Hot-Jala-Heim - Horseheads Brewing Inc.

Not Rated.

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very good

101 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 101
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.51%
Wants: 26
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Horseheads Brewing Inc. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Chile Beer |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: WesWes on 01-06-2008

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 101 | Reviews: 48
Reviews by BruChef:
Photo of BruChef
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Photo of Billolick
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bomber bottle w/o freshness info.

Pours lightly clouded lighter almond amber. Moderate and non long lived head, leaves a minor film, very thin collar and minor lace.

I get green pepper on the nose and more chilies and peppers on the palate. Chili pepper level is just about right here, you don't have to search for it and it doesn't blow up your taste buds. As a chili head who enjoys moderate head, this one was about spot on. My non-chili head wife felt about the same....Worth a try, especially if ya like the style

Photo of dogfishandi
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Photo of Sammy
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Village Beer Merchant. Quite lagerish initially, with peppers in the finish. As I got through most of the bottle, the peppers build up and its more refreshing. Grows on you. Have liked more spicey bolder of this variety, and this was not bad, drinkablity is good.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.59/5  rDev +19.2%
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!

Photo of nickd717
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Photo of akorsak
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 650 mL bottle purchased at the brewery. Shared with Ffejherb, FooFaa, Deuane, ksak and others.

A: The ale is a golden straw color, sitting clear in my glass save for a stream of carbonation. A white head atop the ale lingered for a few minutes before disappearing.

S: Jalapeño. That is all. The nose is piquant and deliciously spiced. Like a freshly sliced pepper in a bowl. There isn't much else to say beyond that.

T: The ale is blonde, dominated by pale malts. Despite the zest in the nose, there is very little in the way of heat in the taste. There is a peppery flourish but it doesn't pack much punch. The ale does have the sweetness that I've come to appreciate from Horseheads.

M: The ale has a bit of spiciness, not so hot as black peppery. The mild body makes the nose all the more powerful.

D: A great accompaniment to beans and weenies, the ale is a pretty good brew that smells great.

Photo of logicalparadox
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

holy shit! No joke with the chilis. This beer is spicy, and offers a lot of the chili fruitiness and I've always craved from a chili beer. Quite daring, but not for the faint of heart!

Photo of mikesgroove
2.73/5  rDev -29.1%
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.

Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is clear yellowish orange in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that died down, leaving wispy patterns of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of anaheim and jalapeño peppers are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has lots of flavors of chili peppers—the anaheims stand out more prominently—and has a light to moderate amount of associated spiciness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The chili peppers make your tongue tingle a little.
O: I found this beer to be quite drinkable for a chili beer—it had lots of pepper aromas and flavors but the spiceness was't that strong. It would pair well with Mexican food, such as tortilla chips and salsa.

Photo of rlee1390
2.89/5  rDev -24.9%
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.

Photo of travduke
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks Aliza (naproxen) for hooking this one up.

Pours a clear golden body with a 2 finger fluffy white head that quickly dissipates. 

Smell is, ofcourse, peppers. I'm no pepper connissuer by any means but I sense green bell peppers and jalapeno. Not really any malt at the nose.

This actually isn't bad. There is no overwhelming heat, but you know it's there. 

I would of enjoyed this more if I was eating something with a bit of a kick to it. It's a great example of the style without being too outrageous (cave creek). 

Photo of jlindros
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An interesting one thanks to mikereaser. I'm a big spicy food fan, and somewhat for beers, so lets see how this goes.

A: Creamy but frizzy 1 finger head that fades very quickly. It's a champagne yeast like head and small bubbles. Pretty clear with a touch of haze in the orange wheat like color.

N: Sweet malts, wheat, some spices, tons of pepper, little Anaheim pepper, a little sweet syrup and honey malt, mild vegetal straw.

T: Lots of sweet syrupy flavors and malts, but stays light. Some lager like flavors, a little honey, corn syrup almost, and most of all pepper. Pepper! Anaheim hot, green pepper, hot peppers, fair spiciness etc. It has some nice heat to it but no where near other beers I've had, and doesn't overpower. Pretty tasty.

