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Aztec - Bourbon Barrel-Aged | Breakside Brewery

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Aztec - Bourbon Barrel-AgedAztec - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
151 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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 151 |  Reviews: 29
Photo of cjgiant
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of Bandi
3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of smithj4
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of metter98
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
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

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Photo of Patches826
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jakecattleco
4.04/5  rDev 0%
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%
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 +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mactrail
3.88/5  rDev -4%
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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of aasher
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -1%
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%
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 +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BirdsandHops
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Boilerup
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of Jcarriglio
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
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 +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of bret717
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
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 +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Birdlegs
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Aztec - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Breakside Brewery
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 151 ratings