Preservation Series: Or Xata | The Bruery

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Preservation Series: Or XataPreservation Series: Or Xata

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Blonde ale brewed with rice, cinnamon, and vanilla beans.

Added by ehammond1 on 07-15-2013

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Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 340
Photo of Domvan
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was an interest and unique brew. I would definitely try this again, but share with friends. Was very sweet as expected but a nice easy drinker for sure

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Photo of John_M
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm usually not a fan of super sweet beers Bruery makes, but for some reason, this one hit me just the right way.

The beer pours a golden amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. On the nose, this beer is pretty exotic, and I get very noticeable banana, vanilla, light cinamon and maybe a hint of coconut. The flavor profile is more of the same, with tropical fruit component even more pronounced. The amount of banana, vanilla and coconut you get in this beer is truly astonishing. Granted, the beer is definitely a bit sweet (would give taste a 4.5 otherwise), and it's pretty hard to imagine pounding down multiple glasses of this stuff. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but the beer delivers a ton of flavor, and the finish is long and pretty clean. The touch of lacto referenced on the menu does seem to give the beer a bit more viscousity than I was expecting. Abv. is pretty reasonable in this beer, so maybe that's why the alcohol is so unnoticeable (many of the sweet beers from Bruery are very, very boozy).

Impressive effort. Would definitely order this again.

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Photo of mike312
4.53/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

They really did nail it. Probably the best non-dark spiced beer I've ever had. Well integrated and nothing artificial about the flavors. The mouth feel is velvety, lending itself well to the vanilla. Makes me want to try White Chocolate.

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Photo of RobNewton
4.29/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The smell is kind of awful. I don't know what I'm about to get when I stick it under my nose, but then I taste it and BAM, there's the cinnamon, rice, and vanilla that you know is horchata! Is it the best beer ever, maybe not, but did they nail what it's supposed to be? Yes.

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Photo of nathanmiller
4.82/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I adore this beer. The smell and taste are delicious, and they absolutely nailed it. One sip and I feel like I'm at a taqueria on a hot summer day, drinking Horchata on ice out of a plastic cup with a faint dusting of cinnamon on top. I can't get enough of this.

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Photo of cvm4
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

A - Pours a red mahogany in color body with a one finger eggshell head. Not much retention or lacing going on here.

S - Definitely a healthy mix of cinnamon and vanilla on the nose. Like a reviewer below me stated, getting a cream soda vibe here.

T - Vanilla takes over here and the cinnamon goes to the background. The blonde base isn't hidden and a grainy aspect of rice pokes in & out.

M - Light body and medium carbonation. The vanilla wasn't cloying to me, but I could see how it would be for some.

O - Such a fun, easy drinking beer. The Bruery knows how to make an odd mix of ingredients come together and be a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of earljones199
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells very sweet with a lot of vanilla.

Tastes like cake batter. Very sweet taste with a lot of vanilla. Not a lot of booze in the taste. Pours a very yellow color with not much head. Very good!

My buddies didn't like it as much as me. Very sweet. Definitely a sipper.

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Photo of JulioH
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer is like drinking alcoholic horchata. I find it very cool, because most beers fall into the same categories, except for this type of beers. They are out there.

Or xata pours a nice yellow beer. Foamy. Smells a bit to some yeast and vegetables. Taste sweet.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.36/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a Cigar City pint glass.

A: Pours a dark gold to bronze with moderate haze, a thin off-white head and low visible carbonation.

S: Reminds me of cream soda. Vanilla, cinnamon, lactose creaminess, and overall sweet.

T: Big creamy sweet lactose and vanilla, cinnamon and Christmas spices, with some bready malts underneath. I don't get anything I could identify as rice. It finishes with more vanilla sweetness with a pinch of spice.

M: Full-bodied but still has a thin mouthfeel. Low carbonation sensation, though not quite flat. Modest alcohol presence.

O: This isn't offensive, but I don't find it particularly drinkable. I think a three-ounce taster would have been enough to see that it's a beer with some interesting flavors, and then been done with it. In the end, I couldn't make it through even my half-bottle pour before sharing it with the drain. Just too sweet and not enough complexity to make it worth pushing through.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Shared thanks the Mac, thanks man. This is a hard drink to rate as a beer persay, but as a drink it captures the original splendidly.

