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
BA SCORE
3.91/5
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
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#8,544
Reviews:
166
Ratings:
284
pDev:
12.53%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
35
Gots:
33
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 284 |  Reviews: 166
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

 258 characters

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

 465 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

 506 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
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

 1,053 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of jlindros
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

 1,758 characters

Photo of chinchill
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.

 237 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

 816 characters

Photo of billab914
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Allagash glass. It poured black in color with a big, bubbly, frothy, tan colored head to it. The head retreated to the edge of the glass and left some nice lacing as I drank it.

The first thing apparent in the aroma is the citrusy, grapefruit like hoppiness. I get the herbal, very slightly peppery flavors I assume is the added spices. It gives the hoppiness an interesting twist. A moderate malty sweetness is behind it all with just a touch of roastiness. The alcohol is pretty apparent as well.

The taste starts out with some of the herbal flavors along with some of that hoppiness as well. Midway I get more of a dry, roasty flavor coming through. It gets sweeter in the finish with the figs really coming through as well as some of the herbal qualities lingering. Some alcohol shows through as well.

The mouthfeel is on the thicker side with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is decent, it was an interesting beer with some cool flavors. The figs were particularly interesting to me, and the spices weren't bad either. At least the spices were more reserved and didn't dominate the beer. Not a bad beer at all but one that probably falls into the interesting and cool to try once category and not a regular purchase category.

 1,271 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