Icarus Pineapple Hindenburg

Tonight’s beer is another Jersey selection. Let’s crack it open.

ABV: 5%

Style: Chile Beer

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “The Hindenburg disaster occurred on May 6, 1937, in Manchester Township, New Jersey, United States. The German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast at Naval Air Station Lakehurst. On board were 97 people (36 passengers and 61 crewmen); there were 36 fatalities (13 passengers and 22 crewmen, 1 worker on the ground). The disaster was the subject of newsreel coverage, photographs, and Herbert Morrison’s recorded radio eyewitness reports from the landing field, which were broadcast the next day. A variety of hypotheses have been put forward for both the cause of ignition and the initial fuel for the ensuing fire. The event shattered public confidence in the giant, passenger-carrying rigid airship and marked the abrupt end of the airship era.”

Random: I haven’t read much about the Hindenburg disaster, despite the fact that it is relatively local.

The beer poured with a one finger, white head. It dissipated quickly, but left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was cloudy and yellow in color and had a decent amount of carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of pine along with some pineapple. I couldn’t pick up any hot peppers, which was disappointing. The taste didn’t have as much pineapple as the nose. It had a slight heat to it, but not as much as I would have liked. There was a decent amount of grass and some grapefruit as well. The body was on the medium side with just enough carbonation. It had a quick finish with grass. I thought this beer was alright, I just wish it had more pineapple and hot pepper.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Flying Dog Oaked Chipotle Ale

I was excited to see that Flying Dog came out with a heat series. My love of chile beers are well documented in the blog, so let’s get to it.


ABV: 6.2%

Style: Chile Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Your grill is begging you for some winter action, so brush off the snow and give it what it wants. You’ll thank us once you try your favorite grilled meats with this complex smoky and spicy beer. There’s something about spice that lures us in. Some sweat. Others tear up. Most reach for the water…and the antacids. With our new Heat Series, we want to elicit another feeling: Drinking up and saying ‘ahhh.'”

Random: The kittens have discovered squirrels. They fascinate Simcoe.

The beer poured with less than a half a finger of tan head that dissipated almost instantly. It didn’t leave any lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color with reddish highlights. There was no carbonation visible and it was clear. The nose was medium-spiced chipotle peppers. I didn’t pick up the oak at all. I did pick up an earthy note from the chicory. The taste started with a lot of earthiness, most likely from the chicory. It had dark and roasted malts and a touch of smoke up front. Then, the heat hit with chipotles right as I was going to swallow it. I didn’t pick up oak or vanilla on this, but what came through after a few sips was slightly sweet, nutty malt. The body was medium thick with generous carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with just enough heat. The single bottle was $1.83, which came to $.15 per ounce, which was a great value for the flavor of this beer. I loved this beer. It gave me exactly what I was looking for in a chile beer.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

Stone Punishment

Since I reviewed the “little brother” of this beer yesterday, it’s only fitting that I review this beer today.


ABV: 12%

Style: Chile Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Although many find only pain in this beer, chile pepper connoisseurs, daredevils and masochists proclaim it in a fine, intense and enlightening experience. Never intended for the timid, Punishment is the capsaicin-throttled spawn of the beer behemoth Double Bastard Ale. Months of aging in Kentucky bourbon barrels intensify this beast of a beer’s already massive flavor, while the unceremoniuous addition of chile peppers (jalapeno, serrano, Fresno and more) morphs it into a truly punishing beer.”

Random: This was first brewed in 2010.

This beer poured with a half a finger of tan head. It dissipated slowly and left no lacing on the glass. There was a crown that was left on top of the hazy, walnut colored body. Because of the cloudiness, there wasn’t much carbonation visible. The nose had some of the most spicy peppers that I’ve ever smelled. Some bourbon and oak came through with vanilla. On first sip, the peppers hit like a kick in the mouth. The spice was intense and just bordering on overwhelming. The oak came through later with vanilla and bourbon. The heat from the peppers lingered forever. The booze warming added to it as well. The body was on the thicker side with light carbonation. It had a long and spicy finish. A bomber of this wasn’t cheap at $18.99 ($.86 per ounce). I liked this beer, but it was bordering on too strong.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Stone Crime

This is a beer that I wanted to try since it first came out, but was never able to find. I love chili peppers, so this seemed right in my wheelhouse.


ABV: 9.6%

Style: Chile Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This beer was crafted for those who adore both pain and pleasure (but mostly pain), those who should know better and those who don’t know better. It is the result of what many beer enthusiasts would consider a most egregious crime – sequestering Arrogant Bastard Ale, Double Bastard Ale and OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale in Kentucky bourbon barrels, then blending them together with jalapeno, serrano and other chile peppers. The result is something unsuitable for the faint of heart, mind of palate. Still confident you can handle this? Very well, but be forewarned: You’re playing with fire…be prepared for the consequences.”

