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Crime - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

98 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 98
Hads: 451
Avg: 3.14
pDev: 33.44%
Wants: 22
Gots: 118 | FT: 17
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 ruin...an 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 98 | Hads: 451
Photo of RobertConway
1.5/5  rDev -52.2%

I have enjoyed most things I have purchased from Stone over the years. This (and Punishment) were the expensive exceptions. The peppers were over-powering, to the point that I couldn't enjoy the ale and had to get rid of it.

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Photo of chihomebrew312
3.75/5  rDev +19.4%

Definitely not for someone who hates heat. Somewhat of a novelty beer in that it has tons of punch to it. However, I have no problem eating a hot pepper. Taste the bourbon barrel aging, however the capsaicin does take over a little too much. The beer will not burn your face and make you cry for water however, though it would be great if the heat was turned down a bit for the next batch if there is one.

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Photo of Budinetz
3.72/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a cork and cage bottle into a goblet. Bottles in October 2013.

Pours a deep amber color with a nice head that dissipates rather slowly. Great lacing around the glass and medium head retention.

Smells stale hops and hot peppers. Some sweet malt is detected but the pepper oil really stands out.

HOLY HOT! If you're not a hot pepper fan stay away! If you are a hot pepper fan then REJOICE!!! It's definitely a sipping beer, but give me some beans and rice or a nice bland taco and you won't need sauce! Just take a sip of this!

Mouthfeel is great, again if you like HOT peppers. Nice heat and good pepper sensations on the palate. The heat lingers for quite some time following.

Overall a great chile beer! I will age the other bottle I have to see if it changes over a year or two.


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Photo of Ngntjp
4.25/5  rDev +35.4%

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!

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.54/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

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Photo of AndrewMC
4.49/5  rDev +43%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Crime is getting a bad wrap from people who don't understand what this beer is. This beer is mouth punishing with peppers. Hot and spicy, the way Stone wanted it. This beer isn't meant to be consumed by one person eating cookies. It was made for small glasses and shared in good company with a cheese board. It's also fantastic to cook with; just make it a reduction and boil unflavored sausage in it.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a deep chestnut amber red color. Some tan colored froth and lacing.

(S)- A huge blast of hot peppers meets subtle oaky vanilla and subtle fruity malts.

(T)- The deep burn in the back of the throat. Subtle dry oakiness, but otherwise an assault of hot peppers on the senses.

(M)- It stings the throat for sure. Not overly burning hot, but not for the weak

(O)- These is no denying how hot this beer is. It stings the throat and does not apologize. I love spicy hot food, but I think when it comes to having it in my beer, I am a little put off somehow

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Photo of SHODriver
3.72/5  rDev +18.5%
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.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.24/5  rDev +35%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle into snifter. Bottled October 2013.

A: Pours a murky dirty iced tea color with some tiny floaters beneath a soft light tan head that faded I to a fuzzy collar. Spotty lacing was left down the glass.
S: Spicy pepper nose remind me of fresh green peppers with a hint of roast. Sweet caramel and a touch of hop resin is in there as well.
T: Follows the nose with flavors of the base double bastard mixed with burning and flavorful green and habanero peppers. Pepper burn is spicy and flavorful and lingers long after the swallow. The hops resin accentuates the burn. Spicy and peppery, but not oily or overly hot.
M: Medium-full body, smooth and slick mouthfeel. Surprisingly not greasy or overly boozy, or as rough as I thought it would be. Smooth overall with a nice long linger heat.
O: Call me crazy but this was actually good. I wouldn't want to drink this often, but I actually enjoyed it more than other spicy beers I've had. More depth and complexity than I was expecting.

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Photo of dannydetox
3.69/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.43/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour deeply dark, reddish-brown. Some light gets through but it seems weary from the trip. Nice, light tan head leaves some pretty good lacing behind.
Smell is fainter than expected but malt, pepper, spice, and a hint of floral are present. Good balance but hard to suss out the details.
Taste is malt, spicy peppers, faint floral. Balance is skewed heavily to the peppers and malt. I like it. I wonder what the Scoville rating is for this beer? Hee hee.
Medium bodied, light effervescence. Fairly smooth, too, though drying at the finish.

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Photo of razorsdescent
2.22/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Second negative review of the day, guess I just got a run of bad beers.

I am a Stone fanboy. There, I said it. Arrogant Bastard was the beer that got me into craft brews and I have loved it ever since. So my disappoint is genuine and my confusion quite profound. Why would a bunch of people who make a beer that I consider to be among the best I have ever tasted let something like this go out the door with their name on it?

The appearance of this beer is great. dark and luscious, a dark red and brown color that my years of drinking Stone have told me will yield a tasty brew.

The smell hits you and you just know something isn't on the level. It just smells too spicy. The imbalance is present on the nose, but you go in and sip anyways.

The taste is awful. This beer is like drinking hot sauce. I am a fan of hot sauces, and I mean the hot ones, but I don't drink them. The biggest and most immediately recognizable taste is that of jalapenos.There is little else on the palate, just a bit of that amazing Arrogant Bastard taste on the finish. This must be what disappointment tastes like.

