Preservation Series: Or Xata - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Preservation Series: Or XataPreservation Series: Or Xata

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

336 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 336
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.05%
Wants: 25
Gots: 51 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ehammond1 on 07-15-2013

Blonde ale brewed with rice, cinnamon, and vanilla beans.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 336 | Reviews: 41
Photo of magictacosinus
3.39/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a teku glass. Split with friends as I expect this to be sweet. Bottling date is listed as "6/18/13," so a little old at this point.

Pours a much darker color than expected - rather than a pale, straw blond color that I anticipated, this was far more darkened and amber tinged, with slight notes of orange at the sides. Maintains a fizzy, slightly bubbly head at the top that eventually dissipates into a modest ring without leaving too much lacing behind. Definitely looks thick with all of the sugars added in the brewing process, but alas, the ABV is notably low as far as The Bruery's beers go and it's not as hearty looking. A pretty unassuming appearance here, especially considering the recipe at hand.

Smells ridiculously sweet - even more than I anticipated it. It definitely REMINDS me of horchata (which, when done correctly, is one of my favorite drinks), but there's definitely a lot more sweetened, pastry-like conditions at play here. Notes of caramel, butterscotch, caramel, toffee, and then (finally) some cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and baking soda. Some fruitiness, I suppose (ranging from stone fruit to apples - maybe), and definitely some grainy and bready consistency in the mix, but the sugars are enormously overpowering, even here. I hope it doesn't end up being a booze or sugar bomb.

Ahhh!! Definitely a butterscotch and toffee bomb as the beer immediately hits the palate. Sweet caramel and sugar cane follow right away. Notes of vanilla beans, cinnamon, nutmeg, and apples come in afterwards. This is not like horchata at all, but far more similar to the sweetness and feel of arroz con leche (rice pudding) or Mexican-style flan. Luckily, there's a chewy, thick backbone that elevates that flavor to the point that it really DOES resemble a hearty dessert of sorts (indeed, the flan-like texture is astonishing), and while it's definitely refreshing in terms of carbonation and feel, it's pretty goddamn sweet.

Luckily, this paired amazingly well with spicy food, as any great dessert wine does - the sweetness would cut the spiciness and leave behind a playful and warm, toasty caramel and honey finish that made it fabulous for the occasion. Definitely not recommended on its own unless you enjoy the sensation of slowly acquiring diabetes, and far better paired with either spicy Mexican or Thai food. I heard from an acquaintance that this fell off in quality about a month in - and I can tell. This does remind me of a rather sweet, shake-like horchata I had in SD earlier this year. Otherwise, it's definitely not the most practical offering but it definitely was worth trying.

Photo of mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 10/27/13 notes. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Bruery tulip, paired with some Mexican food.

a - Pours a somewhat transparent amber brown color with two inches of light tan head and low to moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of vanilla, cream, bready malts, and lots of cinnamon. It is nice; not a lot going on but a lot of vanilla and cinnamon which work well together.

t - Tastes of cinnamon, vanilla, cream, milk, spices, bready malts, and dough. Taste is very close to cream soda. Interesting, and pretty good.

m - Light body and moderate carbonation. Body is a bit too thin and watery for me.

o - Overall a very interesting beer that smells and tastes good, in small quantities, and I imagine is exactly what they were going for. If I had a 2 oz. pour of this is at a festival, or a 4oz. pour as part of a flight, I could find myself really liking this one even more, but trying to take down half a bottle got a little rough on the back end of the glass, as it is very sweet. Worth checking out, and goes well with Mexican food, but share the bottle with 3-4 other people.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 9.30.13

A - Pours a hazy, medium to light amber with a large fizzy off-white head that fades pretty fast.

S - Strong nose, vanilla, sweet, and some cinnamon that packs a punch.

T - Lots of vanilla and cinnamon, very sweet from the rice.

D - Good carbonation with a light body.

O - Sweet, but great flavors. A truly unique beer, fun stuff.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured a cloudy, milky color with a moderate white cap, some bubbles and scarce lacing

S: Cinnamon dominant with a bit of milky and vanilla notes in the mix.

T : Taste is cinnamon and milk upfront with a good bit of vanilla. It has a tapioca pudding taste. The finish is sweet, sordove silky and milky

M: Light-medium bodied, well carbonated. Creamy yet spicey and sweet.

O: My wife being Mexican and loving horchata was skeptical but we tried and liked it. Not my cup of tea but not a bad beer. I especially liked the cinnamon.

Photo of TastefulNudity
4.46/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL split with the girlfriend over some Kogi BBQ (look it up if you're in the LA area, delicious).

