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RATINGS: 250   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.77   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 285   ABV: 9.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Ale brewed with fennel seed, chia seed, and pink peppercorns - with mission figs added. In the 1700s and 1800s, missionaries and Native Americans grew a variety of crops along the El Camino Real. Apart from the famous mission grapes, mission figs, barley, and olives, fennel and chia were also grown... (The brewers) tried to recapture some of the historic flavors of the old Camino Real by brewing this beer...


3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
BBB63 (6019) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - AUG 3, 2012
Botlle (thanks Joe Popeck) and served in nonik pint glass: Pours basically opaque with a creamy beige head and very nice lace. The first thing that jumps out at you about the nose of the brew is the heavy influence of fig and bready dark malts... yep it smell much like a fig newton! You can detect the fennel and peppercorns as well surrounded by rich chocolate, ashy and caramelized malts. Leathery, yeasty, and even a tad creme brulee vapours dance about. One thing you can not smell is any hops.

The taste is sweet, syrupy, and loaded with figgy overtones. What others spices are in the brew are masked by the constant bullying of the figs and dark malts. There is a dash of coffee-ish bittering found here and there but basically no accounting for any hop character (I got a feeling it is there but impossible to find). The mouth feel is quite sticky, smooth and warming... very Imperial Stout like on the palate.

Overall it is an interesting beer but methinks I would have liked to seen the fig less pronounced and perhaps the bit more peppercorn (and hop character). The parts are better than the whole... messy.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ngeunit1 (1555) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUN 27, 2012
A - Pours a dark brown-black with a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lacing. S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel and lightly caramelized malts with some brown sugar, dark fruits, black licorice, grapefruit and pine hops, and a bit of coffee and booze. T - Starts off with a mix of caramel malts and caramelized sugars with some brown sugar and black licorice, with a touch of grapefruit and tropical hops. Through the middle, some pine hop flavor with some bitterness comes through with some pepper, nutty, cocoa, and coffee flavors. The finish is a mix of dark fruit sweetness with some brown sugar, caramelized malts, cocoa, and a bit of booze. M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth and slightly thick with a warming and sweet finish. D - Very drinkable. Nice big but balanced dark ale with some interesting spices and other ingredients that add some nice complexity.

4.3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
eringel2 (7) - Champaign, Illinois, USA - JUN 25, 2012 does not count
This beer is as black as it can be. I held it up 2 inched from a light bulb and could only see black. The head on it was perfect for a 12oz beer in a pint glass. This beer is exquisitely smooth with fantastic complexity. There are very definite coffee and chocolate notes but of varying degrees throughout the tasting. Velvet-like mouthfeel. Finishes with a slight dark coffee flavor; which is still very pleasant.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
madmitch76 (14758) - , Essex, ENGLAND - JUN 19, 2012
13th June 2010
Opaque black beer. Thick tan head. Smooth palate, a little soft and a little dry. Smooth dark malt, a little milk chocolate. Very subtle dark orange in the mid. Finishes minerally with prickly peppercorn. All right.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
yngwie (13458) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - MAY 29, 2012
Bottle. A reddish, dark brown beer topped by a creamy, dark beige head. Roasted malts, chocolate and some coffee, and a hint of licorice, guess that’s the fennel seed. Even more pronounced coffee and licorice as it warms. The flavor is pretty much the same, only more pronounced in all aspects. Super smooth, full bodied and with a pleasant warmth. Mostly roasted finish, but there’s some notes of chocolate and licorice. Mmmmm, delicious. 110930

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BrewDad (4922) - Olympia, Washington, USA - APR 24, 2012
Dark brown in color, tan head. Big hops floral and fruity aroma. Nice spices rich malt flavors. Thick flavors well balanced a very good brew.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
gunnfryd (10453) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - MAR 24, 2012
Bottle. Black colour with a tan head. Aroma is coffee, spices, caramel, roasted malt. Flavour is coffee, fruit, alcohol, spices, caramel, roasted malt. Very nice beer.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
ansjelaah (1356) - Westelbeers, NETHERLANDS - MAR 11, 2012
Gedronken in Brussel bij moeder Lambic, zwart dus 3, ruikt naar koffie, drop en caramel (zoet). Typische stout, maar wel met veel smaak.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
drunkenpolack (319) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - FEB 3, 2012
Old Review from 2010 - El Camino pours a lot like a stout. It’s almost pitch black. A two finger tan head pours and leaves a line of lacing around the glass. The issue with this beer for me at least is that nothing really stands out. I had to put my nose into the beer a few times to really pick something up. What I did pick up was roasted malt, slight aroma of coffee and chocolate, and some spice kick. It stated on the bottle that the brew was made with peppercorn and fennel. So that would explain that. The taste is just more of the same. Not bad at all but just not fantastic. Once again nothing really stands out here. Up front the spices come in and are washed away by the roasted malt. I also picked up some dark fruits. Some figs mixed in with licorice. In the end your left with the taste of some alcohol and spice. The mouthfeel is dry, smooth, and medium bodied.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Nik925 (745) - California, USA - NOV 13, 2011
Surprisingly burnt, a bit harsh. The malt dominates, but some spice, oak, cherry come through with a bit of smoke and fig. The fig is noteworthy, the rest of the additions are smashed behind the malt flavor. Dense and a bit thick on the palate. Surprisingly nice carbonation considering the density. Worth a try.


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