1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

1,766 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,766
Reviews: 643
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.59%
Wants: 37
Gots: 95 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Back In Black Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,766 | Reviews: 643 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of morimech
morimech

Minnesota

3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not quite black in color so the name is misleading. Dark brown with a large tan head that had good retention before settling to a thin cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. The aroma is really weak. I just pick up some citrus hops. Sufficiently hoppy flavor giving citrus hints. The dark malt is used more than just color. I do get some roasted malt in the flavor. Bitterness is moderate and at 65 IBUs, well represented. The body is a little more thick and chewy than most IPAs and I credit that to the dark malts. Nice carbonation. Available in cans so the drinkability automatically goes up. Has a couple of weaknesses but otherwise a solid IPA.

Serving type: can

07-24-2010 18:26:23 | More by morimech
Photo of Jayli
Jayli

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: This beer pours a deep dark brown with chestnut brown and ruby highlights around the edges. A one and a half finger of creamy khaki head sits on top. As the head recedes at a nice moderate pace, it becomes rocky and leaves thick clumps of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of dark, roasted malts and a good amount of citrus, grapefruit hops.

T: Taste starts with a dark, roasted almost burnt malt flavoring. Notes of milk chocolate come through with some mild hints of caramel. Finish begins with a coffee flavoring and then sharply switches to a burst of grapefruit hops. Milk chocolate comes through again and hangs a bit.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, crisp, clean body with a dry finish.

D: Goes down easily, well blended, really enjoyed the malt/hop blend on this. Mild kick, nice representation of the Black IPA style. Definitely worth sitting with for a while.

Serving type: can

07-24-2010 00:57:18 | More by Jayli
Photo of Ryan011235
Ryan011235

Ohio

3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter on 7/21/10

Dark scorched brown settles black. The head is just shy of two fingers & rather billowy. It drops in a modest amount of time with nice swaths of lace left behind. Ok retention, hardly any lace.

Smells like a hoppy Porter to me. Roasted notes abound - dark malts & hint of coffee. Maybe a spot of baker's chocolate. The roastiness is the focal point, intentional or not. Still, the hop profile seems decent. Piney with some citric aromas, grapefruit & lemon zest.

Hmm, the aroma set the stage for the taste. Hoppy Porter, indeed. Moderate hop bitterness upfront. Muddled citrus & pine give way to plentiful dry, roasted flavors. Quite similar to the nose - dark malts, coffee. Maybe not the chocolate. Not bad, but kind of messy, overall.

Rather full bodied. Moderate carbonation; close to spot on. Slightly resinous with a mild grittiness. Roasted residuals. Standard fare.

Seems more like a hoppy porter than a Cascadian Dark Ale. It's definitely a hoppy Porter, though it's pretty decent. Nothing spectacular though. I'll just stick with Edmund Fitzgerald.

Serving type: can

07-23-2010 02:48:25 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of GrizzlyBrew
GrizzlyBrew

Georgia

4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Black is right alright. (well, dark, dark red it seems when held up to the light) Has a beautiful tan, well-supported head that collapsed fairly quickly, but left a thin layer on top.

S - To me, it was nothing but hops, citrus hops to be exact, typical for IPA and a nice level at that. I'm not getting much roast or toast to boast, if any.

T - Hops on the front and back, roast I was expecting in the middle

M - A little light on viscosity, carbonation fairly high (which I like)

D - It's good and if you really like the roast/hops thing of DIPA's or CDA's (take your pick), this one one is definitely a sessionable one

Serving type: can

07-23-2010 02:20:50 | More by GrizzlyBrew
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark with clear, coppery brown edges and a fluffy tan cap. Good head retention with spotty, clumpy lace. Hoppy aroma, lots of grapefruit and citrus pith. Chocolate notes, some brown sugar, slight alcohol. Sharp, piney bitterness, juicy grapefruit flavour, malty sweetness and cocoa towards the end. Very creamy texture with fine carbonation, but the body felt a bit light. I liked it and I'm glad I picked up a six-pack.

Serving type: can

07-23-2010 00:00:17 | More by DrJay
Photo of Thur123
Thur123

Georgia

3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This pours an opaque black with a light khaki head about two fingers high. The smell is a well blended aroma of light toasted malts and a sweet and fruity hop edge that both blend together as to restrain both. In other words smells good and balanced, not too hop strong.

Glug glug glug

The flavor is burnt caramel and coffee flavored malt with a juicy ride like hop profile on top. The prominent flavors are bittersweet grapefruit and a sharp herbal flavor to the hoppiness as well. Overall this beer is a well balanced and excellent example of a black IPA and also would serve as a good introduction to this style for those more tuning off by the idea of hops and roasty malts.

