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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

1,855 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,855
Reviews: 649
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 42
Gots: 133 | 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: 1,855 | Reviews: 649 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of morenone
4.4/5  rDev +19.2%

It's one of only a few Black IPAs I've had, but I would definitely get it again! I got a single at Beer Run in Charlottesville VA, but wish I had got a six pack. I haven't seen too many black IPAs around, but try to get one whenever I see it. Go get some!

morenone, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of cdbooth219
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%

Can poured into pint glass

A: Pours a reddish-black with ruby red highlights and 2 and a half fingers of tan head that dissipates slowly leaving some nice lacing

S: Pine and grapefruit hops, with roasted malt background and a bit of a mineral smell as well.

T: Starts off with pine and grapefruit, followed by molasses, toffee and a bit of burnt chocolate. Somewhere in there a creaminess sneaks in as well. A bit of metallic aftertaste, with a lingering bitterness. Its very tasty except for that metallic mineral aftertaste.

M: Medium-bodied with a good bit of carbonation. Goes down very smooth

D: I could definitely drink these all night, after a few sips that aftertaste starts to fade and it becomes very enjoyable

Overall, this is not exactly an amazing black ipa, but definitely a drinkable brew.

cdbooth219, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of BarrelO
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%

12oz can poured into a pint glass.

A: Quite black. Nice head with a lot of lacing.

S: Citrus and roastiness.

T: Intense citrus flavor. Like biting into a grapefruit. Medium bitterness. Just the slightest hint of roastiness.

M: Juicy, not sticky.

D: A very nice IPA that's incredibly easy to put down. Thumbs up.

BarrelO, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of qthompso
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%

A: Nearly pitch black. Darker than I was expecting for a black IPA. Good pour, thin tan head with good lacing.

S: Smells like a citrusy IPA. Orange, grapefruit, grassy with roasted malts and almost a touch of something spicy.

T: Good bitterness. Smoke comes across at first. The malts are definitely well roasted with this guy. The finish is almost a sharp mild chocolate. It's probably mental but I think I can almost pick up some of the metal from the can.

M: Medium mouthfeel. Surprisingly smooth at first but it feels pretty heavily carbonated towards the finish.

D: I never would've guessed this was right around 7%. Pretty good beer. I could probably have a second one of these but might stop there. The roastiness is a bit much for a few IPAs.

qthompso, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of chodinheaven
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%

A: Looks awesome considering they call it an IPA. Pitch black is a cool color anyway.

S: Smells like a light IPA, which is nice. Enjoyable aroma.

T: Tastes like a weak IPA with a stout or porter mixed in. Not a lot of bitterness, but enough to make hop heads like it. Fairly complex taste between the light bitterness and porter or stout flavor. Good beer.

M: Feels nice. Perfect carbonation level. Feels good in my mouth.

D: About as drinkable as it gets, could put back numerous Back in Black cans in a night.

Good beer thats out of a can. Love that unexpectedness. Love it when craft breweries do that.

chodinheaven, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of thagr81us
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%

Enjoyed in the company of mikesgroove. Served from tap into a shaker. Poured a massively dark brown almost black with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, slight bitter hop, and cream. The flavor was of roasted malt, sweet malt, slight bitter hop, and cream. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. It was not awe-inspiring by any means, but still good. If this one had a little bit more of a hop profile going on it would have been quite good. As it was more toward the roasted side of things for the most part. A must try Black IPA.

thagr81us, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of 100floods
3.13/5  rDev -15.2%

first off, the label on this beer is super fucking awesome. Dare I say epic? Yes. Pours a deep, near dark brown. Huge tan head. Pretty fizzy, at least it sounds fizzy. Looks good, but not quite black. Pretty interesting aroma. Very sour smelling, not citrus, like you'd think of most hoppy beers. It doesn't smell like a wild ale. This is a different kind of sour. Smells almost like lemon rinds. There's a kind of dark malt thing in there, but not really. The overall aroma seems complex, but pretty hard to pick apart. First sip is a doozey. The dark malt and hops come at you simultaneously. They create their own flavor. It's kind of an earthy, pine off-citrus flavor. At first it hits you and you think you're drinking something thats suppose to be kind of sour, but then you realize it's the hops. Then the hops and malt coalesce to create a truly unique flavor combination that I've never tasted before. At some points it aint bad, but other times I don't even want it. The finish gives off a strong lemon juice flavor. This beer is certainly a good test for the pallet, and definitely a unique experience. It is, however, probably not the best choice for a go to, casual beer.

