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Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

Educational use only; do not reuse.

677 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 677
Hads: 2,212
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 24.25%
Wants: 51
Gots: 307 | 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: 677 | Hads: 2,212
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Jackson Wines & Spirits in Lafayette CA, and brought back in my luggage to Australia to crack open with my bro, and my bro from another mo.

Pours a deep brown, slightly red-tinged, slightly opaque colour, with a fine-bubbled and rather firm head of beige-brown bubbles. Lacing is solid and pretty decent. The colour is nice, but looks a little light for a IBA; it makes me wonder where the roasted characters are going to come from.

On the nose, however, they are there and present. Certainly some dark grain, toasted bread, with a light citric hop acidity and a hint of chemical astringency, that almost certainly comes from the hops as well. More of the roasted character, and less of the hops than I've had from many an IBA, but it's pretty interesting.

Taste is odd, but again, it works. Slight nutty malt character throughout, just punctuated with some light citric hops, and quite a light finish, that doesn't quite have much roasted or hoppy bitterness, although the mingled combination of the two lasts for some time. Feel is thin, but smooth.

It's a nice brew, but I've had better examples of the style. This one falls flat in a number of areas, and while it still yields a nice package, it's far from the pinnacle of the style.

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Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It'd be awfully disappointing if Back in Black were actually a dark, opaque brown - as American ales of this sort tend to be - but fortunately it's as black as soot (only against the light is it visible that its trim may actually have a little chestnut colour to it). Although not pristine white, its spongy head is light in colour and the coating provides a good contrast.

The aroma is certainly Pacific North-West caliber and packed with milk chocolate maltiness - in other words, textbook Cascadian Dark Ale. Neither much citrus nor coffee-ish roast registers but the pine-y hops practically seep tree resin into the nostrils while an almost cookie dough-like maltiness triggers the sweet tooth. There's also a chicory root note.

The hops have an acidic zest to them, resembling something like a piquant tomatillo salsa, and without much roast (and no acrid burnt taste) from the malts, that part savory/part spicy note lingers long into the aftertaste. The beer is otherwise milky sweet, however, and almost reminds me of a chocolate maltshake. There's not a hint of alcohol what so ever.

65 IBU isn't too great a bitterness that coffee-and-cream and spruce tip flavours can't be appreciated. Indeed, there is plenty of flavour to this otherwise quenching, easily quaffed beer including cookie dough, pine needles and broiled grapefruit. This thing has been more than adequately hopped: the finish contains chicory and cedar wood notes.

I'm aware that 21st Amendment have had some issues with their canning facilities in the past - that, to me, seems the only thing that might explain why this beer hasn't a higher rating. I may have been more favorable to other CDAs but I struggle to think of many others that I'd rather have locally available to buy frequently. This is one of my favourite 21A brew.

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Photo of John_M
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with very good head retention and lacing. I'll say this, the beer looks impressive. The nose, however, I'm not loving so much. Although I get some noticeable peppery hop aroma, there's also something of a ginger and roasty malt aspect to the aroma profile. I get some cola as well. Flavors replicate the nose quite well, which is OK, but is not wowing me. Mouthfeel is light and almost a bit watery. Drinkability is likewise not all that impressive. Although the alcohol is pretty well disguised, the slight ginger flavor with the roasty malt just isn't a good combination for me.

Mehhh... While certainly not wretched, can't see any reason why I'd want to try this again.

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

A: Poured a light black with a tannish head and good carbonation

S: Smelled of chocolate, faint, grains, citrus and floral hops

T: I noticed some chocolate and black malts upfront, floral and citrus but lighter

M: SOmewhat bitter finish, lighter bodied

D: Ok

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +9%
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 WoodBrew
3.34/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

To name a beer after a famous ACDC song....it better be awesome! Unfortunately 21st Century Back In Black Black IPA is not....however, it is solid. I just don't think it hit the mark. I use the Stone Self Righteous as my barometer. The B in B from 21st was a very dark ruby amber with a thin white head. The scent was most dissappointing, maybe some subtle malt...but not any hop. The taste follows the smell, subtle roast and malt, a lil hint of hop. I do like how it comes off the pallete clean...not lingering. The beer is easy on the mouth and could drink my weight.

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

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.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A high quality black IPA with a smoother, softer overall feel on draft than in the can. Carbonation is rounded off a bit, there’s some stickiness, and the body is very much right down the middle. Black and opaque with a small tan head that settles down slowly, leaving nice lacing. Aroma is lightly roasty but led by grapefruit hop notes. The flavor is a bit more balanced and less aggressively citrusy than I remember the can being. Definite grapefruit hoppiness with some piney notes but there is a higher degree of roastiness here than in many other black IPAs or “Cascadian Ales” or what-have-you. Finishes fairly dry with a bit of lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. If you like this style this is a solid example.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.42/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz can purchased as part of a 6-pack from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1 1/2" tan head above the slightly cloudy reddish brown brew. Dense head lasts nicely, with sporadic chunky lacing. Aroma is grapefruity hops. Taste is sweet through to the middle, then citrus and grapefruit hops come on, lasting through the close. Mouthfeel is uber-smooth, and drinkability is superb. Another great beer to get for when cans are better than glass, or anytime.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz can into a pint glass.

