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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

1,825 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,825
Reviews: 645
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 40
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
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Ratings: 1,825 | Reviews: 645 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
VoiceOfTheSoul

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +8.4%

Can into nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark ruby brown with a one finger tan head that leaves good webbing but shrinks to a ring in a decent amount of time.

S: It has a sharp hop smell, citrus and pine (mostly pine), with undertones of roasted and chocolate malt. These come through more as it warms.

T: Sharp piney hops balanced with chocolate roasty malts. A great marriage. As it warms, both more roasty-ness and hop profile come through more, so it became more intense without one side winning over the other.

M: It's up front. Thin yet smooth.

D: It's really nice and easy. The hops and roasted malt are both great for the cooler temperatures as we head into fall/winter.

Notes: A really solid brew. It's got a great balance between the hops and the roasted malts that shows they really know what they're doing. Nothing was ever over-powering.

11-15-2010 20:10:53 | More by VoiceOfTheSoul
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
JoeyBeerBelly

New York

3.43/5  rDev -7%

12oz can served in a standard pint glass.

L - black with a beige colored head that thinned to a ring but still left a sheet of lacing.

S - more of a roasted malt aroma than hops, the hops were there but they were faint.

T - following the nose the taste is also that of roasted malt and coffee beans with light bittering on the finish.

F - light/medium bodied with a slick feel.

D - it was ok but I'm glad I only got a single.

11-15-2010 00:14:08 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of dtivp
dtivp

Pennsylvania

3.38/5  rDev -8.4%

Poured black with a small dark tan head with little retention and some lacing, very porter like.
Aroma of a burnt or dark roasted malt with a hint of hops.
Taste followed the nose with the burnt malt or gain, mild hop flavor with a hint of dark chocolate.
Medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth with a light to moderate bitterness.
I haven't tasted very many black IPA's, this seemed a little lite on the hops and a would almost classif this beer as a weak stout.

11-14-2010 15:05:53 | More by dtivp
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev +5.1%

Great rocky/dome-like head that leaves lots of chunky ring lace. Deep ruby color where muted light shines through.

Smell: More hoppy than dark malts. Pretty standard stuff for modified classic.

Tastes darker than the smell. The hop is milder than most IPA's, but the combination is appealing. The body is thinnish, the carbonation is good.

11-13-2010 02:28:00 | More by smcolw
Photo of Bouleboubier
Bouleboubier

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +5.7%

Interesting thing, this Black IPA. This is my second tasting of one and I think I get what it's all about. Cool little novelty - who knows how long it'll stay hot.

This ale, at first, drank like a mix between a porter and an IPA - or a hoppy porter. I'd say this one worked. I enjoyed it for what I suppose it is. The pour left a rather magnanimous 2+ inch head, khaki-colored, breaking up in a most unique way - from within - leaving a dense, spider-web formation and somewhat generous lacing. The liquid shows dark brown initially but later reveals a deep ruby color. Very porteresque qualities burst forth in the aroma - mild sourness, light acidic pungency. The hops start to come through after a minute or so - piney and flowery - a strange contrast against the slowly increasing rounded bitter roast aromas emanating with time. That not-quite-sharp sour bite maintains a lead role in the taste throughout, poking out through a thin, depth-deprived porter flavor (a porter profile which reminded me of Yuengling Porter - which I dig). An intriguing fruitiness and Belgian dubbel characteristics show up after about 5 minutes and fill in nicely what starts off as a fairly tasty yet somewhat two-dimensional beer. It drinks equal parts light/smooth and biting and the fruitiness lingers for quite sometime. Overall, worth trying. Not sure if I'd session this, however.

11-12-2010 05:23:30 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of TheSeeker61
TheSeeker61

Georgia

4.38/5  rDev +18.7%

Had this brew @ the Porter beer bar in Atlanta.

Poured jet black into a pint glass. Nice one finger head which mellowed into a ring. Nice lacing.
Nose was kinda interesting. Citrus was noticible along with some hops & malt especially as it warms.

