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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

1,910 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,910
Reviews: 653
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 44
Gots: 143 | 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: 1,910 | Reviews: 653 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of goblue3509
2.8/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a black cola like color with a tan two finger head which gives way to some okay lace. The aroma is of coffee and chocolate with a very faint whiff of hops. The taste is of a coffee and chocolate malt, there is a very slight earthy hop bite which is only at the very end. The mouthfeel is creamy and moderately carbonated. The drinkability is okay the taste and aroma is a little flat and leaves you wanting more flavor.

goblue3509, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of skinnymcgruder
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

It is my firm belief that packaging beer in a can protects its flavor better than a bottle. That being said, this is a great example of a black IPA. The smell is of coffee and caramel. It is an extremely drinkable beer that doesn't overload you with hops.

skinnymcgruder, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of happy4hoppybeer
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From can(though I swore to never patronize cans, but the bartender praised this so much, so I caved):

A=Beautiful pitch-black,with thick creamy tan head, with heavy lacing. Guinness??Guinness is mainstream crap.

S=Malts,chocolate,coffee, faint hops.

Upon sip, I can detect a fairly thin to medium body of same, with the can maybe getting in the way. I know there's a reason I avoid cans, and recommend that all self-respecting brewers avoid cans. This is it. Light carbonation. Overall, decent, but the label says IPA, when it's anything but.

A decent brew,but nothing I would purchase again.

happy4hoppybeer, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of alleykatking
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz can...

A- Pours a deep dark brown almost black color. When held to the light there was some light reddish hues. Two finger brown head shows good retention. Long streaks of lace on the sides of the glass.

S- Grapefruit aroma in the front with a big roasted malt scent as well. Light toffee in the middle with the grapefruit aroma starting to die down. Light coffee in the background with piney hops that take hold in the final part of the nose.

T- Roasted malts in the front with citrus hops blasting right next to the roasted malts. Middle of the beer is lighter for a second with a hint of toffee. Backend of the beer has a strong black coffee flavor that has piney hops keep it in line for balance. Alcohol does show up in the ending but nothing overpowering.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Roasted malts and light citrus hops left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly alcohol, piney bitter hops, and roasted malts with hints of coffee. Flavors for the style for me were actually well balanced. No off flavors in this beer...rad. Medium high alcohol drying on the palate.

O- Overall this beer drinks well. I was more than happy with it. The alcohol after a little while might take a zapping out of my palate so I would take it easy on this. Flavors seemed to be balanced overall more so than other Black IPA's I have had.

alleykatking, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of beermanbrian
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice black color with some faint brown hues around the edge. Big frothy root beer float looking head that leaves sticky lace. Smell of toasty black malt. Taste is sweet up front with a font smoothness to the finish. Sweetness is somewhat unbalanced and overpowering. Overall an ok brew and the cans are convienent but lacks much of a punch. Somewhat dissapointing.

beermanbrian, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of harryhood1
2.8/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was really excited to try this because I'm a fan of 21st's beers for the most part. I have to say that this one was a disappointment for sure.

Aroma was kind of like tobacco and not appealing. Too malty to be a Black IPA and I have no idea where the 65 IBUs are? Nothing IPA about this beer. Mouthfeel to me was undercarbed and slick.

Would not go for this one again. Just not impressed and not what I expected. Had many better examples of this evolving style.

harryhood1, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of Brad007
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Back in Black, just like AC/DC? Just loved the name and of course, I've never tried this.

Pours a dark, dark brown color (not quite black) with a reddish hue and two-finger head.

Cream, dark fruit and hops run circles around the nose with the hops exhibiting grassy characteristics.

Hops are subdued here, balanced out by dark fruit, cream and a hint of coffee. Doesn't come on strongly like other examples.

Grassy hops and dark fruit are the lingering flavors here. Alcohol is kept in check and nothing really jumps out at this point.

A decent example that strives to find balance, since a lot of American Black Ales are hop bombs or lean too much into dark ale/stout territory.

Brad007, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of uustal
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with with a light brown two-finger head. Good lacing and retention in this one. Aroma leaves a lot to be desired. A bit metallic and yeast. Weird. Didn't carry over into the flavor profile thankfully. The hops are a little off in this one. A bit of a yeasty kick to start off the beer, followed by some weak pine hops. A bit of acidic and not too pleasant citrus hops weaved in there as well. Luckily, the back end of this beer saves it. Nice mellow roasted notes, coffee and unsweetened chocolate and a bit of toffee on the finish round out the beer.

uustal, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of PicoPapa
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can. Pours a dark, dark brown with a very thin layer of head. Minimal lacing. Aroma is piney and chocolatey. A bit of coffee as well as. Taste is mostly coffee, toffee and chocolate. More flavor of malts rather than hops. A bit of pine bitterness at the end. Hints of citrus. This one seems more like a porter than anything else to me. Not much carbonation. Overall it is a decent brew and I always appreciate a canned brew, but there are better Black Ipas/ales/whatever they are called out there.

