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Chaco Canyon Gold - Empyrean Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Chaco Canyon GoldChaco Canyon Gold

Educational use only; do not reuse.

60 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 60
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 3.43
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 0
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Empyrean Brewing Company visit their website
Nebraska, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: PhantomVodoo on 07-29-2002

We brew this easy-going golden ale with a bit of Nebraska honey for a unique, sweet-yet-dry character, balanced with a crisp hop finish. Brewed with American, English & German grown barley, American hops and Nebraska honey.

21 IBU
View: Beers (23) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 60 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Arenbeer
4.62/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a snifter. Thanks alot to koopa for this one.

A- Pours a nice golden honey yellow with an thin 1 finger white head with a lot of carbonation. Fresher bottle according to the date. Clear as day

S- A nice blend of piney hops, pale malts, and a really nice sweetness from the honey.

T- Fresh pale malts and like the smell, has a great sweetened hop flavor. Kind of like a heavy carbonated tea.

M- Light body with a pretty good amount of carbonation and a nice wet finish


Photo of BeerWithMike
4.56/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampling right now on 2/5/14. Had this in a past a few times. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a classic pint glass.

Pours a rich honey color with a very thin white head that lasts the who time. Lots of spotty lacing is seen with each sip that stays on the sides of the glass. perfect carbonation. The aroma is of grains with sweet honey. Very nice aroma. The taste is smooth and refreshing with a perfect amount of honey that is noted in the finish. A great brew for anytime of the year.

Photo of Daverocker1
4/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of ssjkyle
4/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of BearMittens
4/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of bditty187
3.98/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Translucent gold hue, small white head, fair retention, sparse unorganized lace. Soft nose with kisses of raw honey, hints of caramel malt and cereal. The bouquet is pleasant and inviting but not very potent. The flavorfulness of the palate comes as a surprise… the hops are much more prevalent in the taste, pleasantly bitter. Soft notes of honey, cereal, and caramel malts add tasty complexity. Very tasty! Modest carbonation, medium-light body… ideal mouthfeel. The aftertaste is “more-ish” with hoppy-caramel-cereal. I wish this Empyrean product were readily available in Omaha because I’d gladly drink more of it. It is most similar to New Belgium’s Loft.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.92/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #59 (December 2011):

LOOK: Weathered gold hue, sticky lace

SMELL: Fresh-baked bread, faint floral hop, hint of pear, slightly nutty, clean

TASTE: Dry bread crust, smooth, dry, hint of alcohol, herbal, floral, very faint fruitiness, balancing hop bitterness, biscuity, grainy dry finish

Brewed with Nebraska honey, this brew brings some nice depth and finished honey tones. A very tasty and versatile beer, making for a great first beer of the day, session beer, and intro to better beers for the timid novice beer drinker. The brewery recommends pairing with Southwest cuisines. We agree.

Photo of u2carew
3.88/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz stubby
A) Pours with a finger thick head then settles to a thin lacing at the edge of the glass. Gold colored body with a slight bit of haze.
S) Grains. Caramel. Earthy.
T) Grainy sweetness from start to finish. Subtle hop bite in the finish.
M) Light body. Fizzy. Chalky in the finish.
O) A good brew. I'd definitely have another.

Photo of TippySelenoid
3.85/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Hazy gold. White head. Beautiful lacing.

It smells kind of peppery, there is a sweet maltiness as well.

This beer has more than I would have thought. There is a grassy/peppery hop presence. There is also a big honey flavor as well, but this beer is not sweet. The hops balance it out nicely.

It's a shade lighter than medium bodied and crisp.

When I see a beer with the word honey in the name I usually prepare myself for a sweet mess of a beer. Thgis is the first beer that I've had that really bucks that trend. A flavorful, drinkable beer.

Photo of UnionMade
3.82/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy honey gold, ironically enough, pretty good clarity for a bottle conditioned beer. The color is a little flat, lacking brilliance. It has a slightly whitish tone, like an overcast sky. A short froth of alabaster head forms with a vigorous pour, dropping immediately into a level coating, bordered by a thicker collar. The collar keeps through the glass, although there isn't much in the way of lace. This one small amoeba of lace is clinging stubbornly to the glass, directly opposite of the side I'm drinking on, and I have to give it credit for it's tenacity. It stuck there from start to finish. Looking at it closely, it's formed of about 150 incredibly tiny bubbles that are all exactly the same size. My eyes strain to make out the individual spheres.
The aroma is rather grainy, with a moderate grassy/floral hop presence. The honey is just a subtle hint wafting in the background. Much more robust than I expected. A slightly biscuity base maltiness, with some sourish wheat malt. Interesting and unexpected.
The flavor starts out lighter than expected, with an instant wheat crispness and a bit of grainy, biscuity malt. The honey creeps in through the middle, much more present than the aroma suggests. An interesting floral, clover honey flavor that blends well with the dusty wheat. A slight bready yeast flavor throughout, particularly in the very end. Faint grassy and floral esters, with a dash of pear. The honey and wheat continue into the finish, meeting a mild, understated floral/grassy hopping. I'd venture to guess Northern Brewer. The wheat takes on a sourish tone, finishing the beer surprisingly dry. A touch of lime in the end, adding a slight citric acidity. The aftertaste snaps off pretty clean, only a light floral honey flavor clinging to the tongue. Light to medium bodied, with a soft, silky carbonation whisking across your tastebuds. Pleasant, soft mouthfeel makes this an easy quaffer, although a touch of grainy roughness keeps your tastebuds' attention.
I'm very rarely impressed by honey in beer, but this is very nice. Similar to Magic Hat's Braggot in the honey flavor. It lacks any real sweetness, but imparts a soft, underlying floral flavor and adding some dryness to the finish. Nice stuff, very different from what I was expecting.
Thanks to Bditty for the bottle!

