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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

1,637 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1637
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
Ratings: 1,637 | Reviews: 635 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Kyrgyzbrewer
Kyrgyzbrewer

Massachusetts

2.28/5  rDev -38%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

C- Dark Brown almost black

A- Very hop forward

Taste – Surprising malt start to the taste that ends with a strong hop finish. There are some strong roasted notes.

Overall – My first sip made me think cough medicine. The more I drank, the better it gets. The odd thing is that it seems like I get different flavors with each sip. One sip will be overwhelming, and then the next will be relatively soft. Black IPAs are the new vogue beer style, and that is certainly a good thing. The problem for this beer is that there are so many brewers doing it well it is overshadowed by better competitors despite throwing a ton of flavor.

Serving type: can

02-26-2012 01:48:53 | More by Kyrgyzbrewer
Photo of BeerDawgs
BeerDawgs

Georgia

4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown, not black. HUGE head and lacing on the glass. That part is impressive

S - A lot of hops in the nose. Citrus, dried fruits, tangerines.

T - Nice hoppy flavor, dark malt backbone. Very well balanced.

M - Creamy. Full bodied, very well carbonated.

O - A very good beer, but not amazing like some of the other 21st Amendment brews I have enjoyed.

Serving type: can

02-26-2012 01:45:01 | More by BeerDawgs
Photo of tastybeer
tastybeer

North Carolina

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

Attractive beer...close to black with an inch high pile of dense foamy goodness on top. Looking carefully I see little bits of sediment around the bottom edge of my glass. Good lacing as the head fades too. Aroma is a pleasant mix of dark, caramelly malt and pine/citrus hops. Toasty bread, cocoa, vanilla, and a minty kind of pine. Taste matches rather well, and there's nice play between sweet and bitter. The texture reminds me of melted chocolate. I like the residual bitter hop dryness that lingers after the finish. This is a very likable beer.

Serving type: can

02-26-2012 00:28:26 | More by tastybeer
Photo of MDDMD
MDDMD

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-dark brown black color with tan head and some lacing

S-dark roasted malt and bitter hops, burnt aromas

T-strong dark roasted malt flavor with almost charred flavor and dry hoppy finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation

O-a decent black ale but lacks some depth of flavor enjoyed in others

Serving type: can

02-19-2012 15:57:42 | More by MDDMD
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

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

Clear dark brown colored beer that appears black without back-lighting. Very small tan colored head.

Smells strongly of patent malt. Coffee and a little chocolate smell. Little bit of grapefruit hop scent but not much. All in all it smells like a Porter.

Starts out strong on the patent malt with a good amount of bitterness. Strong roasted grain flavor with an charred edge to it. Substantial bitterness at least as much from the malt as the hops. Hop type is had to determine, the hops have combined together to give this a taste that is best described as "Carrot Sticks."

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall an OK beer. It tastes stronger than it is. The taste is pretty much that of a Porter hopped to hell.

Serving type: can

02-12-2012 01:24:07 | More by Zorro
Photo of troysoy2
troysoy2

Pennsylvania

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

Poured from a can into a pint glass, this beer is pretty black, with a red-brown edge. The light tan head was impressive at first, but had only mediocre retention and a bit of web-like lacing.

The smell is pretty straightforward. To me, the hops and the malt come together quite well, leading to a sort of citrusy chocolate. Decently alluring.

Taste-wise, this brew is well-balanced, not much of a risk taker, but definitely solid. A nice, full-bodied mouthfeel compliments a decent bit of sweet, chocolately malt, while dry, bitter hops are prevalent on the front and rear end of the taste. The mouthfeel leaves you feeling a bit parched, as if inviting you to drink more.

Overall, I'd say this is a fairly solid (if unremarkable) example of a Black IPA. The can is cool, and I'd say that the beer may well be worth revisiting.

Serving type: can

02-08-2012 05:11:15 | More by troysoy2
Photo of jujigatame
jujigatame

Massachusetts

2.8/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can into a nonic pint.

Pretty black with a little light peeking through at the bottom. Almost 3 fingers worth of light tan head that starts to dissipate after a few minutes and get pillowy. Looks pretty inviting.

Smells more of malt that hops. The hops are there with a fresh presence but it’s rather faint in the overall picture. A little soapy smell here too.

The hops take the same backseat in the taste as they did in the smell. I know that they’re in there but they don’t seem to punch through enough. Perhaps I am expecting too much in this regard. The malt provides a nice backbone. Chocolate flavor comes around but I felt like it was in and out, not consistent.

