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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: 2,236
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
Reviews: 684 | Hads: 2,236
Photo of goldbot
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

If nothing else the design of the can for this beer is plain awesome.

Pours, well, black, with thick, silky, foamy tan head that sticks around but doesn't lace as well. Resinous hops aroma; earthy pine and floral notes. Some roasted aroma lurks but is well-covered by the hops. The flavor comes on as intensely hoppy quite resinous but lacking in much depth. Some roasted malt adds dark chocolate and coffee notes. Unfortunately, the beer almost completely lacks any body. There seems to not be enough malt there to balance the resinous hops amount.

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Photo of KM_Seahawk
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz can - pours a dark caramel/black color similar to cola, with 2 finger beige head with moderate lacing. The smell is roasted malt with slight coffee notes and faint earthy pine hops. The taste is like the nose, roasted malt upfront with small amount of coffee finished with mild bitter pith and semidry. Definitely hides the 6.8% alc well. Light to medium body and low to medium carbonation. Overall not bad but not mind blowing either. Nice to have if you want something a bit different and I like cans.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this on 2010-10-02 in Columbia, PA. This is my 200th review.

A - Dark brown with a two-finger, tan head

S - Dried plums, mild roasted grain and mild licorice.

T - Not my cup of tea. Initial sour mash followed by sour rotted fruit, metallic, meat, then dried plum sweetness and significant bitterness.

M - Light body and medium carbonation

D - I'll pass on this one.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= The pour is a moderate dark color. Clearly transparant when held to the light and even when not it has some ruby edges on it. The head is a nice perfect two fingers high with thick rocky foam on top of it. The heads color is an off white not quite tan color.

S= Nice piney hop profile to it. Not much in the fruity hop department at all mostly just piney hops. The roasty character comes through a little in the nose but not much. A little bit of sweetness makes itself present.

T= The taste is really intense coffee flavor. More coffee than hops by far. The hops do make themselves present but not nearly as much as the coffee and roast malt. I'm a person who believes there is a difference in the CDA and a hoppy stout. This is just a hoppy stout. It doesn't have the balance it should.

M= This is actaully pretty good. Velvety and creamy.

D= Not a bad beer but I would venture out to say that it doesn't fit the style very well.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Leftover keg from the 21st Ammendment tasting at Sams. Welcome to Durham, 21st Ammendment!

Pours very dark brown, dark brown and mahogany hues are noticeable in light. Eggshell white head of about a half inch.

Smells light and slightly sweet. Hints of bittering hops, and lots of roasted malts. Tastes very sweet, almost adjunct sweet. Feels like BMC's attempt at a Swarzbier. Very light and sweet with hints of roast, hm Guiness Light!

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Photo of cbutova
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Black with a huge tan head that has a nice creamy texture to it. Great head retention and some spotty of lace.

S- Light caramel and roasty malt. Hops lend a bit of fruit and earthy notes. Surprisingly a bit of alcohol too. Not much strength at all.

T- The roast and caramel malt flavors just don't work with the hops here. The hops seem out of place from the malt profile. Hops lend big pine/earthy flavor and some fruit notes. Feels a bit all over the place but still decent.

MF- Fairly thin, even for an IPA. The body doesn't work with the roast flavors very well. Somewhat watery with low-ish carbonation. Fair amount of bitters.

DB- I just don't think there is a good balance between the decent malt and hop profiles. The weak mouthfeel certainly doesn't help either. Seems like the Black IPA is one of the new trends that might not make it very far, just feels a bit... off.

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Photo of ABOWMan
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My curiosity got the better of me and I decided to give this "interesting" take on an IPA, at try.

A: Poured a deep "cola" brown color with perfect clarity (once I held it up to a strong enough light to see through it) and my pour generated two fingers of caramel colored fine foam head. Lacing was evident and the head had great retention.

S: Roasted malt, caramel, maybe some floral hop in the background, but if so, it is very faint.

T: The flavor is mostly reminiscent of a porter. Roasted malt and caramel, but as I took a sip, I got a nasally blast of piny hops in my olfactory cavity.Really quite interesting. Not much else in the way of flavor profile, just a nicely roasted malty beer with a touch of hop.

M: Somewhat coating on your tongue from the roasted malt, not enough floral hop to create a cleansing crispness.

D: If your in the mood for a porter, this would be very drinkable. If you looking to enjoy a hoppy IPA then this ale probably won't cut it for you.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz. can poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body with a bit of transparency. Very nice cream colored head. Laces inside the glass and leaves a creamy pillow of foam.

