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Abraxas - Perennial Artisan Ales

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

191 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 191
Hads: 1,822
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 8.66%
Wants: 1,176
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
Reviews: 191 | Hads: 1,822
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.54/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to CoryKing for sending me this one

Look: Black and totally opaque with a 1/2 inch tan head and good retention

Smell: Ancho chili's quite a bit of cinnamon and some cocoa nibs. Very delicious smelling beer

Taste: The flavor is as advertised. Upfront is a nice a amount of cocoa nibs and a touch of vanilla and then mid palate the cinnamon completely takes over the beer but is well received. The beer finishes with a touch more chocolate and the perfect amount of chili heat. Very nice flavors

Mouthfeel: Full body low carbonation and just a hint of heat

Overall: I thought this to be a exceptional example of the style. All the ingredients were well integrated and well balanced. Glad I still have batch 1 in my cellar.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.66/5  rDev -16.6%
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.

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

On tap at Rustico/Arlington. Poured into a snifter.

A unique non-barrel-aged stout. Worth the hunt but don’t believe I could drink more than one full pour at a sitting. But a sipper of a nice beer. - 4.25

A - Reddish brown opaque with a nice light brown head, alcohol legs, excellent lacing for such a high ABV. - 4.25

S – Roasted malts, vanilla, slight cinnamon. - 4.25

T - Rich roastiness, some sweetness, just a bit too much cinnamon and chiles and vanilla. - 4

MF - Smooth and creamy, med-dry, heavy bodied. - 4.5

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewery
The beer pours jet black with a thin dark tan was that fizzles into a thin halo with little lacing (slightly oily residue) and no sediment. The nose is marshmallow-vanilla, chilies, and some bitter cocoa on the back end. It's not potently aromatic, but all the different notes come through in time. The taste is sweet and marshmallowy upfront, but there is much more distinct cocoa compared to the nose. It's full bodied, lightly carbonated, has rich and distinct flavors, masked alcohol, and a slight heat from the chilies in the finish. This is a fantastic stout, with a rich, full body, bold adjuncts, and seductive drinkability

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Photo of thebigredone
3.59/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a Jester King snifter to celebrate passing my doctoral qualifying exam! I am now a geophysics PhD candidate, and it feels goooo.

Oh, thanks to fo1ksguitar and cardern for the Perennial trades!

A fantastic pour--deep mahogany brown body that verges on midnight black. The head is creamy, dark toffee-colored, and superbly retained. The aroma brings to mind cinnamon drizzled atop a pumpkin espresso. Cacao nibs are hard to find, but it's earthy, with a hint of spicy chili and booze. Nice so far...

Oh yeah, that's tasty. Rich notes of bitter dark chocolate coat the palate, followed swiftly by mocha and coffee roast. Ancho chilies add a decadent heat to the sides of the tongue that compliment the mild boozy warmth in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium-thick with a creamy carbonation level that's spot-on for the style. Chewy in all the right spots, and just a tad sticky with residual sugars in the finish. Overall, an excellent imperial stout. A slow-sipper, for sure, but decadence with every nip.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black color with a quickly fading khaki head. Dark Chocolate, chilies, cinnamon, wood, and some vanilla notes dominate the nose. The flavor profile 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. This beer reminds me so much of Cigar City’s most sought after Hunaphu beers which is why I enjoyed this beer!

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

Pours a dark brown, which settles into the glass with a cola-colored body and a thin tan head. Aroma is all over the place. Vanilla is strong, hints of smokey peppers, dashes of spices (nutmeg?), even a hint of a minty herbal quality. Wow, after the pour and the nose I did not expect such big, potent flavors. Vanilla, spice, roasted peppers, all big and all in harmony. Some unsweetened Cocoa comes through as well. Feel is medium-full bodied, but not thick. Medium carbonation and a slight lingering burn. Not sure if it's the pepper heat, or the abv (thinking the latter). This is a rich and robust stout with some big flavors. Not sure where the mint was coming from, but it seemed to linger for me throughout. I think I like Huna a tad more, but this is impressive. A side-by-side of the two would be amazing.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Have enjoyed many Perennial beers, although the expense...
But I digress, was anticipating this one, even though it isn't the barrel-aged version.