The mouthfeel would be the same as many an aged Bastard, if you didn't feel like your mouth was being punched by jalapenos. I took off points for the way the burning interferes with the ability to appreciate mouthfeel.

So, was it worth the hefty price tag to get a bottle of this stuff? No, not at all. I want to give the Stone guys their due for being adventurous, but this effort falls short and they had to have known that prior to shipping it out. Maybe a bit more aging would change things, but I doubt it.

On a pairing note, I happened to have this with a liver pâté and they actually paired really well. The spice from the beer really did a good job of cutting through the fat. If you have a bottle of this beer, I recommend aging it a while and then trying it with some foie gras, a terrine or a nice pate. You might as well make the best of this beer if you have it.

The reviews for this might improve as the bottles are aged. Stone if you read this, ease up on the Jalapenos and try and keep some balance, you are better than this. Oh and make a Triple Bastard so that I can die happy.

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Photo of allengarvin
1.88/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.25

The cork actually would not turn at all--I ended up ripping the cork trying to turn it, and had to get a corkscrew, resulting in bits falling into the beer. Ugh! This hasn't happened in years.

Poured into a tall chalice, this is a dark, murky beer with a light, fading head. Bits drift around as I hold it the light. The nose... well, it smells pretty much like a jar of hot sauce that you're sniffing right at the container--one of those made with citric acid instead of vinegar, thankfully. A strong one. The taste, egad, it beers little resemblance to anything thing beer-like. It's moderately hot, but not unbearably (I've chugged a few bottles of hot sauce in my time)--the problem is nothing remains of the beer. It's all chile heat, and nothing else.

This is one wretched beer, drinking wise. I was thinking I'd pour it down the drain, but it might make a decent marinading ingredient, or maybe to go in chili, so I'm sticking it in the fridge. That $20 price tag is a damn steep price for a cooking beer, though.

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Photo of mynie
3.31/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Went to smell the cork like I normally do and, jesus, there is a much of a pepper blast here than I've ever smelled in any hot sauce. And I've had a shitload of very hot hot sauces in my day. This is, seriously, the spiciest aroma I've ever come across aside from ghost pepper salsa.

Pours thick and red with a surprising head, for the way it glugged out of the bottle. Raising the glass to my nose it's just so aggressively peppery. Raw, aggressive peppers and then a little bit of double bastard maltiness.

Tastes... great? Is that great? Kind of. I like it a lot, but it's not well brewed. There's a giant pepper burn and then lukcy basartd in the back end. The basartd does a very nice job of cutting into the peppers, but only at first. A few seconds later the peppers return with a vengeance and that's all you taste for a good twenty seconds before you take the next sip.

This is like if Ed's Cave Creek used better peppers and a way better beer. It was enjoyable because I like very hot things. I--I just don't know.

Maybe I should reverse my "not well brewed" designation, because I think this does exactly what they wanted it to do. But I also think what they wanted it to do isn't what most people would want. Me, personally, I like hot things but I'm not one of those weird scoville devotees, so even though this was tasty it was still hard to get through 16 ounces of it. A+ for creativity and boldness, B- for execution.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.52/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle. Pours a murky dark brown color with an inch of head. The aroma is hot pepper and not much else. The taste is pepper and hot peppers with plenty of heat. Coats your throat with heat. I think I can pick up on some Bastard but its hidden behind the wall of spice and heat. Not abusively hot but spicy for sure. Slick mouthfeel with a small amount of carbonation. Overall, I couldn't drink this all the time, or maybe even again, but I'm glad I tried it. It's not as hot or as bad as I thought it'd be. This has been aging for a few months so it may have helped mellow things a bit.

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Photo of inlimbo77
2.26/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

500ml, October 2013

A: Pours a dirty reddish brown color. Some floaties. Some light tan lacing. Collar of head.

S: Smells hot. Tons of pepper. Maybe some vanilla. But dominated but the heat. Even the lucky bastard sweetness.

T: Pepper! Holy god. All over my lips. Spice. Malt. Burns my throat.

M: Big medium.

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Photo of grimey68
1.41/5  rDev -55.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

It's a crime that this beer has made it to production, and was actually bottled. I applaud Stone for trying to be different, but seriously, who's idea was this? Fortunately I had this during a sampling at a Whole Foods. Don't worry about this being sold out, there's plenty to go around.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.27/5  rDev +36%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to my bro for buying me this as a Xmas gift. Had Punishment when it was released and loved it, glad to complete the duo. Dostoyevsky represent. Shared this was some people so I got a ~4 oz pour or so.

Appearance - Dark red, some floaties, off-white head. Thick ring and slight cap left.

Smell - Pure authentic pepper flesh. Trying to get more, hmm... caramel malt perhaps? Spicy peppers chopped up in a bowl right in front of you. Potent and rude.

