Perennial Artisan Ales

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #45
Ranked #160
4.5 | pDev: 7.56%
Perennial Artisan Ales
Missouri, United States
Notes: *ABV varies by year*

An Imperial Stout brewed with ancho chili peppers, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and cinnamon sticks. Pouring deep brown with a thick head, this beer has a complex body with a delicious lingering roastiness. Abraxas is brewed with unique ingredients intended to challenge and excite the palate. It may be enjoyed right away or allowed to age in the bottle. Vertical tastings are encouraged.
Reviews: 454 | Ratings: 3,034 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BEERMILER12
BEERMILER12 from Maine

4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2020

A: Pours a deep brown, almost black color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a thin cap

S: Roasted malt, cinnamon, cacao, vanilla, dark chocolate, and chili peppers

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with a mix of roasted malt, cinnamon, and cacao. Picks up the vanilla, dark chocolate, caramel, light tobacco, and the chili peppers. Finishes with lingering cinnamon and cacao

M: Full bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Creamy from the lactose

O: A great Mexican-styled stout with plenty of cinnamon and chocolate to go around. A great sipper at 11.5%. Definitely worth checking out

Apr 28, 2021
Photo of colts9016
colts9016 from Idaho

3.67/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Review 1500

I have wanted to try this beer for over five years. This is my 1500 review, sure I have larger whales in the cellar. I wanted something that I have been chasing. I have two more in the cellar to see how they age. This beer is 50 degrees and served in a tulip glass. The pour of the beer created a two-fingered creamy dark tan head with good retention. I was sad to see a poor display for the head. I have poured 15% stout with an outstanding head before. The head did not leave any trace of its existence on the glass. The beer is dark as they come SRM 40, dark overused motor oil without the smell. The beer is average for a stout. I wanted more retention and lacing all over the glass; nevertheless, a beautiful stout.

The initial aromas in the beer are tobacco, chili, earthiness, and chocolate. Nosing further, I detect vanilla, molasses, stone fruit, dank basement, raisins, dusty barn, coffee, smoke, and dark roasted malts, Earthy tobacco with chilis and dusty barn are the dominant aromas. This is freaking weird, I have never smelled a beer like this, I am unsure what to think. Usually, I smell different aromas in a stout but this one is an odd one. I am not saying it is bad but different.

The flavors in the beer are huge chili, tobacco, molasses, smokiness without the Maillard, vanilla bullying its way in there, raisins, figs, medium-dark chocolate, cereal grains, espresso, floral esters, dusty barn, dark roasted malts, cinnamon, dank musty basement, and phenolic.

The mouthfeel is creamy, chewy, and rich.

The body of the beer is full, low carbonation, and a full finish.

I think this beer is bad; however, the flavors are like nothing I have ever tasted in a beer. I have consumed Westbrook Mexican Cake, I thought I was going to get something similar to that. This beer is strange indeed. The dominant flavor is earthy tobacco, dusty barn with a sprinkling of cinnamon and vanilla.

Apr 27, 2021
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing from California

3.99/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From tasting notes 12/21/18
Abraxas 2016, had on-tap at Final Gravity in Roseville, CA

A - poured to the brim in a 6oz snifter, razor thin tan ring around the edge of the glass. No lace.

S - Oddly prominent minty leaf aroma, with chocolate and lesser roast. Hints of cinnamon and Chile spice.

T - Follows the nose. Chocolate and lightly roasty with herb and spice that is more minty and numbing than spicy, though earthy cinnamon and Chile do well enough to blend in with that minty character. Balanced finish.

M - Full bodied with low carbonation. Creamy texture upfront before a smooth, dry finish. Drinks nicely for 11.5%.

O - Hmm. More sweet than spicy, but this is a 2016 version. I'd be interested in trying this the same year it drops to get that fresher experience. I've never found a beer with 2+ years on it to be better than one with 6-12 months of age on it, regardless of style. Obviously IPAs are better fresher, but I believe stouts are too.

Apr 12, 2021
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch from Colorado

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

16 oz. Cup (From On-Tap/Beer To Go)
From: The Ale House
2020 Vintage

The 2020 Vintage is closer to the 2018 in spicyness both in smell/taste (ancho chili peppers, and cinnamon). Also the best pour of the three (thicker/creamier head, and more of it), and more sticky lacing. Highly Recommended!

