Allies Win The War! | 21st Amendment Brewery

very good
203 Reviews
Read the review
Allies Win The War!Allies Win The War!

Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery
California, United States

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by t0rin0 on 05-12-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 203 | Ratings: 519
Photo of ccrida
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On draught at Monteaux's, served in a Leffe glass, this brew is mahogany with a tan head leaving decent lace.

Smell is pretty hoppy, earthy continentals, a little diacetyl, some cotton candy as well.

Taste is malty, some caramel and butterscotch, with a firm bitterness.

Mouthfeel is dry, slick, dusty hop oils. Sticky.

Drinkability is ok, it's a bit of a mish-mash. Hoppy, but euros. Stronger, but not quite into slow sipper territory. More like a bad spin on Ninkasi's Believer.

 485 characters

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bold brew is a medium-dark brown with some red highlights. A light reddish-tan head is steady and keeps its form. After diminishing somewhat, it leaves a thick foam that remains and leaves good, patchy lacing on the glass.
The smell is an earthy English hops variety bitterness with a biscuity malts balance and, seemingly, a mix of dark fruits.
These hops are fresh, almost raw, and oily, plenty of dark earthiness without the teeth-grating citric edge of some Americans. I can appreciate the darker, less bright aspect of British varieties, particularly as it works here. Earthy and almost woody notes set up a biscuit malt balance. Dates take a moment to come in and then linger in the background, first on the back of the tongue but eventually moving forward in the finish. I don't find alcohol intrusive whatsoever. This is a nice, balanced brew that, to me, is as the style guide lists: bigger than a Pale Ale yet smaller than a Barleywine.
The body is medium-full and fairly rich, It doesn't have a creamy smoothness but it is smooth and has a nice character and depth to it.
I would say this is what most would be looking for in the style.

 1,152 characters

Photo of oline73
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at Max's. Served in a sample glass.

Appearance: Pours a light mahogany with a layer of off white head. There is a good amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Citrus peel and herbal hops with some warm alcohol and malt in the background.

Taste: Citrus peel hop bitterness up front. Malt and some warming alcohol balance things out a bit. There is a strong date presence in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with lots of smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: The dates in the finish make this beer unique. A bit too hoppy, I would have let the other flavors stand out more. Enjoyable enough, but probably don't need to have it again.

 662 characters

Photo of suncrust
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz can poured to a pint glass.

A- Dark ruby, clean filtered cherry red. Very thick and creamy, pale oatmeal colored two finger head with great retention.

S- Floral hop aroma with sweet malts and chocolate underneath. Sticky sugar, raisins, and dates are definitely back there. Light chamomile and a herbal tea spiciness.

T- Dark, dried fruit, figs and dark chocolate. Creamy hops on the tongue and warming alcohol in the finsih. Some leather, light spicy citrus (oranges) and rye bread. Nice northwest hops round out the character. None of the tastes are overpowering and the balance is enjoyable. Mild sweet biscuit, hard candy, and plum as it warms.

MF- Drinkable and smooth with a creaminess. Nice body to this beer, warming alcohol that is easily detectable but not overpowering. A bit soapy.

O- Pretty solid beer that offers a palatable dark fruitiness and creamy texture. Dates are a nice addition to the Ninkasi hoppiness. A beer that offers uniqueness but a drinkability that makes it all work. I like what the alcohol brings to the flavors. Definitely worth the try.

 1,083 characters

Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - dark amber in color, reminds me of a dunkel or a dubbel - your choice. Decent-sized foamy off-white head on top. Nice, clean appearance.

Aroma - love that first whiff. Malty, toasty, roasty, hoppy and caramel-y. I'm surprised by the amount of citrusy hops I get in the nose. This reminds me of a hoppy barleywine when I stick my nose in the glass. There is also some subtle hints of the alcohol volume that this is hiding. Very appealing and certainly enticing.

Taste - one sips quick lap around my mouth has me thinking that this is more complex than it leads on. Very resiny, bitter with some essences of dried apples and prunes. I'm left deciding whether this is going the way of hoppy or malty and for the first time that I an remember I really don't know where to place this beer. It has some nice malty flavors but not enough to take over and the hops are certainly not overpowering.There are some hot alcohol notes that come out in the finish as well as some pear and peach flavors.

Overall - very unique and a little hard to place. A solid beer by all means but one that may boggle your mind if you think about it too much. Very nice caramel and citrus flavors, smooth mouthfeel and warming without being too boozy. Let this one warm up a bit as things begin to take a little better shape after this has sat awhile.

