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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

1,782 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,782
Reviews: 644
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.59%
Wants: 39
Gots: 105 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Back In Black Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,782 | Reviews: 644 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OldIronLungs
OldIronLungs

Massachusetts

3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass a dark black with a smooth pancake of dark cream head that sticks well.

Nose is light chocolate and pine hops.

A sip starts watery but fills to well-bodied with good medium-to-prickly carbonation. Some moderate roast is tempered with a good earthy pine hop hit; one that's quick to dissipate, making this pretty drinkable - though overall it seems too light. Good dry finish.

Didn't like it at first but it proved a worthwhile drink. Maybe it's balance is it's strong suit -- I'm too used to drinking aggressive beers...

Serving type: can

08-30-2011 02:27:44 | More by OldIronLungs
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review dated 3/8/2009.

On tap at City Beer in SF. Nearly black in color with a beige head. Aroma is roasted malt and piney hops. A little smokiness that’s reminiscent of bacon even, which sounds a little weird but it works. Same on the flavor, a little citrusy. Mouthfeel is more or less IPA-like, maybe a little drier.

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2011 18:27:31 | More by nickd717
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Serving type: can

08-18-2011 21:28:51 | More by biegaman
Photo of ngeunit1
ngeunit1

California

4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fairly dark brown-black color with just a bit of light creeping in around the edges. A thick covering of creamy tan-brown head forms atop and fades slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is full of a mix of roasted chocolate and caramel malts with some pine hops mixed in as well. Nice balance.

T - Starts off a bit weak with some growing roasted chocolate malt flavor. The flavor kicks in a bit more soon after with the addition of some pine hops flavor. Through the middle, a bit of sweeter caramel malt flavor mixes in with some hop bitterness. The finish is a mix of roasted chocolate and bitterness that lingers for a bit.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer feels fairly smooth with a bit of a syrupy feel. The roasted and bitter flavors really make for a nice dry mouthfeel.

D - Very drinkable. Well balanced overall. Could have used just a bit more punch in the flavor somewhere.

Serving type: can

08-11-2011 05:15:56 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of isualum12
isualum12

Idaho

2.65/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: darker brown...not totally black, or
Brown heavy head on this beer.
Smell: Hops have a pine earthy smell to them, The roasting of the barley was strong and shows in the smell....You can smell the hops but not identifiable on the smell

Taste: I expected IPA and I was not exactly rewarded with that. But it was not chew through the beer either like you still expect with the look. It is an ok IPA but nothing I would strive to get.
Mouthfeel: Light-medium body
Overall: I drank this beer at boise beer festival and it didn't live up to the other black ipa's there.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2011 19:56:39 | More by isualum12
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Serving type: can

08-08-2011 10:38:03 | More by dgilks
Photo of jealousmonk
jealousmonk

California

2/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a can into a pint glass.

A -- Looks fairly typical for a black IPA. Maybe a bit on the dark and syrupy side, but that might be bias from drinking it.

S -- Smells malty and sweet, without a lot of hop odor.

T -- Taste is similar. Too thick and sweet, not enough happiness.

M -- Not good. Thick, cloying, not enough carbonation (maybe not canned well). Does not drink like a black IPA.

This is definitely my least favorite black IPA so far. From some of the other comments, it seems like maybe the can is the problem. Unfortunately, this beer is sold in a can, so that's how I drank it. I've had plenty of good canned beers, so if that's the problem, I suppose the canning of this beer was just not handled properly.

Serving type: can

08-08-2011 01:39:43 | More by jealousmonk
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into 16 oz clear plastic cup.

A - Pours opaque black/brown with brown edges were a little bit of light passes thru when backlit. Towering frothing head, light caramel color, with godd retention.

S - Hop aroma is evident right opening popping the can open. Plenty of citrus and earthy hops. Very promising.

... but it is downhill from here.

T - Very limited hop flavor compared ot the aroma, with more earthy dark roasted malt coming thru. These are a bit out of balance and do not blend so well IMO. The dark malts really dominate even in the finish but do leave a bitter, coffee-tinted aftertaste. The worse part is a rather sour an metallic component mid-taste.

