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

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Stone / 21st Amendment / Firestone Walker - El Camino (Un)Real Black AleStone / 21st Amendment / Firestone Walker - El Camino (Un)Real Black Ale
Very Good
284 Ratings
Stone / 21st Amendment / Firestone Walker - El Camino (Un)Real Black AleStone / 21st Amendment / Firestone Walker - El Camino (Un)Real Black Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by womencantsail on 03-27-2010

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 284 |  Reviews: 166
Photo of alamode
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of flayedandskinned
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of Travisnin
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of ZX6Chris
5/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Allagash tulip glass.

A=great carbonation, with a tan head, pitch black, poured a little hard and the head settled to 1/2 a finger leaving lacing all around the glass. Looks beautiful and can't wait to take my first drink.

S=a little hoppy upfront, a swirl of the glass releases alcohol, chocolate, roastiness, spices and dark fruits.

T=Yum! Dark fruit up front, spices, sweet but not too sweet, chocolate malts in the middle, hoppy/roasty/alcohol on the finish.

M=Exceptional. Perfectly carbonated, medium to heavy body.

D=this is so complex. So many different flavors and they are all balanced so well. I couldn't wait to drink more. This is gonna be amazing when the alcohol settles out, I'm cellaring a few of these.

 739 characters

Photo of thebouch01
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of Rempo
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of rmaste6282
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of hpthebull
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.8/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours jet black with a tan head that dissipates to a fine layer of foam, leaving some lacing on the glass.

Aromas of roasted malt, bread, chocolate, coffee, raisins, pepper.

All of these aromas come through in the taste, which is dominated nicely by the roasted malts yielding flavors of dark chocolate and roasted coffee, raisins, juniper berries and a peppery, pleasant hop bitterness in the finish.

Light body and moderate carbonation gives this a creamy mouthfeel.

This is a great version of a dark ale. It is light in body and dry, yet packed with flavor, and nicely hopped. The alcohol level is high but the tastes balance it well. This is excellent as a final brew to an evening.

 694 characters

Photo of Strwrs777
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Photo of jvillefan
4.67/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

 616 characters

Photo of dfillius
4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Thanks to ksullnh for the bottle!
A: Aggressive pour yields 3/4 finger tight brown head with stellar retention. Opaque nearly black liquid. Amazing looking.

S: Bright citrus hops, tropical fruit, coconut, coffee, chocolate, slight boozy character that grows as it warms is only negative.

T: Nutty, milk chocolate, roasted beets, slight smarties candy flavor (from fennel seed?). Great malt sweetness with slight estery alcohol. Tastes great with Kettle BBQ chips.

M: Smooth and creamy (lactose?). Moderate and pleasant bitterness. Could be really boozy but stays creamy and mellow.

D: I like it a lot and would order another. I would maybe buy six, but it's definitely not a session beer

 717 characters

Photo of sandiego67
4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Very attractive dark black with a huge creamy dark tan head. I didn't get as much lacing as some of the other reviewers.

S- Strong peppercorn with hints of licorice (fennel).

T- Initial taste is boozy but not too warm, dissipates quickly. Big roasted malt, cocoa and coffee notes. Licorice is apparent but not overwhelming.

MF- Low carbonation. Strong, warm aftertaste.

DB- Very drinkable. Should be a hit with the stout fans looking for something different. I suggest that one or more of the 3 collaborators add this to their lineup.

 542 characters

Photo of drpimento
4.52/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

mmm Yummm. Got a small to medium sized thick creamy foamy brown tan head with lots of lace. Color is opaque brown black. Aroma is roast malt black pepper dark ripe fruit and spices. Flavor is like aroma with well balance bittersweetness and maybe a little bit of cocoa. Don't pick up the figs and don't know what Chia smells like. Body is rich creamy soft and divine with great carbonation. Finish is like flavor and has a lengthy finish with warming of both alcohol and black pepper. Session for sipping. Excellent beer.

 521 characters

Photo of Sgbrown78
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of TeamUgly
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of Flip4beers
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of GClarkage
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of Kenai4
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of ibbjamin
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Paid $4.50 for a 12oz bottle from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA. Poured into a large snifter to review.

Pours pretty thick and very dark in color. Small tan head dissipates quickly leaving only small traces of retention on the edge of the snifter. Some lacing left behind.

Sweet and roasted malts, tobacco, leather, espresso, dark chocolate, molasses and oak. Robust, balanced and complex in the nose.

Taste is even darker roasted malts than I expected. Reminds me of an imperial stout more than anything. Coffee, oak, dark chocolate, tobacco and leather. Quite nice!

Full bodied and rather creamy; almost chewy. Good carbonation levels. Long finish of roasted maltiness. 9.5% ABV very well hidden which makes this very enjoyable and quite drinkable. If I had to guess who was behind this, I would say it is Firestone more than Stone more than 21st Amendment; I am curious how they collaborated on this brew. All in all a success!

 941 characters

Photo of PhiloPsych
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color very dark brown as it pours from the bottle and near true black in the glass, with brown highlights showing only if held in front of the sun. Smell is roasty/smokey, slightly herbal, and very slightly spicey, with a caramel sweetness alongside (maybe just a slight metallic note, too). Moutfeel is soft and stoutish. Taste goes outside stout parameters, though. The figs show through despite the robust roast/smoke. The peppercorns show up without disturbing anything. Fun flavors that must come from the seeds. This is a very nice, very fun, interesting beer. Craft, craft, craft--three times craft. Well crafted, well done, well done. Vive collaboration!

 662 characters

Photo of neenerzig
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Six years ago in late October of 2010, one of my favorite local beer bars was lucky enough to get a keg of this for Cleveland Beer Week. I kept going back to that bar a lot for about a 2 week period to keep drinking this beer until that keg finally kicked. I never knew this beer was bottled/canned and had any sort of wide distribution until recently, perhaps this is a recent phenomenon. I am wondering if this is something Stone brought back as part of their 20th anniversary celebration this year or what, but I sure am glad they did. Poured into one of my snifter glasses out of a 12 oz can, this beer is a very dark brown, almost black color with a nice tan head that's about an inch thick when first poured that eventually settles to a fairly thick ring lining the inside of the glass along with some nice big cluster swirls film layers of foam on the beer's surface and pretty good lacing. Aromas of roasted caramel malt sweetness along with some nice dark fruity esters, brown sugar, and peppercorn. The taste is pretty much the same, with roasted caramel malt sweetness, some fig and dark cherry sweetness, hints of brown sugar, and certainly some spice from the peppercorn and chai that provide a nice hint of a bite. Not really any discernible hop presence at all. Has a somewhat crisp, slightly prickly, also smooth and frothy, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Has a clean, and dry aftertaste. The flavors really like to linger on the palate after each sip. I'm really glad that Stone and friends brought this one back from land of obscurity and made it readily available to the larger craft beer community. Get this if can.


 1,681 characters

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Stone / 21st Amendment / Firestone Walker - El Camino (Un)Real Black Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 284 ratings