Abraxas | Perennial Artisan Ales

BA SCORE
98
world-class
308 Reviews
AbraxasAbraxas
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Perennial Artisan Ales
Missouri, United States
perennialbeer.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Stout brewed with Ancho Chiles, Cacao Nibs, Vanilla Beans & Cinnamon Sticks.

2011 - 100 cases
2012 - 200 cases

Added by jmvecchio1 on 12-16-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
308
Ratings:
2,431
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
7.9%
 
 
Wants:
1,199
Gots:
729
For Trade:
81
User Reviews
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Reviews: 308 | Ratings: 2,431
Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.74/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - The beer was a dark black color, looking like used motor oil. A slight mocha head topped the glass.

Smell - The aroma I detected was almost a syrupy coffee smell. The sweetness in the aroma was almost overwhelming.

Taste - This is heavy. Initially, I am led to believe this will be sweet like molasses. Then, I notice cinnamon, vanilla, and a hint of pepper. The malts give the impression of coffee, but it is not overwhelming. The warming in the aftertaste is mild, but it is the thick sweetness that gives the biggest impression.

Mouthfeel - This is thick and coats the tongue and throat. It leaves an impression well after the swallow.

Overall - I liked this one a lot. This is a fantastic stout.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.74/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage; drank 11/26/14 @ the Palace.

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Brown/black hue.

Dark khaki head; decent lace.

Cinnamon, banana & mocha nose, with hints of pepper heat.

Thick mouthfeel.

Cinnamon, chocolate, banana & mild pepper heat flavors; complex & delicious.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.73/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I recently had Huna I have had Bomb in the past so far I still think Bomb is the best, but this one does edge out Huna, next will be Mexican Cake to finish off the big 4 Horseman.

Appearance: Black as night, head is relative to the type of beer. Kind of light around the edges with swirls in the middle of tan creamy head.

Aroma: Initially I got cinnamon as a strong characteristic. After a while sweeter dark fruits join the bouquet of aromas. Nicely done, its pretty complex on the nose.

Taste: I can tell the cinnamon, some sour yeasty note is present but it isn't off putting at all its just there, it could also be the peppers. The taste is cleaner and not very sweet, but just sweet enough. I liked the heat that hits the lips and tongue as it warms. Very nicely done beer. Its also less cloying than Huna came off to me and to the others who drank these with me.

Overall: I did like this one more than Huna, now after almost exactly a year the 2014 Huna I drank might have lost some impact, this bottle is not as old, they came out in (early November?) I believe so it has held its adjunct impact pretty well in that amount of time, now after a year in bottle like Huna I may be saying the same thing. I really need to revisit Huna as soon as I can to give it a more thorough analysis. So far, however, I still like the heat and earthiness of Bomb the best of the ones I have tried from this style. This is a close second. Love the cinnamon impact, goes really well with the combination of flavors they are working with.

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Photo of Jkolls
4.73/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow. Reviewing my second time having this. Essentially went solo on a bottle, girlfriend had a few sips here and there.

Look: Pitch black, a very small coffee colored head, that dissipated slowly, nice lacing.

Smell: Primarily cinnamon upfront, then the chocolate hits, and the teensiest bit of hot chile scent.

Taste: So Good. Strong cinnamon, strong chocolate, and the heat from the chile is much more present here then on the nose. Not too hot though, still super drinkable.

Feel: Near perfect carbonation, at least for my palate. Not too thick or too thin either, a little creamy almost.

Overall: 4.73, in my top ten for sure.

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Photo of THSdrummer
4.72/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

4 ounce pour from the draft, came out pitch black with a half a finger of caramel foamy head. Lacing is great. Aroma is strong, but extremely well balanced. Notes of spices, peppers, cinnamon, vanilla, all sing and dance with roasted malts playing bass. Extremely well balanced and put together. Flavor profile answers the standard set by the aroma, with notes of spices, cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla, peppers, and roasted malts. Note, there is some spiciness to this beer, and yet it refrains from being a heartburn catalyst. Flavor profile is well balanced and smooth. Mouth feel is thick, and creamy. Without a doubt, the feel packs a wallop, delivering all the goodness of the aroma and flavor profile in a thick, but extremely drinkable, feel. There is a bit of grain to the feel as the beer warms. Concluding word in my notes "woah". Despite lots and lots of complexity to this beer, it remains extremely approachable and drinkable. Top notch stout with chilis.