Serving type: can

07-22-2010 20:01:37 | More by Thur123
Photo of rootbeerman
rootbeerman

Virginia

3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into duvel tulip

A: pours dark brown, black in glass. head look creamy and in is just about a finger and a half thick, decent amount of lace as well
S: mostly light grapefruit hops, with a touch of pine as well. dark malt in the background.
T: tastes like an IPA and a porter had a kid. grapefruit and pine hops, with coffee and light bitter chocolate. hops do not over power the malt sweetness. the coffee and hop bitterness lingers for a good while
M: smooth almost silky but not quite. low to medium carbonation
D: easy to drink, flavors are good and last. brings me to like 21stAB more.

Serving type: can

07-22-2010 08:12:45 | More by rootbeerman
Photo of silentjay
silentjay

Massachusetts

2.68/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours an opaque black with a khaki-colored head that dissipates quickly but leaves a thick film on the glass.

aroma is faint and almost non-existent, but what is there is metallic and sweet with some citrusy hops and a bit of roasty malt.

taste has a bit of roast an some cocoa, as well as some citrusy hops, but something is off about this can so far and I cannot quite pin it down. I just cannot get past the off-flavor. The malt profile reminds me of a brown ale with a bit of stout mixed in and an herbal, minty hop presence. maybe it is this peppermint I get from the hops that isn't quite meshing with the rest of the beer.

light-medium bodied with enough prickly carbonation and just a little oily resin.

eh. the off-flavor in this one ruins its drinkability for me. I bought the six pack, but I wish I had tried a single first. I probably wouldn't have purchased it again. I hope it grows on me. It's not terrible, but not pleasing either.

Serving type: can

07-22-2010 05:31:22 | More by silentjay
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a tulip.

Pours a deep mahogany that looks almost black in the glass but has a deep copper look when held up to light. There is a small creamy beige head that sits down as a hefty collar and leaves excellent lacing.

I'm getting a little more accustomed to aromas like this - dark chocolate malts mixed with some citrus and floral hops.

Taste is a little more bitter with the floral hops and citrus leaving a slightly astringent kick up front. The black malts are present but it's not nearly as evident as in the aroma.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation but seems a little more watery than I would expect.

Not the best of black IPAs but pretty good. I definitely like seeing new craft beer in a can and this is no exception.

Serving type: can

07-22-2010 03:07:10 | More by gford217
Photo of elgiacomo
elgiacomo

Georgia

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

12oz canned July 2, 2010. Marked 6.8% ABV.

Pours dark brown, black in the glass with ruby highlights with a large tan head that recedes fairly quickly, leaves some short-term lace.

Aroma is quite citrusy up front, oranges and grapefruit, some floral hops, with a nice amount of roasted malt, caramel and a bit of chocolate. Decent dose of dark bread as well.

Flavor is a nicely balanced mix of hops and roasted malt. Citrus and resinous hops up front, roasted malt, chocolate, caramel in the middle, finishes with medium bitterness and a bit of sweetness. Tasty.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, low to medium carbonation, invites sip after sip.

Ahhh man what a nice Black IPA. Not as HUGE as Sublimely Self Righteous, but right there with Yakima Twilight tied for my 2nd favorite of the style that I've had so far, and it is a great value to boot. Will buy again (and again and again...)

Serving type: can

07-22-2010 00:42:00 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of RustyDiamond
RustyDiamond

Georgia

4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cracked this can into a Sierra 30th snifter. Root beer black with a cappuccino light brown froth. Bubbles on the ring, wavy froth in the middle leaving excellent webbed lacing. Big aroma of piney hops. Dry and roasty right off the bat. Dry, bitter hoppy mouthfeel. Good drinkability. Black IPA? Not as good as the Stone version but better than the Deschutes one.

Serving type: can

07-21-2010 19:58:57 | More by RustyDiamond
Photo of indiapaleale
indiapaleale

Massachusetts

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

Pour - dark auburn and ruby reddish in color as it floods the glass. A thick, rich, pancake batter-esque head develops on top. This looks both impressive and inviting. Hold this to the light to really see how dark this IPA truly is!

Aroma - spicy, piney, citrusy goodness emanates from the glass as soon as the beer hits the bottom. There are also some rich chocolate and malt aromas that give this almost a chocolate covered candied orange aroma. I'd like to dive in now please.