100floods, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of BDJake
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%

I've tried a number of black IPA's over the last year, but from a can? Here's my take on my first canned one:

A- a nearly perfect pour, deep dark brown that falls just short of black, capped with an inch and a half of tan head that lasted for a long time and laced extremely well.

S- mostly of orange, pine, and of sweetly roasted malts

T- for such a dark version of this style, there was a lot of orange peel, grapefruit, pine, molasses and caramel... in other words, it had very little burnt notes I was expecting but good nonetheless

M- light-medium body, ample carbonation, and a citrusy aftertaste that was not in the least bit harsh or bitter

D- one of the easiest-drinking CDA's I have ever had the pleasure of drinking, and even though some may want more roasted or bitter tones, it was one of the best canned beers I have ever had

BDJake, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of BigMike
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%

A: Very dark ruby red. Barely see through when held up to the light. A thin tan head of maybe 1/4 inch.

S: Lots of citrus and a strange nuttiness in the background.

T: lots of bitter citrus notes up front with a roasted coffee/nuttiness on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with a touch much carbonation. A little less would have helped smooth things out a bit.

Overall: An ok "black" ipa. A better mouthfeel and replacing the nuttiness with some chocolate and more roasted coffee would have helped things a lot.

BigMike, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of kwjd
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%

On tap at the 21st Amendment brewpub in San Francisco. Pours a bitch black colour with a finger or 2 of head, with nice retention. Lots of lacing down the glass. Smells of nice roasted malt and citrus hops. Good blend of bitterness and sweetness of the malt in the flavour. Creamy mouthfeel. Certainly one of the better CDA's I've had.

kwjd, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of coachdonovan
2.95/5  rDev -20.1%

Hmmm, is this really black? No, not quite. When I hold it up to the sunlight (yes, I'm drinking this afternoon) it looks more like a reddish brown, but still very dark. Khaki head carries enough weight that this beer actually overflowed my shaker glass. Damn, and I'm usually such a good pourer. The foam is nice and fluffy as pockets settle over the course of a few minutes.

Aroma is cleaner than I'd like. The citrusy and piney hops are there, but they don't exactly punch me in the nose. Taste is dominated by this fruity, soapy flavor that I can't quite nail down. Actually, it is less fruity and more leafy, green, astringent, almost metallic. I don't know that I've tasted it before, and I'm not entirely sure it's supposed to be there. Finish is fairly dry as the roasted dark malts come to the forefront.

I would really like to dry this from the tap in SF to see if those odd flavors are always present. Something tells me this one got a little lost in translation on its way to the contract brewer's cannery.

coachdonovan, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of joepais
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%

Big thanks to Santa Adam for sending along this treat. I poured the can into a Sam Adams pint glass and was greeted with a good two finger worth of tan colored head on top of a nice brownish black colored bodied brew. The aroma of fresh hops filled my nostrils. I also got a good amount coffee and a light touch of chocolate. The flavors mimicked the nose it was hop forward with a little bit of roast coming thru as well. It had a medium feel to it with ample carbonation. I think I liked Sublimely Self-Righteous a little more than this one but I would drink it again

joepais, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of StJamesGate
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%

Pours black with garnet highlights and a loose lumpy cafe latte head that trails and rings. Straight leaf resin fresh hop flower nose - smells like hops straight off the vine. Some tar, cocoa nibs and molasses but big orange is fighting to get through and comes out in a sticky hops finish. No bitterness on the back end (65 IBUs? Where?) and tingly linger. Medium, creamy, clingy, smooth.

Hops forward for a CDA, dark malts really take a back seat. Those malts do more for the body, making this fuller than just about any IPA I've had, though it's coming off a bit thin and one note too.

Easy sipper in cans, and solid addition to the style.

StJamesGate, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of samie85
2.93/5  rDev -20.6%

A-Pours a pitch black color two and a half fingers of thick, stout-like head that leaves thick, sticky lacing behind.

S-The nose is very fragrant and floral with some tropical pineapple with some pine and grapefruit.