Begins with a citrus bitter, moves into a nice malt & not too hoppy.

The mouthfeel is nice & creamy. Will definitely drink this baby again. Gets better as it warms.

11-11-2010 21:46:10 | More by TheSeeker61
Photo of WanderingFool
WanderingFool

Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev -1.1%

Back in Black pours a clear dark brown/nearly black color into the glass. On top a frothy head forms which dissolves slowly down to a thick ring around the surface. Lots of lines and spots of lace remain behind has the foam dissolves.

The aroma is an interesting combination of hops and malt. It's mostly orange and lemon citrus hop notes, but there's a touch of dark malt mixed in.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is smooth and soft on the palate. Light to moderate carbonation. The flavor is similar to the aroma with orange citrus notes, but the dark malt flavor is more noticeable. Chocolate notes make themselves known. Towards the end the flavor gets slightly tart. Once gone the orange citrus and chocolate notes linger on the palate.

This is an interesting version of a black IPA. Lots of hops that are balanced by a fair amount of malt. It's quite drinkable and refreshing.

11-11-2010 20:39:57 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Browned black core of dense opaqueness. Dark beige crown lifts tall and lean with a creamy puffed thickness. Lots of thickly placed lacing in cob webbed frosting.

Aroma is quite the intriguing mix of dry cocoa, dry tea leaves, bittered with a twist of pine, tangerine, berries, dark orange, heavy roasted malt, and a low ended hint to coffee.

Taste brings in some low tangy roasted malt layers that has a bit of berryness, orange marmalade, and old tangerine. Bitterness is there among the roasted parts, mostly showing towards the back end with a rounded orangey tang. Mellow pineyness and chocolateyness flows lightly underneath with bits of burnt coffee and roast.

Body is about medium with a loosened roundness as it rolls into the finish. The roasted parts do mix well with the hoppy bitterness, but its missing the mark some in its smoothness due its burntish side.

All in all, a pretty good black IPA. Would have liked to see some more chocolate and creamy smoothness out of it though. Or maybe just more hops? This was a tough one to put the numbers to. May need to tweek them if needed as I drink more of it?

11-08-2010 03:00:42 | More by tavernjef
Photo of jabergess
jabergess

Georgia

3.7/5  rDev +0.3%

Poured in a 20 oz Taco Mac mug at Mall of GA.

This beer is interesting. Upfront it tastes like a porter. I get the coffee, bittersweet chocolate and a slight burnt toast flavor. The back is a slight bitter finish. I suppose that's the IPA finish. I think I would not call this a black IPA. The hops, besides the bitter finish, just aren't there for me. The grade is probably too high for thus style, but I happen to like porters so it was still ok with me.

11-06-2010 23:45:01 | More by jabergess
Photo of dvb
dvb

Washington

2.35/5  rDev -36.3%

A - Black, as the name implies. Pours like a porter, with a tan head to match. Lots of lacing. Great appearance in general.

S - The hops are a little off on this, but maybe that is because of the dark malts. Some floral/fruit character here would not go amiss.

T - There really isn't much here but burnt toast and bitterness.

M - Some imperial stout-like stickiness on the lips. This is good. However, there is some astringency here that I just don't care for.

D - I wouldn't buy it again. On the other hand, if it was present in someone's fridge and the only other offering was Fizzy Yellow, I would choose Black.

11-06-2010 20:26:03 | More by dvb
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

4/5  rDev +8.4%

This is my very first crack at this new style, so I was pretty excited to try it. Notes are recent.

Black it is, with just a hint of brown around the edges when held up to the light. A light colored head forms about one finger high and manages good retention and lacing.
This is quite fragrant, pretty much as I expect an IPA sort of aroma but strongly backed by dark chocolate, caramel, coffee, and roasted malts notes. This is very interesting wrapped up in citrus and light pine resin hops aromas. There's an earthiness from hops and an earthiness from malts that compound the earthy aroma.
The taste follows suit, and as this style develops I think it'll be interesting to pick out the particularities of the different flavors that can be detected from both the malts and the hops. As it is, this may be the opposite of something like a well-hopped stout: a strongly-malted IPA. I think it works well, but if done wrong I could see a Black IPA being extremely discordant. In my opinion, 21st Amendment struck a nice balance.
The body is medium-full with moderate carbonation. It starts off crisp and ends with a moderate smoothness, with a semi-dry finish lingering for a short time.
I think this beer is a great effort from 21st Amendment and I look forward to seeing how this style continues to develop. This one can be enjoyed as a sessional and equally as much in almost any climate/temperature situation.

