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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 BierJager89
BierJager89

California

4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours translucent brown into black in the glass with a short, almost creamy, brown head.

S: Nutty dark malts, roasted malt, earthy coffee, sweet mango, and orange in the nose.

T: Malty, fading to floral hoppiness in the middle, finishing roasty, dark and dry.

M: Medium bodied and quite smooth.

O: Not the best of the style and, given how good the brewery is, a bit of a disappointment for someone like me (who loves the style). Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 07:38:03 | More by BierJager89
Photo of TheQuietMan22
TheQuietMan22

Iowa

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Serving type: 12-ounce can. The “CANNED ON” date printed on the bottom is “08/13/12.” It seems this can is a little ripe.

Appearance: Poured a luscious dark, ruby/caramel brown. There is a ton of sedimentation (perhaps chunks of congealed protein since the beer is so old). Two fingers of medium tan head settled slowly to leave a spotted, buttery lacing and trails of foam along the glass.

Smell: Very sweet and candy-like, much like licorice, though it definitely is beer. Sweet caramel, red and black licorice (the black, I think, is most prominent), molasses, toasted malts, dark and exotic fruits, citrus, and a little pine or spruce.

Taste: The hops have mostly fallen out due to the age of the can, and overall it is a sweet mess. But it is still drinkable. Much like the aroma, it is very sweet and candy-like. Sweet caramel, red and black licorice, molasses, toasted malts, and the remnants of grapefruit citrus and pine. It does have an adequate and bitter aftertaste — where the citrus and pine are most notable — but I am sure it is nothing like it was when the beer was fresh.

Drinkability: It is still a decent brew even after six months. However, I will need to revisit this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 05:35:52 | More by TheQuietMan22
Photo of BeerBuckeye
BeerBuckeye

Ohio

3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark, nearly opaque brown with puffy 2 finger head.

S - Some bright hoppiness, grapefruit and pine. Good amount of malt in the background.

T - Much more malty in the taste. Almost drinks like a porter, some rich toasted malt, caramel, and a hint of chocolate. A little bit of hop kick on the end.

M - Smooth, good amount of carbonation present.

Overall - Not a bad beverage at all. Definitely more malty than an IPA (even a black IPA) would suggest, but I found the flavors present good.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2012 17:20:39 | More by BeerBuckeye
Photo of SLeffler27
SLeffler27

New York

3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark chocolate, but it black in the glass. Puts up a modest, thin, creamy manila head that leaves a fine coating of lace.

Has an aroma of light pine with some tea. Orange comes out with warmth.

From the hops, one can perceive pine tar bitterness in equal balance with roasted malt chocolate, all rather subtle. The finish returns after a moment to become much more prevalent with bitterness and a hint of tartness.

The body is medium to full with greater alcohol than expected. Carbonation is prickly and there is an oily texture and drying finish.

Enjoyed from a Dogfish Head snifter with salty snacks. This would be a fine beer for casual conversation as it is much more subdued than other examples of this style.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 13:26:53 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of keanex
keanex

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 ounce can, not freshness date. Poured into a shaker glass.

A: Looks fantastic only the slightest bit of garnet shines through the light, other than that it's opaque. Near 2 finger foamy thick, rocky looking head. It looks a lot like a stout actually.

S: Light pine or citrus hop notes with some other faint hints I can't pick up. Light roasted malt notes make an appearance too.

T: Slight roasty bitterness, a tad earthy. It's easy to drink, but it's not what I was expecting, more like a light coffee stout really. Not what I was expecting really, especially not when labeled as an IPA, not enough hop presence.

M: Medium bodied with some light sharp carbonation.

O: This is not what I was expecting, not enough hop presence here. I like it, but it doesn't seem to match the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2012 04:13:21 | More by keanex
Photo of brystmar
brystmar

Texas

3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour is black with an average amount of off-white head. Nice lacing on my glass. Nose has piney hops, but not the awesomely fresh hops I've become accustomed to as of late.

Pretty straightforward taste: hops linger over a roasted malt backbone. Lags noticeably behind its peers in both execution and complexity. Not a bad beer, but there are many better Black IPAs on the market today.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2011 18:10:17 | More by brystmar
Photo of droomyster
droomyster

Virginia

3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black body with two fingers of tan, super-sticky, ultra-glass-lacing foam. Aromas are more subdued than those of other Black IPA, and fairly straightforward: I get notes of charred pinewood that full of resin, with a distant hint cocoa nibs. Flavorwise, the char comes out with guns blazing. I was initially taken aback by its intense smokiness. Except for rauchbiers, this is as close as beer gets to tasting like the aftermath of a forest fire. Fortunately there's a lot more happening here. A pine needle bitterness is strong on the mid-palate and chocolaty sweetness comes out on the finish. This is tasty, indeed, but the strength of the charred flavors make me reluctant to follow one with another. I think this would work well with Southern BBQ or as a last beer with a chocolate or chocolate and berry dessert.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 11:06:30 | More by droomyster
Photo of JerseyKirk
JerseyKirk

New Jersey

3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours pitch black with a 2 finger slightly darker white head. Looks like a stout. Surprising and interesting. Lacing is excellent.

