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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: 190 | 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 ajaxivan
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Great black color with massive light brown head

S: Citrus/piney with roasted malt.

T: I will differ with some reviews i have read, this beer is well balanced for me. I think some arent sure what to make of the style(to each his own) Citrus with a nice roasted flavor

M: Medium and carbonation is spot on

O: Slowly trying Amer. Black Ales and this is a good one. Probably not a beer id want to drink often but is a good change of pace.

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

A: Pours pitch black with a 2 finger slightly darker white head. Looks like a stout. Surprising and interesting. Lacing is excellent.

S: Pine, cat pee with a little bit of citrus, coffee and chocolate.

T: Super piney hop flavor. Odd after taste that I can't place a flavor on.

M: Nicely carbonated and full bodied.

O: It's not a good ipa. I don't know if black ipa's are supposed to have a slight roastiness or not but I so get a little bit of a coffeeish vibe. IDK it's something different just not all that great. Everything seems forced and unbalanced.

Photo of robbrandes
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

reviewed from notes.

5oz taster, poured @ northern virginia brewfest.

pours nearly black, reasonable off-white head. nose a bit malt-forward, but the hops are at least passable for an IPA. close your eyes and it's a middle-of-the-road IPA. a little more burnt taste/aroma, on par with a middling stout, but nothing too exciting.

Photo of Matthewislee
2.08/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I'm amazed by the positive reviews of this beer. Was my first Black IPA and probably my last.

A few other beer friends and I poured it into a pint glass and watched the head dwindle quickly into a somewhat thin bodied beer with lots of little carb.

On the nose it was sweet and somewhat hoppy.

The flavor killed it for me. I've never tasted such an improperly balanced beer in my life and those with me agreed, that while the flavor itself may have been good there was no balance. It was metallic and brittle in mouthfeel.

This was a drainpour after it got passed around 4 people.

Photo of avaldivia
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A; Really nice dark brew with a nice head about a finger wide. Lacing is fairly nice.

S: Fruity, citrus tones come though. Does not smell very roasted but I will not complain.

T: A really good hop kick to start, but that gives way to a nice roasted malty flavor. Nicely balanced and very enjoyable.

M: Nice and crisp with what I would consider a medium body.

O: A great brew from 21st Amendment. Very nice hop character with a wonderful maltyness. This is a beer that will be a regular in my fridge.

Photo of thegodfather1076
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was served out of a 12oz. can dispensed into a glass....

Presentation - 21st has some cool modern ideas on the cans and this one is no exception.

Appearance - Poured a dark brown color with a light tan 1 finger head that dissipates quickly into a frothy covering. Nice lacing left on the glass.

Smell - Smells of citrus piney hops. Grapefruit and piney aromas prevalent. Nice nutty matly scent too.

Taste - Tastes of grapefruit and citrusy hops with a nice toasted malt flavor.

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation lead to a medium bodied feel.

Drinkability - Very drinkable if this is your type of beer. Excellent complex flavors.

I really enjoyed this as it was my first Black IPA. Very different from any IPA that I have ever had. I would recommend trying this.

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

A: poured a dark brown in color with brown highlights and had a finger of head leaving lots of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: I could definitely smell the hops on the first whiff but had a nice sweet malty aroma along with citrusy character. I did however spot out a little nuttiness in the aroma as well.

T: The sweet malts were more apparent on the taste with caramel, nutty, and hoppy flavors but did have a touch of roasty coffee on the back end.

M: the brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, hoppy, and creamy finish.

D: a really pleasent black IPA that was really easy to drink and was more on the sweet side but I didn't mind it at all.

Photo of Tschnab
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Had this one at a Pirates game a few weeks ago, reviewed from notes.

A- dark, dark brown but not quite black. Good tan head, but no lacing and the head fades.

S- really interesting semll, like no other IPA I've tried. Hops and grapefruit of course, but also vanilla, licorice, and chai.

T- Absolutely like the smell, it tastes really interesting. But the glaring problem here is that the carbonation here is quite low, which I do not like in an IPA. It makes this beer taste almost like flat soda. Even though I enjoy the flavor quite a bit, the mouthfeel ruins it.

O- Great flavor here but the mouthfeel really brings down the quality here. Still, if you like BLack IPAs this is a pretty cool one.

Photo of Reidrover
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6 pack cans from Roth’s Sunnyside Store.S.Salem. $7.99. Very dark mahogany almost black ale with a tremendous frothy billowy tan head. Suprising ly hoppy i dunno why i was but it surprised me more than any other CDA i have had,]floral.citrisy style hops.,slight malty nuttiness in the back. The taste swings back to the malts..were dark coffee, roasted barley malts predeminate..the citric hops come back at the end. I liked the feel of this in the mouth..not thin but substantial while still very quaffable. Overall a good enjoyable beer..cans tilt the balance in its favor.

