Brew Review

Beer Review – Evil Twin/Stillwater/Stone “The Perfect Crime” Black Smoked Saison


The Perfect Crime

I’m a sucker for anything with a Film Noir or Hard Boiled Crime Fiction inspired name on it, so when I heard about this beer called “The Perfect Crime”, I knew I just had to try it. Since Stone is in Southern California, images of Chinatown and LA Confidential (the book and the film) immediately came to mind. If I were a better writer, I would have tackled this review in the style of a James M. Cain or a James Ellroy, but since I’m not, I’ll simply cut to the chase…

“The Perfect Crime” is a collaboration beer from Stone Brewing Company of San Diego, CA, Stillwater Ales of Baltimore, MD, and Evil Twin Brewing of Denmark, and they are calling the beer they brewed together a Black Smoked Saison. Rather than the usual cut/paste from the brewer’s website which will explain what they were trying to create, I will instead share this very Film Noir-esque YouTube video created by the good people at Stone Brewing Company:

Let’s get on with the review…

  • Appearance: Pitch black with ruby highlights when held up to the light. Very little foam or lacing.
  • Aroma: Piney hops. Bitter chocolate. Lemon zest. A bit of that Saison funkiness in the background (say hello to a mild case of B.O.). Just one question: where’s the smoke?
  • Taste: Medium carbonation, i.e. quite light and fizzy. Much more tart and astringent than I was expecting. While I’m definitely getting some hop bitterness, the dominant flavor characteristic is a lemony tartness with just a hint of bitter chocolate like roasted malt lingering in the background . The finish is very dry with a lingering lemon zest aftertaste.
  • ABV: 6.8%

“The Perfect Crime” was a really interesting and easy drinking beer. It has the qualities that I look for in a Saison (tart citrus with a bit of astringency), but with an added twist from the roasted malts and piney hops. While the Saison characteristics dominate the flavor palate, there’s enough influence from the other two elements to make this a really intriguing beer. My only disappointment lies with the “smoked” part of the name since I picked up zero smokiness in this beer. Overall, I really enjoyed “The Perfect Crime”. It’s not a “blow your mind” kind of beer as the name might suggest, but it’s definitely worth a try if you like all of the flavors that I mentioned in my tasting notes.

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