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Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,852 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,852
Reviews: 649
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 41
Gots: 132 | 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:
ABV varies around 7%.
65 IBU

(Beer added by: tpd975 on 11-23-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,852 | Reviews: 649 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bluejacket74
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%

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!

bluejacket74, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of DrDemento456
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%

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.

DrDemento456, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of thagr81us
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%

Enjoyed in the company of mikesgroove. Served from tap into a shaker. Poured a massively dark brown almost black with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, slight bitter hop, and cream. The flavor was of roasted malt, sweet malt, slight bitter hop, and cream. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. It was not awe-inspiring by any means, but still good. If this one had a little bit more of a hop profile going on it would have been quite good. As it was more toward the roasted side of things for the most part. A must try Black IPA.

thagr81us, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of vfgccp
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%

A - Deep black brown body with red brown highlights. Nice bone white head. Fine bubbles. Nice lace and great retention.

S - Soft pine, light roast, and sweet chocolate.

T - Herbal hops over coffee and a nice roast grain. Slow ramp-up of bitter chocolate before a shock of woody hops in the center. Malty finish.

M - Medium/light body

O - Low end of the hop spectrum for the style, but still a great offering.

vfgccp, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%

Pours a deep copper color to black with a light tan head. In the aroma, roasty coffee and a small hop presence. In the taste, just like the aroma, roasty coffee and a small pine like hop. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry, roasty, coffee aftertaste. Kind of like a hoppy porter.

OWSLEY069, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of tavernjef
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Browned black core of dense opaqueness. Dark beige crown lifts tall and lean with a creamy puffed thickness. Lots of thickly placed lacing in cob webbed frosting.

Aroma is quite the intriguing mix of dry cocoa, dry tea leaves, bittered with a twist of pine, tangerine, berries, dark orange, heavy roasted malt, and a low ended hint to coffee.

Taste brings in some low tangy roasted malt layers that has a bit of berryness, orange marmalade, and old tangerine. Bitterness is there among the roasted parts, mostly showing towards the back end with a rounded orangey tang. Mellow pineyness and chocolateyness flows lightly underneath with bits of burnt coffee and roast.

Body is about medium with a loosened roundness as it rolls into the finish. The roasted parts do mix well with the hoppy bitterness, but its missing the mark some in its smoothness due its burntish side.

All in all, a pretty good black IPA. Would have liked to see some more chocolate and creamy smoothness out of it though. Or maybe just more hops? This was a tough one to put the numbers to. May need to tweek them if needed as I drink more of it?

tavernjef, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.65/5  rDev +26%

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.

Cyberkedi, Sep 05, 2010
Photo of DefenCorps
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%

I grabbed a can of this at Chevy Chase the other day.

Dark brown with reddish highlights, there's a dense, light brown head with excellent retention and lacing. The head sticks around as a thick disk, this is particularly impressive. The nose has a moderate hop bite with pine and a rather strange soapy character. The hop character is surprisingly muted here, allowing the roasted malt to really come through. The way the flavors are balanced, this is more of a hoppy stout than black IPA. There's bitter chocolate and a mild coffee grounds character here. A touch fruity too, especially as it warms up. Once the soap character dissipates, this is solid stuff.

The palate opens with a rather big roasted malt bitterness with char, bitter chocolate and then followed by some simpler sweetness, almost like caramel and sugar. The hops are secondary here, a little pine and some bitterness, both of which are overshadowed by the malt character. A little fruity in the mid-palate before a long finish with a roasted bitterness and a mild creaminess. Medium in body, the mid-palate is rather watery, and the creaminess makes this feel like it's on nitro. Solid stuff, this really is more of a stout than a black IPA, the big difference is the sweetness that's mildly pale malt -like

DefenCorps, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of claspada
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%

Pours fairly black/dark with a nice toffee colored quickly dissipating head.

Aromas are caramel, robust, toffee malts; definitely some piny/resiny hops as well.

The taste is really nice; almost a robust porter taste to it; def not your average light/watery Schwartzbier. It still has that IPA piny/citrusy hop character taste to it to remind you that you are not drinking a porter.

