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Hot-Jala-Heim - Horseheads Brewing Inc.


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

73 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 73
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 15.1%

Brewed by:
Horseheads Brewing Inc. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Chile Beer |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: WesWes on 01-06-2008)
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Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 43 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Wortman1998

New York

3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pale yellow in color. Pure white, thin head with a slight lace left behind. The first thing that stands out is the real, true pepper smell - delicious. The first taste is very light and "pilsnery" followed by a very real, excellent pepper flavor - not overpoweringly so and not overly hot. Mouthfeel is, I guess a bit watery, but not off putting. Overall, a really nice chili beer - goes well with pizza. We want to use this for cooking - maybe chicken breasts or sausages!

Serving type: growler

01-27-2014 17:47:32 | More by Wortman1998
Photo of rlee1390


2.86/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-Clear orange, some carbonation, no head.

S-Very off putting hot peppers, not well balanced, almost nothing besides the peppers.

T-Too much hot pepper, it lingers and lingers, nothing else to balance it out. Practically leaves you sweating. Maybe some grass as well?

M-Light, watery, not much carbonation, and that pepper heat again.

O-A bad avoidable beer, unless you think you'd like it. That being said a major avoid for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2013 14:21:34 | More by rlee1390
Photo of Knapp85


3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured out as a clear looking golden color with a thin white head on top. The retention just leaves behind a thin film over the beer. The lacing in very minimal. The smell of the beer definitely has pepper on the nose, good amount of them. It also has a slight smokiness to it along with sweet malts. The taste is sweet for a few seconds right off the first sip then the peppers come in. There is a good amount of heat for a minute or two then it fades. The finish is kind of on the sweeter side. The mouthfeel is light bodied with a nice carbonation to it. Overall it's actually a pretty good chile beer, the heat comes in strong but doesn't make you wanna die, it tingles and then fades nicely allowing you to go back for another sip. It's not a beer I would drink a lot of, but having a single glass of it was enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 22:28:05 | More by Knapp85
Photo of ThePorterSorter


4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

snagged an 11oz pour at jryan

The beer pours a clear golden yellow with a razor thin white head that fades quickly, yet provides streaky lacing. The beer was tap-served cold, but still has a sweet jalapeño spiciness in the nose. It's exactly the nose I was looking for which is a relief in comparison to the intense chilies in ghostface...The taste is outstanding and does its part highlighting the chili while also continuing to be smooth and drinkable. There is a light burn on the back of my palate, but it doesn't prevent you from taking your next sip. I think they nailed this beer and I would definitely try it again. My advice would be to use some smoked chilies to bring out even more smoothness; frankly the jalapeño beer is a little overdone and could stand a facelift!

Serving type: on-tap

05-14-2012 19:55:06 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of marlinsfan4


3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first ever try at a Chile beer...

Smells a bit spicy, nothing too crazy though. Taste is medium bodied, a nice balanced ale upfront with some slight pepper flavors. Once you swallow the spiciness kicks in and is actually much hotter than I would have expected. That being said, it's a good spiciness and actually rounds out the beer pretty well. Might be tough to have more than one of these in a sitting, but definitely worth a try and one of the more unique beers I've had.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2012 00:52:52 | More by marlinsfan4
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a hazy orange color with a 1" head that breaks down quickly.

Smell: caramel and some spiciness comes through to the nose.

Taste: caramel, pepper, some mild orange citus, and a mild bitterness is up front, but after swallowing the chili pepper bite really kicks in and lasts.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp throughout. Aftertaste is short for the beer, but the chili heat definitely lingers softly on the tongue for a while.