T-Slightly bitter pineapple and pine with a little orange, some chocolate and a tiny bit of roast.

M-The body is pretty light with low amounts of carbonation and a slightly sticky feel.

D-Drinkabiity is high but the mouth is a little watery and the falvor profile is a little underwhelming.

samie85, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of movingtrain
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%

Sample size: 12 ounce can.

Pours a nice black with brown accents on the edges of the glass. Less than a finger tan head on top with decent carbonation.

The nose is quite citrusy, obviously different than the appearance would indicate (the interesting black IPA). Quite citrusy hop aroma coming off the top of the glass.

Flavor is sweet up front, with hints of chocolate and vanilla. This gives way to bitter hops, ending on a burnt graham cracker flavor that lingers on the tongue.

There is nice balance in this beer. I like the mix of chocolate malts and lots of hops. The style is interesting, visually ironic. Back in Black is a good, drinkable beer that has some interesting characteristics within the can.

movingtrain, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of Duhast500
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%

The Christmas Eve night review.

Poured from a 12oz. can into a Narragansett pint glass.

The color is a dark black with little highlights and two fingers of foamy brownish head and some thick lacing left on the glass.

The smell is pretty hoppy at first. Some floral hops come right out and announce themselves as a piney flavor hits right after. There is a slight malt flavor on the back-end but seems to be all hops.

The taste is a bit sweet with some malty flavor that was expected from the color and delivered here. Some bitterness is there and will be heard from. The pine flavor mixes well with a sweetness that is pretty interesting. This beer seems to go to other places with the mixing of resiny hops and sweet dark malt.

The feel of this beer is pretty easy and it goes down with a bitterenss that is not too crazy. There is a nice drinkable feel since there is a leash on the IBUs.

Duhast500, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of Murchmac
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Had this beer 100 times before on tap at the brewery. Glad they're expanding and people like it.

Black with brown highlights

Roasty IPA smell, earthy.

Roasty, piney, bitter, sweet, chocolate notes.

A great representation of this style. A hoppy porter/black ipa.

Murchmac, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%

Rich and smooth, 21st Amendment packs the strength of an IPA (6.8% alc./vol.), all of the bitterness (65 IBU's), and quite a bit of hop flavor and aroma (65 IBU's) into one really nicely balanced, chocolatey/roasty ale.

It displays a deep mahogany brown body that appears almost black in the glass beneath a creamy head of khaki. The head holds quite well, and it leaves sheets of spotted and craggy splashed walls of lace behind.

The aroma is leafy, citrusy, and floral over a base malt of dark caramel and chocolate.

In the mouth it's medium bodied and creamy with a zest of carbonation on the tongue.

The flavor delivers a combination of citrusy, floral, grassy, and leafy hops upfront atop a gently roasty and darkly caramelish malt that warms to become more chocolatey across the middle. The hops also become a bit more spicy. It finishes with a drop of dark milk chocolate rising, but that's then quickly dried as the hops become more spicy and piney.

As to drinkability, I think it's quite accessible. If you've enjoyed a strong porter and you enjoy hops, this has got you covered. It could probably be more focused, but it's still very nicely done.

NeroFiddled, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of bsp77
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass.

Appearance: Very dark reddish-brown with thick tan head and great lacing.

Smell: Orange & grapefruit citrus hops, with light toasted, caramel and roasted malts. Smells much more sugary and bitter than anything.

Taste: Citrus and pine-like hops take center stage. The malts are relegated to the background, reminiscent of coffee, caramel and biscuit. Ends very bitter.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body that is somewhat smooth, extremely dry finish.

Drinkability: If I was blindfolded, I might just think this was a standard IPA, and might fool myself into thinking the light coffee and roasted profile wasn't really there. A pretty good beer overall, but too bitter considering the lack of roasted flavor. Even the actual hop flavor seems secondary to the bitterness.

bsp77, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of Arithmeticus
3.15/5  rDev -14.6%

A: whoa! more head than beer; as advertised, it's black
S: pleasant quaff of hops with a strange overtone of something, almost like palatable burned rubber
T: as one other reviewer noted, there is a tinny taste; perhaps it's of the can and perhaps something else; at any rate, if that overtone were not present, this would be a stellar beer, with subdued but complex hop profile and a citrus sweetness
M: about as good as any craft beer

21st A: please check out that strange taste; drinkers: enjoy with the above proviso

Arithmeticus, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of dciBA
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%

Poured a deep dark black into my snifter. A fingers worth of off white head forms and quickly fades to a solid skimming which lingers for a while.