Appearance: Darker than expected for a horchata beer. Start pouring and girlfriend goes "oh god I didn't know it was a dark beer". Orange with a foamy white head, expected lacing and a large head but kinda fizzled out. I'd have no idea what the flavor was by the appearance, but it looks like beer at least.

Smell: While cold, not much. Pulled some vanilla and a tiny dash of cinnamon. While warming up, it gets much better. Pure vanilla, a nice topper of cinnamon, smells almost creamy.

Taste: Starts with an estery fruitiness (at first I wasn't sure if I liked this but it added another dimension), waves of creamy vanilla and cinnamon while staying light and refreshing. No hops to speak of. Surprisingly, alcohol heat at the end. Granted, 7% isn't tiny, but I expected it to be hidden. This is a sweet, sweet beer, and I love it.

Mouthfeel: This is the reason I wanted to write a review of this beer. Milky, creamy, lactose. I've never had a beer that fills the mouth like this. Feels almost like taking swigs of milk. I think the only way to improve the mouthfeel on this would be to serve it on nitro, which I don't ever see happening.

Overall: Let's just say that my girlfriend hates the IPAs and imperial syrups I normally drink, and she told me, "I'd buy this to drink for myself." She was pretty sad when I told her they'd probably only ever brew this once. If you enjoy horchata, you will enjoy this brew.

Photo of Axnjxn
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle into a Deschutes teku glass. 6/20/13 bottling date.

Pours a hazy orange color with an appropriate inch thick head. Smell is very pronounced with cinnamon being the dominant aroma, but i also get a good amount of vanilla as well. the taste is very sweet with a lot of cinnamon and sweet candy flavors. vanilla is on the back end. there is a lingering sweetness here too... its much sweeter than i anticipated. that being said i see this as a hit or miss beer for a lot of folks, if sweet candy isnt your thing in your beer, you might not like this one. Medium bodied, mild carbonation.

overall i enjoyed it a lot, but not for everyone.

Photo of inlimbo77
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml, Spring 2013
The Bruery

A: Looks like an IPA in the glass. Opaque deep orange color. Can't see much through it. Nice full finger of off white head. Faded quickly into a thin layer.

S: Definitely pulling that spice note from the cinnamon, mixing with sweet vanilla. Sweet creamy hints from the added lactose? As it warms it almost smells like a candle to me.

T: Tip of the tongue, hit with that cinnamon spice. As the sip progresses into the middle of the mouth you get that Belgian blonde aspect of it mixed with the vanilla. The lactose and rice work to make the mouthfeel almost creamy. Finish isn't dry, because of the lingering sweetness.

M: Big medium because of how creamy and full the lactose makes it.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at The Bruery in Placentia, CA.

Pours a clear gold with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, vanilla, cinnamon, and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with vanilla, cinnamon, and horchata flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium body mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is more horchata like in the taste versus the smell.

Photo of Javi_bobby
4.97/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smells just like horchata
This beer is creamy, smooth and tastes just like horchata. Has little to no head at the top and leaves no lacing on the glass. Great with mexican food. If you have a chance to grab one of these you should try it. One of my favorite beers

Photo of Azyrien
4.85/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Brilliant. Horchata + carbonation + 7% alcohol. This may be my new favorite beer - it needs to be in a bottle more often. This beer is like a cream soda, an horchata, and a "butter beer" from Potter-verse all in one. Do yourself a favor and try it!

Photo of jlindros
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle split with rudzud.

Nice creamy bubbly 1 finger head fades at a med pace with plenty of lacing, hazy murky slight chestnut maroon apple brown color.

Nose is really interesting, lots of vanilla and cinnamon, caramel galore, my brain wants to think apple but none, flan thick sweet candy, tons of candied aromas but not burnt, but dulce de leche sweet creamy. Cinnamon and vanilla stick through it all.

Taste is super sweet like maple syrup, very syrupy, I want it on pancakes. Plenty more cinnamon in there again but not spicy cinnamon, candy like, lots of caramel again, so much candy syrup. Mild vanilla in there, more maple creams, fairly creamy too with light rice pudding, light warning apple. Finish is sweet and sticky, plenty more maple candy, caramel, light cinnamon and vanilla.

Mouth is syrupy, thicker, decent carb, decent creamy feel, light warming booze.

Overall, ehhhh, I want to like this, it has the flavors you'd expect, but for me who doesn't eat or drink anything sweet, it's hard to get through more than a sip or two. However, this with dessert, or mixed in ice cream or pancakes yum.