Taste - not quite an IPA meets stout flavor but it does have some IPA meets American-style Porter qualities with the maltiness and the more pronounced hop profile. I taste chocolate and orange, or even pineapple, along with the very unique flavor that the simcoe hops impart (eucalpytus?) as well as the boldness of the Columbus and Centennials. The hops truly shine in this unique brew and it makes me realize that this whole "Black IPA" thing is pretty badass. It's awesome. It's all awesome!

Overall - This is absolutely delicious. Maybe its just me but I was really happy with this brew. The flavor combo of hops and dark malt is perfect and my taste buds are left wondering what the hell just happened. Sweet citrus meets chocolate and then is walloped with a dose of Pacific Northwest hops. Hooray for new styles of beer! American brewers never stop innovating.

Would I buy more of it? - yep. As soon as this glass is empty another can will be opened and it will be refilled.

Serving type: can

07-19-2010 22:07:30 | More by indiapaleale
Photo of jmerloni
jmerloni

Massachusetts

3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Great dark brown that's a bit hazy. Head is huuuge and sticky. This is a slow pourer and a very interesting take on an IPA.

S - Roasted aroma. Citrus. Smells like it has a high acidity. Hops!

T - This is just a hoppier than usual stout. Mild chocolate flavor. It's good, but nothing special, and I don't really see how it's anything like an IPA. Hoppy bitter afterbite.

M - Medium bodied. Dry finish. Highly carbonated.

D - Somewhat drinkable. I'd give it a 3.0 normally, because it's so far off from an IPA, but I appreciate the creativity here that 21st Amendment is trying to introduce...there is nothing in the book that says IPAs must not include chocaltey flavors. It does need work.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2010 03:28:28 | More by jmerloni
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

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

A: Poured a light black with a tannish head and good carbonation

S: Smelled of chocolate, faint, grains, citrus and floral hops

T: I noticed some chocolate and black malts upfront, floral and citrus but lighter

M: SOmewhat bitter finish, lighter bodied

D: Ok

Serving type: can

07-17-2010 01:58:21 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of GarrettMD
GarrettMD

New York

4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep red, almost black, not completely opaque. 2 finger off white fluffy head with great retention. Lacing is great.

S - All hops, mostly citrus, some pine comes through.

T - Nice chocolate and coffee malty taste up front, roasted malts work perfectly with the bitter hops. Slight citrus flavor, but the piney hops are the ones that come through in the taste.

M - Light bodied for the style. Good carbonation. Finish is much the same as the taste the whole way through, just slightly more bitter hops.

D - Very good drinkability. I would have probably liked a little more bitterness in the taste, but that's just me, overall a very good Black IPA, or CDA, whichever you choose to call it. Will definitely be getting again.

Serving type: can

07-17-2010 01:07:06 | More by GarrettMD
Photo of jampics2
jampics2

Ohio

3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can into my Founders pint glass. Looks OK, nice black color with a three finger head that eventually fades to a film, leaving a nice bit of lace.

Smell is caramel malt, a touch of roast, mild hoppiness, and a sweet overall impression. Specific noted scents include chocolate covered oranges, coffee, cola and a touch of pine. Not enough strength going on here, just a lot of numbers.

Taste is decent and then some. But nothing out of this world. Nice dark malt characteristic gives roasty coffee and some sweet caramel too. Hoppiness is piney and just a touch citric. Not too flavorful, but it's on the right track. I'd just like to see a bit more focus and intensity. Finishes bitter w/ the roasty malt taking over.

Mouthfeel is nice, decent light refreshing body and nice lower carb gives a slightly creamy feel. Drinkable but just lacking that bit of personality I'd like to see. This was good, but a bit amateurish IMO.

Serving type: can

07-15-2010 17:21:58 | More by jampics2
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a couple of pints of this prior to the Phillies vs. Giants game today.

Pours a dark brown color with a faint white head.

Aromas are of pine, some cocoa, caramel, and burnt brown sugars.

Taste is a little sweet, creamy, and chocolate like up front. Beer then settles into a light coffee and brown sugar notes. Finish is nice and crisp and biting with an earthy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is full, thick, but not too heavy.

Drinkability is very good. Nice black IPA, flavorful, with a nice balance of sweet and bitter notes.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2010 04:39:33 | More by flexabull
Photo of femALEist
femALEist

California

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

Had this on cask at the 2010 Firkin Festival.

This poured a dark chocolate with a slight reddish hue and a frothy oatmeal head.

It smelled of malt, light grapefruit, lemon and pine.

