Allies Win The War! | 21st Amendment Brewery

very good
203 Reviews
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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.

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Reviews: 203 | Ratings: 519
Photo of woodychandler
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It has been a slow 4th of July since many places are closed for the mid-week holiday including the weekly trivia game at one of my locals so I am focusing on The CANQuest (TM) instead.

From the CAN (and what a CAN it is!): "Special Edition Extra 52 IBUs Extra 8.5% Alc./Vol."; "Allies Win the War!"; "Ale Brewed with Dates"; [a doctored photo with the caption] "Ninkasi's Jamie Floyd with 21st Amendment's Shaun O'Sullivan and Nico Freccia at a secret camp in the Sierras"; "21st Amendment anfd Ninkasi Uite to Brew Beer for the World"; "In a surprising turn opf events, rival superpowers have joined forces to bring a beer of might to the world. According to top-secret documents, recently unclassified, brewmasters for 21st Amendment in California and Ninkasi in Oregon began their brewing careers together many years ago. Leaders from the two breweries reunited recently at a secret camp in the Sierras to devise their master plan. 'We are more alike than we are different,' said 21st Amendment's Shaun O'Sullivan. 'We must unite in our common cause,' added Ninkasi's Jamie Floyd. The resulting collaboration, an ale brewed with California dates, an aggressive arsenal of all Northwest hops and an unmistakable aroma of victory, deals a unified blow to unoriginal beers around the world."

Dates, eh? It reminds me of my favorite "Far Side" cartoon in which a streetwalking carrot stands below a lamppost holding out something in her hand to a passing stalk of celery in a sailor's Cracker Jack Dress Blue uniform. The caption read, "Hey, Celery, how about a date?"

Onward! The Crack & Glug was a total success and produced a finger-and-a-half of dense, deep-tan head with great retention in the face of today's humidity. Color was a deep mahogany with ruby highlights and NE-quality clarity. Nose had a fruity astringency as though the dates were fighting with the yeast for supremacy. The war never ends! Mouthfeel was full, not quite creamy, and with a rich, fruity taste that would be better served in the colder months. The CANQuest (TM) knows no calendar, however, and indulges when the moment arises. The finish was semi-sweet, allowing the fruit to linger but for the alcohol to assert itself at the same time. I am CANtemplating a trip to AC next week to hit the shore and I might just put a couple of these in the cooler. Good stuff!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Haven Gastropub in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a hazy orange-brown with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, candied fruit, brown sugar, and caramel. Taste is much the same with some slight spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild level of bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice aromas and flavors that make it quite drinkable.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Moderate dark fruit esters up front. Some background earthy hop bitterness and just a hint of alcohol warmth.

Appearance: Deep ruby colored pour with thick and sudsy white head that retains well.

Flavor: Light molasses character, more dark fruit flavors, a strong earthy hop bitterness providing a nice counterpoint, and hints of dark roasted nuts that you would expect given the recipe and flavor profile. Finish is crisp and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. Just a slight carbonic bite and a touch of alcohol warmth.

Overall impression: I loved it. I enjoyed the traditional English base, some fruit and nut character, and an "Americanized" hop forward approach that really lends itself to a unique and complex beer. Worth consideration and I'll be back for another 4 pack!

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

Allies Win The War! opens with a sweet, dark fruit aroma, the fact that the beer has been brewed with dates immediately apparent. The sweet date notes blend nicely with brown sugars, toast crust, molasses, and touches of vanilla from the malts, as well as pink grapefruit spritzer and light pine resin from the hops, the latter two aromas bringing both a nice counter in the brightness of grapefruit and the bitterness of resin. As a whole, the nose is very enticing, the sugars quite aromatic, with just enough breads and hops to balance everything out. The aroma does tend to fade after a few seconds, marking a slight weakness, but still manages to beg to be tasted.

On the tongue, the beer is highly sweet, the dark date sugars immediately noticeable, but blending extremely well with grapefruit and pine hops, as well as molasses, brown sugar, toast crust, toasted nut, pepper, and a mélange of orange, nectarine, and berry from the malts. In subsequent sips the date sugars do fade somewhat, slightly overtaken by the 52 IBUs, but the sugars as a whole still retain enough potency to be delicious. Late in the mouthful a stronger rye bread or whole wheat toast crust comes forward momentarily as the sugars die off, replaced in the aftertaste by grapefruit and pine hops, which linger on the tongue for a good while. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is very good beer, and it’s nice to see an unusual ingredient such as dates being used in such spectacular fashion, blending nicely with the other flavors and enhancing them, rather than becoming the focal point. The fact that the date flavors are overtaken in subsequent mouthfuls by the hops is somewhat of a letdown, but the beer is still very good, and worth trying.