Overall: For the style, this is well done. One glass is all you can drink solo, but with some spicy tacos or some gumbo I could do a few of these.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2011 21:52:27 | More by Gavage
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

2.7/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

slight bit of pepper way in the back but it was not dominating by any means. The initial sip was a work of art. Sweet milk chocolate and sugar roll across the tongue with a lively and well carbonated feel that really lets the flavor pop. Moving through you start to feel a tingle on the tongue, a warming in the throat and a fire in the belly. Subtly the chili comes through, warming you as it goes, but by no means is this too big. This is perfectly blended in the flavor, rising subtly to a crescendo that then backs down as easy as it came up.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 06:26:26 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Beers of the World in Henrietta.Poured into an imperial pint glass a clear dull light goden with a bit of orange tinge,a thin wispy white head atop.Aromas are very light with biscuit dough a tinge of hard water,there is a nice sweet biscuit dough malt base on the palate,the chilis come in the back end and hit the throat.Not as assertive as I thought it would be but it's malt profile is nice.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2011 22:07:01 | More by oberon
Photo of clickpush


3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured 22oz bottle to pint glass. A dark golden color is topped by one finger of white head after a sturdy pour. Tons of small bubbles throughout. Head reduces to an opaque coat of white.

Nose: Double-faceted: one side is an earthy minerality, like wet soil, a bit of pepper; the other is a fruity, almost overripe, yeasty tinge.

Mouth: The flavor is very similar. Sweet malt dominates but as the beer courses over the buds a cooling minerality comes through, and is followed closely by a chili pepper bite. Mouthfeel is not quite as crisp as I was expecting, a bit creamy, which perhaps highlights the wrong flavors.

The pepper is enjoyable, unlike some other pepper beers I've had.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2011 22:42:48 | More by clickpush
Photo of harrymel


3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Steelerx for this beer as an extra. Cheers Joe!
Paired this with some white chili.

A: Brass ale with little-no head formation. Coarse bubbles round the edge and stick around. Scant ribbons indicate carbonation. No lacing.

S: Vegetal nose with lots of bell pepper, jalepeno, anaheims. They did a great job making this a chili beer without any off flavors. Great.

T: Great light blonde ale with chili tones. Light grains and bread flavors are the backbone, but again only the canvas for the peppers. Lightly spicy, not burning, but at the far palate, oropharyngeal burn.

M: Light bodied, medium carbonation. Dries the tongue.

D: Fantastic for a chili beer. I would take this in volume to a summer BBQ. Very, very yummy.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2011 17:48:31 | More by harrymel
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.58/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Horseheads Hot-Jala-Heim

Some friends recommended this beer to me. They're not really beer drinkers, so I was excited to give it a try; but at the same time I have had some bad encounters with "chili" beers so I was prepared to be at least a little bit disappointed. That said...

I've had chili beers before, but I've never experienced one that had so much pepper aroma to it. If you like that smell, as I do, it really is fantastic. It clearly beats any of the others that I've sampled. I clearly get Jalapeno, but I'm assuming there are some Anaheims in there as well given the name. If there's any maltiness coming through I'm not really getting it as anything other than a kind of sweet bready note - and my mind must be making connections that aren't really there, because I kind of thought of it as a corn tortilla aroma. Wow, the power of suggestion.

On to the flavor... I've had jalapeno beers that were just overly hot and biting (Ed's Cave Creek), and I've had ones that were less peppery but still a bit out of balance. This one seems perfect to me. There's just a little bit of peppery heat atop a basic, sweet, pale-malt base. I don't find any hops, but I didn't expect to; nor do I find any yeasty fruitiness, which is probably a very good thing. In that respect it is kind of one-sided (or is it actually two sided, displaying both the malt & the peppers?). But complexity isn't really the issue here. It's interesting enough in and of itself. The pepper flavor is great; and the fact that they've been able to put it together so perfectly is really intriguing.

Taking a step back, it looks great in the glass as well. The body is a clear deep gold, and I can just about make my fingerprints out through the glass. The pillowy white head that rises up above it remains remarkably intact, and it leaves some really nice lacing as well.

So what to say about drinkability? It is, of course, a love it or hate it beer. Pretty much any "vegetable" beer is going to fall into that category; and I think that even vegetables themselves probably fall into that category - in the U.S. at least. So let's cut it this way, if you like the flavor and heat of hot peppers you'll like this beer. And, in fact, you may love this beer! I say that because I really feel I could drink two pints of this in a row and really enjoy both of them.