M - Nice carbonation, although a bit much for an easy pour. Medium, but not quite satisfying, body.

O - Overall a disappointing beer. The aroma and look were not followed by excellent flavor or mouthfeel. I've been to the brewpub and enjoyed their beers on tap. Too bad this one doesn't fare so well in canning.

Serving type: can

08-07-2011 15:55:12 | More by chinchill
Photo of bjoyce12
bjoyce12

Massachusetts

2.7/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

DO NOT DRINK this issue in a can. For whatever the reason, metallic taste leeches into the contents of the can. Beer has aluminum-metallic aftertaste.

DO DRINK this if it's on tap. One of the best black IPA's I've tried. I don't understand the problems with the cans, led to major disappointment, but I will continue to look for this on tap.

Serving type: can

08-05-2011 19:53:05 | More by bjoyce12
Photo of MarkIntihar
MarkIntihar

Michigan

3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the can into a small taster glass. Life on the road without my glassware *sigh*

A - Pours opaque brown with a little bit of light coming through around the edges. Nice finger's worth of light tan head coats the top of the beer all the way around. Retention is solid.

S - Haven't even brought it up to my nose and I can already smell the hoppy goodness! Very strong citrus aroma with the ever so faintest hint of dark malts in the background. Smells extra hoppy and delicious!

T - Not the hop-bomb I was hoping for, but instead a very balanced profile with the hops providing more of a bite than anything else. The dark malts really dominate the flavor, despite not being as heavily present on the nose. Almost a bitter coffee-esque aftertaste that I can't quite wrap my head around. Definitely a disappointment from the smell.

M - Perhaps a touch over carbonated as it does slightly burn on the way down, but overall pleasant enough on the tongue.

O - Overall a bit of a letdown after the initial burst of hoppy citrus attacking my nose. Still a solid offering from 21st Amendment though!

Serving type: can

08-05-2011 00:08:56 | More by MarkIntihar
Photo of Paincane
Paincane

Georgia

3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour from can into pint glass. Two inch creamy tan head with moderate lacing. Roasted malt aroma and hops in surprisingly medium-bodied beer (for its color). I certainly expected it to be heavier and bit on the head fake thrown by its appearance. Ver nice mouthfeel with little if any aftertaste. A clean finish. Moderate carbonation. Overall, a very tasty brew.

Serving type: can

08-03-2011 03:35:04 | More by Paincane
Photo of vande
vande

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: a deeper, darker brown...nearly on the verge of blackness, yet not quite...almost reminds me of the Stone Collaboration EL CAMINO or Hop Juice Black...with just a few shades lighter here..

S: Hops have a pine quality to them, mixed nicely with some lightly roasted grain...Bit of citrusy-grapefruit in the beer. Not dank, but nice hop tone here.

T: Expecting something similar to other Black Ales, my palate was initially thrown off here... Recently having tasted the Hop Juice Black and remembering fondly the El Camino I had to adjust... While nothing jumped out and hit my palate in the 'face,' it seemed as though there were several attempts at connecting my olfactory senses with my taste buds...but, at the same time, nothing dominated the taste here...

M: Light-medium body.. some what crisp, but nothing crazy..

O: Pretty good, but I think there are a few other black ales out there I've enjoyed a touch more. I'm glad I was able to drink one...

Serving type: can

08-01-2011 05:54:19 | More by vande
Photo of drinkiusmaximus
drinkiusmaximus

New York

3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours black with a chocolatey tint around the edges, three fingers head with nice retention.

S- something spiritous can smell the hops and roasted malts but there is something vaguely woody about this.

T-Nice hop bite with sweet malts that fade soon and are replaced by a roastiness.

M- nice and creamy medium bodied and a slightly drying effect.

D- Meh as I do love ABA this is nowhere near my favorite.

Prost!!!