Taste - Pure pepper veggie spice juice, close to biting into a deliciously hot chile. Lucky Basatrd? Bourbon? Eh maybe, not really though. It is definitely spicy but tolerable, it is not hot for the sake of being hot and has some depth, the authentic veggie vibe wins this for me. Probably a little less abrasive than Punishment overall.

Mouthfeel - Lightish feel with ample carbonation, perhaps a bit on the thinner side for the ABV, but that helps this beer go down. The alcohol is very well-hidden, perhaps the spice acts as a distraction.

Overall - Some of these rating make me lose faith in humanity. It's called Crime, Punishment is called Punishment, expect to be criminally punished, punished like a criminal, etc. I would honestly drink a small pour of this anytime, and would probably buy this somewhat often if not for the price. I am going to have to give Punishment another go sometime, and maybe save some of it for cooking. I like being punished, chiles and these beers.

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Photo of cbutova
4.34/5  rDev +38.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Poured into five wine glasses thanks to Chico1985 with a small white head. The cap has a foamy, frothy texture and falls fairly quickly down to just a small ring of bubbles. Lacing starts with some webs and spots but thins out beyond that.

S- Even with some age it is pretty much just a blast of fresh cut habaneros staring you down from the cutting board. Has that fumy, fruity vaporous hot pepper flesh attacking the nasal tracts. Some caramel malts, bourbon vanilla barrel and fruitiness but mostly just amazing fresh peppers.

T- Chile beer in its purest form, just like Punishment. Hot and spicy but tolerable for pretty much everyone in the room, some who are not huge chili eaters. Fruity and fume packed pepper spiciness and flavor fills the palate with just enough room for the beer aspect. Slight bit of bourbon whiskey, caramel, fruits and malts.

MF- Moderately thick bodied with a creamy overall texture. Medium carbonation provides a platform for those spicy, fruity pepper flavors to shine. Finishes with a palate coated in chili pepper heat.

It is a bit depressing how low the rating for this beer is. What do people expect in such a beer, especially a Chili beer. Crime and Punishment by Stone have captured by far the best, freshest hot pepper flavors of any chili beer I have had. Exemplary for the style, love/hate I suppose but I loved these beers.

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Photo of Dope
2.34/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Bottled October 2013.

A: Pours a very dark red with some brown in it. Tall, dense tan head. Awesome head retention. Decent thin lacing and a big island of foam.

S: Waxy vegetal pepper. With a side of burning death. Hoo boy.

T: Burnination commences immediately. Loads of vegetal pepper and liquid fire. Gets smoky in the middle like a chipotle and then very bready. Typical Arrogant Bastard bready malt. Aftertaste is lingering fire with a sort of mouth-coating oil effect.

M: Medium bodied and fiery.

O: I love hot stuff but this just brutal. I've had ghost peppers that were tastier than this. Not quite as bad as Punishment for some reason but it's still impossible to drink. A few sips was all I could manage.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.14/5  rDev +31.8%
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.

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Photo of justinmc1
1/5  rDev -68.2%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Let's clear one thing up first....this will go over like a turd in a punchbowl if you take it to a party. The aroma has an amazing smell of dirty socks and grandpas asshole. The color looks like I got four scoops of Chipotles extra hot salsa and shit it out the next morning (floaties included). The flavor tastes like my dog ran through a grassy patch and scooted her ass on the carpet and then I licked it up. Overall I think I might go puke because this beer makes me think of Justin Beiber and Miley Cyrus making out (I cant think of anything worse in this world). Please save yourself the trouble and go watch Sharknado 4 times in a row. You will thank me later! In lieu of waterboarding at Guantanamo Bay please send the rest of this crap there. No more terrorism...BAM!

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Photo of maximum12
1/5  rDev -68.2%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Small 500ML bottle picked up despite the warning from my friendly local beer pusher. I looked around for Punishment & couldn't find it. May have been a blessing in diguise. Split with my wife.

The pour is very dark orange with a few droplets of sacrificial blood to darken it up. Tons & tons of floaties. Then I lick the 1/192 ounce of dribble rolling down the glass....eehhh. The nose is dirty chiles. Chiles. Chiles. I think the label said something about them.

Crime literally made me grab my throat after one sip - holy horrific fuck. Not only is there too much heat for the surface of the sun, it tastes like rancid sewage. What happened to the good base beer? Or the bourbon? It's like the dirt the chiles were grown in was dumped wholesale into the kettle. I consider just pouring it into the drain. Then I think about the cost of a plumber & think I'll toss it outside. Then I think about my poor grass. WTF do I do with this? I need some kind of toxic container.

Good. Lord. One. Sip. Worst. Beer. Ever.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.26/5  rDev +3.8%
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

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Photo of t8dd
3.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

500 ml bottle. Aroma of peppers and bourbon barrel, Vanilla, fruit. Poured an unattractive green/amber color. Taste-yes, yes tons of heat but what impresses me is the flavor of the Lukcy and the bourbon barrel still shine through. I was expecting this to be horrible due to the reviews I read. Enjoyable nonetheless.

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Crime from Stone Brewing Co.
73 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.