By Iron Chef Leftovers
Next up in the Stone Collaboration Series is The Perfect Crime; a Black Smoked Saison brewed with the help of Evil Twin and Stillwater. The beer, as with all of the others I had in this series came from a 12oz. bottle and ran about $5.99. There are still a few bottles of this available at Chuck’s Hop Shop if you want to try it.
From the Stone website:
Evil Twin / Stillwater / Stone “The Perfect Crime” Black Smoked Saison. In a masterfully orchestrated collaboration of the minds, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Denmark’s Evil Twin Brewing, Brian Strumke from Baltimore’s Stillwater Artisanal Ales, and Stone brewmaster Mitch Steele crafted a beer that cleverly exploits the definition of a saison.
Stats: 6.8% abv, 60 IBUs
Hops bill: East Kent Goldings, Chinook, and Cluster
This beer is jet black in color with a cream colored head. The nose has hints of smoke with tree bark, grains and hints of hops. The beer starts out on the palate with small amounts of smoke yielding to a bit of tartness (the farmhouse funk) and citrus – the grains of paradise and hops are definitely noticeable and balance nicely with the smoke giving a sweet/sour/smoky combination. The finish is slightly sweet with hints of sugar and mild hop resin. The beer is slightly hoppy but not dominating in a surprisingly long finish.
They really pushed the definition of saison on this beer and they nailed it. It has enough of the farmhouse funk and grains of paradise notes that you know there is a saison there somewhere, but it is far and away the most hoppy saison I have ever tried, The smoke surprisingly marries well with the other flavors and the brewers did a fantastic job keeping all of the individual components distinctive enough that you can still taste them without being overpowered by each other. A regular saison drinker would probably hate what they did to this beer, but if you are looking for something interesting, you should pick one up.
The Perfect Crime from Stone/Evil Twin/Stillwater gets away with stealing 4 Scott frees out of 5.