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Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

Educational use only; do not reuse.

684 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 684
Hads: 2,238
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 24.18%
Wants: 55
Gots: 321 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Back In Black Alström Bros
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Reviews: 684 | Hads: 2,238
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.

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Photo of ta_hagen
5/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Always if in liquor store, grab this BIPA. Just wonderful, fruity, caramel, toffee, chocolate, bitter, plenty of carbonation, dark dry finish. Thumbs up.

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Photo of alk3kenny
4.97/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got this in a 6pk of 12oz cans poured into my Sam Adams 20oz glass... Pours a decent 1/2 in head great dark black color... Smell is of bitter hops love it... hop bitterness is present followed by roast dark malt flavor exactly what I'm looking for in this style of beer... leaves just a little bitterness on the tongue aftertaste of hops sticks with you which is a plus in my book... mouthfeel is smooth, easily drinkable goes down again and again... I will buy this beer any time I'm looking for a black IPA

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Photo of beer1018
4.65/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz can poured into a pint glass. Appears black with a nice creamy head that takes forever to go away. It smells good, nothing offensive here. The taste is a nice balance between the hops and roasted malts. Mouthfeel is like a less creamy guiness which feels very nice. The alcohol is hidden well. I could drink a whole 6 pack easy and i rarely drink more then two. This will be a new staple for me and one of the better beers i have had this year.

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Photo of dtreindl
4.63/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Surprisingly creamy smooth mouthfeel on this black IPA. Not too bitter. Nice roasted malt flavor is not overwhelmed by the hops. So well-balanced hops and malt, which I think is essential for a good black IPA. Easy drinking...I could drink several of these, despite the 6.8abv. Black IPAs seem to be trendy now and this example is a good one. I'll be drinking this long after any trend fades as long as 21st A is willing to brew it!

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.61/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque warm sable with a thick, fine-bubbled, light tan head. Strong aroma is fairly hoppy with a firm undertone of citrus, mainly orange and a bit of grapefruit. Strong, hoppy flavor has smoky and nutty undertones and hints of chocolate and licorice. It fairly successfully marries most of the flavors I like in a stout or porter with the hoppy and citrus flavors I appreciate in an IPA. Maybe I should change my favorite sort of beer to black IPA. Texture is fairly smooth and fizzy with a slight tinny undertone.

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Photo of EyeOfBuck
4.59/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- fitting of its name black with an inch half of creamy tan head poured in a frosty mug. Thin covering of head stays to the last drop.
Smell - definitely smell of hops, that did not translate into the taste
Taste- sweetness that is a bit uncharteristic of an IPA with 65 IBUs followed by a slightly bitter aftertaste that is welcome, but does not linger. It comes back to a roasted malt flavor that sticks with you. Alcohol is present, but not overwhelming.
Mouthfeel - carbonation is lasting across the full depth of the tongue. A bit syrupy and fitting for a heavier IPA that makes you want another.

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Photo of vdoz3
4.57/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

+1 for being named after a great song. A 32 oz growler in one night, all drank from a DFH pint glass (http://www.sudsgear.com/ProductImages/dogfish/DOGPT_dogfish-l.jpg)

A - Solid black body showing hints of reddish/brown borders at the edges. Head grows beautifully, before settling down and become sticky lacing trailing behind the level.

S - Hops. Tart, citrusy hops. There was also a slight metallic smell earlier on, but I've never noticed that before when I've had this beer before, willing to bet that was because I left it in the growler too long.

T - Citrus hops dominate, leaving a rich aftertaste, competing with the roasted malt aftertaste that creeps in.

M - Thick coating (willing to bet the roasted malt has something to do with this), and you can feel where the beer is hitting your tongue because the hops work at it instantly.

D - Amazing. I could drink this all night.

Up there with Stone's Sublimely Self Righteous (/11th Anniversary Ale), imho.

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Photo of GalenAnderson
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer on draft at the Armsby Abbey in Worcester MA. It was poured into a standard tumbler pint glass with a one finger head.

The appearance was a deep brown, not quite black and not fully opaque. The hoppy and malty aroma is nice but not as strong as the taste of the beer itself.

The taste of the beer is thankfully its best attribute. It was really wonderful and full of complexity. It is neither particularly hoppy nor bitter, but these flavors are present and balanced. The roasted malt flavors that held hints of chocolate and currents provide most of the taste. The beer is just a little sweet which balances with the bitterness perfectly.

Mouthfeel was nice, lightly carbonated, maybe a little bit lighter than expected.

Very drinkable and also very easy to enjoy with food.