A: maybe deserves a 5, but detracted for minimal to no lacing. Otherwise the dark to black pour had a decent initial dark tan head.

S/T: I combine these because the initial taste followed the smell almost to a tee. The smell was decently sweet with a strong mocha presence. (Edit: the chili comes through quite prevalent and satisfyingly. The taste consumes the mouth with the toasted malt, followed quickly with a bitter, dark chocolate flavor. The chiles combine with the cocoa in a very interesting way.
Edit: my initial review I didn't get much chile, in my re-review, it couldn't be avoided.

M: The body is full, as each drink seems to be able to hit senses in every part if my mouth. Feel is silky at first, turning a bit oily in the end.

O: very good, if a little on the sweet side. My initial tastes made me think of Imperial Biscotti Break, but not quite to that standard. I'm interested in the feel, more as an intriguing point than a purely satisfying point.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, bottled 11/2014, poured into a tulip glass

A- pours pitch black with a motor oil thickness, small creamy khaki colored head reduces quickly, leaving just a ring around the edge

S- lots of vegetal green pepper on the nose up front. As it warms, it begins to open with aromas of cinnamon, vanilla bean, chocolate, sandalwood, brown sugar, molasses, black licorice, toasted marshmallow & a hint of coffee

T- deep and rich chocolate and cocoa base gives way to flavors of sweet molasses and burnt brown sugar. Cinnamon spice, along with black pepper mix with subtle vanilla, giving a heavy cream sweetness. The pepper flavor becomes green and vegetal as it nears the finish, with hints of dark fruit accompanying. The heat of the pepper kicks in on the finish, with lingers of chocolate & cinnamon

M- thick and viscous body with moderate-low carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and a silky and velvety warming finish, with a linger of heat after the finish

O- a slow sipper of an ale that is loaded with flavor, yet blends them near perfectly. Nice amount of heat on the linger

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours pitch black with a dark, fluffy mocha colored head with good retention. Beer is pitch black. Lacing is thick but sparse with oily legs. Real menacing look brew.

Nose is mint, chocolate, fudge, and cocoa. Vanilla beans smooth out the experience while a touch of spice tickles the nose. Very deep and rich. Moderately aromatic. Solid.

Opens cocoa, cinnamon spice, chocolate, and fudge. Vanilla beans add even more sweetness towards the middle. Some heat comes in towards the end amidst more fudge and milk and dark chocolate sweetness. Chili peppers in the end with a heated, sweet, cinnamon finish. Great complexity, very unique, and really well integrated.

Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Oily, slick, and rich in the mouth and goes down messy, smooth, and thick. Messy finish with a sticky, lingering aftertaste. Couldn't ask for more.

I haven't been a fan of a lot of Perennial's beers and in fact, I feel they're a bit over-rated overall. However, Abraxas is a revelation. The flavor has great balance and complexity, the feel is incredible, and the look and nose are spot on. I wish I'd picked up a lot more of these when I had the chance.

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Photo of jegross2
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing Abraxas from Perennial Artisan Ales out of St. Louis, Missouri.
Score: 97

November 2012 vintage bottle served in a Half Acre snifter and enjoyed on 01/04/12.

Appearance: Pours a coffee color with two or three fingers of dark mocha head off the pour that slowly settles to a thin layer atop the glass. Awesome lacing and retention. Pitch perfect stout appearance. 5/5

Smell: The nose is dominated by it's three primary advertised ingredients. The cinnamon is most prominent, followed in "boldness" by the chili peppers and milk chocolate. There is some brown sugar and roast too. The chili pepper aroma grows as the beer warms up. At room temperature, there is a faint dark fruit character present in the nose as well. 4.75/5

Taste: The flavor is likewise defined by it's three primary ingredients, but with the amount of chili and cinnamon flipped (that is to say that the chili pepper flavor is more prevalent than the cinnamon on the palate). The pepper element imparts a nice amount of "life" on the tongue without being overly "spicy" courtesy of the the chocolate backbone anchor. The cinnamon flavor reminds me of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal because it is paired with malted barley/cereal grain flavor too. Cocoa, dark chocolate and faint vanilla round out the flavor profile. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Not quite full bodied, but approaching it. Spot on carbonation. Good liveliness on the palate from the chili peppers. 4.5/5

Overall: This brew is an absolute Hunahpu's killer without the accompanying "rarity tax." Kudos to Perennial for yet another knock out brew.

