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Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Back In BlackBack In Black

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

1,635 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1635
Reviews: 635
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.86%


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: 1,635 | Reviews: 635 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of hogwildhogwild
hogwildhogwild

California

1.33/5  rDev -63.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Got a 6 pack from WholeFoods and I never even finished a can. Tried pouring into a glass, drinking it out of the can, either way it was terrible. Resiny hop bitterness, dingy malt character, and an unpleasent sweetness from underattenuation. All in all this is in my top 5 worst beers in the bay area.

Serving type: can

08-26-2010 19:01:03 | More by hogwildhogwild
Photo of Norica
Norica

Massachusetts

1.35/5  rDev -63.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

So excited to try this beer and out of the gate it looks promising with a opaque black appearance and strong head. Aroma is of vending machine hot chocolate, very faint. From here the beer heads down very fast. Taste of sour milk from a metal canteen and virtually no hopfeel on the tongue. My cheapness prevents the drinkability of this one taking a ride out to the town sewer. Can't get over how bad this one is from a brewery that I've had some luck with. It's a huge step forward that craft beer is turning to cans but it's still what is inside that counts and this one fails miserably.

Serving type: can

02-07-2011 01:41:25 | More by Norica
Photo of HopheadDre
HopheadDre

Massachusetts

1.43/5  rDev -61.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

12 oz can poured into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass.

It looked good out of the can, with a dark, almost black color with hints of red. The smell was not promising, a little bit hoppy with metallic notes. The immediate taste was unpleasant; some astringency as if the husks were still present but everything else was blocked out by the overwhelming metallic taste. The lingering taste was metallic. I let it warm (or air out, "open") but everything was still dominated by metal.

Overall, very disappointing. It was not palatable and I could not finish it, pouring out half.

I enjoy other 21st Amendment beers and canned craft beers in general. I actually had a 12 pack of Dale's Pale in my hand before seeing Back in Black at my local store. I hope this was a problem with a particular can or of bad transit.

Serving type: can

08-16-2010 17:50:06 | More by HopheadDre
Photo of Hotspur2001
Hotspur2001

Pennsylvania

1.6/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

First time I've had this in a can, and it tastes nothing like when I've had this on draft. Sadly, quite the opposite. Looked good when I poured it, smelled okay, but there's some off taste that I can't put my finger on - a chemical. It's not as hoppy as the draft version - I smell or taste almost no hops. I'm wondering if this was packaged in the wrong can.

If I'd reviewed this on draft a few months ago, I'd have given it great reviews - probably an 'A'

Serving type: can

07-05-2011 00:15:01 | More by Hotspur2001
Photo of busterthecat
busterthecat

Massachusetts

1.65/5  rDev -55.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from can into pint glass. 0222 0225 stamped on bottom.

A- Pours a nice brown that sits pretty dark in glass. A nice rocky khaki head forms. decent lacing.

S- A light smooth roasted cocoa aroma, hops seem to be absent.

T- A bold metallic tang that lingers. A slight roasted malt but very weak. Hops are absent. I'm really confused. It is not simply my perception of the alum can. Taste is like chewing on a paper clip.

M- Thin, watery. The after taste that lingers is bad. No real body.

O- Completely surprised in a bad way. It actually got worse as it warmed. A def drain pour. I had really hoped for at least good, but this was unbearable. More like old radiator water then beer. Maybe this had gone bad some how. I would like to give it another try on tap though.

Serving type: can

04-05-2011 22:40:32 | More by busterthecat
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

1.83/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I really cannot see how this beer has a B+

Poured into pint glass.

Pours 1/2 finger of light tan head. color is a dark copper brown with high clarity for how dark it is. Decent retention with some lace.

Aroma: Pepperonis and crushed black pepper. This beer actually smells like pizza. Roasted malts. Where are the hops?

Taste: Tons of pepper flavors. Grassy hops show with some bitterness. Roasted/smokey malts. This beer just doesn't work.

Mouthfeel: Spiced and roasted with a slight bitterness to it. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry and grassy.

Overall, not a very good beer, at all. It is actually quite terrible. Doesn't taste anything like a bipa. Hardy any fresh hops. Pretty much a drainpour.

