Hot Box - Indeed Brewing Company

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Hot Box
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BA SCORE
87
very good

89 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 89
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 14.99%
Wants: 10
Gots: 13 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Indeed Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Chile Beer |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: sacrelicio on 02-28-2013

Good friends. Good beer. They are what get us through these insanely long winters in Minnesota. That’s why we teamed up with our friends at Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub in South Minneapolis to bring you Hot Box Imperial Smoked Pepper Porter. This collaboration beer is brewed with hickory-smoked peppers and malt cold-smoked over alder, maple and apple woods. Sweet and smoky, with hints of dark fruit and coffee, Hot Box provides just enough heat to keep you thawed during the coldest winter months. This beer may not be for everyone, but then again, neither are Minnesota winters!
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 17
Photo of sacrelicio
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Decent beer, imperial porter with smoked chiles, collaboration with Northbound Smokehouse. Dark brown, almost black, with a decent mocha head. Smell is peppery and a bit chocolatey. Taste is pretty hot, with a good chocolatey background. Lots of smoke. Good beer but I wouldn't seek it out again.

Photo of stakem
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The brew pours dark brown in color with a khaki colored head that holds well. As it fades, it leaves spotty lace on the glass. The aroma for the most part contains primarily pepper spice that tingles the nose with a fair amount of cocoa in the background. The taste is fruity somewhat yeast driven with plenty of cocoa and peppery citrus burn. This is medium bodied and modestly carbonated. Overall I think the base beer is lacking quite a bit as it is thin and lifeless but the cocoa and oeoper addition was well executed and made for a good "save" of the beer.

Photo of TheBeerDrinker
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours out black as night with a two finger beige head with great staying power and some nice lacing. Smell is dark malts, slight bit of pepper, maybe a little bit of chocolate but the malts are the showcase in the nose along with some smoke. Taste is smoky with more chocolate, more peppers, and definitely the malts in the background. Actually I would say the peppers and the dark malts are the most upfront and seem to go well together. While it's slightly hot it also has the distinct taste of jalapenos which I love. If the peppers are going to be upfront it's nice to taste a jalapeno as I love them. Mouthfeel is decently thick when swished around the mouth due to the nice carbonation. Definitely not thick like an aged BCBS but still some thickness there. Overall I like this beer more than I thought I would as it has been sitting and staring at me for over a month and I finally popped her open. Really a pretty nicely balanced beer as the smoke, malts, and peppers really all seem to compliment each other instead of overwhelming one another.

The beer is 9.0 ABV if anyone knows how to update that.

Photo of angrybabboon
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Review from notes, 7/4/14

Appearance: Dark, dark brown, but not black - pours with a medium sized, tan head - fades to some nice wisps, leaves some nice lacing

Smell: Nice chili aromas and a solid porter base - vegetal chili peppers, can't detect any heat in the aroma - nice undercurrent of smoke and smoked wood - porter base has some nice chocolate and roasty malts

Taste: Nice chili pepper flavor, nice porter flavors, lacking heat - dry and roasty, chocolate and caramel malts - light sweetness - overall, the chili flavor is somewhere between subtle and well-balanced, with some chili flavor and some light heat - nice smoky flavors as well, and everything comes together nicely

Mouthfeel: Medium body, smooth, nicely carbonated, very drinkable

Overall: Not hot, doesn't come in a box... but still good

This is definitely a porter with chilis, not a chile beer. But it's a good example of a porter enhanced by smoke and chilis. I don't think it will blow any minds, but I'm glad I had a chance to try it.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

i respect it, but i don't really love it, thats my take on this smoked chili porter. all kinds of woods used here for the malt, and the pepper is intense on it, so for the lover of a little heat in their brew, this is for you. chocolate brown in color with an oatmeal looking head over an inch tall. it smells heavily smoked, with the pepper coming second. a little watery perhaps on the body, but it doesnt hurt it much in my eyes. i get a lot more pepper heat than i need here, its not dominant, but its real strong, and has the curious property of mellowing out with temperature, opposite of what i have known to be the standard. the smoke is the best part, its complex and heavy, rachbier style, woody and earthy and a little bitter. if i was in charge of this beer, i would increase the grain bill, a little darker and bitter malt, and id scale back the pepper just a touch, but the alcohol is well hidden and i would like this a lot better if i could handle the heat, but I've never cared for much of that in my beer. impressive offering though, indeed has been doing some very unique stuff.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to KWMiles for the bottle. Split with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Almost black with some deep rich browns on the edges. Head starts big and bubbly but drops to a small cap and collar in short order. Some sheets and notches of lacing.

