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Barrel-Aged Abraxas - Perennial Artisan Ales

Barrel-Aged AbraxasBarrel-Aged Abraxas

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

410 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 410
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 4.68
pDev: 7.69%


Brewed by:
Perennial Artisan Ales visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
Imperial Stout aged 11 months in Rittehouse rye whiskey barrels with cacao nibs, ancho chiles, vanilla beans, and cinnamon.

2012 - 47 cases released

(Beer added by: Etan on 11-18-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 410 | Reviews: 48 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123

Indiana

4.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to TheAbyss for hooking us up with this bottle for a tasting.
Thanks to TheAbyss for the bottle hookup!

Pours dark and black with a tan head. Little retention and some lacing down the glass.

Lots of milky cocoa, cinnamon and spice just like the regular version, but also well integrated whiskey that enhances the spice component with a little rye kick. The barrel is far from overpowering lending additional flavors instead of overpowering them.

Really like what the barrel has done for the flavor. Milk chocolate up front with some light roasted malts and brown sugar. Vanilla from the barrel is not as prominent as some others which is good for keeping the sweetness in check. The whiskey really kicks in towards the end creating a pleasant burn along with the spices. All is integrated beatifully with restaint on the barrel. Overall the impression I get from this is adult Cinnamon Toast Crunch with the cinnamon and brown sugar playing very well with the whiskey

Fairly heavy bodied. Very chewy and lower in carbonation than the non-BA version. Just a little residual heat and alcohol linger on the tongue. Hides the alcohol very well for a beer this size.

Wonderful beer and one of the few hype trains I've had recently that's worth it. The flawless flavor integration is what makes this one stand out. Everything seems to have a purpose and works together well.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2013 19:20:27 | More by jmarsh123
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MasterSki

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Steve? Can't totally remember.

A - Dark tan foam settles to a thick collar, a few stray wisps on top, and a few specks of lace. Very dark brown body that verges on black.

S - The whiskey integration here is well-done, and the spicy rye notes complement the massive cinnamon and milder chile flavors. I'm actually surprised by how restrained the barrel is given this was aged for 11 months. Stout flavors tend to take a back seat to the adjuncts, with an unclear boundary between cocoa nibs and malt. Quite nice all the same.

T - The taste is of similar quality, with a medley of spicy rye whiskey, chiles, cocoa nibs, oak, and a dialed down level of cinnamon here. Vanilla shows up, but is quite light, and a caramel and lightly roasted malt backbone shows up to support the complex array of barrel and adjuncts.

M - Medium-full body, chewy, with appropriate lower carbonation, and a bit of lingering chile heat. Alcohol is very well hidden, just like the base beer.

D - A very good take on a beer I already enjoyed quite a bit. Very mellow, considering the high alcohol content, but it'd be a challenge to work through an entire bottle on my own. I prefer the double vanilla and chile version I had on-tap, but I found this to be an improvement on the base beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 03:51:14 | More by MasterSki
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1up

District of Columbia

4.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap from a sixtel at a Perennial event at Churchkey on 3.19.2013. They also had Aria on cask, Black Walnut Dunkel Weisse, Hommel Bier, and Saison De Lis.

A- opaque very dark blackish brown, almost completely black except when held up to the light the black fades to a dark brown with ruby highlights along the upper rim. There was no head when it arrived at the table.

S- the smell is extremely complex. Lots of coconut (even though it's not listed as an ingredient), chocolate, raisin, slight almond, spice (probably the cinnamon/chile). The coconut and chocolate are the most prevalent. I didn't get any hints of barrel.

T- very rich but not cloying at all. The beer is strong and sweet, but the sweetness and alcohol are not even close to overpowering. The chile works very well balancing out the sweetness like hops usually do. All the flavors meld together in what tastes like a spiced Christmas dessert or a york peppermint pattie. Coconut, chocolate, slight spice are the main flavors. This did not much resemble a beer in a traditional sense. Again, I tasted no barrel.

M- Medium bodied. I've had thicker stouts (Ten Fidy) and thinner stouts (Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout) but it works for this beer and feels right.