Poured into a Tree House glass a very nice dark brown/black color, with some very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger tan head, which also leaves a medium-size island, and some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is very nice, malty, hoppy, with a very nice touch of chocolate/toffee, vanilla, licorice, ancho chili peppers, cacao nibs, cinnamon. The taste is very nice, malty, hoppy, with a very nice touch of chocolate/toffee, vanilla, licorice, ancho chili peppers, cacao nibs, cinnamon. Full Body, ABV is hidden very nicely, with a pretty nice dry/bitter finish, a very nice big sipper. Overall, this is a very tasty brew. Glad to see it around here.

16 oz. Cup (From On-Tap/Beer To Go)
From: The Ale House
2019 Vintage

Less pronounced than the 2018 Vintage, both in smell/taste, spicyness (ancho chili peppers, cinnamon). Still an awesome brew, though. Highly Recommended!

Poured into a Tree House glass a pretty nice dark brown/black color, with some pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy one-finger tan head, which also leaves a medium-size oil slick, and some minimal sticky lacing behind. The nose is very nice, malty, hoppy, with a very nice touch of chocolate/toffee, vanilla, licorice, ancho chili peppers, cacao nibs, cinnamon. The taste is very nice, malty, hoppy, with a very nice touch of chocolate/toffee, vanilla, licorice, ancho chili peppers, cacao nibs, cinnamon. Full Body, ABV is hidden very nicely, with a slight dry/bitter finish, a very nice big sipper. Overall, this is a very tasty brew. Glad to see it around here. I believe the 2018 was definitely different/better, more pronounced all the way around, spicier (ancho chili peppers, cinnamon), especially, in both smell/taste.

20 oz. Cup (From On-Tap/Beer To Go)
From: The Ale House
2018 Vintage

Poured into a Tree House glass a pretty nice dark brown/black color, with some pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy one-finger tan head, which also leaves a medium-size oil slick, and some minimal sticky lacing behind. The nose is very nice, malty, hoppy, with a very nice touch of chocolate/toffee, vanilla, licorice, ancho chili peppers, cacao nibs, cinnamon. The taste is very nice, malty, hoppy, with a very nice touch of chocolate/toffee, vanilla, licorice, ancho chili peppers, cacao nibs, cinnamon. Full Body, ABV is hidden very nicely, with a slight dry/bitter finish, a very nice big sipper. Overall, this is a very tasty brew. Glad to see it around here. Hopefully the 2019 and 2020 will still be available.

Mar 17, 2021
Photo of rex_4539
rex_4539 from Greece

4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L: Very dark brown color, no head or lacing to speak of, light carbonation.

S: Chocolate, cinnamon, chili, sweet. Nice!

T: Chocolate, cinnamon, chili, sweet, alcohol. Wow!

F: Full bodied, full flavored.

O: World class imperial stout.

Mar 13, 2021
Photo of Damian
Damian from Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 750 ml 1pt 9.4 fl oz bottle purchased from Half Time Beverage, Poughkeepsie, NY
2020 vintage
Served in a snifter

Review #2050

Super viscous, near pitch black appearance. The dense, oily looking body was topped by a finger-tall, ultra tight and creamy, saddle brown head that dropped to a frothy, lasting collar. After each sip, sheets of streaky lacing cascaded down the sides of the glass.

The aroma was solid but somewhat underwhelming initially. Roasted malts were apparent. There was a fair amount of campfire-like smokiness too. Cinnamon was also noticeable. Spicy notes were detectable as well. Because of the smokiness, I might guess ancho chili. Touch of booze. Hint of vanilla. As the beer warmed, both the cinnamon and the vanilla notes intensified.

The flavor was similar to the nose but somewhat less interesting. Big roasted malt presence. Moderate amount of smoke too. Some brown sugar sweetness came through as well. There was a bit of spiciness and alcohol heat on the back end and the finish. The cinnamon and vanilla notes were practically undetectable however. More lingering booze and roastiness after the swallow. Later, both the cinnamon and the vanilla appeared, but they were quite subtle.