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Monk's Kettle in SF on 5/30/09.

A: Pours a near black color with a light tan head.

S: Citrusy hops with a hint of roasted malt.

T: I love these dark IPA's and this one is no different. A big dose of grapefruit and piney hops overlaid over a nice roasted malt backbone.

M: Medium bodied, average carbonation.

D: An excellent beer. A great IPA kicked up a notch with some light roasted malt.

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Photo of ccrida
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The placard at their brewpub stated "7.2% and 65 IBUS, same hops as 21A IPA but with a touch of dark malt for slight roast.

Served in a shaker pint, Back in Black is a dark brown with a tight khaki head that leaves pretty heavy lace.

Smell is a massive blast of American hops, huge cedar notes, minty as well, even a hint of watermelon.

Taste is also bright hops, a bit more resinous then the nose, really nice interplay of the roasted malt. This is the best Black IPA I've had, I really prefer the resin vs. grapefruit hop flavor with the roasted malts, which aren't too overwhelming anyways, just really a nice touch of depth.

Mouthfeel is slick, medium bodied, nice carbonation.

Drinkability is high, this is damn tasty. Really easy to loose the roast in the pungency of the hops, but it's there no doubt, and isn't overly chocolatey or sweet like of the other black IPAs I've had. Wow, super impressed with 21A, each beer is better then the next.

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Photo of Thiestru
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-oz. can into my Terrapin pint glass.

Appearance: A dark, transparent, porter-like color. I poured this too hard, which resulted in a billowy two-finger, creamy head.

Smell: The style is evident in the smell, as both the malt and hop scents are very strong.

Taste: Surprisingly refreshing! This is not very bitter, but the hops are there; the real star is the sweet, pleasant maltiness. It's a little chocolatey, very like a porter.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. I don't normally pay much attention to this aspect of beer, but here it stands out.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink. This is the kind of beer I find myself gulping, however I try not to. This is the first beer I've had from 21st Amendment, and I'm impressed. Check it out.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.46/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: As it pours into the glass it's a brown color. However it sits in the glass opaque black with only brown highlights. A billowing and rocky head, light khaki color, sits on top that last forever leaving an amazing amount of lace.

S: A strong floral and citrus hop aroma balanced with sweet roasted malts. Very earthy smell.

T: A crisp flavor of floral hops with a citrus bitterness. Light chocolate malts are evident with hints of espresso.

M: A medium body beer with light carbonation. Creamy texture, yet dry finish.

D: Love this beer. Easy to drink, good price, great taste... all around- a must try.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains floral hops, coffee, dark roasted malts and some citrus.

T: The taste starts with a strong but not over-powering burst of hops bitterness that is quickly followed by flavors of black coffee and a little bit of citrus fruit. The roasted malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice beer worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of Hardsell
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first and only other black IPA I've had so far has been the Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous IPA, which is easily one of the most fascinating beers I've tried. Back in Black's somewhat simplified flavor has both advantages and disadvantages, mostly directly related to this simplification on both accounts. The most notable difference is just how much the stout-esque quality shines through in this beer. It creates an aftertaste that is almost akin to a cola, and it makes this beer somewhat less profound but definitely more sessionable. Not a beer I could get lost in, but I could certainly have a few and not get sick of it.

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Photo of godlessape
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Looks like a stout until you hold it up to a bright light and then, if you squint hard enough, employ a little imagination, you'll see just a slight hint of ruby highlights. It also has a great creamy tan head to it that lasts throughout.

Smell: It has that sharp IPA grape-fruity nose that I expect from this style, and the earthy dark malt and coffee aroma doesn't even try to hide itself.

Taste: Tastes somewhere in between a stout and a Scotch Ale--and that's a great place to be. This has a perfect balance to it that can't be ignored.

Mouth feel: Perfect carbonation. A little thinner than I expected body wise, but still good.

Overall: This won't be my last one.

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Photo of spitInTheOcean
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

black. opaque and black. dark tan head.

smell is overwhelmingly hops. if im not mistaken there is a slight aroma of roasted barley. but lots of hops, mostly floral aromas. i would guess cascade and centennial.

slightly sweet taste, then huge hop flavor, and aggressive hop bitterness. sort of a piney hoppiness. the hop bitterness lingers, and as it does the roasted malts seem to become apparent slightly.

big mouthfeel, and the carbonation is pretty soft.

its a pretty hoppy beer. guessing blind it seems like about 80 IBUs, the the alcohol is not really apparent at all, you just kind of know that a beer the big has to have a high ABV.

