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

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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.
very good

154 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 154
Hads: 238
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 11.99%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 154 | Hads: 238
Photo of beagle75
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Opaque, dark brown color showing scant ruby-tinted light transmission at the edges; with over two fingers of beige foam head that takes its time to collapse down. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Strong wild yeast character, more band-aid than goat pasture. Dried, concentrated chile fruit is also detected, lending some minor dark qualities. Raw and rustic bitter chocolate is just barely evident. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins off-dry, with dark syrupy fruit that appears as a mix of cherry/currant and New Mexico chiles (without the heat). This is also where the yeast-funk seems to be most noticeable--but never off-putting. The transition from fruit and overt yeast to mild refined roast is gradual during the middle. It is about mid-profile, only after the roasted malt has emerged, that a pruney-Dr. Pepper vibe also is hinted at. The finish is relatively sparse and dry, herbaceous and bitter, with just a huff of the characterful yeast. No alcohol is detected.

M: Medium to thick viscosity, smooth and slightly warming on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: Strong, dark, and experimental, this collaboration beer is unexpectedly loaded with yeast phenolics. Audacious fermentation metabolites, whether authentic or imagined due to the unconventional combination of ingredients, is not unwelcome in the fairly crowded profile of sensory qualities. Chile qualities abound, despite it's never having glimpsed a chile during fermentation. In the final tally it may not be a world-beating ale, but its illusory tricks prove titillating.

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Photo of jvillefan
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got a 12 oz bottle from Toronado in San Diego.

A: Jet black with a thin lace mocca brown head.

S: Peppercorn, Belgian yeast, and Licorice aroma in the beginning. Roasty and chocolatly malts bring up the rear.

T: Heavy with chocolate, toffee, spices (specifically Thyme-like, peppercorn, and a little chai). There is a slight Belgian character in there as well.

M: Perfect, it is heavy and viscous with subtle but perfect amount of carbonation.

O: Well done Stone, Firestone Walker, and 21st Ammendment. I am sad it took me so long to try them gem of a beer. Get if you can find it because the beer is very good.

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Photo of socon67
3.22/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

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Photo of ThePaleRider
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Close to black and no light is making it through the glass. Small tan head that leaves plenty of lacing.

S - Charred wood, toasted grans, BBQ smoke, and a little booze.

T - Dark grains and pumpernickel. Lots of cocoa and wood flavors. Very smokey on the back of the tongue, but not as much booze as I was expecting.

M - Full bodied with no carbonation present.

O - Excellent barrel aged beer. Especially for the crowd that likes the smokey ones.

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Photo of claspada
2.78/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very dark brown color with ruby highlights and a massive tannish head that displays great persistence and leaves some solid lacing.

Aromas begin with piney, resiny hops with emerging licorice bitter dark maltiness. As it warms you get a little dark fruitness and spicy peppercorns.

The tastes begin dark, roasty and rustic, with tangy molasses and figs being joined by the licorice at mid-palate As it warms the piney hops and the peppercorns begin to asste themselves.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; a bit tingly

Overall, when it comes to beers with dark malt bills and citrusy, dank hops; it is just an odd combo that doesn't work for me. While it may work for some the bitter and spiciness is less than drinkable for my palate; the flavors just don't mesh in an approachable manner.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one last summer, but I have have no idea from whom. Cheers to whoever you are!

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, fluffy, light mocha head with good retention. Head slowly fades to a full wisp cap. Black body and understated carbonation. Splotchy wisp and ring remain leaving some dots of lacing down the glass. Good looking brew for sure.

SMELL: Dark malts, dark chocolate notes, sweet cream and some nice, hoppy notes in the back. A touch of grapefruit and pineapple for sure, with some light grapes in there. Very nice, and plenty forthcoming.

TASTE: Flavor follows suit, luckily enough. Dark malts, grapes, and some caramel sweetness before a bitter and hoppy finish. Dark chocolate, some bitter coffee, and pleny of grapefruit and piney hops after the swallow. Very flavorful. Some roasted chocolate bitterness and fruity, citrus hops linger nicely. This is enjoyable stuff.

PALATE: Medium-fuller body and medium levels of carbonation. Enough weight on this one, creamy as well, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry on the palate. A bit of spicy alcohol lingers.

OVERALL: Either reviewers have been too harsh on this one, or it's simply getting better with age. Really enjoyed this, and while it may have been smart to have drunk it fresh, I'm certainly very pleased with how well its held up. Just wonderful stuff here. A good look, bold, enticing nose, lovely flavors and a full body make this a great drinking experience. Excellently balanced brew. Cheers again for the trade. Recommended!

