1. American Craft Beer Fest is this weekend in Boston, Mass. Join us for 640+ beers from 140+ brewers! Tickets for Friday, May 29 are still available. Cheers!

21st Amendment / Firestone Walker / Stone El Camino (Un)Real Black Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
21st Amendment / Firestone Walker / Stone El Camino (Un)Real Black Ale21st Amendment / Firestone Walker / Stone El Camino (Un)Real Black Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

238 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 238
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.96%
Wants: 33
Gots: 22 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: womencantsail on 03-27-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 238 | Reviews: 154
Reviews by charlzm:
Photo of charlzm
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 07/23/2010 in a Samuel Adams Boston Lager "special" glass.

Beer pours a deep mahogany, borderline ebony. A fairly creamy three finger tan head springs to life on the initial pour and dissolves fairly quickly to a half finger, leaving all kinds of foam stuck n the sides of the glass. Plentiful carbonation throughout consumption.

Aromas - roasted malt in the stout/porter realm. Slight metallic edge. Hint of fennel.

Flavor is a semi-sweet chocolate malt base. Notes of peppery spiciness that really come to life in the stomach. I had to strain to pick out the fig note that, according to the list of ingredients, was there. Low bitterness. Alcohol not notable as a flavor component.

The beer is just this side of velvety smooth. The aforementioned pepper burn is very mild but present on the tongue. Moderate dryness.

A bit odd for a regular drinker, this beer is nonetheless an interesting experiment. Maybe a little more fig and a little less pepper would have satisfied my palate more.

More User Reviews:
Photo of brownbeer
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark and opaque with a thin, dark, light brown head.

One of the most unique and interesting noses I've encoutered in a beer. If and foremost, it reminds me of an organic food store; seedy and herbal. Black licorice, bitter orange, and chocolate are in there as well.

As far as the taste, it's a little beyond my palate, as I'm not familiar with some of the ingredients used here. In the end, it turned out very well and is a great conversation beer. Props for originality.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma is chocolate, roasted malt and piney hops. The flavor is chocolate, smoke, pine, roasted malt and toasted malt. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice strong ale which hides the alcohol very well. Glad I got to try this one.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black pour, tan head. Dense with good lacing. Aroma was gettin' figgy w/ it. Fig, pepper, bitter hopping. Man, they should have called this beer Juxtaposition 2.

Roasted flavor comes out on the first sip, unusual spices, hopping, bitterness, we've got a complex beer here for sure. Pretty thick and chewy, without the usual hallmarks: chocolate, alcohol etc. . . might even see some vanilla creep in there as it warms.

It has a little bit of that weird for weird sakes thing going on, but on the other hand, the beer is pleasureable in small quantities. A little pricey, but worth checking out since its kind of a novelty.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer pours a jet black body with a dense chocolate tan head that is creamy and thick. There are strands of tiny bubbles trailing up the sides of the glass.
S- This beer has a full nose of northwest green earthy hops and a chocolate rich milk sugar aroma in the finish.
T- The dark chocolate malt flavor has a black malt bitterness that is mellow with some nice black roasted flavor blending in with green herbal hops and both flavors lingering together after each sip.
M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture and a well hidden alcohol heat.
D- This beer has the creamy rich flavor of a milk stout but it has big flavors of roasted bitterness and full green hops that all blend together with a rich chocolate flavor. Although this beer is big in flavor and complexity it is very drinkable and mysterious enough to beg you to take another sip after sip.

Photo of nkersten
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pours dark dark brown with a 1 finger tan head that sticks around until the end. No lacing. Smell is entirely alcohol. Maybe some dark malt buried in the back, but considering all the ingredients listed on the bottle (chai, peppercorns, fig, etc) I would expect something more. Taste however is much different. No alcohol presence, minimal malt sweetness but still has a nice dark fruit flavor from the fig and a decent hop bitterness to back up the sweetness. Black peppercorns are non-existent, which isn't a bad thing. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin but works well for a strong/black ale. No boozy burn. This beer is quite drinkable... I barely had any left to reference for this review! A good collaboration, try this one out if you get a chance.

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Roast and rosmary in the aroma. Black with some off-brown head, and lacey. Above-average mouthfeel. Some spice and pepper,a little vanilla, but mainly Coffee taste. Not getting so much of the uniqueness. Decent carbonation. So-so beer, a little disapointing.

Photo of brewerburgundy
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, Sam Adams glass,

Very dark brew. It has a purple-ish hue and a serious milk chocolate, Imperial Stout grade head. That head has some very good retention and the same can be said about the lacing.

