Jan 31, 2014

Stone Brewing Crime

Stone Brewing has a diabolical pair of beers that they call Crime and Punishment. This duo of beers are based off of two separate products that are injected with a fiery blend of spicy peppers before being tossed into Kentucky bourbon barrels. With my recent experience with Twisted Pine’s Ghost Face Killah, I was quite excited to be able to snag one of each of these malevolent beers.

First up is Crime. This 9.6% ABV (and 102 IBU) double IPA uses the company’s Lukcy Basartd Ale as a base. Stone then added a blend of freshly picked chili peppers: red jalapeños, green jalapeños, black nagas, Caribbean red hots, Moruga scorpions and fatalis. Now, I like myself some spicy food and wasn’t at all worried about the varieties of jalapeños in the mix, but the nagas and Moruga scorpions both have varieties often listed as some of the hottest peppers on the planet. Those two built a good bit of apprehension in my gut before finally cracking the bottle open.

So, how does Crime taste? It certainly brings a large amount of spicy heat and bite, but it’s not as brutal as I had anticipated. Though the flavor of peppers (in a vegetable sense) and the heat dominates the palate, there’s still more to this beer.


Dark amber in color with a smallish cap of beige foam, Crime doesn’t look too intimidating.

Stone Brewing Crime photo


Chili peppers dominate with a tingling spiciness, grassy hops, very subtle bourbon and a hint of wood all in the mix.


Crime certainly packs a spicy wallop. i’m not sure that it’s as violent as Ghost Face Killah, but it is quite hot. There’s a strong earthy pepper character as a solid amount of biting bitterness only adds to the attack on your tongue. I don’t pick up all that much bourbon, but more does come out as the beer has had a chance to come to room temperature. Hints of wood and a lingering sweetness on the lips are also present. For the most part however, it’s all chili peppers.


Though the peppery heat thoroughly demands all of your attention, there is more to this beer. A grassy, piny hop character, hints of wood and a touch of bourbon do all they can to help soften the blow of the scoville units that bombard your tongue. Just like Ghost Face Killah (which I actually like more), Crime is also a bit of a gimmick beer, but also just like Twisted Pine’s version, it’s meant to be fun and to challenge your tastebuds and that’s exactly what it does. This is not a beer for people that don’t like any sort of fiery heat. You’ve been warned.

Rating: 3.25/5

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