Crime | Arrogant Brewing

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Brewed by:
Arrogant Brewing
California, United States

Style: Chile Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A habitual offender returns
This beer is the result of what many beer enthusiasts would consider a most egregious crime―sequestering Arrogant Bastard Ale, Double Bastard Ale and OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale in Kentucky bourbon barrels, then blending them together with chile peppers. This new version of Crime is still very hoppy in spite of the barrel aging, with lots of oak and malt. The long finish reveals layers of oak, vanilla, bourbon, and malt that combine to produce complex caramel flavors, with peppers adding pleasant tamarind, subtle tropical fruit flavors and a milder heat than in previous concoctions.

Added by womencantsail on 02-06-2011

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Reviews: 115 | Ratings: 511
Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into tulip glass, 2015 vintage bottling. Pours very hazy/cloudy dark reddish brown/light copper color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange peel, raisin, cherry, plum, chili pepper, pine, caramel, honey, brown sugar, toffee, and toasted biscuit; with light vanilla, bourbon, oak, nuttiness, roast, smoke, herbal, floral, and oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/pine hops, chili peppers, dark/bready malt, and light-moderate bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, orange peel, raisin, cherry, plum, chili pepper, pine, caramel, honey, brown sugar, toffee, and toasted biscuit; with light vanilla, bourbon, oak, nuttiness, roast, smoke, herbal, floral, and oak/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate pine/citrus peel bitterness and pepper spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange peel, raisin, cherry, plum, chili pepper, pine, caramel, honey, brown sugar, toffee, toasted biscuit, herbal, floral, and oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/pine hops, chili peppers, dark/bready malt, and light-moderate bourbon barrel flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and zero astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from bitter/spiciness, increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy/bready/sticky, and lightly slick/resinous balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden; a light warmth with zero barrel booziness after the finish. Increasing pepper heat through the glass, but never overwhelming. Overall this is a great pepper spiced American strong ale! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/pine hops, chili peppers, dark/bready malt, and light-moderate bourbon barrel flavors; very smooth and easy to sip on for the ABV, and despite the increasing pepper spice/heat. Barrel seemed to be overpowered a bit, but had solid presence. Base beer flavors were still showcased very well. I have had other pepper beers that were more intense on peppers/heat, yet still very drinkable. I have a very high tolerance for pepper flavors, so this was extremely easy drinking. A really enjoyable offering all around.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.66/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Well I apparently like these more than your average person. Drank for the first time at the Liberty Station brewery and all that bocce ball.

Brown pour, very thin 1/7" head. Aroma of chile, bourbon, caramel, hops, roasted and dark malt, there is a lot going on in terms of ingredients right out the gate.

Taste, I can dig it, a challenging beer, its a big one, all those bastards, then bourbon, then chile heat. The price is a little prohibitive, but I still liked the beer, no one aspect of it dominated.

I wouldn't buy it off the shelf, but I might entertain a pour of it if I run into it on tap again.

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Photo of rypkr
3.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Um wtf. I expected to rate this in the 4.5 range based on reviews of the heat. Is this even a Chile beer?

$20 for 500ml I was expecting something extreme. Not a barrel aged arrogant bastard with a spritz of tabasco.

Now don't get me wrong, this isn't not enjoyable. I am very much enjoying the thick, fruity, malty and oaky flavors with the MILD pepper heat. But for the price and reputation? This is definitely one and done. This is solid for a chile beer, but worth about $6-$7 to me.

The fact that I spent $20 on this for a 500ml makes me scoff at arrogant brewing. Obviously a chile beer will never rate "world class" on BA. But given the reviews of apparent extremity alongside my personal affinity for spicy beers I expected so much more.

