cinnamon, and chile. Taste is of dark roasted malt, cinnamon, chile, cocoa, and slight coffee beans. A medium roasty bitterness lingers on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an awesome stout with some awesome aromas and flavors.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Up from Jacksonville FL and stopped in at the brewery.

A: half finger dark tan head on a jet black body. Excellent lacing.

S: dark chocolate, vanilla, chili peppers, coffee.

T: tons of dark chocolate throughout with hints of espresso bitterness and Regaulr coffee. Vanilla and Cinnamon, red peppers round this one out.

M: full body and low to moderate carbonation. Fairly smooth.

Overall: complex, great chocolate presence with spicey notes that make this unique and very memorable. Excellent beer, glad I was here for the release.

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Photo of metter98
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Proletariat, New York, NY

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that died down and left a collar around the edge of the glass and lacing down the sides.
S: Moderate aromas of cocoa nibs are present in the nose along with strong notes of cinnamon and hints of ancho chilies.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but is much more balanced and complex with flavors of ancho chilies, vanilla beans and cocoa nibs along with notes of cinnamon.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied, thick and creamy (slightly fudgy) on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has an excellent balance as you can taste all of the flavors in perfect proportions.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

as close to perfect beer as you can really get. brilliant stuff. close to black in color, thick looking, and no light coming in at all. a smallish but persistent mocha colored head rests on top. intimidating yet enticing. the nose on this is one of a kind, best use of cinnamon i have ever seen in a beer, its warming and present more in the nose than the taste. cocoa nibs gives it a rich bitterness fully compatible with the heavy dark malt and coffee like bitterness. the chilies give it a little layer of smoky spice, but im not getting heat here. the alcohol is also expertly well hidden. bakers chocolate and earthy charred barley are the first things i taste, but a sweeter chocolate and ancho pepper hit are right behind. the complexity is only beginning to unfold here. layers of dark grain, cocoa powder dryness, back of throat heat, and warming booze all crescendo into a mild cinnamon finish that fades much faster than it sounds like it would. no alcohol, sugar, or heat left on the palate, just a touch of cinnamon and cocoa. its fantastically well made beer worth all of the hype. full body and carbonated just enough, who knew this was all possible in a stout? certainly one of the best beers ive ever had, and one i will remember fondly until my next one. all of perennials beers are awesome, but this one stands out. positively elite brew.

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Photo of brentk56
4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: A great looking obsidian-colored stout arrives at the bar, with a massive head that leaves sheets of lacing behind

Smell: Chocolate, coffee, chile and cinnamon aromas all waft upwards from the beer

Taste: Chocolate and coffee flavors dominate the front end with cinnamon appearing in the middle; after the swallow, heat from the chile peppers hits the taste buds though the lasting impression, in the finish, is from the cinnamon

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Really nice and complex flavors though the cinnamon is a bit too strong in the finish; still, a keeper

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gaining inspirations from ancient central America; the sweet, savory, and spicy taste of mole gives this 1-year cellared stout as much meldedness as it does complexity.

Starting off with a mimicry of espresso- the dark black beer has a gaze of cloudiness cast over it and hardly allows any depth of clarity. Capped by a sandy-tan steadfast head, the foam slowly collapses back into the beer until its dainty froth circles the glass in even more espresso-like fashion. Relatively low on retention, the beer speckles the glass with pockets of sticky foam.

A strong foundation of bold-roast coffee, cocoa-rich chocolates, brown sugar, molasses, and campfire roast set the tone for certain stout-like aromas. But its the peppery scent of undeniable cinnamon and the twinge of capsacin that tantalize the nose with complements of black jellybeans and mild vegetal pepper fruit that poke through the malts

Similar to its scent- the bold richness of creamy malts coat the early palate with the sweetness of burnt sugars and malted milk (milkshake). Saturated tastes of bittersweet chocolate is exacerbated with true dry cocoa additions. Just when its middle palate release light fruit and spice of grape, cherry, and aniseed; the sultry spices of pepper and cinnamon come on and extend into the finish. Warm, fruity, spicy, and roasty- the beer keeps rewarding the palate into an indefinite finish.

Undoubted is the beer's full body. The roast is wrapped around a malty center of residual sweetness, heavy cream malt, and marshmallowy carbonation. But as the beer slowly releases its sugars and carbonation, the onset of spice, warmth, and supple dryness keeps the beer developing deep within a savory and extended finish.

The Mexican inspired stout would make the Aztecs proud- as this beer has certainly earned respect among the best that today's craft beer world offers. The beer is meticulously balanced and doesn't shy away from powerful complexities in addition. It's beautiful in its recipe design, brewer execution, and courage.

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Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at 44 Stone in Columbia, MO.

A - Poured a jet-black color with a light brown head of bubbly foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of cocoa, chilies, chocolate and roasted malt.

T - Good spicy chile pepper bite with some cinnamon flavor. Nice chocolate taste with some toasty malt and caramel.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish. Surprisingly easy drinking for the style.