PicoPapa, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of Kelly88
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the coolest can into my Kentucky ale pint glass. The can has Paul revere on a motorcycle with his lantern.

A- has a very dark shoe Polish brown. Very nice bubbly beige head that is sticking around nicely. Web lacing is clinging after every sip.

S- I know its an ipa But it is so weird to be getting this much hop aroma from such a dark brew. Grapefruit is mingling with a sort of toffee.

T- first the hops hit you with a caramelized grapefruit taste. Some alcohol is there along with a sort of an iron taste, I guess this is the hops and malts trying to coexist

M- pretty light bodied with light carbonation. Nothing wrong here except for a weird after taste, not really a mouthfeel problem.

D- pretty good beer just the taste is a little off. If it wasn't for that this would go down real smooth

Thanks to uclabrewN84 for the nice extra

Kelly88, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of JamnesCameron
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a deep ruby brown with a light tan head that drops after a few minutes.

Aromas of grapefruit and piney hops, hints of dark roasted malts, light cocoa and coffee. The hops definitely stand out in this one, despite the roast.

Flavor of citric hops, and tang of roasted malt. Diluted dark roast coffee, sharp hop bitterness. Finish is long with the roasted malt and citrus hops interplaying very nicely.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side, but not watery. Mouthcoating hop bitterness, and an almost sour tang.

Very drinkable, nicely balanced CDA/ABA, or whatever we are calling them now.

JamnesCameron, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of Amdy
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just had one tonight, First out of the can then poured it into a glass. Pours out very dark brown. Smells sweet like orange or something. Tastes a bit metallic, sweet almost like a brown sugar taste, malty, a bit hoppy with a bit of an aftertaste at the back of my mouth, not sure if it is metallic or the citrus. Still,nice drinker, im not sure if i would be able to drink this all day though.

Amdy, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of dchester
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a coffee-colored translucent dk. brown. Finger sized beige head thins out pretty quickly. Smell is of caramel maltiness and piney hops. Taste is much the same with the piney hops lingering after the initial malt taste. Overall this is a nice beer, very refreshing, but a bit too thin for what I was expecting. It lacked the umph I was looking for.

dchester, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown leaning toward black, but barely. Head is light tan and at least one-finger. Sticks around for a bit.

Smell: Nothing too crazy. Hints of citrus and pine sneak through a roasty malt base. Comes across as a well-balanced approach to the style.

Taste: Very close to the smell with a bit more hop bite to it. Citrus and pine lose ground to the heartier malt base which sweetens things up a bit and leaves a lingering roastyness to compliment the residual oily hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: Decent. A little thinner than I like my black ales, but the malts give it a little heft. Relatively smooth with only the faintest hints of roast on the back.

Drinkability: Pretty well balanced. It's nothing to write home about, but definitely a nice way to break in to the style. It's got enough hops and malts to be interesting without being overbearing.

Overall: This is a pretty easy way to get used to the idea of an American Black Ale. It hits a solid compromise between hops and malts without leaning too far one way or another.

Goblinmunkey7, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of buschbeer
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can
Served in a nonic glass

A - It pours a dark brown, similar to a bock. Three inches of tan head rests on top.

S - I am hit with citrus at first. Then I get some whiffs of roasted malt.

T - The taste is fresh grapefruit and orange initially. Then the roasted malt kicks in on the finish with some lingering grapefruit bitterness.

M - Medium.

D - This is a good balance of hops and roasted malt. This is a characteristic I prefer in this style

buschbeer, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of Durge
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A thick black-ish brown color with a healthy light brown head and a nice network of lacing. The aroma is a dark molasses malt and creamy nut with just a hint of can in there. Decent. The flavor is charcoal licorice malt with a bright herbal hop. It's very smooth, almost creamy with light carbonation, medium bodied and very drinkable. Lots of near chocolate malt and a pleasant hop overtone. At first I thought I detected some metal but that disappears quickly. I enjoyed this. Could drink quite a few and quite flavorful with stout and ipa ideas nicely blended.

Durge, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of tbraun1
3.05/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz can served in pint glass

A - Deep brown color with some ruby hints when brought up to the light. Tan, two fingered head with nice lacing retention.

S - Roasted/smoky malts; Chocolate essence with some hop spice

T - The hops are there but the malts confuse the flavor. I think this one has an identity crisis in terms of the dominant style/flavor. Somewhat bitter.

M - Somewhat watery body with a bitter/dry finish.

D - I went out on a limb when I got this one, and I think one was enough.

tbraun1, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of magnj
3.43/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Very deep brown body with hints of Ruby, clear when held up to the light, but barely. Off white head leaves little lacing and drops quickly to a thin covering.

S - Roasted Barley and somewhat sweet as well as some piney hops but it's all well balanced.

