Ring Of Fire Porter
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

Ring Of Fire PorterRing Of Fire Porter
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Chile Beer
4.12 | pDev: 8.74%
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Ring Of Fire PorterRing Of Fire Porter
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Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 26 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of woodychandler
3.67/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I opened a 6-year old bottle of Iron Hill's Ring of Fire last night at The Fridge @FridgeLancaster! It is an original 13-fl. oz. bottle that was presented to all Mug Club members and subsequently recalled due to carbonation issues. Mine did not explode, but during a recent foray into the cellar, it was discovered to be pushing the cork out, through the cage! There may even be some oxidation already, hence the urgency of opening it last night.

From the bottle: "Aged and finished in a Tabasco pepper mash oak barrel"; "Ring of Fire Porter: Brewed naturally with the finest malted barley, hops, and yeast. Our house Porter, aged and finished in a Tabasco pepper mash oak barrel, imparting a hot pepper character which intensifies with the roasty and subtle chocolate notes of the Porter. OG: 1.057, Color (Deg. L): 23, IBU: 37, Alc. 5.4% by Vol."

I had no problem removing the cork, indicating that it had been at least partially compromised. Only a tiny amount of the cork remained in the neck of the bottle, indicating that it had experienced the over-carbonation issues mentioned in/by other review(er)s at some point. Pouring it, there was no carbonation and as such, it was completely flat. Nose was vinous - oaky, like red wine, but also with a cardboard scent, indicative of oxidation. Color was medium-brown (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity. A good deal of lees were visible in the punt of the bottle. Mouthfeel was thin. It was definitely oxidized and the heat had really died down, giving way to an intensely vinous oakiness. Finish was dry with a hot bite in the back of the throat. Did I drink the lees as I am usually wont to do? Mais oui! Here was where the residual heat resided and now, my throat burned like I had been pepper sprayed. Holy ...

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Photo of stakem
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to BA ClockworkOrange for busting out this rarity at a recent tasting. The cork removes itself once you start to unwind the cage. Be careful with this (if any bottles remain out there) because you could easily shoot your eye out. It pours a dark brown color with a huge rich tan head that nearly fills the glass. Some big bubble composition with a full wall of lace stick to the glass.

The aroma consists of cocoa with some earth and spice. Almost sweet smelling and very pleasant with a citrus sort of peppery undertone. The nose is really enjoyable on this with an even mixture of chocolate grain and pepper inclusion.

The taste is roasty with grain imparting a flavor like cocoa powder. Some earth and almost a touch of vanilla. Lots of peppery earthen flavors before the onset of capsaicin starts to kick in with the warmth.

This is a medium bodied brew with an effervescent level of carbobation that is overdone. Overall a very nicely done brew that was surprisingly enjoyable. The tobasco inclusion was present enough for it to be noticed but did not distract the overall drinkability. This is really a fantastic brew. It is unfortunate that the carbonation level got so out of hand that this needed to be recalled. This beer should be revisited, it was awesome.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another unique beer contributed by Alex.

A - Brown colored beer with some red on the edges. Tan head that dissipated to cap with a decent amount of lace.

S - Some roasted porter notes, carmel malts and a little dark fruit. I enjoy Tabasco quite a bit, and this blends well with the beer.

T - Tabasco comes in on the back end, with caramel, roasted malts, and dark fruits being the base tastes. It's actually a really nice blend, which I'm surprised at given how gimmicky it seemed.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation which seemed a little low as the bottle was pretty lively when it was opened up.

O - Nice beer, a chili beer that works. There is just a nice melding of the porter with the Tabasco barrels which is unexpected, unique, and pretty enjoyable to drink.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Major thanks to bgthang for the share. 13oz C&C bottle into a Three Philosophers tasting glass.

Ring of Fire pours with a thin plum-mahogany hue with a wispy veil of khaki head up top. Swirling the glass brings forth a bulge of foam that dissipates quickly. The aroma is rich with chocolate crumbles and vanilla, while the background has toasted malt and fig. The longer I smell it, the more noticeable the heat becomes.

On the first sip, a wave of spicy heat engulfs the palate, lingering long after the sip like biting into a fresh jalapeno pepper. The rest of the porter body is average in flavor, with a little brandy-like oxidation, but not enough to make the cardboard flavors prominent. Mouthfeel is a little too thin for me, but that heat is so unique. I've had chili beers before, but none of them bring the kind of heat that makes your brow start to sweat. Ring of Fire delivers just that...a must-try for any hot sauce devotee.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to weeare138 for sharing this retired porter. I had this fresh and this aged version was unique to try. Poured cellar temp into a tulip.

