Crime - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

434 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 434
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 2.82
pDev: 35.82%
Wants: 22
Gots: 107 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Chile Beer |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: womencantsail on 02-06-2011

"What do you call it when Greg takes his entire harvest
bounty of chili pepper varieties from his own personal garden, take half of them and add to...and thus otherwise beautiful oak barrel of Double Dry Hopped Lukcy Basartd Ale?"

A: "A Crime!" 

Q: "What do you call it when you take a sip of oak barrel aged Double Bastard Ale that's had the other half of the bounty of chili peppers from Greg's home garden ceremoniously added in, resulting in a punishingly intense level of hot pepper heat to an already overly intense beer whose elevated alcohol level caused a significant transference of pain-inducing

A: "Punishment." 
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 434 | Reviews: 98
Reviews by andrewinski1:
Photo of andrewinski1
2.78/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a chalice. The color is hazy brown; deep caramel. There is a nice off-white sticky head.

The aroma is very unique. There is a lot of chili pepper in the aroma. This smells like green salsa. Interesting.

Okay, first sip and this is a firebomb! This is crazy spicy. I try to pick out some other flavors but I can't really. It doesn't seem much point that there is any beer flavor in this at all since the spiciness dominates.

This is a full bodied beer; though it's difficult to tell because my mouth is numb. This is a fun beer to try, don't think I'll be going back for more though.

More User Reviews:
Photo of atomic
1.24/5  rDev -56%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is indeed a crime.

A: I always give beers a 5 for appearance because I don't think the appearance of a beer should detract from its rating, If I could have given this beer 1s across the board, I would.
This one had a nice burnt amber color.

S: god awful. Smells like plastic honestly.

T: Complete mess. No pleasant taste what so ever, just hot peppers.

M: Pain? Just pain.

O: Its a shame that Stone would make such garbage, its even a bigger shame they'd make it so expensive. This bottle was $18 I think? More than $1 per ounce for a drain pour? Such a waste of money and barrels.

Photo of Ngntjp
4.25/5  rDev +50.7%

Now THERE'S the chili beer I've been looking for! Holy hell this is hot. I am a heat lover through and through and have wanted to experience the paradoxical situation of drinking something that's intensely spicy and then reaching for the same glass the cleanse that heat from my palate. This does exactly that. There are plenty of flavors here though. If you can make it through the heat you can definitely taste a "woody" ale. I'm guessing it's from the Oaked arrogant bastard but there's a charred and peppery green bell pepper flavor that I'm getting too that's mixing in with it nicely from the variety of chilis in this. I can't stop drinking it. Heat isn't everyone's bag, but it's a very different beast to try and enjoy all of the flavors in here while still experiencing (and possibly enjoying depending on your tastes) the burn. With a sweaty brow, nostrils running, and a mouth in burning beverage heaven, I absolutely recommend this to those looking for over the top spicy brews. Damn, I should've bought more!

Photo of RLVineh
4.12/5  rDev +46.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Again this series has been misjudged, it is great for what it is. its a damn spicy gimmicky beer, but it is great. much more tolerable than punishment i enjoyed these beers

Photo of Jordy777
1.42/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

When I was 17, one of my friends sprayed pepper spray in my basement. Drinking this was a terrible reminder of that day.

Photo of ehammond1
2.54/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On Tap

Stone 15th Anniversary Celebration
CSU, San Marcos
San Marcos, CA

Dark amber and ruby with a thin light brown head and leaves spotted lacing down the glass.

A touch of caramel in the aroma and then lots and lots of face-smacking spice--smells like spicy jalapeno juice. Interesting, though perhaps even too powerful.

This beer starts similarly to the aroma: a faint hint of caramel and toffee sweetness, and then a stinging, biting jalapeno-like spice throughout. Unfortunately, the barrels/wood are tough to find.

Medium mouthfeel.

I'm very glad I tried this one, but I don't need to revisit it. Even as a lover of peppers and spicy foods, this one still isn't for me.

Photo of dannydetox
3.69/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

right, so remember we are reviewing a chili beer with Crime. given that, i think this brew stacks up nicely in the category. reddish brown in color wih a fading tan head, Crime greets the nose with vanilla, caramel malts, hot peppers, and dark chocolate. after imvibing you feel the heat from the capsician big time. i could see how the. spiciness might be too much for those sensitive to heat, but as a hot sauce enhusiast and master crafter, i can dig it. after the initial pepper blast, you begin to taste the rich caramel and barrel aged blend of the basardt. not a subtle beer, but fun to drink in small quantities. gave me a good sweat, maybe a sligjt endorphin kick.

