I always like trying beers from 21st Amendment Brewery. The artwork on their cans always catches my attention when I’m at the beer store. They seem to have a random American History reference engrained in them every time. This beer was no different. It was released on Veterans Day and has a strong World War II newspaper influence in the artwork. After further inspection of the can, I realized that this was actually a collaboration beer with Ninkasi. In addition, there were also dates added to the brew. Now I’m even more interested.
Allies Win The War has been classified as an English Strong Ale. This is a style that I’m not very familiar with because – to be honest – I haven’t really ventured much into a lot of English-style beers. Therefore, I have no reference point to this style and this will be a naked review.
I drank this beer out of my Stone RIS tulip glass, poured directly from the can. It poured a deep brownish red color. It almost appeared to be a deep brown shade of purple. There were about two fingers of head which dissipated after about a minute and left lacing down the glass.
The beer was pretty cold when I first opened it, but I could still smell of Northwestern hops immediately jumping from the glass. It reminded me more of a IIPA than anything else. As it warmed, the scent of hops, dark fruit (possibly the dates) and strong alcohol came to the forefront.
It tasted much as it smelled. When cold, it tasted very heavily hopped and almost reminded me of Bell’s Two Hearted with an alcohol kick toward the finish. I was confused at first because the color of the beer didn’t really resemble the taste. However, after it warmed, the dark fruit came out and the alcohol became more apparent. I breathed in deep to try to better understand this and was surprised as the burn I could receive from the smell. I liked this and welcomed it. Allies Win The War is an 8.5% ABV beer and they certainly didn’t try to mask this in the taste. I believe that this would be on purpose because it all came together nicely. I would imagine that the dates would be the dark fruit taste that I was experiencing and it almost reminded me –although very very lightly – of the same type of dark fruit taste I would experience in a Belgian dubbel style beer – except this was buried in what seemed to be an IIPA.
The mouth feel was average. When taking a sip it seems that most of the flavor tends to stay toward the front of the tongue with all of the bitterness concentrated in one spot. I wouldn’t say that this is a light beer by any means, but it certainly isn’t as full bodied as an imperial stout. I probably could have had two or three of these in sitting.
I feel that overall this was an interesting beer. I was originally anticipating a hop-bomb, but was surprised at the subtleness of the other elements. I would probably try this again if presented, but wouldn’t travel far to get it. Another well done beer by 21st Amendment.