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Abraxas | Perennial Artisan Ales

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276 Reviews

Brewed by:
Perennial Artisan Ales
Missouri, United States

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 276 | Ratings: 2,271
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.96/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Bottled 11/2015.

3.75 A: Black color. One finger of light brown creamy head. Retention is about what you'd expect from a beer this big and a few wisps of lacing are left.

4.0 S: Quite sweet overall. It starts and finishes with dark chocolate and cocoa nibs. Slight vegetal pepper from the anchos which meshes well with the cinnamon and vanilla. Just a touch of dark roast coffee with stronger molasses and caramel. Supple roastiness that falls behind the chocolate sweetness. It's a bit more mellow than I was expecting, but it's still pretty good.

4.0 T: Despite the nose having just hints of coffee in it, the taste is a borderline coffee bomb. Again the chiles, cinnamon, and vanilla are mellow and complementary. Just a touch of heat is realized. Sweet chocolate would be the dominant flavor if the coffee wasn't so abundant. Moderately sweet throughout but with a roasty bitter finish. Again, this is good, but the flavors aren't as impressive as the reputation might suggest.

3.75 M: Lighter heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Mild-moderate creaminess and a mild heat that builds some momentum as it is consumed.

4.0 D: It's a good beer, but I was expecting quite a bit more. Honestly, it doesn't hold a candle to the regular Speedway Stout that I had a couple nights ago. This mixed with the fact that this costs a ton more and is infinitely harder to get a bottle of makes me okay if I never have this again.

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Photo of birchstick
4.22/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours black with a 1 finger, chocolaty head

S - nose is really chocolaty (rich and dark) with notes of vanilla and spicy, ancho chillies

T - starts of with sweeter chocolate flavors that morph into dark, dry chocolates. A modicum of vanilla comes through toward the back and is overtaken by the heat of the chillies. I think the cinnamon got lost in the mix somewhere (I couldn't pick it out). Nice complexity, the chocolates and chillies provide a nice balance as well.

M - medium body, creamy with a little carbonation

D - solid effort by the folks at Perennial. The price is a little steep, but I went out and bought a bottle after having it on tap. I look forward to trying it again. Recommended!

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #62 (Mar 2012):

LOOK: Black, dense brown head

SMELL: Unsweetened chocolate, soft charcoal, mild chili peppers, cinnamon, plum pudding, figs, espresso

TASTE: Cinnamon, light molasses, silky, full body, mild chili warmth, dense chocolate, burnt raisins, French roast coffee, charred bread crust, warming alcohol, sweet roasty finish

A heavy name for a heavy beer. Sometimes beer can be so serious and deep that you can get lost as it unfolds with each sip. Complexity meets drinkability with a dull warning of strength. It is beers of this character that further forge what American beer is and represent the intentions of craft brewers. Search this beauty out.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.91/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had to take the time to post a full review of this special beer. This was an unexpected blow your mind beer. First I need to give a huge tip of the cap to Alex (Masterski) for providing this bottle in a recent box exchange. Shared bottle with tai4ji2x (Xenon) as part of a trade (and share evening)
Poured with a visual thickness to it and quickly a thick bronze head formed. Beer was glossy and the deepest brown in color. Some clingy lace remained.
At this point I need to mention that the flavor and aroma of this beer continuously developed and changed as we worked our way through the bottle. One of the more complex and chameleon like beers I’ve ever had.. (meant as a total compliment.
At first the aroma was of deep dark chocolate and this hung thick in my nostril. It was also obvious that chilis were a part of the brew. As mentioned above this continued to move and develop.
The first several sips were absolutely wonderful and screamed of a thick, deep dark chocolate up front with some spicy chili in the rear. Even if this had never changed, I loved this beer right from the start. (it had be at hello!) But this was just the beginning. I told Xenon that I would give him credit for this and I just did… He mentioned that the next phase was very reminiscent of chewing tobacco. He was spot on with this. A bit of spice, some tobacco and still the sense of chocolate. I think this was the beginning of the transition to the other flavors….. As the beer warmed first the cinnamon came to the forefront, and then the vanilla. While early it was dark chocolate, later is was cocoa powder…. And at one point I commented to Xenon that it was as if every permutation of the major components took their turn at center stage. As with life the beer seemed to come full circle and the ending was again the dark chocolate. I am sure that we became accustomed to the spice and other flavors came forward as it warmed… but it was clear to us that the spiciest three sips were the first three.
Body matched the complex flavors and was quite bold.

Just an awesome beer and one where I need to try to find another bottle… ISO to be posted soon. For me this was very special… Alex thanks so much for sending. Xenon, happy to share it with you.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was sent over the pond by bsuedekum. Cheers for the trade man. Really appreciate the extra effort you put into making this trade happen.

From a 750 into a snifter.
Bottled in November 2011
Brewed with ancho chili peppers, cacao nibs and cinnamon sticks.

