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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Abraxas (Perennial Artisan Ales)

I got a pour of this brew from the tap at Perennial Artisan Ales in St. Louis. This has more than just a cool name. This imperial stout was heavenly. It was one that I had to stop to smell each time I took a sip. Good enough to get two bottles to take home (one for now and one to age). Unfortunately, I was there a week too early to get a bottle of their barrel-aged release.

General Thoughts
Look and Smell: This beer was jet black, but I noticed a slight amber tint to it that wasn't just lighting. It had a coffee-colored reverse head that settled to a slick on the top. The color and the wisp of froth reminded me of a freshly poured espresso/Turkish coffee. The complex smell was compelling. It was cinnamon spice, sweet sugar and caramel, spicy peppers (more as it warmed), pipe tobacco, bitter chocolate, ans vanilla. Everything that is right in this world was in that aroma.

Taste: It was very, very thick. It was sweet with a pepper burn. That balance was perfect. The spice wasn't hidden, but it wasn't amped up to the point that it overwhelmed. The pepper and cinnamon heat came out more as it warmed. It was like taking a big bite from a gourmet bar of the darkest chocolate. This was the essence of a winter warmer.

From the menu:
Imperial stout with cacao nibs, ancho chili, vanilla bean, and cinnamon.

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