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown-black with a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel and lightly caramelized malts with some brown sugar, dark fruits, black licorice, grapefruit and pine hops, and a bit of coffee and booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of caramel malts and caramelized sugars with some brown sugar and black licorice, with a touch of grapefruit and tropical hops. Through the middle, some pine hop flavor with some bitterness comes through with some pepper, nutty, cocoa, and coffee flavors. The finish is a mix of dark fruit sweetness with some brown sugar, caramelized malts, cocoa, and a bit of booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth and slightly thick with a warming and sweet finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice big but balanced dark ale with some interesting spices and other ingredients that add some nice complexity.

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Photo of Etan
2/5  rDev -49%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Spiegelau tulip.

A: Pours a straight back with a big tan head. Good retention.

S: Big bretty barnyard. Infection?

T: Funky bacteria with some slight chocolate notes and roasted character underneath.

M: Lively carbonation.

O: Yep, infected. And not in a good way. Into the drain.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Stone shaker pint, because I wanted to. I am also really confused by this beer and don't know what to think of it. It was overcarbonated, and I thought it could be infected due to some medicinal aromas and mild flavors but then I thought maybe it was the peppercorns I was smelling or the figs. Overall, it wasn't a winner in my book but it wasn't bad either. They really went out there on this recipe and I couldn't follow them this time.

Beer is black, dark, huge dark brown head of large bubbles, low retention, low lacing, high carbonation that settles down quickly.

Aroma is spicy, complex, mildly medicinal, almost smells like Brett c, but not quite.

Beer is light in body, perhaps approaching medium in body, not bitter at all and I was expecting it, very spicy but not in an annoying way, there is a forward medicinal quality and a dry finish, very dry. Overall kind of a confusing beer to me, I don't think I'd have it again but I'd think about it.

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Photo of rmcnealy
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured chilled into a standard pint glass.

This collaboration ale poured black with a large, inconsistent, dark beige head. The aroma had a slight tinge of age so I imagine some care was put into it. The roasted caramel scent is reminiscent of deep brown ales. There is a strong maltiness that completes the taste and leaves a great mouthfeel. At 9% abv, it didn't taste too boozy. A solid beer. It wasn't exceptional, but another cool collaboration. Enjoy!

Found at Cardinal Liqs, Niles IL

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Photo of Kegatron
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of DrinkThemAll
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass...

A-Pours just about black or a very very deep amber, had about a 2 finger caramel tan head that dissipates to little head with slight lacing...

S-Smells like alcohol, roasted nuts, dark fruits some floral notes and some chocolate. smells complex and like chocolate cake or pudding...

T-slightly oaky and mega bitter chocolate here, getting some espresso as well as plums. hops are slightly present which is very nice...

M-Medium body with medium carbonation very bitter and hoppy, has a warm alcohol finish...

O-Very impressed with this collaboration, very tasty and complex. wish they made these in 6 packs. for being 9.5 it goes down rather smoothly...

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Photo of Yagman3000
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appears basically black with maybe the lightest touch of dark brown. A thin film of head rests on top with small bubbles.

Smells a bit boozy with a hint of chocolate, coffee, and maybe a tint bit of anise.

Tastes chocolatey and of roasted grained (but not burnt). Black coffee and a touch of the licorice cones through.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Thick and creamy while maintaining it's dark integrity.

Overall a very nice collaboration between a few of my favorite breweries. Great depth of flavor without too much heaviness or bloat.

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Photo of emagana
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this one in the cellar for a while and i finally felt the urge to crack it open. Poured like a black ale should. Dark with brown tones.
Short one finger white head. quickly gone.
Aromas of licorice and sweet dark fruit. some vanilla also shows itself.
Start off sweet with fig, licorice and hints of chocolate. thin body but very complex.
finishes with a dry yet very inviting flavor.
well done! this one was a surprise for sure.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of armock
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Craft & Commerce in San Diego CA

A - Poured a black color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of roasted malt that gives off sweet chocolate and some dark fruit scents

T - Starts off sweet and chocolaty then the dark fruits come out and finishes with some coffee

M - This beer has a fuller body with medium carbonation to it

O - This is a very good and interesting beer lots of stuff going one to create a good flavor worth finding to try it out

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Photo of mjyoung
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 4/24/11

A: A dark, opaque pour that quickly gives a murky brown head. Although it pours smooth and dark, it doesn't have that viscous texture I associate with beers this color. The head is thick (2 fingers), and leaves intricate lacing along the sides. Very pretty.

S: Very strong roast herb smell. The bottle says fennel and chia see, but I'm not sure I get that. Dark fruit provides a bit of contrast to the slightly harsh roast.

T: The strongest influence I get is a deep fruity note that initially overpowers everything. Some further sipping allows the roasted undertone to burn through, highlighted by those annoyingly hard to pin down herbs. The whole thing is pretty hot and boozy. It tastes good, but not exactly what I was looking for with dinner.

M: Deceptively medium-bodied, and well carbonated. It has that slightly oily slickness I associate with high abv, and is a bit rough.

