Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

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BA SCORE
83
good

672 Reviews
THE BROS
72
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 672
Hads: 2,184
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 52
Gots: 290 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tpd975 on 11-23-2008

ABV varies around 7%.
65 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 672 | Hads: 2,184
Photo of MistahBeah
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Black or a very dark brown. Khaki head with good lacing. Lots of carbonation

Aroma: Roasty chocolate and toffee notes. Earthy hops. Caramel

Taste: Chewy roasted chocolate and some bitter coffee flavor. Resiny earthen hop bitterness. A little citrus. Bitter but not overly so. Ironically this was more bitter than their IPA. A tad salty in the finish as well

Mouthfeel: Creamy and chewy. Lingering bitter finish

Overall: Not bad by any stretch but nothing I would strongly recommend. Decent (505 characters)

Photo of MacQ32
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours damn near black with about a half finger of light chocolate/dark tan colored head. Retention is so-so the lacing is strong.

S - Slightly roasty malts and a very earthy hop presence. Roasty chocolates/toasted caramel malts , minimally grassy and resinous hop qualities.

T - Roasty malts and citrusy/earthy hops are definitely at the forefront initially. Roastyness really lingers and along with the hoppy astringency (quite astringent) blocks out any sweetness from malts. Astringent hoppy flavors definitely linger and there's a hint of malty and citrusy sweetness for a split second at the finish. 3

With time and warmth the astrigency is much less devastating and much better balanced - although roasty and earthy hops w/ mildly sweet finish is really all im getting out of this. Simple but much better than initially thought. Aftertaste doesnt linger too much bit is bitter earthy hops. 3.75

M - Medium bodied, very smooth, but somehow very carbonated (for the style). I kind of dig it but the overpowering astringency makes it difficult to gauge anything else. I don't think it's the fault of the mouthfeel, and I rather like it - although it does seem a little confused as do the flavors. 3.5

Over time, like taste, the mouthfeel becomes a bit less confused and better gauged as the astrigency has died down. Still pretty well carbonated, although not as much so as initially thought, still very smooth, medium bodied. 3.75

O - Not awful, but as others have said, and i believe it described it perfectly - This seems to be a very confused beer (especially in regards to taste and mouthfeel). A lot going on at once, seemingly blocking everything else. 3.25

Over time my opinion of this brew has definitely improved, im about half way through as I re-review parts of this and the beer is probably around 55 degrees 3.75 (1,840 characters)

Photo of alaimoa
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a nice black with lots if brown head that lingers with nice lacing. Smells a bit of burnt chocolate, burnt caramel and hop resin. Taste isn't bad but thin and not too compkex, slightly too malty with a bitterness that hangs around for too long. (250 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Consumed 6/15/13

Cheers to magictacosinus for sending this as an extra. I've been sitting on this can for about two months, not out of disinterest, but because I've had so many other beers to drink! Plus, I've already had this in the past, and I know I like it, so...

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black - holding it up to direct light reveals that this beer is actually really clear, and has some serious garnet tones - pours with a big, creamy, beige head, retains a nice cap, leaves above-average lacing

Smell: Roasty chocolate malts and some hops - nicely roasty, without being particularly aggressive - some nice coffee-like notes - lightly burnt chocolate malts - lightly hoppy, with some citrus and some grassy tones - some pale and caramel grainy sweetness in the background

Taste: Subdued chocolate malts and some hops - a uniquely mellow take on the style - roasty coffee notes - lightly burnt, dry chocolate malts, and some dark chocolate flavors - a nice level of hoppiness with some fleshy grapefruit, and some vague citrus peel - some nice sweetness, from caramel malts - somewhat bready

Mouthfeel: Medium body, smooth, nice carbonation, clean finish

Overall: Won't rock you all night long, but will make other AC/DC references

This is a uniquely mellow, unexpectedly drinkable black IPA. Balancing the bitter, burnt flavors with bitter, fruity hop flavors is always a challenge. This beer isn't aggressive in either regard, which is not particularly exciting, but it is nicely charming. (1,509 characters)

Photo of ChuckHackett
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smooth,Malt, earthy. Slightly hopped. Very Easy Beer to drink. Even though the IBU's were at 65, it didn't taste that hoppy. I think it's a unique beer. I didn't feel like it was 6.8%ABV. It was very smooth and would think it was more in the 6.2%. It was like having a Nitro Milk Stout and a Alaskan IPA having a child.
I think there is room for the creation of the Dark IPA market. It's nice to have those earthy, full-mouthed IPA with some stout notes.
I would think that this would be at least scored in the 80's. I think there are better IPA's, but then again. Is this just an IPA? (585 characters)

Photo of ckollias
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
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. (449 characters)

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ST: 12oz can poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark black with a half-a-finger nail off-white head.

