Jalepeño Ale
Garrison Brewing Company

Jalepeño AleJalepeño Ale
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Chile Beer
Ranked #76
Ranked #47,934
2.95 | pDev: 25.76%
Garrison Brewing Company
Nova Scotia, Canada
Jalepeño AleJalepeño Ale
Notes: Unique in the Maritimes (and anywhere north of Santa Fe!), our Jalapeño Ale will cool you down and warm you up at the same time. Our refreshing light ale is loaded with Jalapeño, Habanero, Scotch Bonnet and Jamaican Hot Peppers to create a truly unusual brew. This beer is great for lovers of all things hot & spicy, and a killer secret weapon in the kitchen and on the grill.

21 IBU
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 25 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of PorterPro125
PorterPro125 from Canada (NB)

3.08/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type: 473 mL Can

L- Pours a slightly hazy pale golden topped by a 1/4 finger white head that dissipates fairly quickly. No lacing.

S- Slight hint of pepper, along with some pale grain.

T- I came into this thinking that there would be at least a little bit of heat but that isn't the case. Standard blonde ale with a hint of pepper (again, no heat).

F- Medium Body and low-moderate carbonation.

O- I'm a big fan of hot sauces and would have loved to experience a beer with a little bit of heat, but I did not get that experience with this one. The Jalapeno pepper flavour itself is there but that's about it. It's decent enough the way it is but I can't recommend this as a "chile beer".

Sep 01, 2018
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

2.74/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2

473ml can - 'hecho en Halifax'. That alone makes me giggle.

This beer pours a clear, medium copper amber colour, with four fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat creamy bone-white head, which leaves some decent webbed lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells of grainy and bready cereal malt, faint mixed chili peppers, a bit of earthy yeastiness, and very mild earthy, musty, and floral green hop bitters. The taste is gritty and grainy pale malt, an ethereal sense of chili pepper heat that never was, and more weak leafy, weedy, and floral hoppiness.

The carbonation is adequate in its palate-satiating frothiness, the body a so-so middleweight, and mostly smooth, as the expected warmth doesn't materialize, thus we're all good here. It finishes off-dry, the plain-ass malt and ephemeral spice contemplating just what went wrong.

Overall - yeah, this is one hell of a joke of a spicy brew, as there is no way that any Habanero or Scotch Bonnet peppers came anywhere near to the production of it. It is so tepid and meek that if you didn't tell me (through various labeling efforts) that it contained hot peppers, I probably wouldn't have even noticed. Fail.

Jul 15, 2018
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TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

3.48/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not sure if this is an updated version as 5% ABV, not 4.5% listed. Full disclosure - I absolutely love Stone’s Crime and Punishment beers so this chili beer - well - for me just isn’t. Pours a nice clear dark golden to almost amber hue. Aroma is that of a fairly typical mass market beer - mild floral hops - vague pepper. Taste is up front sweet caramel malt with a bit of green pepper - perhaps jalapeño without the heat at the back end. At finish can convince myself of a bit of faint heat in back of f throat. Really not a bad beer but with the can touting jalapeño, scotch bonnet, and habanero I had expectations of at least a bit of heat - my own twisted tastebuds in account, I tasted none.

Jul 14, 2018
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Kremlock from Canada (ON)

3.37/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Golden colour with hues of orange/amber. Pours a nice head then reduces to a think white layer. There are loads of residue in the beer and their product description does not state it's bottle condition.

S: Loads of peppers, fruitiness and hints of caramel

T: Hot peppers, some sort of fruit but can't put my finger on it. Hops are there but I only feel their bittering effect as the peppers mask most things.

M: light bodies, feels a bit thin but the spiciness counteracts that.

O: Good beer to try out but not something I'd enjoy every day. It's a nice change and gives a nice warm feeling on a winter night. If not in the mood for a malty dubblebock then this is a great alternative.

Oct 17, 2012
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papat444 from Canada (QC)

3.25/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to hoppypocket for this one.

Poured from a 341ml. bottle.

Appearance: A pale orange-yellow body with a sizable white head (thick & creamy) with a frothy 1 finger head remaining.

Smell: Strong green jalapeno and that's pretty much it. Not eye-watering but smells authentic.