The color of dark coffee w/ a mild hazed appearance w/ small light tan cap - there are minute bubbles visible, retention is decent. The smell offers up a lot of caramel malt w/ slight sweet aroma and mild roast and mild spice hints. The feel is goo w/ slight roasted texture and moderately sweet malt body w/ subtle accent of pepper spice, no real heat in the feel - a nice balance of roasted notes and medium strength makes it easy to hold in the mouth to try to get a feel for the pepper.

The flavor is more like chipotle - with smoke blending with the coffee like malt flavors w/ a more dominant role from the caramel and chocolate malt elements. There is pepper flavor, but very mild and compliments the porter. I think this was the best choice for a pepper beer - the porter base since it gives a mild mole effect w/ subtle peppery flavor and light heat. The drinkability is high for the style I can't think of any other chili beer I have had that works better than this one - I was impressed by it fresh and it has aged gracefully.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

High time I got around to reviewing this from a tasting several weeks ago. Provided by Alex...A dark brown pour with a tan head, good retention and lacing...The aroma is strong with lots going on, tabasco dominates of course but there is depth with cocoa, oak and a hint of smoke, I like it...The tabasco doesn't take center stage adding in some cocoa and caramel giving a malt balance to he heat. A really nice combo that gives people the chili heat they are looking for without blowing them out of water. Can't drink a ton of this though.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to rwitter for helping me acquire a few bottles of this one. Served in a Lost Abbey Rastal Teku glass.

A - As expected, the cork exploded out violently with a little bit a push. We had glasses ready, so we managed to get it all into our glasses. Pours with huge tan foam that quickly settles to a solid cap, leaving fingers of lace. The body is a dark brown color that's a little bit lighter at the fringes. I wasn't expecting pitch black from a 5.4% porter.

S - There's green Tabasco and chili notes, plus light smokiness and oak, over top of a cocoa and dark fruit malt backdrop. The Tabasco is thankfully not overpowering, and is well integrated into the beer.

T - Initially it's very heavy in caramel, cocoa, and dark fruits, but then it opens up with late Tabasco heat, creating a mole-esque flavor profile. There's some fairly significant wood and smoke flavors that creep up as one works through a glass of this.

M - Medium-light body, surprisingly low carbonation, and some obvious chili warmth at the back of the throat. Even though it's fairly low in alcohol, it feels like it needs a bit more heft to it, considering the richness of flavor.

D - It's definitely one of the best chili beers I've had (and it's a stretch to call Hunahpu's a "chili beer"). The base porter has flavors that integrate well with the barrel-aging and residual Tabasco flavors and capsaicin that's along for the ride. It's a shame no one has tried to recreate this, as it's obvious the explosive bottles aren't caused by infection. Probably shouldn't have consumed this after the Santa Fe Wild Ale #6 though - my stomach was very angry the next morning.

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Photo of brentk56
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a chocolate color with ruby highlights and a large, tan head that pancakes atop the liquid; some shards of lace streak that chalice

Smell: Chocolate fudge and caramel, with a hint of charcoal and tobacco

Taste: Chocolate fudge, up front, with a growing sense of tobasco heat that, by mid-palate, becomes very prominent; after the swallow, the heat settles down to allow the chocolate to return and, with it, a bit of the caramel and oaky flavors; still, the burn persists underneath and grows in underlying intensity with each sip; there is a bit of sourness, as well, that I suspect is the result of the aging process

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation and plenty of heat on the tongue

Drinkability: So glad I got to try this one; shows that a chile beer can have some real heat yet still be drinkable

Thanks, rwitter, for arranging the trade

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Photo of emmasdad
3.67/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For whatever reason, this was one of my huge must-trys. Finally received a bottle in trade. When I opened the box, I found this one in a Ziploc bag, swimming in a couple of ounces of murky brown liquid. Clearly this one had leaked. When I opened the cool little champagne split, I found me a gusher. Poured into a snifter a very nice dark crimson color, with a huge, rocky, 3-4 inch mocha colored head. When I finally got around to nosing it, I got roasted malt, dark brown sugar, prunes and a lot of habanero-cayenne heat. A little wood on the palate, along with some sweet, chewy caramel, milk chocolate and finishing with a good amount of that Tabasco heat. A very unique and interesting experiment, but not a beer I would reach for every day.

