Noche De Los Muertos | Aztec Brewing Company

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Noche De Los MuertosNoche De Los Muertos

Brewed by:
Aztec Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by HopHead84 on 11-27-2011

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Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 94
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Aztec Brewing Company in Vista, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt and some slight cocoa and coffee aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt, cocoa beans, brown sugar, and cinnamon. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an excellent RIS with a very nice cinnamon presence in the flavor due to the cinnamon sticks used in the brewing process.

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Photo of mactrail
3.07/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very dark velvety chocolate color. It even tastes like dark chocolate. Fine-grained foam lasts and lasts. Quite a lovely brew in the small Brugs chalice. Beautiful lacing never quits.

Huge flavor of sweet malt, candy, and fruitcake soaked in Yukon Jack. Interesting and intense, but hard to get down more than a small glass. Actually, it's unebelievably sweet. The cocoa and marshmallows keeps coming back. Hard candy, a lot of bitter chocolate. Drier finish with plenty of wood.

Has that slightly plasticky nose homebrew and in general tastes like it was brewed with extract. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Best Damn in San Diego.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.26/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I picked this up at Calvert Wine & Spirits in Cockeysville, enjoyed chilled from the bomberin a goblet.

The color is practically black, very viscous looking w/ medium tan cap with small bead, the lace clings like a web -the retention is very good. The smell is rich with roast and lots of cinnamon which is fresh and almost like opening a bottle of cinnamon sticks -slight woody and sweet scent with some mild cocoa accents and gentle coffee-like roasty odors with low alcohol esters. The feel is great very rich with moderate sweetness and nice body with moderate carbonation and light astringency from grain with slight bitterness in the finish with spicy feel throughout -very mild alcohol for the strength.

The taste has the dark baked cookie taste up front very restrained black grain and roasted malt flavors with some pleasant cinnamon flavors which seemto build as it warms with some moderate vanilla/caramel accents with some light hop which is spicy and works with the cinnamon in this, the roastiness is good with a nice layered flavor combined with hops and spice. I really enjoyed this since the alcohol was mild, but it is a big beer with a full effect on the palate which is not something I would drink multiples of but one is chock full of taste -one of the best cinnamon flavored beers I think i may have had.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jimmy2282 for sending me a growler of this obscure offering. Served in a variety of glasses over the course of 24 hours - Kuhnhenn goblets, Darkness snifters, etc.

A - Generous tan foam settles to a thin collar, wisps on top, and splotchy lace. The body is an opaque, inky black, with a hint of dark brown at the edges.

S - Nose is quite unique - I knew this was a cinnamon beer going in, but those that were unaware thought it was some sort of earthy white pepper smell, and I'd be inclined to agree. In any case, it's well-integrated into the traditional roasted malts, dark chocolate, and licorice flavors and never threatens to overpower the base beer. No obvious alcohol, which is pretty impressive.

T - Taste is good, but maybe not in the same league. A hefty dose of melted chocolate meets dark fruit and moderate roast. The cinnamon is less present, showing up late and lingering into the finish. Again, alcohol is negligible.

M - Chewy, viscous, smooth, and creamy, with plenty of residual stickiness and a bit of roasty dryness. Perhaps a tad watery for the listed 10.2%, but still on the heavier side of medium bodied. There's some mild cinnamon tingle on the palate, and perhaps a touch of warming alcohol after a full glass. Fairly low carbonation.