Photo of russpowell
3.52/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

If you are not a fan of really hot stuff, stay the hell away from this beer..

Pours a semi-hazed caramel with a thumb of cream colored head. Never quite clears up, decent lacing & okay head retention

S: Serrano & other peppers, jalapeno & even some black pepper, great nose

T: Caramel, some pear & then an assload of pepper heat. Some oaky notes as this warms, then more heat. Finishes flaming hot with a little caramel & woodiness

MF: Medium bodied/chewy with low carbonation, warming in many ways

TOO DAMN Hot. My advice, if you have this let it sit a few years. Actually paired well with some dark chocolate. Stone, you jumped the shark with this one ( and punishment, from what I hear) . Pity, dial the peppers back about 90% & this beer would be great...

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.26/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Came across these by chance on a recent cross border visit to Montana, surprised at the price given the relatively general low cost of brews there, but i'm intrigued....
A - deep swampy brown, two fingers of lightly tanned head retained nicely with plenty of wispy lacing all around which is impressive for a chile beer
S - dominated by the sweet and veggie like aroma of the peppers, and you get a little tickle from the heat if you breathe deep, unfortunately the peppers drown out the beer aromas making this hard to judge
T - WOW, the heat is INTENSE!!! Roasted smoky pepper flavour is immediately followed with a blast of heat that doesn't subside. There are notes of bready and brown sugar malts with some piney hops but you really have to focus and block out the fact that your palate is roasting
M - HOT ... but I guess that's the whole point, although it builds and gets more difficult
O - the most aggressive chile beer i've had by light years, and as I'm a fan of spice I can definitely appreciate what they are going for here, on the downside it ends up tasting more like a hot sauce than a beer which does take something away from it, but its an adventure to be taken if you're willing to get outside your comfort zone
POST BOTTLE EDIT: so my initial review was only after a few sips, and I can appreciate what they are going for, HOWEVER I found that it was basically unpleasant to actually try to finish the 500ml bottle. The heat builds and is unrelenting, and to be honest the flavour while interesting at first gets a little old. I actually couldn't finish the bottle. This would have been nice to try in a smaller size like 300ml at most, but I find it unfortunate to have paid a high price for a bottle that would have been a chore to finish. Still worth a try in my opinion, but share it with a friend or two

Photo of Gmann
2.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.25

Pours a murky, muddy brown color with a big fluffy toasted khaki colored head that the tons of webby lacing on the glass.

The aroma is a mix between sweet and vegetal. Big sweet brown sugar malt aroma that carries some bourbon notes and a hint of vanilla. There is a noticeable pepper aroma that has a subtle spice in the nose. Pepper seems to dominate.

The taste is strong with pepper flavor and quite strong with the heat. Way too overpowering. There is a sweet, slightly weak brown malt. The bourbon flavor is nice when you can find it through the heat. Nice vanilla notes. I dunno if I can find anything else.

The body is moderate with weak carbonation. Quite sweet on the palate then comes the crazy heat. Unpleasant and basically undrinkable.

I have had pepper beers before and could handle the heat but this is a bit over the top.

Photo of MDHopster
2.48/5  rDev -12.1%

overpowering pepper flavor, bourbon taste is almost demolished and barely perceptible. A sipping brew for those that like heat, lots of heat. But this bastard was destroyed (ruined per Stone). Rather than waste the rest, I used the 2nd half of the bottle to marinade a skirt steak for Carne Asada, interesting enough, here the bourbon barrel flavor came out stronger than the peppers. Although this is a rather expensive marinade and still was not up to my usual skirt steak seasoning, although it was interesting.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.54/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

500 ml caged and corked bottle, bottled October 2013. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a cloudy reddish/brown color with some sediment floaties noticeable. There's about an inch tan head that stayed around for a long time, and a good amount of lacing. The brew smells mostly like spicy and green peppers, along with some caramel. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of a bit of oak, vanilla and bourbon that kicks in after a while. But this brew is all about the spicy peppers, it's good and hot! Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating with moderate carbonation. Overall I liked this. Yeah, I finished the bottle and my eyes are watering right now, but I wouldn't mind trying this again in the future. But it's certainly a brew that I would have to be in a certain mood to drink, because it's hotter than most of the chili beers I've tried before.

