Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

2,164 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,164
Reviews: 692
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 51
Gots: 283 | FT: 1
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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Back In Black Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,164 | Reviews: 692
Photo of Ricochet
4.12/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the first true "craft brewed" beer I've ever had from the can. I have been meaning to try Dale's , but never have. When I saw this at my "weird beers" store, I figured I'd give it a go. I took a swig from the can too, just to see.. Yep. It's what I thought. Damn good taste from a can. So, I poured and let's get to review:

A:Black. No see thru here, Poured with average head, but thick lace, sticky to the glass. Porter? Anyone? IPA! Hmmm.

S: Porter anyone? IPA! Hmmm. Coffee note is the strongest but a malty smell, like Co-Co Wheats brings up the rear. I also get the distinct smell of ice cream cones? That's different.

M: Bursts creamy in the mouth, washes with coffee bitter but aftertaste of bitter dark chocolate. Very nice.

T: Heh. This isn't from a can. It's a joke right? As I see more brewers are doing it, I say GO! When I took the tour of Yuengling Tampa, the tour guide said the boss hates canning. I say, WHY? Let's start with the coffee like bitterness then get into the follow through which adds a sharp malty-ness that really asserts itself. Sharp malty-ness? I said it. It bursts out in front of the hops but not enough to dominate.

D: I'd love to have this beer when everyone else is drinking Bud light...or maybe I need new friends.

Photo of lstokes
4.12/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark and very fragrant--you can really smell the grapefruit and citric hops on this one as well as some nice cocoa undertone.

The taste picks up on the smell but adds some coffee and brown sugar, and the mouthfeel is a little on the light side but still very wonderfully drinkable. It's one of the lighter, more approachable dark IPAs I've had, and I would definitely drink it again.

Photo of popery
4.12/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at City Beer Store in San Francisco.

It's not on the 21st Amendment website and I trust my fellow BAs, but I thought that I should mention that the abv was listed as 7.2% at the store, which would make sense as Back in Black is brewed along the same lines as the IPA (who cares, really). Anyway, the beer pours an opaque dark brown with purplish highlights and a good creamy mocha head that leaves excellent lacing. I'm not really sure how to rate the appearance of an intentionally dark IPA, which was certainly not to style, but I like how it looked. The aroma was very close to the IPA, strong, rich hop aromas of pine and spruce with a tinge of citrus and herbs. The flavor brings the dark malt into play with subtle roasted notes underlying the strong hop flavors. I've only had one other dark IPA that I can think of, Stone's 11th/Sublimely Self Righteous, and while they have different hop bills, they're similarly delicious. It's a great variant on the style but oddly rare among commercial brewers, although the homebrew community seems to have embraced it.

Photo of bensbeers
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Golden West in Baltimore. Appearance was nothing special. Must not have gotten a good pour out of the tap because I had no head at all. Color was a dark dark brown with hints of red around the edges. Slightest touch of caramel colored suds on the top. Looks like a stout but definitely drinks like an IPA. Lots of rich scents on the nose - coffee, buttercream, chocolate, and a touch of smoke. The taste closely mimics the nose - definitely can taste the hops. Not citrusy but robust which gives me the impression that they are extremely well-balanced with the grains. Malty character but not too sweet - toasty and roasty. Dark flavors - bittersweet chocolate and toast with a hint of strong coffee at the finish. Mouthfeel was extremely pleasant. Not too crisp but not as flat as other dark beers can be. Overall an extemely tasty beer. Great take on the black IPA , but this is certainly open to interpretation - some my call it a stout m, some a brown ale. A great beer to kick off a session and enjoy when the weather is turning from cold to colder. Cheers!

Photo of BDJake
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've tried a number of black IPA's over the last year, but from a can? Here's my take on my first canned one:

A- a nearly perfect pour, deep dark brown that falls just short of black, capped with an inch and a half of tan head that lasted for a long time and laced extremely well.

S- mostly of orange, pine, and of sweetly roasted malts

T- for such a dark version of this style, there was a lot of orange peel, grapefruit, pine, molasses and caramel... in other words, it had very little burnt notes I was expecting but good nonetheless

M- light-medium body, ample carbonation, and a citrusy aftertaste that was not in the least bit harsh or bitter

D- one of the easiest-drinking CDA's I have ever had the pleasure of drinking, and even though some may want more roasted or bitter tones, it was one of the best canned beers I have ever had

Photo of JayS2629
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cola black that lets little light through. Some red tints in the light with a two finger dirty rocky tan head that sticks around for a while leaving foamy walls of lace.

The aroma is of tangerine, grapefruit and other citrus notes riding on top of a roasted coffee with hints of cocoa and caramel.

The taste very well balanced with a nice roasted coffee, mocha, chocolate front end. A bit of caramel gives way to some herbal, grassy hops that ends with a good dose of grapefruit. Its rounded out with an earthy note and some dark fruit aftertaste. Figs and cocoa are in the aftertaste.