D - Quite nice. I generally dislike cinnamon but this won me over with it's tasteful usage. Kind of like a Hunahpu's Light, but minus the peppers. Really easy drinking considering the ABV and cinnamon usage - I easily killed a glass while typing up my review notes.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A one year old, properly cellared bottle poured into a Reuben's small snifter. Pours totally pitch black, appearing opaque in the glass, with a fine one finger brown head with great retention and lots of lacing. Roasty aroma of toasted malt, coffee, cinnamon; peppery and lightly charred. Flavor starts with smoky dark toasted malt, coffee and light chocolate; cinnamon slowly develops and contributes to a quite nice chocolate / mocha malt finish with light cinnamon and hops that almost taste like mild peppers. Great creamy body with good carbonation. This tasted different than I expected; with the cinnamon and Aztec themed art, I thought it would be more like Mexican chocolate, but the chocolate flavors are much more dark chocolate. The start is a bit stark with toasted, charred malt, but the flavors that develop are great and the finish is well balanced and flavorful. I really liked this rich Russian imperial stout.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


On tap at Aztec Brewery. A Russian Imperial Stout spiced with cinnamon.

A: Black with a creamy beige head.

S: Rich dark chocolate accompanies roasted malt and a little licorice. I get coffee, earth, and a whisper or smoke. Cinnamon is a welcome addition and it's used in tasteful quantities.

T: Dark chocolate melds with plum and molasses. Cinnamon is light and well integrated. For 10.2% the alcohol is very well hidden, I get none of it in the taste. Earth meets coffee and a pronounced roasted malt presence. The finish is chocolate, roast, and coffee, with trailing cinnamon.

M: Full in body with upper moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is chewy and sticky with evident alcohol warming.

Overall: This is quite good. Incredibly smooth for the ABV and the cinnamon is a nice touch.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours an ultra dark ruby color, to the point where it's *almost* pitch black. There's about three fingers of a tan-colored head, with superb retention. It's actually frustrating, because I want to pour the rest of the bottle into the glass, and I can't. Because the head is so thick and clingy, it leaves tons of lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is heavy in both licorice and roasted malts, but there's a nice cinnamon note, as well. I also pick up some chocolate, brown sugar, caramel, and mild chili pepper as well. Maybe there's even a hint of umami. It's a fairly complex, enjoyable aroma, even if all the notes aren't to my liking (read: licorice).

T/M: This is a little spicier than the aroma suggested. It's also drier and cleaner than I anticipated on the finish, also. Lots of cinnamon spice open this up well, before developing tones of dry chocolate, roast, and mint near the finish. There's a sweet, wet-feeling lump in the middle of the palate that slightly harms both the feel and the flavor (it's a bit too caramel-and-licorice forward), but otherwise, it's decently dry on the sides and front of the tongue, exactly what I want out of my imperial stouts. Carbonation is low, but that's because I let it sit a while. There's enough complexity to keep it interesting, and enough concealed alcohol to give it decent drinkability.

O: When I saw this at my Neighborhood Liquor Store™, I kind of wondered if it was some half-ass contract brewed beer, since it's never good when a brand new California brewery shows up all the way in Maryland. But then I thought 'it's hard to screw up an imperial stout'. Thankfully, this isn't anything I'd call 'screwed up' - and the unique spicy touch gives it a pleasant touch without wrecking the balance. This is exactly what I'd imagine a poor man's Hunahpu's to taste like, and that's a compliment. Good work Aztec, keep it up.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours black with a nice two finger light brown head. Nice retention in the glass.

S: Sweet and spicy with a good dose of cinnamon and something that smells a lot like chili peppers. Cocoa powder, chocolate syrup, roasted malt and a little habanero.

T: Roasted malt and cocoa upfront. Some milk chocolate and cocoa powder with a decent kick of cinnamon and chili in the middle before the finish kind of tails off. Mouthfeel is way low for 10+%, which I kind of liked. A good stout, but nothing really makes this stand out.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another rando growler from Alex. :D

A - Pours black, tan-colored head, thin collar, wisps on top.

S - A nice balance of cinnamon, chocolate, and pepper. While it's straight-forward, it's done very well. The booze is barley noticeable for over Light roast in there as well.

T - Basically the same as the nose with a little more chocolate sweetness and roast. The cinnamon, spice, and chocolate work well together and are balanced perfectly. No real booze, which is impressive. Finish is creamy chocolate with a slight cinnamon kick.

M - Full body, rich and smooth, creamy spiced finish.

