1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,860 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,860
Reviews: 650
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 42
Gots: 133 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Back In Black Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,860 | Reviews: 650 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pwoods
2.85/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. can purchased at The Root Cellar, poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours black with some light around the edges. Moderate head on the pour without much retention but decent lacing.

S: Light American hopping with more of an English side. Nice dehusked black patent aroma.

T/M: Not much bitterness and not a lot of hop flavor. More of the dehusked flavor. Really not a lot going on. Body is medium to medium light with good carbonation.

D: Easy enough drinking but not very interesting.

pwoods, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of CaptainTripps
2.85/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Cheerful Tortoise in portland. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a very dark brown, almost black but not quite. Finger worth of a tan creamy head, fair amount of lacing left on glass.

S- Pretty sweet, light roasted malts are present, hops are plentiful. Citrus and pine play around a little bit with the nose.

T- A fairly sweet IPA. Has that IPA bitterness along with a coffee bitterness which are kind of an odd pairing. Small roastedness to the beer, some what of a smokey flavor.

M- Very thin, dry and crisp finish. Good amount of carbonation.

D- Fairly good drinkable beer, something I could see myself buying a sixer here and there.

Pretty average beer overall. Nothing spectacular but nothing really wrong with it either. Just average.

CaptainTripps, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of Gregorious
2.83/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark as dark can be. But not thick at all, which is kind of weird since dark/opaque tend to follow with a thick mouthfeel. Had some nice lacing around the sides of the glass.

S - Deep dry roasting aromas, hops weren't in my business.

T - This is disappointing. Not only am I not getting the hoppiness I was looking for, but this beer has a very nasty sharp metallic aftertaste. I've heard that the flavor is actually not from the cans that they are stored in, but that the cans are brewed in a different brewery and it's there that that aftertaste is created.

M - Light, watery. Dry at the end.

D - Meh, this beer didn't go over so well.

UPDATE: I had this on tap and is MUCH better. Just stay clear of the cans.

Gregorious, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of caseyscarb
2.83/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Back in Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

I grabbed a growlette of this tonight- being an IPA lover this beer sounded pretty intriguing, it is however my 1st "Black IPA".

In to a pint glass it goes.

It is a dark hazel brown color, though fairly clarified, and a decent amount of carbonation producing slightly more head then I was expecting.

On the nose I initially get a piney hop and semi sweetness followed by a light roasted malt and coffee. As I continue to smell I even get some cocoa nibs.

While I'm pleased with the smell, it does not carry through very well to the taste-
It's a bit watery, and an initial sweetness is then bombarded by carbonation in the mid and finishes very bitter.

There are some really nice nuances in the flavors, but it doesn't tie together well as a whole.

When I envisioned a Black IPA, this is nowhere near what came to mind.

But to be fair, it has a tasty quality to it, but it's definitely nothing too special.

caseyscarb, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of OnThenIn
2.83/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A finger and a half of darker tan head on top of a black body.

S: The aroma has a little bit of pine as well as that of raisins and for some reason reminds of lychee fruit juice. The aroma severely lacks complexity and is really disappointing.

T: Some roasty flavors are upfront, which then mixes with a fruit like flavor and some sweetness. Bitterness then follows and then everything resolves into a mess with a bit of sweetness and bitterness both lingering.

M: The body was thin to medium with decent carbonation, but the body was really thinner than I would have liked.

D: I really didn't love this beer and feel that 21st amendment is slightly more hit or miss on their beers than I would like. I love the can portability and they are covering some cool styles, like with this beer; however, they have a serious execution problem.

OnThenIn, May 07, 2011
Photo of JizackFH
2.83/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - This beer pours a very dark brown color, that glows ruby on the edges when held to the light. It has a big 4-finger light tan head on it. The head has great retention, and leaves a nice layer of lace on the glass.

S - It smells of sweet and roasted malts. There is a bit of piney hop character, but I definitely expected more. Also, I am getting some scents of chocolate and a touch of coffee.

T - The taste starts of with some sweet caramel and roasted malts. There is a piney hop presence throughout the drink, but it is quite subdued. I am also getting some notes of chocolate, coffee, and some citrus. The finish leaves some lingering roasted bitterness behind. I really wish there was more hop presence here.

M - It has a lighter body and decent carbonation. It goes down quite easily, but the flavor is sort of bland for an IPA variation. There is some lingering bitterness in the finish.

O - The drinkability was alright, seeing as how its goes down quite easily. Overall though, this beer just doesn't stand out amongst other beers of this style that I've had so far. I would drink it again, but I wouldn't pay for it.

JizackFH, May 22, 2011
Photo of Gouxman
2.8/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, not quite as dark as I would expect from a "Black IPA" with a tan head

Aroma: A nice malty sweetness balanced by a subtle earthy hop aroma. Was actually expecting more of a hop presence.

