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Abraxas - Perennial Artisan Ales

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

182 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 182
Hads: 1,765
Avg: 4.38
pDev: 27.4%
Wants: 1,148
Gots: 427 | FT: 33
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: 182 | Hads: 1,765
Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had the 2013 at Perennial on tap. Review from notes.

A- Dense, thick, and black in the glass. Pretty sizable collar of thick, chocolatey brown foam. Lacing and retention are both tremendous.

S- Dark and semisweet. Hints of vanilla, and a mild hint of spiciness, I suspect a combo of the cinnamon and ancho. Awesome base of dark malts in the background of all of this.

T- Dark malts up front dominate the beginning and majority of the drink. Underlying ancho pepper profile adds just a touch of spiciness on the tongue. Vanilla is more prominent in the middle and towards the end of the drink than the pepper is. Somewhat sweet throughout, and the drink ends with its solid dark malt base flavor that lingers just a little bit.

M- Thick and creamy. Low to moderate level of carbonation. Alcohol level is undetectable in taste and feel. Drinks incredibly smooth.

Overall, this is a great beer on tap. It was served on the cold side, but as it warms, it really develops. Complex and delicious, with the vanilla and ancho flavors being really unique.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.51/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle from the 2012 batch, generously traded to me by Eric in Evanston. Poured into a Bell's snifter today, 6/4/2013.

Pours a pitch black body, like the dark of night. Comes with a nice fluffy tan head, good retention. Not much lacing. Looks like any other imperial stout, though the head is exceptionally great-looking.

Smells like cinnamon toast crunch cereal to me. I love CTC as its my favorite cereal, so this is a true treat. Some dark chocolate fudge in the back, not much pepper or chiles in the nose. All that cinnamon is amazing, I could smell it forever.. but I want to drink this beer now.

Not as much cinnamon on the palate as in the nose. Here, the chiles take over the stage, complemented by the cinnamon and the bitter dark chocolate flavours. Some sweet milk chocolate as well. Rather sweet palate on this beer, but the chiles and chocolate help balance that out some. The chiles leave a nice but not overwhelming burn on the back end of the palate.

Full bodied, solid carbonation. Not super creamy, but it goes down very smoothly. Not much alcohol burn to speak of, its the chiles' burn that gets ya. Still, its a bit of a sipper because of how intensely flavourful it is.. you just want to savor it on a cold night.

Very interesting beer, its up there with Hunahpu in terms of how this Mexican style stout is executed. I'd love to try Mexican Cake and Prairie Bomb alongside this and Hunahpu to compare, but I suspect that this might win them all for me because I really, really loved Cinnamon Toast Crunch as a kid. So it may not be fair.

Re-reviewed today, 11/2/2013. Picked a relatively fresh 2013 batch- probably a month old at this point total. Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass.

Basically this is what I remember it being when the 2012 bottling was about 6 months old. So much cinnamon that comes out even more as the beer gets warmer. I would definitely recommend drinking this at closer to cellar or room temperature rather than chilled. The chili peppers are there in a slightly vegetal manner, with some spiciness on the back end- not a lot like Mexican Cake, but just enough to complement the base imperial stout and the cinnamon. This is easily my favorite Mexican style stout by far, having had Hunahpu and Mexican Cake already. And I will definitely attest to the fact that BA Abraxas is just that much better- just add in a lot of vanilla bourbon marshmallows to this and that's what you got.

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Photo of Auracom
3.86/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
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 Sludgeman
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
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 rodlavers
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Large format bottle served at Hair of the Dog in Saint Louis. Poured into a snifter.

About a finger of dark mocha head rests on top of a really dark and thick body. It's almost black, but also hard to tell because the lighting was so poor in the bar.

Aromas of coffee and dark chocolate; not terribly rich or overpowering.

Wonderful balance of coffee and chocolate with an added element of powder cinnamon, which intensifies as the beer warms. Everything is a bit bitter.

Amazing feel, thick and subsantative, smooth and drinkable. Dry.

