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Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

2,096 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,096
Reviews: 673
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 50
Gots: 234 | 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:
Beer added by: tpd975 on 11-23-2008

ABV varies around 7%.
65 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,096 | Reviews: 673
Reviews by jda007:
More User Reviews:
Photo of cynicgiraffe
4.07/5  rDev +10.3%
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
3.06/5  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 BeerAdvocate
3.1/5  rDev -16%
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 TheAdamConners
5/5  rDev +35.5%

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 SunDevilBeer
3.37/5  rDev -8.7%
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 Fcip78
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

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 Guden
2.61/5  rDev -29.3%
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
3.66/5  rDev -0.8%
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 merlin48
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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 -3%
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.

Photo of tigg924
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1 inch head, dark brown in color, clear

Smell: toasted malt and chocolate

Taste: burnt malt, chocolate, nut, and citrus hops

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, light body, sweet with a bitter backbone.

Drinkability: Delicious. One of my favorites from the brewery. There is a nice mix of malts and hops in this one. I am glad I picked up a six.

Photo of Mora2000
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to bman1113vr for sending me this beer.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is roasted malt and chocolate, with quite a bit of pine from the hops.

The flavor is bitter pine with some lightly roasted malt. I also get a touch of chocolate and maybe some coffee, but it is fairly faint. Low bitterness and the beer is very dry.

Thin, watery mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of frenchblood21
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Light black with a tan head that quickly fades away.

Smell- Chocolate, orange zest and pine (in a good way)

Taste- Its absolutely an IPA, but Back in Black kicks it up a notch with the chocolate notes. I know its hoppy, but my brain says coffee stout too...I'm pleasantly confused.

Mouthfeel- A bit thin. I know IPAs aren't known for their ability to coat your mouth, but this one is especially thin.

Overall- Bottom line, this beer will not change your life, but for the price tag, you'd be an idiot not to grab a six.

Photo of bsp77
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass.

Appearance: Very dark reddish-brown with thick tan head and great lacing.

Smell: Orange & grapefruit citrus hops, with light toasted, caramel and roasted malts. Smells much more sugary and bitter than anything.

Taste: Citrus and pine-like hops take center stage. The malts are relegated to the background, reminiscent of coffee, caramel and biscuit. Ends very bitter.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body that is somewhat smooth, extremely dry finish.

Drinkability: If I was blindfolded, I might just think this was a standard IPA, and might fool myself into thinking the light coffee and roasted profile wasn't really there. A pretty good beer overall, but too bitter considering the lack of roasted flavor. Even the actual hop flavor seems secondary to the bitterness.

Photo of NilocRellim
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer was poured from the can and into a pint glass. Very dark, almost black, in colour. Beer had a roasted, sweet malt nose which carried through into the flavour of the beer; tasting of dark roasted malts. No distinctive aftertastes or flavours.

Would I buy this beer again? Maybe.

Photo of kingcrowing
2.63/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz can poured into a Duvel snifter.

Pours a pitch black silky smooth color with a nice solid one finger deep brown head with lots of cratering and sticky lacing. Nose is very sweet, malty and it almost smells a bit like Belgian yeast, interesting. There are some hops but it's not over the top.

Wow, taste is something different, I'm not sure if I like it. It's a bit metallic (I don't attribute that to the can), and has a somewhat sharp tang. It's fairly acidic and harsh, a bit grainy as well. There are some hops because I do get bitterness on this but it seems more like bitterness from roasted malt. Mouthfeel is fairly watery, with very light but sharp carbonation. It's not so easy drinking and it leaves a bit of an off flavor in your mouth. Honestly I'm a bit disappointed in this.

Photo of jondeelee
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Back in Black comes straight out of the can smelling mainly like an IPA, heavy on the grapefruit and pine notes, the emphasis being primarily on a more sugary version of the grapefruit notes. Hints of lemon and lime add extra citrus zest to the nose. All this lies atop a darker bed than is normally found in an IPA (this is a Black IPA, after all), which brings black malt, ash, and tobacco to the mix, albeit in far lesser proportions, compared to the hops.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a good shock of hops, here the flavors moving more toward grapefruit zest and pine than the sugary notes found in the nose. Again, lemon zest brings a heavier citrus burst. The beer isn't particularly bitter--only 65 IBUs--but the hops bring good flavor. The "black" part of the IPA--that is, if the hops were removed or lessened to only showcase the malts--tastes much like a weaker, watery stout geared almost exclusively towards ash, coffee, tobacco, and black malt flavors, though toasted pecans also come into play. Some sugars play in the background, and a few fruit esters (apricot, orange) peek their heads around the corner meekly. Late the in mouthful, especially if the beer is held on the tongue long enough, the ash and tobacco flavors largely take over. The aftertaste is mainly ash and tobacco, with a remaining runnel of grapefruit hops and pecans, and lingers for a while. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is good beer in terms of flavor, the hops and malts each bringing a good series of tastes, and all of which meld together fairly well. At times the ash and tobacco flavors can slightly outshine the rest of the beer, and the medium-light mouthfeel is strange, given the potency of the flavors. Still, this is a far better-than-average Black IPA, and worth trying.

