Twisted Pine Ghost Face Killah

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I mostly liked Twisted Pine’s Billy’s Chilies, which was a fairly mild chili beer. But unless you hate yourself, do not drink this beer. Ghost Face Killah, which for some reason has a middling 76 on Beer Advocate, is an example of American brutality when it comes to beer. The theme for this beer? “Too much.” Or “regret.” You take your pick.

While Billy’s Chilies was a pretty even-keeled offering to the pepper beer catalog, this beer is a pure, all-out attack on the senses for novelty’s sake. Here’s what Twisted Pine has to say about this beer, to offer an idea:

Anaheim, Fresno, Jalapeno, Serrano, Habanero and Bhut Jolokia – Otherwise known as the Ghost Pepper.  200 times the heat of jalapenos, Bhut Jolokia are the hottest peppers in the world, a pepper so hot it can be weaponized.  So hot that our brewers had to wear masks and gloves to cut them up.

How did I survive? Hit the jump to find out.

A look down the glass into hell.
A look down the glass into hell.

The pour of this beer was unfortunately flat, most likely from the residual oil of the pepper. But don’t let its weak appearance fool you.

The aroma is nothing but resinous pepper that absolutely and utterly overtakes your nostrils. So much so, it stings if you inhale too deeply. Just take all the hot and spicy parts of the pepper – the seeds and oil – and imagine it being stuffed up your nose. It’s so incredibly intense I tried not to take too strong a whiff each time I brought the glass to my mouth because it became overbearing.

Naturally, this one was a sipper as well. The beer burned, stung and tingled as it goes down, leaving nothing on your taste buds except over-the-top pepper intensity. It’s incredible. The amount of pepper on your tongue is so much I couldn’t take more than a little baby sip at a time. It took me about an hour to finish the 12-ounce bottle.

Again, the culprit with the taste are the peppers’ oils, which make for a very thin, smooth body with strong barbecue-like burn. It actually made me think of the kind of warming sensation you might get from drinking a smokey bourbon.

Am I glad I tried this beer? Should you give it a shot? Yes and maybe. It’s an experience, to say the least. One that doesn’t nearly come off the computer screen as much as it would in real life. So if you can get your hands on Ghost Face Killah, you should definitely give it a try, if only to satisfy your beer curiosity to see what the creativity of Twisted Pine’s brewers can come up with. Like any other over-the-top, intense American experimental beer, it mostly exists because it can, but it never hurts to try something new.

Billy’s Chilies stats:

  • Malt: N/A
  • Hops: Willamette and Northern Brewer
  • Adjuncts: Anaheim, Fresno, Jalapeno, Serrano, Habanero and Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Pepper)
  • ABV: 5 percent

+Bryan Roth


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