M: Somewhat syrupy but still kinda light, with a ton of carbonation and little bubbles, decent heat.

F: Spicy, and the spiciness seems to linger a bit. More of the sweet malts and lager flavors lingering. Wheat, pepper, and a little honey lingering for a while.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
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...).

Photo of Gavage
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of williamherbert
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ultra clear stoplight yellow. Head is white, short-lived. Bubbles stick to the inside of the glass.

The smell is pure jalapeno peppers. A smoky, spicy aroma that slaps you in the nose. Hint of roasted malt underneath.

The mild, bready notes in the taste are overshadowed by the peppers, which I'm assuming replaces the hops. The latter smokyness (on the back of the tongue) is closer to a Rauchbier. It's different and pretty good.

The peppers burn the throat a little, but in a good way. This beer is pure liquid nachos, brother. No way around it. I like it; truly unique.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up on a trip this past summer and somehow it got lost in my cellar until now.
Pours a deep golden color with a huge fluffy white head that dissipates slowly to form a cap.
Smells of green peppers, jalapeno's and other assorted hot peppers. I can't find anything malty or sweet beneath the overwhelming spicy pepper smell.
Taste is filled with toffee and brown sugar up front. I found the malt! Caramel and pepper skins midway with a long lingering spicy heat on the finish.
Mildly carbonated, medium body with a slick almost syrupy mouthfeel.
This one isn't half bad. The heat wasn't overwhelming, I could see me enjoying these if I were closer to the brewery.

Photo of ManVersusBeer
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of Deuane
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to akorsak for sharing a bottle of this one.

A-Pale golden yellow with a thin white head that reduced to a thin ring and left spotty lace.

S-This one is very simple---->jalapeño jelly with a touch of sour zing, done.

T-Sweet biscuit malt holding up the body for the sharp biting zing of the jalapeño sourness. This one never builds any significant heat.

M-Medium-light bodied sharp and biting with a lightly building jalapeño spiciness.

D-Nice stuff....not hot, light and easy to drink. This brew is a nice accompanying beer with food. We had it with franks and beans and it went great!

Photo of BEERchitect
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chili beers are always a bit intimidating going in. Flashbacks from Crazy Ed's Cave Creek keeps me a bit gun shy.

Firm aromas of vegital peppers, spicy capsasan, and a very soft malt aroma (somewhat pilsner-like). Any hops, fruity esters or phenolics are burried by the powerful pepper aroma.

Deep golden to light copper in color, the beer carries a formitable white head that remains persistent, showcasing the malt character underneath the pepper additions. A good look.

Flavors of sweetness and bready malts make a more sturdy presence early on. The jalapeno flavor starts out light but slowly intensifies as the beer fades into the finish and aftertaste. Warming does much the same: low at first but increases slowly and steadily, stopping shy of over bearing heat.

Mouthfeel is moderate with the hearty maltiness that straddles a Dortmunder and Malt Liquor. Heat from the peppers make me a bit unsure about the alcohol presence.

Overall this is a good chili beer that has more malt character than expected- which saves the beer. Showing restraint on the heat also helps out a lot.

Thanks indiapaleale!

Photo of mobud
3.62/5  rDev -6%
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.

Photo of WesWes
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a solid golden ale base, which is light and full of pale malts, but it also has a semi-aggressive pepper aroma. Jalapeno peppers are quite noticeable. The taste is good. It has a light, pale malt flavor with little to no hop character, along with a "hot" peppery finish. It says that it's made with jalapeno and anaheim peppers. It's mildly spicey at first then it bites you good in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low/medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a beer inspired by a recent trip to the GABF. Chili beers rock the Colorado area and now thanks to these guys they rock NY as well.

Photo of harrymel
3.84/5  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.

Photo of stakem
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Hot-Jala-Heim from Horseheads Brewing Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.