11-05-2010 15:25:20 | More by Brenden
Photo of jera1350
jera1350

Minnesota

3.4/5  rDev -7.9%

Solid brownish black with a massive and thick mocha head that has outstanding retention and leaves lots of lacing all around the glass.

Getting a citrus hop scent, but it is overpowered by the strong scent of Dawn dish soap.

Citrusy hops abound and offer a fair bitterness, but their is also a toasty malt presence as well to offer balance in the extreme opposite of the hops. I am still getting some of the dish soap in the taste as well. I like it, but then I get the soap and it lessons the taste for me. Toasty char in the aftertaste.

Smooth and thicker mouthfeel that slides right down. Between full and medium body. Some really good heft.

If they could get rid of the dish soap notes, this beer would be outstanding. Still an enjoyable brew, only the second one that I can say that about for 21st. Something is just off in most of their beers. Not sure if it's because of where it's contract brewed or what. Give this one a shot though.

11-05-2010 00:50:26 | More by jera1350
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev +11.9%

Dark chocolate ruby body. Tight froth chocolate brown head. Nice retention and lace properties. Nice mix of chocolate malts and vibrant, citric hops. Very nice aroma. Flavor is solid, but would better with even a bigger hop presence and bite. The chocolate, roasted malt flavor wins the battle in this beer with the piney, citric hops coming in second. Even keeled mouthfeel. Moderately carbonated and medium full body. Enjoyable.

11-04-2010 21:03:39 | More by Bighuge
Photo of xcrunner78
xcrunner78

Ohio

4.13/5  rDev +11.9%

Aroma: Smell of sweet roasted caramels, a coffee bitter from the malts, and a face full of hops. I also smell a dark bitter, sort of like a porter, but with a lot more hops.

Appearance: The pour is black as midnight with a creamy head that dies down to a creamy layer that sits on top of the beer. It almost looks like a nitro-pour off of tap and the head stays in-tack to the glass with each sip.

Flavor: On the tip of the tongue, have this roasted malts, that washes back across the palate. The bitter from the malts becomes a little sour on the back of the palate. Very complex malts characteristics, rich and bready. With each sip, the hops comes out. I can taste a little grapefruit from the Columbus, but very earthy and piney and not floral at all with a dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Very full and creamy. The sour taste sits in the mouth for a while, sort of like a porter, but even better because of all of the hops.

Overall Impression: The taste that washes back of the palate lingers and lingers. Very intense hops characteristics and the complex malts will lead me to be intrigued of what else that they have brewed. I can't wait to try what other treats that they have!

11-03-2010 00:53:33 | More by xcrunner78
Photo of soze47
soze47

Massachusetts

3.35/5  rDev -9.2%

Appearance: Black with almost garnet red streaks when it moves in the light. Quickly dissipating frothy head.

Aroma: Not a huge bouquet here. Spicy mix between herbal hops and roasted malts. Almost nutty.

Taste: The hops are a little MIA on this. The initial flavor is underwhelming as well. There is a rush of roasted nut and malt flavors. The hops don't so much show up with distinct flavors so much as they create an almost coffee-like bitterness. Sure, I get a little pine and floral taste, but it just helps deflect some of the malty nuttiness into secondary flavors. After a few drinks, the hops are a little more present, but it takes a bit.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Loose and crisp for such a roasty drink. Not sticky and it would be easy to drink a couple of these if you were so inclined.

