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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

1,851 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,851
Reviews: 649
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 41
Gots: 131 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Back In Black Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,851 | Reviews: 649 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tempest
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%

Poured from can into a pint glass the beer was pitch black. At first it was a lovely pairing that came off like dry Irish stout with dry cocoa malts and classic American citrus hops. Unfortunately, as it warmed up during diner a less pleasant (though not bad) molasses flavor came forward. I'm digging the style, and it's worth checking out if you are too.

tempest, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%

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

barleywinefiend, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of Billolick
3.58/5  rDev -3%

Mini growler pour from the good folks at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. Pours black, medium tan/slate head, frothy and lasting forever at the very thick film stage. Leaves a collar as well and bits of fine lacing. Musty, caramel and winter spice in the nose. Chalky, hoppy, malty. Not much fruit or complexity, mostly I get a quite dry and yes again a chalky note. As it warms, dark malts, and mildly gritty hops come to the fore. Nothing overly impressive going on here. Decent IPA not much beyond that.

Billolick, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of stakem
3.58/5  rDev -3%

Thanks to wishuwerebeer for gifting me with a can of this. Poured into a snifter, this brew stream a clear dark brown color but as it comes to rest in my glass it looks closer to black. A finger of creamy tan head appears initially and fades to a thin film across the top. It leaves a wall of lacing effect on the glass.

The smell of this brew is fruity with hops. A bit herbal, catty and citrus-like before melding into the sweet scent of dark roasty grain. The combination of hops and dark roast form a scent more in line with raisins and alcohol. As it warms up, it picks up more of a roasty scent of the dark kilned grains and a hint of citrus-like coffee.

The first sip of this brew is quite unique. It is almost minty or methol-like with the way the hops intertwine with the roast of the grain and alcohol. The hop character is a mixture of herbal, fruity, citrus and pine-like flavors. This brew is mildly bitter from a combination of roasted malt and hops, it is enjoyably not over-done and blends together quite well with each unique flavor blending into the other counterpart. The aftertaste is a little bit like prunes but with an herbal edge to it.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. The feel was just right and the alcohol was fairly well integrated. I am not the biggest fan of the style but this offering was pretty decent. I dont know if I would have liked it any more or less if it was more fresh. As-is I might try it again but it wouldn't be my top pick if I had other choices.

stakem, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of dbrauneis
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%

A: Pours a clear very dark reddish brown (approaching but not quite black) in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation near the surface of the beer and some garnet red + crimson red highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy light tan head that reduces to a thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of roasted malts and coffee along with slightly stronger aromas of pine hops.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of roasted malts and lighter flavors of roasted coffee. Moderate flavors of pine hops with just a hint of citrus/grapefruit pith hops. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness in the finish which lasts for a moderate amount of time.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth, almost creamy with a light to moderate amount of dryness in the finish

O: This beer has a nice balance between the roasty malts and hoppy flavors as well as well hidden alcohol. Another nice brew from 21st Amendment and available in a can!

dbrauneis, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%

Pours dark brown with a swirly head. Smells pretty light with some light citrusy hops, some light roastiness, and a touch of sweetness. The taste is a good deal more pronounced- this isn't a blow you away beer, but something about the nicely balanced creaminess, dry stout-like roastiness and gentle citrusy bitterness really works for me. I'm at the end of this six-pack, and this beer has really grown on me. Nicely creamy in the mouth and quite tasty. I like this better than I though I would.

Georgiabeer, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of duceswild
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

duceswild, Jul 08, 2012
Photo of Zorro
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

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.

Zorro, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of mothman
1.83/5  rDev -50.4%

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.

mothman, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of ejimhof
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

ejimhof, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of BARFLYB
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%

12oz CAN into a Lancaster Brewing pint glass late at night.

Back in Black pretty much sums up the color on this 21ster, a black body with some dark reds along the edges. A gorgeous light tan headf came up and stayed forever leaving nice sheets of lace.

A good balance of dark malts mixed in with citrus goodness from the hopping, pretty much even. A nice citrus blast of grapefruit and the like. Roasted malts and a semi storm kingish hop smell from the freshness.

Much more hoppy than I was expecting, again it reminds me of drinking a very lightly hopped storm king, or maybe an aged bottle of that. The roasted quality comes out as well as some sweetness. Pineapple and grapefruit and other citrus tastes. Looking at this beer, I was not expecting such a hop bite, quite nice.