S: Grapefruit, burnt malt, smoke, coffee, pine, oil.

T: Smoke, grapefruit, gum, coffee beans, dark fruit cake.

M: Medium and dry

O: A pleasant beer, nothing wrong or great. It has a nice aroma and the flavor is a good combination of some grapefruit hops quickly overshadowed by malt. The finish is bitter and dry like espresso beans. It works well with a beef stock based soup. (478 characters)

Photo of kevanb
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can poured into a snifter.

Pours a cola brown color, noticeable amount of bubbles rising to the top of the glass. A nice off white head, about a finger high rises to the top of the glass, moderate retention with a fair amount of lacing left behind. Aroma is of roasted coffee and piney hops, a bit of citrus is detectable but sweet, rich dark grain is the big finisher here, very simple aroma and not that hop forward. The flavors are of toasted grain, burnt coffee, resinous bitter hop, pine, dirty grass with some sweet alcohol in the finish. The body is a bit thin, and heavily carbonated for the style, could be a bit richer and smoother, nice dry crisp finish.

Verdict: Decent at best. It has all the hallmarks of a good Black IPA, but the balance of flavors really poor and the malt and roast really dominate what could be a nice earthy hop forward beer. (867 characters)

Photo of magictacosinus
3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a glass from a 12oz can.

The color isn't necessarily what I'd dub as "black," but rather a relatively darkened reddish-brown color overall. Decent amount of carbonation, and a half finger of foam that holds on pretty well throughout its sitting. Good lacing on the glass, and faint streaks of bubbles glide up the glass. Decent alcohol leggings, and despite its murky, off presentation, not a bad looking beer by any means.

Still not sure how close to style this is in terms of being a black IPA on the aroma... There's faint, yet refreshing, floral hops that come in, combined with a light toasted character and a little bit of grains. Somehow the roasted grains aren't playing so much of a part here, but definitely honeysuckle and warm citrus zest permeates, if only so lightly. If I was blindfolded I'd never be able to tell that this used darkened malts. The hops are definitely making themselves noticeable, which is good. It smells pleasing overall, but definitely isn't too complex.

The flavor fortunately reveals a bit more of the beer's intended roasted character, complete with a bready rye darkened nature, and a combination of grassy and floral bitterness at the finish. The hops and dark caramel characteristics of the malts are well balanced here. They're not explosive by any means (although the hops provide pleasant astringency in the aftertaste), but definitely well put together. There's a bit of lingering graininess, but nothing too distracting from the beer's intended flavors. No alcohol can be found here, which makes this easy to drink overall.

Definitely not the best example when rated to style, but this is still a good beer with a decent hop profile, despite muted roasted flavors. I do think it's the most balanced and drinkable offering by 21st Amendment that I've had so far, and would definitely have another if offered one. I'm still on the road to finding the ultimate black IPAs, however, so it may be later than sooner. (1,973 characters)

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.78/5  rDev +3%
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. (1,210 characters)

Photo of NilocRellim
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer was poured from the can and into a pint glass. Very dark, almost black, in colour. Beer had a roasted, sweet malt nose which carried through into the flavour of the beer; tasting of dark roasted malts. No distinctive aftertastes or flavours.

Would I buy this beer again? Maybe. (283 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can

Pours black, brownish tinge around the edges, with some observable particulate matter. Pillowy light tan head dissipates slowly.

Smalls of molasses, roasted nuts and piney hops.

Mild caramel malt sweetness and piney hop bitterness. Pretty hoppy.

Medium body with a light carbonation on the tongue.

Pretty decent dark ale with a heavy hop punch. Interesting flavor balance. Different but not bad. Not always a big fan of 21st A, but this one is worth trying. (474 characters)

Photo of TaylorK
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a can of this from Kroger while I was over in Columbus for a beer festival. Picked up another from the same brewery and a mixed set. I've been enjoying craft brews for some time, but the canned craft isn't something I've encountered much. Still getting used to seeing that.