Good mouthfeel. Smooth with a solid body to it. Drying on the tongue but not too much. Sticky on the lips.

I am somewhat conflicted on this one. The flavor was okay but I expected more. It just didn’t ring out in any way to me. I had no problem drinking it all but when it was over I didn’t have much in the way of strong impressions. What I have to balance that against is the fact that the last black IPA I had was Stone’s 2011 SSR a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed it. I think the fact that SSR really sang made Back in Black’s lack of wow stand out more. I can’t know what my thoughts on Back in Black would be had I not tried SSR beforehand. Since black IPAs are a style where my samples have been pretty limited it’s hard to get around the fact that SSR is a home run and everything else I’ve tried so far just…isn’t. I feel like I should come back to this beer again sometime for another go and see if it strikes me the same way or not.

Serving type: can

02-03-2012 05:09:44 | More by jujigatame
Photo of Pencible
Pencible

Virginia

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

A: This poured a clear black ruby, with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like dry milk chocolate and oranges, with some earthy roasted coffee and copper hops.
T: It tasted like creamy milk chocolate and sweet oranges, with some coffee and copper. It had a very clean, bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was a very nice black IPA, almost bordering porter with more prominent roast character. Still very nice scent and taste, with ok body. Finish was so smooth it was tough not to chug. Not the best of the style, but very enjoyable and session-able.

Serving type: can

02-01-2012 21:59:53 | More by Pencible
Photo of BigPlay1824
BigPlay1824

New York

4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
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!

Serving type: can

02-01-2012 00:22:31 | More by BigPlay1824
Photo of McNealc31
McNealc31

Ohio

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

The pour is, indeed, black. The nose is mostly citrusy hops. Thankfully, the roasted
characteristics come through in the taste and the finish. It's almost like both the roast and the hops get their own part of the show in the finish. Flavor is full of roasted malt, some sweet caramel, and more citrus and pine hops.

Tasty, but the hops are definitely more powerful than the "black". Not particularly complex.

Serving type: can

01-31-2012 03:17:48 | More by McNealc31
Photo of Guden
Guden

Maryland

2.58/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A- A deep brown though definitely far from black. A one finger head of small white bubbles falls slowly leaving no lacing. This one is also clearly not filtered and contains lots of brown and white yeast that I wasn't expecting in a canned beer.

S- American hops (cascade) are up front in the nose with a little bubblegum and pine and a touch of caramel rounding out the heavy citrus. Would like more "dark beer" traits but smells like an IPA.

T- Flavor is sweet with the caramel and some bubblegum standing over a refrained hop character. Finishes with a rush of moderate bitterness. As an IPA it fails with little hop flavor, as an american brown it's just ok.

M- Moderate in body and fairly low in carbonation, it's not hard to drink but is not nearly as dry as an IPA and without any roastiness there isn't much of an excuse.

D- In almost all respects this one just feels like a lazy attempt at an over hopped brown. By no stretch of the imagination would I call this a black IPA as it isn't black, it isn't dry and there's practically no hop flavor. The thick layer of yeast sediment was also offputting in the glass and really uncalled for in a can. It was hard for me to give this brewery another try with how much I hated the watermelon wheat, now I know to stay away for good.

Serving type: can

01-31-2012 01:24:46 | More by Guden
Photo of farrago
farrago

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yields a big three finger head of deep tan color, quite airy, little dimpling, almost entirely microbubbles, the lacing is noticeably thick and sticks excellently. Not quite fully black liquid, more like brackish, muddy water, lots of brown with some yellow touches, plenty of floaties inside too. The nose has a gentle roast to it, coffee, cocoa, mocha and malted milk balls, brings some raisin to plum fruit too, nice floral dew, macadamia nuts, dried orange peel, requires concentration to register its complexity but it is there for the taking. Medium-bodied, at times a touch too foamy but calms down quickly, this added creamy texture helps reign in the hoppiness albeit it by no stretch gets close to greenness or bitter puckering. More dark chocolate and coffee bean than sweeter caramel or toffee, some milkiness though. The nuttiness higher here, that macadamia plus pecan and Brazil nuts. Conversely the citrus recedes yet you get more pine. Not sweet enough for raisin, stays in the plum, peach, cherry and apple range. Clings to your mouth pores, borderline oily. A very interesting as well as chuggable beer that is not worth getting pedantic about in terms of general categorization.