The beer has a great balance with the added ingredients, with the vanilla and cinnamon working great with the barrel, all in harmony. Both the smell and taste are great, it reminds me in many ways of a natural cola with vanilla beans or almost like a rum and coke in the best way if that makes sense. The carbonation even furthers this take on it since it has plenty of carbonation supporting the body of the beer. In a lot of ways, the aroma especially reminds me of a nice cool chai which it find very nice.

Overall an interesting and cool achievement by the bruery. A blond ale? No. But a cool drink? Definitely. It is refreshing and nice especially when the weather is getting hotter.

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Photo of PHBoiler
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Great scent of horchata with a big vanilla nose. Golden body that drinks quite smooth. There is a sweet bite at the beginning for me. The vanilla really takes over but you get a roundness from the rice. I'm not getting a ton of cinnamon which might add a little more depth. Really fun to try, but quite sweet.

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Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured into a tulip to a deep orange with a small fluffy off white head that fades quickly to a collar around the edge of the glass
S: smells of vanilla and cinnamon
T: tastes of vanilla, and cinnamon with some creamy sweetness. very impressive. Slight hint of some bitterness but mostly the flavors of horchata. Swallow is more vanilla, sweetness, and cinnamon
M: full and creamy on the palate with soft but adequate carbonation and a refreshing finish
O: This beer hit the marks they were going for and I'm sure fresh the vanilla was much more apparent. Very well crafted and very well done. I don't know if we'll be seeing this one again but I wouldn't be opposed to it.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into tulip.

A- Pours a translucent brownish, orange gold with about a half finger's white head that recedes to a thin layer leaving behind some spotty lacing. Fairly carbonated with a lot of small carbonation bubbles rising fairly fast.

S- Tons of cinnamon, a decent amount of vanilla bean that conflicts with the blonde ale aroma to create a weird slightly off-putting aroma, the rice doesn't contribute too much to the aroma. Fairly aromatic, but not a huge fan.

T- Creamy rice pudding topped with cinnamon, vanilla beans add a nice flavor balancing with the rice qualities, blonde ale aspect with a hint of bitterness hidden on the background and comes out a bit on the finish. This beer tastes extremely unique and quite tasty especially if you like rice pudding (which I definitely do). Overall the taste makes up for what the aroma is definitely lacking.

M- Medium bodied, slightly bitter, very slightly over-carbonated, fairly smooth.

O- I'm not a huge fan of blonde ales however Or Xata does not taste anything like a typical blonde ale and is extremely unique nailing what they are going for. The aroma was way too sweet and unbalanced with too much cinnamon and sweet vanilla bean. However the taste (in my opinion) was as spot on as it could be with nice vanilla bean qualities balanced with a pinch of cinnamon and rice pudding. Overall if you love rice pudding and unique beers I'd definitely check this beer out, if you don't I'd probably stay away.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
2.77/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - A little hazy. Deep orange. Nice white head. Thick collar and nice surface foam.

Smell - Vanilla is most prevalent. Cinnamon behind it. I guess some graininess. Kinda like a wheatwine.

Taste - Sweet. Lots of vanilla. Spice builds into the flavor and lingers in the finish. The middle is an odd sweet body. I suppose that's rice, because it doesn't taste like malt.

Mouthfeel - Heavy and sweet, but not by Bruery standards. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Having had two Or Xata beers, I can safely say I don't think I would enjoy the title beverage.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Stakem for sharing this unique brew,enjoyed with Mandy and August drank chilled from a flute.

The color is deep medium brown with hazed look and thick white cap with fine bead, no lace is left and retention is ok. The smell is nice, lots of spice with a faint sweet aroma, mild alcohol esters with a mellow floral aspect, subtle vanilla and yeast adds a fruity essence. The feel is decent with moderate carbonation and mild sweetness with moderately spiced texture and somewhat high alcohol for the style.

The taste is unusual but good, pretty interesting considering the origin of the idea, I have made horchata and shared with others who enjoy this specialty and it is not exactly what you would expect- I think the flavor of the alcohol is what seems to distract from the drink it pays tribute to. I understand the brewer who created this is not known for low alcohol versions of any style, but to me the spice is the best part of the taste a little less rice tangy-ness may have helped. I think this is pretty decent for what it is, but to me it missed the mark if Horchata or Or xata is what they wanted to pay tribute to. I think for a first taste of anything remotely similar to the original beverage it is better than average. Thanks again Adam, so glad I got to try this!