Photo of skyline522
2/5  rDev -29.1%

Just plain awful... Overpowering heat and spice takes everything away from the beer. Truly is a crime... Poor showing Stone.

Photo of Lornee56
1.48/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Absolutely the second worst beer I have ever had (the worst beer is it's companion Punishment). I loved Habanero Sculpin, but this was terrible. There is no balance or complexity to speak of. Disgusting stuff. The price was horrible too for a 16.9 oz. bottle. I will be haunted by the terrible taste of this beer. How could Stone release this beer at this price? God awful.

Photo of DaniP
2.59/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Imbibed this interesting beer with three other friends on New Years. I'll start by qualifying that I like things that are hot. Not just spicy, but HOT.

Split among four people and poured into glasses. Pours a pretty orange brown color with a nice caramel colored foamy head.

The nose on this beer (for me) was all hot peppers. You actually get the capsaicin on (and in) your nose.

At first sip it wasn't too bad. Almost a little smokey, but not heavily. Then the heat hits, and unfortunately precludes you from tasting anything other than the burn. It starts out feeling like a burn and eventually turns into a thousands of tiny fire ants gnawing at the inside of your mouth. I couldn't feel my mouth enough to give a good description of the mouth feel.

This was an interesting beer. I didn't love it, but I didn't dislike it, either. I greatly appreciate the level of heat that Stone was able to get into this beer without getting the vegetative taste you get with some beers brewed with pepper. Unfortunately, I couldn't finish my glass and was my first and probably only drain pour. It would have been a palate wrecker for the rest of the night, and definitely a stomach wrecker if drunk at the end of the night. I would ave rated it higher if the heat level was tolerable to me, which it was not. Could be good for cooking and making deliciously hot chili. Definitely not for the faint of heart.

Photo of ocelot2500
2.02/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Pours a hazy copper color with a tight, off-white head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of chile peppers.

Tastes of spicy chiles with beer. Leads off with spicy chile flavors. I would say the heat is moderate, but not painful. There are some caramel malts that come in the middle, but they are washed out by a spicy finish. Really dominated by the chiles and not enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is terrible and a definite a ripoff at $17.73 for a 500. If for some reason you like the idea of mixing hot sauce with a little beer, then this is for you, but otherwise this is a beer to avoid. Let's just say this is enough to put me off Stone for a while.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.14/5  rDev +46.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

500 ml cork and caged bottle poured into a snifter.
9.6% ABV, 102 IBUs,

A - While the bottle is almost black in color, the beer's clarity shows off Crime's rich ruby amber color with fantastic brilliance. A halo of ivory foam rests on the beer leaving no lace in it's wake.

S - Crime's massive blend of chilies gives the aroma a stunning sharpness that's got quite a bit of heat on it, almost setting in heartburn before it hits the stomach lining. Smooth toasted malt makes for a nice and robust base though, as Lucky Basartd barely shows more than a suggestion of it's time in bourbon barrels. I'm legitimately nervous of the first sip.

T - While Crime is undoubtedly a hot chili beer, the base of Lucky Basartd and it's rich maltiness isn't forgotten or completely destroyed by pepper flavor and heat but nicely complimentary to the mammoth level of chilies. Contradictory, there's absolutely no indication this beer has spent time in a bourbon barrel when it comes to the flavor; given a few seconds on the tongue, chili meat is all that's left.

M - This medium-bodied amber ale has a nice malty base to it but that disappears after about 1.5 seconds. At 1.6 seconds, Crime becomes one of the hottest chili beers on the market (*I'm having Punishment next) and mixes a massive amount of chili flavor with straight tongue-singing heat. With each sip I can feel the beer hit my stomach and start churning so, Tums might be in order. Additionally, my face feels slightly flush but I haven't begun to sweat from my eyelids yet so, while it'll stick around with you, Crime's heat is not insane - it's almost perfect.

O - As a disclaimer, I like spicy food. Let me back up. What I should say is that I like spicy food when everything, including the heat, works harmoniously. When something's insanely hot just to be insanely hot, it just becomes masochistic at that point. With that aside, I've been waiting for a beer like Crime for a long time. Chili beers seem to ride the fence of too little to decent affect or too poorly done to be enjoyable but, Crime manages to up the ante while being a drinkable beer. The time this chili beer has spent in bourbon barrels seems pointless considering the fact almost no attribute shows through but, the ridiculous chili flavor and heat don't completely obliterate the bastard beneath; beer is still a part of this beer. It may not be for everyone, but if you like spicy food, chances are you'll like this beer.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Edit: If you get the chance, know what you are drinking and enjoy it for what it is.

