Bourbon Barrel-Aged Calavera
Zipline Brewing Co

Bourbon Barrel-Aged CalaveraBourbon Barrel-Aged Calavera
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Zipline Brewing Co
Nebraska, United States
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,591
Ranked #13,444
3.99 | pDev: 7.02%
Dec 26, 2021
Dec 31, 2017
Very Good
Bourbon Barrel-Aged CalaveraBourbon Barrel-Aged Calavera
Notes: Channeling the spirit of Dia De Los Muertos, we infused this Imperial Stout with cacao nibs, vanilla, cinnamon, and five different chili pepper varietals.



ABV may vary by batch.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.2 by Abstractspirit from Rhode Island

Dec 26, 2021
Rated: 4.14 by smithj4 from New York

Dec 09, 2021
Rated: 4.07 by Wisconsin_IPA_Lover from Wisconsin

Dec 01, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by paulish from New York

Dec 01, 2021
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Reviewed by hoptheology from California

4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
12 oz bottle, best by 10-27-25, into Odell snifter.

Black body with an angry red finger of head that recedes slowly and leaves spots of lacing and legs.

Aroma is sweet and bold with sweet tobacco, cinnamon, chocolate, chili peppers, red hots, and vanilla. Solid.

Flavor is chili peppers, salted nut roll, caramel, tobacco, dark chocolate, sea salt, hot tamales candy, and spiked "hot" hot cocoa. It's a little aggressive and has too much heat for a typical beer, but this is the most accurate representation of a spicy Mexican cocoa I've ever had in beer form.

Feel is hot and sticky right away, with a medium plus body, the alcohol not letting up at all, nearly scorching the tongue, and leaving resins behind. It burns the tongue and roof well after it's gone.

Overall, a chore sipper but still a pretty decent beer. Definitely pays accurate homage to the Mexican holiday. Better than Xocoveza, but not as good as Pirate Bomb (or as expensive).

Price paid : $4.19 / bottle
Would buy again : mmmaybe
Feb 08, 2021
Rated: 4.02 by 0x4a64 from Minnesota

Dec 24, 2020
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Reviewed by morimech from Minnesota

3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Best by date 10/28/25
ABV listed on label as 13.8%
Thick inky black color with a sizeable head. All I am getting in the aroma is bourbon, wood, and booze. The flavor is more interesting. Relatively low roasted malt influence. I taste chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, and bourbon. Some chile heat to accompany the heat from the alcohol. But very little chile flavor. Big bodied with very soft carbonation that fits the beer well.
Dec 19, 2020
Rated: 4 by RiceOwls27 from Texas

Apr 01, 2020
Rated: 3.06 by mig100 from Texas

Mar 06, 2020
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Reviewed by beergoot from Colorado

3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Revisited December 22nd, 2021

Same black body with no head. Nice smell blend of dark chocolate, chili pepper, cocoa, and booze. Rich and flavorful taste amplifying the smell notes; bigger notes of bittersweet chocolate undercut with a nice chili pepper flavor; whiskey note yet not overpowering. Heavy body; slick and oily on the palate; heavy sweetness overall but with a nice alcohol warmth.

By and large, my impression remains the same with this version of the beer. I did bump up the mouthfeel score a bit. The slightly higher ABV-level doesn't increase the alcohol heat or booziness perceptions as the heavily sweet base beer does a fine job of reining in any excess.

Pouring temperature: 54 °F; bottling data: no bottling date but the ABV is listed as 13.4% and the name on the label now reads "Calavera The Stout".


Original February 13th, 2020 review and ratings: 3.5 3.75 4.25 3.75 (overall: 3.94)

Very dark brown body; fizzy carbonation; decent head initially that quickly disperses to a fizzy wisp dancing atop the beer. Luscious dark, earthy and sweet aroma; bitter chocolate and mild grain char; a faint note of alcohol and a strange blend of coffee and vanilla. Very nice initial taste of sweet milk chocolate and whiskey; cocoa; an excellent slow-build of chili flavor builds up towards the finish; some earthy cinnamon noted. Heavy body; slick, smooth and oily; some alcohol and chili pepper heat warm the palate; fairly sweet overall.

I love a good straight-forward chili beer and also find chili in strong dark ales to be almost as satisfying. Zipline has done a great job on this beer. My bottle label indicates the ABV is 13.8% while the current web data lists it as 12.4%. There is a bottle stamp with BEST BY 11-8-22 994 on the bottle. Personally, I'm thinking a lot of the chili flavors might degrade if aged nearly three more years. In any case, this is one tasty sucker...
Feb 13, 2020
Rated: 3.57 by PSU_Mike from Pennsylvania

Aug 26, 2019
Rated: 4.1 by 22Blue from Kansas

Jan 01, 2019
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Reviewed by mothman from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
On tap. Tan head. Black color.

Cinnamon and a ton of barrel. Big bourbon and oak. Peppers are a little faint. Barrel char. Roasted malts and chocolate.

Full bodied. Pretty decent.
Dec 08, 2018
Rated: 4.19 by dms1767 from Nebraska

Apr 01, 2018
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Reviewed by Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
$ 15.56 (Including shipping)/750 mL capped bottle ($ 0.613/oz) from Tavour, Seattle, WA.
Undated bottle, stored at 42 degrees and served at 58 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter. Opens with a “Pop” and with slow overflow.
Appearance – 3.
Body – Dark brown/black, opaque. Effervescent.
Head – Average (Maximum three cm, controlled pour after bottle overflow), tan, low density and fizzy, rapidly diminishing to a one mm ring fed by effervescence, and a thin partial layer.
Lacing – None.
Pour – Dark brown, murky.
Aroma – 4 - Cocoa, cinnamon, enough vanilla that I can smell it. About mid-way through the first glass, the bourbon wafts in.
Flavor – 4.5 - Bourbon, cinnamon and vanilla begin, followed by cocoa mid-palate, and some light chili-pepper flavors. All are quite well-balanced. No hops are noted and the bitterness of the roasted malt is minimal. No alcohol is tasted although the expected gastric burn does appear. No diacetyl. As it warms, the pepper flavors become more pronounced.
Palate – 3 – Medium, creamy, soft carbonation.
Impression and summation – 4 - The overflow was not something I was expecting from an Impy stout although the lack of lacing was. Otherwise the appearance was typical. The aroma was surprisingly well balanced and showcased all the players. The balance of the flavors made this a uncommonly savory Impy stout – it wasn’t just a bourbon-blast nor a bitter roasted malt endurance test. Overall, an excellent American Double/Imperial Stout that may even be worth the price point.
Jan 27, 2018
Rated: 4.16 by TheHopsman from Nebraska

Dec 31, 2017
Bourbon Barrel-Aged Calavera from Zipline Brewing Co
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 16 ratings