O - This is an amazing beer. Glad 44 Stone had it on tap because I've yet to see a bottle of it in town.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip glass at Paddy Long's.

What better beer to pair with some different varieties of bacon than a peppered stout? This stuff pours a straight onyx topped by over a finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises earthy peppers, cocoa, roasted malts, and apple cider spices. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some brown sugar and cinnamon and a healthier roast. The peppers provide a steadily increasing, though always mild, heat in the back of the throat. Basically things boil down to this: cocoa-centric mole goodness! The body is a solid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a damn fine pepper stout, easily superior to the ever-vaunted Hunahpu.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.58/5  rDev -18.5%
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

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Photo of mdfb79
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From 05/15/13 notes. Had this on tap at Pony Bar on the UES in NYC during their one year anniversary party.

a - Pours a pitch black one color with one to two inches of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks like a very nice big stout.

s - Smells of roasted malts, sweet milk chocolate, green peppers, cinnamon, toasted malts, vanilla, cocoa, light coffee, light sugar and molasses, and some cream. Very nice nose; super complex but nothing dominates it, which I liked a lot. Sometimes when I hear a beer is brewed with so many different ingredients I feel like you can only make out one or two of them, but this one works great; you can really smell the chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and peppers at different times.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, green bell peppers, cinnamon, vanilla, dark chocolate, cocoa, toasted malts, burnt malts, and molasses. Taste has a little more cinnamon and vanilla than the nose, and a lot more pepper. I didn't find it spicy at all, but for more earthy, green bell peppers from it. Very nice, though a little too much pepper taste for me; a big step down from the nose.

m - Medium to full bodied stout and low to moderate carbonation. Body is pretty smooth and not much spice or alcohol heat. Very nice body.

o - Overall I was very excited for this one and I liked it a lot. I think the nose is amazing and complex, and it looks and feels great. The taste is good, though the weak point of the beer for me, as it has a lot of peppers to it. Not a spicy chili pepper taste, but more an earthy bell pepper taste. I would see how a bourbon barrel would mute the peppers and make a very good stout into a world class stout. Would love to get a bottle of the BA version.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served alongside Cigar City Hunahpu's.

The beer is black and viscous with an oily beige collar. Aromas of heavy cinnamon with some peppery heat. Vanilla and chocolate are there as well, but in the background a bit. Really nice flavor, with cinnamon leading the way. Rich, roasted malt with hints of coffee. Thick body with a delicate sweetness throughout. While Hunahpu's still reigns supreme, in my opinion, Abraxas is certainly a delicious and well crafted beer well worth seeking out.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

A very thin but quite dark mocha bubbled collar tries to make a head, but quickly dissolves with an oily slick and slimey top. Collar manage to maintain light tan, and good staying power. Body color is super dark walnut black and has a bit of sludgey looking consistency.

Real nice nose of, mild chilis, and a good sense of some soft fruits. Hints of banana sotness and light charring roasty malts. Hints of milky chocolate but fairly tiny, but has a real nice banana split like action dusted with cayenne.

Deep warming heated chili, with lots of coffee like finishing aftertaste. Silky roast malts and malted sensing chocolate, which hints a kind of wafer crispy bitterness. First sip has a nice prickly carbonation that really matches the cinnamon hotness that matches nicely with the chili action. Heat seems to be more on the cinnamon side, and very lightly dry sweetness that balances with roast and yeast playful bitterness/sourness. Very light bodied for a big stout also.

OVerall a pretty fun beer, definitely one of the more fun chili beers I've had as well.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Viscous black. Thick with a nice head and a thick mocha collar.

Smell - Peppers are strongest. Chocolate and a bit of cinnamon.

Taste - Chocolate. Dark rich chocolate. Graham cracker and cinnamon is beautiful. Peppers come out right in the front, then fade in the midrange, and come out in the finish again.

Mouthfeel - Thick. Medium carbonation. Good stuff.

Overall - This is really good. BA Abraxas is still better, but this is excellent.

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Photo of BillRoth
4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Unsure if this bottle or if this is usual taste. Very good imperial stout with all the usual characteristics of a very well made IS. Met the hype. Thought it might be in vein of Hunahpu...but no. Found flavor unbalanced with cinnamon way too dominant. Ended up being a "spiced" IS more lent to Christmas than otherwise. Will keep remaining bottles to age for the holidays.

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Photo of thatoneguymike
4.56/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Probably somewhat biased of a review since I've been wanting to try this one for a long time, but, in my opinion one of the best 'Mexican' stouts out there. Beats Huna, Bomb! and mayyybe Mexi Cake in a knock-down drag out fight for Tastiest Brew of the subgenre.

Look is dark, no real head present. Smell is strong cinnamon, some cocoa. Taste is a lot of the same as the nose, but with a slight chili finish. Great mouthfeel, and goes very well with some cowboy spice rubbed steaks.

