21st Amendment / Firestone Walker / Stone El Camino (Un)Real Black Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 235 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
3.93/5 rDev -0.3%
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.
04-04-2010 00:15:22 | More by SpdKilz
4.22/5 rDev +7.1%
A: Very very dark opaque brown color. I can see through it a tiny bit though because i can see bubbles shooting up through the muck. A gorgeous tan head tops off the beer amply. It has very good retention and nice lacing.
S: Very nice smell! interesting! I get those pink peppercorns on the nose for sure along with some exotic smelling spices which I cannot identify... perhaps chia seed? I assume fennel seed smells like anise which I don't get a whole lot of but if not maybe that's what I'm smelling.
T: This is nice stuff... interesting and a bit off the beat'n path. There is a somewhat chalky coco like quality which is riddled with spice... sort of like Mexican chocolate.... but not paprika in nature.... much more exotic. The dark fruit quality comes through in the finish as well... very pleasant! Alcohol is very well hidden and the beer finishes nice and dry! this is a great success for me I like it!!
M: High points here as this reaches that velvet prickle which seems so perfect. Rich sticky yet prickly and carbonated enough to jump off the palate and not cloy! nice.
D: high points for me... this one finishes very dry and the alcohol is well masked... not to mention its super good and really unique!!!
04-01-2010 22:27:14 | More by flannelman808
3.35/5 rDev -15%
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....
04-01-2010 05:47:36 | More by HalfFull
4.08/5 rDev +3.6%
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.
03-31-2010 05:48:41 | More by WestValleyIPA
3.1/5 rDev -21.3%
On tap at Stone. Appears black (aptly named), one finger creamy light brown head, decent retention.
The nose has some coffee, with peppercorns contributing a subtle spiciness. Figs are noticeable when the beer warmed, providing some sweetness. A little brown sugar is evident along with roasted malt, chocolate, and molasses. A strange mishmash of aromas, but pretty nice.
The flavor exhibits an upper moderate bitterness with lightly spicy peppercorns, figs, prunes, and roasted malt. There's a touch of coffee and a faint nutty quality. The spicy pepper fig finish is moderately bitter with some astringency.
An interesting beer, but not one I'd care to drink again.
03-30-2010 05:49:10 | More by HopHead84
3.98/5 rDev +1%
12 oz. bottle, only $2.99 so not super expensive like the Black Pils was,
A: Pours black with a finger of tan head, great head retention overall with spots of lace.
S: Hops on the first whiff, with figs, molasses and licorice. Did pick up the fennel on one go around. Also a hint of kola nut.
T: Not overtly bitter or roasted. Molasses and fig heavy with secondary notes of dark chocolate, licorice, and charcoal. Some light residual sugar and hop character as well.
M; Smooth and rich, full-bodied, creamy, very soft carbonation.
D: Another solid Collab. from Stone, the all CA matchup this time. A real good beer, definitely worth a pick up.
03-30-2010 01:41:14 | More by Halcyondays
4.13/5 rDev +4.8%
Just dropped the bottle into my pint glass.
Pours pitch black like a stout. A solid pour yeilds a finger and a half darker khaki head. Still a half a finger head hanging around after 2 minutes, and the glass is covered in foam where the reas of the head used to be. Nice legs on this one, agitation pulls down the wall of lacing.
Brown sugar, bitter chocolate, some cookie dough. Definitely the least exciting part of this beer.
Bittersweet chocolate, sweet cookie dough, hint of figs. Nice toffee/chocolate sweetness up front with a nice earthy bitterness cleaning out the back end. Very complex and perfectly balanced.
The mouthfeel is really quite something as well. On the high end of medium bodied, well carbonated with fairly assertive prickly bubbles. Very smooth and creamy. The texture is the most exceptional part, but again I'm not entirely sure how to explain it (I think it must be from the seeds added). Hot on the way down.
This beer is different and awesome, but not something I could see myself drinking a lot of.
03-28-2010 22:15:22 | More by billshmeinke
3.95/5 rDev +0.3%
Black ale indeed, this one pours (gasp) pitch black with a good finger of mocha colored head that displays good retention and lacing. The aroma is rather enjoyable and smells of sugar cookies, figs, slightly peppery, and exceptionally rich in a nutty/meaty/umami way. The flavor has an equally unique character, coming across as maybe cookie dough with a sort of spicy and floral character with a bit of ripe banana. Sound interesting? It is. This beer is pretty unique in a good way. Carbonation is moderate to higher which makes the medium body fairly light and easy to drink. Quite an interested beer and worth checking out, especially since this collaboration is a lot cheaper than the last few. Unique and recommended, but I still don't know what a chia seed is.
03-28-2010 07:16:35 | More by vacax
4.4/5 rDev +11.7%
Poured from a bottle into an indian wells brew co pint glass. About as perfect as a pour can get, go all the beer out, an the head was peaking over the rim a bit but still held itself intact. I figured that they wouldnt be, and they definitely weren't lying when they classified it a Black Ale because this mofo is black and dark as a stout. Looks thick on the pout, and the head is a nice tan cream which laces well and recedes consisitently and slowly.
Smells of spices and some pine resin, it's intriguing as hell to me. I get a definite sweet note from it like a stout, malted barley contributing to this part, but also something sweet coming from somewhere else but I am not sure yet as to what exactly it is. The spices contrasted with the sweetness make for a great scent, I like it a lot, makes me want to indulge.
Crazy flavor! Honestly something this dank and complex deserves recognition. The initial taste I get is pine resin, not intense or anything like some ipa's get, but a more subtle verson of the anchor 2009 christmas ale that takes a bit more sour of a turn. I next got a malty sweet flavor but not via chocolate, after reading the bottle it must be from the figs although I don't get fig distinctly on its own. The aftertaste compliments both of the flavors I got in beign smooth and sweet as well as giving a bit of spicy bite to the finish.
This beer is smooth as hell, not as much as a good stout, but also no alcohol bite in the mouth during the swallow.
Delicious brew, but depending on how you use the drinkability catagory this could mean different things. In my opinion this is definitly ont a brew to be drank quickly, it's means to be savored in small batches. I mainly think that just because of how complex tasting it is.
Overall, great beer, definitely recommend it if you can get your hands on this bad boy. I only got one but I'm thinkin I need another to age for a year or so, it's over 9% and dark as night so it will do well in a cellar.
03-27-2010 09:20:09 | More by dwilson01
3.6/5 rDev -8.6%
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".
03-27-2010 06:24:37 | More by womencantsail
21st Amendment / Firestone Walker / Stone El Camino (Un)Real Black Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 235 ratings.