The mouthfeel was definitely the most impressive aspect of the beer. It was full bodied for the style. Super oily and dense. The liquid contained an ultra fine, moderate effervescence that turned creamy, slick and smooth on the palate. After a few sips, the liquid deposited a sticky film on my lips.

Abraxas and Barrel-Aged Abraxas might have been amazing beers a decade ago, but they both seem rather mediocre these days. If they were attempting to do a Mexican chocolate inspired beer, then this was definitely lost on me. The only thing that really impressed me about this was the mouthfeel.

Feb 25, 2021
Photo of Buck_Jones
Buck_Jones from Michigan

4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I’ve wanted this one for a while and finally get the chance to sip on it on a snowy MI Sunday afternoon, before the NFL conference championships get rolling.

Beautiful mocha head sits atop viscous jet black, and smells of cinnamon, chocolate and slight smoky pepper.

I absolutely love Mexican mocha/mole beers like this and holy cow does this one not disappoint!! Cinnamon and chocolate lead the way and the cinnamon doesn’t overwhelm in the least. Perfect. Tastes somewhat like a chocolate-covered graham cracker. The pepper is slight, and I don’t pick up much heat, but I’m weird in that I like a nice lingering burn in the throat.

This absolutely was worth the wait. Just wish I had easier access to more...

Jan 24, 2021
Photo of trevormajor
trevormajor from Ohio

4.21/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ML bottle, 2020 vintage, poured into a tulip glass at 55 degrees F:
L - dark and oily, with a hazelnut head that dissipated save for around the edges
S - cinnamon, pepper
T - cinnamon on the nose, with a mild pepper on the finish
F - thick mouthfeel with medium carbonation
O - nice beer, a bit sweet for me (cinnamon) and a tad too much carbonation

Jan 22, 2021
Photo of Kahzaar
Kahzaar from Sweden

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pitch black with a small head, tan head.
S: Loads of cinnamon and chocolate.
T: Spicy and sweet with some nuttiness. Hint of vanilla.
F: Low carbonation, low to medium mouthfeel. A bit thin compared to to the barrel aged version.
O: Outstanding stout. Not too spicy, but has a moderate kick. The cinnamon flavour complements it well.

Jan 18, 2021
Photo of drdiesel9483
drdiesel9483 from Ohio

4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look - fantastic black with a great tan head and sticky lacing
Smell - cinnamon and slight pepper
Taste - chocolate vanilla cinnamon some pepper
Feel - medium full body slight creamy and light carb

Jan 17, 2021
Photo of Drumhead
Drumhead from Wisconsin

4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Oh. my goodness.

Pours a clear dark brown with immediate aromas of roasted nuts, toffee, and spice. Mouthfeel is warm and rich, but refreshingly smooth. Taste is bright nutmeg and cinnamon with a chocolate and caramel finish. A light burst of chili in the aftertaste that's not overpowering and ends in a pleasant puff of cocoa notes.

A pleasure on its own in a snifter. Top a tequila old fashioned with this for a real treat.

Jan 16, 2021
Photo of robwired
robwired from Kansas

4.71/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The 2020 vintage is my first experience with Abraxas, though it was recommended to me in January 2019. However, it flies off the shelves. Eight 750 ml bottles where I bought mine from, and I bought two.
This St. Louis, Missouri's stout is so enjoyable, I wasn't in a reviewer's frame of mind on first sip. Then the reviewer in me took over (it's a holdover from my pre-economic crash of 2008 journalism days).
It poured a medium-thick beige head when I went back to add to my glass. (I have a habit of tilting the glass.)
Anyway, persistent ring with dissipating lacing. (A note: The bottles were bought today.)
Mouthfeel is thick like a chocolate stout.
The flavor has a nice heat from the Ancho chili peppers. And, I suppose, from the 11.5% ABV, though it is pleasantly not too boozy.
OK, well, that's it for the reviewer in me. I am cellaring the second bottle. Vertical tastings are encouraged, Perennial says, but I don't know of anyone who has saved vintages from different years for a vertical tasting.
Well, back to enjoying and listening to Abraxas, the one by Santana.