Feel is mediumish and amply carbed up, the head last forever and this is some active beer here. Goes down smooth and citrusy and not very bitter as the darks really take away from that aspect. Very drinkable beer here and I would go for another in a second.

BARFLYB, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev -3%

12 ounce can into tulip glass, canned on 8/15/2011(oh well, lets give it a shot). Pours a clear extremely dark brown color with a nice 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some good spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of orange, grapefruit, caramel, roasted malt, toast, pine, herbal, floral, and light chocolate. Aromas are pretty malty sweet smelling, with moderate roast character. Taste of grapefruit, pine, roasted malt, caramel, toast, chocolate, floral, and herbal spiciness. Fair amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, roasted malt, toast, pine, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Pretty nice balance flavors; with a good hop/roasted character balance. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and sticky mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a good black IPA. Nice roasted character to hop balance, and very smooth to drink. No idea what to expect from a fresher can, perhaps better aromas.

superspak, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%

A gift from Dennis. Thanks bro!

A: This beer appears an opaque shade of the darkest brown, bordering on black. The head is over an inch tall and looks like a chocolate milkshake. As it fades, it coats the glass in lacing.

S: Roasted malt and hops. I'm just not entirely sure about the black IPA style in general. The aromas seem to conflict with one another, creating an overall odd scent.

T: Decent tasting, and happily, it's better than the aroma would indicate. It's rich and smooth, with a noticeable hop bitterness in the finish. I suppose one could label this a "balanced" version of the style, as the roast aspect is quite prevalent, as well.

M: Good feel. Fairly thick, with a creamy smooth feel reminiscent of a stout.

D: Pretty interesting beer. I would drink it again, but it's not something I would seek out, or even choose at a store.

Huhzubendah, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%

A black IPA from 21st Amendment brewing, California based craft brews in cans. Found this on tap, however.

Appearance: Black as night with a light khaki colored head. Could be confused with a Guinness to the untrained eye. The lace show is pretty fantastic, webs of bubbly foam coat the glass with each sip.

Smell: Floral hops and some toasty malt give the beer a solid nose.

Taste: A very mellow IPA, dark and lightly roasted. I would call this a hoppy schwarzbier since it has that type of malt backing. Piney hops add some bitterness, subtle grapefruit tinge. Mighty tasty.

Mouthfeel: A bit heavy on the palate but still goes down smooth and easy.

Drinkability: Hell yea! Fond of this one for sure, a nice hybrid of styles but still maintains the IPA feel.

Stinkypuss, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of ppoitras
4.4/5  rDev +19.2%

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.

ppoitras, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

BillRoth, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of mdaschaf
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%

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.

mdaschaf, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev +8.4%

wrightst, May 05, 2014
Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +8.4%

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.

biegaman, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of John_M
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%

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.

John_M, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of rab53
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

rab53, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +8.4%

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.

plaid75, Sep 03, 2010
Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

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.

beerthulhu, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of tdm168
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%

Pours a deep, dark brownish black with cascading cappuccino colored head similar to the way Guinness pours. Great head retention. Smells of roasted malt, citrusy hops, and faint alcohol esters. In the taste, citrus and piny hops battle the roasted and chocolate malts. Well balanced. Well hopped. Nice malt character. Rich, smooth, drinkable. A little thin, but refreshing.

A very drinkable, rich, dark beer. Very good take on the style.

tdm168, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of billab914
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%

12oz can poured into my Ithaca glass. It poured dark brown in color with a half inch of foam covering the top of the beer. Decent head retention and lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma has a noticeable juicy hoppiness mixing with some roasted darker malts. Coffee and some dark chocolate flavors come out and blend in relatively well with the citrus and pine hop flavors.

The taste shows off a little more of the darker malts. Coffee, dark chocolate and some burnt flavors are all present. The hops have a little more of a bitter grapefruit profile towards the finish. I get a little juicy hoppiness out of it, but it seems a little overshadowed by the darker malts.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being moderate. Overall, it's a decent beer for the style but the darker, roasted malts overshadowed the hops a little too much for me. The flavors are bold, but also pretty good.

billab914, Jul 06, 2012
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,851 ratings.