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Horchata is a traditional, sweet, milky drink originating in Spain and Latin America that has become quite popular in Southern California, particularly with Mexican cuisine. Our take on the traditionally non-alcoholic drink is a blonde ale brewed with a heavy dosing of rice, cinnamon and fresh vanilla beans along with lactose for a litle extra creamy character. If you didn’t know better, you’d think it was carbonated horchata.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Geokkjer (5719) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - AUG 11, 2013
On tap at The Bruery. Pours clear golden with a small white head. Aroma of cinnamon, vanilla , malt and apples. Flavor is sweet vanilla and malt with some cinnamon, white bread and fruitiness. Medium body, average carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
GT2 (8354) - San Diego County, California, USA - AUG 5, 2013
Tap at The Bruery. Clear orange. Weak foam. Nose is nice chai vanilla, just a tad plastic and sunscreen. Taste is mega chai vanilla. Very delicious. SRM betrays a rich, dessert darker cinnamon to near chocolate flavor. Really nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
thome50 (1018) - Boringville aka Irvine, California, USA - AUG 4, 2013
Tap at the Bruery. Pours a hazy light orange to tan with no head. Aroma is cinnamon and vanilla overload. Definitely thinking of the inspiration drink here. Taste is very thin but has again loads of bread malt, vanilla and cinnamon. Weird malty thing going on here but I couldn’t really drink more than a few ounces of this stuff. Very, very sweet. Tastes similar to a horchata with a spike of pilsner for carb and beer taste.

   AROMA 2/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
mrhoppy (1284) - Santa Clara, California, USA - AUG 2, 2013
Yikes! Way too sweet. Flavor vanilla,brown sugar, and cinnamon. some bizarre malts.Has light body and pale color. Sweet rice milk taste. Crazy light dessert beer. Yuck!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Getbetter (829) - East Palo Alto, California, USA - AUG 2, 2013
From a tap at the brewery.Theres vanilla,brown sugar, and cinammon in the taste.light body and pale brown color.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
bytemesis (3076) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - AUG 2, 2013
Tap. I just had to try it. Pours hazy amber with a medium white creamy head and nice lacing. Aroma is super spicy - cinnamon dominates, but nutmeg, orange zest and other things are present too. Flavor is the same, medium sweet, some orange zest, and tons of spices. Medium body, creamy. Not saying this is a bad beer, but it is way too spiced for me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
JohnnyJ (4307) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 2, 2013
Hazy amberish pour, with a white head. Tons of cinnamon and some vanilla and booze in the nose. Very sweet, vanilla, light breadiness, cinnamon, creaminess, and light fruit. A little too sweet for my tastes, but still tasty and interesting.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
AdamJackson (2524) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA - JUL 26, 2013
Caramel orange. Smells like delirium Noel. Cinnamon and other spices with some bizarre malts. Touch of vanilla Taste is pretty thin. Gives a gingerbread maltiness with cinnamon and cloves. Caramel and biscuits. Lots is vanilla at the finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ineedbeer (698) - Oakland, California, USA - JUL 24, 2013
Aroma is mostly cinnamon with a hint of vanilla. Light sweet malt character with a bit and of a toasty quality. Some alcohol in the finish. Not exactly what comes to mind when I think of horchata, but close. Pours a fairly clear amber with a hint of gold. Moderately thick white head with fairly good retention. Flavor is more reminiscent of horchata. Starts sweet with some lactose sugar and a slight cinnamon note. The cinnamon becomes more pronounced in the finish with some light vanilla and the finish is light cinnamon, vanilla and lactose sweetness. There is a light rice flavor throughout. Light, faint bitterness and a bit of alcohol spice in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer is fairly creamy, but not horchata level creamy. Low astringency and medium alcohol warmth. Overall a surprisingly good attempt at horchata beer. The flavor is better than the aroma where there isn’t enough to hide the alcohol. It could use a touch more creaminess, but maybe that would throw off everything else. Makes me wish I was eating a California burrito.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
brystmar (1236) - Dallas, Texas, USA - JUL 20, 2013
Smells soapy initially, then fades to rice milk, spices, and vanilla. Interesting.

Plenty of cinnamon, milky without actually achieving the color and consistency expected, and vanilla starts to take over as the drink progresses. Cream soda. Weird, but damn, it works!

It's funny: it's entirely by coincidence that I'm drinking this with my brown friends who educated me on what traditional Or Xata actually is. Way cool.

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