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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.

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Photo of cbak999
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a dark brown, almost black, but with a light, almost white head. Awesome lacing on the glass...this beer sticks to the inside of the glass.

S - caramel, chocolate, burnt brown sugar.

T - this drinks like a roasty porter. A bit hop forward, with a coffee finish that lingers. Finishes with a butter, creamy taste - dare I say butterscotch?

D - For almost 7% and dark, this beer drinks extremely well. It goes down easy due to the coffee/buttery finish. I like.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz can purchased as part of a 6-pack from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1 1/2" tan head above the slightly cloudy reddish brown brew. Dense head lasts nicely, with sporadic chunky lacing. Aroma is grapefruity hops. Taste is sweet through to the middle, then citrus and grapefruit hops come on, lasting through the close. Mouthfeel is uber-smooth, and drinkability is superb. Another great beer to get for when cans are better than glass, or anytime.

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Photo of TheBeerSipper
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The days of frowning at canned beers are over my friends. This one proves that true with its fresh unique aroma and taste.

Appearance - Pours nicely leaving a thick, tan, foamy head. Being a black IPA, it doesn't have the usual look. This brew resembles that of a porter.

Smell - Flavorful smell of refreshing hops rush from the glass, inviting you to sip.

Taste - The best part. This beer mixes the taste of a great IPA and a dark toasted porter. This beer is best to sip slowly and savor, though its wonderful flavor make that a tough task.

I encourage all beer lovers to sample this delicious beer

Until Next Time

The Beer Sipper

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Photo of 9InchNails
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tan head, crimson red on the edges and dark in the center. Nice looking beer.

Wow, what a interesting pleasant smell! Roasted and sweet malt mixing with some piney hops.

Dark fruits, sweet fruits, some citrus, caramel, pine, chocolate, sweet and bitter, toasted and roasted flavors. There is so much going in here that there is this taste I can't put my finger on but it's awesome.

Medium body, medium carbonation, incredibly smooth, feels really nice.

One of the tastiest brews I've had in a while. Smooth, tasty, unique, bitter, sweet. I think I might have found a staple in my beer rotation. Why just the B Rating? I don't know. Maybe I'm bias because I love dark beers and IPA's. Give it a shot despite the B rating, really worth it.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Slight roasty notes up front with piney, sticky resiny hop aromas that dominate. Clean American yeast character.

Appearance: Clear chocolate brown pour with leather edges. Tan sticky head that retains well.

Flavor: Lots of earthy, piney hop character. Balance is firmly bitter. Background roasty notes but just hints. All dominated by the American hops. Finish is clean, roasty, and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. Slight hop and grain derived astringency.

Overall impression: An easy drinking American Ale. Love this interpretation. Very glad we can get 21A in Central OH now.

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Photo of ABeezy
4.41/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this once before at the bar. Saw the can and had to have it but drank straight from the can so I have been itching to pour into a glass and see what this is all about. Bought a six at Giant Eagle.

Poured into a vintage thick glass Michelob goblet that I just rescued from the thrift store. All my pint glasses are dirty but this works.

Appearance - I love it, it looks like a stout, my favorite style. Creamy light tan head. Reduces to a ring and a light film of bubbles on top. Pretty nice lacing, thick right towards the top of the glass. Looks pretty black but it's dark in the house. Held towards the lights you can see some brown highlights.

Smell - I have to be honest with you I have a bit of a head cold right now, maybe shoudn't be reviewing but oh well. Smell I get vanilla? Like a boozey vanilla, I didn't really expect that.

Taste - I get big vanilla, again I really didn't expect that. It's malty and sweet. This really doesn't taste that hoppy to me. I had a Java Head Stout last week and that was more hoppy than this imo. I really like this flavor though. I hope it doesn't change drastically when my cold goes away. I get the hops more when I am belching lol. It's there but it's more balanced than I was thinking it would be. Just a tiny bit of citrus there.

Moutfeel - it's pretty creamy it goes along with the look it's not just an IPA with food coloring this is a dark malty beer.

I would defo do this again. I know I have seen reviews of 21a go one way or the other but I am pretty impressed tbh.

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Photo of garrettparkal
4.39/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big fan of the Back in Black... this is the beer that got me into 21st Amendment. I prefer this Black IPA to both the Sublimely Self-Righteous from Stone and the Imperial Iniquity from Southern Tier. The nose on the Back in Black is superb , hops hit you quick , and the tast and mouthfeel are malty and full of smoke. Great can as well.

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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 684 ratings.