O: This beer is pretty solid, but it would probably be a lot better on a cold, rainy day. I approve, but I'd like to try it again when I'm more in the mood.

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Photo of ineva
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a sniffer glass

A:Black. Cappuccino brown 2 finger head that doesn't last long.

S:Black licorice wiff with a brown sugar background, dark chocolate toast.

T:Slight alcoholy milk chocolate roast. Nutty molasses with a sneaky hop presence thats never unwelcome.

M:Surprisingly drinkable, not as heavy as it looks. Not alot of carbonation but leaving a nice chocolate lacing around the tongue.

O:Nicely balanced dark ale. My fourth bottle, would love to enjoy it again soon as well as aged another year.

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Photo of vande
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black as a moonless night. Not a drop of light shines through.

S: Rich, robust, malty... little vanilla maybe? Dark & Roasty.

T: Little sweetness there. Lots of roasted malts blended with hints of coffee, vanilla and cocoa... as it warms, it opens up.

M: Coats the mouth throughout. A creamy medium bodied beer that makes the mouth happy.

O: Great beer. A great collaboration. I believe this is my second bottle of this, but first review. Very worthwhile drink, one I'd pick up again..

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Beer comes out a very dark brown, close to black in color with mahogany edges on the glass. A huge dark tan colored head comes out on the pour, had to fill the glass with about 3-4 separate times. Not really much lacing.

Smell is complex and pretty good, but not very strong. Has a sweetness to it, almost vanilla. Herbal notes, guessing from the tea leaves, and slightly spicy. It's pretty well hopped.

Taste is quite a step up from the smell, in potency anyway. Sweetness detected as well. Some slight coffee and chocolate hints. Earthy pine hops with a slight touch of citrus. Plenty of herbal/spicy notes and a hint of pepper. It is all blended together into a complex and unique flavor that is certainly one of a kind.

The mouthfeel is the best part in my opinion. Certainly full bodied, smooth and silky. It has a strong bitter finish. A perfect carbonation level and no bite from the alcohol despite being at 9.5%. Very drinkable, could drink this all night. I cracked this open knowing I didn't really want to drink that much; now I wish it was a bomber instead.

A truley unique beer, thanks to ZX6Chris for the trade!

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Photo of EkimGram
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured form 12oz bottle into snifter. Pours a very deep brown. Very thick, toffee coloured head that fades very quickly. Nice, visible lacing.

Smell: Very strong, dark roasted malts. Some hidden sweetness of dark fruits - figs? There is also a light spicy note of hops, or perhaps a spice.

Taste: Again, very strong dark roasted malts, a hint of heavy sweetness, and a surprising amount of bitter with a bite. Finishes with a nice sense of burnt coffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, perfect amount of carbonation. Finishes with a dry, sticky bite.

Drinkability: A rather intense beer. I wouldn't see myself buying much more of this if I could but it is very good. Alcohol presence is bearable, taste isn't too overpowering. Very glad I had the opportunity to drink this wonderful creation.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle picked up on clearance at my local store for around $2. the first time i tried this it was very fresh and i remember not caring for it. such a crazy list of ingredients. lets hope time was good to this one. drank from my stone IRS snifter.

A- this one pours a black colored body with a pretty large (2 finger) tan colored head. the head takes its time falling and leaves behind small rings of lacing.

S- my first assessment of this one is that it is pretty stout like. lots of dark roasted malts greet my nose. theres also a bunch of dark chocolate in here. i think i can pick up the mission figs the label brags about. there is a surprising amount of hops still hanging around. they smell like grapefruit mostly, with a little bit of pine as well. some muddled spices and earthiness come through at the end.

T- dark roasted malts once again lead the way. then comes the dark chocolate and slight fruits i could smell. once again, the amount of hops still kicking around in this one takes me by surprise. plenty of grapefruit and some earthiness. a little bit of pepper and some spice(s) i cant quite put my finger on at the end.

M- medium bodied, nearly what i would consider full. ever so slight warming form the alcohol. the level of carbonation is just right.

D- this is a beer that has definitely benefited by sitting around in the bottle for a year. it seems much less hot and the odd ingredients seem to mesh better. im not sure that this is one that i would want to drink that often, but if i can pick up another couple i would love to see what additional time will do to them.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow I gave it all 4's with out question.

It pours a black with slight rose around the edge when held to a light.

Tan head that stays somewhat which is suprising for 9.5%.

Smell is of an earthy slightly sour chocolate.

Taste has a suprisingly nice bitterness to it but is quickly followed up by burnt coffee and alcohol. The alcohol adds a nice aspect to this brew and is not over whelming at all.

I dont think Id buy this again (even if I could) but it wasnt bad by any means.

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21st Amendment / Firestone Walker / Stone El Camino (Un)Real Black Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 154 ratings.