Overall I loved the smooth taste; wouldn't drink a whole 6 pack of this but a few could be in order. I really enjoy this new Cascadian Black IPA style, not the best one I've had but still good.

claspada, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of bsuedekum
3/5  rDev -18.7%

bsuedekum, May 16, 2012
Photo of WOLFGANG
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

WOLFGANG, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of dgilks
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%

Dark black colour with a decent little tan head. A touch average as an appearance. The aroma is mildly roasted with some acrid malt and some decent hopping. Balanced and dry. A medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation which worked reasonably well with the beer. On the whole, this was a solid Black IPA with a decent hop character and no over the top malt other than a touch of roast. Good.

dgilks, Aug 08, 2011
Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Boone757, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of gford217
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

12oz can poured into a tulip.

Pours a deep mahogany that looks almost black in the glass but has a deep copper look when held up to light. There is a small creamy beige head that sits down as a hefty collar and leaves excellent lacing.

I'm getting a little more accustomed to aromas like this - dark chocolate malts mixed with some citrus and floral hops.

Taste is a little more bitter with the floral hops and citrus leaving a slightly astringent kick up front. The black malts are present but it's not nearly as evident as in the aroma.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation but seems a little more watery than I would expect.

Not the best of black IPAs but pretty good. I definitely like seeing new craft beer in a can and this is no exception.

gford217, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of Durge
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%

A thick black-ish brown color with a healthy light brown head and a nice network of lacing. The aroma is a dark molasses malt and creamy nut with just a hint of can in there. Decent. The flavor is charcoal licorice malt with a bright herbal hop. It's very smooth, almost creamy with light carbonation, medium bodied and very drinkable. Lots of near chocolate malt and a pleasant hop overtone. At first I thought I detected some metal but that disappears quickly. I enjoyed this. Could drink quite a few and quite flavorful with stout and ipa ideas nicely blended.

Durge, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev +8.4%

A: poured a dark brown in color with brown highlights and had a finger of head leaving lots of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: I could definitely smell the hops on the first whiff but had a nice sweet malty aroma along with citrusy character. I did however spot out a little nuttiness in the aroma as well.

T: The sweet malts were more apparent on the taste with caramel, nutty, and hoppy flavors but did have a touch of roasty coffee on the back end.

M: the brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, hoppy, and creamy finish.

D: a really pleasent black IPA that was really easy to drink and was more on the sweet side but I didn't mind it at all.

Gobzilla, Jun 24, 2011
Photo of Lare453
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Lare453, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of laituegonflable
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%

Pours a gloomy dark red colour, the colour of Satan's blood. Head is small, more of a film than a head, but lacing is something else. A cradle of delicious beige foam. It looks as enticing as Shakespeare's dark lady, and just as intoxicating.

Smells smokey and woody, but lovely and sweet as well. Lots of chocolate, sweet, with rich berry notes, blackberry and cranberry and some oaky characters, plus fresh cut pine. Wonderfully idiosyncratic, rich, tart, beautiful and sweet. Yes, yes, yes!

Taste is intriguing, but definitely feels lacking in complexity compared to the nose. Has a darkness at first, chocolatey with an odd metallic tinge that descends into weird sourness. Quite coppery with a tinge of orange, melon and a lot of oak wood. Very oaky on the back in particular but it kind of falls short, finish-wise. Definitely deficient on the back, where it's clipped nicely but far too early. Simple and a bit odd at times; a disappointment after that delicious nose.

Not a bad texture, good and filling, could use more body here as well though.

It's a pretty good beer, but that nose set me up just for the palate to completely miss the mark. A shame.

laituegonflable, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of illidurit
3.58/5  rDev -3%

Twelve ounce can poured into a pint glass. The liquid is chiefly black with slight cola accents around the edges. Thick tan head puffs up before receding to a swirly froth. Aroma is hoppy at first with pineapple at the fore and some grapefruit and leafy notes as well. The smell turns roasty after a few whiffs, with chocolate wafers and a bit of burnt character. Flavor puts this strictly in the 'hoppy dark beer' camp, as opposed to the 'dark hoppy beer' one. Mainly a roasty chocolatey profile with toasted bread, ash, and dark caramel to go with a dusting of citrus hops. Even the bitterness, which is moderate, seems to derive from the dark malts and not from the hops. Overall this is one of the better 'black ipa' type beers I've had. The only faults are that it's a little light in body, leading to a watery, Guinness-like finish.

illidurit, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +8.4%

This is my very first crack at this new style, so I was pretty excited to try it. Notes are recent.

