by Brian Wall
Twisted Pine Brewery makes some truly good beers. Whether it be the Hoppy Boy IPA, the Rocky Mountain Wheat or the Billy’s Chilies, there are no beers of theirs that I have tried that I would not happily drink again. This time around though, the beer sampled was the “world’s hottest beer” that they brew- Ghost Face Killah.
There two beers I truly enjoy, aside from free and cold, and those are IPA’s and chili beers. The chili beer niche is very slim and not many breweries offer them. Granted, some brewers decide to add some mild or even bold chilies to their stouts or porters but heat is often steered clear by most. It could be because the capsicum can detract from the malt and grain blend or the big question of what hop strain to use is not very pronounced.
For me, I like a good chili beer that smacks you right in the face and says, “You even think of guzzling and you’ll regret it”.
My first foray into chili beers was trying Cave Creek Chili Beer that actually has a whole jalapeno in the bottle. It had some bite and was great to drink with pizza, chili or barbeque. The next step forward is Billy’s Chillies from twisted Pine. Billy’s has five different chilies- Anaheim, Fresno, serrano, jalapeno and habanero- added to it. It has a nice heat profile and is still great matched with chili, pizza and barbeque.
Ghost Face Killah is a completely different animal in the heat department. The beer itself has an acceptable malt profile and is an ok ale. Nothing significantly stands out in the beer side but that is not what you’ll be buying or drinking it for. The main fixation is that it has the same chilies as Billy’s but there is an addition of Ghost Face peppers in it.
So, the sampling itself. The beer is only sold in single twelve ounce bottles. The availability is limited to spring and every fall. Scent is complete chili heat. Almost brings some tears to the eyes and stings the nose if inhaled deeply enough. Color pour a nice light amber ale similar to most of the light commercial beers on the market. The taste….well it is pure heat. There is no hop or alcohol note but there is plenty of heat. This beer is a sipping beer ONLY! Do not try to ‘slam’ this beer. There is a video online of a guy trying to drink five in five minutes. He is unable to do so.
While the beer side is not overly impressive, it still is a decent ale. The heat masks almost every bit of the beer itself. If you dislike hot food, steer clear from this. If you enjoy a nice spicy beverage or even use this as an ingredient in your chili, stew, gumbo or anything that you want hot, add this as it will give a good complex character and plenty of heat. I have drank plenty of this beer and will continue to have one but only as a slowly sipping beer as it is a beer to respect. Slàinte.