APPEARANCE: A black pour yields a 2+ finger, medium looking, dark tan head with very good retention. Opaque black body and lower levels of carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a good foam cap. A slight wisp and ring remain but leave no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Medium nose of roasted and chocoalte malts, with a light touch of sweet cream and chili pepper notes. This is mostly roasted malts and cacao nibs, though there is a touch of chili and cinnamon in there as well. A nice nose with enough strength.

TASTE: Roasted malts and some nice dark chocolate up front. Nice initial flavor, with the chili and cinnamon coming out more at the swallow. Big, persistent aftertaste of peppery spicy flavors, cacao, sweet cream and some roasted malts. Chocoalte definitely plays a leading roll, but this is well balanced and very flavorful, with chili and cinnamon in just the right dose. Enjoyable and addictive.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Enough weight on the palate. Very creamy smooth, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating. A bit of peppery spice lingers on the tongue.

OVERALL: This is quite good. The adjuncts are definitely there with the chocolate taking the lead, and nothing dominates or is out of place. This reminds me of a more mellow Hunahpu; perhaps a bottle with a couple years on it. The nose could be a little bolder and adjuncts could be a touch bigger still, but overall, this was excellent. Thanks again for the beers man. I really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

1814th Review on BA
Bottle to Perennial Tulip

2014 vintage

Thank you KevanB for the hookup

App- Right out of the bottle it's a bit like any other stout. A mix of dark browns, and some inky blacks. A bit of a red tinge and is very dense in the center. A good 2-1/2 finger head which is a soda like puffy brown which pops like a pancake batter.

Smell- On the nose I get a ton of the ancho. It's spicy and fragrant with a dash of spicy. A bit of the cinnamon comes in and creates a small aromatic vortex. I don't get most of the adjuncts in terms of vanilla. Slightly sweet as well. A little bitter from the nibs.

Taste- I think to me this is a step above Bomb! The flavors are melded more together and create more of a creamy flavor. Not as bitter because of the lack of coffee and I think its key. The flavors are well rounded and keep coming in waves. Creamy at first with the stout base and then a bit spicy from ancho and the cinnamon adds a prickly type of finality.

Mouth- This is a medium bodied stout with a lower carbonation level but yields a creamy flavor. All of the flavors blend well and as mentioned above the removal of the coffee makes each layer a bit more unique and flavorful. The base stout makes the lushness that much better.

Drink- Well!!! This was a long time coming and so good!!! This beats out Bomb! The removal makes the flavors pop more and creates more lushness and richness. A bit more vanilla would've been nice. I ain't mad at you Perenial!!

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Photo of KYGunner
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 on draft
Big dose of cinnamon upfront with a bit of coffee so that the two meld seamlessly. Start to get some Dark fruit, molasses and raisin. This ends with chocolate and light chili peppers. I'm so impressed.

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Photo of pkalix
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle..... used motor oil. dark and thick. more cinnamon than i prefer but that's the only negative i'm seeing so far. i get some of the chiles and vanilla. decent brew.

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Photo of stortore
4.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, 2015 issue (forgot to look for the bottling date), into a snifter.

Pours a deep brown, opaque with swirls throughout, no head at all, some oily lacing. Smells awesome. Cinnamon, chocolate, malt, vanilla. Taste leads more with the malt, but still strong with the cinnamon. Chocolate, chilies- some low heat, vanilla, little coffee, no bitterness. Smooth, well carbonated, full bodied- although it's a lighter body.

This is a pretty awesome beer. The flavors just pop out, a really well blended beer. The body is a bit lighter than you would expect, but it's in no way thin feeling. You want to try this, if you can get your hands on it.

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Photo of Marius
4.81/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at CBC 2016 - day 2. Tons of cinnamon up front, followed by cocoa, milk chocolate, molasses and chili peppers. One of my favourite beers at this year’s CBC.

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Photo of Kevinpitts
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
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 Monkeyknife
4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap an opaque black color with a finger of rich mocha head. Left behind wet, silky lacing.

The aroma was faintly sweet and spicy with cocoa, vanilla, roasted malts and chili peppers.

The taste matched the aroma. Cocoa, dark chocolate, chilis, roasted malts, vanilla and berries. Nice warmth to the palate. Not sure how much came from the chilis and how came from the 10% alcohol.

Full bodied and creamy with a lighter carbonation.

A unique, delicious, and complex Impy stout from Perennial.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.19/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Re-reviewing Abraxas- on tap at Tria Taproom in PHL, served at perfect temp. Very nice blend of crushed, fresh cinnamon and subtle spice. Unlike the first time I had it, this is very well balanced. The aroma is tremendous. Nice spicy finish that scratches your throat just so.

World-class? Not sure about that... but a delightful brew nonetheless.


Terribly unbalanced, all spice and sweetness, a little too flat, muted smell, feels like drinking hot chocolate on ice. Will not revisit.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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Photo of Treyliff
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.02/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Haymarket in NYC.

6 ounce pour in a snifter. Smell is spicy with cinnamon. Almost too spiced. Notes of chocolate and vanilla even things out.

The flavor is initially just as overwhelmingly spicy as the nose was, but as I let it sit, it integrates a bit and the chocolatte emerges along with vanilla and coffee and roasted malt notes.

