Abraxas | Perennial Artisan Ales

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273 Reviews

Brewed by:
Perennial Artisan Ales
Missouri, United States | website

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

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Reviews: 273 | Ratings: 2,242
Photo of wagenvolks
4.29/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a Jester King snifter to celebrate passing my doctoral qualifying exam! I am now a geophysics PhD candidate, and it feels goooo.

Oh, thanks to fo1ksguitar and cardern for the Perennial trades!

A fantastic pour--deep mahogany brown body that verges on midnight black. The head is creamy, dark toffee-colored, and superbly retained. The aroma brings to mind cinnamon drizzled atop a pumpkin espresso. Cacao nibs are hard to find, but it's earthy, with a hint of spicy chili and booze. Nice so far...

Oh yeah, that's tasty. Rich notes of bitter dark chocolate coat the palate, followed swiftly by mocha and coffee roast. Ancho chilies add a decadent heat to the sides of the tongue that compliment the mild boozy warmth in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium-thick with a creamy carbonation level that's spot-on for the style. Chewy in all the right spots, and just a tad sticky with residual sugars in the finish. Overall, an excellent imperial stout. A slow-sipper, for sure, but decadence with every nip.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.17/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing, Dan!
A: Pours black with a thin dark brown head that vanished quickly into soapy lace.
S: Smokey smelling with notes of bacon, chili, hints of cocoa and a touch of cinnamon. Smells meaty.
T: Follows the nose with flavors of chilis, cinnamon, smoky meat and cocoa. Cinnamon lingers in the finish.
M: Medium-full body, fuzzy and clean carbonation, smooth mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden.
O: Really integrated and impressive. Not too spicy but rather the chili compliments the complex flavors. Thanks again Mr. Clean!

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

I stumbled upon this one by chance when I was in Fairview Heights, IL. What a find.

Standard stout dark brown/borderline black color, but the head really sets it apart. It's an inch of dark sandy colored, frothy head.

The aroma is a slightly bitter dark bakers' chocolate, anise, and light cinnamon.

The cocoa and cinnamon really pop in the flavor along with vanilla and an earthy spice in the finish, presumably from the chiles. There's no heat to it, but it does leave an earthy aftertaste that, when compounded with the sweetness of the cocoa, is superb.

Mouthfeel is soft with mild carbonation and slightly dry.

This is a fantastic representation of the style and a flat out great beer. The pricepoint is high at $20, but that seems to be the direction limited releases are going. This one at least delivers and I'm looking forward to trying more of Perennial's beers.

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Photo of steggers
4.43/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Warren (bigdub) for this one.
Split two ways, cellar temp into snifter on 3/4.
Beautiful dark brown coloring, nice thick, tan head, ample lacing left on the glass.
Dark roast up front on the nose. Followed by cocoa, touch of vanilla, trace of cinnamon, no real chili here.
This is exactly what I want in a stout like this. First the roast from the malt, followed by the spice. The chili flavor was the perfect amount. Enough to let you know that it is there, but in no way overpowering.
Feel- one word 'perfect'.
I really enjoyed this beer. That being said, due to the price point, plus having to trade/ship to obtain it, not sure how soon it will be until I have it again.

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Photo of claspada
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, bordering black, with a big creamy mocha head that settles to a thin cap, leaving splotchy lacing as it recedes.

Aromas begin as advertised with chocolate and roast initially. Spices emerge more as it warms. Light vanilla, cinnamon and more milky chocolate as well.

The tastes follow the nose with dark roasted malt, cocoa and dark baker's chocolate. As you further sample you get light spice (light heat and cinnamon) that linger ever-so-slightly in the background after you get past the initial dark chocolaty malt backbone. Espresso flavors emerge as it warms more. Also much more spice in the aroma than in the flavor which is fine by me.

The mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied with ample carbonation. Finish is full, rich and smooth with a light roastiness that hangs around a little on the palate.