Serving type: can

09-06-2010 14:17:02 | More by mothman
Photo of feylure
feylure

Massachusetts

1.98/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Oh wow. This one didn't hit me quite so well.

Appearance is great. It pours such a dark brown that it becomes almost pitch black in the glass, and it has a nice amount of carbonation.

Smell is odd. I can sense a light bit of hops, but for the most part it's over-taken by a puckering-bitter smell.

At first taste, it's pretty good with dark notes and malts, then something happens that I don't enjoy. Like the smell, a wave of sweet-bitterness that makes me pucker hits. The tail is very dry and leaves that bitter taste lingering.

Personally I don't find the puckering taste that enjoyable, so I can't say I find this beer all that drinkable. All said and done, I have to give it a try!

Cheers

Serving type: can

01-29-2011 17:27:29 | More by feylure
Photo of jealousmonk
jealousmonk

California

2/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a can into a pint glass.

A -- Looks fairly typical for a black IPA. Maybe a bit on the dark and syrupy side, but that might be bias from drinking it.

S -- Smells malty and sweet, without a lot of hop odor.

T -- Taste is similar. Too thick and sweet, not enough happiness.

M -- Not good. Thick, cloying, not enough carbonation (maybe not canned well). Does not drink like a black IPA.

This is definitely my least favorite black IPA so far. From some of the other comments, it seems like maybe the can is the problem. Unfortunately, this beer is sold in a can, so that's how I drank it. I've had plenty of good canned beers, so if that's the problem, I suppose the canning of this beer was just not handled properly.

Serving type: can

08-08-2011 01:39:43 | More by jealousmonk
Photo of jtierney89
jtierney89

New Jersey

2/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a very very deep mahogany with a huge off white head. Best smelling can beer I've had so far. Head is thick and sticky as well, looks nice.

Nose is big on charcoal coffee and burnt dark malts. Very stick lacing. Charcoal and burnt roasted caramel on the front end of flavor. Really no mid range with a bitter black chocolate finish supplemented by a slight hop addition. Light to medium in body with a slightly dirty finish of confused flavors (malts trying to balance the hops and vice versa)

Mostly a malty beer though with good carbonation. Not as smooth as others I've had though. Flavors are unbalanced and simple.

Still questing for a craft beer in a can that I like.

Serving type: can

12-07-2011 03:48:22 | More by jtierney89
Photo of Matthewislee
Matthewislee

Virginia

2.08/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I'm amazed by the positive reviews of this beer. Was my first Black IPA and probably my last.

A few other beer friends and I poured it into a pint glass and watched the head dwindle quickly into a somewhat thin bodied beer with lots of little carb.

On the nose it was sweet and somewhat hoppy.

The flavor killed it for me. I've never tasted such an improperly balanced beer in my life and those with me agreed, that while the flavor itself may have been good there was no balance. It was metallic and brittle in mouthfeel.

This was a drainpour after it got passed around 4 people.

Serving type: can

06-30-2011 04:37:30 | More by Matthewislee
Photo of atomicbeer
atomicbeer

New Mexico

2.15/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours cola brown (without the carbonation) with a big taupe head that diminishes in a few minutes. Aroma is of grapefruit plus floral plus a bit of a sharp metallic tang. Tastes a nice dark roast malt and chocolate up front fading to grapefruit then burnt grapefruit rind. Combined taste is a bit nasty for me. One is plenty. Not something to impress friends with.

Serving type: can

02-20-2011 23:08:08 | More by atomicbeer
Photo of TheEarl
TheEarl

Washington

2.25/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had Back in Black poured from a can into a standard pint glass on the evening of May 23, 2012.

Appearance: As the name suggests, Back in Black is…black. Beyond the color, there is a quickly dissipating off-white head with medium bubbles and some decent lacing.

Smell: Back in Black’s aroma is as roasty and bready as the dark color suggests but I found the hop notes seem a bit inorganic—less like a pine trees and tropical fruit and more like pine air freshener and Capri Sun.

Taste: The taste is dry with roasted malt as the overwhelming flavor.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel with Black IPAs or, as we like to call them in Seattle, CDAs, is always a bit jarring. Simply put, the appearance primes you for a more substantial texture than these beers tend to offer and Back in Black is no exception. The mouthfeel is pretty thin, which is fine, but, I also found the beer lacked in terms of slickness or viscosity—it just felt rough.

