Thursday, January 12, 2012

Twisted Pine Ghost Face Killah review

Twisted Pine Ghost Face KillahEver drink a beer on a dare? This is that kind of beer. I recently read a couple articles on other people's reaction to Twisted Pine's Ghost Face Killah, touted as the "Hottest beer this side of hell". This chile beer is made with 6 different kinds of peppers including: Anaheim, Fresno, Habanero, Jalapeno, Serrano and Bhut Jolokia (aka the Ghost Pepper, aka one of the hottest peppers on earth).

I've had a handful of other chile beers in the past, one other in fact from Twisted Pine called Billy's Chillies. My first ever batch was a double hot batch of said Billy's beer at an Estes Park beer festival and I couldn't cool down my mouth. Knowing the hype about this beer I was very curious about it. So I wrote to Twisted Pine Brewing and asked about it. They were kind (or cruel) enough to send me a free sample bottle of the brew and wished me luck. I was up for a challenge!

Ghost Face Killah only is served on tap or from a single 12oz bottle. I love the label on this beer by the way, the flaming skull adds a lot to the hype and anticipation.

I decided to prepare myself prior to this tasting. I ate a full meal before hand so that I'd already have something in my stomach. Plus, I brought along a glass of cold milk, just in case. Twisted Pine stated on their web site that the only thing they would pair this with is milk or ice cream. So, after chilling down this beer quite well, I took removed the twist-off cap and gave it a try. I also warned my family to save me if they heard me cry for help.

Appearance: This brew is made from a wheat beer base and had a medium yellow color with a trace of cloudiness. I used only a small 3oz tasting glass and still got a 1-finger tall white fizzy head. There was plenty of carbonation in this brew. I didn't bother swirling this beer as I knew it wasn't going to matter or not to me. I was more interested in surviving the taste.

Aroma: Here was a slight surprise. Ghost Face Killah did indeed have the aroma of chiles, however, it wasn't quite as hot or potent smelling as I had predicted. The chile aroma was there, but it wasn't overpowering. That was a slight relief.

Taste: I decided to video myself tasting this as I wasn't sure exactly how I would react to the taste. While I won't post that here, I will post a few snaps from the video showing my reaction.

Initially, the very first thing I tasted was a decent wheat beer. Honestly, that's not what I expected. I expected burn right up front. Well, it only took a few seconds after that to feel it. Once the beer hit the back of my tongue, the heat from the chiles started to grow. My tongue and top back of the roof of my mouth started to feel the burn. As I swallowed it, the heat filled my throat with a strong chile taste and heat.

After the swallow, I exhaled and then I really felt it. Woooooooo! Heat! A classic taste as if I had just bitten down into a hot jalapeno. I tried to talk on the video to describe my sensation at the time, but I could not speak for a few seconds. Then after pounding my chest and breathing in and out for a few moments, then I could finally speak and say "oh my!" - it was as hot as I imagined it to be.

The beer itself is light enough and just for a moment you can enjoy the wheat beer flavor, but that only lasted a second as the chiles dominated the entire time after. I decided that I needed to keep drinking and took a second and third sip right after each other. Luckily, the heat didn't intensify after each sip. The initial burn was there and maintained itself with a mild let up after 10 seconds or so.

Luckily, I had my glass of milk handy and took a quick gulp after 3 big sips of beer. Ahhhhh! That certainly helped a lot. Milk has a way of putting out some of the heat. Granted, not all of the heat went away. Even after an hour or so of finishing my sample I could still feel some effects of the heat. Time will tell how the rest of my body reacts to all that chile pepper.

Overall: I've got to be honest. This is NOT a beer you sit down to have a session with. Oh no. It's a beer that you and a friend or two open up together and watch each other react to it. It's a beer that I say "I dare you to drink one" to someone. Then I'd sit back and watch how they handle it.

Granted, it's plenty hot, but not hot enough to make you uncomfortable for more than a few seconds initially, then it's a matter of adjusting to this beer and understanding how the heat affects you and trying to get through it.

Would I recommend this beer to any craft beer lover? Well, no, not everyone. If you have a virgin palate and don't like spicy foods then steer clear of this. But, if you enjoy eating spicy food like Chinese, Thai, Mexican or Indian then by all means, give this beer a try. Some might even say they won't think this beer is hot at all.

Pffft. Don't believe them. It's plenty hot, but if you savor it slowly then you'll probably find that you could finish this entire beer after 30 minutes to an hour. I was still sampling this beer as I wrote this post and it took me a good 45 minutes to pour the last of it into my glass and finish the entire 12oz bottle.

So, Thank You Twisted Pine for having the balls to put out such a "killer" chile beer as Ghost Face Killah. I believe from here on out, no other chile beer will phase me. Then again, I'm sure someone will try to make one even hotter next month. I survived, that is the first hour. I'll post a follow-up comment the next day to see how the rest of me handled it.

1st reaction - Heat! 2nd reaction - Couldn't speak! 3rd reaction - Exhale - Flames - Relief

Video showing the pour of :

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Related articles:
- Twisted Pine to re-release world's spiciest beer.
- Beer and Art work together at Twisted Pine.
- Twisted Pine set to release 2011 Northstar Imperial Porter.

This article came from - a Colorado beer blog.
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