Taste: Semi-sweet malt flavor with a rather low hop bitterness. I don't know if the 6pk I bought from Jungle Jim's was a bit out dated, but I do not detect any hop bitterness at all. Instead a slight diacetyl flavor takes me away from this beer. For having 65 IBUs, I don't taste a single BU.

M/D: The mouthfeel and drinkability reflects the flavor. I was expecting much more from this brewery I've heard so much about and a beer with a kick ass name. I hope I either got a bad batch or an old showing because this is one of the least impressive "Black IPAs" I've ever experienced.

Gouxman, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of jujigatame
2.8/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can into a nonic pint.

Pretty black with a little light peeking through at the bottom. Almost 3 fingers worth of light tan head that starts to dissipate after a few minutes and get pillowy. Looks pretty inviting.

Smells more of malt that hops. The hops are there with a fresh presence but it’s rather faint in the overall picture. A little soapy smell here too.

The hops take the same backseat in the taste as they did in the smell. I know that they’re in there but they don’t seem to punch through enough. Perhaps I am expecting too much in this regard. The malt provides a nice backbone. Chocolate flavor comes around but I felt like it was in and out, not consistent.

Good mouthfeel. Smooth with a solid body to it. Drying on the tongue but not too much. Sticky on the lips.

I am somewhat conflicted on this one. The flavor was okay but I expected more. It just didn’t ring out in any way to me. I had no problem drinking it all but when it was over I didn’t have much in the way of strong impressions. What I have to balance that against is the fact that the last black IPA I had was Stone’s 2011 SSR a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed it. I think the fact that SSR really sang made Back in Black’s lack of wow stand out more. I can’t know what my thoughts on Back in Black would be had I not tried SSR beforehand. Since black IPAs are a style where my samples have been pretty limited it’s hard to get around the fact that SSR is a home run and everything else I’ve tried so far just…isn’t. I feel like I should come back to this beer again sometime for another go and see if it strikes me the same way or not.

jujigatame, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of goblue3509
2.8/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a black cola like color with a tan two finger head which gives way to some okay lace. The aroma is of coffee and chocolate with a very faint whiff of hops. The taste is of a coffee and chocolate malt, there is a very slight earthy hop bite which is only at the very end. The mouthfeel is creamy and moderately carbonated. The drinkability is okay the taste and aroma is a little flat and leaves you wanting more flavor.

goblue3509, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of harryhood1
2.8/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was really excited to try this because I'm a fan of 21st's beers for the most part. I have to say that this one was a disappointment for sure.

Aroma was kind of like tobacco and not appealing. Too malty to be a Black IPA and I have no idea where the 65 IBUs are? Nothing IPA about this beer. Mouthfeel to me was undercarbed and slick.

Would not go for this one again. Just not impressed and not what I expected. Had many better examples of this evolving style.

harryhood1, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of philbertk
2.8/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

21st Amendment Brewery BACK in BLACK Black IPA--American IPA Brewed With Rich Dark Malts--2010 12 oz. MicroCan. 6.80% ABV. 65 IBU's. (2.5 / 5.0) Cascadian Dark Ale. Thickish pour. Big dense thick tan head with mild lace. Dark ruby edged black color. Fruity herbal mild floral hop front. Minimal black malt toast notes. Mild sweet toasted dry textured slightly fruity roasted black cherry body. Dry mild hop spice end. Confused Brew!! Hops there but not. Dark malts taste fruity without roastiness. Easy to drink with clean crisp mild citrus hop end. Sampled 2/7/2011. 6-Pack purchased for $9.00 at PCC--Fremont, Seattle on 7/29/2010.

philbertk, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of rlphilli
2.8/5  rDev -24.1%

rlphilli, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of gc4hokies
2.78/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A = pours an "almost" black color. Nice head and lacing.
S = Very malty with a slight dark chocolate and alcohol note
T = Black jelly bean malts is the best I can describe it. I'm not sure where the IPA came from on the can but I wouldn't use IPA in the title. Dark malts, sweet to start, dry finish

Overall, I wouldn't call this a Black IPA at all. The hops are there with some noticeable bitterness, but piney, citrus hop flavor and aromas that are associated with IPAs are nowhere to be found. Not a bad beer, but I wouldn't buy this again.

gc4hokies, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of reitzbrewing
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

reitzbrewing, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of JDeming
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

JDeming, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of chippo33
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

chippo33, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of ejimhof
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

ejimhof, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of smonice
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

smonice, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of sendbeer
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

sendbeer, Oct 22, 2012
Photo of rodemey2
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

rodemey2, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of sbbb
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

sbbb, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of seeswo
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

seeswo, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of Chou
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

Chou, Apr 21, 2012
Photo of TubaDan
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

TubaDan, Feb 11, 2014
Photo of nineworldseries
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

nineworldseries, May 09, 2014
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,860 ratings.