Smell is nice and complex, albeit a little weak. Chocolate, coffee, hops, dark fruit, but also a metallic smell of some sort. I'm trying to convince myself its not there and it's just the can playing tricks on me. I can't get over it though, it's definitely there, but also doesn't smell like a beer can. hhhmmmm, moving on...

Taste is similar to smell, just not quite as complex. I'm not really picking up on much in the way of hops. Mostly just a nice roastiness and a little chocolate. There's that metallic again coming through in the finish for a second before fading away. Overall taste is ok, just doesn't have a whole lot of impact and the metallic twang is really a downer.

Perfect amount of carbonation, and a smooth mouthfeel. This goes down easy with no hint of the higher than average %ABV which keeps the drinkability high.

dciBA, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of BB1313
3.8/5  rDev +3%

Can poured into a standard pint glass. Looks nice, pours a nice black w/ brown hues. Huge foamy head, I barely poured it; thick sticky lacing. Smells great, distinct fruity hop aroma. Very tropical! Tastes pretty good, but something's missing. The hops hit you, but fade quickly, being taken over by dark malts and slight hints of chocolate; roasty and bittersweet. Mouthfeel is almost perfect, very smooth and creamy, which makes for good drinkability. Well balanced brew.

Finally a beer from 21st Amendment I'd come back to! Pretty good example of the style. This beer isn't too far off from being something really special.

BB1313, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of laituegonflable
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%

Pours a gloomy dark red colour, the colour of Satan's blood. Head is small, more of a film than a head, but lacing is something else. A cradle of delicious beige foam. It looks as enticing as Shakespeare's dark lady, and just as intoxicating.

Smells smokey and woody, but lovely and sweet as well. Lots of chocolate, sweet, with rich berry notes, blackberry and cranberry and some oaky characters, plus fresh cut pine. Wonderfully idiosyncratic, rich, tart, beautiful and sweet. Yes, yes, yes!

Taste is intriguing, but definitely feels lacking in complexity compared to the nose. Has a darkness at first, chocolatey with an odd metallic tinge that descends into weird sourness. Quite coppery with a tinge of orange, melon and a lot of oak wood. Very oaky on the back in particular but it kind of falls short, finish-wise. Definitely deficient on the back, where it's clipped nicely but far too early. Simple and a bit odd at times; a disappointment after that delicious nose.

Not a bad texture, good and filling, could use more body here as well though.

It's a pretty good beer, but that nose set me up just for the palate to completely miss the mark. A shame.

laituegonflable, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Can pours a dark mahogany body that has some nice clarity when held to light. Large creamy tan head retains well and leaves patches and a collar of lacing.

Aroma is pine hops, milk chocolate, and coffee.

Medium body and carbonation with a soft creaminess.

Taste has solid dark roasty malt notes of bittersweet chocolate and coffee, balanced by a grapefruity and pine resin hop bitterness. Clean finish.

A pleasant surprise. Tasty and highly drinkable.

merlin48, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.58/5  rDev -3%

Big thanks goes out to jyoungsbcp for this. 12oz can into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint. Really like the can art on this one!

A: Pours a deep brown, that is almost black, lots of garnet highlights when held up to the light, cream colored head about an inch worth that is sticking around nicely. Lots of lacing left behind.

S: A fair amount of citrusy hops really dominate the nose, not blatantly in your face but definitely there. Kind of a strange soapy like smell as well, not really liking that.

T: Has a pretty nice balance of citrusy hops and roasted malts, not as intensely bitter as some of these can be with roast and hops compounding the bittering effect. Some pretty nice flavors, but it seems a bit mellow. Slightly bitter finish.

M: Medium bodied with decent carbonation, pretty dry finish which helps it go down. Can feel just a touch of booze heat as it goes down.

D: Pretty easy to drink really, I could definitely have a few of these in a night. Nothing extraordinary, just a well made beer that is fairly easy to drink. Very enjoyable. If the nose didn't have the soapy smell I think it would work a lot better for me.

pokesbeerdude, Dec 12, 2010
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,855 ratings.