Its got a creaminess up front but finished a bit thin and dry. Overall it is very drinkable and enjoyable.

Photo of hopsolutely
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Although this specific can is not exemplary, perhaps the best "Cascadian" black IPA I have ever encountered. A perfect mix of "stout" roasted malts with west-coast citrus hoppy undertones.

Can pours a dark burgundy colour, a beautiful amber when held up to the light, with decent head and lacing. Mouthfeel is pleasantly carbonated without being too slick, and the 6.8% ABV is terrifyingly well hidden. Aroma of dark roasted malts, albeit a subtle metallic twang in this can that hasn't been present in previous ones. Taste is well balanced with the dark chocolate and coffee roasted malt flavours, finishing with delightful citrus and tropical fruit hop notes. A pleasant bitterness lingers with the mango...

All in all, I consider this a benchmark beer. Thank-you 21st Amendment!

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

enjoyed in a pint glass

A: pours a clear deep brown almost black with two fingers of mocha colored fine bubbled and silky textured head that lingers nicely and leaves a ton of creamy lacing on the glass
S: very nice floral hop notes and also deep caramel malts and roasted malts really even it out
T: hmm, begins with the nice malt character and then moves into the nice citrus hop notes which linger and become more floral on the palate long after the initial sip
M: smooth, gentle carbonation that is a bit brisk, leaves the mouth every so slightly dry but very nice
O: typically im not big on black IPAs but this one was positively fantastic, so well balanced and just wonderfully drinkable, well done!

Photo of kwjd
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the 21st Amendment brewpub in San Francisco. Pours a bitch black colour with a finger or 2 of head, with nice retention. Lots of lacing down the glass. Smells of nice roasted malt and citrus hops. Good blend of bitterness and sweetness of the malt in the flavour. Creamy mouthfeel. Certainly one of the better CDA's I've had.

Photo of Bighuge
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark chocolate ruby body. Tight froth chocolate brown head. Nice retention and lace properties. Nice mix of chocolate malts and vibrant, citric hops. Very nice aroma. Flavor is solid, but would better with even a bigger hop presence and bite. The chocolate, roasted malt flavor wins the battle in this beer with the piney, citric hops coming in second. Even keeled mouthfeel. Moderately carbonated and medium full body. Enjoyable.

Photo of beer2day
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour with 1-finger tan head. No retention but nice lace.

Cascade weak on the nose. Roast malt comes through a little stronger.

Nice roast flavor up front, with Substantial chocolate malt and coffee. Hop note is milder than expected but still nice.

Medium feel for a beer this rich.

Nice beer. Worth a glass or two.

Photo of pzrhsau
4.16/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice rich dark brown color that is opaque with a two finger creamy coffee colored head (yay adjectives)
S: It has a dark roasty aroma coupled with a nice hop bitterness.
T: Its strange because the dark malt actually gives it a sweetness and a depth while still maintaining that bitterness of an ipa. Also some nice roasty notes in an after taste.
D/M: My eyes say porter but my head says IPA. This is just a cool beer style overall. Very innovative and brings some great crisp flavors together that I wouldn't have expected. I highly recommend this for someone who has not tried the style.

Photo of NCSUdo
4.16/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can

A: Black body under a medium sized tan head. Good lace and retention. Good looking beer.

S: Toasted and chocolate malt mixed with some grapefruit/pine hops. Pretty balanced.

T: Some chocolate, toasted, mildy roasted malt mixed with some grapefruit and pine hop. Bitterness is about medium, and balances very well.

M/D: Medium to full bodied, carbonation is a touch high. Drinkability is very good. Overall, a very solid beer.

Photo of schlimenhaumer
4.17/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. can into a pint glass at low altitude.

A: Pours a translucent dark brown color that gives off a ruby hue when held to the light. One-finger cream colored head with moderate retention and nice lacing.

S: Prominent hop notes up front with equally strong roasty malt notes. Definitely an enticing smell.

T: A nice mix of flowery hops and roasted malts. Both flavors hit the palate strongly at the same time, but I think they come together nicely and balance each other.

M: Medium-bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Complements the flavors well in my opinion.

D: This one goes down very easy considering the ABV.

Photo of ajaxivan
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Great black color with massive light brown head

S: Citrus/piney with roasted malt.

T: I will differ with some reviews i have read, this beer is well balanced for me. I think some arent sure what to make of the style(to each his own) Citrus with a nice roasted flavor

M: Medium and carbonation is spot on

O: Slowly trying Amer. Black Ales and this is a good one. Probably not a beer id want to drink often but is a good change of pace.