Taste: Upfront not much as it tastes like a light beer but the jalapeno is more in the finish with some seeds thrown in there. Still, it feels like a one-note affair.

Mouthfeel: Has a nice subtle burning in the finish and on the lips but the start is way too weak and watery and even the burning is a bit tame.

Overall: Chile beers are a guilty pleasure of mine but this one is just alright. Wished it had more heat and more flavor.

Apr 16, 2012
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kjyost from Canada (MB)

3.88/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated bottle poured into a tulip fairly cold. 
A: Orangish body that is hazy with a few floaties. Thin white head that dissipates quickly and leaves no ring nor lacing. 
S: A strong aroma of jalapeños comes across with little else. Exactly as I envisioned it though...
T: A good malty backbone is momentarily evident before the pepper flavours, dominated by jalapeño, come to the fore. Finishes with a nice pepper warmth that lingers and slowly moves to the lips.  No discernible hop flavours. 
M: Well carbonated. No bitterness, nice lingering jalapeño heat. 
O: My second pepper beer and the first one I have liked. A great balance of heat and beer. Clearly a beer that has a nice pepperiness to it. Well done!

Jul 04, 2011
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mrmanning from Canada (ON)

2.53/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Rating taken from notes, 2004.Head is bloody gigantic with a cloudy straw body. Taste is major heat from the jalapeno and some sweet notes that take some reasearch to discover. My mouth burned for a while after having this one. I won’t be having it again. A good experiment though. At toronto beer spring gathering.

Jun 20, 2011
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Mora2000 from Texas

3.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is peppers with some biscuit and other lighter malts. The pepper aroma is not near as strong as I expected.

The flavor is much heavier on the peppers. I get some grain notes and the sweetness that comes with it, but I also get a ton of peppers. The peppers are very reminiscent of fresh, green jalapenos, New Mexicos and serrano peppers, not the dried or pickled versions. The heat from the peppers get warmer and warmer the more you drink the beer.

Thin to medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Not great by any means, but a whole lot better than other pepper beers such as the infamous Cave Creek Chili Beer.

Nov 27, 2010
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wordemupg from Canada (AB)

2.08/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

341ml bottle poured into pint glass oct3 2010

A clear light copper with lots of bubbles but no head or lace

S smells like cheap canned chillies, I know it's a chilly beer but it reminds me of a nacho topping

T now I'm getting some Old Dutch chilly cheese sauce, not so great

M well carbonated and fairly light but my mouths on fire and it just lingers and that's not a good thing

D It's hard to drink I know it's supposed to have some heat but it's giving me brutal heart burn I just couldn't finish it

I've had much better spicy beers then this, just tastes a little off and I had a hard time drinking it.

Oct 12, 2010
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PEIBeerGuy from Canada (PE)

3.67/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Some nice looking head at the start, but it vanishes pretty quickly. By the time the drink is almost gone, there is but a wee ring of white around the surface and no lacing. The colour is a nice golden amber.

It smells a bit like a cream ale, and the jalapeno comes through noticeably.

I like a little jalapeno on my nachos every now and then, but that's about it. I don't like a lot of heat, so, I was a bit tentative about how hot this beer may be. Luckily, I didn't find it hot at all! There is a little heat left in your mouth after a bottle, but only just a slight bit. The taste is a bit like a pale & cream ale mixed with that right amount of the jalapeno. Really cool. I think they have it right. I finished it off with some quesadillas, and it went really well. All I could think about, though, was how well it would go with nachos!

In the mouth, it's fine. Not very spicy at all. Not creamy or watery. Just lightly smooth, with a bit of a dry finish.

Much more drinkable than I thought. I wouldn't want to pound down a ton of these at once, but a couple or few would be just fine!

Jul 28, 2010
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MeisterBurger from Canada (ON)

1.8/5  rDev -39%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

According to Garrison's website, this is their Tall Ship Amber ale "loaded with Jalapeño, Habanero, Scotch Bonnet, & Jamaican Hot Peppers". I didn't exactly love the amber ale and adding four kinds of hotness to a mediocre beer didn't really do much to improve things.

It looks a shade darker and more orange than the amber ale, but not by much. As with the amber the lacing and head retention are nothing to write home about. At all.