Serving type: can

01-30-2012 00:09:56 | More by farrago
Photo of hopfacebrew
hopfacebrew

Colorado

4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
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

Serving type: can

01-28-2012 17:40:26 | More by hopfacebrew
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82

Virginia

3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from can into pint glass

Appearance -A nice dark brew, deep brown toward nearly black. Some sediment is seen floating about the brew which sinks to the the bottom of the glass. Looks of hop pellet. A nice tan head forms with big bubbles entrapped within. The head fades with a bit of lacing.

Smell - Initially pick up the slighted roasty coffee and malt notes. This however is soon is lost to a nice moderate piney hop aroma.

Taste - Coffee and a bit of chocolate are the first to be experienced in the taste. the hop then starts to work its way in around the middle of the taste experience. Not as potent as a traditional IPA of ~ this abv, but definitely miles above the standard stout or porter. A nice blend of flavors with noting too overpowering.

Mouthfeel - More in line with the traditional IPA then a stout or porter. A little thinner then I was original expecting. Thinner, but not anything bad, just sorta average.

Overall - Its not quite a IPA and not quite a darker beer. Its good, but I think if the hoppiness was bolstered a bit it would possibly be great.

Serving type: can

01-27-2012 00:59:47 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of Fubar1453
Fubar1453

Massachusetts

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

Canned 10.25.11
My first craft brew in a can and my first black IPA.

A: Black with red hues, nice creamy head with good lacing.

S: Hops and chocolate, strange mixture but appealing.

T: Hops on the front, coffee in the middle and chocolate mixed with hops on the end. Nice balance very drinkable.

M: Creamy and wet, almost watery at times, medium carbonation.

O: I really liked this beer. I love stouts and IPAs so this was right in my ballpark. A really great combo and a good beer, will definitely pick up again.

RVII

Serving type: can

01-23-2012 23:41:14 | More by Fubar1453
Photo of ChopperSmith
ChopperSmith

Minnesota

3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a clear tulip glass.

Poured into small glass.

Appearance: Deep brown color and nearly opaque with creamy tan head that slowly dissipated leaving good lacing.

Smell: Citrus and floral hops dominate with light sweetness from the malts. Smells clean and crisp.

Taste: Starts off a little sweet and malty, with brown sugar and caramel. Then the hops kick in with a good crisp pine and citrus bite. Finishes semi-dry. Not as hoppy as many Black Ales or IPA's, but that's not a bad thing. Well balanced.

Mouth Feel: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

Overall: A good Black Ale or IPA, and very good for a canned beer. I would drink this again, especially in a situation that called for canned beer (camping, fishing, etc.). A good beer, and one that has convinced me to try some of the other 21st Amendment canned beers.

Serving type: can

01-19-2012 03:54:35 | More by ChopperSmith
Photo of TangTKE402
TangTKE402

New York

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

A: Poured form a 12oz. can into a pint glass. Pitch-black in color with a reddish hue on the outskirts of the glass. A thick, creamy, 1-finger ecru head emerged, lingered for about a minute, then dissolved into a thin veneer left on the surface of the beer. Some thin, wispy lacing.

S: Deep, rich notes of wet wood, toasted caramel malt, rich hops, chocolate, molasses, pine tar, and some slight citrus rind.

T: Dark toasted-malt notes up-front, with a rich, molasses middle, and a bone-dry finish. The flavor profile is consisted throughout, if a touch thin. Notes of grass, chocolate malt, burnt molasses, earth, and pine. A nicely balanced, hoppy-enough winter beer.

M: The mouthfeel comes in slightly lacking, with a silky presence that borders on watery, and a slightly chalky after-feel.

O: All-in-all this is a fine example of a good black IPA. It doesn't take many risks, but that's ok, as it has some very rewarding flavors, and is pretty much what you would expect.

Serving type: can

01-17-2012 23:53:14 | More by TangTKE402
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

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

A: Dr. pepper color from the can is black in the vessel with little to no head. Some agitation formed a spongy, khaki head that was short lived.

S: The aroma was boozy scotch-pine moderate in strength.

T: The flavor was oily coffee roast, citrus and pine. Some boozy scotch alcohol. Think scotch and cold coffee. Decent level of bitterness, oily hops with a wet smooth roast kiss on the finish. If I didn’t know better this tastes almost bal-aged.

M: oily coffee roast, malty body with some sotchy booziness lingering about. Good carbonation detection.

O: Overall the alcohol seems to both contribute some uniqueness while distracts at times. Strong scotch alcohol notes, good level of bitterness and a wet, oily coffee roast backing makes for a good pairing. Big alcohol flavor though may limit drinkability taking a back seat for multiples.

