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Abraxas | Perennial Artisan Ales

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BA SCORE
98
world-class
283 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:
283
Ratings:
2,317
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
23.02%
 
 
Wants:
1,202
Gots:
690
For Trade:
76
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 283 | Ratings: 2,317
Photo of JustinMatthew
4.8/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 1, 2011 poured a very dark brown an almost black to a Victory tulip glass. Fingers with of rich khaki colored head dissipates on top. Smell is vibrant: chocolate and cinnamon come across very nicely maybe a touch of nutmeg and vanilla. The taste on this is fantastic: cinnamon really shines with a nice balance of chocolate and chilli peppers. Roasted coffee and slight vanilla peeking out in there. Perfect. Coating mouthfeel, very rich and soothing. This beer is top notch, the price is a little high but it truly is one of the best representations of the style.

Big Thanks to Andrew for this!

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Up from Jacksonville FL and stopped in at the brewery.

A: half finger dark tan head on a jet black body. Excellent lacing.

S: dark chocolate, vanilla, chili peppers, coffee.

T: tons of dark chocolate throughout with hints of espresso bitterness and Regaulr coffee. Vanilla and Cinnamon, red peppers round this one out.

M: full body and low to moderate carbonation. Fairly smooth.

Overall: complex, great chocolate presence with spicey notes that make this unique and very memorable. Excellent beer, glad I was here for the release.

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Photo of rodkin
4.37/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 1.

Thick, thick, thick, like motor oil. Small tan head that dissipates pretty quickly, but there's visible bubbling and carbonation throughout.

Smell is excellent. Chocolate, chili, cinnamon, vanilla, maybe a tiny bit of roast. Really rich and decadent, kind of a brownie batter kind of smell.

Taste is bigger on the bitterness and the spice. I was surprised at how much the spice has held up despite the age on this bottle. There's some dark chocolate, cinnamon, chili, bitter coffee roast, maybe a slight bit of vanilla sweetness. Not as good as the nose, but still very good.

Mouthfeel is great. Thick, oily, coats the mouth. Nice carbonation.

What a great stout. This combination of flavors is just excellent, and I think I'd like it almost no matter who did it, or how. Hunahpu's is still king, but this is a damn fine alternative.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
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 jaasen64
3.71/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle thanks to Auror to bringing this to the tasting. Poured into Founders snifter, shared 3 ways.

A- Pours a completely opaque dark black with about a finger of very creamy mocha brown head that has decent retention and leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Lots of cinnamon followed by light chilis and some chocolate. Definitely above average aroma strength. Kind of a little bit too much cinnamon and overall the smell is a little bit off-putting, definitely unique though.

T- Lots of cinnamon, some light chili peppers that don't add too much heat but a little bit of flavor, finishes with some dark chocolate mixed with light cinnamon that lingers on the palate. Interesting, not as off-putting as the aroma, but not bad. Chili builds a little bit as you drink but never too hot.

M- Creamy, a tiny bit thin for a double, smooth, a tiny bit syrupy but not bad. Easy to drink.

O- This was definitely an interesting beer. I wouldn't say I completely liked the taste but it was definitely an interesting try that I enjoyed having. I would have definitely toned down the cinnamon a little bit, I found that to be a tiny bit off putting but not bad. I'd recommend trying this if you like unique stouts.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color and almost flat. The aroma is almost herbal. Very much spicy, but it has an almost ginger aroma to it, though the chili peppers and cinnamon are there. Lots of licorice and roasted malt, too. The flavor is quite a bit sweeter than expected. Licorice, molasses, and burnt sugar to go with a bit of chocolate. The same chili character with a dash of cinnamon. Certainly an intensely flavored beer.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.05/5  rDev -8.6%
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 aasher
4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wedding tick: New tick #1 for the week. This beer pours a full bodied midnight black in color with a beautiful, creamy dark mocha head. It looks perfect! The nose is rich and malty. There is a lot of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg spice in the nose with dark chocolate, bitter coffee roast, and slight fresh, green (in terms of maturity) pepper. The nose changes as time goes on, making this one very complex and more enjoyable as you proceed. The flavors are big and full of bitter dark chocolate and coffee roast. There is also plenty of spice presence, cinnamon and nutmeg. There is also some freshly cut pepper in the finish but it is somewhat subdued (on purpose I would imagine, to satisfy more people). It has nice flavor and all of the ingredients work in unison. It drinks full in body and coats your palate. It's a nice beer and well worth the $19 or so per bottle. This is the closest thing I've seen to Hunahpu yet and perhaps better than current batches.

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Photo of shand
4.28/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

Coming from Tampa, FL, the land of Hunahpu, it'll be interesting to see another brewery's taste on the formula. This beer pours out deep black with two fingers of thick, mocha head. The aroma is more heavy on the cinnamon and chocolate than the roast, with a surprising amount of smoked character to it as well. Some of this might come from the Ancho chilis, which don't have a high level of heat, but plenty of spicy flavor. The taste is pretty heavily spiced with the cinnamon and the flavors of the chili. The chili really dominates this beer without contributing much heat at all. There's some roast, coffee, and vanilla in here for sure too, especially in the beginning. The mouthfeel isn't really that heavy, and it goes down fairly slickly. Some more heft on the body wouldn't hurt, but the heavy chili flavor excuses some of it. The drinkability is actually quite good. Overall, it's a good chili imperial stout. Come in expecting chili flavors without the heat, and you'll be happy.

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Photo of cmdmzmjm
4.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 Bottle into a Oversized Wine Glass

A- Nice! Black as it should be oily, about a 2 finger head and tan. Very nice looking Imp Stout

S- Smells of smoke, coffee, chili and bit of cinnamon but not much. Smell was pretty delicious but not my favorite smelling beer.

T- Amazing! I was not ready for this beer to be that good. The coffee at first, then a bit of vanilla. After that i taste the cinnamon and finished with some spicy tingle of the chili pepper. IT was perfectly balance. Its actually hard to describe.

M- Full body, thick and creamy. I really enjoyed drinking this one

O- This is probably the best beer out of St Louis. Im not sure how limited this supply is but if you can get it do it! I was lucky to get a few bottles. One down and going to try and age the other. I highly doubt it makes it past next week. Its way to good right now to wait.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.29/5  rDev -3.2%
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 -5.9%
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 -2.3%
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%
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 -7%
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 +2.5%
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 -7.9%
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 -7.9%
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 -0.9%
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 -8.6%
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 -5.2%
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 -2%
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 -10.2%
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 -0.2%
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 +3.8%
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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Abraxas from Perennial Artisan Ales
4.43 out of 5 based on 2,317 ratings.
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