Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Beer Spotlight: Ghost Face Killah

I’ve been putting off Ghost Face Killah from Twisted Pine Brewing because this beer demands you plan ahead … just in case. Technically an unfiltered wheat, Ghost Face Killah is infused with six kinds of peppers: Anaheim, Fresno, jalapeno, serrano, habanero and bhut jolokia. That last one is the ghost chile – the HOTTEST PEPPER IN THE WORLD.

On the pour, GFK looks harmless enough - pale yellow, sturdy head, gentle bubbles. A big sniff gives you both the fresh aroma of the Anaheims and a chipotle smokiness. I fought just the faintest tickle of a sneeze.

When Killah hits your tongue, a quick hit of sour is flooded away by a heat that’s bright and floral. After a couple seconds, it jumps to the back of your throat. Don't panic -- within :20, the burn relaxes to a mild tingle and a warm glow.

Sip Two – Smoky flavors are coming to the front. The back of my throat goes from “warm glow” to “60 watt bulb.” I can feel this swallow hit my stomach.

Sip Three – Lips are tingly.

Sip Four – Top of head sweating. Tongue and lips are constantly warm. Stomach feels OK. Might actually taste “beer” through the various peppers.

Big Chug (down to half the bottle) – Hot bite at top of throat. Stomach rumbling, although no upset or heartburn. Bubbles have carried a little burn up into my nose.

Without reaching for milk or bread, I’d guess the heat was gone inside of ten minutes. If you think Taco Bell Fire Sauce is actually hot, stay away from this beer. If, on the other hand, you put Tabasco on your pepper poppers, Ghost Face Killah is hot, but with flavor. I’ve had other pepper beers that are barely worth using as a marinade. GFK actually some art to it.

Now, am I going to drink the other half of the bottle?  Not tonight. Let’s see how the next 8-12 hours go.

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