Any peppercorn spice in the nose is very soft. Dark chocolate bars and figs abound. Alcohol is not hot, but seems to be adding to the fig for a rich, velvety Port aspect. I initially noticed a smokiness that seemed to get lost and then returned when I focused once again.

Sweetness is present but toned down from what one might expect. Smoky chocolate, fig, and char linger and create an ashy, dry, overall excellent finish. Even here the signature Stone (or just West coast) citric and pine hops find a place far, far in the back. Espresso teases and shoves this pretty far towards Imperial Stout territory.

The mouthfeel is full, rounded, and pretty much perfect. I can't see how it could be improved. It fits.

This is one big beer that I really want more of. The mix of ingredients seems to have a very good result even though I cannot single them all out. I am surprised that the fennel isn't apparent; it is unusual for it not to make itself known.

Photo of socon67
3.22/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown pour. Cola color foam rises hig and settles quickly. Moderate lacing.

S - Smells of raisins, molasses, and peppery spice. There is some residual hoppy smell but it is fleeting.

T - Tastes like a hodge-podge of flavors. Some sweetness of dried fruit that has some bready notes; like a fig newton. Has some spicy notes of freshly ground pepper. Finish is mildly bitter. But it really comes off very odd.

M - I don't think the balance on this is right, or at least I didn't like it. Had a slight aftertaste.

O - Was disappointed in this as I like all 3 of the breweries involved. Well, it isn't the first collaboration to miss the mark.

Photo of dirtylou
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz single, shipped by lou91

ale brewed with fennel seed, chia seed, pink pepercorns with mission figs added

appearance: served in my delirium chalice, very dark body, huge creamy brown head with creamy retention. nice

smell: rich roasted malts, cocoa, fig, earthy

taste: very strange beer - roasted malts and cocoa mimic a stout profile, bitter piney hops let you know that Stone is involved, a touch smokey, some spice from the peppercorns but not much flavor. I think the fennel gets a little lost in the shuffle but the figs provide a rich sweet flavor accent.

mouthfeel: medium, creamy with decent carbonation, alcohol and hop bitterness in the finish

drinkability: finish is a little rough, but an interesting beer

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. The first stone collab beer I actually like. I think I might actually get some to age.

Pours a dark black with a very nice brown head lending good lacing down the glass.

The aroma is pleasent. Very floral. I smell a whole combo of things but I have never experienced these ingrediance before so I don't know which is which. But it smells very nice. Some sort of nutty aroma as well.

Taste is good. Slightly bitter. A flavor I would like to age out and see how it changes. Tastes like alot of the flavors haven't married together well yet. Bitter dark malts, dark fruit a bit and a little malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel is great.

Overall a tasty beer I'm going to go get a couple more of and age to see how they turn out.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours dark black with a very light creamy cocoa head. very little retention.

light chocolate, hints of coffee, light spice, needs a bit more.

light coffee up front followed by hints of chocolate. a bit of spice lies inside and adds a bit of vibrant flavor. light sweetness through out. nice citrus hops through the finish. very well rounded out over all.

pretty full bodied, carbonation has some bite, drinks fairly easy though.

the flavor was nice, everything worked well. nice subtle flavors that came together. the 9.5 ABV however means only one here and there. if i found this again, i'd probably get some more. curious how this ages to be honest.

Photo of AleWynch
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Stout in color...murky dark, nice 1 finger, mocha head, decent lace.

S: Very pleasant clear hop aroma. Earthy, a little piney... All green and fresh hop on the nose. Really, really nice hop aroma here.

T: Initial fennel/mint right up front (nice), followed by a solid malt backbone - but not portery or stout-like to me, but more ala the malt backbone of 90min IPA...Nice malt complexity with figs and spice (smoky peppercorn)...Nice long finish. I think you have to set aside its color so as not to start classifying it as a porter/stout style. With eyes closed, it's a DIPA with extra interest...

M: Soft, rich, but again like a malty DIPA, not so much a porter or stout...Seems on target.

D: ABV is well hidden. Will be interesting to see how it cellars. Not sure I'd want to drink them all night, but can't find anything to detract from drinkability.

Photo of Kegatron
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a straight black in the glass, with several thick fingers of mocha colored head. This stays robust; throwing up a rich cascade of lacing that hangs on the sides of the glass in sticky swathes. Those figs jump right out here in the aroma and are complimented by additional notes of cocoa, vanilla, roast, caramel, danky ripeness, and even a good bit of wet tobacco flavoring across the back of the nose. Nice complexity here.