Jan 10, 2021
Photo of Chris7482
Chris7482 from Illinois

4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep black as expected. Nose is malty and cinnamon. A lot of cinnamon taste with dark chocolate notes. Some alcohol on the finish. I don't notice much from the peppers in aroma or taste. The beer has a great mouthfeel, really nice. Overall I was glad to finally get a chance to try this. It is a good beer, but with some many great stouts available at lower price points I don't know that I'd revisit this.

Jan 09, 2021
Photo of Craftbeerfan666
Craftbeerfan666 from Norway

4.48/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A real cinnamon-bomb is what we’re dealing with here. Lots of bang-for-the-buck! Superbly balanced, with hints of spice coffee and chocolate. Medium to full body

Jan 08, 2021
Photo of RaulMondesi
RaulMondesi from California

3.8/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is from a growler, so unfortunately I’m not sure if it pops like the original. Like, there’s no way this beer is a 99 Gretzky style if it tastes like it does out of my glass right now.

It poured hella thick like a girl that doesn’t quit, so I was into that. Aroma was ok. A lil spice, but also a lil frigid like a penguin on his morning walk. Taste is ok, but it falls off pretty flat like Paris Hilton during an IQ test. The feel also has a lil too be desired.

Personally, I’m going to rate this one as is, but I think if I buy a bottle it will be better.

Jan 05, 2021
Photo of woemad
woemad from Washington

4.34/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

32oz crowler purchased at Community Pint, in Spokane, Washington, for $24.99. Presumably, it's the 2020 vintage.

Poured into a sniffer, this was an inky black of considerable viscosity. Very thin, light-mocha colored head that dropped fast but never died away. Spotty lace.

Aroma is of dark, roasty malts, cinnamon, and ground peppers. I don't get much vanilla. Lots going on, though.

All the flavors noted in the nose are present in the flavor, with all of them melded together pretty well, although I think the cinammon and the peppers jump to the fore. The cinnamon gives it a graham crackery taste that would almost push the beer into pastry stout territory, but for the peppers providing a mildly heated contrast.

Practically the definition of a full bodied beer. Creamy, almost gooey mouthfeel.

Really nice massive, adjunct imperial stout, though not quite the amazing beer that folklore has it being. Still, if this was a regional beer, I'd hit it regularly.

Jan 05, 2021
Photo of Magpie60
Magpie60 from Missouri

4.96/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The most under rated brewery in St. Louis and this is one of their best offerings. I look forward to sharing it with my family every Christmas. It our black with mocha foam and taste like spicy Mexican chocolate, goes great with smoked ribs and watching football. Looking forward to the barrel aged version in the spring.

Jan 03, 2021
Photo of oberon
oberon from North Carolina

4.44/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2020 bottle.Pours into a snifter jet black with half finger mocha colored head that came together late,a broken ring of lace is left in its wake.Chocolate and mild smoldering ancho chili in the nose,cinnamon comes into play more as it warms.Cinnamon and that ancho spicy raisin note up front on the palate followed by some vanilla, graham cracker-like sweetness, and lightly sweetened cocoa, and mild sharpness from the cinnamon.So much going on but it never gets to be too big or too much,awesome!

Dec 29, 2020
Photo of Apellonious
Apellonious from North Carolina

4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2020 version poured into a tulip glass. I had the 2019 coffee version on tap earlier today, which is excellent. A dark black with a thin half inch dark tan head. Zero visibility through. The aroma is vanilla, cinnamon, and chocolate. The taste is very similar, with a touch of the pepper zing. The flavors are blended well. The mouthfeel is full, but not sticky, carbonation medium low. Good as it advertised.

Dec 25, 2020
Photo of beerdedking
beerdedking from Pennsylvania

4.79/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The best Mexican style Imp stout I've had, although there is no coffee listed in the ingredients. All flavors are perfectly balanced, with a crucial limitation of cinnamon which can ruin a beer altogether. Smooth and slick with dangerous drinkability for 11.5 ABV. The light pepper heat in the finish just makes you want to raise your glass again and again. Somewhere between dessert and the main course, this one can do it all. Outstanding

Nov 29, 2020
Photo of Anders91
Anders91 from California

4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: pitch black, thick mocha head, small bubbles

Smell: big chocolate, chili, malt

Taste: Super strong chocolate flavor, nice malt, and you get the kick of chili at the end

Feel: viscous, heavy

Overall: really interesting, straddles the line between a dessert beer and a imperial stout

Aug 09, 2020
Photo of NCSapiens
NCSapiens from Indiana

4.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Oily black, spice-perfumed nectar of the ancient indigenous gods.