Smell: Nice layers of spicy chilies. Some earthy and smoked pepper elements combine with a nice sweet smoked malt. The apple and cedar wood really shine. Some nicely roasted malts add some sweetness. A bit vegetal. Small earthy element. Some cocoa thrown in the back with a mild grassy element. A bit of smoked meat.

Taste: Mild cocoa and dark chocolate. A touch of grassy hop with some earthy elements. Peppers are nicely vegetal with an earthy and smoky element themselves. A touch spicy on the back. Some nice roasted elements with some dark sweet malts. Alder and cherry wood add some nice woody (go figure) elements and a distinct sweetness. Everything is balanced for the big style. Smoky in good measure. A vague dark fruit creeps out as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Medium leaning to full body. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: Way better than Pepper Potts.

A nice pepper infused porter. A balance everyone should chase in the style.

Photo of beaversfan12
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

spicy, smokey taste. great mouth feel

Photo of Hop-Droppen-Roll
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first waxed bottle! I was surprised at the amount of head here, but I'm no expert on porters. Very dark, obviously, but a shot with the ol' flashlight (5.11 ATAC) reveals a deep dark burgundy.
Smells great! I wish I could smell it better but I've got the worlds crummiest sinuses (oh no! he's not qualified to review beers! ban him!) Smells a little smoky and peppery, as should be expected.
The taste rocks. I wasn't sure how porter and peppers would work together, but it's awesome. The only other pepper beer I've had was Alaskan Jalepeno Imperial IPA - so this was a fun bottle to crack - something totally new to me. The sweet maltiness and the tickle of the peppers are terrific compliments, and that savory pepper taste rounds it all out very well.
Mouthfeel is good. Gets a bit creamy after a moment, nice for a porter.

Overall? (whispering) I just use a calculator to get the average of the first 4 scores and adjust based on emotion. 4.00!

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Indeed Hot Box Imperial Porter/Smoked Porter, with Peppers, or Imperial Smoked Pepper Porter? One of those things. In collaboration with Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub in South Minneapolis. Brewer/owner Jamie Robinson, of Northbound, worked at Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery with Indeed brewmaster Josh Bischoff, and, I believe, co-owner Tom Wisenand. Jamie smoked some malt (and the peppers) at Northbound, then went over to Indeed in North Minneapolis to brew the thing.
9.5 % ABV.

And now it's at last on tap at a bar near me, and in my glass, and I'm about to drink one.

Solid ebony appearance, lush, lace-leaving, light tannish head atop. A beautiful thing.

Aroma: Pepper heat and smoke lead the charge, with smoke a bit ahead. Very rauchbier-isch. Lightly sweet smoke-y malt, with peppers creeping slightly behind.

Taste: Boards the palate with full aplomb, again with smoked malt dominant, and pepper taste just after. Jalapeno and Fresno peppers were employed in this, and I'm glad they aren't a major part of it. They're there, but they're not stoking your tongue over hot coals, piercing your senses with hot pokers, drilling the palate with intense chili heat.

I've not been shy about sharing the fact that jalapenos and I are not exactly friends. I love spiciness, but am incapable of handling intense heat from those and other, hotter chilis. Cheers to those of you who are happy with them, and call me a wimp if you want. I pick them out of my meals, and do not care for them in my beers. Especially lagers. But ales, especially porters, imperial porters? Smoked porters? Imperial smoked porters? Those I can handle.

One flaw, if any, would be that traditional porter-y flavors do not emerge, for they are all but swamped by all these extra, added tastes. There's some chocolate malt lurking below, some slight roast, a light cherry or other dark fruit. But swamped over by the smoke and the pepper.

One thing that doesn't dominate, however, is the alcohol. That's staying on the mellow side, despite it's …whoa. Spoke to soon. There it is.

All in all, another excellent effort from Indeed.

Photo of pat61
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at the Bryant Lake Bowl
L: Pours nearly black with a thin light tan head that leaves splotchy lace.
S: Smokey, pepper notes with a chocolate and light coffee background.
T: Smokey chocolate, dried fruit, hint of bacon, faint coffee, pepper. The malt character is moderate to moderately low, the yeast driven flavors are moderate, and the smokiness is moderate to a little above.
F: Creamy with medium carbonation and body O: An interesting beer that needs a touch more pizzazz in the base beer to shine.

Photo of bsp77
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Very dark brown with good-sized tan head and light lacing.

Smell: Definite smoke, almost peaty, peppers, heat and molasses.