The taste is thick with chocolate, vanilla, toffee, green citric bitterness, and then a roasty backend to the profile that then lingers with the dark fruit flavors of the figs and some warm spicy alcohol accents in the finish. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied but has more of a softer creaminess to the carbonation, almost to the point of being slick on the tongue the whole way through the feel. The ABV gives this some fullness but it never does feel overly beefy in the mouth, with just the just amount of pleasant spicy sweetness and warmth here.

This was quite tasty, with a complex chewiness to the flavors, yet the alcohol here was quite complimentary to the other flavors and never got overly warming. I almost wish that I have saved this for the wintertime, as it would have been a good one to help take the chill off a cold night.

Photo of HalfFull
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle. This, the latest in what will indubitably be a continuing cascade of collaboration beers indeed pours its namesake. Namely, black. Hardly a highlight to be found, yet the mocha head runs away rather swiftly, leaving a somewhat glassy surface.

Nose of a hoppy and roasty porter with some light alcohol notes. Some roasted chocolate and carob and a bit of a brown sugar roux that went a bit too long on the flame. Somewhat smokey in nature with air. Smoked Porter on steroids?? Warms to add some black cherry.

Flavor is coarse and rich with a notable chocolate malt finish. Bit of hop and cinnamon spice accompany. Cherry infused chocolate flavors of Sabra liqueur arrive and depart at times on the finish yet don't set up camp due to the malt coarseness. Offers a nice finish but is excessively rich to revisit soon. Perhaps as a shared accompaniment to a decadent dessert would be a good call....

Photo of thagr81us
2.41/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had at the Stone Tap Takeover in Charlotte. Served from tap into a tumbler. Poured basically black with a minimal tan head. Maintained decent lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of bready malt, oregano, and pepper. The flavor was of malt, pepper, skunky hops, with a bad bitter oregano aftertaste. It had a light feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this brew definitely extended my palate, only not in a good way. I was not really a fan of the brew at all. The aftertaste just killed it for me. Also the aroma and flavor were very strange with the oregano being the overpowering factor in this one.

Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Ommegang fluted glass. Black black black. 2 Finger head. Smells of coffee, fig, peppercorn scent almost nonexistent. Tastes of fig, chocolate, coffee, alcohol. Very rich. Mouthfeel was medium carbonation, a bit chalky. Had trouble finishing 6 oz. for whatever reason, the alcohol was a bit overpowering.

Photo of bum732
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black, red tints, nice light tan creamy head, great lacing. Smells of roasted coffee, anise, spicy pepper, citrus hops, touch of figs. Tastes of roasted coffee malt, dark fruit on the backbone. Citrus bitterness dries the palate slightly leading to big chocolate notes and more roastiness. Some anise with the coffee, touch of alcohol. Nice creamy texture with just the right amount of carbonation to pop.

An interesting beer, almost like a black IPA. The addition of figs, peppercorns, anise were all very subtle, although i would've liked a little more figgy note. All in all, a surprisingly drinkable beer and fairly complex. I really enjoyed this.

Photo of SpdKilz
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Poured into my Bell's Tulip. The beer is a dark chocolate, almost jet black color that allows just the faintest hints of light to show through on the sides. About two fingers of mocha colored head are achieved with a medium pour. The head quickly dissipates leaving full lacing coverage on the sides of the glass.

Smell - I get some coffee, bittersweet chocolate, sweet malts, a hint of peppercorn, dark fruits (i.e. fig) and a trace of licorice.

Taste - Despite my thinking it might be excessively bitter/burn/roasted in taste, it really is not. I can almost instantly taste the bittersweet chocolate and coffee. However, as mentioned, this bitterness is actually quite welcomed because it wanes to sweeter tastes such as toffee and dark fruits (fig). It finishes with quite a spicy (peppercorn) and malty note. The spices are prevalent the entire way through but really shine at the end. Honestly, this tastes better than what I was expecting going into it. The more it warms up, the sweeter this is becoming. I prefer this to a more bitter beer so that may be partly why I am enjoying this more than some others.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and relatively creamy. Decent carbonation.

Drinkability - A sipper for sure, but I will say I do not taste the alcohol in this. It is well hidden and the only alerting factor to its presence is the fact each sip warms your throat. Honestly, from Stones collaboration offerings this one is not half bad, especially given the fact it is half the price they were charging for the others. An interesting beer, one I probably won't get again, but for three dollars per 12oz 9.5% abv beer, it certainly isn't half bad.