Black it is, with just a hint of brown around the edges when held up to the light. A light colored head forms about one finger high and manages good retention and lacing.
This is quite fragrant, pretty much as I expect an IPA sort of aroma but strongly backed by dark chocolate, caramel, coffee, and roasted malts notes. This is very interesting wrapped up in citrus and light pine resin hops aromas. There's an earthiness from hops and an earthiness from malts that compound the earthy aroma.
The taste follows suit, and as this style develops I think it'll be interesting to pick out the particularities of the different flavors that can be detected from both the malts and the hops. As it is, this may be the opposite of something like a well-hopped stout: a strongly-malted IPA. I think it works well, but if done wrong I could see a Black IPA being extremely discordant. In my opinion, 21st Amendment struck a nice balance.
The body is medium-full with moderate carbonation. It starts off crisp and ends with a moderate smoothness, with a semi-dry finish lingering for a short time.
I think this beer is a great effort from 21st Amendment and I look forward to seeing how this style continues to develop. This one can be enjoyed as a sessional and equally as much in almost any climate/temperature situation.

Brenden, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of KevinGordon
4/5  rDev +8.4%

KevinGordon, Jan 03, 2013
Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev +8.4%

ROGUE16, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of popery
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%

Served on tap at City Beer Store in San Francisco.

It's not on the 21st Amendment website and I trust my fellow BAs, but I thought that I should mention that the abv was listed as 7.2% at the store, which would make sense as Back in Black is brewed along the same lines as the IPA (who cares, really). Anyway, the beer pours an opaque dark brown with purplish highlights and a good creamy mocha head that leaves excellent lacing. I'm not really sure how to rate the appearance of an intentionally dark IPA, which was certainly not to style, but I like how it looked. The aroma was very close to the IPA, strong, rich hop aromas of pine and spruce with a tinge of citrus and herbs. The flavor brings the dark malt into play with subtle roasted notes underlying the strong hop flavors. I've only had one other dark IPA that I can think of, Stone's 11th/Sublimely Self Righteous, and while they have different hop bills, they're similarly delicious. It's a great variant on the style but oddly rare among commercial brewers, although the homebrew community seems to have embraced it.

popery, May 31, 2009
Photo of ZEB89
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

ZEB89, May 04, 2013
Photo of DmanGTR
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%

A big thanks to BJ for the hookup!

Poured from a can into my Duvel tulip at 45°F.

Pours a dark shade of crimson, probably closer to dark brown but has glimpses of deep red in the light. A nicely formed off white/beige head that left massive mounds of froth all over the place. It's a bubble bath here! Aroma is very interesting. I gather lots of citrus aspects: grapefruit, tangerine peels, hint of lemon. Follow this with a nice honey/caramel sweetness and a touch of roasted coffee and that's your lovely bouquet right there. I must emphasize that the roastiness is just EVER so slight, you might think it's an off-aroma at first but give it a little bit to warm and let your olfaction adjust to it. Very balanced between bitter, toasty, and caramel sweetness. I was actually expecting less roast and more hops but this is quite pleasant. Much more of that coffee taste is apparent, but it works well with the citrus and honey. No alcohol heat detected at all. Moderate, yet appropriate, carbonation, touch of dryness in the finish. Medium bodied. Quite drinkable, in fact I wouldn't mind another at all! Or another after that...

Overall, I find this to be a most enjoyable beer. It brings a new perspective to how widely variable a style of beer can be and offers to blur the stylistic lines even more. If I were to describe this in terms of style, I would say that it's 80% citrusy IPA blended with 20% English porter. Thanks again, BJ!

DmanGTR, Nov 16, 2010
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,852 ratings.