Served in a 4oz snifter. Draft.

**This was my first drink of Abraxas. I've been hunting it for a while. I do work hard to squeeze out any bias in my number ratings, but as a local guy, I may be biased.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.72/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed on tap for Bier Station's one year anniversary Midwest tap takeover event. They had both the 2012 and the 2013 on tap, so it was really fun to do a mini-vertical and compare the beer to itself after a year. The scores and review will be for the 2013 (fresh) vintage, but I will make reference to the 2012 as well. Both were served in small Belgian tulip glasses.

Appearance - Yields a healthy two finger head mocha tan head of bubbles so small it looked a bit like chocolate mousse. The body beneath is a pitch black with zero light penetrating, not even around the edges of the glass. The dense head helps keep out the light as well. Retention is moderate, and the head dissipates to a rim of foam around the edge of the glass with a mottling of film across the surface. Lacing is spotty and very sparse. The 2012 is different in that it has much less head at first pour, starting out with a lazy half-finger foam that dissipates almost immediately. It also happens to have more legs than the 2013, with the foam leaving a sheet across the side of the glass when I tilt it, but it slinks back down, leaving zero lacing.

Smell - Rich with notes of cinnamon stick, dried chile, melting baker's chocolate and molasses. I also get a nice element of char from the roasted malt that you expect from a stout or porter. The aroma is so aggressive, with cinnamon and chile being front and center. The 2012, by contrast, has mellowed way out on the cinnamon and chile, allowing the rich, decadent notes of bittersweet chocolate to shine through. I think I prefer the fresh, although if I had never had it fresh, the one-year version would be an outstanding beer in it's own rite.

Taste - Like with the aroma, the cinnamon and chile work together to provide quite a punch to start. Spiced devil's food cake with an invigorating burn from the spice that is kept relatively in-check by the rich bittersweet element from the roasted malt and burnt caramel. The heat lingers for a long time, but it's a pleasant heat. Would be the perfect beer for a cold night. The 2012 vintage has mellowed considerably, with the cinnamon becoming a mere accent to the rich chocolatey taste and the pepper becoming a gentle tingle instead of the noticeable heat. Here, I think I prefer the 2012, but only by a shade. I still think the 2013 is unmatched for the right situation--when you want a big stout with some aggressive character.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied, rich and creamy. Luscious. Carbonation is moderate and the finish is lingering and coats the mouth to a degree. The 2012 is a tiny bit thinner, but still nice and creamy. Lower carbonation levels are to be expected as well.

Overall, this is just a top-notch offering from Perennial. Outstanding and unique as a fresh beer, and wonderfully age-able as well. I've not had many different beers from this "Spiced Imperial Stout" sub-style that has been popular, but this one is fantastic. Now I just need to get my hands on the BA version...

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.72/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade in December 2015, haven't had it since 2013. This is from 2015 release. Poured into oversize snifter. You simply must let this beer warm to room temp..while chilled, The cinnamon is clearly the alpha in regard to the spice influence...I can't say that I can grab any ancho chiles nor vanilla..maybe a tad chocolate? But as it warmed I can taste the vanilla influence as well. Such a wonderful beer I absolutely love it.

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Photo of scxcrunner
4.72/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very good. Reminded me a lot of Hunahpu but smoother. Aromas of cinnamon gram cracker, cocoa, and some vanilla, taste is the same but very smoothly blended with a very little heat from the peppers on the end. overall a great beer to sip on this time of year.

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Photo of HOP_KING
4.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is one of my favorite beers, oddly enough only beer that I have dreams about. I simply find myself craving it at the most unusual times and it's unfortunately not a beer I often have.

It's the best stout I've ever had. Beats all of goose's BCBS offerings IMO. Superb tastes the whole way through.

Well done perennial.

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Photo of derftron
4.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a review for 2014, which has been aging for a year

Look - Standard black stout look. Pretty much completely black

Smell - Smells delicious. Like horchata, cinnamon, chocolate, and stout. I kept going back and smelling over and over again. amazing

Taste - completely unique and really outstanding. all the flavors melded perfectly but nothing was overpowering or out of balance. really great. the cinnamon and chili flavors really come through, but the stout flavor balances everything out. Vanilla and chocolate also present

Overall, I really liked this beer.

