Off the Wall: Crime

CrimeName: Crime
Brewery: Stone Brewing Company
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Escondido, California
Style: Chile Beer
Alcohol Content (ABV): 9.6%
First Brewed: 2013
Price: $16.99

Ricky’s Thoughts

First off… My lips are chapped. Why in the world did we decide to drink a beer brewed with the hottest peppers in the world on a day where my lips are chapped? I forgot to wear ChapStick this weekend, and played 36 holes. Needless to say, regardless of how cold it was, the sun still did damage. I do have a nice tan going, though. Nevertheless, I am pumped to drink this beer. Sheryl said you have to do the crime to do the time… So here goes nothing.

This is a rare beer from Stone Brewing Co. out of California. We were actually in San Diego last weekend and saw their new location at Liberty Station. We also saw their store in downtown San Diego and tried the Southern Charred and a 2004 keg of Russian Imperial Stout on tap. It was amazing. Oh, and we stopped by Port/Lost Abbey, the original location of Stone. Just a lot of memories from that trip. Thank you Erick for being such a gracious host.

Now we drink… If you dare!

Someone on BeerAdvocate said,What do you call it when Greg Koch takes his entire harvest bounty of chili pepper varieties from his own personal garden, take half of them and add to…and thus ruin…an otherwise beautiful oak barrel of Double Dry Hopped Lucky Bastard Ale? A CRIME!” I found that slightly humorous.

In the Glass: The cork broke. Fail! Then I tried to use a corkscrew and the cork basically broke as I was trying to use that. I finally got the cork out, but man that was a lot of work. I poured a little bit and it looked really good in the glass. A nice tan color and reminds me of any and all of the beers I have tried from Stone. They have a very consistent hop profile and most of their beers look, smell and taste the same.There is also a really big head on this. I need to let it sit. That might actually help as the beer heats up. I can smell it, though!

Nose: This smells like jalapeños. I just had some jalapeños on my baked potato at dinner, and those smelled JUST like this beer. I don’t really want to drink a bomber of a hot beer like this, but man. This has been a long time coming. It almost makes me want to age Punishment. However, I didn’t know that these peppers came from Greg’s garden. He must have a HUGE garden.

OK… Here we go. Cheers! Wish me luck.

Flavor: That’s hot, but not too hot. It has a little bit of heat at first, but then the flavor really balances nicely and has a somewhat sweet finish. There are a LOT of flavors here, but I am not sure why they decided to use such a good beer to add peppers to. I mean, they could add peppers to ANYTHING else from the brewery, but they decided to use a rare and properly aged beer. This is the 2013 series… Does that mean they are going to do this again? Stone… Don’t. You can bottle the beer sans the peppers and I would buy it again.

Mouthfeel: Without the heat, this would be a really nice beer. But the peppers just overwhelm. People online are saying this beer is too hot to

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is nice, but the heat really hangs on. This would be a GREAT food beer, and I bet it would pair well with a multi-course meal with a wide range of flavors.

A bomber of this is just too much. I REALLY wanted to like this, but I am disappointed in the flavor. It’s hot and is a good example of a chile beer. But man, Greg… You went too far. Adding all of these peppers to a great beer IS a crime. What does Punishment taste like?

Crime – The bottle says: “Our Arrogant Bastard Ale’s 13th birthday, we three all our Bastards together – Arrogant Bastard Ale, OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale and Double Bastard Ale – to create Lucky Bastard Ale. Later, a crime was committed against this gorgeous beer by adding an absurd amount of freshly harvested local peppers, including mid-level-heat red and free jalapeños and ultra-hot black nagas, Caribbean red its, Moruga scorpions and fatlis, and this Crime was born.”

Rating: 1/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts

This… is an interesting beer. This is not a beer that you chug. This is not even a beer that I would sit and sip. This beer… is a crime. It’s definitely an accurate name.

Crime and Punishment were a couple of hard to track down beers. They weren’t quite readily available, but I think that pretty much everyone that wanted them was able to track them down. They are both variations of Stone beers with peppers in them. Now these variations of Stone beers would be really good aged. But it’s those peppers that make them… unique, to say the least.

The beer looks and even smells good in the glass. It’s got a dark red color to it, not too thick. It’s really just the right consistency to make you want to swirl it around in the glass. Ricky only poured us each out a little bit to start out with because he wanted to see what it looks like. I actually took a sip of mine, and the first words I said were “holy <insert expletive here>!”. I told him he need not pour me out much more, because there is no way I would or even could drink much more of it.

The peppers are really all that I can taste in the beer. Ricky claims it’s not that hot. But he likes hot foods. To me… it’s like drinking liquid peppers. And since I don’t like liquid peppers, this beer is definitely not for me. If you come from a country that typically serves spicy food (i.e. if you’re one of my Asian (well, Thai at least) or Mexican friends), you might actually like it. But I can’t take more than a couple of drinks.

This beer was more of a fun beer to make, I think, and less of something to enjoy. I definitely won’t be buying one again, but I can’t quite say it’s “bad”… just not for me.

Rating: 1.5/5

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