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Chaco Canyon Gold - Empyrean Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Chaco Canyon GoldChaco Canyon Gold

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

52 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 52
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 14.12%
Wants: 0
Gots: 4 | 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:
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

(Beer added by: PhantomVodoo on 07-29-2002)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2010 13:50:45 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of BEERchitect


2.9/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Perhaps a bit disapointed in this beer. Expecting a clean, golden lager with crisp pilsner character and soft esters. The beer took on a haze that never settled and gave a slight head retention that fleeted rather quickly. Aromas of bruised apples and vegetables took over, while the softer malt base, pleasant spiciness, nor the hops could never balance the beer. Flavors were more complex than prefered: phenols, sulfers, and fruitiness is quite high and never sold me on the style. The body lost carbonation quickly, letting the beer sit too heavily and sweetly on the toung. Finishes with that strong apple / fruity flavor. I would have thought that something was wrong with this beer, except the same apple, sulfer flavors also came through in the Scotch Ale as well.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2008 20:52:10 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2003 21:53:16 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of russpowell


3.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours honey colored with 3 fingers of ivory head. Srellar head retention & lacing

S: Grassyness & green apple & some floral hops

T: Grassyness, green apple skins, crackery notes & dryness up front. Some grainy astrgingey as this warms, more grassyness& a slight bit of caramel too. Finishes tart with green apple bitterness & a touch of lemon

MF: Light bodied, firm carbonation, okay balance

Drinkable, but run of the mill, great... now I have five more of these to ge through

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2012 01:17:05 | More by russpowell
Photo of Mora2000


3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle from his home state.

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is fairly basic, with a lot of honey and wheat coming through. That also pretty much describes the flavor, which has some honey, wheat and some graininess. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2012 03:22:27 | More by Mora2000
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

2.7/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a white head. Color is a clear golden orange. Leaves nice lace.

Aroma: Wheat and honey. Lagerish. Bready malts.

Taste: Wheat with a noticeable lager flavor to it. Very bready. Light honey. Light off flavor.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and light. Decent carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, kind of boring. Not much to this one. Not overly flavorful.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2012 21:25:08 | More by mothman
Photo of tavernjef


3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden honey yellow in color with a small off-white head thats loose on top and retains for a short while before fading to a very thin ring and drippy lace. Smell has some faint sweet malts, light caramel sense and honey; soft nose. Taste is a weakened brigade of soft malts lending a touch of doughnuts and caramel, has a small but nice little floral sweet hop bite that gives it a nudge past the midway point and has adequate carbonation but a lighter body feel with a hint of honey that creeps in after the crispy clean finish.
Not a bad beer but something I wouldn't return to.

Thanks to bditty187 for the bottles.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2003 01:16:18 | More by tavernjef
Photo of ZAP


3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2011 20:25:30 | More by ZAP
Photo of Exiled


4/5  rDev +15.3%

11-24-2011 20:04:57 | More by Exiled
Photo of koopa

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2010 20:56:58 | More by koopa
Photo of BeerAdvocate


3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2012 10:16:50 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of bditty187


4/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2002 06:26:09 | More by bditty187
Photo of MinorThreat


3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

05-23-2013 16:53:47 | More by MinorThreat
Photo of UnionMade


3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2004 05:40:44 | More by UnionMade
Photo of brandon911


3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

11-30-2013 03:20:20 | More by brandon911
Photo of beagle75


3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2012 21:42:42 | More by beagle75
Photo of Eric908

South Dakota

3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

02-14-2013 04:19:54 | More by Eric908
Photo of OregonGrown7


3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

11-09-2012 23:26:32 | More by OregonGrown7
Photo of Cramerican

North Dakota

3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

02-16-2012 03:06:39 | More by Cramerican
Photo of aforbes10


2.25/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at Lazlo's, which is Empyrean's resteraunt. This is one of their most popular beers and i've seen it in a lot of places in six packs, but i really was not impressed when i ordered one.

Poured a clear golden color, as you might expect from a blonde. no head, at least not when it got to the table.

no real odor, except maybe a bit of honey.

Taste of some honey and some malt. really just very bland though. i feel dirty saying it really has any real "flavor" at all.

Wouldn't want another of these.

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2006 14:22:07 | More by aforbes10
Photo of u2carew


3.9/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2012 19:59:54 | More by u2carew
Photo of Hoptometrist


3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2014 02:08:59 | More by Hoptometrist
Photo of ssjkyle


4/5  rDev +15.3%

07-14-2012 04:32:54 | More by ssjkyle
Photo of RDW


2.5/5  rDev -28%

03-04-2012 03:53:35 | More by RDW
Photo of Hellpop65


3/5  rDev -13.5%

09-23-2012 17:51:28 | More by Hellpop65
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Chaco Canyon Gold from Empyrean Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.