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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: 2,238
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: 2,238
Photo of cbak999
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a dark brown, almost black, but with a light, almost white head. Awesome lacing on the glass...this beer sticks to the inside of the glass.

S - caramel, chocolate, burnt brown sugar.

T - this drinks like a roasty porter. A bit hop forward, with a coffee finish that lingers. Finishes with a butter, creamy taste - dare I say butterscotch?

D - For almost 7% and dark, this beer drinks extremely well. It goes down easy due to the coffee/buttery finish. I like.

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

I appreciated tenderbranson69 sharing this can with me -poured chilled into a tulip.

A - A black as night opaque liquid w/ rocky light tan cap and frothy lace pattern that sticks well, the bead is tiny

S - The arom has a lot of pine from the hopping w/ a sweet malt accent and mild bit of roasted scnets to augment the fruit notes like prune. There is a gentle pepper elment for good measure

M - The feel is slightly bitter with light sweet tinged and hint of tart fruit w/ light pepper spiced and roast in the dry finish

T - The taste of bitter pine hops w/ mild toffee and sweetened coffee w/ light caramel tinge. The pine mixed with the roasted malt gives a light molasses flavor. the pine is augmented by a slight raisin and grassy tinge. The flavor is a good blend of both dark caramel malt and pine that lingers into the finish

D - A queer blend of flavors w/ black malt and bitter hops to me it is not the best of an emerging style, but I enjoyed for what it is

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

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black with a chunky one finger head with great retention.

S: I got citrus and pine upfront and then a lot of roasted malts and some coffee on the back end.

T: Typical IPA flavors upfront - citrus and pine, but it quickly transitions into roasted barley and coffee on the back end.

D/M: Medium bodied with good carbonation. Really hard to rate drinkability. I like this beer, but don't know how many I would want to drink. It is really different, and something worth trying, but probably not a beer I am going to stock my fridge with.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thrown in as an extra by wavers1 -- what a nice guy!

Appearance -- Pours a dark burgundy brown wiht one finger of stiff tan head.

Smell -- Grapefruit, Pine sap, Smokey dark roast malt, a tinge of berry tartness.

Taste -- Grapefruit and pine up front with some earthy herbal hop character and burnt breadcrusts, red grape, tart berries, french roast coffee, .

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with moderate prickly carbonation. It would be difficult to better the feel.

Drinkability -- Not too shabby. Hop-forwardness + big roast flavor is a pretty interesting combination. Don't think this one was my cup of tea; the berry-like sweet/tart thing threw me off a bit. This 'Black IPA' avoids the pitfalls of many of its contemporaries by showcasing bitter roast malt character instead of using debittered malt as essentially food coloring. Good on 'ya, 21st!

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My wife bought this for me.

Appearance- black color, nice foamy head

Smell- hops, roasted malt

Taste- piney hops, very good

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought this was really good. First Black IPA. I enjoyed it thoroughly.Definitely recommend this one

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Photo of Lolli1315
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- An almost opaque black with some light making it through around the edge of the glass. Nice finger of rocky head that holds well through the drink while moderate amount of lacing is noticeable around the glass.

S- Roasted malt and barley come through heavily with a slightly piney hop sensation not coming through until the middle. The roasted malt and slight hints of coffee return to finish out the smell.

T- As in the smell, the taste of the beer leans hard on to the roasted malt side, and a little too much in my opinion. A hop presence is noticeable towards the middle of the beer as a grassy bitter flavor comes forward, but it does not shine through enough. Beer finishes into the roasted barley and slightly bitter coffee aftertaste.

M- Medium mouthfeel with nice carbonation.

D- Nothing too special here. Certainly not a bad beer, but I have had better black I.P.A.'s and if I am in the mood for an I.P.A. I think I would reach for something else.

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Photo of hreb
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Refrigerator cold 12oz can poured into pint glass. Beer pours dark cola brown with hints of red and a medium-thick chestnut head. Big, floral, hoppy aroma, all IPA, no dark ale (stout, brown, or porter). Serious dry hops.