A: Poured this into a pint glass and it made a decent head. The beer itself is dark, but not quite as much as the marketing and packaging made me think it might be.

S: The piney hop smell is definitely dominant on the front.

T: I think one of the biggest elements here is first a very refreshing pine, but then it moves quickly into resin-y flavor that comes out ever stronger as the beer warms. This is isn't horrible, but I wasn't a big fan of the taste. To me, this is the core component, and I was disappointed with the Back in Black.

It's not a strong hop flavor, but I don't think there's much else there either. Maybe a little bit of sweet.

M: Nothing to complain about here. The feel is smooth and easy to drink.

O: This is a decent beer, but I doubt I will be picking up anymore. If it was available, I'd drink it. I'd even recommend it to a friend. This one just isn't for me. (1,180 characters)

Photo of caseyscarb
2.87/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Back in Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

I grabbed a growlette of this tonight- being an IPA lover this beer sounded pretty intriguing, it is however my 1st "Black IPA".

In to a pint glass it goes.

It is a dark hazel brown color, though fairly clarified, and a decent amount of carbonation producing slightly more head then I was expecting.

On the nose I initially get a piney hop and semi sweetness followed by a light roasted malt and coffee. As I continue to smell I even get some cocoa nibs.

While I'm pleased with the smell, it does not carry through very well to the taste-
It's a bit watery, and an initial sweetness is then bombarded by carbonation in the mid and finishes very bitter.

There are some really nice nuances in the flavors, but it doesn't tie together well as a whole.

When I envisioned a Black IPA, this is nowhere near what came to mind.

But to be fair, it has a tasty quality to it, but it's definitely nothing too special. (953 characters)

Photo of macrosmatic
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Picked up a can from the Root Cellar in Cincinnati. Poured from can into a Russian River pint glass.

A: Very dark brown to black, and nearly opaque unless held to the light. Minimal visible carbonation, and a half-finger's worth of off-white head.

S: Dark cacao, pine hops, a bit of coffee. Overall impression is of sweetness.

T: Follows, but more coffee malt than the nose, and only a moderate amount of hops - pine and a bit of citrus rind in profile.

M: Medium body, low carbonation sensation, and a mild alcohol presence.

O: Not great...I'm a little disappointed. It was canned five months ago, so not at the peak of freshness. Still though - not particularly old, and not particularly good. (721 characters)

Photo of patpbr
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

21st Amendment Black Ale is black in color like the name states. The smell is malt and some citrus. A roast malt character smokey and coffee. Then it finishes like an an IPA with a bitter and lingering feel. This is an interesting brew. Its well worth a try. (258 characters)

Photo of fauxpunker
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Can. Pours near black with off-white head. Clean and bright. First experience with a black IPA. Not sure what to think. It’s not bad, but not what I was expecting either. Hops and malt both strong in the aroma, but the malt wins (a bit roasty) out in the flavor. Easy to drink, slightly bitter finish. Glad for the experience and likely to give 21st Amendment another look.

Review posted at Ratebeer originally. (414 characters)

Photo of One_Man_Gang
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this on tap at 2 Stones Pub in Newark, DE. this is a great brew.

the color is black, with a good solid 2 inch head that laces nicely

the smell is somewhat smokey, with chocolate and/or coffee hints, and a nice hop aroma

taste is everything i would want in this style, it starts like a stout and finishes like an IPA. has a chocolate, smokey taste to start as well as a piney, bitter finish.

overall i really enjoy this one. i have since found it in cans, and when poured into a glass, it is very good that way as well.
another solid offering from 21st Amendment! (571 characters)

Photo of beerdrifter
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, nearly black pour with a two finger beige head with good retention and great lacing. The nose was a bit subdued for the style. Roasty up front with hints of black licorice, mocha, and soy sauce with a touch of citrus and pine emerging as well as a touch of smoke. The taste is a bit more bold with roasty coffee and chocolate complemented nicely with citrusy, piney hop notes with some cola on the finish. The mouthfeel is a tad bit fizzy and a little thin, but has a nice finish. Overall a solid Black IPA, but not quite up there with Sublimely. Very sessionable though... (585 characters)

