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Tuesday, November 21st 2011

Allies Win The War!
(21st Amendment/Ninkasi Brewing)

21st Amendment and Ninkasi Brewing first teamed up to brew this collaboration ale a few years back. Collaborative brews are nothing new to the craft beer world but this marks the first time one of those beers has been canned. Allies Win The War! is also the first "English-style Strong Ale" to be canned. 

From the 21st Amendment site:

"In a surprising turn of 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. The two leaders 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 everywhere."

From the CAN:

"The beer uses California dates and an aggressive arsenal of all Northwest hops (Falconer's Flight)." 

Here we go...

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.

Note - if you click on the label below you can see a close up of the actual design. Look closely and you'll notice that the heads of three allied forces leaders have been swapped out for (from left to right); Ninkasi Brewing's Jamie Floyd, 21st Amendment's Shaun O'Sullivan and 21st Amendment's Nico Freccia.

Ninkasi Brewing is located in Eugene, Oregon. The brewery does not currently have plans to can their own beers and although this beer was a collaboration between a California brewery and an Oregon brewery the beer itself was brewed and canned in Minnesota - where all 21st Amendment beers are canned.


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Special Edition: Allies Win The War!
Style: English Strong Ale
Brewery: 21st Amendment Brewery
San Francisco, California  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Pale, Munich, Dark & Light Crystal, Imported Chocolate Malt
Hops: CTZ, Willamette, East Kent Goldings, Falconer Flight
ABV: 8.5%
IBUs: 52
Date: November 22nd, 2011

Posted by Russ

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