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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.
very good

238 Ratings
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 all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 238 | Reviews: 154
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 t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours nearly black with a good tan head. The nose is really nice and brings forward some citrus and tropical hops as well as a bit of pine. Roasted malt with a bit of chocolate in there, and faint hints of pepper. I was really skeptical of this after not enjoying most of the other collaborations; however, this really worked out and the pepper didn't really go too far. Nice mouthfeel with a bit of spice. Nice roast and bitter characteristics playing off one another. Quite drinkable; a very nice collaboration that wasn't taken too far in any one direction.

Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: We've got a stout-like pour here, with a very dark colored liquid (scant ruby highlights) and a massive tannish head that displays great persistence and leaves a curtain of lace

Smell: Unusual aromatics, that require a bit of deconstructing - it has the piney hops that are emblematic of a dark Stone beer; the Mission figs are easily apparent, as well; the licorice is also in there in a big way; and if you sniff it for long enough, the pink peppercorns will attack your nostrils

Taste: Dark and fruity, up front, with molasses and figs being joined by the licorice at mid-palate; the hops and the peppercorns also arrive just before the swallow; the finish is a balancing act of malt, dark fruit, hops, spices all accentuated by the heat of the pink peppercorns - don't I recall that they were pulled from the market years ago for health reasons?

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

Drinkability: Certainly an example of extreme brewing but the flavors just don't coalesce in an approachable manner

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Polished mahogany liquid in the lower half of the snifter and dark brown sugar mousse in the upper half. The head shrinks slowly, develops a little rockiness as it does so, and is leaving small scraps of melty suds on the sides of the glass.

The nose is a pleasant combination of roasted malt, hops and assorted spices. None of the unique ingredients (all from California) are appreciated per se. The brewers added chia seeds (which create Chia Pets when they sprout on pottery), pink peppercorns, fennel seeds and Mission figs. Second solid score in a row.

The following combination gets me every time: talented brewers, quality ingredients, abundant ingredients, interesting ingredients, hugely flavorful beer, huge hops. This offering is the bee's knees for those of you who feel the same. It's probably a positive that none of the ingredients really steal the show.

A massive amount of massively roasted malt might have something to do with the leveling effect on the flavor profile. Dark chocolate and charred coffee beans tend to gloss over nuance. Sweet and bitter are locked in a titanic duel, while fruity and spicy-herbal happily trail along in their wake. There may be a hint of warmth from the peppercorns and a little earthiness from the various seeds. Damn good beer!

The mouthfeel isn't sappy and sticky, which is to its credit. It's still at least medium-full for the ABV and is carbonated to perfection. There are no rough edges in sight and there's plenty of creamilicious hang-on.

El Camino (Un)Real Black Ale is yet another outstanding Stone Collaboration, this time California-only. There are too many of these to brew them all on a regular or seasonal basis, but this beautiful beast should get some serious consideration if the brewery can squeeze it into their already tight schedule.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +1.8%

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

Photo of womencantsail
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Stone

A: The pour is nearly black in color with a solid tan colored head with slight lacing.

S: The nose is roasty with plenty of spice--mainly pepper. There is also a light fruity sweetness from the figs.

T: The roast is perhaps a bit more intense than in the nose which is quickly followed by the flavor and sweetness of figs. The peppercorns follow that and all of this is accompanied by notes of oak, a light floral character, and a touch of bitterness.

M: The beer has a medium-to-full body with a rather full level of carbonation.

D: The flavors were very interesting and kept me coming back for more sips to see what I could find next. Not necessarily my favorite of the collaborations, but definitely "interesting".

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 zeff80
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, tan head of foam. Okay head retention and some lacing

S - It smelled of boozy alcohol and sweet caramel malt. Some floral hop presence.

T - More of a roasted malt flavor you'd expect in a stout. It had some sharp citrusy hop bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is another good collaboration brew that Stone has done. It almost seems like it could fit the new Black IPA category.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Big thanks to GoGriz for this bottle!

Another directive from VDubb. Word, son. It pours a stark onyx topped by a half-finger of rather quickly-dissipating ecru foam. The nose comprises dark wheat, Coca-Cola, light roasted malts, maple syrup, and some form of unidentified booziness. I gotta say, this isn't starting out too well. The taste has all of the aforementioned elements, though the booze is decidedly down a few notches, and some chocolate, molasses, fig, and Dr. Pepper (AKA plum, I'm told) notes join in on the fun. It's better, but something's still not entirely copacetic here. The body is a solid medium, with a moderate carbonation and a somewhat chalky finish. Overall, a decent collaboration, but I don't think things came together as intended. Still, definitely worth a try if possible.

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a short beige head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, chocolate, some dark fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste likewise starts out with a hearty roasted malt character. Then some mildly sweet flavors of dark fruit, chocolate and some coffee come in followed by a strong but not over-powering hops bitterness. There's a little bit of creaminess to it and a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a very good strong dark beer worth drinking for a long time.

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 jlindros
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: A big thick rich dark head keeps rising until it just reaches the top of my oversized snifter glass, then fades slowly, leaving a nice lacing, with a beer that is essentially jet black.

N: A nice malt and hop combination. Some dark malts, dark crystal, black patent, perhaps a little roast, touch of sweetness, and oatmeal even I think. Then a nice spicy earthy hop characteristic that adds a nice floral bitter hop component. It has some creaminess to it too, and slight chocolate. As I get deeper and deeper whiffs, I start to get some spicy booze as well.

T: Starts rich and creamy, thick, but not syrupy. Again malty, with lots of dark malts, caramel, oatmeal, chocolate milk, some sweetness, and a nice luscious taste. Before I can get to the hops the booze is starting to get overpowering, drinking like an 11-12% beer, I can even taste the booze, let alone the warming and tingly feels. THen there are also some hops, a nice bitterness, more from hops than any roasted character, spicy and part grassy hops even, little earthy. Chewy and malty overall.

M: Pretty thick, luscious and smooth, with good carbonation.

F: Pretty bitter on the finish, with a nice hoppy bite to it. The bitterness has quite a bit of that earthy hop characteristic, as well as some fresh musty hop bit to it a little. There is a little lingering sweetness, but mostly dry by now. SOme creamy chocolate milk and oatmeal linger, with touches of dark malts, and even a hint of smoke. The finish is mostly a showing of the hops and bitterness though. I do get a hint of a nuttiness and raisin characteristic though, very late on the finish.

Oh yeah, and I have to give a shoutout to Visionaries for sending me one of these, never hurts to have an extra on hand for aging.

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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 238 ratings.