The aroma reminds of...Rogue's Dead Guy Ale. Oddly chocolaty. Odd because I didn't pick any of that up in the Amber. If I go looking for hot peppers I find them, but it's mild.

The taste is similar to the amber only with a searing heat. There's a burning in my throat. The heat is building in my mouth...help! I like beer with spicy foods because it cools things down, so I don't think I'll ever be on board with spicy beer because I feel like I should have an ice cold lager along with it to cool things down. The more I drink it the more I lose the base Amber beer, and the more the peppers just overwhelm everything.

This beer makes for an interesting experience, but not one I'd care to repeat. Still, you have to hand it to Garrison for brewing it. There certainly isn't a brewery in Ontario I can think of with the balls to try to pull off a jalepeño beer. But then, maybe that's a good thing.

Aug 22, 2009
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Ralphus from Canada (ON)

3.7/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not sure where some people are coming from with the reviews on this. It's a jalapeno ale .. when you drink it you should expect it to A) taste and smell reminscient of jalapenos and B) to be spicy. To pick it up and then write it off as too peppery is a bit like picking up an india pale ale and complaining that it's bitter.

Anyway, on with the review. Pours an attractive bronze colour with gold highlights. I like the colour of it, unfortunately as mentioned, the head dies quickly and doesn't leave even a ring of foam. High marks on colour though.

Smells of malts, fresh grass and peppers mixed in. It's not bad. The taste I found initially was just a typical amber ale.. some sweet malts up front followed by fruitiness but where the hops should have been was peppery spiciness. As far as a spicy beer goes this is much better than I was expecting.

It's not over the top by any stretch of the imagination.. and with a curry or some nachos I think this would pair well. Mine was drained in no time. If I had to choose this over many of the completely in your face fruit beers, I'd take it any day.

Jun 22, 2009
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Seanstoppable from Canada (NS)

2.65/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I had this at a local Beerfest last summer, at the Garrison Booth. The server explained to me that the beer was their Tall Ship Amber Ale that had various hot peppers added to it. From both smelling and tasting this amber hued ale, you can definitely believe it. The scent is immediately obvious, smelling strongly of peppers. The taste isn't immediately apparent, tasting like Tall Ship Amber (light and smooth, if a bit watery) and then evolving into a lasting burn as the hot peppers kick in. Not something I could drink a lot of, maybe a bottle while eating some nachos or something else that compliments the pepper taste.

Apr 06, 2009
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hwwty4 from Missouri

3.25/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked this up fresh from the Brewery on my recent trip to Halifax. I poured this beer into my Smokestack goblet. This beer pours an amber red with absolutely no head. It foamed up but then disappeared. Like Houdini but it didn't reappear. With the lack of head, it meant no lacing either. The aroma is fresh cut, aged jalapenos and just a slight biscuity malt at the end of the nose. The taste is odd. Heat from the peppers but its kind of watery and not much depth. The mouthfeel is really good. The heat lingers way after you get done drinking it. Almost like you at a pepper and are waiting for the peak of its heat to hit you. As with most Chili Beers that I have tried, even though I like the heat a lot, its hard to drink more than one. I have definitely had worse Chili beers but I've had better also. It's a good attempt.

Jul 10, 2008
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bobsy from Canada (ON)

2.99/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A slightly unpleasant surprise in a boxed mixed-6. This is the first time I've tried a chile beer, and the style guidelines don't really give much to measure it up against, but I'll do my best. Curiously Garrison decided to eschew the chili floating in a clear glass bottle approach, which draws in the novelty crowd, but this doesn't necessarily mean this is not a novelty beer. What it does mean is that I'm essentially left with an amber liquid with no head and nothing in it. The only sign that this beer isn't flat is a constant stream of bubbles, betraying a high carbonation. Smells very strongly of raw jalapeño with a few pale malts in the background - it smells ferocious, but perhaps what this style should be.

The taste has lots of the vegetal character of a raw jalapeño, and the heat hits you at the back of the throat. The flavour in behind it all is fairly generic, but crowded out by the chili regardless. Before moving on I want to emphasis the heat further... this is a burning bitch of a beer. Fairly light mouthfeel and high carbonation - I felt that this suited the beer somehow. Became more drinkable as it progressed, but you wouldn't want more than one of these in an evening.