 1,334 characters

Photo of Scotchboy
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Can, Allies Win The War! Poured into a mug.

A: Pours a darker, clear coppery amber with a light khaki-colored head.

S: Toffee, lightly toasted caramel malt, and a good dose of (pleasant) citrusy, tropical hops...mostly grapefruit.

T: Follows the nose, toffee and biscuit-like flavors are complemented with grapefruit-flavored hops...a dose of pine, and some herbal characters...finishes with a light spice note that could be the dates.

MF: Moderate mouthfeel, with good carbonation levels.

O: A pleasant offering, one I would drink interesting marriage of (English, I'm assuming)malts and (very American) hops.

 631 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz can... poured into my Delerium goblet... short lasting tannish head... the brew is deeep beautiful amber...

Nose is mainly brown malts and a little bit of date sugar.. some pithy grapefruit hoppiness.. okay... not great... not sure what I was hoping for... but it was definitely more than what was delivered.

Flavor shows quite a bit of toasty/brown malt.. good hoppiness from the middle to the finish.. the hops are sorta citrus/tangerine zest.. a little spice shows toward the finish.. odd, but not off-putting earthy note that I suspect is from the dates.

Medium/big body... but nice carbonation.

Okay... glad I got to try it, but this is only a decent brew that I doubt I will ever buy another... too many other better brews out there.


 768 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 11/19/11 notes. Had on tap at Churchkey in DC. Served in a 10 oz. tulip.

a - Pours a dark garnet, reddish brown color with one finger of light tan head
Mod carb

s - Smells of roasted malts, dark fruits, bready malts, alcohol, and light biscuit malts.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, sweet dark fruits, bready malts, and alcohol again. Sweeter than the nose and more alcohol as well. A tiny step down due to the alcohol.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Slight alcohol warmth.

o - Overall a pretty good strong ale. Lots of roasted notes and sweet dark fruits, and a fair amount of alcohol as well. Would have it again.

 633 characters

Photo of Philousa
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a New Belgium goblet, sits a dark caramel/molasses color with thin head. The small bubbles cling and lace the glass well with each sip. Dark caramel malt hits the nose first, followd by spicy, floral hops and wheat bread. Coppery amber malt flavor starts things off, followed by slightly sweet bread, bitter fresh hop oil, and a tart bready flavor at the end. This one is a bit thin with a dry finish.

This is strongly reminiscent of Ninkasi's Believer Double Red Ale, and that kind of annoys me. It's a limited edition four pack and I would like to get some complexities in something like that. I was looking forward to some date flavor, but I couldn't get past the hops and coppery base malt. Even though this was mislabeled on BA (this much hop flavor does not come in an English ale) and I feel a bit cheated on the four pack, this is a solid, if uncomplicated beer. I really like the yeast they used and the amount of hops are great in the nose. I just feel that some other fruit or complex coffee like flavors would have complimented this brew a little better.

 1,080 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an awesome looking can into a Sam Adams pint glass. Beer is a nice deep red color, nice lacing and head to it. Taste reminds me a lot of the Lagunitas beers, caramel notes, dark fruit, and nice hoppy goodness. Really good beer, alcohol is well hidden and goes down smooth. 21st Amendment makes some really good beers and just add this one to that list.

 364 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can, bottleworks

appearance: pretty sweet can design - served in a brooklyn brewery shaker pint, garnet body, light white ring

smell: biscuit malt, toffee, caramel, red apple

taste: interesting concoction - toffee, biscuit malt, waves of tropical fruit and citrus hops, nice sweetness from the dates, earthy, nutty and well spiced. Interesting flavor profile - definitely content with the purchase

mouthfeel: oily, medium-light body

overall: interesting brew

 468 characters

Photo of zaphodchak
3.42/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Half finger tan head. Laces decently. Ruby body.

Nose is deeply malty with some English hops. Faintly boozy.

Taste has some tang at the beginning and end, hoppy and bitter. I could categorize this as an American barleywine. There's some wood on the aftertaste. I taste pretty much no dates.

Mouthfeel is nice and smooth.

I kinda regret buying four, and for these reasons: the hopping is consistent with American beers (which this is) not English (which is purports to be), the dates with which it was brewed are non-evident, and since it's canned, I feel really apprehensive about cellaring it. Maybe worth a shot anyway.

 625 characters

Photo of John_M
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was told this was a collaborative effort between Ninkasi and 21st ammendment. On tap at Max's.