Taste is simultaneously sweet, refreshing, and bitter. Subtle toasty notes, but also a solid hop bitterness (along with floral and grapefruit) all the way through. High on alcohol, but in no way out of balance with the malt and (for an American IPA) hops. Bonus: the carbonation is surprisingly light, leaving for a creamy mouthfeel that works really well with the burnt barley.

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Photo of mothman
1.82/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I really cannot see how this beer has a B+

Poured into pint glass.

Pours 1/2 finger of light tan head. color is a dark copper brown with high clarity for how dark it is. Decent retention with some lace.

Aroma: Pepperonis and crushed black pepper. This beer actually smells like pizza. Roasted malts. Where are the hops?

Taste: Tons of pepper flavors. Grassy hops show with some bitterness. Roasted/smokey malts. This beer just doesn't work.

Mouthfeel: Spiced and roasted with a slight bitterness to it. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry and grassy.

Overall, not a very good beer, at all. It is actually quite terrible. Doesn't taste anything like a bipa. Hardy any fresh hops. Pretty much a drainpour.

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

Pours a black, deep drown with red when held to light. Head is tan two fingers that falls slow and laces well.

Aroma is roasted malt with nice piny hops thrown in to balance it out. Roasted some what weak coffee notes with hints of coco and pine.

Taste is roasted malt with more coffee thens present in the nose. Malt is not overly strong but then neither are the hops, Seems like a nice balanced brew. Hops are piny and leave a lingering bitterness in the finish but there not over powering. Nice crisp, dry brew with lots of flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium with carbonation thats not fizzy but pretty peppy.

Drinkability is good and enjoyable black IPA, perfect balance going on with out either side dominating.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Slight roasty notes up front with piney, sticky resiny hop aromas that dominate. Clean American yeast character.

Appearance: Clear chocolate brown pour with leather edges. Tan sticky head that retains well.

Flavor: Lots of earthy, piney hop character. Balance is firmly bitter. Background roasty notes but just hints. All dominated by the American hops. Finish is clean, roasty, and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. Slight hop and grain derived astringency.

Overall impression: An easy drinking American Ale. Love this interpretation. Very glad we can get 21A in Central OH now.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.61/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque warm sable with a thick, fine-bubbled, light tan head. Strong aroma is fairly hoppy with a firm undertone of citrus, mainly orange and a bit of grapefruit. Strong, hoppy flavor has smoky and nutty undertones and hints of chocolate and licorice. It fairly successfully marries most of the flavors I like in a stout or porter with the hoppy and citrus flavors I appreciate in an IPA. Maybe I should change my favorite sort of beer to black IPA. Texture is fairly smooth and fizzy with a slight tinny undertone.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of SkunkWorks
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Lark in East Northport, New York. Served in a pint glass.

It was dark in color like a stout and had very little head, but I think that was a consequence of the pouring. The smell is strong with the maltiness and the hoppiness (grapefruit and citrus hops). The taste is a little chocolatey, mostly malty and a little bit of hops. The mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. Its very drinkable and is a very approachable beer.

Overall, its pretty decent. I don't think I'd have again but I'm glad i had it once. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of lstokes
4.12/5  rDev +12%
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.

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

Poured from a 12-oz. can into my Terrapin pint glass.

Appearance: A dark, transparent, porter-like color. I poured this too hard, which resulted in a billowy two-finger, creamy head.

Smell: The style is evident in the smell, as both the malt and hop scents are very strong.

Taste: Surprisingly refreshing! This is not very bitter, but the hops are there; the real star is the sweet, pleasant maltiness. It's a little chocolatey, very like a porter.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. I don't normally pay much attention to this aspect of beer, but here it stands out.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink. This is the kind of beer I find myself gulping, however I try not to. This is the first beer I've had from 21st Amendment, and I'm impressed. Check it out.