Overall incredible stout; balanced and highly enjoyable.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.21/5  rDev -3.9%
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 langchops
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle Poured into short glass
2012 Bottle

A- Pours deep black with medium brown head, quickly fades

S- Primarily Cocao with some spice, but mostly dark chocolate

T - Follows the nose, dominated by dark chocolate. Not sure if the bottle being a year old killed the spice and heat, but neither of these were present

M- Very smooth, low carbonation, coats very well

O - This drinks very easily for 10%. Almost no carbonation so it goes down quick. I could see myself drinking a bottle of this for either breakfast or dessert, really tasty

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Photo of mhksuccess
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a Hunahpu snifter
pour is dark with little head and very little lacing
smell is heavy chocolate and cinammon
which is very consistent with the taste
overwhelming great chocolate and cinammon mix
i don't know if the taste of the pepper faded as this bottle was a year old
either way an excellent drink and would definite get again

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

11/2013 bottle.

A- Pitch black, coffee head with good retention down to medium dark coffee lacing with good legs.

S- Lots of chocolate in the batch, less on cinnamon and spice. Take that back, on second try more cinnamon, but still low on spice. Minor toffee malt backbone.

T- Somewhat creamy chocolate, some biting spice and a good amount of cinnamon. Some graham cracker in there.

M- Kinda light here, which is the downfall for this batch. Minimal carb, kinda creamy. Great all around beer though here!

O- I have had BA a few times over, dunno why it took me awhile to rate this. Grab it if you can, a great beer. Huna>Mexi Cake>Abraxas>Space Ghost>Copper Kettle Mexican Chocolate Stout. Try them all

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.94/5  rDev -10%
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 ThePorterSorter
4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
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 Rutager
4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 bottle. Thanks Willandperry!!

Appearance. Pours thick and black with over two fingers of dark tan head, great retention.

Smell. Cinnamon and sweet dark chocolate, some vanilla and a light herbal, almost peppermint like smell that must be at least partially from the chillies.

Taste. Dark dark chocolate and woody cinnamon, with a nice herbal spiciness that lingers a while.

Mouthfeel. Full body, slightly sticky, low carbonation.

Overall. A nice big stout with lots of herbal spice going on. I don't understand the hype on this one, but a good brew for sure.

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Photo of Mgm54
4.69/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A 2012, 750ml bottle, served in a brandy snifter.

A - Beautiful, dark, very black, what one can expect from a proper Imperial Stout

S - Smells like a well made imperial stout, with the adjuncts they brewed with, and this is a fantastic thing. Dark, roasted notes, with a bit of coffee, chocolate, and Cinnamon, with a bit of heat coming form the chillies.

T - Sipping on the brew, you get a perfect amount of chocolate and roasted notes, with a bit of Cinnamon, and then at the end the bit of spice hits you, and it all melds together into beer perfection. Sipping on this beer at a reasonable rate, the heat of the chillies seems to stick in your palette, but at a fantastic level, and it does not overpower the rest of the flavors of the beer either. Just an amazing balance of chillies, chocolate, and Cinnamon.

M - Usual Imperial stout affair, very smooth and velvety on the palette, as one would expect.

O - One of the greatest beers I have ever had. I do like spice quite a bit, and as such this is a perfect beer for me. Well worth the price of entry. Cheers!

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
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 cvm4
4.74/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of zeledonia
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
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 thebigredone
3.59/5  rDev -18%
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 SpeedwayJim
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
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 Cvescalante
4.84/5  rDev +10.5%
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!

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Photo of brentk56
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
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 mdfb79
4.25/5  rDev -3%
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 cnbrown313
4.88/5  rDev +11.4%
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...)

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Photo of MCain04
4.68/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Split this big beer with BostonRyan. $21/25oz. Poured at cellar temp into 2 mini-goblet glasses.

A: This is a dark brown/black beer, head is a little lighter than I imagined solid retention and lacing.

S: A lot of chilli, coffee, chocolate, and cinnamon on the nose. Some roasty malts as well. Very pleasing.

T: Wow, chilli. Chilli presence is crazy on this beer. The cinnamon is also very present. Nice chocolatey notes add a richness to it. Roasty malts and coffee as you might imagine. Little to no booziness.

M: Sadly, the only unremarkable aspect of this beer. Its tastes and smells compete with Huna's, but the moutfeel is too thin and overcarbonated. Wet throughout but some dryness on the finish from the pepper.

O: A fantastic imperial stout that is almost as good as Huna. Perhaps the BA version of this thickens the mouthfeels and tones down the carbonation. I imagine with that, plus perhaps some barrel, vanilla, oak, and bourbon notes, this could be one of the best beers ever. Definitely would want to try the BA version of this.

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Photo of 4amepiphany
5/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

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Abraxas from Perennial Artisan Ales
96 out of 100 based on 182 ratings.