O- If you're looking for a dessert beer this is really good. Given it's scarceness and price, it would be hard to have this a lot. But it tastes really good and is highly recommended for trying at least once. I was lucky enough to have two glasses and that's really all I needed for the night. It will ruin your palette for anything else after it and works very well as a dessert beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-20-2013 14:18:10 | More by 1up
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Dreadnaught33

District of Columbia

4.34/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

An incredible treat to have this beer on tap. I was about to post a trade for this but god bless the District of Columbia for pulling off feats like this so I don't have to give up half my cellar!

The beer is pitch black, oily and delicious looking. There is a ring of tan head and minimal lacing, dies to mostly black liquid pretty quick.

The smell hits all the right notes: warm cinnamon, a little alcohol from the rye whiskey barrel, tons of decadent chocolate and vanilla, blackstrap molasses, and then some caramelly sweetness over everything like a blanket of maple syrup, touch of pepper. Very nice aroma, I only wish it was bigger somehow, it seems a touch muted from the Barrel perhaps, if it was I'd approach a 5 I think.

The beer tastes great (follows the nose almost exactly), and hits a great balance of all the added elements of the base beer and the more dry effect the barrel has taken on everything. Some chili adds into the overall experience that wasn't there in the nose and some coconut as well, very nice. That said, I expected it to be more huge and over the top in the flavors there, when it was actually sort of subdued compared to other stouts with as many additions, though that doesn't mean it's not super tasty; this might be due to the feel being much thinner than I'd hoped and again I'd say the barrel has something to do with it. This thing seems like it should be thick to support all the flavors of the beer...I haven't had original beer so I can't say for sure. The carbonation is also kind of high for an imperial stout, aftertaste was actually pretty dry and muted (?)

Overall a great beer, though I'd love to try the original. This might be a case of the beer being so good already that BAing might have taken away slightly from the overall experience.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2013 23:29:51 | More by Dreadnaught33
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IrishColonial

Texas

4.4/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Churchkey

A: dark melted chocolate brown, no head 3.5

S: chocolate covered cinnamon toast crunch; slight chili; lots of coconut 4.5

M: thick and creamy, definitely a sipper 4

T: lots of chocolate fudge with coconut, almost like an Almond Joy; the chilis offer a nice bite on the aftertaste; lots of cinnamon, good flavor but a bit much. 4.5

O: This beer is really tasty, like hot fudge, coconut, vanilla drink, almost like the Aztecs or Mayans used to drink "from the gods." one snifter is definitely enough due to its richness but it is an awesome beer. 4.5

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2013 22:23:28 | More by IrishColonial
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yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.7/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at churchkey

Pours an opaque dark brown with a ring of dark mocha head and a splotchy film. Nose of booze, coconut, vanilla extract, rubbing alcohol, peppermint and cocoa. Medium thick body, light carbonation, silky texture. Rich, sweet flavor with slight bitterness and peppery heat in finish. Not as sweet as expected from nose, more balance of spice with sweet; coconut, chili pepper, cinnamon, cocoa and burning. I'm having a hard time in the finish distinguishing between bitterness, alcohol burn and pepper heat. Better than expected, but no Hunahpu. The chilis sort of ruin this for me, oh well

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2013 22:18:57 | More by yourefragile
Photo of kevanb
kevanb

Illinois

4.84/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle, shared with friends, reviewed from notes. Poured into a Hair of the Dog stemmed tasting glass.

The beer pours a lovely jet black color, very inky and viscous with a nice, tightly packed, caramel colored head, about a finger high that recedes into a nice layer of film around the glass with a touch of lace left behind. The aroma is incredible, rich chocolate, smooth whiskey, chewy oak, sweet vanilla mixes nicely with the cinnamon and pepper influence that lingers behind so nicely without getting vegetal and onion like, just the perfect amount of each to really make the chocolate forward nose more interesting. The flavors are great, loads of chocolate brownie, very rich but not overly sweet, smooth oaky whiskey with a great touch of charred barrel and smokiness behind it, vanilla and cinnamon are hand in hand giving this a lovely cinnamon sugar-esque flavor, some slight roast really amplifies the nice pepper heat at the end that lingers so nicely behind with just a touch of alcohol. The body is stellar, thick, luscious, chewy, rich, smooth, lively, it has everything going on and the finish is spectacularly silky and easy.