Appearance: extremely deep amber color, bordering on black. Plenty of red light is allowed through when held up to a light source. Head is one finger of fizzy tan foam which dissipates somewhat rapidly. It's not precisely black, nor at all IPA looking, but it's not bad.

Smell: somewhat chocolately roasted malt aroma with a bit of acidic sourness present. Hops are somewhat earthy and not especially prominent at this phase. This smells rather like an American porter.

Taste: plenty of sourness and a bit of the roast character remains. Hops seem slightly citrusy and slightly floral, with an earthy bitterness toward the end. The sourness dominates the beginning, though, with maltier flavors coming in toward the end. This is kind of a bizarre tasting beer which defies standard classifications; it's not too bad, though.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with an OK level of carbonation. Nothing really exciting here.

Drinkability: not bad at all. The sourness does keep me coming back and I find this beer refreshing for all its weirdness. Made a pretty good tailgating beer yesterday as well.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of beertunes
2.91/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in straight pint glass. Poured pure black, no translucence, with about a 1/2 inch of dark tan head that had good retention and moderate lacing.

The aroma had light roast and light hops, but otherwise wise fairly benign. The taste was fairly similar, some roast and hops, neither dominating, and was pretty well balanced. I don't think they were trying for balance.

The body was typical for this new style, Cascadia Dark Ale(Black IPA), not really thin or full and much like most IPA's. Drinkability was OK but not special. Overall, a decent but not noticeable take on the style. Worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a black color with a 1 inch head, considerable lacing throughout. Smell is dominated by hops, some citrus present. Taste is a good balance of hops and malts,a bit of citrus to it. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a quality brew.

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

Tasted in a pint glass from draft at Emil's on August 11, 2015. Look is dark brown, with medium head and lingering lacing. Smell is malt forward with chocolate, coffee, a hint of smoke and piney hops. Taste is reflective of the aroma with the addition of some caramel notes. Feel is medium in body with a smooth finish.

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Photo of DrJay
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark with clear, coppery brown edges and a fluffy tan cap. Good head retention with spotty, clumpy lace. Hoppy aroma, lots of grapefruit and citrus pith. Chocolate notes, some brown sugar, slight alcohol. Sharp, piney bitterness, juicy grapefruit flavour, malty sweetness and cocoa towards the end. Very creamy texture with fine carbonation, but the body felt a bit light. I liked it and I'm glad I picked up a six-pack.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. can. Stamped Enjoy by 7/2/15. It is July 4, 2015. Hope it didn't go bad overnight.

Really dark brown pour under a full, tan head.

The aroma has some roasted malt sweetness but I also pick up something akin to roses. Maybe that is another way to define floral hops.

The body is about medium.

The hop bitterness kicks in more noticeably in the flavor after I get through those dark malt extracts. Mild bitterness at the end.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark chocolate ruby body. Tight froth chocolate brown head. Nice retention and lace properties. Nice mix of chocolate malts and vibrant, citric hops. Very nice aroma. Flavor is solid, but would better with even a bigger hop presence and bite. The chocolate, roasted malt flavor wins the battle in this beer with the piney, citric hops coming in second. Even keeled mouthfeel. Moderately carbonated and medium full body. Enjoyable.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours as expected, black, consistency a little thin w a beige head. Aroma was burnt malt and big on the bitterness.

Taste comes in a little soapy, after a few sips, it acts as better friends w yr palate, the bitterness melds with the hops, just takes some time to get it all together. Leads to a good mouthfeel, a dank dark resonance on the tongue. This one seems to be a bit of a palate wrecker.

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

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.

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Photo of Brad007
4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Back in Black, just like AC/DC? Just loved the name and of course, I've never tried this.

Pours a dark, dark brown color (not quite black) with a reddish hue and two-finger head.

Cream, dark fruit and hops run circles around the nose with the hops exhibiting grassy characteristics.

Hops are subdued here, balanced out by dark fruit, cream and a hint of coffee. Doesn't come on strongly like other examples.

Grassy hops and dark fruit are the lingering flavors here. Alcohol is kept in check and nothing really jumps out at this point.

A decent example that strives to find balance, since a lot of American Black Ales are hop bombs or lean too much into dark ale/stout territory.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
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!

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the 3 canned 21st Amendment beers available in my area now. It pours a dark murky brown colorm fairly opaque, with a thick light tan head that laces in dried chunks on the glass. It smells like wet resiny hops and roasted malts, and the taste is no different. I'm not the biggest fan of black IPAs in general but this one is pretty good. The hops take enough of a lead to keep me happy. The body's kind of light but this beer goes down easy. This beer will work in a pinch.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +9%

Nose: grassy, minty hops, some malt sweetness and roast.
Pours pitch black under a finely bubbled, persistent 2.5" foam cap. Lacy.
Starts with a hint of sweetness, mild roast, minty hops, fresh grain and faint fruit in the finish with mild hop bitterness.
Medium body and carbonation. Dries out on the finish.

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Photo of claspada
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 677 ratings.