Sadistic tongue-torturing lava juice
A Review of Crime by Stone Brewing Co.
Posted on 4/21/2015 by Chops
Every now and then a beer will march across my palate and kick the shit out of my taste buds, prompting an array of eye twitches and involuntary spasms. However, nothing could have prepared me for the Stone Brewing Company's sadistic duo of Crime and Punishment. These beers, in all their tongue-scorching glory, are completely insane.

Stone is well known in the States as the ''take no taste bud prisoner'' brewery. Even their baseline beers are palate publishers (think Arrogant Bastard Ale). So going into any of their beers, there is always an inherent expectation of aggression. But to be honest, I have no idea how to even review these beers. They are so far out of right field that they might as well be playing a different sport. Up first was the aptly named Crime, which I will let Stone describe for you:

Q: ''What do you call it when Greg (Brewmaster Greg Koch) 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!''

So yeah, Stone readily admits that this beer was not to be taken seriously. Thank goodness too, because otherwise my brain would have exploded. With that, let's see if I can put this lava juice into words.

In the glass, this beer had a dark and murky amber coloration with a ton of sediment. It came with a creamy tan head that had great retention. On the nose, I found chili peppers. Lots and lots of chili peppers. If I closed my eyes and smelled it blind, I would have thought the glass was filled with chili pepper puree. Not much else to say about it. Peppery peppers.

But then I took a mouth full of foam. Sweet, sweet mercy. I actually coughed out the foam onto the counter because I was nowhere near prepared for the massive blast of pepper heat. Hot, hot, holy shit balls hot. That was pretty much the flavor profile as well. This beer redefines the concept of ''obligate sipper''. I doubt there are many souls on this planet that could chug this monster and not be rushed to the hospital. I found very few beer-like traits. Every now and then I caught some sweet malt at the beginning, which quickly transformed into heated madness. The hops and barrel notes were completely overpowered, couldn't find a damn one of them. The finish was, you guessed it, peppery, and exited with an insanely long aftertaste of pepper heat. And with that, the review is complete.

Overall, it might come as a surprise that I actually liked this beer. I enjoy new experiences, and this brew most certainly fit that bill. I have never tasted anything like Crime before and I doubt I ever will again (aside from its partnered Punishment of course). That being said, this beer is NOT for the faint of heart. Anyone who dislikes spicy things, pain, nausea, stomach cramps, or being punched in the face, should stay away from this beer. But for the brave few out there that look misery in the face and say ''sure, why not'', this beer is for you. Just be warned, you don't drink this beer. You conquer it.

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Crime by Stone Brewing Co.
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