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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

2,034 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,034
Reviews: 665
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 45
Gots: 191 | 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
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Ratings: 2,034 | Reviews: 665 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of afdempse
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with a coffee colored head.

Aroma of roasted barley, floral hops

Smooth flavor profile. Hops are nicely balanced with the dark malts and roast flavors.

Medium body, with a dry finish. High drinkability and very sessionable.

Overall, I thought this was a great example of the style. Will definitely buy again.

Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass, the beer is an almost black, muddled, brown color with a huge two inch, foamy, off-white head that is creamy and small bubbled. The head quickly settles into a thin film, and coats the entire glass while you drink. Nose is all cedar and pine, with resinous wet hops aromas and a slight, sweet, molasses background. Flavors are darkly sweet in the background, with the molasses making the foundation of the flavor palate, followed quickly by a grapefruit highlight and some mid-bodied hops spicing. Some light floral notes dance around in the mouth, also. The aftertaste is cloying and hoppy, making an interesting balance. The hops presence provides a good drying end-feel to the beer, making a nice, surprisingly clean finish despite all the resiny flavors and slick, cloying mouthfeel. Decent brew, but I also am a fan of most of 21st beers.

Photo of bum732
3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

S: Lots of pine and roastiness.

L: Dark brown, nearing black. Light tan creamy head that dissipates. Great lacing.

T: Bready malt with some roastiness. Medium bitterness, some bleach notes detected. Finishes quite sweet with some dark chocolate. Semi-sweet finish.

M: Smooth, creamy medium full body, medium carbonation.

Interesting, not sure i like the hop combo in this beer, doesn't work with the roast. Great body though.

Photo of wisrarebeer
2.99/5  rDev -19%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: deep, deep copper color, clear with nice ruby tan head
S: full nose, good roasted malt with perfumy hops
T: Back in Black has a good roasted malt character but the hops are too medicinal
M: nice roasted up front but too unbalanced with medicinal hops

Photo of Brent
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour was deep brown and porter-like, with a moderate mocha head. Up front well-roasted malt notes are prominent, with malt caramelization and some background grain flavor. Hopping is substantial, and moves in quickly with an overall blunt bittering note. Finish picks up some roasted grain sweetness. Not sure what to make of this one, a bit heavy on the roasted malt aspect and not well balanced with the hops.

Photo of jondeelee
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of SunDevilBeer
3.37/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Seen this alot at ;my local, finally decided to pick up a 6-er @ $10.99.

Not as dark as I expected it to look.

Smells more like a porter to the nose. Upon 1st sip...yup, this is a porter, not really an IPA. A hoppy porter at that, tho.

A bit of smokey bitterness that lingers after the sip. At 6.8%, a bit more boozy (& boozy tasting) than expected too.

A disappointment if you expecting a dark IPA, but not bad if you think of it as a hoppy porter.

Photo of BeerLover99
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: dark brown/shimmer of ruby, 2 finger head,
glorious lacing

S: roasted malt, semi-char, nutty, mild dark chocolate

T: mild sweet dark chocolate, roasted nuts,
mild smooth burnt finish

M: med body, creamy/smooth mouth

O: Don't know what to make of this beer.
Seems like a dry stout/porter, still a
solid offering. Probably not a repeat buy
for me.

SOLID, NOT A MUST HAVE!

Photo of haywire77
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew poured a dull dark brown with very little light coming through only around the edges. About 1 inch of mocha colored head faded very quickly to a decent cap that left pretty nice lacing down the glass. Yeasty sediment can be seen throughout and in abundance in the bottom of the glass.

Smells of piney resin and malt. Sweet malt, almost like a good piece of hard candy that makes my sweet tooth show itself. Nothing over powering, but very mild in a good way.

Taste is a little off putting at first, but makes it's way in with a bunch of chocolate and/or caramel malts and almost no hops or bitterness at all. A touch of roasted coffee and maybe, just maybe a little hop tingle after you swallow. Not IPAish in my book at all. There is another flavor here that I can't figure out.

Mouthfeel is different also. Not creamy, not dry, maybe it's the carbonation that is dominant here.

Overall this is a beer that I could have a few of in one sitting, but nothing that really jumps out at me. I do like it better than the other offerings that I have tried from this brewery.

Photo of SnacksMcBillings
3.06/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz can into snifter glass.

Aroma: Strong alcoholic smell. Mostly piney and spicy hop aroma. Hint of light caramel malts. Hop volatiles fade quicky as it warms. No esters.

Appearance: Light tan head, fades quickly. Deep brown color, almost black. Looks like a CDA.

