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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.

1,837 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,837
Reviews: 648
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.59%
Wants: 41
Gots: 127 | 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: 1,837 | Reviews: 648 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by zoso1967:
Photo of zoso1967


4.1/5  rDev +11.4%

As one might expect, Back in Black pours a slightly transparent black. When I say slightly transparent, I pretty much mean only when held up to a bright light source does it show some clean motor oil like hues around the edges. The head is a surprisingly dark tan color, creamy, and stubborn in its staying power. It leaves some pretty serious lace on the sides of my glass. This is a beautiful looking beer.

It has a pretty powerful aroma full of slightly charred roasty malts and juicy citrus hops. There is also a fair amount of chocolate, and some pleasant bready malt sweetness. Everything is well integrated, and if you smell it without concentrating hard it adds up to just one singular and tasty aroma.

The flavor strikes me as much more complex. Right off the bat it is slightly smoky and leathery. Astringent charred malt comes in next, with roasty coffee and some bitter cocoa also making an appearance. Grapfruity citrus and pine are also there. If I was to describe the hop flavor in a picture I would draw a nice juicy ruby red grapefruit hanging from a pine branch. There is also a nice biscuity malt sweetness that combats most of the bitterness of this brew.

The mouthfeel is on the fuller side of medium. This is a smooth drinking beer that has a well crafted finish. This beer is neither too dry nor sweet and the slightly sticky aftertaste is chameleon like in its nature, vacillating between roasty, malty and hoppy.

This beer is fairly drinkable, but is one of those beers that I drink slowly just to appreciate all that is going on. The India black ale is still a young style, and the different interpretations I have had are all quite different, but one thing is for sure, this is one of the better examples I have tried thus far.

10-07-2010 22:27:31 | More by zoso1967
More User Reviews:
Photo of aszatk01


3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

06-22-2012 02:17:31 | More by aszatk01
Photo of Turbo


3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

07-13-2014 23:57:54 | More by Turbo
Photo of cynicgiraffe

District of Columbia

4.13/5  rDev +12.2%

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.

11-16-2009 02:25:46 | More by cynicgiraffe
Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy


3.05/5  rDev -17.1%

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.

12-04-2011 01:15:11 | More by ArrogantDeadGuy
Photo of GameOfBeers


3.36/5  rDev -8.7%

08-18-2014 17:48:43 | More by GameOfBeers
Photo of BeerAdvocate


3.1/5  rDev -15.8%

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.

01-11-2011 03:38:07 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of EastBay_Nick


3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

07-13-2013 22:12:28 | More by EastBay_Nick
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.

08-15-2014 01:51:56 | More by TheAdamConners
Photo of kuishinbo_tantei

New York

3/5  rDev -18.5%

07-07-2014 00:02:43 | More by kuishinbo_tantei
Photo of dobmaster

Quebec (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +22.3%

11-15-2013 17:17:36 | More by dobmaster
Photo of DaftPatrick


3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

05-11-2014 05:46:10 | More by DaftPatrick
Photo of heddar33


2.25/5  rDev -38.9%

09-09-2012 04:20:21 | More by heddar33
Photo of SunDevilBeer


3.38/5  rDev -8.2%

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.

10-15-2011 15:46:43 | More by SunDevilBeer
Photo of nstroup


3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

08-02-2013 02:20:29 | More by nstroup
Photo of bellce0


4/5  rDev +8.7%

11-19-2011 00:58:25 | More by bellce0
Photo of Fcip78


4/5  rDev +8.7%

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.

03-07-2012 03:27:20 | More by Fcip78
Photo of Doomcifer

Rhode Island

3/5  rDev -18.5%

08-01-2014 14:58:26 | More by Doomcifer
Photo of Guden


2.58/5  rDev -29.9%

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.

01-31-2012 01:24:46 | More by Guden
Photo of mikechance


3.7/5  rDev +0.5%

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.

05-07-2011 14:44:01 | More by mikechance
Photo of iemailjack


4/5  rDev +8.7%

01-09-2013 19:13:40 | More by iemailjack
Photo of JakerLou

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

07-28-2013 11:21:29 | More by JakerLou
Photo of Beerswag


3/5  rDev -18.5%

02-25-2014 03:18:51 | More by Beerswag
Photo of merlin48


4/5  rDev +8.7%

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.

12-12-2010 16:07:12 | More by merlin48
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.58/5  rDev -2.7%

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.

08-24-2010 03:47:04 | More by Billolick
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Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,837 ratings.