1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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

1,908 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,908
Reviews: 653
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 44
Gots: 143 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Back In Black Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,908 | Reviews: 653 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Back in Black is beautiful, sweet, and flat.

It poured black (!) with a huge creamy tan head. It left a wall of lace from the rim of the glass to bottom. The head and lace were as impressive as any I've seen. The smell and taste were sweet with hints of licorice. The feel was flat and slippery; there was no bitterness to balance the sweetness and no impression left on the tongue.

Back in Black has drinkability that belies it's look. It's smooth and thirst-quenching and is suitable for drinking more than one on a hot afternoon. The flavor and feel are like flat cola or root beer; however, with nothing lasting.

MetalHopHead6, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of grittybrews
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cola black into a Duvel tulip with two fingers of light tan head (excellent retention and some sticky lacing). Slightly sweet and roasty aroma of coffee, toast, and caramel with only a hint of hops.

Moderate carbonation and a full, creamy mouthfeel. Roasty chocolate and toast up front followed by creamy notes and some bitter lemon on the finish. Not my favorite example of the black IPA style, but still very nice. Light overall feel and quite refreshing, even if all the flavors don't quite gel together.

grittybrews, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of jjanega08
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= The pour is a moderate dark color. Clearly transparant when held to the light and even when not it has some ruby edges on it. The head is a nice perfect two fingers high with thick rocky foam on top of it. The heads color is an off white not quite tan color.

S= Nice piney hop profile to it. Not much in the fruity hop department at all mostly just piney hops. The roasty character comes through a little in the nose but not much. A little bit of sweetness makes itself present.

T= The taste is really intense coffee flavor. More coffee than hops by far. The hops do make themselves present but not nearly as much as the coffee and roast malt. I'm a person who believes there is a difference in the CDA and a hoppy stout. This is just a hoppy stout. It doesn't have the balance it should.

M= This is actaully pretty good. Velvety and creamy.

D= Not a bad beer but I would venture out to say that it doesn't fit the style very well.

jjanega08, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of JoePat
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark brown with a thick kaki head. Not sure if that can be considered a black IPA but it is definately a dark brown IPA.

Very intriguing aroma. Chocolate and roasted malts and maybe some smoke. I don't get a lot of hops but the malts are so aromatic I'm not sure I want to. Once I drink it I get some hop citrusy hop aroma.

The flavor is chocolaty, caramel, some piney hops but not much. I am not sure I can put this up there with IPAs. That is a shame because I really like this beer for a porter and I am getting something like a chili pepper flavor that I am loving. For a Black IPA not so good for a chili pepper infused porter...great.

The mouthfeel is spot on. Creamy, smooth and just the right consistancy.

I am reviewing this beer as a porter because I really like it but just don't see the black IPA it is suposed to be.

JoePat, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of Vdubb86
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 for providing me with my very first BIPA.

This one pours a nice blackness with ruby shades when penetrated by light. There is a nice white frothy head upon it which is interesting to me for usually beers this dark produce a tan or brown head. The smells are intriguing as well. There is the obviously citrus and floral notes from the hops that comprise an IPA, but it's mixed with (and to a lesser degree in this instance) roasted caramel malts to give the beer a different dimension on the nose. The taste is of a pretty hoppy IPA. The main flavor is citrus specifically lemon. This causes the brunt of the bitterness that is experienced. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light for what the beer actually is, and it does a service to the beer in my opinion. If you like the hops, this is highly drinkable. If you're like me and are indifferent, it's still a pleasant brew.

Vdubb86, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of flagmantho
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz can into a pint glass.

Appearance: extremely deep amber color, bordering on black. Plenty of red light is allowed through when held up to a light source. Head is one finger of fizzy tan foam which dissipates somewhat rapidly. It's not precisely black, nor at all IPA looking, but it's not bad.

Smell: somewhat chocolately roasted malt aroma with a bit of acidic sourness present. Hops are somewhat earthy and not especially prominent at this phase. This smells rather like an American porter.

Taste: plenty of sourness and a bit of the roast character remains. Hops seem slightly citrusy and slightly floral, with an earthy bitterness toward the end. The sourness dominates the beginning, though, with maltier flavors coming in toward the end. This is kind of a bizarre tasting beer which defies standard classifications; it's not too bad, though.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with an OK level of carbonation. Nothing really exciting here.

Drinkability: not bad at all. The sourness does keep me coming back and I find this beer refreshing for all its weirdness. Made a pretty good tailgating beer yesterday as well.

flagmantho, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of dubc19382
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first Black IPA and I must say I was quite impressed. It pours looking like you are ready to drink a stout beer, but this is one of those few beers where looks can be decieving.

Great hoppy taste and you really want to have one after another, but that 6.8% ABV really limits how much you can handle. Very drinkable beer with a nice hoppy taste in your mouth.

Will definitely get another case of this and I highly reccommend to other IPA drinkers who havent tried the Black IPA style yet.

dubc19382, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear very dark brownish amber in color. It poured with a thin beige head that quickly died down into persistent lacy patterns. There is a light amount of carbonation visible from the rising bubbles.
S: There are aromas of piney hops and roasted malts in the nose along with some hints of coffee.
T: The beer has a very good balance between the flavors of hops and malts and only has a mild amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a slight amount of dryness.
D: The beer is very easy to drink because the alcohol is well masked.

metter98, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of m1ked
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a loosey from WF Bowery beer room.