The beer pours a reddish amber color with good head retention and considerable lacing. Don't really get a whole lot on the nose; maybe some sweet malt and baked apple, but there really isn't a whole lot there. Given how little I picked up on the nose, I was bit surprised by how good this beer tastes. There is some considerable malt with a hint of clove and cinnamon, but then the hops come on strong (in a Ninkasi kind of way), and they balance the malty sweetness very, very nicely. The balance in this beer is very impressive, and this was a beer I warmed to the more I drank it. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with considerable malt and hoppy bitterness in the finish. I should point out that this beer is not at all heavy or tiring on the plate, and frankly drinkability is excellent for an 8.5% beer.

After the less than steller glass of HQT I had, this was a welcome treat to the palate. Impressive.

 1,002 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice, more cans. Cause everyone likes it in the can! Tasty crack cans.

Pours a very large head that prevents me from even finishing the pour, with a creamy 2+ finger head, that fades semi slowly with a touch of lacing, over semi clear auburn mahogany brown colored beer.

Nose actually brings some light hops at first, light floral hops witha hint of citrus, then dark dried fruit like fig and date, and a light nutty sweet brown malts with a hint molasses and caramel.

Taste starts with darker malts, chewy caramel and soft brown malts, brown sugar and molasses, then dark fruits with more date and fig, creamy darker malts, and decent sweetness. Then more hops, a bit floral and hint of citrus and spicy hops. A decent bitterness and chewy hop bite. Some toasty malts as well, then a bit of warming booze kicks in. Then finish gets more spicy hops and fairly bitter, a light almost syrupy molasses and more of the date fruit flavor, but a bit drier.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb, bit of warming booze.

Overall pretty decent, I wasn't sure what to expect for an English strong/bitter with dates, but it blended pretty well actually. Nice hops and fruits, malts, and hint of booze without the esters I was expecting, and nice dry finish, not super sweet.

 1,262 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Powerful, foamy head and lots of lacing. Clear brown color.

Smell: Hops and a hint of boozy smell. The dark fruit comes off deliciously but it's still pretty nice. I think I also get a little bit of sugar.

Taste: Definitely hoppy and somewhat bitter but not enough to overpower the fruit. I can certainly taste the dates but not to the point that they overpower the hops. The dates and the hops work wonderfully in this. Neither dominate the other but complement each other very well.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation, smooth and an easy drink.

Overall: A very good beer and perfect for the winter. Enough hops to make you think of spring but dark fruity enough to survive the cold.

 695 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a DFH signature glass. Beer is dark red, mostly clear, tan amber head, small bubbles, moderate to low retention, lots of lacing, moderate to low carbonation, looks good.

Aroma is mildly boozy, mildly sweet, some piny hops, a little grapefruit in there too, mild biscuit malt.

Beer is medium to light in body and really sweet. Mildy dry at the finish, moderate bitterness, decent hoppy midpalate, mixture of earthiness and citrus style hops, I'd have it again, I have 3 more and I'll definitely drink them.

 530 characters

Photo of morimech
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Canned on 10/26/11.

Pours a brownish amber color with two fingers of head that had good retention. The head settles to a thick cap. Large amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass.

Quite a bit of hops in the aroma. I pick up mostly citrus. Caramel malt is also featured in the aroma.

Interesting flavor profile. The dates can be tasted and adds some interesting sweetness. It goes well with the caramel malt. Citrus from the hops also fits in well. There is a little earthiness in there as well. Listed at 52 IBUs. Bitterness balances the sweetness very well.

Feels a little overcarbonated. The body is on the lighter side.

Dates do fit into a hoppy beer. A bit surprising actually. A succesful collabortive beer.

 721 characters

Photo of ficknish
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark caramel brown. Beige medium head.

S - Spices. Medium toasty malts. Slight stone fruit. Sour cherry. Spicy hops.

T - Alcohol heat. Leather. Slight syrup flavors. Funky bitter. Oak. Stone fruits.

M - Heat. Lingering bitter. Dry. Moderately heavy.

O - Big mouth beer. A lot going on. The strong funky bitterness complements the stone fruit big body. Reminds me very much of a Scotch ale. Good beer. Don't know if I'll buy again.

