Aztec - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Breakside Brewery - NE Dekum

Aztec - Bourbon Barrel-AgedAztec - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
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Breakside Brewery - NE Dekum
Oregon, United States
American Strong Ale
4.03 | pDev: 8.93%
May 02, 2019
Sep 01, 2011
Aztec - Bourbon Barrel-AgedAztec - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Notes: Strong amber ale made with cacao/chocolate nibs and two types of chilies that was aged in freshly emptied bourbon barrels.
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Rated: 2.42 by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

May 02, 2019
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Reviewed by cjgiant from District of Columbia

4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Chestnut clear body with a lightly rusted white head. For the higher alcohol volume, the head is quite perisitent. There are a few streams of lace on the glass.

Nose has the sweetness of bothering the base ale and the barrel. A spicy spiked cola is the general impression: brown sugar, cherry cola, cinnamon bite, vanilla and char from the barrel aging,

Taste has a sneaky earthiness underlying the sweeter note - almost like an old ale with a hint of earthy spice. I’m not quite getting the chile heat as expected initially, but there’s a light bite to the light, barely sticky liquid. Bourbon and cherry cola jump from the nose to the taste with ease. The bite seems like it could be from the spirit, but it slowly builds into an ever so light lingering heat that I’ve not gotten from any other bourbon-barrel aged beer. What I am missing for most of the drink is the cacao nibs (it is possible they’re feeding the earthy aspect a little, but it might be too well integrated).

So, I actually don’t mind not really noticing the nibs. The barrel influence is at a good level, and the chiles add a light spice early and a little heat later. Sipping this beer was a fun experience.
Nov 25, 2018
Rated: 3.74 by Bandi from New York

Oct 14, 2018
Rated: 4.09 by smithj4 from New York

Oct 14, 2018
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Reviewed by metter98 from New York

4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
A: The beer is dark amber in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that left a little wiping on teh surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of bourbon and associated vanilla are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of bourbon from the barrel aging and strong notes of chili peppers.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The taste of this beer has a good balance between the flavors of bourbon and chili peppers. The alcohol is very well hidden.

Serving type: bottle
Oct 14, 2018
Rated: 4 by Patches826 from Massachusetts

Oct 13, 2018
Rated: 3.5 by oline73 from Maryland

Sep 16, 2018
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Reviewed by jakecattleco from California

4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
L: Pours vibrant mahogany with 1 finger of medium density white head that dissipates very quickly and left very little lacing.

S: Nose is mostly barrel attributes, charred oak, vanilla and bourbon. Its pleasant, but very little from the base beer is shining through.

T: More dynamic than the nose, definitely picking up some of the base beer especially the chilies. In addition to the chilies and barrel notes, there's some noticeable chocolate on this finish, which lingers on the palate a bit alongside the chilies.

F: Low-medium bodied with lower carbonation, slick on the tongue with plenty of burn from the chilies.

O: It's a nice beer, a buddy brought this to a chili cookoff/bottle share. I can definitely see this being a great option for such an event. Breakside does not disappoint with this one (much like everything else I've had from them), they are one of the best in PDX for sure.
Aug 12, 2018
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Reviewed by Blackop555 from Michigan

4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Pours Amber Brown. Medium, fluffy, off-white head that Fades fast.

Smells roasted malts, toasty, caramel, dark fruit, vanilla and a hint of pepper.

Taste Carmel, vanilla, dark fruit, earthy and bourbon. Followed by toasted malt and light heat from the peppers. Finish is semi-dry with a bourbon linger. Medium body and fizzy medium carbonation.
Jul 10, 2018
Rated: 4.19 by stratusjeans from Washington

Jun 23, 2018
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Reviewed by mactrail from Washington

3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Brewed with ancho and habanero chilis, this is fairly warm, heat-wise. But it doesn't interfere with the enjoyment of the chili flavor and the pleasing mellow Bourbon taste. Malty with a little sharp finish and a boozy nose.

Massive roasted malt and caramel. Some lingering but flavorful chili heat. This year's version is 10% ABV. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Elizabeth Station in Bellingham.
Jun 13, 2018
Rated: 4 by pkalix from California

Jun 10, 2018
Rated: 4.22 by aasher from Indiana

Jun 04, 2018
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Reviewed by biboergosum from Canada (AB)

4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
22oz bottle (@10% ABV) - I guess chocolate and chili peppers equals Mexican references up the yin-yang.