Random: Their descriptions for beers are quite lengthy.

This beer poured with a half a finger of ecru head. It dissipated slowly and left significant lacing on the glass. The body was a deep sienna color that was cloudy. The nose had a lot of notes of bourbon barrel. I perceived oak and vanilla from the bourbon barrel. The next thing I picked up was a sweet, malt presence with brown sugar and toffee. There wasn’t much impact from the chile peppers on the nose. On first sip, I picked up the same maltiness with brown sugar, toffee and then went into oak. And then, the chili pepper hit the back of my throat. The first sip was intense with lots of heat. The heat was not for the faint of heart and the more I drank the beer, the more I enjoyed it. The booze was insanely hidden, which I’ve come to expect from Stone beers. The finish was lengthy with the chili pepper heat and oak. The bomber was $18.99, which came to $.86 per ounce. I really enjoyed this beer and appreciated how intense the heat was. I would have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Tommyknocker Green Chile Lager

Anytime I see a beer that uses chile peppers, I’m interested. It’s also nice to see more and more breweries using them. I tried growing some this year with mixed results. The ones that I grew were insanely spicy and I had to use them in very small doses. They had the heat of Thai Bird chilis. Next year, I think I will get some that are on the milder side.


ABV: 5.3%

Style: Chile Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A blend of hot and mild Anaheim chiles infused in a refreshing light lager. A pleasant spicy bite makes for a delicious palate pleaser.”

Random: This comes in at 27 IBUs.

This beer poured with less than a finger of white head that dissipated instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was lightly hazy and a straw yellow color. There was light carbonation visible. The nose was very vegetal. There was green peppers and cilantro with oregano. The taste did not offer any sort of chile pepper heat. It had green bell peppers and a general green vegetal flavor. I really wish there was some heat to this beer given what was advertised. I kept sipping it and I got a touch of hot pepper, but again, it offered almost not heat. The body was on the thinner side with light carbonation. The finish was quick with green bell peppers. A single of this set me back $2.50 ($.21 per ounce). This beer was a huge disappointment. It offered no heat and no other flavors other than bell peppers. This is a beer to avoid.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Flying Dog Sriracha Pale Ale (Brewhouse Rarities)

The other half and I are watching “The Real Housewives Of New Jersey” tonight. It’s the episode about Teresa being in prison. I don’t know why I enjoy reality television so much, but it’s a good distraction from a rough day at work. Awhile back, Val brought me a six-pack of this and I had really high hopes for it, although it seemed a bit gimmicky to me.


ABV: 5.5%

Style: Chile Beer

Trivia: The website suggests pairing this with Thai food.

Random: The reunion shows are the best. There’s always some sort of drama on them.

When I poured this beer into the bottle, it came out with a two finger, white head that dissipated quickly. It left no lacing on the glass, but it left an eighth of a finger of crown. The body was a clear, light orange color with high carbonation visible. The nose had grapefruit pith with light chili pepper. The taste started with grapefruit and quickly went into earthy, spicy chili peppers. Right after that note came through, it went into sweet, toasted malt. It made the end spice not very hot and the beer not very effective. It had a medium thick body with moderate carbonation. The finish was quick with the sweet malt and chili pepper. This was $1.75 for the bottle, which broke down to $.15 per ounce. This beer was a slight disappointment and one that I wouldn’t rush back to have. I think the concept was good, but the execution could have been better.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Rogue Farms Chipotle Ale

The lawyer picked this beer up for me. I’ve had the original version (Rogue Chipotle Ale), but it looks like they’ve rebranded this beer under the Rogue Farms name. Supposedly they use peppers from their garden to make this brew. I don’t think it will change the flavor all that much, but I guess we’ll see, right?


ABV: 5.5%

Style: Chile Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Dedicated to Spanish author Juan de la Cueva, who, in 1575, wrote of a Mexican dish that combined seedless chipotles with beer: Chipotle Ale is based on Rogue’s American Amber Ale, but delicately spiced with smoked chipotle chile peppers. Blend it with Rogue Chocolate Stout to create a Mole black and tan!”

Random: I can’t wait until the other half and I get a house so I can start a vegetable garden.

This brew poured with a two finger, slightly tan colored head that dissipated quickly with some lacing on the glass. The body was an ever so slightly hazy mahogany color with lower than expected visible carbonation. The nose was much lighter than the other version I had of it. There was some jalapenos and a bit of tomato with a touch of smoke. The taste started with smoke and then went into a bit of chipotle with a little kick of heat on the end of sip that got me right in the back of the throat. At the end of the sip, there was also a touch of bitterness that came out as well. The body was on the thinner side with moderate to high carbonation. The finish was long with bitterness and smoke. The other version that I’ve had of this beer was the first chile beer that I quaffed. I can’t say that I see all that much different now that this is a “Rogue Farms” beer with peppers grown in their garden, but it’s still really drinkable and I could see it pairing well with food. This would definitely be a good introductory chile beer for the beer drinker looking to expand their horizons.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Twisted Pine Billy’s Chillies Beer (Timberline Series)

It is still pretty cold out. If not for the wind, it wouldn’t be so bad. It figures that on my day off that I really don’t have to do anything work related, it’s not conducive to doing much. Despite that, I’ve been relatively productive. Anyways, here’s a review of another brew I picked up on vacation.