 438 characters

Photo of silentjay
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

contrary to Jason's review there is a clearly printed "canned on" date on the underneath of the can. this one was canned 10/26/11.

clear blood red tinged copper with a huge off-white head that sticks around forever and leaves tons of lacing. even pouring into an imperial pint glass, this 12 oz beer requires some settling before i can complete the pour. impressive presentation.

hoppier than expected aroma. (for a beer brewed with dates, I was thinking of a belgian dubbel like aroma...). What i got was tons of citric hops with a bit of tropical fruit and freshly cut grass with some caramel, molasses, and yes, date, sweetness. a bit of a medicinal quality hits as well, unfortunately.

starts off sweet, bitterness comes in to play but slips away quickly before the sweetness takes hold again. dates, caramel, toffee, dried and sweetened citric fruits like those found in tropical trail mixes. finish is pretty crisp, but with a slight warmth from the alcohol.

almost medium bodied with a subtle carbonation and a tiny bit of an oily finish.

interesting. I enjoyed it. It didn't quite floor me, but I think they won the war. I'd drink it again.

 1,153 characters

Photo of JayS2629
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an amber brown with ruby edges and a huge, thick, creamy head that faded slowly. Left nice walls of lace.

The aroma is of toast, caramel, and a touch of cocoa. Definite dates in the undertow with an herbal and spicy hop presense throughout

Follows the nose with caramel, honey and cocoa. Spice, dates, and nutty notes. Herbal, spicy hops througout especially in the finish.

Overall, nicely balanced and medium bodied.

Interesting, and enjoyable sipper.

 463 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark chestnutt color with good carbonation and a dirty cap.

S: A bit of cocoa, caramel, spices

T: A little booze sting, dates are very prevelant, some spice, caramel, light cocoa, toasted malts

M: Medium body, carbonation is good

O: Good beer

 258 characters

Photo of gregpiper
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is kind of disappointing. The hops are big up front and, as someone else here mentioned, not much behind it. It's like there are too many flavors competing and they cancel each other out, rather than complementing each other. Expected more flavor from the dates, but if it weren't printed prominently on the can and the inventive newspaper package (really the best part of the beer), I would have no idea there was anything unusual about it. It tastes like a typical big, sticky red. Not many breweries pull off good collaboration beers, and this sadly is not one. I know this doesn't follow the BA style, but I can't write in the jargon that typifies reviews here.

 675 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the can into a nonic pint glass.

A nice big and foamy three finger head that seems to fall though at a good pace, light tan caramel in color with large bubbles throughout. Body color is a classic dark amber red fairly clear with cola sized rising bubbles.

Nose is fairly hop forward with some light brown sugar sense. Not much else, not a big toast sensation, somewhat dry feeling also, mild dark fruit but hardly noticeable.

Taste surprisingly from the nose is more malt forward. Palate feel is even slightly sticky, with stinky malt and texture to go with it almost kind of thick. Small hop bitterish feeling on the aftertaste but nothing that stands out. Surprising carbonation to cut through the thick sensation giving a nice decent balance.

Overall pretty decent but kind of gamey, not particularly "fruity" in any sense, but a decent amber ale but with a strange stickiness that gets caught in the corners of your mouth (like in the molars). I could drink this again, it's almost how I would like a dubbel style to taste, which is ... to not make it like a dubbel :) Onward!

 1,097 characters

Photo of Jason
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz can with no freshness date.

LOOK: Garnet, clear and heady.

SMELL: Hops slap face, passion fruit, faint biscuit, cookie dough, juicy fruit, citric rind.

TASTE: Pungent hop, warming alcohol, creamy hop oil, toasted husk, bread, dryish, dried grass, mealy, dried figs, spicy, candied oranges, more alcohol.

It is what it is ... a big muscle brew. A moon catch with the timing, cooler New England draws me to darker stronger brews after midnight. Good drinking. Yet another great choice for cans ... and beer in general. Give this one a go.

 545 characters

Photo of pdoran10
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Allies Win The War! pours out a light mahogany color into a snifter. I get two fingers of off white head that has some staying power and leaves great lacing.

The smell is melon rind and citrus hops, with a slight caramel presence and a hint of alcohol heat on the finish. A very hop forward smell for such a malty sweet looking beer.

The flavor profile of this beer is pretty complex. I get citrus hops melded with caramel sweetness that somehow also blend with the dark fruit flavor from the dates. All these flavors don't seem like they should intuitively work well together, but they mesh well here. Slightly astringent and hot on the finish, but a unique and tasty experience.

There is a creamy mouthfeel on this beer with moderate to high carbonation. Well dialed in here for my preferences.

Overall this is an excellent malty fall/winter offering. Nice complexity and the dates and citrus hopping work surprisingly well for me.

 938 characters

Allies Win The War! from 21st Amendment Brewery
3.81 out of 5 based on 519 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.