Serving type: can

01-12-2012 23:38:54 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of beergoot
beergoot

Colorado

3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark mahogany brown with ruby tones. The head was bone-colored and thick. It left some nice lacing down my pint glass.

Relatively mild hop aroma with some rich, earthy malt notes.

Light, roasted malts and very faint chocolate tones in the taste with some bite in the bitterness (from the grains?). Bright on the tongue (perhaps from the alcohol).

Liked this one very much overall. Not a standout classic IPA example (it's lacking somewhat in the aroma hops), but taking in the fact this is a black IPA, it fits the black ale profile quite well.

Serving type: can

01-11-2012 01:19:51 | More by beergoot
Photo of HopDr
HopDr

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured form a can into a mason jar.

A- It's dark. Black. Not much else to say, it has a small pale brown head.

S- It's nice, floral citrus hops with just a small touch of dark malt sweetness.

T/M- Moderate hop flavor and bitterness, although it could use more of either or both to really define it more I think. The malt also is kind of faint in the flavor and the feel is pretty thin with low-moderate carbonation. The malt flavor that you do get has a touch of roastyness to it but it faint.

O- I did enjoy drinking this, it was certainly a nice change and a style I have only had a couple times. I think I have a bit of the problem of expecting an aroma, taste and mouthfeel from what I see, but then getting something completely different. Nice for a bit of a change from the ubiquitous American IPAs I drink too many of these days, I probably will try it again.

Serving type: can

01-08-2012 04:28:21 | More by HopDr
Photo of jmarklan
jmarklan

Pennsylvania

3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a can into a pint glass.

A: Pours a thin black that shines red when held up to the light. Very dense head, excellent retention and lacing.

S: Grapefruit and slight pineapple from the hops are well balanced by cocoa malts.

T: Very slight citric hoppiness up front leads into roasty but mellow dark malts, chocolate and grain. Slight hop bitterness in the finish. Neither the hops or the malts assert themselves very much at all.

M: Very smooth, not very much carbonation. Light/ medium body, slightly watery.

Overall: Not nearly as hop-forward as a black ale should be. It seems more like a watered down version of a russian imperial stout. Not a bad brew but not one i would try again.

Serving type: can

01-07-2012 21:29:19 | More by jmarklan
Photo of Cellach
Cellach

Virginia

4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

Serving type: can

01-04-2012 20:21:07 | More by Cellach
Photo of wedge
wedge

North Carolina

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

Canned On: 11/11/11

Very dark, opaque brown with a big, fat head of off-white foam that slowly deflates to a lumpy covering. Sticky rings of lace. Bright hoppy aroma over a nutty, cocoa malt base. Sticky pine and fruit with some caramel, sweet coffee, and brown sugar. A bit roastier in the mouth with chocolate malt giving way to a hefty dose of grapefruit and lemon. Medium bodied and dry, yet pretty slick and smooth with a lingering bitterness. This will find its way back to my fridge for sure...

Serving type: can

01-04-2012 02:32:18 | More by wedge
Photo of Docer
Docer

Washington

3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: (3.5)
- Nice rather dark brown/black brew.. certainly some yeast sediment floating around visibly in it. Off-white foamy head down to a spotty ring and thin blanket on top.

Smell: (3.5)
- Light roasty sweet grainy brew. Little coffee, but more bitter husky grainy notes. Light bitter grassy and herbal hops. Enough sweetness to really balance things out.

Taste: (3.5)
- Kinda close to a sweet stout really.. but has a little more hop kick. Sweet grainy dark malts, light roasted coffee, some cocoa, and earthy bitter hops. Little zingy grain touch. Not bad.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Overall a medium bodied creamy smooth Black IPA. Little dry, just a touch chewy, and a tad chalky. It's a solid feel.

Overall: (3.5)
- A good dark brew.. but doesn't flirt with the IPA style enough for me. It could almost pass as an American sweet stout. Certainly smooth and balanced, and reassures my opinion of this being my favored beer from the brewer. Worth having a few cans kicking around.

Serving type: can

01-03-2012 03:41:09 | More by Docer
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

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

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a one finger, tan head of foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of citrus, pine and roasted malts.

T - It tasted of citrus, pine and strong roasted malt with some sweet toffee and chocolate.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a very good black ale. 21st Amendment continues to make great canned beer.

Serving type: can

01-01-2012 04:43:53 | More by zeff80
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,637 ratings.