5oz pour at the end of the night on Friday... Bittercreek Stone Tap Takeover... I saved what I expected was the "worst" for last.. I was right.. but Crime was still pretty damn interesting.

Poured with a flimsy head.. deep orange... oh well, it is tough to really get a look at a beer inside Bittercreek because it is pretty dark most of the time.

Nose is no doubt burning.. wow.. smells hot and a bit malty.. hints of burnt sugars with warmth... I am scared to take a sip.

Flavor is not as scary... OVER THE TOP chili flavor and heat... but once you get past the "Over The Top", it becomes quite a bit more approachable.. caramel maltiness if I really concentrate... Soooo hot...

I did truly appreciate this one, but it was too much.. A bit of a train wreck.. 5oz was too much even after I went dark.

Glad I got the chance to try it... but it hurt me a bit later. ;-)

Thanks to Dave and Greg!! All 3's

Photo of Greywulfken
3.53/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: looks like the other members of the 'Bastard line - deep dark amber with a tan head as big as you'd like that leaves ample thick lace behind as it recedes

S: mild chewy caramel and toffee malts and airs of bourbon barrels, suggestions of the peppery heart contained within

T: the chile in the beer overwhelms all other flavors - and I like heat in food and drink - but the bourbon can't rise above the chile heat, and the malts are but a shadow in the background; any hops used or yeasts are all left to the imagination, as the heat will hit you immediately and shut down your palate for the most part

M: medium bodied beer, slick and smooth, but the heat from the chiles will light your mouth and lip on fire

O: I liked the beer, but wouldn't return to it - a $20 bottle of pepper spray - as it is, I've got it's counterpart, Punishment, on tap, and I'm sure I'll enjoy it, but the beer lacks nuance - and it's a shame, too - a bourbon barrel aged beer should have more say in the final flavor than this beer has. If you have any hesitation about heat in beer, avoid this at all costs. If you are a fan of bourbon barrel-aging, skip over this, as you will not be able to appreciate the bourbon at all. But if you want a firebomb beer-drinking experience, or you like extreme beers with high abv, give it a try, but not if your budget doesn't allow for a very pricey purchase.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
2.6/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: handsome hazy copper. Nice off white head with some messy lacing.
Smell: well, much ado bout nothing. Smells like an uncooked jalapeño. Shocked at how little is going on in the nose. Not getting any beer smells. Interesting and not unpleasant just expected a spice bomb.
Taste: yow, there 's the peppers. That's the opposite of subtle. Tastes like pepper juice. Any beer, any arrogant bastard taste is completely overpowered.
Overall: nice try. Might as well take Bud and give it this treatment. No way to taste the beer anyway.

Photo of angrybabboon
3.4/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to my heterosexual life partner in crime Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this beer

Disclaimer: I love spicy food. And hot sauce. This has a substantial impact on my impression of this beer.

Consumed 12/11/13

Appearance: Medium amber, with some caramel and reddish colors - lightly cloudy - pours with a very small, off-white head - fades to very little, but leaves some nice lacing

Smell: Peppers, peppers everywhere - fleshy, ripe peppers, with skin and some seeds - definitely some varieties I'm unfamiliar with, but they are definitely peppers - some hints of Arrogant and Double Bastard underneath, but it's mostly overpowered by the pepper explosion - some bourbon, too - kind of smells like a hot sauce, honestly

Taste: I feel like the phrase "refreshing pain" is the most accurate description of the flavor - very hot, very spicy - not extreme though (this is definitely not the hottest chile beer I've had) - not really painful in a bad way, more painful in a reinvigorating way - charmingly spicy - some nice chili pepper flavor - I would put this in my chili - the base works pretty well, with some cooked malts, roasted malts - some earthiness - some bourbon as well, which doesn't entirely work with the rest of the flavors - but really, this is all about the peppers

Mouthfeel: Medium body, oily (thanks to all the peppers), decent carbonation, certainly nice as a sipper

Overall: Feels so good on my skin!

This is a unique chile beer. It's not the hottest I've had. I would say that fresh Twisted Pine Ghost Face Killah (which is a good beer) and Cave Creek Chili Beer (which is undrinkable) are definitely hotter. This beer features a reasonable amount of heat, if you are someone that is accustomed to adding hot sauce to everything.

