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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 rwhitmore
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap in a shaker pint at Urban Tavern in San Francisco.

Nice off-white head, that left good lacing. Midnight black that let just a little dark burgundy light through.

Aroma is lot's of coffee roast, with orange and grapefruit peel. This aroma is a big reason I like black IPAs.

Smooth coffee and chocolate roast flavor, with the crisp bright citrus notes are up front. Hop bitterness builds into the pine of a northwest IPA. Again, this is a favorite style, and this beer hit all the marks.

Mouthfeel was caramel-ly in an IPA way, and the roast lingered in the finish.

Paired this with the spicy caggiano beer sausage and pretzel small plate, and it was just great.

I really like most black IPAa, and Black on Black is a great black IPA.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap at the brewery

cellphone notes

appearance: served in a standard pint - ebony body, very dark with a light beige lace

smell: bright citrus hops, chocolate, rye, roasted malt, coffee

taste: very nice black ipa - dark and full bodied, biting citrus hops, dark chocolate and coffee, big roasted malts. nice

mouthfeel: big bodied, nice hop depth

drinkability: good

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Photo of fscottkey
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Notes: Best by10/29/2014. (consumed 10/8/14). Poured into a nonic pint

A: [4.50] Looks black in the glass but is a nice ruby red when held up to the light. I got 3-4 fingers of head. The head is off white and had large bubbles on the edges. The middle was a nice creamy head (I suspect there was residue on the glass causing the large head and different bubbles). The can lists the best by date 10/29/14) and the IBUs 65 and the ABV 6.8%(+1 for the trifecta!)

S: [4.00] Nice grassy smell on the nose. Some wafting sweet smells too.

T: [4.25] There is a nice hop presence up front giving some pine and grassy notes. Then there is sweetness from the malts. The finish is again with the hops and slight bitterness. There is also a spicy flavor that is very nice.

M:[4.50] The mouthfeel is excellent for a 6.8% ABV beer.. Nice and creamy on the palate

O: [4.25] Normally I rate Appearance, Smell then taste. But on the first sip I was struck by the velvety mouthfeel. I really like this beer. 21st Amendment puts everything you need on the can. Then they put everything I like in the can. Great Black IPA. It is not too bitter but still has some hoppiness.

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Photo of JDH2000
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours nearly black with some reddish hues when held to the light. About a finger of creamy tan head that stays through most of the beer. Nice lacing on the glass.

S- Beautiful aroma of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate come first, followed by citrus and some pine hops.

T- The taste is so much more complex than the initial aromas let on. The roasted malts almost have an astringent and bitter flavor about them. The coffee and cocoa flavors come out and then are balanced out with the nice hoppy finish.

M- This is a nice, smooth medium-bodied beer with great complexity and flavors.

D- This was my first Black IPA and I was very impressed. I found it to be quite drinkable. I will definitely have it again and I look forward to exploring others in this style.

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Photo of dubc19382
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first Black IPA and I must say I was quite impressed. It pours looking like you are ready to drink a stout beer, but this is one of those few beers where looks can be decieving.

Great hoppy taste and you really want to have one after another, but that 6.8% ABV really limits how much you can handle. Very drinkable beer with a nice hoppy taste in your mouth.

Will definitely get another case of this and I highly reccommend to other IPA drinkers who havent tried the Black IPA style yet.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had at Bar of Soap Asheville. Served in a pint glass

A- Pours a mostly opaque dark brown color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains well before diminishing to a...whoops.

S- Semi-pungent piney hops break out of the glass against a mildly roasty backdrop.

T- Quite bitter with the dark roast accentuating the bitterness and leaving a chocolate aftertaste. Alcohol is certainly present but works well within the construct of the overall flavor profile. Bitterness lingers after a few sips.

M- Oily, thick and somewhat sharp. Medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- This is probably one of my favorite 21st Amendment beers. A no-nonsense black IPA that brings the hops and roast right into the forefront but, even on a hot day, it goes down nicely.

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Photo of Wiiare138
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wanted to try a new beer. The packaging jumped out at me in the store so I went for it.

Decided not to pour into a glass. Had straight outta the can.
I gotta say Its a little low on the hops to be called an IPA, they are there it's just not the punch I'm used to.

Each sip is super foamy-frothy, with some roasty-toasty afterbits. Very very dry beer after sip. It makes me thirsty for another one, but that wouldn't help a bit.

All in all I wouldn't buy again(maybe) but if it was bought for me I couldn't complain

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Photo of ckollias
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this 12oz can out of a Belgian Tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark brown- black with a mild amber highlights with a thick light brown 2-finger head that slowly dissipates and leaves a solid lace.

S: Great tart hoppy aroma.

T: Smooth tart and bitter hoppy IPA flavor. Slight citrus background and finishes tart and dry.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: This was a really good black ipa. Nice and hoppy but balanced nicely by the malt.

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Photo of avaldivia
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

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Photo of Jayli
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: This beer pours a deep dark brown with chestnut brown and ruby highlights around the edges. A one and a half finger of creamy khaki head sits on top. As the head recedes at a nice moderate pace, it becomes rocky and leaves thick clumps of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of dark, roasted malts and a good amount of citrus, grapefruit hops.

T: Taste starts with a dark, roasted almost burnt malt flavoring. Notes of milk chocolate come through with some mild hints of caramel. Finish begins with a coffee flavoring and then sharply switches to a burst of grapefruit hops. Milk chocolate comes through again and hangs a bit.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, crisp, clean body with a dry finish.

D: Goes down easily, well blended, really enjoyed the malt/hop blend on this. Mild kick, nice representation of the Black IPA style. Definitely worth sitting with for a while.

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Photo of sdsurfer217
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Finger and half of cappuccino colored head, that slowly dissipates, lacing the glass nicely. Very dark colored, with some deep brown notes around the edge. A pretty sexy looking beer.

S: Floral notes jump out of the glass, with some tropical fruits. Smells a boozy, but has a good caramel aroma to it. A nice play of sweet and hoppy smells coming from the glass

T: Flavors follow the aromas, but it is dominated more by the roasted coffee flavor than the fruity hops. Finishes with a nice piney hop flavor.

M: A pretty rich feeling beer at the beginning, but it finishes pretty clean. Starts out rather heavy and finishes rather light.

O: A dang good beer. I had never had a Black IPA before, and didn’t have any expectations. A flavorful and balanced beer that appeals to both my hoppy and malty pleasures.

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Photo of Cellach
4.27/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
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!

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Photo of Jdouble777
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

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Photo of skinnymcgruder
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

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Photo of Libationguy
4.31/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

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Photo of Bubba83
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

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Photo of threeviews
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
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


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Photo of tpd975
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

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Photo of cruzncomet
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
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

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Photo of TheSeeker61
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
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.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
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!

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