But what about food? Yes, there is a clear inclination to want to pair this with food. In fact, drinking it makes me hungry for Mexican - even just a taco with some fresh lettuce, diced tomato, black beans, onion and cheese would be a gift from the heavens. The pepper aroma and flavor immediately fire the synapses to recall memories of food flavors made with peppers. But would I drink this while eating those foods? I don't know. I think that might be overkill. But it is tempting. I think that what I would do, on the other hand, is pair this with foods that might benefit from just a little bit of peppery spice. Perhaps some extra large sweet scallops browned in butter. Or how about a juicy steak still sizzling just off the grill? Salmon? Perhaps.

In the end there's almost not enough praise I can give this perfect gem of a beer. Amazing!

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2011 19:20:20 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of woosterbill


2.58/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

Bomber into a Weyerbacher tulip. Thanks, Matt, for sharing!

A: Clear light amber with a finger of coarse, persistent head. Spotty lacing. Just fine.

S: Mild corn, light malt, and plenty of spicy pickled jalapeño. Not great.

T: Grainy sweetness up front, followed by peppers. Tons and tons of peppers. A slow burn follows things up, and lingers forever. This certainly delivers the chile flavor, but what complexity there is beyond the heat isn't that great.

M: Smooth medium body with ample, soft carbonation. Works quite well with the heat.

D: No.

Notes: I enjoyed this beer's spiciness, but the actual pepper flavor wasn't that rich or enjoyable. What's more, the supporting sweetness was decidedly unpleasant. I'm glad I got the random chance to try this beer (you never know what's going to come out of the fridge at NEBCo), but this one really wasn't that great.


Serving type: bottle

11-21-2010 16:59:23 | More by woosterbill
Photo of dogfishandi

New York

4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

reviewed from notes.

22oz bottle at about cellar temp split with a friend poured into a standard pint glass.

pours out a golden color with a one finger or so of white head that eventually faded to a thin layer.

the aroma is sweet jalapeno peppers, very nice, very spicy. a bit of bready malt.

great jalapeno, spicy hotsauce like flavors. very peppery, exspecialy on the backend of the palate, the heat really sticks around. crisp pale, bready malt balances things out.

spiciness all the over the palate, a little tingle but nothing unmanagable. medium in body.

a great beer to end the night with. i love this, i could session this easily, and at the low price that wouldnt really be a problem. i highly recommend this.

ive only had 2 chile beers in my life, this and the rogue, and i really enjoy the style, but this is definatly the better of the 2.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2010 15:17:04 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear golden color with a white head that stayed as a thin layer.

S - spicey jalapeno peppers.

T - the beer starts out with a sort of macro (grain) taste but then the jalapenos kick in hard and hot.

F - medium bodied with mild carbonation.

D - it's a novelty beer that goes better with food rather than on it's own.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2010 01:32:05 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of BruChef

New York

3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass, transparent golden orange in color, with an inch of creamy off white head. Aroma is slightly sweet w/ caramel like overtones but overall, heavy, earthy, jalapeno and green bell pepper aroma. Taste is extremely well balanced for the style. Maybe just a tad more hops to balance the caramel/corn like sweetness, but the jalapeno spice is just the right amount. You really taste the flavor of the jalapeno without being over powered by heat. Assuming that anaheim peppers were also used, it seems to add an earthy, fresh taste without contributing to the heat too much given that they rank a few thousand scoval units lower than a jalapeno. The mouth feel is creamier than i expected and pleasant enough for the style with enough carbonation to bring out the pepper flavor in your mouth as well as aroma.

I would definitely drink it again with a Thai noodle bowl or Caribbean/Jamaican cuisine. I just don't think i could drink more than one pint at a time and i would also recommend finishing it before it gets too warm as the pepper flavor/spice tends to get a little harsh towards the end.

Overall this was a great tasting, well balanced beer for the style unlike the novelty chile beers you might be used to seeing.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2010 19:06:41 | More by BruChef
Photo of ManVersusBeer


3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A golden yellow orange looking body with a light and smooth, a fluffy egg-shell white, foam head. My first reaction is "Wow" when I take a whiff. It just smells spicy like peppers, especially jalapenos, with a slight touch of citrus. It also tastes spicy. Again, like hot peppers and chiles. The small anaheim shines with a definite fresh jalapeno kick; it is like putting pepper seeds on your tongue.
This beer is as if I'm drinking a stuffed jalapeno popper--with the yeasty, malt flavor standing in for the fried breading with a subtle citrus-caramel aftertaste to soothe the spice.
My mouth is on fire. There is little carbonation, but holds up well and is surprisingly drinkable for how spicy and peppery (as chiles) it is.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2010 13:40:13 | More by ManVersusBeer
Photo of 7ways


4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as an extra from Steelersxl, thanks for this unknown diamond in the rough!