Photo of JayS2629
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cola black that lets little light through. Some red tints in the light with a two finger dirty rocky tan head that sticks around for a while leaving foamy walls of lace.

The aroma is of tangerine, grapefruit and other citrus notes riding on top of a roasted coffee with hints of cocoa and caramel.

The taste very well balanced with a nice roasted coffee, mocha, chocolate front end. A bit of caramel gives way to some herbal, grassy hops that ends with a good dose of grapefruit. Its rounded out with an earthy note and some dark fruit aftertaste. Figs and cocoa are in the aftertaste.

Its got a creaminess up front but finished a bit thin and dry. Overall it is very drinkable and enjoyable.

Photo of Franch
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

part of the high rating may be due to my shock at the novelty of an american black ale in a can. B+ may be more apt. it's really roasty for an american black ale, but i'd drink a few. they're very drinkable, and to be able to knock back a 6 pack or something in such a convenient form would be just delightful!

Photo of atr2605
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- pours almost a coca cola color, not quite dark enough to be a porter
S- Cola/coffee with a nice roasted malt smell and hops
T- Aroma really carries into the flavor with a continued roasted coffee flavor with a touch of sweetness and finishes with the hops on the palette
M- medium bodied but still very drinkable
O- I liked it. It was a nice twist on an IPA. The color was nice with a good sweetness to go with the hopiness. I would buy it again

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

Serving Type - Can

Appearance - Dark tan/black, killer 2 inch foamy head. Looks just like a porter

Smell - Hops, dark roasted malts, smoke, some chocolate.

Taste - Hoppy and malty starts this beer off. This beer is like a mix of a ipa and porter with some strong ale thrown in. Dark fruits, hops, roasted malts and some sugars are dominate flavor. Nice toasted flavor, much like coffee adds a boldness.

Mouthfeel - Fairly thick but not overly strong. Hops and malts coat mouth and leave a trace of coffee and sugars. Palette is left intact and aftertaste is mildy bitter.

Overall - A nice change from a ipa or porter. Only drawback is it could use some more hops to break up the bold coffee porter taste. Soild and easy to drink none the less.

Photo of codfeast
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

can to pint.

A: Very dark brown, thick fluffy 1" tan head.

S: Malt, toffee, caramel, slight floral hops.

T: Sweet malt quickly replaced by a heavily toasted malt, coffee taste. a lingering bitter, burnt finish.

M: Nice carbination, oily, creamy feel.

O: It's not that I dislike it just has to much of the toasted (burnt) taste for me. Not something I would buy at the store, would give it another go on draft however.

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

CANquest part 6!

Appearance: Dark brown, not black. Good tan head that dissipates at a moderate pace, leaving significant lacing

Smell: Mild piney hops and roasty malts

Taste: Good roasted malts with lots of piney hops.

Mouthfeel: Suprisingly light body, smooth and creamy texture, decent carbonation

Overall: Good for something different in a can, and good overall, but nothing compells me to buy it again. Which isn't a problem because the CANquest seems like a losing battle (a delicious one though!) Not as good as Southern Tier Iniquity or Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, but those are hard to compete with.

Photo of rfgetz
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep charcoal color, big poof of lightly khaki head, good retention and tons of sticky lacing. Scent is dominated by the malts - only lightly sweet, decent roast qualities with some char. The hops are quite muted in the nose, i pick up some citrus, but not much. Taste is malt forward, dry roastyness and lacking too much sweetness. The hops have gone missing as only a faint touch of citrus and grass can be found, and only if you think really hard. Maybe its like when you tell a lie so many times you being to believe it... hops are there, right? Medium bodied, quite high in carbonation and dry. Disapointing due to the lack of hop charachter.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

black as night opaque liquid. You could tell it was not that thick though as there was some light getting through on the sides and bottom. A nice off white head formed on the top, maybe about two inches in height. Sticky and foamy it gradually relented and rested back down to about a half inch layer across the top and this hung around for the rest of the session.

pine aromas, Almost ripping the nose apart, very good indeed. Now there was some underlying roasted malts in there as well. Now to be honest this was nothing extraordinary, nothing really new, and nothing really absurd Somewhat sweet in the finish at first, but that lasts for all of about two seconds before your lips stick to your teeth and the dry bitterness kicked in. mix of the hops was actually quite nice as it really wasn’t tearing up your mouth as much as one woudld think. There was definitely a touch of malt in there, especially after it warmed up a bit as a subtle sweetness, and earthy type of flavor started to work its way it.
Lots of carbonation which always helps in these situations, now the other side to this was that it was jet black.

Photo of gc4hokies
2.79/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A = pours an "almost" black color. Nice head and lacing.
S = Very malty with a slight dark chocolate and alcohol note
T = Black jelly bean malts is the best I can describe it. I'm not sure where the IPA came from on the can but I wouldn't use IPA in the title. Dark malts, sweet to start, dry finish

Overall, I wouldn't call this a Black IPA at all. The hops are there with some noticeable bitterness, but piney, citrus hop flavor and aromas that are associated with IPAs are nowhere to be found. Not a bad beer, but I wouldn't buy this again.