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Photo of stakem
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml poured into a matching Bruery snifter. The brew appears a sort of tea to copper orange color with lighter yellow around the edges. A vigorous pour yields a finger of khaki head that fades back to a thin film.

The aroma is sweet almost like cream soda but with some vanilla and very mild cinnamon spice. At times it almost has a sort of orange marmalade character going on which is strange, yet enjoyable.

The taste is sweet with vanilla and a hint of beet sugar. Mild cinnamon spice and an overall flavor profile that seems more like a cream soda than a beer. As it warms up, a very mild sort of belgian yeast/clove spice emerges along with a complimenting fruitiness mildly reminiscent of pear/apple skins.

This is a medium to lighter bodied brew with a very mild amount of carbonation. Having never had the drink that is the inspiration for this brew, I dont know how to grade this. I will say though that this pretty much drinks exactly as advertised with the listed ingredients. Quite unique and worth a try. I just have a difficult time scoring this since it is unlike anything ive had before and really just isnt beer-like in any way.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into Bruery snifter. Appearance is clear gold with minimal head and no lacing. The nose is very sweet. Notes of brown sugar, cinnamon, and caramel come first followed by heavy vanilla character. Taste is super sweet up front with notes of burnt sugar, mild cinnamon, sweet cream, and caramel. The flavor is reminiscent of horchata, but I'd say this beer comes off a few degrees more sweet than most horchatas. Mouthfeel is bordering on syrupy with moderate carbonation. Overall, the Bruery did a good job of translating the delicious Mexican beverage into beer form. The resulting beer is very sweet and serves as more of a dessert drink than anything else.

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Photo of popery
3.41/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours medium dark amber. Fairly cloudy but pretty far from opaquely so. Small to medium off white head, mostly dies off after a minute or two. The aroma is heavy on vanilla and ground rice. The cinnamon provides some depth and spice, as with the beer's inspiration. It smells about as close to Mexican-style horchata as I can imagine for a beer. A relatively mild boozy note. Smells a little syrupy, though less maple and more agave or simple syrupy. The taste is somewhat sweet with a lot of that same vanilla rice flavor. It's rich but also somewhat cloying. Lots of funny sweetness in the finish with a light boozy note. It's not altogether heavy on the palate but it is rather heavy for the abv. I would guess that this beer would be a mess at ~10% abv. It's an interesting beverage, and I applaud the effort, but it's not altogether pleasant to drink. It's like boozy horchata, which isn't something that I particularly like, I guess. Improves as it warms, but still, I would have preferred to split this one with a group and just get a taster's worth.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Quarter finger head on a hazy copper body with nice lacing. Aroma is a bit light but what's there is nice with gingerbread, cinnamon rum, vanilla, caramel and butterscotch. The flavor follows with a stronger presence which for me is a little too unbalanced and sweet with again butterscotch, vanilla, rum, toffee and caramel with light malt presence. Medium body and moderate carbonation. This one isn't bad but it doesn't really appeal to my beer tastes. That being said you can still tell its a well brewed beer.

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Photo of johnnnniee
2.93/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bottle shared at the BFD Christmas party.
Cloudy amber color with a minimal head.
Aroma is heavy on the vanilla sugar and cinnamon.
The flavor follows the aroma.
This was entirely too sweet for my palette.
I'm glad to have tried it, but I'm also glad I didn't have to drink it alone.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle dated 6/19/13.

A: Pours a murky dirty dish water color with a thick off-white head that faded into a thin fuzzy collar.
S: Dominating lactose sugar nose with a touch of caramel and dulce de leche. Slight vanilla.
T: Follows the nose with flavors of lactose milk sugar, vanilla bean, dulce de leche and just a hint of cinnamon up front. Blond ale grain bill pokes through in the finish. The aftertaste is sugary and sweet with a faint hint of booze.
M: Thick body, very full and creamy mouthfeel, with soft frothy carbonation.
O: Not perfect but I can definitely see what they were going for. Creamy and delicious for dessert.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.06/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer is copper hued with ruby highlights. An inch or so of off white head with plenty of staying power. The aroma offers a huge dose of sweet vanilla, cinnamon, butterscotch candies, booze. Smells as advertised - like an alcoholic horchata. Overly sweet and cloying. A fun idea, but the sweetness combined with alcohol is just too much.

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Photo of magictacosinus
3.39/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Preservation Series: Or Xata from The Bruery
3.87 out of 5 based on 340 ratings.
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