T - Decent hop bite up front complimented by the roasted grains. It balances out with a sweet malty body, ending with caramel and earthy hop flavor.

m/d - Full sticky body. Drinkable, not sure I love it although I'm not sure if it's the style or the interpretation.

magnj, Feb 21, 2011
Photo of atomicbeer
2.15/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours cola brown (without the carbonation) with a big taupe head that diminishes in a few minutes. Aroma is of grapefruit plus floral plus a bit of a sharp metallic tang. Tastes a nice dark roast malt and chocolate up front fading to grapefruit then burnt grapefruit rind. Combined taste is a bit nasty for me. One is plenty. Not something to impress friends with.

atomicbeer, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of TheFightfan1
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a semi translucent brown with a tremendous looking off white thick heading. Lacing all throughout the tasting.

Smell has a slight metallic aroma from the start,many different aroma's ranging from citrus to leafy,some dark chocolate and subtle detection of bubblegum.

This is were it went wrong for me. Mostly I got a burnt tobacco flavor,extremely heavy linger of burnt caramel malts in the finish along with some hoppy notes. Like drinking a homebrew (diacytel in the mouth)

Mouth is medium bodied, good carbonation,decent smoothness with nice consistency not to watery not to thick.

This did seem like a solid beer from the start,the look,the aroma it was all there but just lost something in the taste for me.

TheFightfan1, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of woemad
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane. No obvious freshness date on the can, which features what looks to be an illustration of a Paule Revere-type figure that's seated on a motorcycle rather than a horse.

Poured a dark, cola-like color, with reddis highlights at the fringes. Big, beige rocky head.

Hops and burnt malts make up the scent of this beer.

Spicy hops and brown sugary malts make up most of the taste of this beer. It seems like the hops and malts are evenly balanced, making this not seem so much like an IPA.

Medium bodied, with a prickly, coating mouthfeel.

A decent, not earth shattering beer. I'm still somewhat on the fence when it comes to this style of beer, and this one isn't helping to push me in either direction.

woemad, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of StoneTSR
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jrod1969 for this one. What a killer extra he threw in my end of the trade!

APPEARANCE: Looks like a porter or a stout, stark black with a generous and foamy white head. As it SLOWLY faded away, the head did change color a little bit and take on a more off-white hue. The head retention was a thing of beauty and there is some lacing forming on the top of the glass already where the head dropped from. UPDATE: As the beer goes down, the lacing does not. It is really clinging to the glass all the way around and from top to bottom. This is an exceptional looking beer.

SMELL: A nice, solid traditional IPA smell - very piney, but bitter as well. It smells like there will be an impressive hop flavor. We shall see. Upon the second sniff, before the first sip and after the head had subsided a bit, a fairly strong, smoky, coffee flavor was present in addition to the hops and pine.

TASTE: The first sip was dominated by coffee. The hops seemed to be there, but only to provide a bitter aftertaste and not to provide the pine from the nose. A brief jolt of grapefruit also hits the palate with each sip. This is certainly a complex and unusual beer - a nice break from the ordinary.

MOUTHFEEL: The feel of this beer is more like that of a porter and not so much like an IPA. Very smooth and oily, but it is also drying on the way down as well. A nice feel, but I would have preferred more carbonation.

OVERALL: A lot of times something as unusual and different as a black IPA is can be too difficult for your palate to understand at first, making it tough to drink. That is not the case with the Back in Black. It is a very drinkable beer that tastes like a nice, bitter IPA and a smooth and smoky porter had a baby.

StoneTSR, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of micromaniac129
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep brown to black out of the can producing a faily dense, tall deep tan foamy head.
Looks to be modestly carbonated by the looks of it. I'm judging from a Chimay goblet.
Aroma is akin to an imperial porter in that it has a roasted malt backbone and a sutle but robust hop boquet.
Taste is similar to what I experenced aroma wise. A deep rich roasted bill with a farily high amount of hop bitterness.
You can also pull out some simple smokeiness.
Hops have no desernable flavor nuiances, maybe earthy at best since this brew does have some earthy quialities about it.
A medium body beer that has agood sweet taste and finishs sweetly and follows with a slight bitter aftertaste.
A likeable beer all and all.

micromaniac129, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of JMforman
2.9/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Jet black with a nice fluffy tan head.

S- Chocolate, grapefruit, toasted malt, very pleasant smell

T- Like grapefruit juice. Weird. Not much in the way of malt. Not very bitter. Very juice-like. I've never had a beer quite like this.

M- Thin and peppery.

D- Drinks like a soda... I guess its very drinkable in that regard, but if you want a beer, look elsewhere.

JMforman, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Back in very dark brown actually. Fluffy tan head settles to a thick crown of retention that BiB wears proudly all glass long. Leaves lacey sheets in it's wake. Would be perfect if it was actually black.

Bright citrus with soft pine edges and brownie batter. Not too much dark roasty malt that I was anticipating but it works just the same.

Bright orange citrus hop and smooth dark roast malt flavor without any actual dark roasted bitterness. I'm guessing a lot of carafa was used here. Uber juicy hops become more and more prevalent as the beer warms and taste like cotton candy and Blue Raspberry Blow Pop.

Sweet and with less roast character than most beers of this style but I like it. More of a IPA that happens to be black.

donkeyrunner, Feb 08, 2011
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,910 ratings.