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Photo of TastyIsBeer
4.52/5  rDev +39.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Just cracked my 2013 bottle and I was... nervous. Now, about halfway done, nervous no more. If you like chili beers you will find the aroma pretty unbelievable -- I've had a few and this easily is the most potent. So green, for lack of a better word. I can imagine eating fresh jalapeños. There is a burn in the back of your throat and on your lips, but not crazy so long as you sip. I had "medium" hot Thai Tom Yum soup last week that was a lot closer to having me cry uncle than this. Very worthy for those who like it hot.

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Photo of Gregaroo
3.62/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2015 bottle. I didn't really get the bourbon taste that I was hoping for. Almost black in color with a caramel head. Nice aromas and some heat from the chile peppers. This was a good one.

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Photo of EMV
3.44/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bomber into a tulip

L: Pours a hazy dark mahogany brown. Two fingers of off-white head. Lacing is spot on.

S: Rich and malty in aroma... mixed with roasted pepper/vegetable. Sharp with a bit of barrel character.

T/F: It's complicated. There's heat... and more than a little, kicking you up front and then lingering on the tongue for a bit. It's not 'off the wall' spicy, and there's a lot more going on. You still have the caramel maltiness from the 'Bastard' base and some booziness/vanilla from the barrel but it's somewhat dominated by the roasted pepper heat. Medium in body and carbonation... it ends with more heat and leaves the tongue tingling.

O: To start with... hot pepper beers aren't my cup of.. .well.. beer. I can appreciate (or try to) what they've done with 'Crime' and I'm very glad I had a chance to experience it, but not one that I would re-visit. Keep pushing the envelope gents!

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.84/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

"On Arrogant Bastard Ale's 13th birthday, we threw all our Bastards together - Arrogant Bastard Ale, OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale and Double Bastard Ale - to create Lukcy Basartd 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 green jalapenos and ultra-hot black nagas. Caribbean red hots, Moruga scorpions and fatalis, and thus Crime was born." Brewed in the style of an American Strong Ale with peppers added, aged in bourbon barrels. Available in 500ml. bottles as part of the Quingenti Millilitre series.

Poured from a 500 ml. bottle to a tulip glass.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp, foamy head of a caramel tan shade over a burgundy-amber body with dense, varied sediment in tow and light, sporadic carbonation. Retention is good and lacing is light and spotty. 4.25

(Smell) Richly caramelized bread malts and malt syrups with a rich, sweet bourbon backbone, employing aromas of toasted oak, vanilla and peat notes. Very subtle creeping in of the peppers, adding a soft fruitiness, accenting the malt and bourbon characters and contributing an aromatic effervescence. Potency is moderate. 4

(Taste) A continuation of bread malts, malt syrups and bourbon come together in a richly caramelized malt base with a very evident drag of chili pepper heat, arguably the most intense I have experienced in a beer thus far, enough to be a central feature of this beer- and yet, it comes a half step away from the point of being distracting and/or unpleasant, a perfect afterburn. Very enjoyable bourbon tones and flavors of rich vanilla and toasted oak tannins. Enjoyable, but prickly from the pepper flavor, without a doubt. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, lightly residual, mildly syrupy, smooth, spicy, medium dry. Carbonation is light, generating a medium frothiness and a lightly crisp finish. Body is medium/heavy for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is slightly sweet and spicy over boozy and grainy. Alcohol presence is modest and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) No doubt distractedly spicy to some, pleasingly tingly and unique to many others, I fall in the latter category. The heat index makes this beer a gradual sipper for me, but there is plenty of room otherwise to savor the less direct flavors of bourbon and caramelized malts, for a smooth drinking ale with a prickly, warming afterthought about it. A curious experiment, and not one that should be taken lightly. 3.75

Stone Brewing Company's
Crime (2013)

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Photo of AJmon13
5/5  rDev +53.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2015 Bottle Drank on 2016-10-04:
I've been drinking Crime since it first became available in Ohio with the 2013 batch. Always been a fan, and embraced the heat in full force. While the 2013 bottles still holds my nostalgia, the 2015 batch toned down the heat in favor of a more overall-enjoyable palate. Now drinking my third bottle of Crime, with around a year of aging, I may find preference in the severely toned down version. Definitely going to seek out more bottles of Crime for more intensive bottle aging - looking forward to opening my matching bottle of Punishment sometime in 2017. Overall, Crime remains a highly overlooked and harshly critiqued beer. If you don't like difficult spices, stay away, that much should be obvious.