Photo of bensbeers
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Golden West in Baltimore. Appearance was nothing special. Must not have gotten a good pour out of the tap because I had no head at all. Color was a dark dark brown with hints of red around the edges. Slightest touch of caramel colored suds on the top. Looks like a stout but definitely drinks like an IPA. Lots of rich scents on the nose - coffee, buttercream, chocolate, and a touch of smoke. The taste closely mimics the nose - definitely can taste the hops. Not citrusy but robust which gives me the impression that they are extremely well-balanced with the grains. Malty character but not too sweet - toasty and roasty. Dark flavors - bittersweet chocolate and toast with a hint of strong coffee at the finish. Mouthfeel was extremely pleasant. Not too crisp but not as flat as other dark beers can be. Overall an extemely tasty beer. Great take on the black IPA , but this is certainly open to interpretation - some my call it a stout m, some a brown ale. A great beer to kick off a session and enjoy when the weather is turning from cold to colder. Cheers! (1,076 characters)

Photo of DocJitsu
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque, very dark brown with a huge, fluffy dark taupe head. Average head retention. Cola-ruby glints are noted around the bottom edges. Aroma is characterized by chocolate, roasted malt, and cherry. Mouthfeel is thin for a stout style, but they call this a black IPA, in which case it is more true to style. Carbonation is a bit on the low average side. Very mild flavors, given the appearance, of chocolate covered cherries and some coffee acidity late. There's a mild sweetness throughout. Some of its hop character expresses itself about midway. It still drinks a bit more like an English stout. The 65 IBUs likely put it in an IPA category. Otherwise, it should be in an English stout category. (708 characters)

Photo of PatDugan
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm a pretty big fan of 21st Amendment in general but Back in Black is one of my favorite beers they put out. Black as night is a pretty adept description of the color this beer takes when poured into a glass. The taste is both smoky and bold, and the high ABV will have you feeling these pretty quickly. Highly recommend. (322 characters)

Photo of Treebs
3.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. can served in a FFF Teku glass. Canned on 04/24/12. Thanks to danielnovak3 for the extra.

A: Pours a solid black color with some dark ruby edges. A light tan head forms on the pour and recedes to a nice bubble collar. It leaves some splotchy sheets of lace behind.

S: Some stale coffee, a little acrid in nature, with some dark chocolate malts and a little piney bite to it.

T: Some roasted malts with a bitter, hoppy bite to it. The finish is some stale coffee with some pale malts.

M: Medium bodied with a bitter, acrid bite to it. A little sharp with some medium carbonation.

O: This just tastes old. The hops have faded, the malt feel a bit plain and the coffee notes are stale. (695 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1541st Review on BA
Can to FW Snifter
12oz

Canned 5/07/12
Purchased from Total Wine & More, Sacramento, CA for $1.99

App- This was a very dark brown. Had a very good density in the glass. With the head it had a creamy looking guinness appeal to it. A semi decent amount of cling.

Smell- Wasnt a whole lot of aromatics on this one. What I did pick up on though was a small bit of a flat cola, dense malts, old coffee & citrusy grassy hops. While these are nice aromatics, they didnt really mesh well

Taste- Its a semi good Black IPA. Had all the requisite flavors but just didnt wow me. Lacking a bit of balance and pop. Was really only about a middle tier beer. Most of the flavors came from the malty chocolate powder.

Mouth- A lighter medium body almost a light body. Didnt fit the profile really but was still quite pleasant. The carbonation was pretty spot on and retained a medium carbonation. A bit smooth vs. prickly as well

Drink- Tasty, but not in the top tier yet of the black IPAs. Glad I got a single can because I dont think I want 6 cans and because I cant get this in So. Cal. (1,097 characters)

Photo of TwelveOunces
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 Oz can poured into a tulip glass

A- Black in the can with red around the edges. A one finger off tan head.

S- The nose is extremely hoppy. The hop profile in mine is quite aged, I can tell mine isnt too fresh. There is some pineapple, overly ripened fruits. I can smell the carafa malts and some caramel.

T- There is a slight bitterness up front followed up by a roasted malt. I get a bit of the carafa malt as well. The hop flavor is not as strong as I would like, there is a slight grapefruit. The hop profile in my beer has definitely faded with age.

M- This is a good sized beer and has a nice feel to it. Its sticky and only a little bitter. Cleanish finish.

O- This beer is only ok, I can tell mine isn't fresh and I think that may have a lot to do with it (772 characters)

Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 672 ratings.