This beer pours a clear, dark magenta amber colour, with two hefty fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and fairly bubbly tan had, which leaves some decent dissolving ice floe lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of bready and doughy caramel malt, bittersweet cocoa powder, a faint spicy pepper heat, equally tame Kentucky barrel staves, some indistinct black stone fruitiness, and very, very tame earthy, musty, and floral green hops. The taste is bready and biscuity caramel malt, a wisp of damp ashiness, some muddled and bruised pome fruity notes, a very vanilla-forward woodiness, fading chocolate wafers, an ethereal chili spiciness, and some more very hard to detect leafy, earthy, and floral hop bitters.

The carbonation is fairly understated in its workaday frothiness, the body a solid medium weight, and generally smooth, as the spice isn't strong enough to make a dent at this particular point in the game. It finishes off-dry, the caramel, cocoa, and sweet barrel essences continuing the lingering party.

Overall - this is a pleasant enough strong ale, one whose barrel treatment and elevated ABV never really cause any concern for that ol' palate of mine. Definitely worth checking out, if solely for the just mentioned conclusions, or any ones that you might come to yourselves, as such.
Jun 03, 2018
Photo of JohnnyHopps
Reviewed by JohnnyHopps from Indiana

3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Appearance - The beer poured a murky brown color with an off white head.

Smell - Once the volcanic carbonation settled down, I noted dry red grapes and a hint of spice.

Taste - The beer was like a dry red wine spiced with peppers. The heat comes toward the back and gave a slight but not unbearable burn.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation was a problem. Every pour was a challenge to keep in the glass, occassionally errupting to the floor. When it settled down, the beer was fairly smooth.

Overall - I had an older bottle, so I would not mind sampling a new one for comparison. I would not actively seek a newer bottle though.
May 27, 2018
Rated: 4.06 by DVMin98 from North Carolina

Apr 19, 2018
Rated: 4.27 by BirdsandHops from Oregon

Apr 09, 2018
Rated: 3.9 by Boilerup from Maryland

Mar 25, 2018
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Reviewed by connecticutpoet from Connecticut

4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Appearance – Two and a half finger head on a clear brown body.

Aroma – Sweet dark malt, milk chocolate, and a little bourbon.

Taste – Slightly bitter oak tannins, chocolate, a little bourbon, hints of chilis on the soft palate at the end.

Mouthfeel – Full and well rounded body, not heavy.

Overall – A good beer that hides the ABV in the flavor, but it packs a punch.
Mar 24, 2018
Rated: 3.77 by Jcarriglio from Florida

Mar 10, 2018
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Reviewed by GreesyFizeek from New York

4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
This one pours a mostly clear golden brown, with a small head, and not much lacing.

This smells like dark chocolate, toasted bread, caramel, spicy pepper, chocolate, oak, and very light bourbon.

I usually see this combo of flavors (chocolate/chili) in stouts, so it's nice to see it in another style. The strong ale base is clearly well made, with toasty and slightly spicy bready malt, caramel, and toffee, with a big creamy and bittersweet character. The pepper character is very subtle- it adds a slightly spicy kick to the finish that melds well with the oak character. There is just a hint of bourbon- this is certainly not a barrel bomb. It becomes *slightly* boozy as it warms, but it's nothing too crazy.

This is medium bodied, and definitely not thick. This does make it more drinkable, however.

This is a really unique beer, and it's pulled off nearly perfectly.
Jan 27, 2018
Rated: 4.16 by PhineasMcClintock from Massachusetts

Nov 30, 2017
Rated: 3.84 by Tcsox from Massachusetts

Oct 14, 2017
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Reviewed by bret717 from Pennsylvania

4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Look- Deep mahogany brown, 1/2 finger head that dissipates to a thin ring around the edge of the glass

Aroma- very complex with raisin, leather, tobacco and bourbon, all very distinct but in equal measures with no one aspect dominating

Taste- Follows the nose, but with an underlying sweet chocolate taste and a quick blast of pepper heat upon swallowing. The sweetness and heat linger a bit. Again, very complex and balanced nicely.