Serving type: can

07-31-2011 23:17:10 | More by drinkiusmaximus
Photo of Snamnoum
Snamnoum

District of Columbia

3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown color near but not quite black with two fingers of tan head. Hop aroma is resigny and the malt smells nutty, toasted, and caramel. Overall though the nose is more subdued than I expected.
The beer starts off promising with some roasted malty sweetness and the first kick of oily resigny hops but the malt dies about mid way through and you're left wanting more. The finish is dry and thin. It begins round and balanced but ends acrid with the strong taste of charcoal and soot. Not very pleasant. The mouthfeel isn't remarkable either and falls somewhere between watery and oily. Also I thinks its slightly over-carbonated for the style. Overall not terrible beer but would I buy it again? No.

Serving type: can

07-22-2011 01:50:33 | More by Snamnoum
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - pretty dark, I see some burgundy hues in the thinner portion of the glass. Strong two fingers of espresso colored foam. Thick cresty ropes of lace are sticking at the high water mark and in a ragged fashion below that. Great start!

Aroma - very light roast grain, much stronger whiff of piney hops. Good grain/hoppy blend on setup.

Taste - roasted grain up front, with some snappy, spicy hoppage following right on its heels. Bitter stuff, pushing the medicinal edge a bit. Piny, almost no citrus, maybe some extra malt would bring some of that out? Pretty bitter stuff, whew. Lots of good flavor here, if that bitter side had some citrus to it, I would like this more. More to the hopheads tastes. Shows some alcohol heat on the swallow, and finally some mild citrus at the finish to go with some roast.

Mouthfeel - nicely crisp yet with notable hint of smoothness. Medium-bodied, proper for style I'd imagine.

Drinkability - a workable aba, I like the can format for this tasty brew. Not the session brew for me, but worth a try.

Serving type: can

07-19-2011 03:57:30 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of Sky2625
Sky2625

Washington

3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a glass mug/stein (this review is from notes taken 7/11/11).

A - Poured a medium dark brown, clear and with a light body, almost like a cola. 2 finger cream-colored, tiny-to-medium bubble head with good retention and thick lacing.

S - Citrus/pine hop nose for the duration, with a hint of molasses at the end. Easy on the nose, not pungent but pleasant.

T - Coffee note to start, followed by mild pine, underpinned by a hint of molasses. Transitions to simultaneous sweet and bitter with dark roasted malt notes. Finishes with a flush of spicy heat, bitterness, and a note of dark unsweetened chocolate.

M - Light medium body, with a flash of carbonation fizz to aid the transition from coffee to pine flavor, and which sets up the flash of spice.

D - This beer is great. Light enough in body, not too spicy or bitter to be a single-order beer, but flavorful enough to slow you down and make you appreciate it.

Serving type: can

07-18-2011 01:48:23 | More by Sky2625
Photo of jkdrummer
jkdrummer

Washington

4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For some reason I was expecting more from the IPA side of things. Pours a fantastic brown foamy head that dwindled into a nice layer of foam to the bottom of the glass. The taste is like a smoky, chocolate and roasted malt flavor -- like a true porter actually. Where's the hop burst of an IPA? Overall though, not that bad.

Serving type: can

07-17-2011 23:18:37 | More by jkdrummer
Photo of mvanaskie13
mvanaskie13

Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Serving type: can

07-08-2011 00:58:50 | More by mvanaskie13
Photo of peacebone116
peacebone116

California

4.43/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from can into tulip glass on 6/28/2011. Not sure when this was canned, but I picked up a sixer of this the day it came into Bobby's Liquors in Santa Clara.

A: Dark brown with red highlights. Coffee froth head that sticks around for a while before slowly retreating toward the side. There is good lace throughout the enjoyment.

N: Coffee and fruitiness are evident while this beer is cold. It is not until this beer warms up to just below room temp that it really gets good (both in the nose and the taste!); burned chocolate & oak notes become prominent.

T/M: As stated above, this beer really hits its stride when it gets a bit warmer. Chocolate and coffee notes blend with an oak-like bourbon sweetness. This is all complimented by a flash of citric bitterness. The beer has a slightly dry mouthfeel.