I had a 2015 right afterwards and didnt like it as much. the cinnamon and chili flavors were much more muted. still very good, but the 2014 was far superior

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Photo of maximum12
4.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to jon2465 for this bottle. My only regret from Great Taste of the Midwest 2012 is missing the Perennial booth completely. But the 2013 Great Taste is only five months away, & I plan on camping out there this year. 750ML skull-crusher split with my wife.

Pour is appropriately dark with a slow-rising head that would be impressive, if I cared about that sort of thing. The nose is an ode to extremes: wild chiles, chocolate, sweets, undercarriage of spicing. My stomach quails a little bit. It's late enough on a school night that I'll put my brain on acid reflux alert.

Abraxas isn't that shy kid you never knew in gym class. Pie-kaw! Right in the kisser. The chiles burn the crap off my esophagus, pulse open my cardia, sear the inner wall, & go to work on my small intestines. Wow. Takes a while to get underneath the heat, but there's chocolate, random spiciness. Big roast shows up as the beer begins to warm. But it's the chile heat that steals this show. Huge, thick, chewy. Stupid drinkable.

Sometimes extreme beers come off as a desperate plea for help: not so here. This is a genuine work of art, with a great combo of flavors that just beg to be devoured as quickly as possible. I can't think of one reason why this isn't an elite level beer - simply excellent.

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Photo of Jay_P22
4.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 11/2015. Poured into a tulip.

Look is dark brown, minimal to half finger sized lacing. Leaves great foamy legs around the glass.

Nose is of cocoa nibs and cinnamon. A great nose, barely can smell any hint of chiles.

Taste follows the nose but with a tiny hint of the chiles on the finish. The cocoa nibs and cinnamon make it incredibly smooth and tasty. Well structured.

Mouth feel is medium bodied with minimal carbonation.

Overall one of the better stouts I've had. I wish I had more and definitely want to try the barrel aged version. Incredibly smooth and an amazing finish. I wanted more than the 22 oz it came in.

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Photo of KCBeerNerd
4.7/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had this on tap at the Foundry in KCMO 1/22/14

A: Jet black with an inch of tan head that dissipates after a min to a subtle 1/4 inch tan foam.

S: The noise of this beer is very complex. Cocoa, peppers, a mild coffee, spicy, cinnamon, and a strong nutmeg smell. This smell reminds me of going home to my parents house for christmas, with my moms christmas yankee candles lit and a banana nutbread in the oven.

T: The taste is outrageously spicy on the front end, while subtle on the back end. The back end leaves you with a bit of heat. You can definitely taste the cacao nibs and ancho chili peppers. This beer at the front punches you with cinnamon and then leaves you with the heat of the ancho chili peppers.

M: The feel of this beer is creamy, thick and almost chewy.

O: Overall this is an incredibly enjoyable beer. This beer tastes distinctively different than alot of other imperial stouts. While a lot of other breweries try to spice their imperial stouts with different things, it either A: doesn't work, or B:gets lost behind the chocolate and coffee tastes that are normally prevalent in imperial stouts, or C: is overpowering with one individual spice. But this beer does not fall into those categories. It is complex yet enjoyable. The ancho chili peppers, cinnamon sticks, and cacao nibs are very prevalent but enjoyable. This beer is a success in its uniqueness

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.7/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A phenomenal stout. This is the real deal - a beer that lives up to the price tag and hype in equal amounts. Find and deeo dark profile with a full body. The cinnamon adds both to the texture and to the taste profile. There is a hint of ground mexican chocolate here along with the spices. The pepper feel is muted yet lends a warming touch. Lots of complexity. An exceptional beer.

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Photo of craftaholic
4.7/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This smells and tastes like the best parts of Christmas. This is so damn good. Cinnamon and bourbon abound! The alcohol is there but it isn't too hot on the tongue.

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Photo of pollocwr
4.69/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this in a blind tasting. Was second best to hunaphu which won overall. This is a solid beer with a full body. The chiles are a great addition here really pulling the flavors together.

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Photo of jcflorian
4.69/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours pitch black with thin mocha head.

Aroma is chocolate, cinnamon and pepper

Taste chocolate upfront, cinnamon mud pallet. The pepper comes in late aftertaste . Very similar taste to prairie bomb.

Mouthfeel is super thick . This is what I want in an imperial stout.

Overall- totally worth the hype. Actually exceeds my expectations. Prefer this over bomb and huhnapu due to mouthfeel. Would LOVE to try barrel aged version. Elite beer in every way

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Photo of LloydDobler
4.69/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled-11/2014
Poured into snifter

This was my first own personal "whale". What better time to review it than as my first beer of the year.