Overall this reminds me a lot of a Cigar City Hunahpu Lite. Not as intense by any means in any of the flavor aspects that both beers share, but all are present and created a much more balanced beer overall. The wow factor isn't there like with Hunahpu but a really solid beer overall; not sure it's worth the almost $20 outlay but it more accessible than Hunahpu which counts for something.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.54/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to CoryKing for sending me this one

Look: Black and totally opaque with a 1/2 inch tan head and good retention

Smell: Ancho chili's quite a bit of cinnamon and some cocoa nibs. Very delicious smelling beer

Taste: The flavor is as advertised. Upfront is a nice a amount of cocoa nibs and a touch of vanilla and then mid palate the cinnamon completely takes over the beer but is well received. The beer finishes with a touch more chocolate and the perfect amount of chili heat. Very nice flavors

Mouthfeel: Full body low carbonation and just a hint of heat

Overall: I thought this to be a exceptional example of the style. All the ingredients were well integrated and well balanced. Glad I still have batch 1 in my cellar.

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Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #2 bottle. Thanks Eric for the assist.

Into a mini pint, it pours black with an ample head of persistent dark tan foam, almost the color of dark leather. It leaves rings of intricate lacing all around.

Dark chocolate aroma, clean and dry, some light bitterness and a hint of spicy cinnamon in there as it warms up.

Bittersweet dark chocolate intertwines subtly with mellow cinnamon spice and a vague dark fruit component from the anchos at room temp. Very smooth and chocolaty, the foam itself has a chocolate milkshake consistency. Medium bodied and especially drinkable for an Imperial Stout.

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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 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 MasterSki
4.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sean for sharing this one. Served in a plastic cup at West Lakeview Liquors.

A - Big creamy mocha foam that settles to a thin cap, leaving splotchy lace behind. Dark brown body - doesn't really look like an Imperial Stout, but it is attractive.

S - Smells exactly as advertised - ancho chiles, cinnamon, and cocoa nibs.

T - The taste is pretty similar, with the aforementioned adjuncts dominating the palate, and some dark chocolate and roast character coming out in the finish.

M - Smooth, creamy, medium-full body. Lower carbonation, melted chocolate texture, and shockingly well-hidden booze - I had no idea this was 10%.

D - This was really good for 4-6oz, but I can imagine it getting fatiguing after that point. Still, it's quite well done and I would happily try it again. Best beer I've had from Perennial.

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Photo of rtaps
4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to darthkostritzer for opening this one

oily black, with a dark tan head that had nice retention leaving spotty lacing behind.

cinnamon, and spice with dark roasted malts it's a nice aroma that makes you want to dive into tasting it

the taste fallows the nose, chile spice, cinnamon with roasted malts.

medium bodied and carbonated

overall it was a tasty little treat, complexed and the spice in it was great not overpowering but let it's precense be known

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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 DCon
3.98/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a 750ml 1 pt 9.4 fl oz. bottle @ the iTap House in Chesterfield, MO for $20 & Shared w/ ChrisF. Poured from the Dark Brown Labeled bottle w/ ABRAXAS cleverly branded into a 12oz Snifter Glass. Has "bottled 11/2011" on the side of the label.

Aroma- Has a coffee aroma from the beginning with light booziness. Rich malts then come through and a slight amount of hop. Double Coffee Stout aroma?

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger head that is dark brown and lasts for an average amount of time. Has a dark brown colored body that you can't see past. Leaves dark suds behind.

Flavor- Tons of coffee, malt, and sweetness make up this brew. Very rich and has a nice amount of intensity. Finishes with a medium bitterness level.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, Light Carbonation, Textured with grit that wasn't very favorable, and then leaves bit of alcohol with coffee behind.

Overall Impression- A nice 2X Stout and one of my favorites now from Perennial Ales! I'm glad the St. Louis beer community has grown so much in the past year to be able to enjoy nice ones such as these. The only part of this brew I didn't enjoy was the gritty finish... Would like to age one of these and see how it grows this next year!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to DarthKostritzer for sharing this one at MrVonzipper's tasting!

Batch 2. Bottled November 2011.