Feel- medium bodied with a long sweet finish

Overall- very nice drinking experience. Smells and tastes incredible. A lot of nicely complimentary flavors and aromas going on, with no single one stealing the show.
Sep 25, 2017
Rated: 4.28 by yancot from Canada (ON)

Sep 12, 2017
Rated: 4 by Birdlegs from Washington

Aug 20, 2017
Rated: 4 by 2GOOFY from California

Jul 09, 2017
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Reviewed by Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured into a snifter, the appearance was a ruddy dark orange to light brown color with a little off white foamy head that fell off at a moderate pace. Some sliding lace. The aroma had some milk chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, sweet wood and a dry little spicy chili pepper balancing it all out nicely. The flavor was sweet with the chocolate, coconut and vanilla up front allowing the chili heat to come in slightly. Aftertaste was almost non-existent but seemed to have just a touch of the milk chocolate. Finish was the same. The palate was medium bodied with some of the "heat" to coincide with the meddling of the feel (the bourbon to the spicy "heat"). Carbonation felt fine. ABV felt fine. Overall, pretty nice strong ale, American or English, hell if I know, just damn good.
Jun 22, 2017
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Reviewed by snaotheus from Washington

3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
22oz bottle served in a tulip. Given to me by @mr-jj. I don't see a date on it.

Pours a medium brown (I was expecting a stout for some reason). Not much head, not much carbonation. Smell is bourbon and booze, maybe a little vanilla and rose. It mostly smells like watered down bourbon.

Taste is better than the smell -- still some of the watered down bourbon character, which isn't awesome, but definitely some nice vanilla and sweetness, not much pepper flavor but maybe a touch of the pepper spice.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly bubbly, considering how it looks. Overall, it's interesting and not bad, but not a beer I'll seek out again.
May 27, 2017
Photo of Rogerlb
Reviewed by Rogerlb from California

3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Pours a dark brown, but it's still translucent. Carb and a certain amount of hanging sediment is visible. A very thin collar of a head. Lights shines through this nicely.

Aroma is wood, vines, the skin of a zucchini. Yeah, I know, it's probably peppers but I get a more gourd vibe. Slight malt, as well.

Taste is sweet wood, watered down bourbon. Oak barrel is there, and vanilla, and the malt you'd expect of a strong ale, but not very roasty. Buttery toast. (Fake butter.) Slick and a little sticky. Boozy. The chocolate is sweeter than normal (not bitter/baker's) but a bit faint. I'm not getting the chili advertised either, except a wisp at the finish. I think the chilis (habanero and serrano according to the paperwork) are cancelling out the bourbon?

The middle of the mouthful is a bit of a mess. All frosting, no cake. The bourbon has a cinnamon stick in it. The 12% is rather forward but there's no "heat" from the booze. No burn. This seems thin, and therefore the bourbon wood is my takeaway.

Interesting and different. A woody cream soda that dad spiked with bourbon. Creamier than I expected, hardly any chili taste (for me) to speak of.
Mar 04, 2017
Rated: 4 by CUBeerBuff from Washington

Jan 19, 2017
Rated: 3.99 by DallasK from Oregon

Jan 16, 2017
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Reviewed by ricke49 from Oregon

4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
One of the best incorporation of chilies I've had the pleasure to experience. Chilies / chocolate both meld well with the bourbon aged aspects to produce an insanely drinkable brew. This will be my go-to big beer this winter, as Costco is currently offering this at an attractive price. Pours with a rich 2 finger head, with the visual properties of a strong (thick) ale. Taste is the same at first as it is when swallowed (perfect chili / chocolate / alcohol warmth balance).
Jan 07, 2017
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Reviewed by kemoarps from Washington

4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Body is a deep russet mahogany capped with an off brown head that settles in without giving up entirely.

Nose offers dark fruits at the forefront with creamy vanilla and oak. Smoothe and enticing.

Sweet initially with elements of oak and vanilla from the barrel. Chocolate is almost more of a finishing/after type taste that evolves out of the vanilla sweet lead in. Bourbon is not as overwhelming as I feared, but it is definitely sweet for an amber and driven by the barrel.
Creamy for the most part but the finish tends towards what I always associate with sour mash. Solid and enjoyable, though the chile and the alcohol kind of blend and get lost in one another.
Dec 20, 2016
Rated: 4.35 by Reagan1984 from Massachusetts

Dec 18, 2016
Rated: 3.75 by DamienI from Washington

Dec 12, 2016
Rated: 3.52 by Erik-P from Canada (BC)

Dec 12, 2016
Rated: 3.93 by johnnyboy76 from Oregon

Dec 06, 2016
Rated: 4.11 by Goatdavemac from North Carolina

Apr 18, 2016
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Rated by iamocean from Colorado

3.08/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75
It is a little weak on the bourbon taste, but it has an interesting flavour.
Apr 16, 2016
Aztec - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Breakside Brewery - NE Dekum
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 152 ratings