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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
84
good

1,993 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,993
Reviews: 658
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.59%
Wants: 45
Gots: 161 | 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: 1,993 | Reviews: 658 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kendo
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the can into a Sam Smith's nonic. Body is black, though when backlit it's more like dark, dark brown with orangey hues on the edges. A half-finger light-tan head on top, settles to leave solid lacing.

S: First impression: there's something "off" about the nose. Can't quite put my finger on it though. Roasted grain husks and grapefruit.

T: Every time I try a new American Black Ale, I'm excited. I know what I want from beers of this style - a nice combination of chocolatey, caramelly malt and American hops. More often than not, I'm disappointed by the attempt. This one belongs firmly in that category. Grapefruit and even pineapple juice dominate the flavor perception. There's some malt underneath - a touch of weak coffee and roasted grains - but not nearly enough to stand up to that juicy hop bitterness. Besides pineapple juice, I get a hint of lemon and grapefruit, and some herbal or leafy hops as well.

M: Light-to-medium in heft, but comes across as a bit thin, mainly, I think, because the malt bill doesn't stand up well to the juicy hops.

O: This one's OK. Not worth the $12.99 I paid for the sixer, and not one I will get again. For another couple bucks, I could've had my favorite in the style: Victory Yakima Glory. That's a beer that gets the style right. . . .

Photo of mikechance
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark color with the right amount of foamy head. I could smell the delicious malts, but no citrus or hops (or any other IPA characteristics). It has a nice roasty, bitter taste --- heavy malts, chocolate, and caramel flavors, but I couldn't pick up much hops. It’s creamy and goes down nice and easy. This beer has plenty of body and depth and is closer to a porter than a schwarzbier to me.

I enjoyed the beer and will have it again (hopefully on tap). I just didn’t think it had enough characteristics to be called a Black IPA. It’s more of a creamy porter to me.

Photo of OnThenIn
2.83/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A finger and a half of darker tan head on top of a black body.

S: The aroma has a little bit of pine as well as that of raisins and for some reason reminds of lychee fruit juice. The aroma severely lacks complexity and is really disappointing.

T: Some roasty flavors are upfront, which then mixes with a fruit like flavor and some sweetness. Bitterness then follows and then everything resolves into a mess with a bit of sweetness and bitterness both lingering.

M: The body was thin to medium with decent carbonation, but the body was really thinner than I would have liked.

D: I really didn't love this beer and feel that 21st amendment is slightly more hit or miss on their beers than I would like. I love the can portability and they are covering some cool styles, like with this beer; however, they have a serious execution problem.

Photo of dtreindl
4.68/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Surprisingly creamy smooth mouthfeel on this black IPA. Not too bitter. Nice roasted malt flavor is not overwhelmed by the hops. So well-balanced hops and malt, which I think is essential for a good black IPA. Easy drinking...I could drink several of these, despite the 6.8abv. Black IPAs seem to be trendy now and this example is a good one. I'll be drinking this long after any trend fades as long as 21st A is willing to brew it!

Photo of schoolboy
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I guess I was hoping for something else. Something hoppier, a little floral (this has none at all). I did NOT want something that was just a ton of roast flavor, and that's all this is. They should have hidden the roast in a bunch of hops, and more malts. They could have hidden a bunch of ABV.

The roastiness is good, but the rest of the taste is mild, and wildly over powered by the roast. Maybe I can save some for company I don't like.

Oh, I forgot to mention that it is very cool looking for whatever it is. And it has a terrific aftertaste. It's different, and well crafted.

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

The reviews for 21st Amendment Back in Black seem surprisingly low for what I thought of it. The beer is definitely not black, but a very dark brown. There is fantastic lacing and a head that stays almost full for the entire lifespan of this beer. The nose has a distinctly chocolate graham cracker aroma with a touch of resinous and grapefruit hops. The beer is has a definitely dark chocolate and roasted grain taste, which is a bit more than expect for a beer of this style, which tends to be more restrained in its roasted profile. The beer is slightly sweet with a good bitter kick in the finish. The hops are restrained but in balance with this beer. This is definitely a more malt-forward and chocolately black ale, but still delicious. A different interpretation of the style, more like DFH India Brown Ale than Stone SSR.

Photo of thebrood1987
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pretty black and I get some really rich caramel chocolate roasted malt smells that even reminds me of a scotch ale with some citrus and earthy hop undertones. Its a very smooth and rich beer with the chocolate and caramel tastes up front and then the dark roasted malt bitterness blends in well with the earthy pine slight citrus hop finish.

This comes from a can? That's awesome especially when you realize how good this beer is. As it warms the earthy roasted bitterness comes out more and it ends dry as well. Get this if you want a perfect combination of hops and rich stout like malts. My first 21st Amendment beer and definitely not my last by any means.

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

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

One of my first Cascadian dark ales aka American black ales. Great "new" style. All the hoppiness of an IPA, but in a beer that could--colorwise--pass off as a porter or schwarzbier. Aroma is full of resinous hops and dark roasty malts. The taste follows the aroma well, with a definite roasty malt base that is dominated by a storm of piney hops. Medium mouthfeel, resinous, strong in flavor, a good introduction to the style.