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Photo of adamette
2.65/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Purchased at World Wines & Liquor in Mentor a long while ago as a part of an interesting looking four pack in a box covered in newspaper print, I poured the contents of this can into a clean, clear glass. "Canned on" date of 10/26/11 stamped on the bottom of the can.

A Translucent dark body that glows mahogany in front of direct light under a light brown creamy smooth head that clings nicely to the inside of the glass.

S Medium malt, dark fruit and, yes, dates (can mentions that it is brewed with dates) rise up from the creamy head.

T Strong dark fruit presence in this one with a not so well hidden alcohol content and a bite of bitter hops near the end on the back of my tongue which is not all that pleasing.

M A bit harsh as suggested in my taste notes. It is possibly to style but it is off-putting to me.

D Not all that high. I would reach for other less harsh beers than this. I admit this is not my favorite style.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an almost clear mahogany color with a finger of frothy off white head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel malts with some nutty and bready aromas, some grapefruits hops, brown sugar, and a touch of dark fruits.

T - Starts off with some rich sweet caramel malts with some grapefruit hops and bitterness with a touch of brown sugar. Through the middle, some pine hops come through with a bit more bitterness with some bready malts and some dark fruits. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel and bready malts with some tropical hops, bitterness, nuttiness, dark fruit, and a bit of booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet, warming, and lightly bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really nice malt forward, but still fairly hoppy strong ale. I really like the balance on this one.

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Ample 3/4" creamy light mocha head on a deep amber mahogany body that melds like mixing solvents. Can't complain.

S: Amber malts, dates, nutmeg, cinnamon, butterscotch, toffee, rum, alcohol, touch of port wine.

T: Carbonation dampens the flavors smelt in the nose. Mild, uneventful hops kind of come in up front, then molasses, cherry, and cardamom are mottled by alcohol and an apparent "staleness" for lack of a better word. The taste is almost like someone spiked this with a 6-7% lager.

M: Not destructive, true to style, soft, carbonation slightly below average.

O: I like dates a lot, but there are few beers that really showcase them well. This one is forgettable.

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

Poured from a can into a pint glass producing a rich brown liquid which had a nice deep ruby red when held up to the light. The ecru head dissipated like a deflating marshmallow, leaving only a thin film on top with lacing on the glass.

Aroma was noticeable as soon as the can was opened. There's a nice balance between caramel smelling malts and fruity ester scents.

The first sip revealed chocolate and caramel malt flavors and just a hint of hops for balance. There is an off taste at the back end, like a parrafin dipped metal. I am not sure if that is a result of the can or just the beer itself. However, it is definitely not gross, just a hint.

The mouthfeel is moderately rich and syrupy with just a little carbonation.

Over this beer is decent. I am glad to have tried it. I can see myself buying it again (if I can find it in bottles or on tap), but I would not run out and stock up on it right away.

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Photo of Buggies
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tastes like a cross between an IPA and a barleywine. Nice malty aromas with hops and a fruitiness to it. I think it tastes great too. Tastes more like a barleywine in that it has the malt, hops and what seems to me as a sizable fruitiness to it.

I think what I like about this is that it isn't too overly sweet or overly hoppy or bitter. It makes it very drinkable for me. I could honestly drink these all night, well as much as a 8.6% beer will allow.

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Photo of hollyisaway
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bought a 4pk for 8.99 at College Square Liquors in Westminster, MD.

Canned on 11/30/11, but the high alcohol lowers my freshness fear. Poured into a Flying Dog Goblet.

Appearance: First off, absolutely amazing packaging. This is my favorite label/box/can art of any beer I have ever seen. Just beautiful, well designed, and perfectly informative while keeping the old newspaper style. The beer is pretty lovely as well. The thick head, dark body, and ruby coloring are just perfect for a British Strong Ale, though possibly a bit more similar to a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Seems like splitting hairs though.

Smell: The dates certainly come through, complementing the alcohol nicely. A bit heavy on the malt front, but the the fruit back gives it a solid character.

Taste: The freshness certainly did not make a dent. Overwhelmingly fruity, with the big malt smell balancing with the dates and other dried fruit essences. I have no idea what malt is being used here, but it's ability to blend into the brew is just perfect. It actual reminds me of a stronger Samuel Smiith Organic Pale, but with a fruit back. The alcohol doesn't hit much, which could be incredibly dangerous or delightful depending on the situation.

Mouthfeel: My only major complaint section. While I love this beer, both the super fresh and this aged version, it just goes down too easy. Taste and feel leave the mouth on the swallow, outside of some alcohol burn and malt residue around the cheeks.