Photo of garymuchow
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can dated 0221 - Aug 9, 2010. Shouldn't be too old in flavor, I suppose. It is a can after all. Paul Revere on a motorcyle.
Poured into SA glass and fills it to the top with the rich dense tan head capping a black drink, that holds deep dark reds and is clear in the light. Lots of messy lacing.
Still a fresh hop aroma and mixed with slight roast and dark malt aroma. I like the aroma of this, it s a nice blend, although a little tight.
Adequately complex with a light and drinkable body. Very long lasting bitterenss on the finish, although not intense. The blending of the hop flavors with the dark toast, light roast of the malt is a nice combination. Tart citrus hop flavor. Nice sweetness up front and it seems as much hop as malt in character.
This is very drinkable and rather tasty too. The creaminess of the very long lasting head adds a very pleasing quality.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Smoking Joes for 4 dollars all day.

A - Pours a nice deep black with an inch of creamy white head. Looks awesome!

S - ow wow I can distinctly smell hops and caramel and chocolate malt here with a nice bit of barley.

T - Starts off great with bitter hops then transcends into a nice Carmel sweet body then finish a bit bitter with the toasted barley which leaves a kind of weird but overall satisfying finish.

M - Really light to medium body. Hard to believe it is almost 7 percent!

D - Meh I didn't really love it to throw down 10.50 for a sixer but it was cool to try it. And it defiantly better than that horrid excuse for a watermelon beer.

Photo of Hefe
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Great brew in a can from 21st Amendment. Dark brown to black color with a ruddy tan head. Subtly malty aroma with a titch of herbal hoppiness. Medium body, almost light but with a good presence of flavor, nothing sticks out or overwhelms. Well balanced and eminently drinkable!

Photo of Franch
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

part of the high rating may be due to my shock at the novelty of an american black ale in a can. B+ may be more apt. it's really roasty for an american black ale, but i'd drink a few. they're very drinkable, and to be able to knock back a 6 pack or something in such a convenient form would be just delightful!

Photo of bonkers
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bauermj for this one. Jet black in color with a slight white head. The aroma and flavor are full of sweet pine. The beer finishes with a moderate amount of bitterness. It has a mild body and lots of carbonation. The beer has very clean, crisp flavors. A great cascadian ale.

Photo of hopfacebrew
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

12oz can poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A: Very dark with a solid 2 finger head and favorable lacing.

S: Citrus hops and roasted malt.

T: Very strong citrus hop flavor upfront. Bitterness of the hops follows which compliments the roasty malt flavor well. Not as much roast as I would expect but decent.

M: Well carbonated and rather full.

D: Extremely drinkable.

Overall Back in Black is a good representation of the style. I would recommend to a friend.

Serving type: can

Reviewed on: 01-13-2011 17:21:59

Photo of VeganBrewz
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single of this one during my last trip to the local liquor store. Not my first experience with a Black Ale/Black IPA, but definetly memorable. Let's get into it, shall we?

Glassware: Pint glass.

A: Pours very nicely. Two fat fingers of silky, light-tan head tops a beer the color of rich dark chocolate. Lacing is good - not too heavy, but consistent.

S: Immediately aromatic. Slightly alcoholic, with a ton of really complex, warm spices. To be honest, there's so much going on in this beer that it was tough for my still-learning palate to pick out specifics, but I definetly got a solid whiff of caramel malt & coffee, accompanied by orange, cloves, ginger, and resinous piney, hoppy notes overtop. Very nice.

T: Very closely mimics the nose - bright, lively spices backed with slightly sweet roastyness and coffee. Some alcohol, but not enough to distract from the other flavors.

M: Nice and smooth - a little chewy, but definetly not heavy at all. Finishes clean.

O: Me likey. Solid & complex without being complicated or straying from the style.

Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark brown/black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice black and roasted malt scent along with a refreshingly bitter, citrus hop aroma. The taste is good. It has a killer, citrus hop bite up front laid over a bed of black and roasted malt flavors. It's dry and roasted with a fresh hop character that resinates in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking black IPA. The hop character is outstanding; very fresh and flavorful.

Photo of Mooslerfitness
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is different I would classify this as a dry hopped porter S: cocoa and bread T: I'm getting cocoa nibs with some hops O: I enjoy this I love Porter' s and ipa this taste like both

Photo of JoePat
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark brown with a thick kaki head. Not sure if that can be considered a black IPA but it is definately a dark brown IPA.

Very intriguing aroma. Chocolate and roasted malts and maybe some smoke. I don't get a lot of hops but the malts are so aromatic I'm not sure I want to. Once I drink it I get some hop citrusy hop aroma.

The flavor is chocolaty, caramel, some piney hops but not much. I am not sure I can put this up there with IPAs. That is a shame because I really like this beer for a porter and I am getting something like a chili pepper flavor that I am loving. For a Black IPA not so good for a chili pepper infused porter...great.

The mouthfeel is spot on. Creamy, smooth and just the right consistancy.

I am reviewing this beer as a porter because I really like it but just don't see the black IPA it is suposed to be.

Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 2,164 ratings.