Photo of Flounder57
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I tried thsi at a bar a few weeks ago and bought a six pack of cans to try at home since I enjoyed the draft. The beer was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: The beer is a dark black/brown color with a one finger off white head that has reduced to a thin layer and has left some lacing on the glass. There is medium carbonation when I put the beer up to the light to see the tiny little bubbles.

Smell: roasted sweet malts, roasted coffee, and slight citrusy hop aromas.

Taste: hoppy, slight maltiness, and a little bitterness towards the end.

Mouthfeel: a little chewy, medium bodied, slightly creamy, and smooth.

Overall: This is a decent black hop IPA. I would buy this one agian, but I enjoyed it more when it was on tap.

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

Poured can into red hook pint glass. Pours what else but black. Nice little head that sticks around with some lacing.

Smells of pine citrus and dark malts in the back ground.

Taste is hops right up front with roasted malts balancing the taste out. The bitterness does stick around longer but not bad at all.

Mouth feel is nice. Actually smother than expected from the color and initial smell. Expected a little more hop hit from this but over all a good beer.

Over all a good beer to try. Right in the middle of hoppiness. It's there but your not chewing your beer, not that it's a bad thing.

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

Nice looking beer, black in color, two finger head, great lacing.

Smells a little piney, a little more hoppy, and has caramel malt aromas as well.

Taste is pretty darn good. Its smooth caramel malts and ample hops are accented by a touch of sweet fruitiness and a bit of pine.

Feel is quite rich and almost full bodied, with smooth, silky carbonation, leaving a lightly bitter and slightly fruity aftertaste.

Overall it's a nice beer that I'd like to drink again. It's in cans too, which is a plus.

Photo of SuperSpy
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very dark brown with a very clingy, off-white head. It looks promising, but not as dark as I was expecting for a "black" ale.

There is some sweet malt and floral hops in the nose but it is very, faint.

Very smooth and medium bodied, but a touch lighter than I expected from the looks of the beer. The flavor has a faint roasted character but it quickly gives way to the earthy, bitter hops that carry the flavor into a semi-dry finish. A decent beer, but not a medal winner.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

To name a beer after a famous ACDC song....it better be awesome! Unfortunately 21st Century Back In Black Black IPA is not....however, it is solid. I just don't think it hit the mark. I use the Stone Self Righteous as my barometer. The B in B from 21st was a very dark ruby amber with a thin white head. The scent was most dissappointing, maybe some subtle malt...but not any hop. The taste follows the smell, subtle roast and malt, a lil hint of hop. I do like how it comes off the pallete clean...not lingering. The beer is easy on the mouth and could drink my weight.

Photo of velosuds
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Edit 9/4/2011:

I have now gone through about 4 more six packs since reviewing this upon the first try. I like this more than I indicated in original review (4.5/3.5/4.0/4.0/4.0). Increasing the taste to 4.5. If the aroma were a little more developed I would raise the total to about 4.25. This is my favorite Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale/American Black Ale available in six packs. Good value at $10.99. Great value on sale tonight at $7.99. This "style" is becoming my favorite. I know it rubs some the wrong way, but I love the creativity and innovation.

From a 12 oz. can into a clear pint glass. No freshness dating apparent. Paid $9.99 a six pack at Whole Foods in Bend, Oregon.

A-pours a ruby chestnut brown, not quite dark enough to be a black ale. Generous two-finger, fluffy, tan head slowly recedes into sticky lacing.

S-Aroma is too faint for style, but nicely balanced between dark malts and citrusy hops. Good choice of hops in Columbus, Centennial, and Simcoe, the latter two also dry hopped. I was expecting more intense aroma, but have no idea how fresh, or not this beer was.

T-Initial citrusy hops are sufficiently hoppy and bitter to be an IPA at 65 IBUs, but not overpowering since it was balanced by deep, bready and roasted malt flavors. Hops are not assertive enough in the taste, aside from the adequate bitterness.

M-Medium dry body is very smooth and well balanced. Carbonation level is very good.

O-Overall this is decent.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: Well, it's not pale and not quite black.
smell: Hops and malt yes. Fairly well balanced.
taste: Again hops and malt and fairly well balanced. Almost like an IPA and a brown were mixed in the same glass. Not better than the sum of it's parts but not bad either.
average: Love trying new brews and bravo for the creative spirit. Won't be going back for seconds.

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

Served from the can into a nonic glass.

A-Pours a very dark brown with ruby undertones and three-finger frothy latte colored head that leaves incredible sticky lacing.

S- Piney and citrus hops, woody aroma, and roasted malt

T-Not a strong hop bitterness, but it is there and complements the roasted malt flavor well. Taste is of piney hop, roasted malt, and some woodiness but I am not picking up on much more. Kind of a strange aftertaste

M- A little watery on the finish, but otherwise a fairly smooth beer.

O- This is not a bad beer, but nothing really popped for me with this one. I tasted a woodlike or sawdust kind of flavor and aroma that was a little unique and overall it is a solid beer with balance.