Personally, I'd never buy it again, as I think heat belongs next to the beer, not in it. However, for what it is, this seems like a decent effort. Definitelt reviewed to style and not personal preference.

Jun 10, 2008
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MMansfield from Canada (NS)

1.94/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Picked up a bottle at Bishop's Cellar. No best before date.

Appearance: Pours a murky yellowish amber with a green tinge. Small head diminishes in a blink. Carbonation activity is so high, the brew appears to be simmering.

Aroma: Hot Peppers dominating faint malts, nothing from the hops.

Taste: Very spicy with an awful sour finish. Perhaps this bottle is out date, as no one else has mentioned this terrible sour taste. I will have to revist this one to find out. But yes, very spicy, too spicy to enjoy.

Mouthfeel: Thin, and very carbonated. I suppose that is what you may want from a chile beer though.

Final Statement: The drinkability on this one is not high at all. Far too spicy to enjoy as a beverage, may be good for cooking. Regardless, the lack of a best before date is annoying, and I suspect this bottle is outdated from the awful sour flavour. I will update this review upon a re-vist.

Apr 24, 2007
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Mandrake from Canada (NS)

2.54/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Pours a barely hazy medium yellow with a tiny white head that dissipates instantly and leaves no lacing whatsoever. Smell is bright hot peppers, very clear and distinctive, even if it's not particularly beer-y or complex. Taste is hot. Really hot. I love spicy foods, and have been known to reduce people to tears with my special nachos, made with fresh habaneros and the hottest salsa going, but it's too much even for me. Unfortunate, because I like where it's going before the heat wipes out the flavours. Mouthfeel is rather thin, but well carbonated and crisp, and drinkability is legitimately dreadful. Chile beers are, as far as I'm concerned, an impossible style to get right, so I'm not surprised that this one isn't very good.

Dec 03, 2006
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demcorhip from Canada (ON)

2.82/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to chonyr for this one. Had tacos for supper and now im hankering for some jalapeno.

Looks like ginger ale. Quite clear with no head or lacings. Well carbonated.

Jalapenos ontop of musty, fruity light roasted malts.

Holy Jalapenos! Batman this is one spicy beer! So spicy with jalapeno you barely notice the sweet and bready malts. Strong, hot and powerful jalapeno flavour that burns all it touches on the way down.

This light bodied ale knows no balance, as its almost all about the jalapenos. Im used to spicy food and this one is pretty damn hot!

Not very drinkable, but could be heaven with a big, slightly greasy cheeseburger.

This is my first chile beer, so i readily admit that i know next to nothing about the style. Should have had this one with my tacos and not after them, might have even bumped up my scoring. Think it would be worth having again with a some food that would complement the heat. I would try this one again, but only with a meal that would help cut, and be complemented by, the HEAT!

Sep 27, 2006
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pootz from Canada (ON)

2.06/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

what have we here?...the first stike out for Garison on a flavored ale!

Poured a pale, lightly clouded gold...weak cap no retention, weak lacing

Aroma of mustiness, fresh crushed follage and some pepper.

Pepper, peppers and more peppers...that's all I got and a hot burn in the finish...too hot and peppery to taste or smell malts or hops...a write-off IMHO

Aug 29, 2006
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CAMRAhardliner from Canada (ON)

1.3/5  rDev -55.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Ive never tried a chilli beer before so I thought, why not. This has a cool colorful label with trippy looking painted peppers and 'cervesa piquante' written on it. It is a nice light amber color, with a flash in the pan head and no lace to speak of. This beer is brewed with 4 types of Chilli peppers including habanero and scotchbonnet. The smell is simply raw peppers, nothing else. The taste is even more dissapointing. Its like that raw musty almost sweet flavor of raw Jalepenos with massive amounts of spicyness in the finish. Awful, no malt or hops or anything else. I love hot food but drinking more than one of these would result in stomach ulcers, way too spicy. I couldnt even finish the whole bottle and no one else would take it, making it one of the very few beers (maybe the second) that I ever dumped down the sink.

Jul 11, 2004
Jalepeño Ale from Garrison Brewing Company
Beer rating: 76 out of 100 with 25 ratings