Friday, January 3, 2014
Stone Crime, Lukcy Basartd Ale, ale with peppers added & aged in bourbon barrels. 9.6% alc./Vol. Brewed and bottled by Stone Brewing Company, Escondido, CA. 2013 series, batch 08.
I balked at this bottle at first, due to the price ($17 for the bomber), although the call of "try them all" had me in it's sway. Then, I found out that the rarer Punishment was available to me. Can't pass it up. Wrap 'em both up!
Deep, impenetrable reddish hue, under a thick, lasting tannish head of lace-laving foam. Looks gorgeous.
Aroma: sweet and creamy at first, vanilla? chocolate frosting? (no, I'm serious), …it's the most unusual aromatics I've encountered in quite some time. What's wrong with me, all I'm getting out of this is candies and cookies? Sweet, but moderately so, and ever so intriguing.
Let's taste it…Boom! Hot, hot, hot, hot, hot!!! Someone said there were ghost peppers in this. Are they ghost because they can't be detected in the aroma, but pounce on the palate? YoW, ow! ow! The heat of the peppers has taken command of my tongue and crawled all over the mouth.
Damnit, it's hot, hot, hot, and nothing else. And if you've ever paid attention to the history of this blog, you'd know my trials and tribulations with the pepper beers.
Currently, I'm struggling to find other things around to temper my tongue and help me get through this ordeal. (and that's what the consumption of this brew certainly is.)…calmer down some, getting slightly cooler…but the heat continues. And it obliterates everything else in this ale. I can't take about the hops, or the malt, or the yeast, the carbonation, nothing…only this pepper-y heat that takes over all.
Let's read the label copy if it's not too much fuss (although, with Stone, it very often is) "On Arrogant Bastard's 13th birthday, we threw all our Bastards together--Arrogant Bastard Ale, OAKED ABA, and Double Bastard Ale--to create Lukcy Basatrd 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. In the mash: CLASSIFIED. In the boil: CLASSIFIED. In the whirlpool: CLASSIFIED. Drawn off: Aged American Oak Kentucky Bourbon Barrels. IBUs: 102. Bottled: October 2013. Cellar notes: Ultra-hot with fruity flavors from the peppers up front, along with notes of green jalapeno. Flavor of caramel, hops, and oak, come through mid-palate, followed by a ton of pervasive, long-lingering, fiery aftertaste.
Okay, yeah, I can peek through the fiery mess to get a taste of caramel, but the oak makes no impression…maybe I'm not trying hard enough? It is a deep, complex affair, with the pepper heat covering over it.
And it's not a beer I'd ever choose to drink again, at least not on my own, in it's entirety. Not as many beery pleasures, and too much heat. For me.