It tasted malty with dry, bitter hops, pine, and a grapefruit skin ending.

Good carbonation. Good malt to hop balance. Wondering if they actually brewed this baby or if they had a guest brewer do it because it's a great beer.

Serving type: cask

04-28-2010 21:04:30 | More by femALEist
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark brown with copper edges when held to the light. The head quickly fades into a gentle cap with spotty bits of lacing left all around the interior of the glass.
Smell is of caramel, piney, bitey, herbal hops, brown sugar, grapefruit, bittersweet cocoa, and rye bread.
Taste is of the aromas with more of a coffee flavor making it's presence known.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp from the carbonation, and semi-dry in the finish.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2010 01:28:36 | More by weeare138
Photo of david18
david18

New York

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

I had a couple of these the other night and really enjoyed it. Not too hoppy, like many west coast ipas, and it was quite drinkable. Dark in color, very smooth drinker, easy to drink a lot of. I suspect it won't be here on the east coast enough to be a great bar favorite but if you can get this on a regular basis you should.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2010 23:18:05 | More by david18
Photo of KeefD
KeefD

Minnesota

3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Stub n Herb's. Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head. Aroma is like a little baby Darkness. Nice roastiness with huge hop presence, but on a lighter scale. Hops are nicely balanced with the roasted malts when it's cold, but becomes overly hoppy as it warms, which throws it out of balance. The last few swigs of the goblet yielded a bitter, minty, herbal hop flavor that just didn't mesh well with the dull roastiness. I would have liked more sweetness in this beer accentuate the hops, but it wasn't bad when it was cold.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2010 00:18:55 | More by KeefD
Photo of MPLS
MPLS

Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I wasn't afraid to order a pour of this on a whim, as Southern Tier introduced to to the "Black IPA"

A: Upon it's arrival there was a big 3 cm soapy off mocha head with a kind of bistre colored body. The lacing resembled glue, really stuck to the glass making it look eternally frosted. Active carbonation had to see with such a dark colored body.

S: The first thing I pull out is the hop profile. The hop profile is piney with a slight citrus twang, this is underneath the malt bill that 21st Amendment used. There is roasted malts, delicate chocolate and sugar. A trace of alcohol is also present.

T: The taste and nose match up like biological twins. Albeit not identical, but very similar in so many ways. I am sort of conflicted with this style, but this one does it right. Resiny hops + roasted chocolate malt. In this particular instance it works as the malt bill isn't gigantic. The primarily resinous hops are enjoyable and lead way to chocolate and roasted malts. Bitter finish.

M: Ample bodied with enough carbonation and slight oily texture.

D: This particular batch does the black IPA justice, but not a style that I particularly love.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2010 20:21:13 | More by MPLS
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap at the brewery

cellphone notes

appearance: served in a standard pint - ebony body, very dark with a light beige lace

smell: bright citrus hops, chocolate, rye, roasted malt, coffee

taste: very nice black ipa - dark and full bodied, biting citrus hops, dark chocolate and coffee, big roasted malts. nice

mouthfeel: big bodied, nice hop depth

drinkability: good

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2010 00:23:07 | More by dirtylou
Photo of vdoz3
vdoz3

Oregon

4.63/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

+1 for being named after a great song. A 32 oz growler in one night, all drank from a DFH pint glass (http://www.sudsgear.com/ProductImages/dogfish/DOGPT_dogfish-l.jpg)

A - Solid black body showing hints of reddish/brown borders at the edges. Head grows beautifully, before settling down and become sticky lacing trailing behind the level.

S - Hops. Tart, citrusy hops. There was also a slight metallic smell earlier on, but I've never noticed that before when I've had this beer before, willing to bet that was because I left it in the growler too long.

T - Citrus hops dominate, leaving a rich aftertaste, competing with the roasted malt aftertaste that creeps in.

M - Thick coating (willing to bet the roasted malt has something to do with this), and you can feel where the beer is hitting your tongue because the hops work at it instantly.

D - Amazing. I could drink this all night.

Up there with Stone's Sublimely Self Righteous (/11th Anniversary Ale), imho.

Serving type: growler

12-27-2009 09:36:10 | More by vdoz3
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 11/21/2009. Growler from Big Z Beverage. Pours a dark dark brown with a thick tan head. Aroma of citrus, roasted malt.. Flavor is sweet initiaaly with orangey, citrus notes and a crackery malt finish. Very enjoyable! Not as roasty as some of the other black IPAs with a prominent hop presence. Well done!

Serving type: growler

12-19-2009 04:18:31 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,766 ratings.