Overall: I didn’t like Back in Black and I wouldn’t buy it again. BIPA/CDAs seem like a very “hit or miss” style and, for me, HUB’s Secession or Firestone Walker’s Wookey Jack are significantly better ales.

Serving type: can

05-24-2012 20:07:43 | More by TheEarl
Photo of Kyrgyzbrewer
Kyrgyzbrewer

Massachusetts

2.28/5  rDev -38%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

C- Dark Brown almost black

A- Very hop forward

Taste – Surprising malt start to the taste that ends with a strong hop finish. There are some strong roasted notes.

Overall – My first sip made me think cough medicine. The more I drank, the better it gets. The odd thing is that it seems like I get different flavors with each sip. One sip will be overwhelming, and then the next will be relatively soft. Black IPAs are the new vogue beer style, and that is certainly a good thing. The problem for this beer is that there are so many brewers doing it well it is overshadowed by better competitors despite throwing a ton of flavor.

Serving type: can

02-26-2012 01:48:53 | More by Kyrgyzbrewer
Photo of dvb
dvb

Washington

2.35/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Black, as the name implies. Pours like a porter, with a tan head to match. Lots of lacing. Great appearance in general.

S - The hops are a little off on this, but maybe that is because of the dark malts. Some floral/fruit character here would not go amiss.

T - There really isn't much here but burnt toast and bitterness.

M - Some imperial stout-like stickiness on the lips. This is good. However, there is some astringency here that I just don't care for.

D - I wouldn't buy it again. On the other hand, if it was present in someone's fridge and the only other offering was Fizzy Yellow, I would choose Black.

Serving type: can

11-06-2010 20:26:03 | More by dvb
Photo of portia99
portia99

Massachusetts

2.48/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz can poured into a Shipyard imperial pint glass.

A - Pours an almost dead black that lets thru practically no light...no sign of haze, but too dark to be totally sure. A finger + of creamy tan, fluffy foam sits on top of the beer for a brief minute before falling to the surface leaving a rocky, uneven layer and collar and a bunch of lace on the glass.

S - Bitter, burnt black malt, a touch of buttery diacetyl, dill pickles?, a bit metallic, black pepper. Green hops, somewhat vegetable like - green peas, green beans. Umm, very weird.

T - Bitter dark malts, metallic, fresh green, grassy hops. Middle of the road hop bitterness. The green/vegetable like qualities of the aroma carry thru here...this really isn't hitting me. Very unusual and not in a good way.

M - Somewhat thin, as I have come to expect from black IPA's, although tending more towards medium bodied than most. Medium carbonation that is prickly on the tongue. I just can't get past the green, leafy, vegetable like character here.

D - Definitely not one of my favorite beers out there...and I am generall a big fan of 21st Ammendment stuff. This has a funny aroma/flavor that disagreed with me from the start...glad I only bought a single instead of the 4pk(6pk?)...based on others reviews, maybe I got an off can, but I have to say I'm just not getting what others are saying about this one.

Serving type: can

08-04-2010 00:15:41 | More by portia99
Photo of Brew33
Brew33

Ohio

2.5/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Picked up a 6 pack at Jungle Jim's.

The pour is promising. 2 fingers of white head atop a Porter-esque body. The smell is more Pale Ale than anything. Not too hoppy. Very little dark malt. The taste was not very good. STRONG metallic taste right up front. IDK if it was the can or something in the beer but tons of metallic flavors, not something I've encountered with other canned craft beer. Watered down. Lacking in flavor. Dull, boring. The mouthfeel was thin and the drinkability was okay although I didn't really like the beer.

I'd like to see some more reviews to see if anyone else gets the metallic flavors.

Serving type: can

08-09-2010 12:23:31 | More by Brew33
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

2.55/5  rDev -30.7%
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.

Serving type: can

10-01-2010 21:32:52 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of kevinv
kevinv

Texas

2.55/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the can into a pint glass.

A: Opaque dark brown. Ruby hues when held to the light. Large retaining tan head. Prolonged lacing throughout.

S: Light piney hops. Sweet malts.

T: Sweet and roasted malts. Light hop presence. Slight bitterness and an off-taste that I can't put my finger on in the finish. It kind of tastes like...soap? The 'roasty-ness' is nice. There's a little bit of an unpleasant sweetness that lingers. Other than that, there's not much going on.