S: Pine, cat pee with a little bit of citrus, coffee and chocolate.

T: Super piney hop flavor. Odd after taste that I can't place a flavor on.

M: Nicely carbonated and full bodied.

O: It's not a good ipa. I don't know if black ipa's are supposed to have a slight roastiness or not but I so get a little bit of a coffeeish vibe. IDK it's something different just not all that great. Everything seems forced and unbalanced.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 01:37:59 | More by JerseyKirk
Photo of dtreindl
dtreindl

Virginia

4.68/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Surprisingly creamy smooth mouthfeel on this black IPA. Not too bitter. Nice roasted malt flavor is not overwhelmed by the hops. So well-balanced hops and malt, which I think is essential for a good black IPA. Easy drinking...I could drink several of these, despite the 6.8abv. Black IPAs seem to be trendy now and this example is a good one. I'll be drinking this long after any trend fades as long as 21st A is willing to brew it!

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2011 23:20:28 | More by dtreindl
Photo of Soonami
Soonami

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The reviews for 21st Amendment Back in Black seem surprisingly low for what I thought of it. The beer is definitely not black, but a very dark brown. There is fantastic lacing and a head that stays almost full for the entire lifespan of this beer. The nose has a distinctly chocolate graham cracker aroma with a touch of resinous and grapefruit hops. The beer is has a definitely dark chocolate and roasted grain taste, which is a bit more than expect for a beer of this style, which tends to be more restrained in its roasted profile. The beer is slightly sweet with a good bitter kick in the finish. The hops are restrained but in balance with this beer. This is definitely a more malt-forward and chocolately black ale, but still delicious. A different interpretation of the style, more like DFH India Brown Ale than Stone SSR.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2011 06:00:02 | More by Soonami
Photo of thebrood1987
thebrood1987

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pretty black and I get some really rich caramel chocolate roasted malt smells that even reminds me of a scotch ale with some citrus and earthy hop undertones. Its a very smooth and rich beer with the chocolate and caramel tastes up front and then the dark roasted malt bitterness blends in well with the earthy pine slight citrus hop finish.

This comes from a can? That's awesome especially when you realize how good this beer is. As it warms the earthy roasted bitterness comes out more and it ends dry as well. Get this if you want a perfect combination of hops and rich stout like malts. My first 21st Amendment beer and definitely not my last by any means.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2011 00:02:55 | More by thebrood1987
Photo of Teleweizen2
Teleweizen2

New Jersey

3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - lives up to its style. Black in color, completely opaque. Big three fingers worth of very light tan head that looks like dirty snow.

S - hops and malt seem balanced. Overall aroma is slightly dank. Citrus resiny hops. Bitter sweet dark chocolate and a roasty coffee undertone.

T - slight malty sweetness. Piney hops in the middle along with some coffee roastyness. Dry finish.

M - thin. A little watery. Mild carbonation.

D - decent ale. Black IPA, American black ale, whatever you want to call it, it fit its style guidelines and was easy drinking but not something I'd probably seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2011 05:40:17 | More by Teleweizen2
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate

New York

4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with garnet highlights and a loose lumpy cafe latte head that trails and rings. Straight leaf resin fresh hop flower nose - smells like hops straight off the vine. Some tar, cocoa nibs and molasses but big orange is fighting to get through and comes out in a sticky hops finish. No bitterness on the back end (65 IBUs? Where?) and tingly linger. Medium, creamy, clingy, smooth.

Hops forward for a CDA, dark malts really take a back seat. Those malts do more for the body, making this fuller than just about any IPA I've had, though it's coming off a bit thin and one note too.

Easy sipper in cans, and solid addition to the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 17:26:35 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of Murchmac
Murchmac

California

4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer 100 times before on tap at the brewery. Glad they're expanding and people like it.

Black with brown highlights

Roasty IPA smell, earthy.

Roasty, piney, bitter, sweet, chocolate notes.

A great representation of this style. A hoppy porter/black ipa.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 05:11:21 | More by Murchmac
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great rocky/dome-like head that leaves lots of chunky ring lace. Deep ruby color where muted light shines through.

Smell: More hoppy than dark malts. Pretty standard stuff for modified classic.

Tastes darker than the smell. The hop is milder than most IPA's, but the combination is appealing. The body is thinnish, the carbonation is good.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 02:28:00 | More by smcolw
Photo of soze47
soze47

Massachusetts

3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black with almost garnet red streaks when it moves in the light. Quickly dissipating frothy head.

Aroma: Not a huge bouquet here. Spicy mix between herbal hops and roasted malts. Almost nutty.

Taste: The hops are a little MIA on this. The initial flavor is underwhelming as well. There is a rush of roasted nut and malt flavors. The hops don't so much show up with distinct flavors so much as they create an almost coffee-like bitterness. Sure, I get a little pine and floral taste, but it just helps deflect some of the malty nuttiness into secondary flavors. After a few drinks, the hops are a little more present, but it takes a bit.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Loose and crisp for such a roasty drink. Not sticky and it would be easy to drink a couple of these if you were so inclined.

