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Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

2,072 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,072
Reviews: 669
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 49
Gots: 219 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 2,072 | Reviews: 669
Photo of Beer21
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of BRYeleJR
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of Iamjeff6
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of doughanson78
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz can poured into a pint glass.

A: Super dark black. A tad bit of light getting through at the edges. One finger light tan head with decent retention and good lacing.

S: Very floral hop aroma. Almost like incense. Not much else.

T: Very flowery. Again like an incense. Not digging it at all.

M: Light bodied. Slightly dry. Light crispness.

O: Have had this a few times now. Haven't cared for it any of the times.

Photo of magictacosinus
3.86/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Photo of Kubrickx
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of steve8robin
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Wanted to try this one for a little while. 12oz can...

A: Super dark with very faint ruby highlights around the edges when held up to the light. Super, super thick 2 inch off white head that fades at a slow pace. Very good.

S: Bitter, grassy hop scents upfront with a hint of chocolate and caramel on the backend. I get some breadiness in the middle. Good.

T: Hmm, almost tastes like a porter blended with an IPA. A creamy coffee taste upfront quickly followed by a nice blend of bitter hop, but not super bitter. Very dry brew. I get some booziness on the backend. I get some malts hidden in the back. Good.

M: Medium body with a medium carbonation. Ok.

D: This one goes down a lot easier than expected. Very good.

All in all, this is a solid brew. Glad to get to try it. Definitely good if you're looking for an interesting take on an IPA or if you're a fan of Black & Tan's. If you're looking for the straight and narrow though, don't worry about this one.

Photo of WoostaBia
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Zekenyce
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of drdiesel9483
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of KG710
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of u2carew
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz can!
A) Pours with a tan, two finger head. Nearly opaque. Tight sticky lacing.
S) Grassy. Subtle notes of caramel malt. Hints of citrus spice.
T) A decent balance of malt and hops, although seems a bit watered down. Not real robust, like one would expect from a Cascadian Ale. The malt flavors start to shine towards to finish.
M) Creamy. Medium body.
D) A decent brew, but not a standout for me.

Photo of 1424IpA
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of BeerCon5
3.84/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours almost black in color with 2 fingers of thick foamy off white head that sticks around.

The scent is a little faint, but there is some roasted malts, hops, citrus, and coffee.

The taste is a bit more noticeable with roasted malts and coffee up front, followed by piney hops, some citrus, and notes of cocoa.

Full bodied, very smooth and creamy, moderate carbonation.

This was a pretty good beer, the flavor and scent could have been stronger, but it was well balanced and very drinkable.

Photo of Dogleg
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of jtierney89
2/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a very very deep mahogany with a huge off white head. Best smelling can beer I've had so far. Head is thick and sticky as well, looks nice.

Nose is big on charcoal coffee and burnt dark malts. Very stick lacing. Charcoal and burnt roasted caramel on the front end of flavor. Really no mid range with a bitter black chocolate finish supplemented by a slight hop addition. Light to medium in body with a slightly dirty finish of confused flavors (malts trying to balance the hops and vice versa)

Mostly a malty beer though with good carbonation. Not as smooth as others I've had though. Flavors are unbalanced and simple.

Still questing for a craft beer in a can that I like.

Photo of KeefD
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Stub n Herb's. Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head. Aroma is like a little baby Darkness. Nice roastiness with huge hop presence, but on a lighter scale. Hops are nicely balanced with the roasted malts when it's cold, but becomes overly hoppy as it warms, which throws it out of balance. The last few swigs of the goblet yielded a bitter, minty, herbal hop flavor that just didn't mesh well with the dull roastiness. I would have liked more sweetness in this beer accentuate the hops, but it wasn't bad when it was cold.

Photo of silentjay
2.67/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours an opaque black with a khaki-colored head that dissipates quickly but leaves a thick film on the glass.

aroma is faint and almost non-existent, but what is there is metallic and sweet with some citrusy hops and a bit of roasty malt.

taste has a bit of roast an some cocoa, as well as some citrusy hops, but something is off about this can so far and I cannot quite pin it down. I just cannot get past the off-flavor. The malt profile reminds me of a brown ale with a bit of stout mixed in and an herbal, minty hop presence. maybe it is this peppermint I get from the hops that isn't quite meshing with the rest of the beer.

light-medium bodied with enough prickly carbonation and just a little oily resin.

eh. the off-flavor in this one ruins its drinkability for me. I bought the six pack, but I wish I had tried a single first. I probably wouldn't have purchased it again. I hope it grows on me. It's not terrible, but not pleasing either.

Photo of Alpha309
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of ksimons
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A-pours chestnut brown with three fingers worth of light tan head

S-citrus and piney hops with a bit of caramel malt

T-taste is somewhat sweeter than I expected from the smell with a heavy backbone of caramel malt and a mild amount of citrus hops

M-medium body, very smooth, mild carbonation

Overall not the most exciting beer, but still good tasting and easy to drink

Photo of 31Sam13
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass, nice thick tan head that clings as it dissipates; color is dark brown, no reddish hues.

Smell is very light malt flavors, hints of chocalate and coffee but very feint, slight hints of citrusy piney hops but it faded.

Taste somewhat subdued, just slight hints of chocalate malt compared to an ipa, bitterness comes on but fades, notes of citrus and pine. Somewhat dry finish, with hints of caramel and chocolate malt.

Mouthfeel is slightly strong on the tongue upfront but a very dry finish, with only a slight bittersweet lingering flavor.

Overall, it could use a punch of bitterness or a touch more malt flavor, a somewhat mild rendition of this style.

Photo of zoso1967
4.11/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As one might expect, Back in Black pours a slightly transparent black. When I say slightly transparent, I pretty much mean only when held up to a bright light source does it show some clean motor oil like hues around the edges. The head is a surprisingly dark tan color, creamy, and stubborn in its staying power. It leaves some pretty serious lace on the sides of my glass. This is a beautiful looking beer.

It has a pretty powerful aroma full of slightly charred roasty malts and juicy citrus hops. There is also a fair amount of chocolate, and some pleasant bready malt sweetness. Everything is well integrated, and if you smell it without concentrating hard it adds up to just one singular and tasty aroma.

The flavor strikes me as much more complex. Right off the bat it is slightly smoky and leathery. Astringent charred malt comes in next, with roasty coffee and some bitter cocoa also making an appearance. Grapfruity citrus and pine are also there. If I was to describe the hop flavor in a picture I would draw a nice juicy ruby red grapefruit hanging from a pine branch. There is also a nice biscuity malt sweetness that combats most of the bitterness of this brew.

The mouthfeel is on the fuller side of medium. This is a smooth drinking beer that has a well crafted finish. This beer is neither too dry nor sweet and the slightly sticky aftertaste is chameleon like in its nature, vacillating between roasty, malty and hoppy.

This beer is fairly drinkable, but is one of those beers that I drink slowly just to appreciate all that is going on. The India black ale is still a young style, and the different interpretations I have had are all quite different, but one thing is for sure, this is one of the better examples I have tried thus far.

Photo of Ralphs66
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +8.4%

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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Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 2,072 ratings.