Smell - Some grassy hops. A bit of an abrasive grapefruit aroma. Mild roast and some chocolate.

Taste - Roasted malts are more aggressive, but it's still a bit of grapefruit up front. Roasted malts turn sweeter into chocolate before giving way to a caramel sweetness and a hop bite in the back.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Nothing inherently wrong with it. Just dull and uninteresting.

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Photo of u2carew
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz can!
A) Pours with a tan, two finger head. Nearly opaque. Tight sticky lacing.
S) Grassy. Subtle notes of caramel malt. Hints of citrus spice.
T) A decent balance of malt and hops, although seems a bit watered down. Not real robust, like one would expect from a Cascadian Ale. The malt flavors start to shine towards to finish.
M) Creamy. Medium body.
D) A decent brew, but not a standout for me.

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Photo of berkey
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On tap at Hopyard San Ramon as an after work brew 08/06/10. I've had this once before but not on a fresh palate. Served in a pint glass.

A small but stubborn tan head tops a very dark brown (but not quite black) body with some ruddy highlights. Some decent filmy lacing.

Aroma is roasty and bitter with some subtle chocolate notes. Bitterness seems to be coming more from the roasted malts but the hops are playing a role as well.

Flavor follows the aroma to a high degree with mildly bitter chocolate still the main characteristic. Finishes clean but slightly bland. Hop bitterness is nearly drowned in the more stout-like qualities of this beer but manages to show some signs of West Coast citric goodness. Not sure it's enough for me though.

I'm not sure if the previously mentioned stout flavors are influencing my perception here but the feel seems very watery. Easy drinking but I'm ready for something more engaging and I'm less than one quarter done with this pint.

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Photo of sendsilk
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received in a recent trade.

A- Very, very dark with a decent head and some nice lacing.

S- Not too much in the line of hops on the nose, fairly malty in the smell.

T- Not great, not too bad. Pretty sweet though with a lot of malts. Let's face it, these black IPA's are just hard to quantify. It's not a bad beer, just not really an IPA IMO.

M- decent.

O- Not too bad but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thrown in as an extra by wavers1 -- what a nice guy!

Appearance -- Pours a dark burgundy brown wiht one finger of stiff tan head.

Smell -- Grapefruit, Pine sap, Smokey dark roast malt, a tinge of berry tartness.

Taste -- Grapefruit and pine up front with some earthy herbal hop character and burnt breadcrusts, red grape, tart berries, french roast coffee, .

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with moderate prickly carbonation. It would be difficult to better the feel.

Drinkability -- Not too shabby. Hop-forwardness + big roast flavor is a pretty interesting combination. Don't think this one was my cup of tea; the berry-like sweet/tart thing threw me off a bit. This 'Black IPA' avoids the pitfalls of many of its contemporaries by showcasing bitter roast malt character instead of using debittered malt as essentially food coloring. Good on 'ya, 21st!

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: whoa! more head than beer; as advertised, it's black
S: pleasant quaff of hops with a strange overtone of something, almost like palatable burned rubber
T: as one other reviewer noted, there is a tinny taste; perhaps it's of the can and perhaps something else; at any rate, if that overtone were not present, this would be a stellar beer, with subdued but complex hop profile and a citrus sweetness
M: about as good as any craft beer

21st A: please check out that strange taste; drinkers: enjoy with the above proviso

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Photo of hophugger
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a nice deep chocolate-reddish brown letting a little light in barely. Aroma is of pine resin, beautiful. Taste is hops, some citrus and bitterness. I am a hop fan, but this bitterness is kinda weird and slightly metallic. Feels ok

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Photo of robbrandes
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

reviewed from notes.

5oz taster, poured @ northern virginia brewfest.

pours nearly black, reasonable off-white head. nose a bit malt-forward, but the hops are at least passable for an IPA. close your eyes and it's a middle-of-the-road IPA. a little more burnt taste/aroma, on par with a middling stout, but nothing too exciting.

