1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,826 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,826
Reviews: 645
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.59%
Wants: 41
Gots: 122 | 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: 1,826 | Reviews: 645 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hopfacebrew


4.22/5  rDev +14.7%

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

12oz can poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A: Very dark with a solid 2 finger head and favorable lacing.

S: Citrus hops and roasted malt.

T: Very strong citrus hop flavor upfront. Bitterness of the hops follows which compliments the roasty malt flavor well. Not as much roast as I would expect but decent.

M: Well carbonated and rather full.

D: Extremely drinkable.

Overall Back in Black is a good representation of the style. I would recommend to a friend.

Serving type: can

Reviewed on: 01-13-2011 17:21:59

01-28-2012 17:40:26 | More by hopfacebrew
Photo of BRYeleJR


3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

12-18-2013 14:27:29 | More by BRYeleJR
Photo of fuzzcherry


4/5  rDev +8.7%

11-28-2011 18:33:02 | More by fuzzcherry
Photo of jondeelee


3.95/5  rDev +7.3%

Back in Black comes straight out of the can smelling mainly like an IPA, heavy on the grapefruit and pine notes, the emphasis being primarily on a more sugary version of the grapefruit notes. Hints of lemon and lime add extra citrus zest to the nose. All this lies atop a darker bed than is normally found in an IPA (this is a Black IPA, after all), which brings black malt, ash, and tobacco to the mix, albeit in far lesser proportions, compared to the hops.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a good shock of hops, here the flavors moving more toward grapefruit zest and pine than the sugary notes found in the nose. Again, lemon zest brings a heavier citrus burst. The beer isn't particularly bitter--only 65 IBUs--but the hops bring good flavor. The "black" part of the IPA--that is, if the hops were removed or lessened to only showcase the malts--tastes much like a weaker, watery stout geared almost exclusively towards ash, coffee, tobacco, and black malt flavors, though toasted pecans also come into play. Some sugars play in the background, and a few fruit esters (apricot, orange) peek their heads around the corner meekly. Late the in mouthful, especially if the beer is held on the tongue long enough, the ash and tobacco flavors largely take over. The aftertaste is mainly ash and tobacco, with a remaining runnel of grapefruit hops and pecans, and lingers for a while. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is good beer in terms of flavor, the hops and malts each bringing a good series of tastes, and all of which meld together fairly well. At times the ash and tobacco flavors can slightly outshine the rest of the beer, and the medium-light mouthfeel is strange, given the potency of the flavors. Still, this is a far better-than-average Black IPA, and worth trying.

10-16-2011 15:28:55 | More by jondeelee
Photo of ColdPoncho


3.73/5  rDev +1.4%

From notes, 7-24-2010

A - deep mahogany/black body, thick tan head with good retention

S - spicy hops and a hint of toasted malt

T - mild malts, light on the hops. Supposed to be an IPA?

M - dry, medium-full body

O (D) - not that great, but still very enjoyable.

03-27-2011 18:20:33 | More by ColdPoncho
Photo of Beer21


4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

09-29-2013 01:18:03 | More by Beer21
Photo of kushlash23


4/5  rDev +8.7%

08-22-2013 15:36:06 | More by kushlash23
Photo of sixerofelixir


3.63/5  rDev -1.4%

12 oz can. My first can of craft beer! The mostly black can has a sweet picture of a patriot on a motorcycle.

Beer pours a very dark, almost opaque brown. A nice billow of tan head sticks to the glass. Smell is unique, high-pitched malts combined with an herbal hops. All-in-all sharp, but very nice. Taste is nicely complex as well. Dark, toasty, campfire malts meld into a pleasantly bitter finish. Feel is nicely carbonated, and deceivingly dry and thin at the end. The only drawback is that this beer is so "varied" that I could only have a few at one sitting. For that though, a good beer, and a great introduction to craft beer in a can.

09-28-2010 04:54:51 | More by sixerofelixir
Photo of mbs11


4/5  rDev +8.7%

01-14-2012 01:15:46 | More by mbs11
Photo of JRed

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +7.3%

Dark brown with frothy off white head that lasts. Roasted malts, earth, hop spice in the nose. Tastes of cocoa, earth, hop spice, roast, slight medicinal, hop bitterness and a echo of citrus. Medium body with medium carbonation. Roast and hop bitterness lasts in the palate. Well balanced between hops and roast.  

