Aztec - Bourbon Barrel-Aged | Breakside Brewery

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Aztec - Bourbon Barrel-AgedAztec - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
145 Ratings
Aztec - Bourbon Barrel-AgedAztec - Bourbon Barrel-Aged

Brewed by:
Breakside Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Strong amber ale made with cacao/chocolate nibs and two types of chilies that was aged in freshly emptied bourbon barrels.

Added by msubulldog25 on 09-01-2011

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 145 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of jakecattleco
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.

 917 characters

Photo of Blackop555
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.

 346 characters

Photo of stratusjeans
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mactrail
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

 400 characters

Photo of pkalix
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of aasher
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

 1,427 characters

Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

 629 characters

Photo of dvmin98
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of n2185
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Boilerup
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

 381 characters

Photo of Jcarriglio
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

 876 characters

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Tcsox
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bret717
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

 650 characters

Photo of yancot
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Birdlegs
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of 2GOOFY
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

 788 characters

Photo of snaotheus
3.41/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

 650 characters

Photo of Rogerlb
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

 1,157 characters

Photo of CUBeerBuff
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DallasK
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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Aztec - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Breakside Brewery
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 145 ratings