Photo of rudzud
4.34/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split with JLindros as part of our Bruery hoarders membership.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice super hazy honey hue with a two finger head that fades to leave thin clouds and light lacing.

S - Aromas of orchata hands down. Perfectly executed aroma, vanilla, cinnamon, super sweet sugars, caramel notes, like flan or dulce leche . Excellent!

T - Taste is quite sweet, rich caramel, vanilla, light cinnamon in the background, big rice pudding notes, very dessert like. Light alcohol. This drinks like a sweet orchata. Pleasant but sweet.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, prevents it from being super syrupy.

O - Overall I enjoyed this beer, it would be a chore to get through a whole bottle though. Still, very well executed take on the cultural beverage.

Photo of ThickNStout
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle acquired through the Reserve Society. Bottled 6/18/13. Served in a Bruery snifter.

Pours a golden tan hue with almost two fingers of dense near white head. Head fades to a thick halo that laces well.

Smells of sweet cream, vanilla and a little cinnamon spice. Yum.

Soft vanilla ice cream, cinnamon and gingerbread cookie with just a slight tickle of alcohol. Very easy to drink.

Creamy medium feel with just a tad more carbonation than I'd prefer for the body. Sweet, smooth gingerbread finish.

This is really good. And goes down super easily. I finished a whole bottle in less than a half hour like it was nothing (and felt the subsequent buzz). A slightly different beer- I'd almost say it's like a blonde version of a gingerbread stout. Worth a try for sure.

Photo of Ruderaven52
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 ml bottle into snifter.

Hazy-ish, light copper. Very thin head with a few bubbles lingering on the side, but this is not lacing.

This smells like a rice, cinnamon, vanilla ice cream. I am not a huge Horchata fan, but this smells like a Horchata dessert. A Horchata float. Smells on the sweet side.

This taste is Horchata. Lots of vanilla and rice. Not quite as sweet as the smell. This gets better with every sip. The bottles says drink fresh, but this is almost two month old now (bottle 6/19/13). I imagine the taste is even more spot on Horchata coming off the bottling line. All the cinnamon comes on the finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy. Cream soda with lighter carbonation. Nice.

Overall, while I don't love Horchata, this beer is right on the money. They made Horchata into a beer! The bottle calls this a blonde beer, but it is what it is. Great experimental brew (odd, but tasty).

Photo of litheum94
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, with a bottled on date of 6/9/13.

The body is a dark golden color, with a bubbly, dirty white head. The head fizzes out to a nothingness, leaving no trace behind.

The aromas nail the essence of horchata perfectly: cinnamon, vanilla, rice and lactose. Yup. That’s horchata.

The body has a creamy feel to it, with flavors of vanilla and a lactose sweetness. A grainy essence comes up, with a huge, spicy bite of cinnamon and cloves. There’s a thin-bodied, rice flavor towards the end, with a lingering sweetness, but with a somewhat dry finish from the carbonation.

This beer really does what it sets out to accomplish, and drinks exactly like an alcoholic horchata. This is an even better option to pair with Mexican food, as well as being a great summertime beer. I'd love to have a 4 pack of tallboys for a day at the beach.

Photo of ehammond1
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (2013)

The Bruery
Placentia, CA

A murky copper in color--a melted, sun-kissed penny. Small near-white head. Not the stickiest of beers, though there are some irregular spotting and miscelanous bubbles left down the glass. Pretty enough, though this is an interesting, and certainly unique, style to judge.

This truly smells like the Mexican drink horchata, which happens to be a favorite of mine. A milky, creamy sweetness is met by distinctive cinnamon and vanilla notes. There's a soft, mild grain presence in the aroma, though it's a bit more discernible in the flavor.

The milky sweetness, cinnamon, and vanilla are all present in the flavor, and this tastes more and more like horchata as it warms. Lingering note of grain/rice. The cinnamon is a touch more dominant than the vanilla, but the cinnamon is merely a flavor, as opposed to presenting a harsh and/or bitter spice that I've experienced in other beers brewed with cinnamon. It doesn't leave my tongue feeling rough/abused, like cinnamon can.

Medium bodied with lower carbonation. While stylistically, it could perhaps use a bit more carbonation, I think The Bruery nailed their intended mouthfeel/carbonation level with this one.

A really delicious American experimental ale, and I think The Bruery pulled off exactly what they intended with this one. Looking forward to pairing my next bottle with carne asada nachos...because, why not?

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Preservation Series: Or Xata from The Bruery
87 out of 100 based on 336 ratings.