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Photo of stevoj
3.27/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Underneath the searing pepper heat lie elements of a great ale. Bourbon barrel takes some of the edge off but heat still lingers on the lips and tongue.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
3.76/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle. Was not sure what to expect of this. Murky brown brew. Woodsy sweet malt aroma. Sweet malty old ale with a little pepper spice, not bad. In all fairness bad this after drinking a big pepper stout so the pepper flavor in this one seemed subdued.

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Photo of arizcards
4.12/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up Crime at TW Arrowhead in mid-November for $16.99. Bottled in 2015.

Beer poured an Arrogant Bastard brown with a very nice off white head.

Nose is citrus, vanilla, and light booze.

Taste is a big battle between the barrel and the peppers. The baseline citrus is still present enhanced by the oak, vanilla, and light bourbon. But it is tough to sense that with a medium (in my book) pepper heat that is overwhelming the beer. But if one keeps working at it you catch the goodness of the base beer and barrel characteristics. The heat mellows the more you sip it.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth.

Overall this is a way interesting beer. The price of admission is steep but from my point of view it was worth the entertainment!

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Photo of Pencible
3.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured an opaque dark copper with some tan head.
S: It smelled like oak and whole grain bread, with some peppers and subtle vanilla.
T: It tasted like oak and barley malt, with some spicy peppers and sweet caramel and vanilla. It had a hot but clean and sweet aftertaste.
M: It was thick with moderate carbonation. Nice full body.
D: This was an interesting brew. The peppers over shadowed most of the bourbon character, so this could have the same effect if they just added peppers to Oaked Bastard. Still had a nice balance in the scent and taste, not too hot. The body was solid, but the finish had lasting heat, so it must be sipped. Not sure how this would age. Fresh is fun to try once.

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Photo of Suds
3.81/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is more than a is an experience. The beer is a hazy brown color with an off-white head. The smell is barley-wine like, with malt, wood, booze, and vanilla. The taste, however, is a shock...intense peppers! It takes many sips for the spice to calm, and for more subtle fruit and malt flavors to come out. Boozy heat is there as well. This is an aggressive beer. Interesting, but not quite drinkable.

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Photo of samtrillo
4.13/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Seems other low reviewers couldn't handle the heat! Or their bottles happened to be spicier than mine... To me kick of pep on the back of the throat had a nice winter warming effect. Not too overpowering at all.

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Photo of CHickman
3.74/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours hazy reddish amber color with a beige foamy 1-2 finger head that faded quickly and left minimal spotty lacing. As expected, not the most impressive head but expected for a chili beer.

Smells of caramel, toasted grains, sweet malt, brown sugar, black cracked pepper and hot peppers like fresh cut jalapeno's. The base beer comes through with mild oaky notes and rich malty tones, while the hot peppers add some zest but don't completely overpower the nose.

Tastes like it smells but with more heat (obviously), a mix of toffee and maple syrup hitting first before the same lineup as the nose kicks in with caramel, toasted grains, bourbon booze burn, sweet malt, brown sugar, black cracked pepper, tea leaf, cinnamon and hot peppers like a fresh cut jalapeno's or habenero's. This heat is strong but not obnoxious, adding to the oak aging and malty base of the Arrogant Bastard. Some metallic yeast in the finish that trails off spicy.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery compared to the regular Bastard, but the oak/barrel aging and peppers add some thickness and of corse bring the heat as it trails off very spicy and earthy. Aftertaste is not bad and this was much tamer than I expected, much easy to drink than Punishment. Overall a very good chili beer which I'm glad I was smart enough to split with 3 other people; a little bit goes a long way and all 4 of us enjoyed this beer for what it is.