ABV: 5%

Style: Chile Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Serrano, Habanero, Jalapeno, Anaheim, and Fresno chili peppers are the stars of this unfiltered wheat beer, providing wonderfully fresh, spicy aroma and a complex chili pepper taste. The chili flavor is mild, not dominant, thus making for an incredibly drinkable beer that pairs great with food and will leave you thirsty for more.”

Random: I’m still watching reruns of “Criminal Minds.” I’m probably going to have nightmares tonight.

This brew poured with a finger of pure white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a very cloudy yellow-orange color with heavy carbonation. I think I’m going to appreciate the carbonation when I get to sipping this one. The nose starts with bell peppers and then goes right into spicy chili scents, which is to be expected. The taste started with green bell peppers and then quickly goes into serious chili pepper heat. It then goes into serrano, jalapeno and then habanero that kicks you in the back of the throat. The heat is intense, but not as overpowering as Ghost Face Killa, which for me wasn’t even drinkable. There may have been some subtle malt to it, but as to be expected, the chilis are what take center stage. After a few sips, it’s hard to pick out anything besides chili peppers and heat. The body was on the light side with heavy carbonation. The finish is long with heat that lingers at the back of the throat. I like hot peppers, so I did enjoy this beer, but if you don’t have a high tolerance for spice, I doubt you’d enjoy this one. But, I liked it and would have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Twisted Pine Ghost Face Killah

One of my many foibles is that I am a crazy, picky eater. I feel badly for Kate when she cooks for me because she knows there is a laundry list of things that I will not eat. One of the things that bothers me is hamburgers or sandwiches that are too big to fit into your mouth. A close second is very messy sandwiches. On Barefoot Contessa’s burger episode today, she managed to make a burger that is not only too big, but is insanely messy. Gross.

ABV: 5%

Style: Chile Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “GFK is brewed with 6 zany peppers. Anaheim, Fresno, Jalapeno, Serrano, Habanero and Bhut Jolokia – Otherwise known as the Ghost Pepper. 200 times the heat of jalapenos, Bhut Jolokia are the hottest peppers in the world, a pepper so hot it can be weaponized. So hot that our brewers had to wear masks and gloves to cut them up. Aroma of smoked chillis fills the nose on first whiff, but don’t let it linger to long. Immediately on first taste GFK has a nice golden wheat flavor, but this is only for a fleeting moment before the temperature rises. Just hold on, the warmth of this beer will set in for a long spicy burn. There is only one finish on this beer – HEAT!”

Random: Ina is now making one of her favorite burger joint sides: a salad. Seriously?

Obviously I have to be stupid to try this beer. I love hot things, but never to the point that I order things as spicy as possible. To me, there is a fine line between spicy, yet flavorful and spicy for the sake of being hot. With that being said, this one poured with a finger of thin white head that dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, medium yellow color with insane amounts of carbonation. The nose was straight out hot pepper. If there was anything else there, it was taken over by the pepper. The taste was even worse. It was just hot…painfully hot actually. It tasted like liquid hot peppers. The body was light with a lot of carbonation. The finished lasted way too long and guess what? It was really, really hot. It actually burned the back of my throat. If you love hot stuff and enjoy having third degree burns on your throat, seek this out. Otherwise, this is just a gimmicky beer.

Untappd Rating: 1.0/5.0

Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale

This was the second beer that I tried in the abridged vertical tasting. I hadn’t tried any of the beers before this, despite the fact I found it on tap a few places when the new years had come out. This one was supposed to have chili peppers in it, so I was quite excited for this one.

ABV: 10%

Style: Chile Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, this beer should taste like the following: “Chile peppers, cinnamon, malt sweetness, caramel, fruit”

Random: Why would they put a baseball game on today at 11 AM and then have nothing until 7 tonight? That sucks on my day off.

This brew poured with a two finger white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, reddish-brown color with light carbonation. The nose was mild but had some hot peppers and honey. The taste was all hot peppers up front in taste, but not a lot of heat came through. It could have come through a little more. There was some nutmeg and cinnamon that came along for the ride as well. The spice was short-lived though. The body was decent thickness with moderate carbonation. The finish was quick and anything with cinnamon. Given how much I enjoyed the previous one, this just didn’t do anything for me. I was surprised, especially given how much I like beers with hot peppers. If you can get a taste of it, try it, but don’t keep your expectations too high.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0