Fiery Hell
Surly Brewing Company

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German Helles
Ranked #38
Ranked #21,863
3.83 | pDev: 14.36%
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Very Good
Notes: Cask conditioned lager infused with chilies.
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 108
Photo of REVZEB
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on tap. Golden bubbly body with a finger of white foam. In smell get lots of honey malt, some citrus, vegetables and very faint peppers, kind of funky all together. Taste is more balanced, hitting the palate with waves of citrus, helles grains and malts, and then the peppers really hit, much more than smell let on, delicious. Heat is cumulative but in a satisfying way. Feel is lighter than original, but has nice heat texture and grains contrasting. Like the original hell better, but this was a fun twist.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fiery Hell pours a reddish, copper color, with no head. Spicy, hot aroma. Flavor is is very spicy, lots and lots of pepper. Good body and feel. Overall, its spicy, has a bit of a burn near the end.

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Photo of CraigP83
3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is exactly as expected. Surly Hell with chilis, Gives a subtle tabasco flavor and burn in the back of your throat but not nearly as intolerable as say Habanero Sculpin.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had at the Surly Brewer’s Table with marlin crudo. L: Brilliant gold with a thin creamy white foam cap that quickly dissipates. It has a touch more gold amber in it than the Surly Hell. S: Medium malt and a little chili vegetal. Hop aromas hide a little behind the chili. T: Starts with a light grainy sweetness and then a medium high chili heat comes forward. Its hot but not overpowering. Some light chili fruit behind the heat. With the chili in the forefront, the hop bitterness and oak move to the background. F: Light to medium light body, above average carbonation. O: A crisp, refreshing beer that goes very well with fish.

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Photo of dav2080
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Had this at the Surly taproom in Minneapolis.
Nice golden color. White head that faded. Streams of carbonation. Looked beautiful in the winter sun streaming through the glass wall.
I must be sensitive the pepper taste. At first the malt came through followed by the pepper. It lingered and IMO over took the beer.
It had a slight oiliness to the mouth feel.
Overall, my wife, who is a miller lite fan, and tells me she is really trying to like "my" beers, loved this one. I ordered her a 8oz Hell. She ordered a 12oz Firey Hell with the meal.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was served on tap from the upstairs walk-up bar, at the new Surly taproom in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It arrived in a tall, thin house tulip, showcasing a clear, shimmering deep gold coloring. A half finger head of snowy white bubbles retained briefly, leaving only an effervescent layer across the top of the liquid, with no real decoration of lacing otherwise. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared to be highly active in a column at the direct center of the beer. This reminded us of champagne. The aroma offered a blend of corny adjuncts, cleaner pale malts, pilsner malt, simple syrup sweetness, candy corn, hair mousse chemical bite, green poblano pepper spice giving the faintest heat, light citric hops, lime rind bitters, lime soda sugars, lemon seed, white cooking onions, and building peppery and savory hot pepper heat with warmth. The taste buds met a generic blonde malty profile, with hearty wheat, pilsner, and crystal toast graininess, spicy heat of juicy pepper oiliness (especially breathing through the aftertaste), fresh mint and cilantro herbal mash, icy metallics, corny adjuncts, buttered popcorn, vanilla coolness, light grassy hops, mineral, mild red apple and apricot fruitiness, acidic lemon juiciness, and plastic dust. The body was medium, and the carbonation was the same. Easy slurp, smack, cream, and froth came with each sip, lending a foaminess to the otherwise oily, lingering, spicy coating left around the mouth. The abv was appropriate, and drinkability was decidedly average.

Overall, this is a nicely approachable chili pepper beer. From the very first sippable pull of the liquid into your mouth the spicy oiliness becomes apparent. By the end of the sip you can find some relatively decent heat packed into the flavor. This is particularly true of the aftertaste, which tends to linger, even after it is long gone from the palate. The pepper, which seems commercially comparable to a smoky habanero (even though it isn’t), builds nicely upon the basic base Munich helles malt profile. It actually improves the base, rather than muddying it or obscuring it. You keep that bittered, crisp grain profile, which deviates from many hotter chili beers that try to meet the heat with more of a sweeter, cream ale style grain profile, or a hoppier wash. Don’t expect a beer like Crime or Punishment to kick you to the curb; take in the milder heat, enjoying it for what it is. This is German, and Minnesotan, and well-done. Good on you, Surly.

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Photo of gatornation
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ brewpub
A-clear dark yellow with a slim very white head
S-lager yeast and malt with a slight smell of pepper
T-slight hops with a more pronounced pepper taste it compliments this lager and in no way overpowers bready malt and caramel finish
M-crisp with just a touch of pepper heat
O-thought this was very good not a big pepper fan but i liked this one its worth a try fir sure

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

At the brew hall, into a tulip.

