Stone Brewing Unleashes Crime and Punishment

What do you get when you take Stone’s Bastard brothers, combine them with 15 kinds of chile peppers, and age them in Kentucky oak Bourbon barrels?  Pain—and plenty of it.  Starting today, Stone Brewing is dishing out the heat with the release of Crime and Punishment. You can read all the details in Stone’s release notes at the end of this post, but here are a few notable tidbits:

  • Both Crime and his wicked half-brother Punishment are said to be ultra-hot (and that’s understated). Those who dare to try them are advised to approach with extreme caution. Cellar aging will allow the heat to subside and the bourbon to develop and become more prominent.
  • This is Stone’s first national release of their Quingenti Millilitre Series. This translates to 500 milliliters in Italian, which is a nod to the size of the bottles used in the series.
  • Stone has expanded its barrel-aging program and now has over 1300 spirit and wine barrels. They even opened up a new facility to age and bottle these beers. As a result, we can expect to see more Quingenti Millilitre releases in the future.

While I love spicy food, I have no desire to induce self-inflicted pain. Call me unworthy, if you like. My sample bottle of Crime is headed for a slumber in the dark recesses of my crawlspace. I expect it’ll be my cup of tea in a year or so.

So, the question is…  Are YOU ready to feel the burn? If so, let Stone’s Crime & Punishment give you the beat down you deserve.

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Feel the Burn: Stone Brewing Co. Releases Crime and Punishment

Leave it to Stone Brewing Co. to bring the heat with the releases of Crime and Punishment, two barrel-aged beers loaded with 15 kinds of chile peppers. Crime is Lukcy Basartd Ale with peppers added and then aged in American oak Kentucky bourbon barrels, while Punishment is Double Bastard Ale with added peppers aged in American oak Kentucky bourbon barrels.

Those willing to try Crime should expect a beer that’s ultra-hot (that’s actually an understatement), with fruity flavors and notes of green jalapeño. Flavors of caramel and oak borne from the aging come through mid-palate, followed by a pervasive, long-lingering, fiery hop laced aftertaste.  Punishment is brutal. It also leads with ultra-hot and fruity chile flavors along with subtler green pepper notes. Intense caramel, butterscotch and bourbon flavors make a strong appearance mid-palate, and the beer finishes with a long-lasting, fiery after burn. Both beers are incredibly hot and overwhelmingly powerful. Be warned, although these beers sound similar, they are very different. Any that dare to try them should approach with extreme caution – don’t say we didn’t warn you!

The peppers used to create this searing duo were sourced from Stone’s own farmstead as well as a few local suppliers. The list of scorching edibles includes: red and green jalapeño, Fatali, Caribbean Red Hot, habanero, Ghost, Black Naga, Super, Moruga Scorpion, 7 Pot, Aji Amarillo, Scorpion, Giant White Habanero, 7 Pot Douglah and Douglah.

Both beers are ready to enjoy now, or may be properly cellared for months or years. If cellared, the spicy and hoppy notes of Crime will slightly subside, while the sweet flavors of bourbon will deepen. The oak that is more prominent in Punishment, as well as the peppers, will begin to diminish (and perhaps become more palatable) as the bourbon becomes more noticeable.

With a new facility dedicated to the aging and bottling of these rarities, the beers may not actually be so rare in coming months. With more than 1,300 barrels, ranging from bourbon to wine, brandy and Scotch whisky, the company has plans to release future Quingenti Mililitre nationwide.

“Expanding our barrel-aging program to include national distribution is something we’ve been working towards for many years,” said Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele. “Now that we have the ability to produce more of the Quingenti Mililitre series due to our new aging and bottling facility, our fans should expect to see many new aged flavor combinations as well as some re-brews of favorites we’ve released in the past.”

“Barrel aging opens up a whole new spectrum of possible flavor combinations when it comes to beers,” said Stone Research and Small Batch Manager Steve Gonzalez. “You get some flavor from what was in the barrel before, whether wine or spirits, and then you get the wood flavors as well. Experimenting with various flavor combinations from the beers and the barrels is really intriguing, and I’m excited to share what we’ve been working on for months with our fans.”

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