Verdict: Just a sublime stout from Perennial, a huge improvement over the base beer and the use of a Rye barrel was fantastic as the prickliness really compliment the spiced elements of the beer and the barrel influence is perfectly integrated into this beer. A true joy to drink and could possibly the best stout I've had to date, if not the best beer I've had to date.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 16:11:01 | More by kevanb
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WillCarrera

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750 ml bottle generously shared by Ethan at Hunahpu Day, 2013.

A- Pours black with a thin mocha head, leaves a bit of lacing.

S- This has to be one of the best-smelling beers I've ever had. Huge amounts of rich dark chocolate. The chocolate part of the aroma itself is crazy, smells like molten chocolate, chocolate cake, bitter and sweet dark chocolate, you get the idea. There's also a really nice vanilla and coconut aspect of the aroma, as well as cinnamon and a very subtle spicy chili aroma. The blend of spice and sweetness is really perfect. This is ridiculously good.

T- Just like the aroma, a massive and complex chocolate flavor, along with sweet coconut and vanilla, spicy cinnamon and chili. As in the aroma the chili spice is very subtle, so that it accents the chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon without overwhelming them.

M- Full-bodied, very thick and rich, mild boozy warmth at the finish.

O- This has to be one of the best stouts around. Even in the realm of spiced stouts it's up there with the best, we had this at Hunahpu day and this was at least as good as Hunahpu, if not better.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2013 19:26:52 | More by WillCarrera
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Alieniloquium

Florida

4.46/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Inky black. Glass staining. Nice khaki head. Wispy on the surface with a thick collar.

Smell - Wow nice. Lots of cinnamon. Peppers, vanilla, and chocolate. Not a lot of barrel character from it. Peanut buttery.

Taste - Peppers come through in the background throughout. Peanut butter flavor persists throughout too. Lots of chocolate and a bucket of cinnamon. Some whiskey and vanilla comes through, but not much else.

Mouthfeel - Chewy and slick. Very nice body. Peppers cut the heaviness.

Overall - Pains me to say this is just as good as Hunahpu. I wish there was more barrel, but it's hella good.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2013 01:38:20 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


4.81/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle (2013)

Thanks for sharing this with me, DarthKostrizer!

Nearly black in body, though the very corners of the liquid are a very dark brown and auburn. Thin, but creamy dark brown head. Leaves the glass sheeted with lacing. Beautiful beer.

This is so exceptional and so unique, it's hard to actually transcribe how magnificent this actually is. I will do my best. Freshly baked Cinnabon with integrated yet expressive bourbon drizzle, along with a noticeable, yet mild, and complementary chile character. The aroma is complete, evolving, and really something quite special. I put this to my nose even more than to my mouth a) because that's the only way the beer stayed in my glass for me to enjoy, and b) it's one of the greatest aromas I've ever smelled. I'd really like Bed, Bath, and Beyond to make a Barrel-Aged Abraxas candle. They can do that, right?

The flavor is just as good as the aroma. This beer is staggering. Layers of freshly baked cinnamon rolls, mild yet delicious bourbon, just a bit of oak, complementary chile character, big cinnamon note, though complementary instead of distracting and detracting like I've encountered with other beers brewed with cinnamon. Some chocolate accents and layers of coconut, though I don't think that's an ingredient at all used in this beer. Regardless, this is incredible and effectively as good as experimental American beer can get.

Medium to near full in body with low to moderate carbonation. Creamy. Decadent.

About as good as beer can get. I was left speechless.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2013 23:06:23 | More by ehammond1
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UCLABrewN84

California

4.34/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at jmgrub's birthday tasting.

Bottled 1/2013.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, chile, and graham crackers. Taste is much the same with the whiskey coming through on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness and chile heat on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with an unbelievable smell and tasty flavors.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 02:33:32 | More by UCLABrewN84
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AlexFields

Tennessee

4.95/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Shared by my friend Photekut at the end of our Hill Farmstead tasting on 2/16/2013. I brought the regular Abraxas to a tasting a month or so earlier and we knew we had to get this, so thanks JR for doing that. :)

A: Looks much like the regular Abraxas, which is to say an incredibly thick dark chocolate color with a big, thick, frothy chocolate brown head. Like a melted cocoa drink from a nice chocolatier.

S: Holy shit. The smell is unbelievable. Loads of rich chocolate, vanilla, coconut, cinnamon and spicy chili. This smells like a German chocolate cake, but twice as good as any German chocolate cake could actually be. Easily as good an aroma as any beer I've had.