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Photo of brentk56
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a coffee color capped by a very impressive head that grows craggy but sticks a lot of lacing around

Smell: There is a piney, floral character but the malts dominate, bringing black bread and ash

Taste: Black bread, up front, bringing char and roast; by mid-palate, a bit of pine develops and, while it lingers into the finish, the malty muddle dominates

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Without a strong hop profile, this beer doesn't come near what I am looking for in an ABA, particularly since I didn't particularly like the indistinctly flavored malt bill, either

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a tulip

Pours a dark mahogany with a fluffy khaki cap that rises to fill the glass. Some delicate lacing left behind. The aroma is of pine needles, orange rind and cocoa nibs. The flavor profile follows the nose. Fresh cut pine off the bat before a rush of chocolate and a slight bitter finish. The feel is a little thin and very undercarbonated. This has some good qualities but falls short in some of the finer points. Above average.

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Photo of Rhode17
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice little daily drinker from 21st Amendment. Comes off a little like a baby stout. Not super hopped and syrupy but does have a touch of hop on the nose and mid. Hints of cocoa and black coffee with a little bit of toffee on it as well. Doesn't stick around too long on the finish though. Not an A+ but good for what it is. And the can art is pretty slick as well. As a Black IPA goes, its not the craziest, certainly more subdued than some of the Black IPA's out there but worth the money.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

21st Amendment Back In Black is a clear, dim red-brown-black ale with a dense khaki head that has outstanding retention and lacing. It has a fruity and roasty aroma. It's pretty light bodied; a little watery and metallic with a pretty clean finish. It's quite bitter and dry; sharp and green. It's not very well balanced and not good for more than a pint.

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

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Photo of gatornation
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a black semi-thick color with a tan staying 1 finger head..looks good..smell is subdued with hops and malt some toffee and burnt toast or caramel,with some chocolate..flavor is similar its light on the porter flavors and light on the ipa flavors,,pine and citrus are there so is toffee and roasted malts,,but its all so light..mouth feel is light in relation to the style it has subdued flavors..21st just does not do it for me as a brewery..however out of the 3 ive tried i did like this one the best,,my recommendation? buy a single

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Photo of TaylorK
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a can of this from Kroger while I was over in Columbus for a beer festival. Picked up another from the same brewery and a mixed set. I've been enjoying craft brews for some time, but the canned craft isn't something I've encountered much. Still getting used to seeing that.

A: Poured this into a pint glass and it made a decent head. The beer itself is dark, but not quite as much as the marketing and packaging made me think it might be.

S: The piney hop smell is definitely dominant on the front.

T: I think one of the biggest elements here is first a very refreshing pine, but then it moves quickly into resin-y flavor that comes out ever stronger as the beer warms. This is isn't horrible, but I wasn't a big fan of the taste. To me, this is the core component, and I was disappointed with the Back in Black.

It's not a strong hop flavor, but I don't think there's much else there either. Maybe a little bit of sweet.

M: Nothing to complain about here. The feel is smooth and easy to drink.

O: This is a decent beer, but I doubt I will be picking up anymore. If it was available, I'd drink it. I'd even recommend it to a friend. This one just isn't for me.

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Photo of Auracom
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Gotta love shit in a can. Not literally, of course. 12 oz. can from Primanti Bros., poured into a pint glass on April 14th, 2012.

A - Dark semi-clear brown coloring. Huge, 4-finger soapy, whipped tan head. Decent retention, good lacing. Not truly black but close enough.

S - East coast hop profile. Sweet, strong malt backbone adds in a stout-like quality of roasted coffee beans and grains.

T - More of the same really. Blending of light cocktail fruit, sweeter hops, and heavily roasted grains.

M - Light body, medium-high carbonation, semi-sweet finish.

D - Peculiar. Very malt-forward for the black IPA designation but decent contrasting notes of a more mild, sweeter IPA and a lighter, coffee-highlighted stout. Props for creativity.

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Photo of brother_rebus
3.34/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Great dark hue with deep amber tinge and a slick vanishing porter-like head. Cola-ish scent. A bit dull on the way in, but carries nice carbonation across the middle of the tongue, and leaves a malty trail down the back of the pallet as it deposits slight tones of tobacco and vanilla. Not all its hyped to be, but would order one at a bar on a crisp winter evening.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.34/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

To name a beer after a famous ACDC song....it better be awesome! Unfortunately 21st Century Back In Black Black IPA is not....however, it is solid. I just don't think it hit the mark. I use the Stone Self Righteous as my barometer. The B in B from 21st was a very dark ruby amber with a thin white head. The scent was most dissappointing, maybe some subtle malt...but not any hop. The taste follows the smell, subtle roast and malt, a lil hint of hop. I do like how it comes off the pallete clean...not lingering. The beer is easy on the mouth and could drink my weight.

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Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 684 ratings.