The top popped with the quietest hiss. So excited about this that I sniffed the mouth of the bottle before pouring(almost took a sip, and maybe I did)... A gluggy pour that filled half of the glass left a 1/2" of quickly dissipating brown head gyrating on top of a black pool. Sweet and spicy nose left me ready to dive in. Taste is straight fudge with a peppery POP! I was expecting the spice to have mellowed after a year+ in the bottle, but it was there in force. Nice med-thick, slick feel with minimal carbonation(almost perfect for the style). Heat creeps in, and just compounds on the palate with each sip. This gets WAY better as it warms. It gives way to some of the flavors that were overpowered by the spice, like vanilla. Great beer, but not mind blowing. Along the lines of BOMB! and Imperial Blud, but I would have to side-by-side to pick out my favorite.

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Photo of Mgm54
4.69/5  rDev +5.9%
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 larryarms847
4.68/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a lusciously silky dark brown and sits black in the glass with a short tan/light brown head of foam.

Cinnamon and bakers spices, peppers, sweet chocolate, and gentle waves of vanilla.

Chocolate, coffee-esque roastiness, vanilla, bakers spices, and a perfect peppery spice to clear the palate.

Heavy-bodied, low carbonation, silky, chewy, wonderfully balanced.

Overall, while I've always been hesitant when in comes to beers brewed with peppers, this is truly a masterpiece. Perfect balance of flavors and a silky smooth and creamy mouthfeel makes this a complex beauty.

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Photo of MCain04
4.68/5  rDev +5.6%
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 emyers
4.68/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750 ml bottle poured into a Founders tulip.

Appearance: Black with a thick, creamy dark brown head. Head stays a good 15 minutes - phenomenal head retention for an imperial stout of this abv.

Smell: Excellent. Rich, dark chocolate, cinnamon, chipotle peppers. Intense and yet very balanced.

Taste: Same as the smell. Dark chocolate and a nice smoky chipotle flavor up front, then cinnamon. Bittersweet finish. The heat from the chile peppers comes in on the finish and lingers for a while after the finish. The chocolate stays on the palate throughout. I'm really impressed by the depth and richness of the dark chocolate flavor. The chipotle heat is perfect too - gently warming but not overly hot. It makes its presence known without ever being overwhelming. Really just phenomenal flavor in this one.

Mouthfeel: Thick, velvety. Mild carbonation. Gentle heat lingers well after you finish a sip. There really isn't anything that this beer does extremely well.

Overall: Flat out phenomenal. Chile stouts are one of those styles that I absolutely love trying but am often disappointed with. They either have too much spice, too little spice, too little stout character, etc. This one nails every aspect.

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Photo of mfavoino
4.68/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Shared a bottle with Treebs. This was a big want for me!

A: Super rich dark brown with a small espresso head. Sticky lacing.

S: Smell cinnamon right away, chocolate, spice, and some roasty notes. Very bold.

T: Big chocolate up front. Cinnamon is also prominent with a considerable amount of the spice from the chilies. Incredibly rich, bold, and tasty.

M: This is a thick, full-bodied treat. I personally couldn't drink more than I had. Creamy mouthfeel and smooth.

O: One of the most interesting beers I've had the opportunity to try. The advertised chocolate, cinnamon, and chili are all very easy to pick up on and meld well together. A great take on the style.

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Photo of BMart
4.68/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.67/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Another treat to have in my glass and an overdue review. Thanks to jamminjohnson for sending me this bottle of 13 and the matching abraxas snifter.

Bottle from 11/2013

a one of the more attractive stouts, rich and sludgy with a great shine. Nice dark brown head that hangs a minute and streaky lacing on the glass.

s all the goodies. Cinnamon chocolate roasted coffee, really nice balance. Small hints of the heat

t takes the pass from the nose and slam dunk. All the flavors in perfect harmony. Rich chocolate with a glazing of cinnamon and a dash of spice. Really nice.

m great full body. Lush and rich. Big and unapologetic, but oh so silky and easy to destroy the entire bottle on my own.

o overall this is a hunah killer. I am not usually a fan of spicy beers and this beer, right now 6 months post bottle is just perfect. I have had this beer a few times and this is probably my favorite experience with it. Really just fantastic

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Abraxas from Perennial Artisan Ales
4.43 out of 5 based on 2,431 ratings.
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