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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.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,908 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,908
Reviews: 653
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 44
Gots: 143 | 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: 1,908 | Reviews: 653 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of avaldivia
4.28/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A; Really nice dark brew with a nice head about a finger wide. Lacing is fairly nice.

S: Fruity, citrus tones come though. Does not smell very roasted but I will not complain.

T: A really good hop kick to start, but that gives way to a nice roasted malty flavor. Nicely balanced and very enjoyable.

M: Nice and crisp with what I would consider a medium body.

O: A great brew from 21st Amendment. Very nice hop character with a wonderful maltyness. This is a beer that will be a regular in my fridge.

avaldivia, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of alleykatking
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz can...

A- Pours a deep dark brown almost black color. When held to the light there was some light reddish hues. Two finger brown head shows good retention. Long streaks of lace on the sides of the glass.

S- Grapefruit aroma in the front with a big roasted malt scent as well. Light toffee in the middle with the grapefruit aroma starting to die down. Light coffee in the background with piney hops that take hold in the final part of the nose.

T- Roasted malts in the front with citrus hops blasting right next to the roasted malts. Middle of the beer is lighter for a second with a hint of toffee. Backend of the beer has a strong black coffee flavor that has piney hops keep it in line for balance. Alcohol does show up in the ending but nothing overpowering.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Roasted malts and light citrus hops left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly alcohol, piney bitter hops, and roasted malts with hints of coffee. Flavors for the style for me were actually well balanced. No off flavors in this beer...rad. Medium high alcohol drying on the palate.

O- Overall this beer drinks well. I was more than happy with it. The alcohol after a little while might take a zapping out of my palate so I would take it easy on this. Flavors seemed to be balanced overall more so than other Black IPA's I have had.

alleykatking, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of Cellach
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a stemless red wine glass. It is actually very nearly black, and completely opaque. The head is just off-white and not particularly emphatic. The nose is fascinating, with dark chocolate and roasted coffee working around bright citrus, pine resin, pleasant grassiness, and some tropical fruit. The palate shows more of the same, with the malts becoming more assertive. The layers of hop aromatics play a supporting role to the malty coffee, tobacco, and bitter dark chocolate, which is... interesting.

If a weird, though well-done, love child between an American IPA and an Imperial Stout sounds interesting to you, give this one a try. Prepare for some stylistic confusion. Overall, though, from what I understand the producer was going for, this is a well-balanced and compelling black IPA.

Cellach, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of Libationguy
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with an off-white head. Carbonation is fine and there is a moderate head retention.

Citrus, resin, pine, white flowers, roasted malt, pumpernickel bread and a light coffee note. The aromatics hold a medium intensity and while the hop notes are fresh, they are not overly aggressive.

Really picks up on the palate. Resin, hop bitterness, espresso. Rich, roasted malt flavors.

Nice full mouthfeel, with the hops well balanced but notable.

Bold in style and really well made.

Libationguy, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of bluejacket74
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce can. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is mostly pine and citrusy hops (grapefruit) along with a bit of sweet malt. The taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like pine and citrusy (mostly grapefruit, some tropical fruit) hops, bready malt, and some coffee and roasted malt. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit oily and very smooth. Drinkability is pretty good, it's very easy and enjoyable to drink. I think this is a pretty good IPA, I'd definitely buy this again. Thanks to Joe at Blacklick Wine and Spirits for recommending this to me earlier today!

bluejacket74, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of Jdouble777
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Date: 7/8/12
Consumed: 8/18/12

First and foremost, Paul Revere ripping on a motorcycle is a pretty sweet can cover.

Appearance: Looks precisely as you would think, deep dark brownish/blackish with amber hues along the bottom of my glass. Presents well and appears as advertised. Nothing about the look stands out for me but is alluring.

Smell: Not fancy, which I enjoy, the smell is very akin to that of a milk stout with a light hint of chocolate surrounding a coffee and malty aroma. Not sure where the other guy got grapefruit or floral, to me this is an extremely prototypical dark beer. Smells delicious =0)

Taste: Spot on! Black IPAs are wonderful in that you get that milky sweetness of a milk stout without the coma inducing heaviness of a stout and a nice crisp hoppy finish. I agree with another reviewer, perhaps a different and more robust hops would allow it to finish with more of a "wow factor." Nevertheless, to me at least, very drinkable and enjoyable from sip to sip. Personally, I love this beer...I love stouts and pale ales the most of any style and this combines them brilliantly.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly soft and IPA like feel really was mind boggling given the texture of the head and very dark appearance. Again, there is nothing about it that makes the feel "pop," but overall the flow is smooth and almost creamy with an subtle IPA like finish.

Jdouble777, Aug 18, 2012
Photo of Bubba83
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tumbler at 45 degrees.

A very dark brown body is topped with a light tan head which is frothy and sticks around a bit for some decent lacing.

Smell is quite awesome. Hops are really in your face, mostly a huge amount of pine, along with some citrus twang and roasty chocolate.