Photo of canucklehead
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not the most hoppy of the CDAs but rather a beer that tastes a little like the Session Dark Lager but with an ale base rather than a lager. The finish is not harsh but rather nicely melds the hops with the dark malts. Very drinkable though I have had better more complex examples of the style

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

Pours a dark black that has a medium off-white/tan head that diminishes quickly. Scent is slightly hoppy with a lot of roasted aromas. Hints of chocolate and vanilla, as well. Taste is initially roasted chocolate, immediately followed by some hoppiness. Taste is somewhat watered down. Burnt toast flavors finish with bitter dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is a bit on the light side. Drinkability is fairly high. Overall, this is not the best example of a Black IPA, but it is still pretty tasty. Could use some more body.

Photo of gkunkle
3.01/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep brown to black color with a one finger tan head that is very dense and had good retention. Smell is of grassy hops ad a touch of chocolate malt. Taste is disappointing, I get a bit of raisin or something in the beginning, and a touch of chocolate malt, but no hop presence. Overall, pretty watery taste. The mouthfeel is medium, but the carbonation is lacking. Overall, I've had much better CDAs and I expected a better showing from 21A.

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

- from my notes
Can poured into a 20 ounce glass
A - not quite black and lacking the oily look of some of the darker beers.
S - malts and hops with no distinguishing character.
T - fairly malty with some hops to back it up. Better than I expected.
M - a light stout feel that is just a bit undercarbonated.
D - fairly good for a canned /portable beer and that is pretty much the point of the thing.

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

Poured from can to smallish snifter. I also drank 3 of these from the can at the beach two days ago :)

A: Nearly black mahogany, but not as rich and deep as an imperial stout. Rich moderate head dies down quickly but leaves a thin layer throughout. Looks like a highly carbonated porter in the glass. Leaves average lacing.

S: A nice mix of fruity, juicy hops and sweet malts. I get a hint of yeast as well, something akin to toasted raisin bread with marmalade, definitely on the sweeter side.

T: Bitter cocoa surprises up front, along with more aromatic, piney hops. Kind of a surprise on the hop profile as well, definitely more resiny than the nose. The malts become more pronounced as it warms.

M: Has a bit of the creamy-followed-by-bitter of a good porter, but also that dry bittering hops of an english IPA. Solid carbonation, definitely a solid bitterness at the end.

O: Think of this as a royal wedding, despite its American roots. You have a tall dark and handsome Baltic Porter, meeting a fresh, albeit bitter young English IPA. They really work well together for me, and I enjoy this brew (in the can and in a glass).

Photo of ReelBigwigFish
3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured can into pint glass

A: Opaque dark brown-black in color with tan creamy foam head. Looking a bit like Guinness at the moment, not a bad thing.

S: Strong dark malt and hops. There are earthy aromas I can't quite put my finger on, like dirty dark malty chocolate burnt espresso.

T: All of the smell on the palette, plus lots of bitter hop flavors. Finishes a bit dry with lingering dark chocolate flavor.

M: Somewhat of a light body for such a dark roasty beer, and it goes down pretty easy. Yes, it finishes a little dry and there are a bit of stout-esque qualities, but it really is an easy to drink beer. Almost disappointingly so.

O: This was the first of this style that I've reviewed, and the other two of this style that I've ever had, were both over a year ago, so I don't have much to judge it against in that regard. Although I do remember really liking Stone's SSRA. ANYWAY, I liked this beer, but I don't think I'd buy it, it's almost too much of a hybrid for me.

Photo of threeviews
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a snifter glass

A- Pours near-black...if it was not knowing what black bfluid was (thank you Great Divide Oak-Aged Yeti RIS) then I would comment it as black, but it is certainly 7.6-8.0 on the Bortle Dark-Sky scale.

S- The olfactory hues are of citrus hops followed by licorice, wood and dare I say coffee(?)...quite complex and hard to classify...

T- Bold flavor with a nice balance of hop and malt with strong toffee notes...none of the malt is present in the nose, but balances nicely with the hops in the taste. Something in-between a West Coast IPA, Stout, Porter...it makes a Gemini such as myself giddy with the complexity that covers all the bases

M- Smooth and rich...nice carbonation a la their 'Brew Free Or Die IPA' and robust akin to a porter.

O- I really like this brew...but there is nothing I haven't liked from 21st Amendment....Brew Free Or Die IPA, Hell Or High Watermelon, Hop Crisis (and now) Back In Black are all that I admire (and rank high on my lists of IPA/DIPAs). This is another great brew and as far as I'm concerned, they cannot do wrong! Next up: Monk's Blood

Cheers!

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