Pours an opaque black with a khaki head that fades to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form all over the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, cocoa, cinnamon, and chile. Taste is of dark roasted malt, cinnamon, chile, cocoa, and slight coffee beans. A medium roasty bitterness lingers on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an awesome stout with some awesome aromas and flavors.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Schlafly tulip/snifter from a 750ml bottle.

Batch 1

The beer pours a gorgeous oily dark dark liquid with a nice 1,5 inch dark tan head. aLmost mocha like. Very nice look to this beer. The head is very dense and has extreme retention to it. It slowly makes its way down the sides of the glass while leaving a nice sticky coating on the sides. Gorgeous.

Aroma starts off with some nice mild vanilla bean notes and definitely some nice cinnamon sticks. The background is underlaying by some nice coca notes. Some mild bitter chocolate and some nice sweet milk chocolate. It is not that intense though. Needs a bit more kick for a 4.5 but still good.

Flavor is a bite more intense. Cinnamon stick notes and vanilla bean mixed in together. Very nice and smooth and oily. Great mouthfeel. The middle of the beer highlights some more of the chocolate notes, milk chocolate sweetness with some intense dark chocolate intensity and bitterness. There is also some nice coffee roast in the middle along with the awesome chocolate. The peppers are present a bit but not too intense which is good for me. There is definitely some nice spice to it though. The finish sees some more of the vanilla and cinnamon notes and it finishes off with some nice bitterness as well and some mild spice.

This brew is delicious. Its definitely very creative and has some complex and interesting notes but it is very well crafted.

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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 paxchristi
4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black as hell with fingers of thick, pillowy head that sits on top and does not move. Its evil looking--totally evil looking. Big alcohol feet on the sides.

Smell: Nose was a little more subtle than I would have expected. Sweet chocolate nibs, breakfast roast coffees, cinnamon, and an ever so slight vanilla in the back followed by a peppery sting in the nostrils. Probably the chiles.

Taste: Damn! Deep roasted malts followed by sweet chocolate nibs that seem dark in some sips and a bit sweeter in others. Control on the chocolate nicely executed. These flavors are brought through with that vanilla bean. Gives it a creamy sort of smell-- reminds me of Breakfast Stout some in this regard. But the kicker is the finish on this one. Cinnamon and ancho chiles give it a spiciness and a pepperiness that is just as original as I've seen in a while. Barrel-aged freaks love the burn on the end of a big impy stout...this one burns on the finish because of the spiciness. Layered perfectly.

Mouth: Big body, low carbonation, slight peppery burn on the end from chiles and cinnamon.

Overall: Kick ass brew. There were a lot of highlights this evening but this one was my favorite. I'm left wanting just a bit more body and a little bigger nose. Its probably tricky considering that a bigger nose might make the spice in the mouth a bit too large. Highly recommend this one. If he perfects it, it could win awards I bet.

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

This is my first beer from Perennial. I've been looking forward to trying their beers and I opted for this on a cold winter night.

A - Pours blacker than night with about an inch of milk chocolate brown colored head. The head never faded completely and a fair amount of lacing was left on the glass.

S - The nose is full of of semisweet chocolate, roasted malts, and vanilla. Hints of cinnamon and a faint smokiness are also present. Very complex and inviting.

T - The roasted malts lead the way on the tongue along with some dark chocolate. A little cinnamon and some spiciness from the peppers appears right before the finish. The flavors are all layered perfectly and nothing dominates.

M - Full bodied, smooth, and creamy. Little carbonation, which is expected from a big imperial stout.

O - Overall, a very enjoyable imperial stout. A little pricey at $19 for a 750, but I have a couple more bottles in the basement and am excited to see how it develops over time. I'm also looking forward to trying some of the other offerings from Perennial.

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Photo of YumYumGumGum
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a co-worker for the share.

A: Opaque black, darkest of the dark, with a tan fine head that stuck around and laced quite nicely.

S: Lots of vanilla, and cinnamon which I didn't recognize until tasting the beer. Also the chocolate notes were smooth, not pungent or burnt like a lot of other popular imperials. This was incredibly similar to the aromas on the Hunahpu's imperial stout, which is an all time classic.