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Photo of neurobot01
4.22/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500ml c&c bottle into a tulip at fridge temp, allowed to warm. 2015 iteration.

Look: clear burnt ochre with a lingering light tan head.

Smell: mostly Arrogant Bastard with a little bourbon; I'm not picking up anything from the peppers.

Taste: initial assault is of fairly vegetal pepper, but gives way quickly to caramel, toffee, lingering pepper spice (nothing worse than Tabasco, heatwise). The peppers themselves have quite a lot of complexity. It's hard to describe, but it isn't just one-dimensional "pepper" flavor. It's reminiscent of papaya seeds. There's also a lot of fruitiness (strawberry, grapefruit, papaya, kiwi) in the taste overall.

Feel: medium-plus in the body—creamy and delicious.

Overall: I took a flyer buying this beer, but suspected I'd be in the minority who'd enjoy it (the supposedly milder 2015 version, anyway). And enjoy it I did. The peppers complement the brash base beer nicely, while the barrel rounds everything out. Will probably grab another bottle, high price notwithstanding.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.15/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The self-deprecating side of Stone Brewing says that they ruined a perfectly good batch of Lukcy Basartd. But what they did was to take it from an aggressively hopped, barreled and boozed elixir that's caught between drinkalble and savory and into something that's aggressively peppered but smoothened for a much more food-friendly approach.

Rust, honey, apricot and camel explain the bulk of the hazy hues that bounce from the glass. A partial-creamy froth. And as the obvious smoked pepper twinge of heat billow into the nose, so does a rounded caramel, toast, cashew and oak fragrance. Its taste is remarkably sweet with caramel, toffee, biscuit, honey and fruit jam... at least to start.

And the ale simply blossoms across the palate. As its malty-sweet, poundcake texture softens, the beer's sharp citrusy character of grapefruit and orange peel, pith and rind rises for a piquant flavor that accessorizes the taste of apricot and mango marmalade. Oak, peppercorn, vanilla, coffee and soft buttery nuttiness keep coming until the warm and fruity taste of toasted peppers offer their pulp, flesh and spicy, seedy simmering heat.

Malty-sweet, bitter-sweet and remarkably balanced, the beer finishes with cream and oak tannin while the green taste of garden peppers seem green-bean-like. Torn pinecone and a dash of spicy hot sauce round out the aftertaste while the ale stays surprisingly even-keel in the deepest of tastes.

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Photo of Wiltonj
4.26/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

In the glass the beer has substance. As you lift it to your mouth you get the pepper heat in the aroma but no direct burn in the mouth. It is mainly a smokey, peppery aftertaste that lingers and contributes to the depth of the beer. I love chili beers and this one is subtle.

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Photo of Bonkinishwa
4.13/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arrogant Bastard Brewing Co. - Crime. 9.6% ABV. 500ml bottle split between two snifters.

Look: Pours an orange/copper color, with a white bubbly head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell: Up front is some tropical fruits, chilies, and hops, along with some oak notes from being barrel aged.

Feel: A little thin, but smooth, carbonated, and easy. Some creaminess contributed by the head.

Taste: Starts off a little fruity and oaky, with some tones of the chilies present. On the back end the chilies begin to burn, but is not necessarily overpowering. On the aftertaste, the chilies overpower the oaky flavor, and continue to give a spicy burn, but fades surprisingly quick.

Overall: My first Chili style beer. After hearing about it, I figured it would be like drinking hot sauce, but was pleasantly surprised. I have not had the base beers that this is made from yet, the Arrogant Bastard, or Double Bastard, but did really enjoy this beer. The chili spiciness and flavor paired extremely well over a bowl of homemade chili.