Opaque black color with tinges of dark brown around the edges. Modest head with slight retention and no lacing is a bit disappointing. Look is nice but nothing spectacular.

Aroma of cinnamon and cocoa nibs is quite nice. The aroma is not as exceptional as a preview of things to come as it reenforces the sensory experience while drinking.

Well rounded and aggressive tasting stout with ancho chili, cinnamon, cocoa nibs, and a hint of vanilla. Reminiscent of Stone Xocovesa, but less chocolately and more spicy ancho. This is the best use of chili I have yet encountered—not too much, not too little, and in harmony with the rest of the flavor profile. The use of cinnamon is also noteworthy for it’s stupendous execution. It enhances the nose substantially and also the flavor.

Abraxis embodies the desired outcome with spice that my local brewery keeps trying for but always fails to achieve successfully. On the down side, in large doses it becomes fatiguing and ultimately overwhelming to the palate. A 750 ml bottle pushes the limit, but fortunately at 11.5 ABV that’s enough to do the trick. Alcohol is so well masked it is dangerous.

Feel is absolutely perfect, and where Abraxis really shines. Probably the best mouthfeel I’ve ever encountered. Like sweet velvety chocolate melting in the mouth.

Overall it is a fantastic, world class beer.

Jul 31, 2020
Photo of rudzud
rudzud from Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JLidnros for sharing this beer.

A - Appearance of dark black hue with a thick tan head that fades to leave a thick tan halo.

S - Aromas of bright, bold cinnamon, chocolate, little bit of spice, some lovely heat and good almost Taza chocolate. Nice aroma with no discernable alcohol.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with pleasant Taza chocolate bar and good bold, bright cinnamon. There is good subtle heat from the peppers but a bunch of potent bitter coffee and chocolate. The finish is a bit more bitter with flashes of alcohol as well. Pleasant sweetness too.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, good creamy notes with the alcohol hidden nicely.

O - Overall this was a rather solid imperial stout. The cinnamon here is lovely and the pepper element is pleasant. As it warms the cinnamon pops wonderfully. Very enjoyable!

Serving Type: bottle

Jun 27, 2020
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split with rudzud, don't remember where this was from.
Pours a light fizzy head with med lower retention, touch of lacing, great lacing, pitch black color

NOse is awesome, big chocolate and cocoa, with loads of cinnamon bark, smooth vanilla ice cream, light pepper, touch of caramel and nougat with some baking spice, some cocoa late

Taste brings more rich cocoa and dark milk chocolate, velvety choc ganache, a bit of dark fruit like a RIS malt derived fruit, then cinnamon and baking spice, nice cinnamon in general, pepper bring a little ancho chili flavor but more heat than anything, a little alcohol flavor, some sweet cocoa late,

Mouth is fuller bod, med-higher foamy carb, light alcohol, thick a little chewy, some pepper heat

Overall such a classic awesome beer

Jun 27, 2020
Photo of arizcards
arizcards from North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 750 ml bottle from Small Batch Liquors in Denver 6-11-20 for $21.99. Bottled presumably in October 2019 ahead of the Abraxas week release; consumed 6-13-20.

Beer poured black as night with a near perfect brown head that has some excellent hang time.

Nose is cocoa nibs forward with cinnamon and light roasted malts.

Taste is well played with a large light roasted malt base that allows the adjuncts to be showcased. Cinnamon is most noticeable initially along with the pepper warming heat. Cocoa nibs comingle very well with the malt base. A touch of vanilla is in the background. Finishes slightly sweet but in a good way as the hopping does a good job at keeping things in balance.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light to medium bodied and comes across as silky smooth.

Overall a fantastic dessert beer that lives up to the reputation and hype i have heard about over the years!

Jun 13, 2020
Abraxas from Perennial Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 3034 ratings