I like the base beer a lot. In many of the pepper beers I've had (by other brewers), the pepper (and usually its heat) overwhelms the base beer instead of harmonizing with it. Here, the pepper is nicely integrated, it is quite strong but it isn't too fiery nor is it overwhelming. I don't like it as much as Hell on its own, but it is interesting and it is well-made.

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Photo of mothman
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear straw golden yellow. White head at first that fades away.

Aroma is fairly mild. I get hints of the peppers, but nothing over the top.

The flavor brings out the peppers a bit more. Spicy in the finish. Not super hot compared to other pepper beers, but enough to let you know they are there. The nice part about the peppers is they still let you know you are drinking hell.

Mouthfeel: Light and spicy.

Overall, I like this better than hell. I thought the peppers and oak barrels made this beer a bit more complex. I'd drink more of this if it's around.

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Photo of Philly82785
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had it on tap last night at the Blue Nile. I had very little to no nose of the pepper infusion. I had a minor intial taste of pepper. The heat was subtle in the front but it had a more pronounced heat in the finish that lingered a few minutes. It was a very good beer, however if I had more than the small portion in the flight, I'm unsure how long it would take to finish. It probably didnt help that I had heat with the food prior.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught into a generic tulip at the Republic bar in Minneapolis. Reviewed from notes taken around Thanksgiving 2012.

A: Pours no head whatsoever, just a khaki floater. Body colour is a pale gold. No yeast particles are visible. no bubble show.

Sm: Light orange fruit and floral hops. Tangerine. Pale malts. Passionfruit. Pleasant and inviting. My broken nose detects no chili pepper.

T: Pale malts, tropical acidic fruit, orange, chili pepper (jalapeno), and some tropical passion fruit. Well balanced and executed, with a well handled spicy chili kick. This is what a chili beer should be. I like it.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Excellent carbonation. Good thickness. Suits the flavours well.

Dr: Quite drinkable and enjoyable; not overbearing for a chili beer. That said, I wouldn't want to do a pint of it on a night out with the lads. I'd certainly kick back and watch a film with it or pair it with food. Definitely one of the best chili beers I've had.


Hands down one of the best beers for pairing with pizza. A great option for food pairing.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Surly Fiery Hell. Hell, the Helles lager, with a ton of peppers in it. I had this at All Pints North, avoided it at Autumn Brew Review. Now, I can finally get a full pour (didn't know they were releasing kegs of it. )…so, let's have one, though I know what I'm in for.

Hazy dark golden hue, small white head above.

Aroma: Peppery flavor (without the heat) resting over a basic pilsnery malt nose.

Taste: Ow! Ow! yew! The peppers are in full effect. Ooo, ooo, ooh! yeeeow! But, you know, ..ow! Yeow! It keeps biting!

What can I really say about this? It's my evil antithesis. Long ago I learned that a light lager plus hot chilis does not equal pleasure for me. I'd rather it were done with an ale, with more flavors to compete and contribute to this mess. But a light lager will only give the pepper so much more room to shine, and while that may be ideal for some, it is not for me. I skipped this at ABR, having had my fill at APN, but couldn't resist the chance to "tick it", in this sort of fashion.

from Acadia's flier: blah blah (about Hell)...and then..."Cask conditioned and aged on Hickory wood and Puya chiles for a slow burn on the back of the tongue. 4.5% aBV, 12 degrees Plato, 20 IBU.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Muddy Waters in Minneapolis, MN. Served in a Surly shaker glass.

Appearance: Color is a straw pale golden yellow with some orange. Moderate amount of bubbles. Solid three fingers of white head with good retention. Leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Bready biscuity malts with a quite noticeable scent of hot chili peppers. Nice scent of grass and earthy hops. Hints of cereal grains, caramel, toffee, and crackers with some lemon zest. Fairly floral and yeasty. It essentially smells like the base beer Hell with a big kick of chili peppers. Pretty interesting and intriguing.

Taste: Holy Red Hot Chili Peppers Batman! The peppers come out considerably stronger in the taste with a fairly sharp heat to them. Not overwhelming, but it packs enough heat to compare with a big boozy beer. Although you can still taste the base beer. Behind the peppers is a nice bready biscuit flavor with good hints of cereal grains, crackers, toffee, and caramel. Fairly floral with some hints of earthy hops and grass. Somewhat in your face with the spice but good.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Crisp and pretty spicy but still pretty easy to get down.

Overall: The spice whacks the tongue but this is pretty good if you like extreme flavors. A nice kick to the base Hell beer. Would easily stand up to a spicy Mexican dish.

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Photo of tewaris
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is what it is, a relatively simple lager with some wood and pepper but it works. Hell (the base beer) serves as a great vehicle for the chillies. It's aromatic and flavorful and has a decent degree of heat to it. Nowhere close to Ghost Face Killah, but definitely enough to be felt.

Definitely a fest novelty that I would not particularly want to purchase in 4-pack cans but will try whenever it makes an appearance.

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Fiery Hell from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 108 ratings