Overall: Black IPAs frustrate me. Some are like this one. Others steer much closer to a bitter/hop variety. I prefer the latter, but don't think I should hold it against the former when reviewing it. If someone is looking for a nice roasted malt ale that is crisp and clean, I think this is a great candidate. If you want something with a hop bang, don't grab this guy.

33 Beers Wheel Chart (5 high to 1 low):
Alcohol/Solvent: 3
Dark Fruit: 3.5
Citrus Fruit: 2.5
Hoppy (pine): 3
Floral: 3
Herbal: 3
Malty: 4
Toffee: 3
Burnt: 2
Sweet: 2.5
Sour: 1
Bitter: 2.5
Astringent: 2
Body: 3
Linger: 4

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2010 23:25:30 | More by soze47
Photo of BrewCrew2010
BrewCrew2010

Mississippi

4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: As it pours into the glass it's a brown color. However it sits in the glass opaque black with only brown highlights. A billowing and rocky head, light khaki color, sits on top that last forever leaving an amazing amount of lace.

S: A strong floral and citrus hop aroma balanced with sweet roasted malts. Very earthy smell.

T: A crisp flavor of floral hops with a citrus bitterness. Light chocolate malts are evident with hints of espresso.

M: A medium body beer with light carbonation. Creamy texture, yet dry finish.

D: Love this beer. Easy to drink, good price, great taste... all around- a must try.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2010 23:54:08 | More by BrewCrew2010
Photo of grittybrews
grittybrews

Washington

3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cola black into a Duvel tulip with two fingers of light tan head (excellent retention and some sticky lacing). Slightly sweet and roasty aroma of coffee, toast, and caramel with only a hint of hops.

Moderate carbonation and a full, creamy mouthfeel. Roasty chocolate and toast up front followed by creamy notes and some bitter lemon on the finish. Not my favorite example of the black IPA style, but still very nice. Light overall feel and quite refreshing, even if all the flavors don't quite gel together.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2010 05:13:11 | More by grittybrews
Photo of JoePat
JoePat

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2010 02:03:02 | More by JoePat
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce pint - $5.50 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Slowly served up on a busy Saturday night a clearish, very, very dark brown body with a slim, off-white head.

Smell: Aroma smelling of bitter cocoa bars, Maxwell House ground coffee, grapefruit, yellow pine, and light caramel wrapped up with an earthy character.

Taste: An initial rush of roastiness, followed by an expanse of pale malts, more than anticipated. Of the various malt tastes, bittersweet chocolate leads, with lesser tastes of simple coffee and caramel trailing behind. Blend of citrusy, piney hops deliver a moderate amount of bitterness. Maybe a small hint of herbs lurking in there as well. Then, the taste rolls back towards the dark malts, leaving you with a close tasting of chocolate and coffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's black, it's bitter, but the hop profile, while certainly present, wasn't (thankfully) abrasive and as such, it kind of reminded me of Avery's New World Porter.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2010 16:20:59 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of ABOWMan
ABOWMan

Ohio

3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2010 21:30:49 | More by ABOWMan
Photo of KarlHungus
KarlHungus

Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2010 00:48:19 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74

Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2010 00:03:39 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of dpodratsky3
dpodratsky3

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into imperial pint glass

A: Good think I used my imperial glass for this one, pours with a massive tan head, has that Guinness effect of the carbonation turning the head into beer which is always fun to watch, it takes forever to come down at all, looks like a massive dollop of whipped cream on top of my beer, no light gets through at all, super super dark brown (could be black), some light gets through bottom revealing the brown, leaves huge amounts of lace

S: Not much different than a normal IPA aroma, floral and resin hops, maybe a touch more sweetness from the malt but I can't smell any roast or smoke

T: Same basic theme as the aroma, floral and resin hops, but not super flavorful, the malt comes through a lot more than the aroma, but doesn't quite live up to what it could be, a light roast comes through which is better than aroma but not much

M: A little thin, I wanted the malt to help the mouthfeel a little, but it still ends up a tad thin and slick, dries in the finish

D: High, despite slight let-down it is a solid beer

Notes: This beer is kind of all over the map. The appearance is definitely its best best attribute. It looks amazing. The color is as black as I expected and the head is crazy big. The aroma is pretty bland, but a little better than average. Overall it ends up making a good beer, but nothing earth changing.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2010 04:19:34 | More by dpodratsky3
Photo of jmerloni
jmerloni

Massachusetts

3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Great dark brown that's a bit hazy. Head is huuuge and sticky. This is a slow pourer and a very interesting take on an IPA.

S - Roasted aroma. Citrus. Smells like it has a high acidity. Hops!

T - This is just a hoppier than usual stout. Mild chocolate flavor. It's good, but nothing special, and I don't really see how it's anything like an IPA. Hoppy bitter afterbite.

M - Medium bodied. Dry finish. Highly carbonated.

D - Somewhat drinkable. I'd give it a 3.0 normally, because it's so far off from an IPA, but I appreciate the creativity here that 21st Amendment is trying to introduce...there is nothing in the book that says IPAs must not include chocaltey flavors. It does need work.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2010 03:28:28 | More by jmerloni
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Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,635 ratings.