Flavor: Initial caramel like sweetness, that faded as it warmed. Hints of roast malt appear as it warms. Alcoholic taste. Strong hop bitterness and spicy hop flavor.

Body: Light IPA like body. Medium-high carbonation. Prickly mouthfeel. Dry finish.

Overall: A hoppy drinkable beer. Mouthfeel and appearance is right on but flavor and aroma are lacking. Malt profile is one-dimensional. Higher dry-hopping levels could help aroma. Pitching more yeast and/or reducing fermentation temps could help with the alcohol thing.

Photo of emerge077
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

$1.95 can from Big Sur Deli. Poured into a stemless wine glass on the front porch.

Khaki tan foam, sticky with larger bubbles that are slow to fade. Plenty of lace is left on the glass too. Retention is pretty good, an unbroken skim is still across the surface. Black with chestnut brown edges.

When the can was first cracked there was a whiff of fresh green hop pungency, but after sitting in the glass for five minutes, it seems to have faded, leaving a noseful of earthy roast.

More roasty porter notes in the flavor, a little bit of pine and citrus intertwined in there also. Dry with a moderately bitter finish. Light green hop aftertaste lingers. Pretty easy drinking, not bad.

Photo of MbpBugeye
2.99/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Can into a Perfect Pint.

Appearance
I didn't think I poured too hard, but I guess I was wrong. Most of this beer flashed into a very fine froth as soon as it rolled into the glass. It doesn't strike me as infected or anything, just over carbonated. The beer is a dark root beer color on the pour, collecting near black.

Aroma
For being a 21st Amendment beer there is a surprising lack of aluminum and a hopeful level of hops. Spicy pine and citrus hops. There's not a whole lot of roasted stuff, but there is a lot of black pepper.

Taste
The flavor is actually pretty nice, it just falls very flat, very quickly. Things start with sweet citrus and some spiciness, but suddenly all flavors are gone. Its weird. The finish is sweet and almost grape-like.

Mouthfeel
Carbonation isn't as scary as it was on the pour, which is a relief. Its still prickly, however. The body is about medium.

Overall
I'd say this isn't too bad, especially as compared to the other 12A beers I've had. I'd drink this again in a pinch, I suppose.

Photo of Knapp85
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This poured out as a nice black looking brew, the head was tan in color and leaves a little bit of lacing behind. The smell of the beer was hoppy and had plenty of roasted malt aromas in there too. The taste of the beer kinda of fell off the radar for me... The hops that were used or the malts they used seems to be a little on the gross side in my opinion. Whatever it was, I felt like it just wasn't working for me. The mouthfeel of the beer was pretty good, but still nothing special really. Overall this brew had a good look, but flavor wise it just wasn't for me.

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

Received in a recent trade.

A- Very, very dark with a decent head and some nice lacing.

S- Not too much in the line of hops on the nose, fairly malty in the smell.

T- Not great, not too bad. Pretty sweet though with a lot of malts. Let's face it, these black IPA's are just hard to quantify. It's not a bad beer, just not really an IPA IMO.

M- decent.

O- Not too bad but nothing to write home about.

Photo of alk3kenny
4.97/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got this in a 6pk of 12oz cans poured into my Sam Adams 20oz glass... Pours a decent 1/2 in head great dark black color... Smell is of bitter hops love it... hop bitterness is present followed by roast dark malt flavor exactly what I'm looking for in this style of beer... leaves just a little bitterness on the tongue aftertaste of hops sticks with you which is a plus in my book... mouthfeel is smooth, easily drinkable goes down again and again... I will buy this beer any time I'm looking for a black IPA

Photo of JohnFatAss
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Almost pure black in color with a tan head.

It has a faint but good smell. Hints of citrus and chocolate come through in the nose.

It has a sweet roasted malt taste and a bittersweet coffee after taste. Not as bold as the name would imply, but a good tasting beer none the less.

Kind of a heavy beer, I thought it was very filling, but satisfying.

After one, I could feel the effects of the alcohol.

Indeed, this is good beer when you just want to sit back and relax....

Photo of hopking311
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one at my favorite craft beer bar of all time.. The distillery in Savannah.

Black slight reddish tint with one finger head.. lacey lacey.. coats glass

smells of rich smokey citrus.

taste slightly smokey with a citrus lemon, lime backbone.. amazing how the hops show thru on this one.

medium bodied.. great carbonation.

Great drinkability.. The quality of this beer upon first impression prompted me to purchase a sixer of this as well as any other first amendment brews I could locate.

Thanks Ben..