Tastes about the same as the smell. Nice and chocolatey, with some coffee and underlying roast that becomes more pronounced at the end of the sip. Doesn't take long for the hops to play a huge role either, very very fresh and hoppy, pine is the main flavor here. I'd love to put this next to a fresh Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale and compare, extremely similar and I'm not sure which I'd prefer.

Mouthfeel is about right, bubbles are small but prickly, it's not too thin or too thick.

Drinkability is usually an issue with this style for me, but this one doesn't come off too heavy. Alcohol plays no role in the flavor profile and this is a very tasty example of a great up and coming style.

Bubba83, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of Duhast500
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Christmas Eve night review.

Poured from a 12oz. can into a Narragansett pint glass.

The color is a dark black with little highlights and two fingers of foamy brownish head and some thick lacing left on the glass.

The smell is pretty hoppy at first. Some floral hops come right out and announce themselves as a piney flavor hits right after. There is a slight malt flavor on the back-end but seems to be all hops.

The taste is a bit sweet with some malty flavor that was expected from the color and delivered here. Some bitterness is there and will be heard from. The pine flavor mixes well with a sweetness that is pretty interesting. This beer seems to go to other places with the mixing of resiny hops and sweet dark malt.

The feel of this beer is pretty easy and it goes down with a bitterenss that is not too crazy. There is a nice drinkable feel since there is a leash on the IBUs.

Duhast500, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of skinnymcgruder
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

It is my firm belief that packaging beer in a can protects its flavor better than a bottle. That being said, this is a great example of a black IPA. The smell is of coffee and caramel. It is an extremely drinkable beer that doesn't overload you with hops.

skinnymcgruder, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of garrettparkal
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
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.

garrettparkal, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of KarlHungus
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a black color. The head is a mammoth two inches in height, and recedes slowly into a thick cap of foam. The aroma is of grapefruit, pine resin and citrus. It is completely dominated by hops without even a trace of darker malt aromas. The taste is still very hoppy, but there is a solid malt profile too. The grapefruit, pine, and citrus from the aroma are still present with the addition of of nice roasted malt notes. The malt and the hops are well integrated within this beers taste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a very good beer that I will certainly drink again.

KarlHungus, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of Pentastar
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark caramel color with flashes of garnet red, with half inch creamy tan head.

Aroma: Sweet, with a little coffee and some floral notes as well.

Taste: Some hop bitterness comes through, along with roasted barley malt, coffee, cacao and some residual sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation and full bodied.

Drinkability: A well balanced dark IPA.

Pentastar, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of threeviews
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a snifter glass

A- Pours near-black...if it was not knowing what black bfluid was (thank you Great Divide Oak-Aged Yeti RIS) then I would comment it as black, but it is certainly 7.6-8.0 on the Bortle Dark-Sky scale.

S- The olfactory hues are of citrus hops followed by licorice, wood and dare I say coffee(?)...quite complex and hard to classify...

T- Bold flavor with a nice balance of hop and malt with strong toffee notes...none of the malt is present in the nose, but balances nicely with the hops in the taste. Something in-between a West Coast IPA, Stout, Porter...it makes a Gemini such as myself giddy with the complexity that covers all the bases

M- Smooth and rich...nice carbonation a la their 'Brew Free Or Die IPA' and robust akin to a porter.

O- I really like this brew...but there is nothing I haven't liked from 21st Amendment....Brew Free Or Die IPA, Hell Or High Watermelon, Hop Crisis (and now) Back In Black are all that I admire (and rank high on my lists of IPA/DIPAs). This is another great brew and as far as I'm concerned, they cannot do wrong! Next up: Monk's Blood

Cheers!

threeviews, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of tpd975
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice shade of brown with a nice solid tan colored head. The head dies down but nice sheet lace is left behind.

S: Nice citrus aromas with hints of pine. A nice roasty maltiness is there to provide a bit of balance.

T: This one is mostly about the hops, but the malt is there. Hints of roasted malt and darkened brown sugar stand out. The hops do push thru the malt though with grapefruit being the most dominate. A touch of piney sweetness can be detected though.

M: Medium in body, smooth and creamy with great carbonation.

D: Very, I really like the dark IPA's and this one is one of the better examples.

tpd975, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of cruzncomet
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was my beer to kick off that night at Anchor and Hope...

A = Every one at the table was suprised I started the night with this...But I knew it was not going to be heavy...Dark..dark...dark, but nice head

S = Hops a plenty

M = not as bitter on the finish as I would have thought but had a nice choclate finish

D= Excuse me sir...but can I have another....Loved it and could drking all night

cruzncomet, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of beerhan
4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from a can into a pint glass. Beautiful thick head that just creeps towards the top of the glass. This has a real nice dark brown almost black color. A great blend of stoutiness and ipa. Smells very floral with a chocolatey feel. Tastes like caramel and grass. Interestingly enough an amazing combination. The only thing that this beer really loses points on is that I can still kind of taste can. I could drink this beer forever and it is quite cheap.

beerhan, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of TheSeeker61
4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this brew @ the Porter beer bar in Atlanta.

Poured jet black into a pint glass. Nice one finger head which mellowed into a ring. Nice lacing.
Nose was kinda interesting. Citrus was noticible along with some hops & malt especially as it warms.

