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Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

1,994 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,994
Reviews: 658
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.59%
Wants: 45
Gots: 161 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
ABV varies around 7%.
65 IBU

(Beer added by: tpd975 on 11-23-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,994 | Reviews: 658 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by brewdoc75:
Photo of brewdoc75
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I gotta say, I haven't been a huge fan of the whole Cascadian Dark Ale/Black IPA craze. Nevertheless, I try to have a beer from the style on occasion to see if I change my mind. I heard this was a good one, plus it was on sale at my local liquor store.

A: Like the name would suggest, this beer is black. No Imperial Stout black, but definitely dark. There are some ruby hues throughout. The head is a off-white, bordering on brown color and is very present. Much creamier head than I would expect from an IPA. More like an oatmeal stout. It seems to last a long time and turns into a strong lace.

S: West coast hops here! Lots of grapefruit and pine. Very heavy hop aromas. I do get some chocolate and roastiness in the aroma as well. A little caramel too. Very nice aromas.

T: Again, I am impressed. Loads of hop flavors balanced out by strong maltiness and rich flavors from the debittered roast malts. It has the malty flavor of a good, foriegn export stout, without the strong, coffee-like roast component. Reminds me of a good Schwarzbier with loads of hops. The hops are very heavy on the grapefruit. I do get some nice pine as well. The beer finishes with ample bitterness, but not as much as I find with some other standard IPAs. The malts seem to add some nice chocolate and caramel notes. The yeast is fairly clean, but I do get some slight fruitiness in the end. All of this blends well together to make a tasty brew.

M: Medium bodied. Creamy at first, like an oatmeal stout, but finishes dry and crisp. I understand this is a fairly new style, but from what I've read, this beer fits well. Slight bit of lingering bitterness in the end, but not too much.

D: Overall, this was a great beer. I've been a little down on this style until now. Most of the beers I've had like this seemed like they were just dark IPAs, without much character from the malt. Or they were on the other end of the spectrum with too much roasted malts, making the beer more like a stout than an IPA. This beer had nice balance and great flavors. I hope to have more like this in the future.

More User Reviews:
Photo of aszatk01
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Turbo
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of cynicgiraffe
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my first black IPA for what it's worth. Pours opaque black. Overwhelming grapefruit in the aroma. So much so that I can't get anything else. Thin creamy head, disappears quickly but leaves lots of lacing. Taste: lots of grapefruit but some pine. Thick mouthfeel, almost like a Russian imperial. Bizarre (and has some palette dissonance) to have this palette with the hop profile. Back end has a peculiar combo of hop bitterness and stout bitterness. I love this beer. Well balanced. I would drink this any time. Awesome.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Jet black pour into a Brooklyn Pils glass with a slight fizzy cap that quickly deteriorates. Sweet malt aroma, a surprise after having read the label "Black IPA". Bitter first sip. Not citrusy, not piney, more astringent than anything else. I cannot get a bead on any hop character, just a bitter flavor. The bitterness dissipates and gets overwhelmed by candy sweetness, which is just inconsistent with the style attempt. The fizzy thin mouth feel finishes a pretty unpleasant drinking experience. Good thing that I bought the can as a single. Don't think I'll be going back for this one. I have not had great experience with 21st Amend. but I really enjoyed their Fire Side Chat and Monks Blood. Those two successes will keep me trying their new projects in the future; this effort was simply not their finest effort.

Photo of GameOfBeers
3.36/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #43 (Aug 2010):

You know a beer style has made it when it has been canned. This beer has excellent lacing but is not as black as expected. It has a sweet, hoppy resin and malt sweetness in the nose. It's very smooth, with a faint roasted maltiness and some char when the beer lingers on the palate. The hops are doing their job, but the malt just lets go. This brew has a semidry finish with some faint roast and hop bitterness flavors to deal with. It seems a bit confused. Perhaps the contract brewer lost touch with the end goal here? It's decent at best, though a good pick if cans are your only option.