Taste: The smoke and the hot peppers take center stage and compliment each other nicely. Some balance with the molasses and chocolate notes from the Porter base. Lingering smoke and jalapeño.

Feel: Fairly smooth, medium to full body with moderately low carbonation. The heat from the peppers makes the finishing mouthfeel a little bit uncomfortable at times.

Overall: A very tasty beer that I wish I had more of. While the heartburn inducing finish is a little bit of nuisance, it doesn't fully detract from this unique offering from Indeed.

Photo of morimech
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle

Hot Box Imperial Smoked Pepper Porter. Collaboration of Indeed and Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub. Imperial porter aged over smoked Poblano & Jalapeno peppers.

Pours a dark, clear brown with an attractive two finger head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Massive amount of lacing is left down the glass.

Smokey aroma of wood and chile smoke. Notes of chocolate, coffee, and earth. Has a little bit of a ashy campfire smell that knocks the score down a little of an otherwise excellent aroma.

Definitely more than Minnesota spicy. Heat and spice hit the back of the throat and hangs around. Plenty of wood smoke in the flavor as well. Not rauchbier level of smoke but still a big flavor player. Good sweetness from the malt adds balance and complexity with notes of cocoa and coffee. Pick up some earthy and grassy hops as well. Very complex flavor and worth digging into.

Medium body with creamy, smooth carbonation and texture. Pleasurable to drink.

Maybe one of the more radical beers to be packaged in Minnesota. Not Minnesota nice.The spice and smoke is going to alienate a lot of locals, but it is an excellently crafted and composed beer.

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Big smoke flavor, big pepper flavor, only small heat from the pepper.

Photo of MattyG85
4.39/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a waxed 750 ml bottle into a Surly Darkness Chalice.

Appearance: Pours dark black with a slight hint of brownish amber. Moderate bubbles and a very big four finger light tan head that slowly fades into a thinner creamy layer. Leaves a lot of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A very smoky, woody, and dark roasted aroma. Huge aroma of smoked malts with hints of charred wood and beef jerky. The jalapeno and Fresno peppers come in as well adding to the hot smoking scent. Dark roasted malts with hints of chocolate, sweet caramel, toffee, toast, coffee, biscuit, and nut. Subtle earthy hops in the background. A very big hickory smoked dark aroma. Pretty nice smell.

Taste: Follows the nose well with a big rich taste of hickory smoke, hot pepper, and dark malt. Big upfront taste of smoked malts and burnt wood with a little beef jerky like taste. Nice hot bite of jalapeno and Fresno peppers blend in with the smoked malts. Roasty malt taste with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, and a little nut. A little hop bitterness behind the heavy malts. Very smoke forward with a nice blend of peppers and chocolate. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and pretty hot from the pepper. Alcohol heat is mild.

Overall: A very good smoked beer. Good smoked dark malt taste with just enough pepper to add a nice kick without becoming too hot. Would pair well with Mexican food.

Photo of xmorgan
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had in tap at Señor Wong in St Paul

Appearance: dark (poor lighting) brownish whit foamy head with food lacing

Smell: Smokey and malty nice smokehouse nose

Taste: smokey with an alcohol finish it does not finish so well and leaves a overly bitter aftertaste.

Overall: bold beer that would be excellent with meat and stronger cheese, enjoyable in meals but the aftertaste makes it harder on its own, enjoyable but. Oils not drink more then one at a sitting

Photo of FakeDeniro
4.74/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look Dark more like a stout then a porter but who cares.
Smell Campfire not too strong.
Taste Campfire up front followed by a sweet milk chocolate with a little heat after!
Over all a great smoked beer. The heat was not very strong but works well with the sweet chocolate taste it follows.

Photo of Beerlover
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Everything about this beer is perfect, it's an excellent example of every style of beer that makes it up, porter, smoke beer, pepper beer all balanced perfectly together, and this year I don't even have to go down to indeed to get one! This is in my opinion an amazing example of how complex a beer can be but still beautifully simple if that makes any sense. This is just such a balanced beer and perfect to pair with food and friends in the ridiculously long frigidly freezing winter we've had here. None of the flavors overwhelm the palate or over take the others. So pleasant, not too much smoke or heat, I'd say the smoke a high low and the heat is moderate but you still have a great porter as a base, I think indeed should start canning the porter without the smoke and peppers as a year round beer, that would be glorious! one of my favorite beers that I tried and forgot to rate of last year and it's just as good if not better this year, yum!

Hot Box from Indeed Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.