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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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Photo of Spider889
3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice and black, decent lace, this beer smells of aggressive hops (Columbus or something similar) that are not as pleasant - floral/cirtrussy - as some. Plenty of pine notes. Bitter but drinkable this is a beer that I wouldn't mind several of, but the malt doesn't play much more of a role other than color-indicator. Some caramel malt in the nose and slight burnt bread on the finish. Dry aftertaste.

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

Poured a deep black hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a resinous hop and roasted malt.

The taste consisted of a moderate hop spice with a residual roasted barley.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a nice black IPA. Could use a bit more hop presence.

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Photo of THORN
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 Fl. Oz. can poured into pint glass. Served about 45 F.
A: Black with red around the edges. Retains a quarter inch of bubbly tan head.
S: Dark toasted malts.
T: toasted dark malts and bitter hops. A ferric after taste is very apparent.
M: Very light on tongue.
D: After taste ruins any flavor that comes before.

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Photo of Brideshead
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very dark, as the name would suggest...but some brown tinge. Quite a nice head, with moderate retention and nice lace.

Smell: The Sweetish/Bitter combination of toasted malt and bitter cocoa/burnt coffee is quite memorable.

Taste: This is an IPA worth trying, mostly due to the heavy and sweet presence of toasted malts. The bitterer hop presence follows up, along with a bitter cocoa taste. The feel in the mouth is thickish and full. Overall, immensely drinkable, but perhaps not quite as nicely complex as some other options...like Dogfish Head's 190minute IPA.

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Photo of mdwalsh
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Well, if there was ever a beer that looked like Coca Cola, this was it. The beer is dark brown (NOT black) with a decent to small beige head. A little active carbonation, but overall, not a very inspiring beer. From the looks it should have been a brown ale.

S: There's hops here, mildly spicy but also a little citrusy. But the roasted malt is really strong as well. There's a lot going on here and the aromas are fighting it out, not to the pleasure of my nose. I get a little burnt coffee, but then a wife of orange peel followed by a lingering, very light pine smell.

T: The taste leaves a lot to be desired, but not so much as the aroma. The hops take a back seat to the roast, but they linger much longer and the balance works better. Still, not anywhere near an IPA in my book.

M: Light, very appropriate for an IPA type beer.

D: I'm not a fan at all, if this were my beer I would tweak a little bit and make something more like a Schwarzbier out of it.

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Photo of jdoncbus
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown leather, fluffy tan head that sticks nicely to the SA turbulator glass. Active carbonation creates nice visuals when held up to a light.

Malt dominates the nose. Whiffs of dark roasted grain, coffee, and butterscotch-carmel. Cutting through it all is a raisin, citrus fruit smell; interesting.

Similar to the nose the malt takes control of this offering; giving the drinker a nice taste of burnt grains and a pinch of coffee; almost reminds me of a smoke beer. The hops are not overpowering in the least but manage to cut through the malt onslaught to a degree. It does its job of balancing it all out.

Smooth mouthfeel, almost creamy on initial contact. The hops manage to dry things up a bit at the end; performing a little mop up duty.

A very nice change up for the hopheads out there (me included). As the leaves start to fall, I can see myself putting a few of these down. In tne end it is a nice, ballanced beer.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

can poured into pint glass

A - Pours super dark with a slight brown hue around the edges of the glass. A frothy, bubbly head nearly erupts right over the rim of the pint glass with a slightly tan hint. The retention is nearly everlasting, forming a substantial layer over the beer with an abundance of stringy lacing.

S - An array of heavier malts and dark scents. Grain, malt, and a healthy helping of caramel all swirl together.

T - It seems to have a tendency to wander while tasting, as toasted grains and caramel malt begin the initial wave of flavor. Bitter hops attempt to break through, especially during the finish, but a decent amount of dryness from the malts and a touch of coffee continues to linger, which appears to impact the hop profile.

M/D - There's a relatively chewy, medium body, as the silky smooth feel makes it an easy beer to drink.

This is decent enough, but it almost feels like a cross between multiple styles (porter, ipa, stout) which can confuse the palate.

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Photo of Ricochet
4.12/5  rDev +12%
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.

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