Overall: I totally dig this beer, and was glad to get it on sale. Very good, and wish it was all year. Bringing it to a barbecue tomorrow and planning to enjoy it. Not perfect, but good drinking.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice strong ale. Sweetish malty nose on there. Flavor carries a higher sweet tone with a mild level of spices on it that gives just a touch of a kick. Lots of malts on here. Smooth, certainly. A fairly heavy ale, but still pretty easy to drink. Nice packaging too; love the box.

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

Pours a nice deep mahogany with a slightly off-white head. The beer laces well while the inch of fluffy head falls flat... a slower process than expected given the beer's abv. There appears to be no sediment or haze.
Smell: notes of alcohol and sugar, but really fails to impress on the dark fruit front. The beer drinks sweeter than most strong dark ales and is a touch dryer. I think the fruitiness is the most profound in the beer's taste and mouthfeel, but as it warms more fruit forward aromas break the surface. The mouthfeel is better than expected with well masked alcohol, ample carbonation (possibly over-carbonated), and bold fruitiness. The residual bitterness doesn't go unnoticed either.
This beer's better than I expected and worth the price/trying in "canned beer only" scenarios (ie state parks & whatnot). However, I probably wont seek it out again.

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

A: pours a light brown with a reddish hue to it. it sports a tall two plus finger off white head with moderate retention so it looks pretty good
S: Smells of pine and citrus with a little bit of toasted malt, some brown sugar, and a little bit of caramel sweetness.
T: slightly citrusy and herbal hops do battle with toasted and caramel malt. a little bit of fruity estery alcohol. aftertaste is a soft bitter hop presence and another dash of malt sweetness
M: soft carbonation and on the upper side of medium bodied. a little on the syrupy side on the swallow but it's smooth.
O: a well made beer that is drinkable and has excellent complexity.

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Photo of billab914
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into my Ithaca glass. It poured a deep mahogany color with a foamy, off-white colored head filling the top inch of the glass. Great looking color to it.

The aroma has a sweeter, caramel and dark fruit presence to it. I get what I assume is the dates coming through, adding to the rich maltiness.

The taste starts off with more of the malty, caramel and dark fruit flavors to it. Midway I get a little bitter-sweet chocolate to it. The finish really has some good dark cherry flavors that come out. The malty sweetness dominates a little, but the flavors are very good.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being a little above average. Overall I really enjoyed it. The dark cherry flavors in the finish really won me over. It was a little on the malty sweet side, but it worked for it.

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Photo of soulfly1492
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Ale brewed with dates? Sure smells like an IPA. Lots of resinous hops, grapefruit and floral. Some dark fruit esters and some mild dark malts. Very bold smell. Like a strong black IPA with some English malts added in.

Appearance: Deep copper, high clarity. Pours a light brown head. What little head is there dissipates quickly leaving some patchy foam.

Taste: Bold hops and malt (surprisingly). Upfront the hops are very obvious, resinous, sweet and fruity, eventually turning to slightly bitter pine. More malts than expected from the aroma, although hard to ID through the hop aftertaste. Just a bit of brown malt and lighter English malt with a pale malt base. Lots of sugar just before the long, lingering aftertaste. Some honey and burnt sugar.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Somewhat drying from the overdose of hops and alcohol. Light to moderate carbonation.

Overall: Quite impressive. A strong ale in a can. Lots of hops, but almost pleasant the whole way through. A decent amount of malt to "try" and balance this one out. On the hoppy side, a bit out of style, but I like it.

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

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Clear yet dark maroon which pours a hefty and fluffy 3 finger head. Both the head and lacing retention are excellent. I can see small amounts of carbonation floating up.

Smell - Very sweet caramel, toffee, dates, spices, coriander, piney wet hops, and malts. It's a very sweet smelling beer with a very fruity aroma

Taste - Toffee, caramel, plums, dates, spices, floral/piney hops, and peated malts. The flavor reminds me of a Scotch Ale, which makes for an interesting yet tasty ale!

Mouthfeel - Light bodied and low on carbonation and yet it retains a certain molasses thickness like a Scotch Ale. Fairly easy to drink overall!

Overall - It's a good beer, even though I'd classify this more as a Wee Heavy due to it's flavor and mouthfeel. Definitely worth checking out at least.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful burgundy red when backlighted reveals a glass filling effervesce. Khaki colored head is spongy and thin, lapsing rather quickly to a skim covering. Good lace band.

S: Some alcohol, sweet worty scents, dried fruitiness with a decent sense of delivery.