I am really falling in love with the American Black Ale style...and this beer seems to be helping me get there. I have had this beer several times in the past, and never felt that impressed by it. However, recently (maybe they tweaked the recipe), I have been picking up on the bourbon/oak notes and found myself loving this beer and the great complexity complexity it has to offer! It is a bit more malt forward than most Black IPA, but it does it right, so that is all I am concerned with.

Serving type: can

07-05-2011 16:13:51 | More by peacebone116
Photo of Hotspur2001
Hotspur2001

Pennsylvania

1.6/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

First time I've had this in a can, and it tastes nothing like when I've had this on draft. Sadly, quite the opposite. Looked good when I poured it, smelled okay, but there's some off taste that I can't put my finger on - a chemical. It's not as hoppy as the draft version - I smell or taste almost no hops. I'm wondering if this was packaged in the wrong can.

If I'd reviewed this on draft a few months ago, I'd have given it great reviews - probably an 'A'

Serving type: can

07-05-2011 00:15:01 | More by Hotspur2001
Photo of AdamBear
AdamBear

Pennsylvania

3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A-dark brown with a thick dark tan head

S-smells fairly hoppy with some dark roasted malts. the hops are fairly citrusy. smells more IPA than stout

T-hits the tongue with bitter hops. it slowly transitions in to dark malts of mocha and some coffee flavor. there's a matching after-taste with some hops. the flavors are there but not of high quality.

M-good creamy carbonation with a very dry finsih

O-this is almost an even mix of IPA and porter, but i find it leans more towards the more bitter porters that i've had.the flavors themselves are of medium quality. this really isn't all that enjoyable.

Serving type: can

07-04-2011 18:35:46 | More by AdamBear
Photo of scinerd3000
scinerd3000

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pourd into a traditional pint glass. Review is from notes.

A: Poured too hard and raided a 5 finger head. Oops. Nice andtam thopugh with the best retention i have ever seen. Came back to this 20 minutes later and it still held a head. Lacing was also top notch. Ruby highlights when held up to the light.

S: Lots of fruit from the yeast, esters- pineapple, figs, English esters....not much malt at all.

T: wow- complex. Chocolate, coffee, American citrus right up at the front. Floral and piney. Some biscuit quality and slightly spicy from the alcohol.

M: Hops help to thin this out on the pallet. Very pleasing lingering of pine and malt. Very well carbonated with a low-medium body. Leaves pallet fairly clean with lingering acidity.

O: Rockin- another fine brew from 21st...

O

Serving type: can

07-04-2011 01:57:15 | More by scinerd3000
Photo of ajaxivan
ajaxivan

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Great black color with massive light brown head

S: Citrus/piney with roasted malt.

T: I will differ with some reviews i have read, this beer is well balanced for me. I think some arent sure what to make of the style(to each his own) Citrus with a nice roasted flavor

M: Medium and carbonation is spot on

O: Slowly trying Amer. Black Ales and this is a good one. Probably not a beer id want to drink often but is a good change of pace.

Serving type: can

07-01-2011 20:55:30 | More by ajaxivan
Photo of JerseyKirk
JerseyKirk

New Jersey

3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours pitch black with a 2 finger slightly darker white head. Looks like a stout. Surprising and interesting. Lacing is excellent.

S: Pine, cat pee with a little bit of citrus, coffee and chocolate.

T: Super piney hop flavor. Odd after taste that I can't place a flavor on.

M: Nicely carbonated and full bodied.

O: It's not a good ipa. I don't know if black ipa's are supposed to have a slight roastiness or not but I so get a little bit of a coffeeish vibe. IDK it's something different just not all that great. Everything seems forced and unbalanced.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 01:37:59 | More by JerseyKirk
Photo of robbrandes
robbrandes

Oregon

3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

reviewed from notes.

5oz taster, poured @ northern virginia brewfest.

pours nearly black, reasonable off-white head. nose a bit malt-forward, but the hops are at least passable for an IPA. close your eyes and it's a middle-of-the-road IPA. a little more burnt taste/aroma, on par with a middling stout, but nothing too exciting.

Serving type: on-tap

07-01-2011 01:02:33 | More by robbrandes
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,782 ratings.