T: Excellent, very smooth with just a tiny hint of chilli peppers. I do like vanilla, but the only reason I didn't give a 5 was the off balance of vanilla (there was a lot). IT had a very non-traditional imperial taste. Zero booze or bitterness came through.

M: Wonderful, very when carbonate and matched quite well with the velvety texture of the beer.

O: Can't wait to drink again, but not too much as it was $19 a 750ml plus shipping.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.02/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go to Richard for the share.
Appearance -- Pours a deep dark brown with a slim mocha head. Nice.
Smell – Rich with dark chocolate and vanilla, also with the faint aromas of cinnamon and smoky chiles. Inviting.
Taste – Semisweet dark chocolate, vanilla bean and cinnamon are the most noticeable, followed by licorice and leather and a very faint pepper smokiness. Well-balanced, if only a little too reserved. I wish there was less licorice phenolic flavor to muddle up the spice and pepper, but otherwise tasty.
Mouthfeel – Full-bodied with mellow carbonation – velvety, not syrupy. A fine line that Abraxas does not cross.
Overall – A pleasant surprise! Good mesh of flavors, though I wish there was more chile heat. Great effort, definitely worth trying, and I look forward to trying more from Perennial.

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Photo of Khazadum
4.15/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- good mocha lacing, moderate stickiness. Inky darkness with mohogany edging. Very nice, to look at. Doesn't keep the head as much as I'd like. Dissipates, cirrus clouds.

S- chili gives it a nice smokiness, cinnamon spiciness blends well into the chili power. Almost like star anise. Unusual. Some light sweetness if vanilla on back end. Very faint though and something to be desired.

T- fantastic roast. Bitter grain mixes with cinnamon the best I've ever had. Chocolate comes out next rolling into a malty, very low bitter and light light heat. Finishes chili flavor and some bitterness right in center. Vanilla doesn't translate well and I really wanted some.

M- nice creamy body. Velvet body. Good carb. Low heat leaves some desire. sticky sticky flavors and light bitterness.

Not amazing but not bad. Good beer to have. Miss this brewer. Guess ill trade for others.

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Photo of weatherdog
3.91/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into tulip glass.

Pour is deep chocolate brown with a nice size mocha colored head. Minimal retention and medium head retention.

Aroma is fairly mild, hint of cinnamon, some roast and sweetness. Nothing spectacular but nothing bad.

The chilli picks up in the taste, lots of roast (much more than the nose suggests). Chocolate and then some cinnamon. The flavors are fairly integrated and one doesn't stand out more than the other.

Creamy mouthfeel with present back end carbonation. Minimal back end heat with chillies.

I really enjoyed my first beer from Perennial. It's no fresh Hunaphu but it's still enjoyable

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Photo of jmvecchio1
4.79/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Packaging reads: Abraxas - 10% ABV - Ale brewed with ancho chili peppers, cacao nibs, and cinnamon sticks.

As part of their 'The Cellar' series, Perennial has churned out their take on a Mexican hot chocolate. The beer is an American Imperial Stout in style and is brewed with ancho chili peppers, cacao nibs, freshly ground cinnamon sticks, and freshly cut and scraped vanilla beans.

The beer pours out deep brown with a light brown head and wonderful lacing. The smell of the beer showcases what you will experience during the drink. You're able to individually pull out each of the ingredients used both in the aroma and throughout the drink. Upfront on the drink you get the blend of chocolate and vanilla with a little cinnamon. On the swallow you get a pop of the cinnamon and a pleasant heat from the chili peppers. The heat - which isn't over or underdone - really comes from the peppers, not from the alcohol. The beer drinks dangerously smooth for it's higher ABV and is one you can sip all night if it suits your fancy.

Overall, an amazing beer that I highly recommend either driving to St Louis for or looking for people to trade with for their 750ml bottles. It's sure to be an highly anticipated annual release from one of St Louis' newest breweries.

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Abraxas from Perennial Artisan Ales
98 out of 100 based on 273 ratings.
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