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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.

58 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 58
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 3.43
pDev: 14.58%
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerdhabelly
2.75/5  rDev -19.8%

beerdhabelly, Oct 26, 2012
Photo of YalovaIA
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

YalovaIA, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of Hellpop65
3/5  rDev -12.5%

Hellpop65, Sep 23, 2012
Photo of u2carew
3.9/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

u2carew, Sep 15, 2012
Photo of russpowell
3.35/5  rDev -2.3%
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

russpowell, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of beerbrains
3.5/5  rDev +2%

beerbrains, Jul 21, 2012
Photo of ssjkyle
4/5  rDev +16.6%

ssjkyle, Jul 14, 2012
Photo of mwayne
3/5  rDev -12.5%

mwayne, Jun 10, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
3.2/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Mora2000, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.88/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

BeerAdvocate, May 02, 2012
Photo of beagle75
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

beagle75, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of mothman
2.7/5  rDev -21.3%
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.

mothman, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of RDW
2.5/5  rDev -27.1%

RDW, Mar 04, 2012
Photo of Cramerican
3.5/5  rDev +2%

Cramerican, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of TrojanWheels
3.5/5  rDev +2%

TrojanWheels, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of TippySelenoid
3.88/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

TippySelenoid, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of KuehneBe
3.5/5  rDev +2%

KuehneBe, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +16.6%

Exiled, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of ZAP
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

ZAP, Oct 01, 2011
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.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of Arenbeer
4.65/5  rDev +35.6%
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


Arenbeer, Oct 05, 2010
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.

koopa, Sep 06, 2010
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.

dpnelson1978, Nov 02, 2009
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.

ghebel, Jan 28, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
2.9/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

BEERchitect, Jan 18, 2008
Chaco Canyon Gold from Empyrean Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.