Review: Allies Win the War!, 21st Amendment & Ninkasi

  • Style:  Ale brewed with Dates
  • Bitterness:  52 IBU
  • ABV: 8.5%
  • Malts:  Pale, Munich, Dark & Light Crystal, Imported Chocolate Malt
  • Hops:  CTZ, Willamette, East Kent Goldings, Falconer's Flight (dry hopped)
  • Yeast:  English Ale
  • Special Ingredient:  Fresh California Dates
  • Sampled: 12 oz. can

Description: "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." — 21st Amendment Brewery & Ninkasi Brewing 

Random thoughts:  I've heard nothing but great things about this collaboration beer and have been looking forward to tasting it. I added it to my list of special holiday beer treats. Why did it take me so long to finally drink it? I have no clue...  

The tasting:  Deep amber in color, clear, with an off white head that dissipates fairly slowly. It looks great. Aroma of grapefruit hops, plum, raisin, brown sugar, and some light earthy hops. Normally, when grapefruit hop aromas are present, they tend to dominate the nose—but not here. Flavor of caramel malt, bready malt, and plum in the front. In the middle, grapefruit and citrus hop bitterness kicks in, along with alcohol. While noticeable, the alcohol is well-masked. Surprisingly, the sweetness from the aroma does not come through in flavor. Allies Win the War is light to medium bodied, moderately carbonated, and finishes with flavors of plum, citrus, and spicy hops.

Rating:  4 star.  Really Good!  I want this again!  There's quite a lot going on in this beer. It reminded me of a Barleywine—minus the heavy body and strong alcohol. Sadly, this beer has been long gone from grocery store shelves. Hopefully, it will make a return next winter. If it does, I'll be sure to stock up...

Did you taste Allies Win the War?  How did you like it?

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