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Photo of grub
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

got this one in a recent trade with leftmindedrighty. thanks aaron!

13oz bottle, corked and caged. sampled may 16/09.

the cork was more than half out, and based on stories i've heard about major carbonation in this one i was expecting a serious "pop" as soon as i twisted the cage. however, the cage came off without event and i had to twist the cork and actually pull it out. pours crystal clear deep brown with no head or other sign of carbonation. no lace. wonder if maybe the cork had slipped enough for the seal to break and the carbonation to escape?

aroma is good. it's mostly smoked porter, but with a deep breath you get just a hint of spicy character. milk chocolate. bit of coffee. light smoke. wheat bread. cracker. bit of caramel. actually makes me think a little of hot pepper jelly on a multi-grain cracker.

taste is great. coffee. milk and dark chocolate. caramel. light dark fruit. at first there's no sign of the tobasco barrel, but then a few seconds after the first swallow you start to notice a bit of warmth at the back of your mouth and in your throat. bit of faint pepper and woody character. a bit earthy. light smoke. with each sip the warmth starts to spread and slowly intensify. a bit of slightly sweet roasted pepper character builds with time too. it never seems to get overly sweet or unbearably hot, but it's clear that there are hot peppers involved.

mouthfeel is good. medium body. even with basically carbonation, it still works. i think with even a moderate amount of carbonation this would be a truly great beer.

drinkability is great. the heat is so well restrained. it works surprisingly well. the alcohol is almost completely hidden. i think if i were given a tobasco barrel and told to put a beer in it, this would be the idea style to use. the dark and smokey character of the porter meshes perfectly with the barrel here. it also feels like just about the right amount of time was spent in the barrel. not so hot that it kills your palate or your desire for another. a great beer that i wish i had more of.

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Photo of Viggo
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cool little 375 ml or so bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing this one!

Pours a lightly hazed reddish brown, pretty neat colour, almost no head on it, guess we got a good one! No lacing either, everything goes pretty quick. Smell is real neat, caramel and brown sugar sweetness up front, lightly spicy, jalapeno bite, very fruity and lightly smokey, some wood, really cool. Taste is great, a bit sweet and first, toasty and biscuity, some smokiness, dark fruit, and like a good hot sauce, the jalapeno isn't really in the flavour, but every sip gets a little hotter in the back of your mouth. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low carbonation, really cool warmth going down. Really unique beer, they hit the nail on the head with this one. Hopefully they do it again after they fix the previous issues. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of blackie
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: pours into my piraat snifter a deep brown color with hues of garnet showing through, capped with a nice khaki head, good retention

s: currents of milk chocolate covered caramel and vanilla bean support coy wisps of peppery tabasco sauce, definitely one to be warmed before drinking as the oaked tabasco steps out over time and aromas of dark fruits develop, it really grew on me after a timid first impression, components in great balance - allowing the tabasco to show itself without taking over, interestingly reminiscent of watered bourbon, super

m: carbonation on the full side at first, perhaps a bit high but it dies down shortly after pouring to lower, more appropriate levels, medium bodied

t: before I can even swallow, a capsicum burn is felt creeping across my tongue and then lingers after swallowing, not oppressive enough to trigger any soothing release of endorphins - but obviously there, delicate roasts (think watery iced coffee) and some cocoa powder provide structure, some caramel sweetness, moderate burn in the stomach creeps up unexpectedly and sticks around, I'm bit of a pepper slut so this may turn some people off - but I dig it, malts are adequate but come off a bit weak, the tabasco flavor and effect make this one whole

d: pepper and chocolate has always been a good mix and it's no different here, I cant help but want to try a more assertive version of the same beer - but then again restraint may be the best method for this sub-style, at any rate - the pepper is quite refreshing and makes this one an easy drinker, with much disappointment found at the bottom of my final glass

corked 13 ounce bottle courtesy of leftmindedrighty's LiF - many thanks!

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very unusual and well-made beer.

Nice deep copper color.

Nose is roasted malt with no noticeable pepper quality.

Taste: very, very good. Nice balance of malt to peppers. Tabasco flavor is there and dominant but not overpowering. Never thought that this would be so good!

Mouthfeel: a bit of a sting in the back of the mouth from the peppers but very good and drinkable.

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Photo of akorsak
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 375 mL bottle purchased at the Lancaster brewpub almost five months ago.

A: The porter is a dark cola brown color with a magnificent head. Over three fingers of foam erupted on pour but do not cling to the glass.