Pours like a pale ale, orange/amber with just a bit if white head. No lace. It's a chili beer, who gives a damn. Onto...

...the intoxicating aroma. Wow, it smells like adobo sauce, which is a Latin American sauce/marinade made from smoked jalapenos stewed with tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, salt, and spices. AND IT'S ALL RIGHT HERE in the aroma and taste!!! I use adobo sauce all the time to make my chili, and it's amazing stuff, my chili kicks ass : ) On the front and mid-palette, there is a honey quality that balances the heat, but the hotness takes over as it finishes.
The spice works very well in this beer, not too overpowering but enough kick to open your sinuses a bit. Light, crisp mouthfeel, and just enough tiny bubbles to wash it all down. Screw the hops, it's all about the hot.

Clearly not a session beer; however, if I were eating a lot of Mexican or spicy Italian food (as I am about to), I would drink several throughout the meal. I've had quite a few chili / peppercorn beers, and this the best yet. Fantastic execution, I want more.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2010 05:23:19 | More by 7ways
Photo of steve8robin


3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a BIF. Thanks Cuzco. 22oz...

A: Deep golden honey color with a 1 inch head that fades quickly to a lace atop the brew. Good.

S: I get some bitter hops blended with some spicy chiles upfront. Some sweet sugary malt flavors hidden in the middle with some nice bready notes on the backend. Interesting, but good.

T: Watery sweet chili with hints of red pepper and molasses. Some vanilla notes blended with some roasty coffee bean hidden way in the back. Again, very interesting, and a little weird to taste at first, but good.

M: Medium body with some thick carbonation. Good.

D: This one goes down a little hard. Need a tough stomach for something like this mainly because the flavors are so unique and a little overwhelming. Decent.

All in all, this was a unique beer. Not amazing, but if you're looking to try something different, then I would definitely recommend this brew. If you're looking for a solid brew, this one might not be for you.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2010 07:05:37 | More by steve8robin
Photo of TMoney2591


3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Thanks to Cuzco for this bottle!

Not sure I understand the name, but those dogs on the bottle do look pretty fierce. The brew pours a clear golden copper topped by a finger of steadfast white foam. The nose is rather heavy on the pepper, showcasing both its inherent heat and even deeper chlorophyll levels. Some vague wheat and extremely light citrus notes lie submissive in the background (I fear for their safety). The taste immediately begins as a normal light lager-ish brew, but quickly a decent amount of peppers comes in, washing o'er all and staying through the finish, when a bit more of that lager comes in, vague floral hops, light wheat and corn, and whatnot. The body is pretty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a somewhat drying feel and finish. Overall, a nice chile beer, a hulluva lot better than most of its competitors (though I think that may go without saying...).

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2010 02:01:31 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of mentor


4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Half-finger soda pop head is gone moments after pouring. Liquid is clear bright copper with a few aggressive streamers. Smells hearty peppers with a bright fresh pepper meat character. Very nice to avoid the vegetal character that usually comes in a pepper beer. Smells like the pepper flavor of a well-made chile rellenos.

Tastes bright pepper flavor with mild but dancing pepper sting. Malt sweet is well balanced to the pepper flavor and heat. Not much flavor in the way of malt and no hop flavor or bitter than I can detect. As far as pepper beers go, this is quality stuff. Medium body with a nice dextrinous quality that holds both the malt sweet and pepper sting. Me likey...give me more!