O - This beer is exactly as-advertised and definitely worth a try if you like your RIS with a slight kick. Very creamy, barely any alcohol, and great balance help make this beer something to enjoy.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bomber at 42o F into a hand washed and dried JK snifter, allowed to warm to 50o F.
Aroma of roasted malt and a hint of cinnamon. Cinnamon doesn’t last entire glass.
Head small (One cm, aggressive pour), light brown, creamy, slowly diminishing to an irregular partial zero to three mm ring and no layer
Lacing fair – partial ring of very open curtain
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor of roasted malt with no noticeable cinnamon. Alcohol burn present but no alcohol flavor or odor. No hops, no diacetyl.
Palate medium, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 3.75

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Photo of SomethingClever
3/5  rDev -23.1%

A: very low carbonation jet black tried being aggressive with the pour barely any head

S: get an acidic cinnamon smell pretty much it cinnamon

T: Almost get a roast coffee taste then the cinnamon comes like a freight train and turns this beer sour bitterish with a lingering bitterness on the sides of your tongue

M: Thin semi nitro feel on the tongue without the creaminess just like flat beer

O: Just a shit average beer if your are absolutely in love with cinnamon maybe you'd love this beer but the overly sour bitter finish on the beer just is awful.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Looks great, smells nice, tastes okay, and feels light. The cinnamon for me was a little overpowering but some may enjoy this feature. Overall, I must say, not for me; but still a good stout in it's own right.

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle with my FW snifter glass
El nota Cinco De Mayo

A: Dark oily black body with garnet edges. Looks near purple when held at certain angles in the light. Completely opaque none the less with a mocha cream head. Ample stay on it that decorates the glass with some splashes and dots of lace.

S: Super dark roast grain aromas abound. Loads of smoky charcoal partner with molasses and a brown sugar sweetness. Dark chocolate meets with a roast barley coffee likeness. No off aromas as others have picked up on. Surprisingly there are no real scents of cinnamon noted either other than a touch of earthiness in there. Pretty nice nose with lots of familiar stout character.

T: Bold and rich flavors provide a very classic style stout character with notable roast malt, coffee, bakers chocolate, molasses, and charcoal. I am getting a hint of black licorice there and a little dark fruit perks as the beer warms up. Otherwise fairly clean yeast profile. There is a nice balance from a subtle hop bitterness to the beer and the alcohol is incredibly well disguised. The cinnamon asserts more of an earthy bark note on the finish providing a nice trailer of warming spice. The restrained use of the cinnamon is appreciated and pairs fantastically well with the warming alcohol notes. Surprisingly good stout with those familiar flavors.

M: Moderately thick consistency. Nice though and not too heavy or tacky on the palate. It’s fairly light feeling actually from the creamy smooth texture and lifting carb. Some light peppering bitterness and a touch of drying towards a rather clean finish. Slight alcohol warmth exudes in the end.

D: While I was expecting to be hit with a ton of raw cinnamon flavor here what I actually got was just a really delicious and drinkable Impy Stout. Don’t let the cinnamon sticks deter.

Would be pleased to have another.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-pitch black with a nice thick and sticky tan head

S-medium roast coffee with an odd hint of chlorine.

T-comes in with a slightly spicy flavor of medium roast coffee. I find the cinnamon to be very evident with a more peppery type of spice rather than a holiday type of spice. I lasts awhile with an after-taste that seems to have some anise to it. Definitely a unique stout.

M-medium carbonation with a semi-dry finish

O-this would be a lot better if the smell wasn't off. It just smells flawed, I never understand how brewmasters are okay with releasing beers like this. The flavor itself is pretty decent. As others have noted, there's not much hint of the large ABV. I don't recommend spending the money to get a bottle. They really need to work on this one.