S: The nose is very chocolatey, heavy on the porter's caramel and roasted malt elements. Powdered cocoa and cayenne pepper swirl around in the glass, a molé beer.

T: Porter flavors abound up front, chocolatey and dark. The flavor is quite sweet, a decoy with respect to the tabasco. Cocoa and nuttiness gives the body a sweeter start. Approximately 30 seconds after I finished the sip, a searing heat spread across my mouth. The pepper barrel gives the ale a unique spiciness that is hot but not as intense as the actual tabasco. The heat lingers in the mouth and on the lips for quite a while.

M: The porter flavor up front is quite pleasant, setting the stage for the hot sauce finish. That is one hell of a finish.

D: The alcohol is low and the heat is pleasingly lively. The chocolate and pepper mixture works much better than you'd expect.

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Photo of Hophead101
3.4/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

drank on 6.7.08 at home. poured from bottle into wide mouth glass.

this is pig iron porter aged in a tabasco pepper mash in an oak barrel.

great dark brown/black color. huge head, tan in color. almost too much head, dissipated rather quickly, a little was left behind. really good smell. very evident of roasted malts, chocolate and caramel. there was no smell of tabasco or any spice

first taste gives an initial tabasco tingle. not overpowering or too bad. but at the end of the day, it is a spicy tasting pig iron porter. mouthfeel has too much tabasco flavor.

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Photo of mhewes
4.91/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A : Pours a nice dark brown with a huge fist sized head. This cork did not pop out with the same force as some other reviews but it did come out real easily. It took a while to pour this beer due to all the foam

S : Roasted malts, faint chocolate, and a slight appearance of the tabasco peppers

T : Starts off as your normal porter with a good roasted malt flavor, hints of chocolate, and a slight flavor of smoke. At the finish, you get a slight pepper flavor which seems to finish it off quite nicely. At this point, I'm kinda disappointed because I was expecting more flavor from the peppers. A few minute later, that disappointment completely disappeared. All of a sudden there is a sudden Tabasco flavored burst of flavor and heat (not too hot) on your tongue that seems to come out of nowhere. An awesome example of how peppers can be used in beer.

M : Medium-bodied, light on the carbonation, smooth with a dry finish

D : This is a beer that shows that chile beers can be very well done and drinkable. I'd love to have this one again. It's such a unique beer that I would love to try it with different meals to see how it complements them.

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Photo of martymoat
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour was all head, I heard talk of this beer having issues with holding up in the bottle that where not kept chilled so i was some what expecting the pour. Had to transfer from a snifter glass to a bigger pilsner style glass to handle the head. Aroma is of faint roasted malt with a heavy chocolate malt presence. You can tell their is some heat in the beer from the aroma but its not overwhelming and im sure there are hops somewhere in this beer but they don't want to come out and play in this beer. The appearance is dark brown and when held in the light a deep mahogany, The gigantic head has all but dissipated in about a minutes time. The taste is of what was said above in the aroma , a smooth chocolate taste with the roasted character coming in towards the end but as this is happening you get the punch of heat from the Tabasco that lingers in the mouth and heats the throat up until the next sip where you are repeating the process all over again, and if their is hops, again now hey have been burned away into non existence by the heat. Overall i think this was a completely awesome new innovative beer. The only flaw with the beer for me is that having an entire bottle does get to be a little much with the heat aspect of the beer growing as you drink it,

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Photo of Kegatron
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml corked & caged bottle into a snifter.

Quite the adventure with this beer. First one blew up on me as I opened it after being held in my beer fridge at around 45 degrees. The second bottle I chilled for 24 hours in my regular fridge at sub 40 degree temps and it behaved much better. It foamed a bit but I was able to salvage over 3/4 of the bottle for this review.

Pours a dense looking dark brown (almost but not quite black) that doesn't allow any light to come through. The head is a light tan color with some darker hues mixed in. Retention is good, sitting in a solid ring around the edges that flares up nicely when swirled and leaving a nice spackling of spotty lace down the sides of the glass. The Porter notes are the first thing to hit your nose in the aroma. Chocolate sweetness, roasted malts, and a bit of coffee reside up front but that doesn't last long at all as the tingling scent of Tobasco and pepper rears its head and singes the nose hairs before pulling back some.