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2010 07:17:20 | More by mentor
Photo of lovindahops

New York

4.53/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

grabbed a bomber from the brewery. Thank you ed and brenda for the hospitality

A- pours a straw yellow head with a white foamy head that disappears. The brew is big time carbonated and looks as though it is inviting as well

S- ok... here is the rule. Grade for the style. There is some earthy hops that mingle with a spice that clears the senses. No question there is an adjunct lager theme, but the spiceness adds character. I like it

T- when you look for concepts of differentiation... this is it! The earthy presence of dry flavor is spike with jalapenos! I love spices and this creates that theme in a bottle. It delights and stings at the same time. This is a catch

M- carbonated and thick on the tongue...oh yes, it burns

D- horseheads has produced a style that is seldom dominating the scenes. Look... you need to try this brew and appreciate what the crafter is trying to produce. As I am a fan of the spices... I will give credit to this concept. Great job Horseheads!

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2010 03:24:37 | More by lovindahops
Photo of mobud


3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from brewery into SA glass.

A- Good dark straw color with a good 1 inch head that hangs for short while then fades.

S- There is no mistake about the pepper component in this beer. The nose is all chopped peppers. Not a real burn, but there is some serious heat that I have not had in a beer in a long time (Ed's Chili Beer I think was the last time long ago). The difference with this beer is the strong base that beer has.

T- Slight tingle on the tongue when you take a sip, but the burn hits you in your throat. As mentioned, these guy build a strong beer that can support the tingle from the peppers. It is not overwhelming, but you should have some interest in those things hot, because I could see a lot of my friends pouring this beer at the start. The malts come thru, but God help any hops in there; I missed them.

M- Light to medium. Cold into the glass, It was light and the burn was less noticable. Now it has warmed alittle and it beer is warmer in both temp and feel.

D- I like hot and I like Horseheads, so this beer will be purchased again. Not a style I rush out for, but a great curve ball when I want something different.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2010 23:36:06 | More by mobud
Photo of stakem


3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber care of steelersxl, thanks!

Poured into a snifter this brew appears a very clear light orange color. A finger of lightly stained head forms an uneven surface sitting atop the brew and is supported by constantly rising bubbles giving it pretty decent retension. Slight legs of lace appear around the glassware.

The smell of this beer is all peppers. Chiles or not, this brew smells exactly like the jalapeno wine my parent's neighbor makes with some earthiness like must about the back of the nose.

Taking a sip of this brew it has a light feel with a lively level of carbonation that really makes the pepper flavor pop. It has a grainy sweetness upfront that leads right into the pepper's flavor and heat. The alcohol comes through a bit in the back to exaggerate the heat from the peppers.

Quite an interesting brew. I bet this would be killer with a bowl of chili. The more you drink the warmer it gets.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2010 02:31:06 | More by stakem
Photo of SLeffler27

New York

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hot-Jala-Heim pushes up a big white meringue over a hazy orange amber beer, while ample carbonation streams upward. The head settles in as a blanket, leaving no discernible lacing.

Aroma is rather subdued, with some cyan pepper, and equal part wet paper. One wonders if this is truly their best effort, or simply an offering to fill a request.

Light malt flavors are balanced well against the hot pepper, and rather than the gimmicky feeling left from the aroma, the pepper does compliment the malts. However, this beer ignores the greater potential of peppers to provide more character than heat.

Lively carbonation adds life to this otherwise light to medium body beer, which lacks much character.

The simplicity is precisely what makes this an easy beer to consume. While it does improve with a little warmth, Hot-Jala-Heim is really an all purpose beer, best as a refresher.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2010 20:10:26 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of nickd717


4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to bring on BA. Barry knew I was bummed about missing the Palo Alto/Firehouse Chocopeno on tap and was kind enough to bring this as a consolation prize. From what I've heard about the Chocopeno, this is probably a much better beer than that was.

Pours a clear copper color with a nicely formed, lacey white head.

Great aroma: fresh jalapeno peppers and caramel malt, well-balanced.

Excellent and balanced flavor, lots of pepper flavor as well as a little heat. I think adding the Anaheim peppers was a nice touch. Caramel and pale malt balance. Nothing overwhelms at all.

Medium body with a spicy mouthfeel and medium-low carbonation.

Pretty drinkable. A really great chile beer overall, even if the heat is not as intense as a hardcore heat guy like me would like.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2010 19:05:08 | More by nickd717
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Hot-Jala-Heim from Horseheads Brewing Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.