T: And it tastes just as good. Staggeringly rich and complex variety of flavors. Huge chocolate again, tons of vanilla, coconut, caramel, spice, oak...whiskey too but the whiskey is very subtle and seems to be doing more to transform the other flavors than to stand out in its own right. Spicy on the finish but not too much. This is just amazing.

M: Incredibly thick and rich, and yet impossible to stop drinking. We'd have finished numerous bottles of this if someone had offered them, I have no doubt.

O: This is a top five beer for me, maybe number one among stouts. Utterly amazing. I expected great things after having the regular Abraxas, but this vastly exceeded expectations. It's hard to believe how much complexity and balance the barrel aging added to this beer.

9.9/10

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2013 13:29:33 | More by AlexFields
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TMoney2591

Illinois

4.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter.

Well, up to now I've had great luck with beers (and Santana albums) with the name Abraxas. I like those odds. This stuff pours a straight obsidian topped by a finger of dark-ish tan foam. The nose comprises bourbon, roasted malts, light toasted coconut, chipotle peppers, cinnamon, light hickory smoke, and chocolate syrup. The taste holds notes of boozy bourbon, smoky peppers, brown sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and a heavy dose of roasted malts. As damn fine as this tastes, the booziness holds it back from approaching transcendental. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a lightly chewy feel. Overall, a damn fine brew, one whose booziness seems to be its only hindrance. Good times, indeed.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 04:53:38 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of Florida9
Florida9

Illinois

4.6/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black in color. Forms a very thin, but very thick dark mocha colored head that reduces to just a very thin ring around the edge. No lacing.

S: Aroma is is very complex. Chocolate, ancho, cinnamon, roasted malts, chocolate, and alcohol.

T: Taste is also very complex. Sweet dark malts, chocolate, baking spice, ancho, cinnamon. Alcoholic, but balanced by the sweetness. As to be expected, this one really tastes very much a like a Mexican Hot Chocolate.

M: Thick, viscous, and smooth. Sweet, peppery. Lower carbonation. Very mild bitterness.

O: Yet another very nice beer.This is one that lives up to the hype.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 00:39:18 | More by Florida9
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beerandcycling88

Washington

4.6/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle share

A Black body topped off with a nice brown head.

S Very sweet with lots of chocolate, a bit of vanilla plus a lot of spicy cinnamon.

T Some dark chocolate followed by a lot of cinnamon. Overall the taste of this one was one of contrasts with a lot of sweetness being balanced with some spicy cinnamon. Any barrel aging is destroyed by the rest of the flavors present.

M Full thick body with little carbonation

Overall this is an excellent stout that due to its sweetness would make an amazing desert beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 03:45:14 | More by beerandcycling88
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.69/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

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 and light bourbon.

T: Taste follows the nose very well. Big cinnamon meets chiles but that cinnamon really rivals the chiles. 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. The bourbon is almost mute under all of the flavor which is sordove a good thing in this case. The finish is rather creamy, spicey, sweet and decadent.

M: Full bodied, low carbonation but good for the style considering it is barrel aged. The spice and heat really coats the palate providing some staying power. Awesome.

O: Most excellent. If you dig Huna you will dig this and I really dig Huna. Amazing stout!

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 14:39:28 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of dbc5
dbc5

Ohio

4.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle poured into Southern Tier Pumking tulip.

A: Great looking pour. Pitch black with absolutely no light penetrating the glass even when held directly to a lamp. Moderate pour yields a one finger mocha head that hangs around a decent length of time given the 11% abv. Once it receded however, I didn't get any lacing.

S: I think this is one of my favorite smelling beers ever. I'm taken back to my childhood and mornings of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and milk. Whiskey is present yet not overpowering, perfectly integrated. Loads of vanilla too, almost like cinnamon roll icing. The stout characteristics are also apparent at the back end.

T: Wow! This is an incredibly unique and interesting beer. I don't think I've tasted anything quite like it. So much flavor in every sip. Whiskey, cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate, molasses, and chile heat are there in droves. The chile heat crept up on me just a bit as it wasn't as discernible in the nose as it is on the palate. It works nicely and adds another layer of complexity and an interesting dynamic to the beer.