M: Light, thin feel. Medium carbonation. It could use a bigger body.

D: Drinkability is alright. The alcohol is hidden well. It's just a little too sweet for me, so I don't think I'd want more than one.

Serving type: can

02-03-2011 02:27:16 | More by kevinv
Photo of mcann2pu
mcann2pu

Delaware

2.58/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: pours a surprisingly dark color, about a finger's worth or so of a fairly thick head, good amount of thick / heavy lacing remained on the glass.

Smell: a little bit of hops, I couldn't smell too much, some malt.

Taste: for an IPA I have to say I was unimpressed by the lack of overall hop taste, there was a good taste of dark malts, but overall it tasted far lighter than expected.

Mouthfeel: seemed a little watery, it was a bit too smooth in my opinion,

Drinkability: it wasn't my favorite but if you like lighter beers maybe it's for you.

Serving type: can

07-29-2010 15:05:47 | More by mcann2pu
Photo of Guden
Guden

Maryland

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.

Serving type: can

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

New York

2.63/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Sometimes this is what happens when other people bring over. This should be better, though. Dark brown with rubies..Roast and sweet malt battle with grassy, floral hops. Fairly nice smell, though the taste is where it loses me.
Not bad, just doesn't seem like quite the right mixture of hops and malt. Too much roast/coffee? Perhaps just the wrong kettle hops? It's difficult to say what is off, but with this style, it just is a little hit and miss, and this one misses for me right now. Little metallic..
Hopefully the new brewer can put his stamp on this one. Or maybe this is his..

Serving type: can

10-12-2010 06:17:18 | More by dragonWhale
Photo of robwestcott
robwestcott

Indiana

2.65/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

poured from the can to a sun king shaped pint glass a dark cola color with a full finger loose bubbly mocha head leaving lace up the side of the glass.

strong aroma of floral hops and sweet candy.

sweet, tart and tangy, a very strange tasting brew. pungent floral, not at all agreeable.

thin, highly carbonated.

drinkable ?

Serving type: can

10-06-2010 01:18:57 | More by robwestcott
Photo of isualum12
isualum12

Idaho

2.65/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: darker brown...not totally black, or
Brown heavy head on this beer.
Smell: Hops have a pine earthy smell to them, The roasting of the barley was strong and shows in the smell....You can smell the hops but not identifiable on the smell

Taste: I expected IPA and I was not exactly rewarded with that. But it was not chew through the beer either like you still expect with the look. It is an ok IPA but nothing I would strive to get.
Mouthfeel: Light-medium body
Overall: I drank this beer at boise beer festival and it didn't live up to the other black ipa's there.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2011 19:56:39 | More by isualum12
Photo of silentjay
silentjay

Massachusetts

2.68/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours an opaque black with a khaki-colored head that dissipates quickly but leaves a thick film on the glass.

aroma is faint and almost non-existent, but what is there is metallic and sweet with some citrusy hops and a bit of roasty malt.

taste has a bit of roast an some cocoa, as well as some citrusy hops, but something is off about this can so far and I cannot quite pin it down. I just cannot get past the off-flavor. The malt profile reminds me of a brown ale with a bit of stout mixed in and an herbal, minty hop presence. maybe it is this peppermint I get from the hops that isn't quite meshing with the rest of the beer.

light-medium bodied with enough prickly carbonation and just a little oily resin.

eh. the off-flavor in this one ruins its drinkability for me. I bought the six pack, but I wish I had tried a single first. I probably wouldn't have purchased it again. I hope it grows on me. It's not terrible, but not pleasing either.

Serving type: can

07-22-2010 05:31:22 | More by silentjay
Photo of Murrhey
Murrhey

Montana

2.68/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A- Thin khaki head with minimal retention. Spotty lacing. Mahogany color with no clarity.

S- Hoppy but with malty sweetness, seems like a porter. Interesting.

T- Strange chocolate flavors. Roasted malts, bitter hops and a kind of milkiness.

M- Creamy and dry. Unique to black IPAs I've tasted.

O- I like this beer less and less the more I have it.

Serving type: can

08-26-2012 19:33:58 | More by Murrhey
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Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,635 ratings.