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Nose: grassy, minty hops, some malt sweetness and roast.
Pours pitch black under a finely bubbled, persistent 2.5" foam cap. Lacy.
Starts with a hint of sweetness, mild roast, minty hops, fresh grain and faint fruit in the finish with mild hop bitterness.
Medium body and carbonation. Dries out on the finish.

Photo of MattyG85
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. can into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark brownish black with a hint of ruby red. Lots of bubbles and a big five fingers of light tan foamy head with very good retention. Lots of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Aroma of citrus and piney hops up front with hints of grapefruit, mango, and lots of pine resin. Solid background of dark roasted caramel malts with some toffee, chocolate, coffee, and bready biscuit. Hops stand out the most.

Taste: Big taste of citrus and earthy hops throughout. Notes of grapefruit, mango, and orange with a hefty dose of pine resin. Also some floral hops lingering around. Dark malts are noticeable towards the finish with hints of caramel, toffee, chocolate, and coffee. Doesn't taste quite as dark and roasty as I expected.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Fairly smooth and creamy for a hop forward beer. Finishes dry.

Overall: This is a solid IPA but it could of tasted more black. Dark malts are too subtle and tend to get lost in the hops. Still a good tasting IPA.

Photo of Libationguy
4.31/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with an off-white head. Carbonation is fine and there is a moderate head retention.

Citrus, resin, pine, white flowers, roasted malt, pumpernickel bread and a light coffee note. The aromatics hold a medium intensity and while the hop notes are fresh, they are not overly aggressive.

Really picks up on the palate. Resin, hop bitterness, espresso. Rich, roasted malt flavors.

Nice full mouthfeel, with the hops well balanced but notable.

Bold in style and really well made.

Photo of moundbz
4.06/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

tastes like a decent IPA, not to smokey or black qualities

Photo of Soonami
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The reviews for 21st Amendment Back in Black seem surprisingly low for what I thought of it. The beer is definitely not black, but a very dark brown. There is fantastic lacing and a head that stays almost full for the entire lifespan of this beer. The nose has a distinctly chocolate graham cracker aroma with a touch of resinous and grapefruit hops. The beer is has a definitely dark chocolate and roasted grain taste, which is a bit more than expect for a beer of this style, which tends to be more restrained in its roasted profile. The beer is slightly sweet with a good bitter kick in the finish. The hops are restrained but in balance with this beer. This is definitely a more malt-forward and chocolately black ale, but still delicious. A different interpretation of the style, more like DFH India Brown Ale than Stone SSR.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours as expected, black, consistency a little thin w a beige head. Aroma was burnt malt and big on the bitterness.

Taste comes in a little soapy, after a few sips, it acts as better friends w yr palate, the bitterness melds with the hops, just takes some time to get it all together. Leads to a good mouthfeel, a dank dark resonance on the tongue. This one seems to be a bit of a palate wrecker.

Photo of dwren89
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown with ruby highlights, creamy puffy light tan head

Aroma: roasty but not overly so, very piney, definite bitterness

Taste: roasty and piney, with a smooth but noticeably bitter finish (65 IBUs), a nice balance overall

Mouthfeel: creamy and rich, coats the mouth for a long finish, the creaminess also helps curb some of the bitterness, medium-full body

Overall: Very piney with dark roastiness to balance. A creamy mouthfeel gives this beer a nice texture that helps to curb some of the bitterness. Strong flavor with a long finish that leave you feeling quite satisfied. This beer would be great with smoked pork or beef.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pous like a stout , light cream head that decides to coat the sides of my pint glass with each sip. Aroma had dark roasted malts with herbal hops going on more like a hoppy porter or a stout than other black IPAs I've come across. This is the popular style of the moment everybody is making a dark hoppy beer nice to see some variation, not overly bitter in anyway. Flavor was creamy dark roasts a mix of dark chocolate and light coffee tones with blasts of herbal slightly citric hops, goes together ncely a good balanced blend. Mouthfeel is medium bodied carbonation is smooth and easy going I can't complain it's actally silky texture. Drinkability overall a nice blalanced hoppy dark beer I can't really call it a BIPA compared to other more aggressive versions but it was enjoyable.

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Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 2,096 ratings.