Photo of beergod1
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Pour is black with one finger of beige head, lasting through out. Light lacing. Nose is floral hops, pine, roasted malt, and light caramel. Taste is very similar to the nose. A nice Balance of roasted malt with the mild hop finish. Light to Medium body, makes this a beer I can drink often. And from a can, Amazing.
I had the Oscar Blues Ten Fidy from the can, and I am starting to be a believer.

Photo of BeerBelcher
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thrilled to find this in Ohio; further thrilled that it is in cans! For some reason craft beer in the Columbus area seems old or abused by the time it makes its way into my hands. I had recently made a Black IPA of my own, and had heard a lot about this and wanted to see how my mine stacked up.

And they are quite different! This beer differs from other IPAs in more ways than just color. It is (of course) dark and nearly opaque, but the dark color betrays a ton of dark roast chocolate-y aroma and flavor. It is far more chocolate-y and deeply malty-sweet (like a malted milkball) than my beer turned out. This chocolate and maltiness was balanced out by a slammin' amount of citrus-y hop character. The beer is plenty hoppy, but I'd say it is skewed more towards the chocolate/malt end of the spectrum than the hoppy side of things.

Mouthfeel is pretty good...a touch thick and chalky feeling. Until I can make another BIPA, I'd buy this again.

I bought this 6-pack at Blacklick Liquor in Columbus, OH.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains floral hops, coffee, dark roasted malts and some citrus.

T: The taste starts with a strong but not over-powering burst of hops bitterness that is quickly followed by flavors of black coffee and a little bit of citrus fruit. The roasted malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice beer worth drinking for a long time.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I love the artwork on this can. A Paul Revere figure in period garb riding a motorcycle instead of a horse.

Pours a semi-opaque dark crimson brown with a 1 inch beige head that lasts. Good distinct rings of lace adorn the glass on the drink down. Smells of dark roasted malts and floral/citrus hops. There is also a very faint smell of watered down coffee. Taste follows the smell and is of roasted malts, slight coffee, and citrus zest hops. Mild hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. The beer is lightly carbonated and goes down smoothly. Overall, a good beer in the black IPA style but nothing mind blowing.

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

Goes down easy but there are better American Black Ales. Looks good. Pours a dark brown/black color with ruby highlights showing through the sides and bottom of the glass. Big frothy tan head with good retention and thick bands of lacing.

Mild sweet malty aroma, nothing special. Tastes ok, sweet malts, a little hops bitterness in the finish and some mild hint of winter warmer/Christmas beer type spices. None of the toasted malts and more robust hoppy balance that I enjoyed with other Black Ales.

Mouthfeel is crisp and smooth. Overall a pretty good experience. If I was looking to bring canned beer to an event, my 21st Amendment choice would be Bitter American, but I still think this beer is ok.

Photo of Teleweizen2
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - lives up to its style. Black in color, completely opaque. Big three fingers worth of very light tan head that looks like dirty snow.

S - hops and malt seem balanced. Overall aroma is slightly dank. Citrus resiny hops. Bitter sweet dark chocolate and a roasty coffee undertone.

T - slight malty sweetness. Piney hops in the middle along with some coffee roastyness. Dry finish.

M - thin. A little watery. Mild carbonation.

D - decent ale. Black IPA, American black ale, whatever you want to call it, it fit its style guidelines and was easy drinking but not something I'd probably seek out again.

Photo of pburland23
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a shaker pint glass.

Pours a dark black with some mahogany tinting around the edge when held to the light. A little over a finger of heading with good retention and nice lacing.

Smell is of roasted malts, some dark chocolate and perhaps a touch of coffee. Taste is similar. The roasted malts shine but there isn't enough hops bitterness to balance out the malt.

The beer is medium bodied and the carbonation is sufficient.

Overall, Back in Black is not the best representation of the style. I wish I hadn't drank Sublimely Self-Righteous prior to trying to drinking Back in Black. There's no comparison between the two.

Photo of CuriousMonk
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a sampler glass at a beer festival. From notes: Aroma: Very interesting--roasted chocolate and caramel malts, but with floral hops underneath. Lots of things happening in the nose of this one. Appearance: Clear black with a thick tan head that dissipated too quickly. Taste: Medium-heavy sweetness with a light bitterness in the finish. Palate: Medium body, slick texture, average carbonation, with a decent finish. Overall: It's drinkable, and it's not something I'd snub my noise at were it served to me at a party, but I'm not overly blown away by this beer.

Photo of busterthecat
1.65/5  rDev -55.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from can into pint glass. 0222 0225 stamped on bottom.

A- Pours a nice brown that sits pretty dark in glass. A nice rocky khaki head forms. decent lacing.

S- A light smooth roasted cocoa aroma, hops seem to be absent.

T- A bold metallic tang that lingers. A slight roasted malt but very weak. Hops are absent. I'm really confused. It is not simply my perception of the alum can. Taste is like chewing on a paper clip.

M- Thin, watery. The after taste that lingers is bad. No real body.

O- Completely surprised in a bad way. It actually got worse as it warmed. A def drain pour. I had really hoped for at least good, but this was unbearable. More like old radiator water then beer. Maybe this had gone bad some how. I would like to give it another try on tap though.

Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 1,993 ratings.