T: Tasty caramel and toffee sweetness, dry cola, spicy rosewood with woodsy and fruity hints. Light dry very smooth clean off the tongue. A touch of munich dry toastiness, peat, and a leave of cardamon. Scotchy malt alcohol warmth, figs with a pinch of fresh pine.

M: Light medium body, bubbly feel, creamy.

O: Overall a solid example of a English strong ale im sure our drinking brothers across the pond would agree fitting in quite nicely.

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

On Tap at Taco Mac Metropolis January 24, 2012. 11 ounce pour.

(Appearance) appears a medium brown with some ruby tones; somewhat hazy. 4

(Smell) Some toasted brown sugar, molasses, dark fruit and mild hops. Balance is nice. Quite potent, Smells fantastic. 4.5

(Taste) dark candied sugars, some belgian spices, less hop presence here. mild fruit presence, like grapes. Quite good. 4

(Mouthfeel) smooth, slick and thick in texture. Medium/heavy body, mild alcohol presence. A good pairing with the taste. 4

(Overall) pretty awesome first experience with 21st Amendment beer. It's a worthy beer to have. 4

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Photo of SuperSpy
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish brown and clear with a decent looking head.

It smells hoppy and doughy. Citrusy, almost acidic, with dark fruity sugars and a hint of dark bread.

The taste is hoppy right up front. Bitter hops, citrus, grass, dark bread, figs and a spicy heat.

I wish I had more of these. Too bad they only come in four-packs. Pick up eight of them and you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY

A: Pours a clear dark amber in color with a finger tall light beige head. The head reduces to a thin layer over the entire surface of the beer with a very thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Lots and lots of pine hops - slightly one dimensional.

T: Subtle malt sweetness with some light amounts of dark fruit (raisin and fig), followed by pretty intense pine hops and lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery.

O: Too bitter to be an easy drinking beer but interesting flavors combined with the pine bitterness. This is a one and done beer for me.

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Photo of yamar68
3.54/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep ruby, almost purple hues with a healthy two finger tan cap and consistent lacing. Smells of fresh pitted fruits, some caramel and toffee to support. The flavor is dominated by plums, caramel and a heap of obvious dates. The hops pull through all of this in a surprising way. The feel is a bit thinner than I would normally associate with these bold flavors profiles. Overall, it's a unique beer that deserves its position in 21st Amendment's seasonal lineup.

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

Pours orange with a foamy off-white head. Aroma of grapefruit followed by sweet, sugary malts and a hint of dark fruit. Given the aggressive hop presence on the nose the flavor is a little bit of a letdown, but this is an English ale. Pineapple and grapefruit lead the way but there is a nearly equal amount of sweetness that masks much of the hop flavor. The palate is much thinner than expected but probably makes this easier beer to drink and much less of a sipper. Still a good beer, nonetheless!

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Photo of beertunes
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in tulip. Poured a nice brown, with reddish highlights, but had just a thin ring of head of head that had no retention or lacing. The aroma was malt-dominant, just a hint of hops, and also featured a bit of spiciness in the background.

The flavors were what the aroma had lead me to expect, very even and balanced grains with a touch of hops. There was however, just a hint of an off-tasting funk in the background. The body was very nice, full without being heavy, smooth even and very companionable, but the finish was just a wee bit sticky.

Drinkability was very good, perhaps dangerously so, I'm going to have some more while it's still on tap. Overall, I found the beer a bit lacking in personality, but still very pleasant and enjoyable. Worth your time when you see it.

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Photo of thedukeska
4.29/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: nice coffee colored appearance. Almost like a good scotch. Pours out of the can with a nice head. Not overly excessive like a cheap beer, not flat; just right.
Smell: I'm not in love with the smell. Smell is quite sweet and the date presence is definitely there. The aroma of the hops comes at the end.
Taste: this taste probably isn't for everyone. It's very complex. The first taste is of dates, followed by toffee. The hops then hit you tastebuds with a slightly bitter and incredibly refreshing flavor. The end is my favorite part. The last taste that develops is a sort of boysenberry syrup. It's amazing. Very close to a barley wine without the hefty feeling.
Mouthfeel: not to thick, not to light. Just perfect.

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Photo of JimKal
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a can into a pint glass.

Appearance was dark amber with a significant head that dissipated quickly leaving behind very nice lacing.

There was a slight hoppy aroma.

The taste of the beer may have been impacted by my having it at very near room temperature. The sweetness from the dates was very evident in the taste. The hop presence was there but muted.

Mouthfeel wasn't bad - a little lighter than I prefer.

I'd clarify this as a late night brew when you aren't planning on having many. Not my favorite but I wouldn't object to having it again.

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