Hot-Jala-Heim | Horseheads Brewing Inc.

very good
52 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Horseheads Brewing Inc.
New York, United States

Style: Chile Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This style of beer is classified in the "Fruit/Vegetable" category as a "Chili beer". The focus is obviously on the chili peppers used during the brewing process. Our version uses a mix of hot peppers, including jalapenos and anaheims (hence the name...Hot-Jala-Heim). It has a delightful 'peppery' aroma as well as taste with a 'mild' sensation of heat experienced after swallowing.

Added by WesWes on 01-06-2008

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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 107
Photo of KTCamm
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

3/31...pours pale gold with light white foam. Very faint malt smell, barely noticeable at all. Flat. Light sweet malt open followed by a slow moving but cresting wave of hot pepper burn. Steady burn, sits and stews. Whew! Hot and sweet. Excellent flavor profile. 22 ounces take a real effort.

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Photo of PhillyB
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I was hesitant to try this beer. It was included in the tasting at the brewery, so I tried it anyway. My mother tells me it goes great with the jalapeno poppers at the local pub.

Look: Looks like a darker ale. Dark, but not quite opaque.

Smell: Smells like a darker ale sitting next to a plate of jalapeño poppers.

Taste: A darker and quite smooth ale with jalapenos. If you like eating straight jalapenos then you might like this.

Feel: Here's where the beer gets a little weird. The spice isn't particularly strong, but it tickles the back of your throat and stays there. Otherwise a smooth and enjoyable drink.

Overall: As a standalone beer, I don't care for it. However, if you have it along with a plate of jalapeno poppers (which I believe was the intent) it's very enjoyable.

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Photo of EMV
2.41/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Had on draft at Horseheads Brewery

L: Pours a clear light golden color. Light white head with no retention.

S: Cooked veggies and peppers.

T/F: Starts off a bit doughy/grainy and then gets to a moderately spicy finish. Green peppers and cooked veggies. A bit fizzy.

O: I don't mind chilis as an addition to beer.. especially with some of the stouts. This just didn't work for me... too much veggie/chili and not enough beer... and maybe that says more about me than this brew . I dumped most of it and wouldn't recommend.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.49/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a pint glass.

3.25 A: Clear dark yellow color. Two fingers of frothy off-white head. Retention is about average and no lacing is left.

3.5 S: Balanced mix between peppery heat and vegetal component. Grassy and spicy hops. Otherwise neutral malts.

3.5 T: Taste offers balance as well. Both the base beer and the peppers come through well. The peppers are more powerful as a flavor rather than heat. Malts offer hay and a light biscuit flavor. Just a touch of heat on the finish.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Lightly creamy and smooth.

3.5 D: Decent beer. I wish the peppers had a little more control over the beer, but it still turned out pretty good.

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Photo of rudzud
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.75

Shared with JLindros

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a crystal clear copper hue with a thin white halo that fades to leave thin wisps.

S - Aromas of jalapeno peppers, maybe Anaheim too which would make sense. Pleasant spicy, green chili, light malt sweetness. Pleasant

T - Taste is similar to the nose, nice malt sweetness, good green pepper and light chili, nice bright Anaheim chili, good lingering heat. Not overwhelming.

M - Mouthfeel is rather thin and watery, worst aspect of the beer.

O - Overall this beer was a nice surprise. Good chili notes, very pleasant. Just wish the mouth was better.

Serving Type: Bottle

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Photo of logicalparadox
3.25/5  rDev -14%

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!

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Photo of Billolick
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
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

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Photo of T-34-85
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This was my first foray into the "chile" beer realm. Although it didn't blow me away, it was an interesting and enjoyable experience.

Aroma: Mild hop aroma with light malt sweetness, and the added punch of the hot peppers.

Taste: A relatively moderate pale ale with balance of hops and malt, and a moderate level of peppery heat that persists in the back of the throat.

Overall, this was a nice beer and very drinkable considering the style. Based on my understanding of many of the other chile beers, that seems to be a more balanced and approachable version.

Worth a try.

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Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of Wortman1998
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
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!

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Photo of rlee1390
2.89/5  rDev -23.5%
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.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
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!

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of Gavage
3.78/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.73/5  rDev -27.8%
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.

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Photo of oberon
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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Photo of clickpush
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of harrymel
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.59/5  rDev +21.4%
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!

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Photo of woosterbill
2.59/5  rDev -31.5%
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.


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Photo of dogfishandi
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.44/5  rDev -9%
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.

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Photo of BruChef
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of ManVersusBeer
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Hot-Jala-Heim from Horseheads Brewing Inc.
3.78 out of 5 based on 107 ratings.
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