M: Silky, smooth, and slightly oily on the tongue. If I have any criticism here, it is that I could have used just a bit of a thicker mouthfeel (although this one certainly isn't thin). Outside of that, the low to moderate carbonation and smoothness allow the flavors to really shine.

O: There is no doubt about it, this beer is phenomenal. There is slightly more chile heat on the tongue than I anticipated from the nose, but that adds a nice little surprise to the first sip. I do think I would like to lay another bottle down for awhile and see what happens when the chile presence fades a bit, although I don't necessarily believe it will make for a better beer, just a different beer. One of the most memorable and enjoyable beer experiences I've had.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2013 01:25:46 | More by dbc5
Photo of JoEBoBpr
JoEBoBpr

Missouri

5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BA Abraxas 2012 (Released 01/2013)

Poured into a snifter from the tap at Perennial Artisan Ales on 1-26-2013. Posted from notes.

Pours a pitch-black brew that is pretty oily and viscous with a nice tan colored ring around the edge of the glass. One nice swirl produces a nice thin head. (5.0)

Aroma is amazing. Exquisite. Like fresh backed cinnamon rolls with chocolate frosting on them and some bourbon drizzled on them. The base beer notes are very present; there is some chili spice and heat in there. Amazing sweet and slightly bitter cocoa notes intermingle deliciously with some nice vanilla sweetness and some great cinnamon spice. The chocolate notes are exquisite, sweet and enticing and blend perfectly with the cinnamon. The chilies give the brew some expanded spice in the nose as well. Then there is the rye whiskey notes. Wow. Sweet honey/caramel/molasses and vanilla mixes perfectly with the base beer notes. So perfectly blended. (5.0)

The taste is wondrous. Abraxas is a great stout. The brew starts off with awesome sweetness. Cinnamon rolls a plenty. There are some awesome spice notes of cinnamon and vanilla that mingle perfectly with the chili heat and then marries perfectly with the sweet and bitter cocoa notes. All these notes play with each other so well but also shine incredibly by themselves. Now this is when this brew explodes with awesome flavor. The whiskey notes bring in another dimensions of molasses and caramel sweetness that blends with the cocoa and the vanilla and then the heat of the chilies and the spice of the cinnamon. The whiskey heat makes the brew that much more enjoyable. The chili heat mixes so well with the bourbon heat as well. Even though it spent nearly a year in the barrel it is not overwhelming. All the flavor profiles are very balanced and shine on their own. Quite complex. This beer is so velvety and silky and oily and smooth. Mouthfeel is full and perfect. (5.0)(5.0)

Overall. This beer is worth the hype. It is stunning. Very complex and if you like BA stouts you will enjoy this one. The flavors of the base beer are accentuated and the whiskey notes are delicious and present but not overwhelming. The flavor integration is flawless as well. One of the best, if not the best brew, I’ve ever had. Delicious job Perennial. (5.0)

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2013 00:34:52 | More by JoEBoBpr
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hooliganlife

Missouri

4.53/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

pour was a snifter, served chilled. allowed to warm to near room temp to review.

pour was black, thick huge cocoa head. almost appeared to pour like guinness, minus the clover drawn into the head.

once warmed, plenty of whiskey dominating with a spicy rich chocolate backing.

very whiskey forward, first and foremost. the spices were very well integrated and blended well. the -bar aspect took the chili and cinnamon to a new level.

very thick, sticky, chewy. a bit of whiskey burn, improved with room temp. smooth at room temp.

quite good but for the love of god, drink at room temp or near. shines that way.

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2013 00:19:34 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of rodkin
rodkin

Missouri

4.78/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the brewery.

Pours almost pitch black, with a tiny little head. Small lacing, very dark and thick.

Smell is big on chocolate at first. It's a sweet (but not too sweet) bittersweet milk chocolate, balanced and rich. This is followed by spice from the peppers and the cinnamon, some vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, little hint of smoke. Like the most delicious whisky-soaked chocolate bar on earth.

Taste is initially that big chocolate upfront, followed by the vanilla, a tiny bit of spice from the cinnamon, and just a hint of chili kick at the finish. But each taste is different. Sometimes the spice is more prominent, sometimes the chocolate, sometimes the barrel character. Super complex, this is definitely a sipper. Each taste changes and provides new flavors, and the barrel aging is just perfectly done. It really balances the component flavors and makes them stronger, but the barrel doesn't dominate on its own. It just accentuates. The alcohol is almost non-existent, it can't be tasted but this beer will lay you flat.