Photo of kinnaird
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have not reviewed a beer in forever. I'm on this site frequently, and taste my fair share, but the reviewing bug has never quite set in for me. Well, I'd like to finally break the 20 mark. I've been sitting on 16 for entirely too long. Seeing as I have no work today, it's a cloudy day, and the mercury is sitting at a chilly 54 (it's late April in SoCal), this fine ale seems like it will itch the scratch.

Well, the name describes its color pretty accurately. It is an opaque black. No light penetration through my Bruery tulip.

Light hints of chocolate, herbs, and dark fruits (Mission Figs). It's very balanced without any single piece of this beer's aromatic puzzle taking center stage. At first I didn't like that I couldn't smell it from a few feet away, but I'm beginning to appreciate how the subtle aromatics demonstrate restraint. It allows room for this collaboration to grow on you.

It tastes like a 6% stout with a bit of a subtle spicy aftertaste that makes you wonder what all was added (if you didn't have the bottle or BA in front of you). After a few minutes without a sip, I pick up bitter, coffee-like roastiness. There's a reason this is black, right?

Nice and smooth. Not liquid velvet, but the carbonation is dialed. It's a 9.5% ale, and it should have the correct carbonation to match. Mitch, Matt, Shaun, and the rest of the talented brewers who had a hand in this project did a great job. They're probably not wine enthusiasts.

Drinkability is good. I recommend this brew just on its consistencies with a good American Strong Ale alone. But, the addition of the other ingredients makes this a delight. I'm not sure how this will change, but if it does get better, there's black gold in these little bottles.

Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Striated layer of mocha foam, two fingers deep. Sticky lacing, pretty nice retention.

Smells green and hoppy, hint of roast or coffee, but not overly aromatic. Vaguely sweet and spicy as it warms, like snickerdoodle cookies.

Rich and bitter, roast coffee, dark fruit... could be figs but hard to pinpoint. Molasses, leafy green hops. Roasty char in the aftertaste, with a lingering bitterness too. Full bodied and sticky. A little much, but good in small doses.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle split with tickwolf77 (on our birthday) into a Bruery tulip. 9.5% ABV, Age at cellar temp 55°F or below.

A - Pours black with a good clarity. A dense tan head lingers for a while before becoming a skim of foam with some lace mirroring mountain silhouettes.

S - The spice additions really create an aroma in this beer I've never smelled before. Notes of fig come through with the dark chocolate roasted malts. I don't know what Chia is but I definitely get some of the fennel and peppercorns in this. Herbal and grassy, earthy notes as well. Funky aroma!

T - Good spice balance in the flavor thankfully. The nose is good but I was unsure of how it would translate. Fennel and peppercorn works well with the roasted malts and figs.

M - I like the medium body and slightly dry texture to the roasted bitter and spicy finish. Smooth with a good medium carbonation level.

D - No alcohol presence. Good drinkability even though it was split. The $6.99 price for a 12 oz bottle is a little steep though.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Inflatablechair brought this to a recent tasting.... thanks Sammy!!

Pours with a short lasting dark tan head... the brew is the expected black but clear with deep ruby highlites.. okay lace and retention.

Nose is interesting and has some of the advertised ingredients... more roasty than anything else with a signature Stone hoppiness... subtle licorice.

More licorice on the palate with dark roast and some dark fruity essence.. hints of raisins or (I guess) figs.. ehhh.. cardamom and emerging pepper spice/heat with warmth .. seems a mess to me... finishes sorta dry and leaving the peppercorns, roasty malts, and spices just to fight each other..

Body and carbonation are fine given the big ABV.. EtOH was rather well hidden..

Doesn't really mesh... I appreciate it .. but not something I will search out.

Thanks Sam... Glad I got to try this while it was still pretty fresh.

3.5/3.5/3/4/3

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from 4/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark brown, appearing black. Tan head and lacing. Aroma of roasted and sweet malt, chocolate, dark fruit. First sip tasted boozy. Improved and got more complex as it warmed. Roasted malts, peppery spices, dark fruit and chocolate throughout with a hoppy, peppery finish. Well balanced. Creamy mouth feel. Very nice.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad to have shared this with myself at my nightly tastings in my living room with my wife and my cat.

deep caramel color and a soft tan head on top that really came through quite nicely i have to say. aroma is rich malts, lots of caramel, vanilla and touches of oak and light hops rounding it out. again nicely done. flavor was off the charts as i got most of the double in the flavor with huge malts but the light hops in the finish with a touch of oak an vanilla rouned it out nicely. seemed to have no heat to it an this went own with little effort.

overall a very solid offering

to view more.
21st Amendment / Firestone Walker / Stone El Camino (Un)Real Black Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 238 ratings.