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.8/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Honey Gold it says in the name, and honey gold it looks in the glass, no doubt about it, with a small, departing white head.
Aroma: soft, calm, mellow sweetness, just a hint of honey, bright and pretty.
Taste: a most welcome hoppy blitzes the tongue, buzzing like a honey bee, then it's all smooth-sailing, light, yummy. Light to medium body, tasty texture, nice finish. Quite a nice little ale, I could see it sitting in for a session or just a light change of pace for the palate.

Thanks again to bditty!

Photo of DantooineBBQ
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of OregonGrown7
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of erjbeer
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of mfl620ks
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of dpnelson1978
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into Duvel tulip.

$8.99 / 6 pk.

S: Mostly wheat with a hint of honey.

A: Hazy gold to amber body. Loose, rocky head with some lacing.

T: Wheat beer all the way. It is good, but there really is no honey taste.

M: Light grainy body. Medium to high carbonation.

D: Light and crisp, and very drinkable.

O: Pretty decent beer, but a honey wheat should have a honey taste.

Photo of ZAP
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For the style this is a decent American Blonde Ale...the aroma is a sweetish and yes makes one think of honey...the flavor has a little bit of a graininess and a touch of honey sweetness....but more so it has an herbal/fruity (apples/pears) hop dimension that lingers on the finish. Nice balance to this beer and some nice flavors. Body is medium...Drinks nice...not too thin...decent but not overdone carbonation.

Solid beer. Would I buy a six pack of it? Probably not but it is decent enough.

My first of six singles I have to try from this brewery.

Photo of beagle75
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A: Clear, medium golden color with one finger of diminishing white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass while scattered bubbles rise singly in the column.

S: Crisp bready malt evokes qualities of Bavarian helles. Other threads suggest berry fruit and trace amounts of mint.

T: Begins dry, with toasted crackery malt and earthy hop aromatics. Acidity is moderate, combining some carbonic and citric qualities. Flavors sweeten into the middle, where estery fruit realizes the potential suggested by the berry in the nose. Pleasant malt sticks to the palate throughout, joined by minor astringent hop flavors in the mildly bitter finish.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, acidic on the palate in a lively way, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This is a fairly enjoyable light ale that captures some favorable pale malt qualities. I'd like to see a variant receive aggressive dry-hopping to make for a memorable low-gravity IPA.

Photo of Hoptometrist
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap into a shaker glass.

A- Poured a clear light golden color with soapy white head that left splashy lace.

S- Lots of honey sweetness, some bready notes, and some corn notes.

T- Really big honey sweetness but the beer is definitely not cloyingly sweet. Some bready and biscuity notes, and quite a bit of fruity notes.

M- Light, prickly carbonation, semi-dry finish, and quite refreshing.

O- This would be a great summer session beer. It is very easy drinking and balanced.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sunny pueblo gold with a thick slice of eggshell colored foam covering the mouth of the glass. The head is respectably persistent and does a pretty good job laying down lace. No complaints here.

The aroma is American blonde ale-like. In other words, it lacks personality. Each sniff delivers untoasted malt and a whiff of earthy-herbal hops. No real estery fruitiness means that American pale lager would work as well.

Chaco Canyon is (slightly) better beer on the palate, but it still isn't a standout by any means. Blame the constraints of the style, not the brewers. It feels like most of the original 21 IBUs have hung around and the finish is reasonably crisp and clean.

The flavor profile is essentially a reprise of the aroma. Untoasted cereal grains lay down an acceptable malt base and non-citrus zesty hops add a countering bitterness for the classic yin-and-yang of well-crafted beer. Nebraska honey is not appreciated.

The mouthfeel is easily medium for the style/ABV and the carbonation is fine and dandy. The bubbles have just the right amount of tongue tingling energy, while stopping well short of buzzy.

Chaco Canyon is a National Historical Park in Northwest New Mexico that has the highest concentration of pueblos in the the U.S. Chaco Canyon Honey Gold is another good brew from Empyrean that should complement most foods very well. Solo, it's a little lacking in the pizzazz department.

Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden in color with a slight brown hue. Minimal white head.
Aroma of slightly sweet, toasty pale malt and fruity hops.

Taste shows a toasty, toffee malt backbone. Slightly sweet. Fruity hop balance. Light and refreshing, some crispness. Hint of honey. Malt and fruit linger a bit long on the palate.

Good mouthfeel and drinkability.

Overall, a solid golden ale. Big thanks to bditty187 for the bottle!

Photo of ghebel
3.58/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Clear, gold color. 3/4 inch white head that fades quickly, but leaves some legs on the glass.

S - Mild malt, piney hops and background honey. Balanced. Have to let it warm a bit to get the full aroma.

T - Mild bitterness that fades slowly. Balanced here too. Sweet honey aftertaste that I find surprisingly good.

M - Thin, but that is what it is supposed to be.

D - Very drinkable. I could drink a few. This is a good alternative to the American macro brews.

Overall - Pleasantly surprised. Happy for the guys that brew this right down the road. I will have to visit the brewery sometime.

Photo of koopa
3.58/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle received from a friend out west.

Appearance: Pours a dull penny bronze that is fairly transparent...a bit murky at most. Crown is white, 1 finger, shows moderate retention and good lace. I'd give it a 3.8 if I could.

Smell: Mild mixture of pale malt, honey, and a hint of tea.

Taste: Same as the nose.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin and under carbonated yet fairly crisp. Confusing I know.

Drinkability: If the mouthfeel or the taste were better I'd give this a higher score in the drinkability department. The beer presents no challenge, just limitation.

Photo of beerbrains
3.5/5  rDev +2%

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Chaco Canyon Gold from Empyrean Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.