Not sure if it was the taps I had this from, but both this and Sump felt a bit undercarbonated, to the point of being flat, but at the same time, it kind of accentuates the creamy, full mouthfeel.

I'll say it once, I'll say it again, Xocoveza undermined every highly tradable spiced stout. This is good, but there's comparable for cheaper prices and more accessible.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.66/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle. Pours dark brown-black with a huge creamy brown head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet fudgy chocolate with some cinnamon and spice. Kind of smells like a Mexican mocha. Alcohol comes out as it warms.

The flavor is sweet fudgy lactic chocolate with some cinnamon and spicy chili with a bitter roast finish and some booze and black licorice. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy.

Overall, very interesting with a lot going on. Everything doesn't blend real well - the chocolate is a bit too sweet, the roast is a bit too bitter, the black licorice is a bit strong. It would be interesting to try this aged to see if it mellows some. It is a bit pricey at $22 a bottle.

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Photo of Moose90
4.36/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served On-Tap

A — Pours a near pitch black hue with a dark roasted coffee color head on-top. Lacing is left in bits around the edges, just sits in the glass with a rich deliciousness.

S — Smell is a great melange of dark chocolate, bitter espresso, spicy chilies, fresh cinnamon, just a lot going on here. Smells predominately of rich luscious dark chocolate and semi sweet vanilla, a little bit of a cinnamon and chili overtone. Such a great balance of sweetness, smells like a Mexican hot chocolate.

T — Taste is wonderful with huge waves of flavors, ranging from dark chocolate, bitter coffee, chewy vanilla, pithy cinnamon, little bit of a warming chili pepper spiciness on the finish. I almost want to drink this beer warm, it is that good. It is rich and focused on deep dark flavors, showing great balance throughout.

M — Rich, full bodied, thick, not overly heavy though, balanced again.

O — Just spectacular overall, this is a great showcase of dark beer with just a touch of spice.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Cory for sending me this bottle. This is batch #1.

A - Pours black, mocha-colored head, nice collar, spotty lace.

S - The spice was very upfront when I first poured this, but it after it warmed a bit, it melded nicely with the chocolate and vanilla notes. Big baker's chocolate, spices, roast, and vanilla notes. Nice.

T - The chocolate and roast are really nice, and the spice adds a small kick on the end, but doesn't overpower the beer. Really a nice balance of sweet & spice, good stuff. The finish is creamy chocolate sweetness with a slight spicy kick.

M - Full, rich and smooth, good carbonation, creamy finish.

O - A really enjoyable Imperial Stout that we all seemed to enjoy. The spices and sweetness were right in-line with what I prefer, and there wasn't too much of either one. Looking forward to having this again and all the variants that will come along as well.

Edit: I think the spices were "turned down" because of the age on this bottle (being batch #1). I haven't had a batch #2 yet, so I can't comment on the spices in there.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.86/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Abraxas 2015

Pitch black with a deep brown tinge, no carbonation, half finger of chocolate brown head, and foamy chocolatey legs.

Cocoa, dark chocolate, cinnamon, a hint of heat and dark toasted notes.

Chocolate, cinnamon, coffee, dark chocolate, toasted notes, a light cinnamon, and chilie pepper note. The spicy heat on the end is light. Chocolate and cocoa resonate on the tongue. For a very long time. Hints of cedar all through as it warms.

Medium oily body but very smooth, foamy carbonation. Slick and smooth.

Got at Rincon Tap Room and Bottle
Shop in Sonoma County, Santa Rosa California. Excellent brew that has good reason for being so well sought after. Drank Sept 15th 2016 at the taproom.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Allagash glass. Pours obsidan black with dark brown head. Two fingers of head upon pour, a collar retains nicely, minimal lacing. Aroma is heavy on dark bitter chocolate, cacao, licorice, molasses, and roasted malts. A touch of pepper is present on the nose in the background. The taste is incredibly dry and full of cacao. This features that raw chocolate flavor which makes for a very robust and deep flavor. This pairs nicely with the thick stout base. Notes of licorice and cinnamon come through in the middle and cayenne makes an appearance at the end. The heat is minimal and builds slowly as the beer warms. Mouthfeel is thick and sturdy with moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a tasty, full flavored, and rich beer. Definitely worth a try. Hunahpu's is still the king in this combo of flavors though.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011/Batch 2)

Thanks for opening this, DarthKostrizer!

Nearly black in color with a moderately sized brown head that eventually leaves spots of lace down the glass.

The aroma is an interesting and unique combination of roasted and black malts, plenty of chile spice (like chipotle), a bit of cinnamon, and even a bit of pine presence. It all comes together quite interestingly and nicely.

The flavor is as complex as the aroma, with cinnamon and chile elements pushing through the roasted, dark malt backbone. There's also traces of smoke and wood. The chile flavor is obviously present without being overtly spicy.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

A unique and incredibly flavorful, evolving stout.

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Photo of JamesStreet
4.26/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

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Abraxas from Perennial Artisan Ales
4.42 out of 5 based on 2,271 ratings.
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