Recently I was doing a self-styled, craft beer mini-tour through Vista. On the tail end of the trip, I found myself at Aztec Brewing Company for the first time. At some point I’ll go back to do a proper review of the tasting room and flight experience but to be fair, I generally reserve those for the first stop on any brewery trail. After that, the senses dull and the palate can become compromised, which is why I picked up a bottle on the recommendation of my wingman.
Full disclosure, I usually shy away from IPA’s bearing influence of peppers of any kind. It may even be somewhat psychological because I just don’t inherently “feel” like I want a spicy element introduced into something I consider refreshing. These two qualities strike me as being at odds with each other and I’ve had a couple of brews that confirmed this for me. Perhaps in a future review, I’ll explore those further…
Enter Aztec Brewing’s Chipotle IPA which again, I strayed from my normal fare because the beer came highly recommended by a fellow traveler. A big fan of the smoky nature of the chipotle salsa at Rubio’s and it’s lack of serious heat I figured, what the hell.
- 6.6% ABV
- 61 IBU
- Yeast – Unknown
- Hops – Cascade
- Smoked jalapeno (chipotles)
Would I have another? Sure, why not… Granted it was nothing Earth shattering but still interesting enough not to shun it in the future. I would not however, elevate it to a “go-to” status.
It pours nicely with a fairly viscous head that hangs around (which I am always fan of). The Cascade hops they’re using offer the to-be-expected grapefruity, citrus nose of a west coast style IPA, with only the slightest hint of smoke wafting up in the mix.
On the first sip, it’s all IPA with a hop-forward bitterness that’s pronounced but not overpowering. The Cascade hops play well with whatever malt bill it is they’re using, presenting a balanced effect overall. The slightly smokey influence of the chipotles reveals itself on the backend and to describe it as “spicy” is almost an overstatement. Some pepper infused beers I’ve had in the past leave a bit of a bite behind that the breweries often label as heat (which I don’t care for). This was thankfully absent from this Aztec offering to the craft beer Gods…