El Camino (Un)Real Black Ale
Stone Brewing

El Camino (Un)Real Black AleEl Camino (Un)Real Black Ale
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Stone Brewing
California, United States
American Strong Ale
3.91 | pDev: 12.53%
Jun 07, 2023
Mar 27, 2010
Collaboration with 21st Amendment Brewery & Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Our collaboration beer project between 21A Brewmaster Shaun O’Sullivan and our friends Mitch Steele of Stone Brewing Company and Matt Brynildson of Firestone Walker. This beer takes its name from the historical mission trail El Camino Real (the Royal Trail, now highway 101) that linked the 21 Spanish Missions throughout California and also links the three breweries together. A dark strong ale that floats between a stout and an IPA, it incorporates indigenous ingredients from along the Camino (un)Real. The addition of dried mission figs, pink peppercorns, fennel and chia seeds brings a slight herbal, fruit and spice note built to pair with the malt and hop complexity to this 9.5% ABV beer.
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Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Can from my brother. Wow! How’s that for a description. Inky black pour, soft ring of head. Malty, roasty, halfway between a CDA and a stout. Bitter and welcoming, smooth and slick.Tasty, doesn’t fit neatly in any other category, but great nonetheless.
Jun 07, 2023
Rated: 3.96 by gobuccos from Ohio

Apr 10, 2018
Rated: 3.96 by shelby415 from Oregon

Feb 11, 2018
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Reviewed by FBGordon from Oregon

3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Poured from a can into a room temperature snifter.

A: Pours completely opaque with a milk chocolate head that settles into a thin ring that laces nicely and maintains throughout.

S: Peppery roast, caramel, molasses and fennel on the nose. More sniffs bring sweet fig smells into the fray with a little hops.

T: Roast and molasses, a tingle of peppercorns and hops. An earthy dark chocolate settles on the palate with the barest hint of dark fruit.

M: A thick-waisted ale that slides across the palate with a slight tingle, which stays in motion with the synergistic peppery flavors.

O: A big, sticky ale that tricks your palate because you want it to be a stout, but has lots of tricks up its sleeve. I waited for my palate to settle in, but the peppery flavors ended up dominating and I was having a hard time picking up the fennel and fig. It became a little ponderous.
Dec 31, 2017
Rated: 4.13 by stadmo1 from Michigan

Dec 29, 2017
Rated: 3.75 by delgotit99 from Indiana

Nov 23, 2017
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Reviewed by DrMindbender from South Carolina

2.53/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5
Don't know if I got a bad can, but this beer was extremely awful to me and my wife...ended up being the first drain pour in a really long time.

-Poured thick and almost a little ropey, with little to no head...we only drank 1/4 of the pour, but there was little to no lacing on the glass
-Smelled like prune juice more than figs, a little soy sauce and high fusels/boozey
-Tasted like a burning tire doused in fermented prune juice spirit with a distracting bitterness that only makes it worse
-Way too many IBUs for this beer...obnoxious bitterness follows the burning tire aftertaste and coats the mouth generously so you don't forget your mistake in swallowing this garbage
-Overall, a hot mess of a beer that should be neutered and destroyed so it can't breed and show up again on the store shelves
Oct 10, 2017
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Reviewed by chinchill from South Carolina

3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
12 oz can at Soulshine Farm Music Festival.
This strong ale has an exceptionally complex and rich flavor. Not harmonious however, with some sense of clashing flavors. Mild-moderate bitterness. Full body with near medium carbonation.
Aug 11, 2017
Rated: 3.98 by OtisCampbell007 from Tennessee

Aug 06, 2017
Rated: 1.18 by BergBeer from Hawaii

Aug 02, 2017
Rated: 4 by NickThePyro from Washington

Jun 06, 2017
Rated: 4.04 by Amedlin18 from North Carolina

May 18, 2017
Rated: 4 by Maillard from Ohio

Apr 22, 2017
Rated: 3.79 by MrJuengling from Pennsylvania

Apr 19, 2017
Rated: 3.94 by 6thstreetbrewpub from District of Columbia

Mar 21, 2017
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Reviewed by TX-Badger from Texas

4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Brewed by 21st Amendment. From a can: pours a dark reddish brown color with tan colored head. Spices, roasted malt, and lots of earth tones on the nose; follows onto the palate. Very earthy in flavor. Medium to full bodied. Finishes with spice.
Mar 14, 2017
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Reviewed by jwilcox767 from Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
A: Pours dark as expected with heavy head and thick lacing.

S: Definitely bold. Heavy on the burnt/earthy smell. Not too much of the advertised fennel or chia though.

T: Like it's smell, you get a bold chocolate/malty/lightly creamy taste, while still having a lot of other pleasant notes. The booziness is pretty mild even for 9.5%, but again, not too much fennel or chia came through. Dried fruit is another immediately identifiable element that stays in the aftertaste.

M: Nice smooth carbonation that adds to the creamy texture.

O: With this being a collaboration btwn 21A, Firestone, and Stone, I was looking for this beer to be something "special" with their use of fennel and chia, but those weren't really picked up. While it was pleasing to drink with the chocolate/malty/smoky elements, it doesn't really stand out. I'll get it again but won't seek it out specifically.
Mar 02, 2017
Rated: 3.25 by atrocity from Virginia

Mar 01, 2017
Rated: 4.1 by TheBeerdedCharmer from Pennsylvania

Feb 24, 2017
Rated: 4.1 by Jeremiah_Nelson from California

Feb 18, 2017
El Camino (Un)Real Black Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 285 ratings