The taste starts out with the same Porter character as the aroma with some chocolate and caramel sweetness and underlying roasted malts making their presence known up front and seem to be much more prominant than they were in the nose. Yet again, along creeps in that subtle yet assertive heat from the pepper barrel aging. The taste of it gets a little prickly but never really catches the mouth on fire, knowing just when to pull back. It still lingers long on the palate though and even warms the lips. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with not much carbonation overall (probably because it all came out when the bottle was initially opened and poured) but there is still a bit of a prickly feel in the backend that compliments the pepper notes in the finish.

It's really a shame that they had carbonation issues with this batch as the beer itself (or at least what they were trying to do with the pepper aging) actually turned out really well. Quite unique and tasty, let's hope that they choose to revisit this again sometime down the road.

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Photo of dewalt
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Each bottle of Ring of Fire is sealed with a cork and wire cage, just like a bottle of champagne. It's not uncommon to see beer corked this way, and I've opened plenty of similar bottles, but I've never seen a beer as explosive as the Ring of Fire. After about three twists loosening the wires, the cork shot out of the bottle, ripping the cage out of my fingers, missing my face by a couple of inches, and leaving a small dent in the light fixture on the ceiling.

Curiously, the beer didn't spray out like a bottle of champagne -- instead, it oozed, slowly, a thick tan foam that only stopped seeping after about five minutes. It remained there until I poured the beer into a cup -- and then the first pour was all foam. Ten minutes after opening, I managed to get some actual liquid into a glass.

Ring of Fire pours a dark brown, almost black color, and even after resting, it has with a huge, aggressive head. You've got to wait a minute to let the foam die down in the glass.

It smells like cocoa powder, vanilla, and dark roasted malt, pretty much the way a porter should. There's a hint of spicy pepper in the nose, but not enough to tell you the beer's fiery provenance.

On first taste, Ring of Fire is sweet, chocolatey and malty. But then the pepper kicks in -- at first, just a slight tingling on the tongue, and then a more pronounced heat at the back of the throat. It's surprising, and definitely a little hot, but not overwhelming. The pepper complements the flavor of the beer, while not masking it. And the heat dissipates quickly, leaving only a lingering pepper aftertaste in the back of the throat.

It's a very warming beer, one that grows on you after a couple of sips. At first I thought it was well made, but not that good. Then I thought it was very good, but I couldn't drink more than a small glass. And the next thing I knew, the bottle was empty, and I wished I had more for later.

That said, I don't think I'd ever want to sit around with a bottle of Ring of Fire and simply nurse it the way you might another porter. That pepper aftertaste needs to be washed away after a while. But I think it would be an exceptional accompaniment to food, particularly red meat; Ring of Fire would get along beautifully with a thick steak or some spicy, slow cooked barbeque.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via a trade with leftmindedrighty. 375ml corked and caged bottle was chilled for a week in the fridge and consumed on 07/09/2008.

Much thanks has to go out for this one. I had been wanting to try it as I am on a hunt for a really good chili beer and I think with this one I may have actually been able to finally find one. I popped the cage on this one and I believe that was all it took as the cork ripped off the bottle and hit the ceiling, allowing a gushing mess to consume at least a couple ounces of it. I was warned to chill it ahead, and I did but to no avail. The only reason I cannot give it a perfect score for look though was due to this, however it was spot on other then that. A rich dark brown porter emerged from the bottle with a huge billowing four inch head of foam in its wake. Enormous retention left this one hanging back for what seemed like forever, and even after it started to settle, never did it get any further down then about an inch,. This thing was just tremendously big looking. Huge amounts of gobby side glass lace were everywhere. I knew this was the one I was looking for.

The aroma was and interesting blend straight from the beginning. Started out very sweet, with nice notes of chocolate and sugar running through it. Not at all what I was expecting. Some touches of vanilla and a bit of coffee as well coming through. There was a 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. Really very well done here. After taste of peppery notes, hints of chocolate as well coming through and leaving a long lasting tingling feeling that was hard to ignore. Awesome feel on this one, about as good as you can get and the drinkability was more then decent, given the style at hand. One of the first, and actually the only of its kind that I was able to put down with some form of regularity.

Overall this was tremendously good, something that I was shocked and truly blown away by. This was a damn good chili beer, and I would actually try and seek out another one of these. It was just that damn good. For the style, the best I have ever had with ease. This one should be tried!

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Photo of DefenCorps
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle received in trade with GoRideYourBike. Thanks for the chance to try this before they pulled it off the shelves!

A: Dark brown with a massive fist-sized mocha-colored head. Red highlights. I'm not surprised they pulled this - despite being in my fridge for a week undisturbed, it still foams up like crazy. It eventually settles out, leaving nice lace and a thin head

S: Roasty with some chocolate and a definite spice bite there. And i mean spice - habaneros? That'd be the tabasco. There's also a mildly creamy note to this. Pretty good!