Photo of schlimenhaumer
4.17/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. can into a pint glass at low altitude.

A: Pours a translucent dark brown color that gives off a ruby hue when held to the light. One-finger cream colored head with moderate retention and nice lacing.

S: Prominent hop notes up front with equally strong roasty malt notes. Definitely an enticing smell.

T: A nice mix of flowery hops and roasted malts. Both flavors hit the palate strongly at the same time, but I think they come together nicely and balance each other.

M: Medium-bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Complements the flavors well in my opinion.

D: This one goes down very easy considering the ABV.

Photo of Muck4
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell: Naturally hoppy, roasted nutty smell with hints of cocoa in it.

Appearance: looks exactly like a coca cola would, and I know that sounds funny. Slightly darker but clean brew. Initial head was nice and full, very good pour from a can.

Taste: A light hop from an IPA perspective, not very over powering but very drinkable. The roasted barley is blended well. It doesn't hit you in the back of the mouth as much as a normal black ale would. Very clean mouth feel. The malt lingers a bit after with a slight bitterness. Carbonation is decent. Sticks with the ale category as it should. Being 6.8% the alcohol isn't over powering in the beer at all, you still know you're drinking a slightly higher alcohol beer, but wouldn't know it. Doesn't leave much of a scum on the glass as it goes down.

Overall I would drink this again and again. I've grown to love micro brew in a can. I would say it has an above average drinkability to it. 3-4 would be my limit, and then that roasted malt would get to me.

This was my first review as well!

Photo of titosupertramp
3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to muck4 for bringing this back from a recent road trip.

A: Pours a cola brown/black out of the can. Thick two fingers of tan head which leaves moderate lacing around all sides of the glass. Thick rim of film around the edges.

S: More subdued than I would expect. Mostly roasted, chocolate malts out in front with the citrus hops playing the supporting role.

T: Has a nice taste to it. Semi-sweet chocolate, coffee and somewhat of a burnt flavor. Citrusy hops come in nicely towards the end providing balance and a bitter finish.

M: Solid mouthfeel. Rich and creamy with a dry finish.

O: This isn't the best American Black Ale that I've ever had, but it's pretty good. I would encourage anyone who is a fan of the style to pick this up and give it a shot.

Photo of Rhode17
3.31/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice little daily drinker from 21st Amendment. Comes off a little like a baby stout. Not super hopped and syrupy but does have a touch of hop on the nose and mid. Hints of cocoa and black coffee with a little bit of toffee on it as well. Doesn't stick around too long on the finish though. Not an A+ but good for what it is. And the can art is pretty slick as well. As a Black IPA goes, its not the craziest, certainly more subdued than some of the Black IPA's out there but worth the money.

Photo of goldbot
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

If nothing else the design of the can for this beer is plain awesome.

Pours, well, black, with thick, silky, foamy tan head that sticks around but doesn't lace as well. Resinous hops aroma; earthy pine and floral notes. Some roasted aroma lurks but is well-covered by the hops. The flavor comes on as intensely hoppy quite resinous but lacking in much depth. Some roasted malt adds dark chocolate and coffee notes. Unfortunately, the beer almost completely lacks any body. There seems to not be enough malt there to balance the resinous hops amount.

Photo of Meerkey
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Thick beige head. Dark raw umber with murky muddiness at edges against the light.

S: Smoky and meaty! Surprising. A little chocolately and hoppy as well. Nice.

T: Dark. Mocha. Hoppy. bitter and mellow.

M: Smooth. Nice. Pleasantly heavy on the tongue. Nice finish.

O: I enjoy this more than their IPA. I'd probably pick up another sometime.

Photo of AgentMunky
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a pilsner glass. Stamped 1192 1122 on the bottom.

A: Convincingly dark. Dark cola hints in the light, but only at the slenderest part of an admittedly thin glass. Topped with a couple fingers of almost-tan head; decent retention. Some bubbles visible at the edges of the glass. Comprehensive, scattered lace. Nice.

S: Roasted malts. The can reads 'rich dark malts,' but there is a definite porter-ish quality here, almost smoky. On smell alone, it could pass for a rauchbier. Interesting.

T/M: Also intriguing. I am unsure why this is classified as a Black IPA. It tastes mellow and roasted, with hops emerging only on the endtaste. Creamy, supported, and substantial mouthfeel. Again, more like a porter than an IPA. I suppose the bitterness on the aftertaste is more hoppy than roasty, but still...anyways, good beer.

O: Interesting, recommended, and more worth your time than the Brew Free or Die IPA. Would drink again.

Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 2,034 ratings.