Overall: Black IPAs frustrate me. Some are like this one. Others steer much closer to a bitter/hop variety. I prefer the latter, but don't think I should hold it against the former when reviewing it. If someone is looking for a nice roasted malt ale that is crisp and clean, I think this is a great candidate. If you want something with a hop bang, don't grab this guy.

33 Beers Wheel Chart (5 high to 1 low):
Alcohol/Solvent: 3
Dark Fruit: 3.5
Citrus Fruit: 2.5
Hoppy (pine): 3
Floral: 3
Herbal: 3
Malty: 4
Toffee: 3
Burnt: 2
Sweet: 2.5
Sour: 1
Bitter: 2.5
Astringent: 2
Body: 3
Linger: 4

11-01-2010 23:25:30 | More by soze47
Photo of tugdriver7
tugdriver7

Maryland

3.58/5  rDev -3%

Earlier this year, I tasted a Caserne 30, a gold-colored smoked ald at Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel in Montreal. It was a sensory mixed message, in terms of what a pale beer should taste like and I found it unpleasant and relatively difficult to drink. Conversely the Black IPA (Penombre) at the same establishment was surprisingly tasty and I had high hopes for this Black IPA from 21st Amendment--in spite of the mixed messages of taste and color. And I figured the can would be a big help for freshness. The beer poured a rich brown to black in the glass with a decent tan head and nice lacing throughout. Initial stout-like roasted malt in the nose, but the hops were immediately evident in the first taste. Unlike the Belgian Penombre and it's distinct hop bitterness, however, the hops here were a tad more fruity and bright. Coupled with the rich roasted flavor of the beer, it tasted a bit sour and a couple of times I checked the can to see if perhaps it was outdated. I definitely see the attraction and I did enjoy the drink, but it wasn't quite up to my expectations. Thus the less than perfect rating.

11-01-2010 15:32:04 | More by tugdriver7
Photo of MCDuhamel
MCDuhamel

Ohio

3.88/5  rDev +5.1%

Poured from a can into a pint glass at fridge temperature. Formed a very thick and dense, lasting head, lightly tan and meringue like in texture. Nose is resin, a little tar and roast barley. The flavor starts out very much like a dry stout, showing mostly roasted barley, but then is followed by a definite American hops presence; some pine, some grass, and a little citrus. The finish is dry and nicely bitter, but not astringent. Fairly light on the mouth, again more like a stout than an IPA. I could, and will, drink several of these in a session.

Overall I find this to be a very nice beer, and I find that I am enjoying this emerging style. This is a very good example. It is great to see the packaging; cans make more sense than bottles.

10-30-2010 23:42:13 | More by MCDuhamel
Photo of BeerCon5
BeerCon5

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +5.1%

Pours almost black in color with 2 fingers of thick foamy off white head that sticks around.

The scent is a little faint, but there is some roasted malts, hops, citrus, and coffee.

The taste is a bit more noticeable with roasted malts and coffee up front, followed by piney hops, some citrus, and notes of cocoa.

Full bodied, very smooth and creamy, moderate carbonation.

This was a pretty good beer, the flavor and scent could have been stronger, but it was well balanced and very drinkable.

10-29-2010 20:01:43 | More by BeerCon5
Photo of u2carew
u2carew

Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

12oz can!
A) Pours with a tan, two finger head. Nearly opaque. Tight sticky lacing.
S) Grassy. Subtle notes of caramel malt. Hints of citrus spice.
T) A decent balance of malt and hops, although seems a bit watered down. Not real robust, like one would expect from a Cascadian Ale. The malt flavors start to shine towards to finish.
M) Creamy. Medium body.
D) A decent brew, but not a standout for me.

10-27-2010 00:44:58 | More by u2carew
Photo of CaptainTripps
CaptainTripps

Oregon

2.85/5  rDev -22.8%

On tap at the Cheerful Tortoise in portland. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a very dark brown, almost black but not quite. Finger worth of a tan creamy head, fair amount of lacing left on glass.

S- Pretty sweet, light roasted malts are present, hops are plentiful. Citrus and pine play around a little bit with the nose.