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Photo of hopsputin
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a: dark black with a hint of deep purple near the bottom. large 3 finger tan head, pretty even

s: roasted bitter malt, milk chocolate, definitely a little bit of cinnamon in there. something almost oaky, sweet lactose. kind of a grainy green hop towards the end

t: whoa, right up front the toasted malts fight with cinnamon and sweet chocolate for space on your tongue. the toasted malts and sweet chocolate win and dominate the flavor. the cinnamon is there, but slightly - and providing more a spice in the background. there some creamy lactose flavor with some figs. ends with a clean grassy-like flavor.

m: medium - lighter than i expected. normal amount of carbonation

o: good not great. i was expecting the cinnamon to be featured a little more an harmonize well in the beer. it's there, but in the background. the resulting flavor is still a tasty stout though with a nice mix of toasted and sweet

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Photo of t420o
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Aztec Brewing Noche de los Muertos

A- pour yields a big 2-1/2 finger mocha colored head that is nice and frothy. Decent retention before dissipating and not leaving much in the way of lacing. Beer is black in color. 3.75

S- cinnamon and sugar, chocolate, coffee, anise, some other spices on the nose (though I don't think any others besides cinnamon are present). Alcohol is present in the background. Smells interesting. 3.75

T- the cinnamon and creaminess creates a flavor similar to Horchata, which I love. Chocolate, cinnamon and sugar bread, roasted malts, light anise, some coffee. The cinnamon is slightly too strong for the beer though, in my opinion. My girl loves it though, but to each their own. I just "like" it and not much more. 3.5

M- lighter than average carbonation. Body is slightly thin for a beer with this many strong flavors. 3.5

O- it has immense potential, but the cinnamon could be toned down and other spices could be added (in limited amounts). So many other good to great RIS's out there, I won't be revisiting this one. 3


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Photo of jamisonspitzer
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: The aroma is subtle and pleasant. No hints of the cinnamon with which it’s been brewed.

Appearance: Pours pitch black and opaque. There’s the slightest hint of red at the edge of the glass, like really dirty transmission fluid. There’s about 1/4” of head that lingers as I let the beer warm up. Ahh…The head expands as I drink from underneath it.

*Getting deeper into it now and there is some solid lacing. The head's holding up nicely.

Taste: Definitely heavy on the roasted malts. Deep, dark and bitter. I’m still not getting the cinnamon by itself but perhaps that’s the little “extra something” on the edge of the bitterness. The flavor is balanced and smooth. No hint of the high 10.2% ABV.

Mouthfeel: Not as creamy as you’d expect for such a dark beer. It’s relatively watery but with a wine-like dryness. It’s very drinkable and I’m enjoying it, but I’m definitely going to need a glass of water when I’m through.

Overall I’d recommend this, although I’m my next trip to the shop I’m going to try something different.

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Photo of IRISHFAN951
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Pours smooth with a very light carmel colored swirly head. Absolutely love the color, dark like a clear winter sky and passes the lighter test with an A+(Cant see the flame looking through the beer when put to the back side of the glass). Smells like wonderful roasted malt with a perfect amount of cinnamon. Best thing about this IS is of course the taste. Light notes of chocolate and spices. Very drinkable and will definitely buy again!

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Photo of CurtisLoew
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into dogfish head tulip.

Pours pitch black. Cannot see anything through the light. HUGE tan head. I poured carefully, and the head fills 3/4 of the glass.

Smell is a smack of fresh coffee. Interesting, because I don't think this is brewed with coffee. Also get some of the spices, cinnamon.

Taste is not as good as the smell. Quite astringent. Cinnamon, roast, black licorice.

Mouthfeel is too effervescent.

Good beer. Hides the 10% well. Interesting use of spice.

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Photo of supertrirunner
4.61/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Big Russian Imperial Stout!!! Pitch Black with a beige Mocha head. Nose is filled with Cinnamon, chocolate and coffee. Palate is intense and heavy but balanced by the cocoa/coffee bitterness. Well made and balanced for a 10.2% RIS! Would definitely buy again

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Noche De Los Muertos from Aztec Brewing Company
3.9 out of 5 based on 94 ratings.
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