Recommendation: Fans of chili stouts and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal NEED to seek this one out.

Pairings: Chris Gierhart's homemade chili.

Cost: $22.99 for a 750 ml bottle.

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

Had 2014 edition with about one year of age on it. Cinnamon shows through on this beer. Not sweet like many beers of this nature. More of a spicy cinnamon up front flavor. Certainly good, but would love to try the barrel aged version. I imagine that the barrel aging would do wonders to this.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.71/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

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Photo of Fargrow
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this a while after trying Double Barrel Hunahpu's and I have to say that I liked this more. With so much going on, maybe the DBH didn't need the barrel. This was a fantastic cinnamon roll with raisins in liquid form. Bursting with decadent dessert flavor. Truly great beer.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.94/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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Photo of MinorThreat
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into Ommegang Challis. Thanks to fo1kguitar for the bottles!

A- Deep Black with a brown skim of a head and no lacing

S-Cinnamon, bakers chocolate, slight pepper, oak, and well.... snickers? really nice

T-Fudge, cinnamon, chocolate and nutty oak with a subtle hint of pepper heat. Wow, really really good

M-Fairly effervescent for the style yet still creamy

O- A really well put together beer. Super integrated, complex and delicious

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Schlafly tulip/snifter from a 750ml bottle.

Batch 1

The beer pours a gorgeous oily dark dark liquid with a nice 1,5 inch dark tan head. aLmost mocha like. Very nice look to this beer. The head is very dense and has extreme retention to it. It slowly makes its way down the sides of the glass while leaving a nice sticky coating on the sides. Gorgeous.

Aroma starts off with some nice mild vanilla bean notes and definitely some nice cinnamon sticks. The background is underlaying by some nice coca notes. Some mild bitter chocolate and some nice sweet milk chocolate. It is not that intense though. Needs a bit more kick for a 4.5 but still good.

Flavor is a bite more intense. Cinnamon stick notes and vanilla bean mixed in together. Very nice and smooth and oily. Great mouthfeel. The middle of the beer highlights some more of the chocolate notes, milk chocolate sweetness with some intense dark chocolate intensity and bitterness. There is also some nice coffee roast in the middle along with the awesome chocolate. The peppers are present a bit but not too intense which is good for me. There is definitely some nice spice to it though. The finish sees some more of the vanilla and cinnamon notes and it finishes off with some nice bitterness as well and some mild spice.

This brew is delicious. Its definitely very creative and has some complex and interesting notes but it is very well crafted.

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Photo of zeledonia
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to match1112 for the awesome BIF beer. Tasted 3 May 2013, reviewed from notes.

Pours black and thick, with half a finger of deep brown-tan head. Good retention, good lacing. Nice.

Smell is full of all kinds of spice and variety. I get cinnamon first, then vanilla, with a pinch of smoky chili pepper. Behind all that is a robust, sweet stout with chocolate and molasses. Excellent, and reminds me a lot of some of the Deschutes anniversary beers (e.g. BB XIII).

Taste is more dominated by one element, specifically the chili, which comes on bright and red early and maintains a steady burn. The sweetness and chocolate settle in below it, but the subtle spices and additions that were so delightful in the nose get bowled over by the zap, zing, and swizz. A little less pepper, please. But still quite tasty.

Thick and chewy, though not as heavy as I was anticipating. Medium-low carbonation, fits the beer well.

A really interesting stout, with some fabulous things going on in the smell. Unfortunately, they're mostly overpowered in the taste by a few dominant characteristics. But all around, it's really good, and quite different from most big stouts I've had (save the Deschutes BB anniversary series I already mentioned).

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Photo of JamesStreet
4.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Deep brown with thick, foamy light brown head. Looks like a coke. S- cinnamon, baking spices like nutmeg, a slight vanilla nose. Faint cocoa. T- cinnamon and peppery spice comes to the forefront. Not as big a chocolate presence as I would have thought. Very little alcohol presence. M- super creamy, rich feel. Perfect carb and rolls down the back of the pallet easily. O- really solid imp stout. Not too peppery; maybe a bit too heavy on the cinnamon/baking spice edge.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared with the wife and courtesy of Tom. Thanks so much bud. Bottle dated: 11/2011

Very dark with a big dense mocha head and some pretty spatter.

