Beer and Pavement

Beer Review: Perennial Artisan Ales Abraxas

Posted in Beer, Review by SM on January 3, 2012

Beer: Abraxas

Brewery: Perennial Artisan Ales (St. Louis, MO)

Style: Imperial Stout

Glass: Wine

Context: Just as we had decided that our holiday partying was over, the neighbors across the street invited us over for a drink. I grabbed this NYE orphan from the fridge to contribute. We sat around as our hosts prepped their dinner and kids played. Most interesting observation of the beer by my neighbor, Jerry, was this: “It’s a mouthful.” Exactly.

Appearance: Black. Lively carbonation creates a creamy, chocolate mousse-like foam. The carbonation is more than I’m typically used to from imperial stouts, but It’s welcome. Tons of lacing…or should I say “legs” as we sipped this monster from wine glasses.

Aroma: Faintly rich (Is that possible?) with notes of chiles, cinnamon, and chocolate. Roastiness is also there. I didn’t sense any vanilla, but I suspect vanilla was used more to bring out the chocolate flavors in the nibs rather than to stand alone.

Palate: The high amount of carbonation helps to coat the mouth with chiles. It’s heavy and thick, but not syrupy – more creamy than anything. Still, those chiles arise again with some heat. And, yes, it’s a mouthful.

Flavor: Rather balanced brew as the chiles stand out at first, augmented by the cinnamon, followed by rich chocolate. Again, the vanilla seems to assist the chocolate nibs rather than creating space for itself.

Suggested Soundtrack: Mogwai’s Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will is as rich and complex as this beer, providing enough spice to balance with dark cacao nibs.

Thoughts: This is the first beer I’ve had from Perennial, one St. Louis’ newest breweries. It’s a whole lotta beer, but I’d like to see what their more delicate fair is like. Still, it’s a nice surprise to discover such an intense beer from a relatively new brewery, it’s encouraging to think what’s next.

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4 Responses

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  1. Bill Farr said, on January 3, 2012 at 8:48 am

    I think there’s a difference between lacing and legs — in wine, legs are rivulets of liquid that run down the glass in a straight line after you’ve drunk or swirled the wine and returned the glass to its upright position. The legs phenomenon is often found in higher-alcohol wines (and sometimes in spirits and liqueurs). Lacing is more the foam that clings to the side of the glass as the liquid level drops, and so is pretty much restricted to beer (and to ice cream sodas!).

    Happy new year! My apologies for being pedantic in my first comment of the year!

    • Zac said, on January 3, 2012 at 8:59 am

      No, I appreciate the clarification. I always think of lacing as beer’s legs, but they really are apple and oranges. That’s what I get for trying to be cute with my review. Happy New Year!

  2. Lyrics, Libations, and Life said, on January 3, 2012 at 10:50 am

    I like the look of it from the picture. I’ll be on the lookout for this one for sure. Nice review!

    • Zac said, on January 3, 2012 at 11:01 am

      FYI-It’s only currently available in StL, but the buzz around this brewery is pretty strong. I’d suspect they’ll expand distribution within the next couple of years.


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