Begins with a citrus bitter, moves into a nice malt & not too hoppy.

The mouthfeel is nice & creamy. Will definitely drink this baby again. Gets better as it warms.

TheSeeker61, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of Mancer
4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a fantastic deep dark brown/jet black with an excellent two finger high, light brown head. The lacing was thick and clung nicely to the glass. The head receded slowly and remained for most of the beer. The initial smell of the beer is citrus with light pine. The smell was not overwhelming but was instead quite nice on the nose. The initial taste of the beer was that of the smell, citrus and pine flavors with a light bitter bite on the tongue. Additionally, the lightly roasted malts were a wonderful addition and complimented the beer perfectly. The beer had a medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall, this has got to be one of my favorite IPA's yet. I am absolutely blown away by the appearance and flavors of this beer. Additionally, this is the first canned beer that I have been drawn to and I have to say that I am impressed. I definitely need to seek out more beers by this brewery. I would also like to add that this brewery is wonderfully creative with their can designs, as well as the box that this 6er came in.

Mancer, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of ppoitras
4.4/5  rDev +19.2%
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.

ppoitras, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of woodychandler
4.4/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As The CANQuest (TM) approaches # 350 (!?!), I decided to give the nod to the Tallgrass people, but in order to do so, I had to insert a CAN of someone else's beer as either 348 or 349. This is number 348 on this journey. CAN you dig it?

The ol' Crack & Glug produced a solid two-fingers of deep-tan foam with excellent retention. It looked like the top of a root beer float. Color was NOT black, as a previous reviewer noted, but instead a deep, dark-brown with cola highlights. Nose was rich with piney hops. I have missed drinking IPAs with the preponderance of CANned beers coming in the form of AALs. I don't get a hop jones like I used to, but neither have I kicked the hop habit. Thank Bob that the chattering monkey on my back has gone away, though. Mouthfeel was medium with a solid hop bite initially followed by a roastiness in the mouth. Wow! What a brilliant way to play with the style. Finish was dry with a magnificent interplay between the hops and dark malts mentioned on the CAN. I am not sure that it would be terribly refreshing on the beach, but it definitely merits inclusion in the cooler in a limited quantity. Put it towards the back, on the bottom, next to the Ten Fidy for the end of the day. Great lacing throughout!

woodychandler, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of nitro0292
4.4/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a snifter.

A - Easy pour produced a solid inch head. Aggressive pour overflowed my glass. Wonderful black with a tan head. Looks like Guinness, but no nitro pour.

S - Deeelicious. Coffee, sweetness and citrus hops. So much goodness.

T - See above. Terrific blend of dark and roasted malts and hops. Level of bitterness and hop profile are ideal. Any more would be too hoppy for the style and any less would be too stout like.

M - Medium body. Maybe a touch more carbonation, but I am nitpicking.

D - I honestly could finish the entire 6er in one sitting. Good thing I didn't.

nitro0292, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of jdciencia
4.4/5  rDev +19.2%

jdciencia, Sep 29, 2014
Photo of Pintofbrown
4.4/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I served this one into a shaker pint.

Appearance- The pour is a little lighter than expected, like a bright auburn. The head, however, is a two and a half-finger monster of ashy-beige that looks very compacted.

There is a nice smattering of tiny bubbles on the smooth and velvety lid. And retention is solid, leaving sheet lace in it's wake. The body is so close to opaque with only slight ruby highlights showing in random spots of the glass.

Smell- Dark malts that smell a little of toffee, roast, and chocolate greet the nose readily. The hops are really, really subtle behind the sweetness, and come out a little piney and grassy.

Maybe even some slight lemon now that I have taken a couple more sniffs. I really like this! Usually black ales lead with the hops and you get a mingling malt character, but it is opposite on this beer.

Taste- First impression is that this is not a "big" black ale. All the flavors kind of slowly seep their way into your taste buds. Hops aren't jumping around and ripping at your tongue; the malt is pretty laid back.

There is a slight resin feel in the finish that comes from the hops, but I could not find hop notes anywhere else on this thing. Just some pine that lingers long into the finish.

The malt itself is the star of the show, and man is it good. It is a nice combination of biscuit and chocolate malt, with just a little bit of earthy roast. Overall the impression is sweet, more so than roasted, however.

Mouth feel- Very, very creamy, that is all you need to know about the feel. The carbonation is pitch perfect. It is a little dry, but not surprised as this is a black ale.

Overall- I enjoyed this black ale in every facet of grading. The smell is a little weak, but with the malt being so strong that is going to be the case.

Generally, if you like your black ales to be very hop forward, this will probably be a disappointment, but I still think it will be hard to say it is not a great beer.

Pintofbrown, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of morenone
4.4/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's one of only a few Black IPAs I've had, but I would definitely get it again! I got a single at Beer Run in Charlottesville VA, but wish I had got a six pack. I haven't seen too many black IPAs around, but try to get one whenever I see it. Go get some!

morenone, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of ABeezy
4.43/5  rDev +20.1%
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.

ABeezy, May 29, 2011
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,908 ratings.