Mouthfeel is motor oil thick, low carbonation, really coats the mouth so the flavors linger for days. Stunning.

Hunahpu's used to be my favorite stout, so I'm clearly a sucker for this combo of flavors. This is the new king for me though. Bravo, Perennial. The crowning achievement of the best brewery in the state.

Serving type: on-tap

01-26-2013 22:50:08 | More by rodkin
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing the Barrel-Aged Abraxas from Perennial Artisan Ales out of St. Louis, Missouri. This beer is an imperial stout aged 11 months in Rittehouse rye whiskey barrels with cacao nibs, ancho chiles, vanilla beans, and cinnamon.

Score: 100

Tap pour served in a FOBAB taster glass and enjoyed (several times) at FOBAB on 11/17/12. Later enjoyed on tap at the release, and subsequently out of the bottle. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Color is deep brown, almost black. Not much head off the small pour; just a mocha-colored ring around of the glass. Good lacing nonetheless. Out of the bottle, there is a nice layer of head with good lacing and retention. 5/5

Smell: This beer straight up smells like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, peppers and dark chocolate. There is a faint hoppiness and a light bourbon character in the background. 5/5

Taste: Tastes exactly like it smells, but with more pepper and chocolate character. The bourbon is not in-your-face. Instead, it is really well blended into the flavor profile, adding complexity without taking a prominent role. There's also a subtle vanilla throughout. Absolutely delicious and easy drinking! 5/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, low carbonation. The oatmeal stout base provides an awesome viscosity. Ample spice kick on the tongue with a light peppery prickliness in the throat after the swallow. 5/5

Overall: This is the absolute, unqualified best spiced stout that I have had to date, and it was easily one of the best beers at FOBAB this year. The bourbon is not very prominent, which is not par for the course, but excellent here. The Rittenhouse aging worked wonders on an already amazing beer. Cheers to Perennial for this knock out treat.

Recommendation: Seek a bottle of this out; it's better than Hunahpu's.

Pairings: Chris Gierhart's infamous homemade beef chili or some mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Cost: Unknown.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2012 04:04:57 | More by jegross2
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homebrew311

Illinois

5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served on tap at FoBAB. This was my favorite brew of the day. Appearance is a thick black opaque with oily appearance, a short lived cocoa head present. The aroma is simply amazing. An emphasis of cinnamon, reminiscent of cinnamon toast crunch, with heavy vanilla and bourbon in the background which smooths everything out. Notes of cocoa and chilies are present and add to the complexity of the aroma. The taste is divine. All the flavors are perfectly balanced and smooth. Cocoa comes first followed by cinnamon and vanilla. Some sweetness present with notes of Carmel and brown sugar, but the sweetness comes in harmony with the roasted malts and spices. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, very smooth. Overall, this beer is fantastic, the barrel treatment has taken this base beer above and beyond. If you are lucky enough, be sure to try this!!

Addendum:

I am currently drinking this in its bottled form and felt the need to edit this review to a perfect 5 across the board. At FoBAB, there is definitely an issue of palate fatigue with all the delicious beers being served. Having this one on its own confirms that this is the best beer I've ever had. The chocolate pops with heavy waves of coconut and a more notable heat at the back, more so than I remember at FoBAB. Simply delicious.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2012 05:30:48 | More by homebrew311
Photo of Etan
Etan

Wisconsin

4.45/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at FoBAB. Warrants a review.

A: Blackish brown body.
S: Big cinnamon and milk chocolate in the nose. The cinnamon is powerful yet smooth. Some vanilla/lactose notes as well.
T: Very smooth cinnamon, chocolate, tannic vanilla and caramel. Slight green heat from the chiles.
M: Thick with very slight carbonation.
O: Definitely one of the best spiced stouts I've had - the cinnamon is so well integrated with the chocolate, with a subtle yet palpable barrel character that enhances the vanilla notes. Really good, and perhaps one of the best beers at FoBAB this year.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2012 01:30:41 | More by Etan
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Barrel-Aged Abraxas from Perennial Artisan Ales
100 out of 100 based on 410 ratings.