Photo of EastBay_Nick
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of TheAdamConners
5/5  rDev +35.9%

I always liked black IPA's, and this one solidified that. Just a great brew. Straight outta the can is quite nice. Good amount of hop flavor (65ibus) but great balance. This is one of the most drinkable black IPA's you'll find. Sits light on the stomach, and goes great with chicken and spicy peppers.

Photo of kuishinbo_tantei
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of dobmaster
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%

Photo of DaftPatrick
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of heddar33
2.25/5  rDev -38.9%

Photo of SunDevilBeer
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Seen this alot at ;my local, finally decided to pick up a 6-er @ $10.99.

Not as dark as I expected it to look.

Smells more like a porter to the nose. Upon 1st sip...yup, this is a porter, not really an IPA. A hoppy porter at that, tho.

A bit of smokey bitterness that lingers after the sip. At 6.8%, a bit more boozy (& boozy tasting) than expected too.

A disappointment if you expecting a dark IPA, but not bad if you think of it as a hoppy porter.

Photo of nstroup
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of bellce0
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Fcip78
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

The Alstrom Brothers state that "You know a beer style has made it when it has been canned." I could not agree more, however don't think that it is a knock. The fact that we can get a quality Black IPA canned is a greajt thing. Back in Black pours opaque and has light malt notes in the nose. Plenty of nice hop flavor throughout each sip. It's very smooth and a dry finish. It is a decent quality canned option.

Photo of Doomcifer
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of Guden
2.58/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A- A deep brown though definitely far from black. A one finger head of small white bubbles falls slowly leaving no lacing. This one is also clearly not filtered and contains lots of brown and white yeast that I wasn't expecting in a canned beer.

S- American hops (cascade) are up front in the nose with a little bubblegum and pine and a touch of caramel rounding out the heavy citrus. Would like more "dark beer" traits but smells like an IPA.

T- Flavor is sweet with the caramel and some bubblegum standing over a refrained hop character. Finishes with a rush of moderate bitterness. As an IPA it fails with little hop flavor, as an american brown it's just ok.

M- Moderate in body and fairly low in carbonation, it's not hard to drink but is not nearly as dry as an IPA and without any roastiness there isn't much of an excuse.

D- In almost all respects this one just feels like a lazy attempt at an over hopped brown. By no stretch of the imagination would I call this a black IPA as it isn't black, it isn't dry and there's practically no hop flavor. The thick layer of yeast sediment was also offputting in the glass and really uncalled for in a can. It was hard for me to give this brewery another try with how much I hated the watermelon wheat, now I know to stay away for good.

Photo of mikechance
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark color with the right amount of foamy head. I could smell the delicious malts, but no citrus or hops (or any other IPA characteristics). It has a nice roasty, bitter taste --- heavy malts, chocolate, and caramel flavors, but I couldn't pick up much hops. It’s creamy and goes down nice and easy. This beer has plenty of body and depth and is closer to a porter than a schwarzbier to me.

I enjoyed the beer and will have it again (hopefully on tap). I just didn’t think it had enough characteristics to be called a Black IPA. It’s more of a creamy porter to me.

Photo of iemailjack
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of JakerLou
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Beerswag
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can pours a dark mahogany body that has some nice clarity when held to light. Large creamy tan head retains well and leaves patches and a collar of lacing.

Aroma is pine hops, milk chocolate, and coffee.

Medium body and carbonation with a soft creaminess.

Taste has solid dark roasty malt notes of bittersweet chocolate and coffee, balanced by a grapefruity and pine resin hop bitterness. Clean finish.

A pleasant surprise. Tasty and highly drinkable.

Photo of Billolick
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mini growler pour from the good folks at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. Pours black, medium tan/slate head, frothy and lasting forever at the very thick film stage. Leaves a collar as well and bits of fine lacing. Musty, caramel and winter spice in the nose. Chalky, hoppy, malty. Not much fruit or complexity, mostly I get a quite dry and yes again a chalky note. As it warms, dark malts, and mildly gritty hops come to the fore. Nothing overly impressive going on here. Decent IPA not much beyond that.

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Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 1,994 ratings.