05-30-2011 03:19:58 | More by JRed
Photo of RMoeNay


3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

08-17-2013 18:30:42 | More by RMoeNay
Photo of damndirtyape


3.78/5  rDev +2.7%

Single can poured into a shaker pint glass. I know the company is in San Fran, CA, but my can says made in Cold Spring, MN. Huh? Maybe they contract brew there.

Appearance: On the table, black, with a light tan foam with lacing all over the place. The foam dies down to a thin 1/16" head across the top, but the foam will be more persistent if you give it a hard pour. Held up to the light, the beer is a very dark ruby red. The artwork on the can is very appealing...I have to admit it was what made me decide to pick it up. Nice work to whoever came up with this one.

Smell: An interesting combination of grapefruit/citrus hops up front and roasted malts at the end. Nicely appealing.

Taste: The beer is an odd clash of flavors. Not bad, just kind of odd. The citrus/grapefruit collides with a roasted malt and bitter coffee finish (probably from the roasted malts). It's okay cold, and better when warm. For the blend of hops and malt I think I prefer the Indian Brown style. It's good though - just not "wow" fantastic.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of carbonation, but not too much on the tongue. Does stick to the teeth a bit.

Drinkability: Interesting, but a one at a time beer for me. I've had it by itself and also with a meal...but I don't think I've found the right food to go with it yet.

08-15-2010 22:14:00 | More by damndirtyape
Photo of Beeradelphia


4/5  rDev +8.7%

10-15-2012 08:10:14 | More by Beeradelphia
Photo of Bockerdoppel91


3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

02-15-2012 19:25:27 | More by Bockerdoppel91
Photo of JimmytheSaintPSU


4/5  rDev +8.7%

12-15-2011 21:50:45 | More by JimmytheSaintPSU
Photo of abcdefghijkyle

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

03-03-2014 23:47:16 | More by abcdefghijkyle
Photo of rxthree


4.5/5  rDev +22.3%

12-29-2011 02:14:45 | More by rxthree
Photo of IronLover


3.93/5  rDev +6.8%

Nearly black in color with a deep brown hue around the edge of the glass. Pours with a thick beige head that leaves lots of wet sticky lacings on the glass. Looks like it would be thick and chewy, but is surprisingly medium bodied with lively carbonation. Roasted malt and coffee aromas with a faint hint of citrus and dark fruit. Flavors are similar to aromas, with roasted malt and coffee flavors in the front, a bit of tangy citrus in the middle, and a dry finish with a slight piney hop finish. Pretty unique combination of flavors. Although I enjoyed it, I probably wouldn't be having 3 or 4 of these at one sitting.

10-12-2010 01:17:35 | More by IronLover
Photo of kevanb


3.73/5  rDev +1.4%

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.

03-02-2013 02:02:10 | More by kevanb
Photo of briandaube


4/5  rDev +8.7%

06-02-2012 22:44:28 | More by briandaube
Photo of TheMultiYeast


3.85/5  rDev +4.6%

Poured into a pint glass producing an very dark opaque brown/black with a big tan head.

Smells toasty with rich malt and aromatic hops.

Caramelized malts and brown sugar at first followed quickly by a solid flow of piney bitterness. Leaves a bit of a smoky char aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a slightly thick yet smooth with even carbonation.

Overall I can dig this black IPA. Solid hop profile as expected from an IPA with a supportive malt background.

10-22-2011 02:37:05 | More by TheMultiYeast
Photo of Budinetz


3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

08-04-2013 04:46:38 | More by Budinetz
Photo of BigGingDrinker

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

06-20-2013 19:23:10 | More by BigGingDrinker
Photo of speedvagen


4/5  rDev +8.7%

07-06-2014 15:02:45 | More by speedvagen
Photo of bernat1971


3/5  rDev -18.5%

05-04-2014 08:07:05 | More by bernat1971
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,826 ratings.