T- A fairly sweet IPA. Has that IPA bitterness along with a coffee bitterness which are kind of an odd pairing. Small roastedness to the beer, some what of a smokey flavor.

M- Very thin, dry and crisp finish. Good amount of carbonation.

D- Fairly good drinkable beer, something I could see myself buying a sixer here and there.

Pretty average beer overall. Nothing spectacular but nothing really wrong with it either. Just average.

10-23-2010 14:33:18 | More by CaptainTripps
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

3.78/5  rDev +2.4%

I grabbed a can of this at Chevy Chase the other day.

Dark brown with reddish highlights, there's a dense, light brown head with excellent retention and lacing. The head sticks around as a thick disk, this is particularly impressive. The nose has a moderate hop bite with pine and a rather strange soapy character. The hop character is surprisingly muted here, allowing the roasted malt to really come through. The way the flavors are balanced, this is more of a hoppy stout than black IPA. There's bitter chocolate and a mild coffee grounds character here. A touch fruity too, especially as it warms up. Once the soap character dissipates, this is solid stuff.

The palate opens with a rather big roasted malt bitterness with char, bitter chocolate and then followed by some simpler sweetness, almost like caramel and sugar. The hops are secondary here, a little pine and some bitterness, both of which are overshadowed by the malt character. A little fruity in the mid-palate before a long finish with a roasted bitterness and a mild creaminess. Medium in body, the mid-palate is rather watery, and the creaminess makes this feel like it's on nitro. Solid stuff, this really is more of a stout than a black IPA, the big difference is the sweetness that's mildly pale malt -like

10-23-2010 00:33:16 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.6/5  rDev -2.4%

A gift from Dennis. Thanks bro!

A: This beer appears an opaque shade of the darkest brown, bordering on black. The head is over an inch tall and looks like a chocolate milkshake. As it fades, it coats the glass in lacing.

S: Roasted malt and hops. I'm just not entirely sure about the black IPA style in general. The aromas seem to conflict with one another, creating an overall odd scent.

T: Decent tasting, and happily, it's better than the aroma would indicate. It's rich and smooth, with a noticeable hop bitterness in the finish. I suppose one could label this a "balanced" version of the style, as the roast aspect is quite prevalent, as well.

M: Good feel. Fairly thick, with a creamy smooth feel reminiscent of a stout.

D: Pretty interesting beer. I would drink it again, but it's not something I would seek out, or even choose at a store.

10-22-2010 23:37:01 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

2.93/5  rDev -20.6%

Served in straight pint glass. Poured pure black, no translucence, with about a 1/2 inch of dark tan head that had good retention and moderate lacing.

The aroma had light roast and light hops, but otherwise wise fairly benign. The taste was fairly similar, some roast and hops, neither dominating, and was pretty well balanced. I don't think they were trying for balance.

The body was typical for this new style, Cascadia Dark Ale(Black IPA), not really thin or full and much like most IPA's. Drinkability was OK but not special. Overall, a decent but not noticeable take on the style. Worth trying if you see it.

10-22-2010 04:07:41 | More by beertunes
Photo of Spikester
Spikester

Oregon

4/5  rDev +8.4%

Black with two fingers of tan head. At more than half way gone still has a bit of head. Well laced. Aroma is a bit of pine. Taste is fruity piney hops with plenty of malt backing. There is a slight hint of coffee or roasted malts but not a lot. Mouthfeel is right on the money for an IPA. Nice dry bitter finish. Falls toward the middle of the Cascadian IPA spectrum. Awesome for a canned beer.

10-21-2010 06:39:37 | More by Spikester
Photo of Pentastar
Pentastar

New York

4.35/5  rDev +17.9%

Appearance: Dark caramel color with flashes of garnet red, with half inch creamy tan head.

Aroma: Sweet, with a little coffee and some floral notes as well.

Taste: Some hop bitterness comes through, along with roasted barley malt, coffee, cacao and some residual sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation and full bodied.

Drinkability: A well balanced dark IPA.

10-20-2010 20:01:39 | More by Pentastar
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,825 ratings.