Definitely no disappointment, and will keep this one on my 'wants' list.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a lot to Jeff for this bottle.
Bottled in 11/2012. Poured in to snifter.

A -Deep black; thick and sludgy. The beer is so thick that it struggles to get out of the bottle. One finger of creamy medium brown head formed with excellent retention.

S - Cocoa and chillies up front with a big roast profile and lighter cinnamon and smoke notes.

T - Bitter-sweet cocoa up front with a big roast profile that immediately gives way to some chilli heat. Mid-palate adds sweet molasses and a touch of cinnamon. A lingering heat in the finish.

M - Full body. Thick and viscous. Light carbonation.

O - This was excellent. My only complaint is that there was a little too much heat which became a touch distracting and also overpowered the cinnamon a little bit.

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Photo of John_M
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the E9 last night. Served in an 8 ounce tulip.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with very good head retention and lacing. The beer is a bit thick and viscous looking, something that was replicated on the palate. On the nose, I pick up a lot of dark chocolate and vanilla, along with a hint of chili pepper as well. On the nose, this beer is so rich and sweet, it's almost too much. Granted, the noticeable heat from the ancho chiles, and the considerable spice help to counter that sweetness somewhat, but even so, it's hard to imagine drinking a whole lot of this at a sitting. Mouthfeel is soft, smooth, full and very long. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, but even so, the combination of high alcohol and considerable sweetness wear out the palate pretty quickly.

An impressive beer, no doubt, but the richness was almost too much of a good thing. Even so, this is a delicious beer, and one I was happy to try at long last.

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Photo of AlexFields
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle at 1/5/2012 tasting.

Pour thick dark brown like melted chocolate.

Smells of rich chocolate and spice.

Tastes like a chili truffle, all dark chocolate and spice. The peppers are in the forefront, there's even a subtle green vegetable quality, and it's not offputting at all. Delicious.

Very thick mouthfeel, again reminds me of drinking a gourmet chocolate beverage.

This beer is awesome, almost as good as Hunahpu's. Can't wait for the barrel aged version.


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Photo of vfgccp
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015. Growler filled on Friday Jan 23, opened Sunday Jan 25.

A - Shiny black body with cola highlights. Fine rim of mocha colored foam with nice retention, but no lace.

S - Sweet gingerbread, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla malt, cinnamon, allspice, bitter cocoa, and raisiny chilies.

T - Fantastic profile. Sweeter than the nose, but with similar notes. Smooth, sweet dark brown sugar and rich gingerbread pave the way for powerful accents of cinnamon, molasses, bitter dark chocolate, a soft raisiny chili heat. Lingering vanilla, dry chocolate malted milkshake, and capsaicin warm through the finish.

M - Really nice, silky smooth, medium-full body. Great staying power through the finish.

O - A delicious take on a Mexican Stout, and a great beer in its own right. Compared to Hunahpu (still the gold standard for the style in my mind) the cinnamon and chili notes are bolder, but have slightly less integration.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured a big black body with good carbonation leaving a moderate brown cap which quikly fades leaving some bubbles and spotty lacing

5: Big cinnamon and anchos smothered by chocolate, roasted malt.

T: Taste follows the nose very well. Big cinnamon meets chiles but everything seemed to play second fiddle to the chiles and spice. It provides an initial zing or spiciness which is nice, it lingers from start to finish. It provides a nice heat which smothers the alcohol heat. The chocolate and roasted base is nice and helps keep the beer in check. This one is a little to spicey for my taste. The finish is rather creamy, spicey, sweet and decadent.

M: Full bodied, well carbonated. The spice and heat really coats the palate providing some staying power. Awesome.

O: Good. I do prefer the BA version better because it seemed to hide the chiles a but more

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Photo of aasher
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wedding tick: New tick #1 for the week. This beer pours a full bodied midnight black in color with a beautiful, creamy dark mocha head. It looks perfect! The nose is rich and malty. There is a lot of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg spice in the nose with dark chocolate, bitter coffee roast, and slight fresh, green (in terms of maturity) pepper. The nose changes as time goes on, making this one very complex and more enjoyable as you proceed. The flavors are big and full of bitter dark chocolate and coffee roast. There is also plenty of spice presence, cinnamon and nutmeg. There is also some freshly cut pepper in the finish but it is somewhat subdued (on purpose I would imagine, to satisfy more people). It has nice flavor and all of the ingredients work in unison. It drinks full in body and coats your palate. It's a nice beer and well worth the $19 or so per bottle. This is the closest thing I've seen to Hunahpu yet and perhaps better than current batches.

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Photo of BMart
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark black with a quickly fading brown head. Dark Chocolate, chilies, cinnamon dominate the nose. Taste matches the nose with the dark chocolate most noticeable and a nice lingering burn from the chilies and spices on the finish. Cinnamon and spices become more noticeable as it warms up. Nice thick and creamy mouth feel. Excellent beer!

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Abraxas from Perennial Artisan Ales
97 out of 100 based on 191 ratings.