T: Starts off roasty and mildly sweet with a hint of coffee before a mild spicy note comes in with a pleasing mouth warming character. The finish is mildly bitter, mildly spicy. Pairs very well with my pizza with jalapenos!

M: Light on the tongue with a a carbonation that thankfully isn't over the top. Nice drying finish

D: A novelty beer - I'm really glad I got to try it, and pretty glad I have another to share

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Photo of YonderWanderer
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip, this would-be gusher yields four plus fingers of foam, with a thin black/brown base. Foam is big, and slow to fade, meaning, I have to wait awhile to drink this one. Still, the effect is impressive, though I'm sure it was not intended. I'm glad I didn't lose any to the gushing factor though.

S: Smell is fairly light. Some chocolate, a bit of malty sweetness, and not much else.

T/M: Starts off with a nice smattering of chocolate, followed by a hit of pepper behind it. A little acidic, and thinner than I would expect in terms of texture and flavor. Still, it's a unique effort and deserves that respect. The pepper lasts a little while, adding some heat to the throat on its way down, and lingering afterwards.I wish the porter itself was a bit thicker and richer, as I think this would make it way better. Still, this is absolutely worth a try if you get your hands on it. A tasty, spicy, and unique offering.

D: If you can get your hands on it, give it a try. Definitely not an everyday brew, but a different offering that's worth a try.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The cork just absolutely explodes as soon as I pull off the cage, it then proceeds to gush all over the place as I lose a couple ounces to the table. I end up with five-fingers of head in my 25cl tulip glass that is a dark tan color. The beer is a dark brown, approaching black color. Very toasty smelling with lots of smooth roast character thrown in to the mix. This really has a huge malt aroma to it with notes of cocoa, darkly toasted bread crust and a roast character that is almost smoky.

Sweet malt flavors hit my tongue up front, though it gets a bit thin feeling & acidic towards the finish. The chile then becomes noticeable in the finish as a light warm glow that sticks to the palate. This is quite roasted, with lots of toasted grain flavors, notes of coffee and almost a touch of salty peat flavors. The chile heat gets more warming the more I drink this beer, even migrating to my lips after a bit; the heat never get hot though. This seems a bit thin at first, but does actually have some texture and heft to it. The lightness that was noticed at first seems to have been accentuated / driven by the excessive carbonation.

This is nice, perhaps a bit of a novelty beer, but I like that dimension that the warming chile adds to the deep, roast malt character.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.77/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pig Iron Porter aged in Tabasco barrels? Really? I'll try it!

The cork comes out of this 375 with a sharp and startling pop. After a few moments, foam comes slowly creeping out of the top. I was a bit timid slurping up the overflow as I didn't know how spicy it would be, but it wasn't too bad. I set the bottle down in the sink and went to put some laundry away. When I came back, the bottle was slowly oozing foam still. Hmmm. Once in my glass it was still a foamy mess even after a slow pour. The color was a dark brown caramel color and after a good while, the head was a manageable sandy tan foam.

Smells of a dull chocolate and roasty malts with a touch of sour fruits that runs right into a distant gentle hot pepper. I'm surprised how well the smoke and sour elements of the porter run into the pepper.

Tastes of your average porter with little hints of smoke and a dry and powdery barley backed by a caramel sweetness. About two seconds after I sip this, a little glow of warmth appears and blossoms in my mouth releasing a pleasant burn that pretty much annihilates the porter. The awesome part is that the tell-tale Tabasco burn leaves just as smoothly and quickly as it comes! Wow! If you wait a minute between sips, your mouth is calm enough for another sip of porter followed by the Tabasco bloom. This is by far the best use of pepper I've ever encountered in a beer. Just enough heat, but also dynamic as hell. The change up of the heat's coming and going is legendary.

Feels... Hot? No, it's a little dry and smooth with a fuzzy carbonation that feels a bit like felt. It's also exceptionally clean as it leaves you alone to appreciate the pepper.

Best pepper beer ever. Here's my prediction; GABF gold winner for sure. Have this one with a juicy grilled burger and you'll be in heaven. I should also say that I really like hot sauce, but I have my limits. I also thought Ed's Crazy Creek Chili Beer to be disgustingly hot. My girlfriend who does not care for heat wasn't horrified by this one. Try it out for sure.

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Ring Of Fire Porter from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 26 ratings