Thursday, January 9, 2014


I've slogged through hard to drink beers before - Hamm's, Schlitz, Keystone and Keystone Light, certain German beers, and the worst beer ever, Mexico's Victoria - but I've always made it through the bottle(s) or glass.  Stone Brewing's Crime is one beer I could not finish*.   I opened a bottle on New Year's Eve, but Crime immediately kicked my butt and I surrendered only a third through the bottle.  I humbly bow my head to this demon beer.

Crime's base is the Arrogant Bastard derivative Lukcy Basartd, and it was aged in bourbon barrels.  Whatever.  I'll take Stone's word on this because all I tasted was peppers, scorching hot peppers.  Crime's nose was awesome, it smelled like a bowl of fresh-sliced jalapeno peppers (according to Stone the beer also includes "ultra-hot black nagas").  The aroma translated straight to the taste. 

Crime burns.  Crime hurts.  Crime abuses.  My mouth, throat, and stomach sizzled, and drinking Crime felt like eating a jalapeno-laced dish with nothing to offset the force of the chile.  Crime's heat stayed long through the finish. The first drink hurt.  I gamely tried a few more believing I'd acclimate to the intensity, but I didn't. Crime neither mellowed nor relented, and I put down my glass.

I bought Crime thinking it the lesser of Stone's Crime and Punishment duo.  I am not sure if my assumption was corrrect and am not going to try and find out.  I've had pepper beers before and I tasted their pepper spice and flavor, but none had Crime's raw pepper heat.  All were pantywaists compared to Crime.

* I want to be clear, Crime is a well-made beer.  The physical difficulty I had in drinking it is the only comparison I'm making to swill like Keystone or Victoria.) 

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