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.05/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

500 ml bottle, with 2013 vintage date. Dear god, what have I gotten myself into? At least I bought this beer and Stone Punishment with a gift card, so I didn't have to use my own actual money. Depending on how this goes, I will be adding some of this to a pot of chili. Expectations are terrifying based on the reviews of others, and I have no idea what to expect, so I'm just going to go ahead and get this shit over with. Shared this bottle with a friend.

Poured into a miniature Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter.

A - Pours a dark burnt orange colored body with some red highlights in there when held to the light, and lots of dark chunks of sediment floating in the glass. Just under a finger of soapy khaki head with good staying power. Some okay spotty lacing, also. Doesn't look so bad.

S - Oh wow. This thing definitely has peppers in it, that's for sure. Not really picking up any actual "heat", but you can tell that there are peppers in here. Earthy, vegetal peppers, even fruity at times in the vain of mango. Caramel and oak wood are definitely in there when you really look for them, but the peppers dominate. The smell is actually quite pleasant.

T - Oh wow. Oh god. I do get the caramel and some brown sugar in there, but the fiery pepper heat is dominant. Once you sip on it though, more begins to creep out. Caramel, brown sugar, oak, mango, orange, fiery habanero / jalapeno burn. I'm giving it a 3, according to style, but I am probably being a bit generous.

M - Feel is hot and fiery. The bottle says it best. A long fiery afterburn. Hot and tingly. Nearly undrinkable.

Overall, I'm sweating, and my tongue is sizzling with heat, but it is bearable. Not as excruciatingly horrible as others have said, but it is borderline undrinkable for the casual beer drinker. You have to really be in the mood for this, and know what you are in for when you crack this open. A unique beer drinking experience if there ever was one. And to think that I still have Punishment to look forward to.

Stone Crime ---3/5.

Photo of TucsonTom
2.24/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

I've been wanting to try Crime, but didn't like the bottle price. I got my chance when it turned up as part of a tap takeover at Tap + Bottle in Tucson, Ariz.

Crime looks like a good beer with a dominant pepper smell. I've had pepper beers in the past and enjoyed their unique taste and heat.

But while Crime may LOOK like a beer, it's really a mass of pepper juice. I like peppers, but this was TOO much. I intentionally waited after my first sip to see how long the burning lasted. I stopped waiting after 20 minutes.

Stone's name for the beer and its marketing copy are correct. The "beer" is most certainly a crime and should be poured down the drain ...

... which it apparently was at the tap takeover event. A guy sitting two stools away from me left with his four-ounce taster of Crime sitting with just one taste taken. After a while the bartender took it away and smelled it. "I'll be picking up a lot of these tonight," he mumbled to himself.

Photo of SHODriver
3.72/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured into a snifter to a dark brown topped by an eighth of an inch of dense light tan head that is quick to fade to a small collar. sediment poured from the bottle looks like pepper seeds instead of yeast chunks so this beer has had some time to marinate in the hot stuff.
S: smells of peppers, slight caramel and a hint of floral and piney hops
T: taste on this one is fresh green jalapeno peppers with a slowly building heat and a slight caramel sweetness that can't seem to make any headway and come to the front. slight amount of hop bitterness comes through at times as well. lots of pepper heat and on the swallow there's another blast of heat, a whisper of caramel malt sweetness and a lingering burn that coats the entire mouth
M: this beer is on the heavier side of medium with soft carbonation and a semi dry finish
O: As a chile beer it does pretty well but they could have used a lesser base beer and skipped the barrel aging and dry hopping.

Photo of dmsohyea
1.96/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

On-tap at Stone 2/10/10 (first review!)

A: pours a deep reddish orange with very little head that dissapates quickly with little retention. Looks very similar to a standard Arrogant Bastard.

S: smells very grassy with a strong jalapeno and spicy scent. This is a very different thing than I have any other beer I've encountered.

T: taste is not actually too bad, has some nice oaky and hoppy notes with a background of chilies.

M: This is where this beer really goes wrong, it's super carbonated and absolutely burns the back of your mouth and your throat all the way down. Very unpleasant, I would compare it to drinking mouthwash.

D: Not drinkable. I had 4oz, and probably only had 1oz. Easily the least drinkable beer I have had.

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Crime from Stone Brewing Co.
66 out of 100 based on 434 ratings.