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Photo of do_ob
3.78/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500 ml bottle split betwwen two New Belgium snifters. Pours a rustic, dark red/brown and settles as a hazy, dark amber in the glass. Transluscent in appearance with little carbonation. A thin skirting of bubbly, light tan foam on top. Modest aroma of dark fruit, leather, caramel, oak, booze, and swet malt. Hints of chiles in there as well, but not as pronounced as the former. Strong notes of caramel, oak, sweet malts, and..chiles! Actually fairly smooth, especially considering the abv. Relatively sweet up until middleways, those peppers start to creep in. They only intensify from here on out, being the most pronounced on the finish and aftertaste.

Reading reviews on this beer, I thought it was going to be damn near undrinkable. But quite the opposite. It's decently balanced and has a nice bourbony feel to it. I'm pairing it with a bowl of home-made chile, and it's quite enjoyable.

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Photo of von_kaiser
3.68/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

"Got burnt once but that was only gonnorhea".....until I had this! Holy cow this is spicy. I enjoy spice...somewhat enjoy this. Glad I got to try. Would do again at a bottle share. Worth trying. Cheers!

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.89/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle, Vintage 2015

A: Pours a murky reddish brown color with 2 fingers of head that slowly fades down to a decent cap that leaves some good lacing

S: Very malty up front with some smooth oaky, vanilla, and bourbon notes as well as some restrained peppery heat. Definitely mostly Lukcy Bastard with a little heat

T: The peppery heat comes alive to start things off, but again, it's not nearly as overwhelming as some of the reviews claim. Some nice maltiness cuts the initial heat, followed by some sweetness from the bourbon barrels. Vanilla and oak are nice and subtle, but compliment the heat and base in a unique and interesting way. Any alcohol is completely covered by the malt and capsaicin heat. Finishes with lingering heat and some earthy hop presence

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: Despite the mostly shitty reviews due to people handling heat in a very poor way, this one was a very solid brew with the BBA Lukcy Bastard being complimented by the peppers in a unique way that you simply won't find in very many places, if at all aside from G. Koch & Co. a la Stone. Obviously, if you don't like heat, you won't like this beer. At all. If you like spicy things, this one might be for you as long as the $17 price tag doesn't defer you

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Photo of Fcolle2
2.71/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.75

I was told this was a little hot when it first came out so I cellered it for 2 years. Pours dark Amber in color with a nice light kahiki head. Smell has tons of hot pepper aromas forward. Some nice vanilla oak and toffe aromas in the background give this a unique aroma. Woah the peppers in this are overwhelmingly hot and overpower everything else.

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Photo of retry4z
4/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured cooled from bottle in to a Double Bastard whiskey glass.

Golden brown, burnt caramel color. Moderately murky with noticeable sediment evident even in the first pour. A thin ephemeral layer of foam forms with no lacing.

Strong floral aroma, with nutmeg, licorice, cooked beans, roasted chili peppers.

Prominent fruity character is overtaken by the assertive chili fieriness, but is complemented by puckering hoppiness, caramel malt backbone of the Lucky Bastard ale, and oak notes from the admittedly short (2 months) barrel aging. The spicy level is a notch higher than Habanero Sculpin, similar to but not quite as strong as eating a raw green jalapeno.

On the high end of the medium body spectrum, with very low carbonation (maybe due to barrel aging). Like after a bite of a jalapeno, a moderate spiciness lingers for a while but is not strong enough to be unbearable for the seasoned chilihead.

While it’s hard to drink more than a sip at a time, it is a pleasurable experience for the chiliheads among the hopheads.

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Photo of dfillius
3.46/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 12/25/13. Poured from bottle into ~10-oz taster glass
A: Reddish-brown with copious chunks (Mine was the last pour). Little head, and there was very little noise when the bottle was corked.
S: Jalapeno jelly, slight bourbon.
T: Not a lot more than pepper heat. No alcohol heat. The heat does fade nicely though.
M: Tingle at the outset on the tongue which later moves to the throat. Hot.
O: After 5 sips, my belly is starting to grumble in protest. Only 1/3 of a bottle at a time. This beer might be nice with BBQ.

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Crime from Arrogant Brewing
3.25 out of 5 based on 511 ratings.
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