Nice chile presence on the nose mixed with vanilla. Underneath sits a nice dark chocolate and cinnamon.

My first impression was that this beer lacked boldness. After a few sips, and remembering the big flavors in Mexican Cake that really didn't do much for me, I saw this more as well integrated. Each successive sip grew on me. Chiles ride atop the adjuncts harmoniously. Flavors integrate seamlessly without clashing. Alcohol is masterfully hidden; this is dangerously drinkable. So many different aspects working well together.

Body is the only flaw as this comes off a bit thin and light on the tongue.

Overall, what a really well done stout. Takes Mexican Cake and Hunahpu's behind the woodshed.

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Photo of joe1510
4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

9oz Pour
Tribes Alehouse - Tinley Park, IL

A black hole of a liquid is set in front of me in a tiny little snifter. A dense mocha head rests on top of the body with an almost purple tint. Tiny carbonation bubbles crawl up the glass to keep the head intact throughout the entire drink while sheet lacing gets left behind. This is one handsome stout.

The nose is intense but well integrated. A big hit of cocoa kicks things off before slightly smokey, earthy ancho joins the fray. Subtle vanilla and baking spices (cinnamon mostly) lay across the top of coffee, chocolate malts, doughiness and moderate roast to make for an appetizing nose.

Robust cocoa again leads the way. Vanilla, cinnamon, and earthy ancho bring about thoughts of a holiday cookies. The ancho also lends a touch of leathery smokiness. All those attributes are wrapped around coffee, chocolate malt, and an approachable roast. Nice depth and complexity.

The body is silky but robust. Smooth but sticky. As a matter of fact my only complaint about this beer is that it's slightly stickier than I would have liked but that's minor. The weight is on the higher side of the spectrum while the feel remains creamy.

The depth alone makes this a beer worth seeking out. I've always been a sucker for the Mexican style stouts and Abraxas is no exception. The ancho works well with cocoa, vanilla, and cinnamon for an alcoholic, dense Mexican style hot chocolate of sorts.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.39/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, no bottled-on date, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours pitch black, very thick and viscous looking, produces a very thin brown head that recedes to a wisp, leaves spotty lacing.

S- Spicy aroma of chile, cinnamon, as well as some cocoa and dark chocolate.

T- Has a center of rich, bittersweet dark chocolate, fudge, roasted grain and a hint of coffee. Especially as it warms you get flavors of cinnamon and chiles, which are mildly spicy and nicely balanced with the chocolate and roasted flavors.

M- Medium to full body, has a smooth, creamy feel.

O- An excellent chile stout, has some really delicious chocolate flavors as well as great use of chiles and cinnamon, a must-try.

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

I stumbled upon this one by chance when I was in Fairview Heights, IL. What a find.

Standard stout dark brown/borderline black color, but the head really sets it apart. It's an inch of dark sandy colored, frothy head.

The aroma is a slightly bitter dark bakers' chocolate, anise, and light cinnamon.

The cocoa and cinnamon really pop in the flavor along with vanilla and an earthy spice in the finish, presumably from the chiles. There's no heat to it, but it does leave an earthy aftertaste that, when compounded with the sweetness of the cocoa, is superb.

Mouthfeel is soft with mild carbonation and slightly dry.

This is a fantastic representation of the style and a flat out great beer. The pricepoint is high at $20, but that seems to be the direction limited releases are going. This one at least delivers and I'm looking forward to trying more of Perennial's beers.

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Photo of draheim
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750mL into a tulip. Pours a deep translucent brown w/ a thin mocha head.

Aroma is rich bitter dark chocolate, roasty dark malt, hint of espresso, molasses.

Taste is bittersweet baker's chocolate, cinnamon, spicy chile peppers, cacao nibs. As it warms, vanilla, caramel and coconut. The chile heat puts high notes on the chocolate and brings layers of complexity. A touch of spicy heat on the finish.

Mouthfeel is thick and full-bodied, but not syrupy or chewy. Good bright carbonation.

Overall just wow. Like a molé beer. Very Aztec. Or Maya. Not sure which. Ingredients are pure and clean, and work so well together.

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