A- poured out of the can into my Stone 11th Anni glass (coincidence?) and immediately noted the huge 3-4" off white meringue like head that didn't allow me ti finish my pour. Dark ruddy ruby brown edges when held up to the light. Lives up to the name at least.

S- Earthy bitter hop aroma with a touch smoke(?). Pretty low aroma overall though.

T- starts off with a nice caramel maltiness that quickly morphs I to the earthy grapefruit pithy bitter with a splash of pineapple. I hate to even bring it up, probably power of suggestion, but I get a tinny note weaving throughout. I enjoyed it overall.

M- light to medium. Good crisp carbonation.

D- beer has come a long way/full circle. Drinking a black IPA out of can...cool. Drinking good beer, very cool. I enjoy this style, and this is a good example

m1ked, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of Bfarr
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Black with little hints of red with big foamy brown head with good though very uneven retention and lacing. Aroma is lightly hoppy with some roasted malts and something a little sour. Interesting blended taste at first matching the aroma. However, ths sour is light at first but eventually takes over. Mouthfeel is thin and a little tacky with moderate to low carbonation.

An intriguing take on a black IPA but the hops were not as present as Is usual and the sour taste dominated the palate to produce a balanced yet offstyle beer. Worth giving a try if you like sour beer but not to my liking for a black IPA.

Bfarr, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of Fatehunter
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out of can into a goblet. A 3/4 inch dirty white head formed. Color is almost black is a slight redish hue.

S - Malty

T - Hops dance nicely on the tongue. Slight citrus, malt and bitter. Good combo.

M - Crisp and clean

D - A decent Cascadian Ale. There are others that I like more in this category, but it is worth a try.

Fatehunter, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of EgadBananas
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly black, but really just realllly dark brown. Big, puffy tan head. nice lacing, good retention.

Smell is not hugely aromatic, but a nice little assortment of malts, a little bittersweet chocolate, and a bit of grassy, woodsy tones.
Distant hops.

Taste is very woodsy at first; the hops are a bit more forward in the taste. Stark bitterness is there. Not as roasted with the malts as with the smell.

Feel is slightly creamy, light-medium in body, low end on the carbonation.

Good and tasty, pretty easy to drink.

Overall, a rather good IBA!

EgadBananas, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep brown with a light tan head. Light lacing. Some ruby highlights when held to light.

Light pine and citric aromas with some coffee or charred malt.

Not what i expected. Citric hops, some charred bread flavors, sour/citric notes -- lemon, some acid. bitterness bounces back between the hops and the malt. Hoppy finish. Hops are much more subdued than expected. Sour bits are hard to deal with in bulk. I dig it, but it effects drinkability.

A bit thinner than expected. Carbonated and tingly.

Not bad. Liked what it was, which was a watery porter mixed with a splash of IPA, with a squeeze of lemon. Unique and decent.

OtherShoe2, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of korguy123
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can to DFH signature glass. Thanks to mdaschaf for both!

A- Basically you can say it pours black like a porter. When held to light the dark acorn browns really light up around the edges. Instant two finger fluffy off white head that recedes almost as fast as it grew. Lacing is exquisite.

S- Faint piney tones, grapefruit and strawberries. Sweet roasted malts, coffee and milk chocolate hints as it warms further.

T- Very faint hop presence, pine and lemon zest. The back of my tongue is getting the toasted malts, slight bitter coffee and dark semi-sweet chocolate. Bitter and dry aftertaste.

M- Thin but a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is good, not heavy like a porter, and not overly enamel stripping of an IPA. Good balance. 1-2 in a night would not be asking too much I think.

korguy123, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of beer1018
4.65/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz can poured into a pint glass. Appears black with a nice creamy head that takes forever to go away. It smells good, nothing offensive here. The taste is a nice balance between the hops and roasted malts. Mouthfeel is like a less creamy guiness which feels very nice. The alcohol is hidden well. I could drink a whole 6 pack easy and i rarely drink more then two. This will be a new staple for me and one of the better beers i have had this year.

beer1018, Sep 16, 2010
Photo of Bierguy5
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can, 6.8% abv. Pours a very dark chestnut color, coming close to black. Thick tan rocky head. Very nice retention. Nice patches of lace as well.

Roasted malts, almost a shot of espresso comes in the front. A big blast of citrusy and piney hops in the nose. Maybe some chocolate to go with the roasty flavors as well.

Roasty and sharp up front. Slight bittersweet chocolate and coffee notes. Bitterness comes in next, citrusy. Both sides are very sharp.

Medium body, slightly creamy. Alcohol is hidden well. I'm not a huge fan of the style, but this is good.

Bierguy5, Sep 16, 2010
Photo of bonkers
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bauermj for this one. Jet black in color with a slight white head. The aroma and flavor are full of sweet pine. The beer finishes with a moderate amount of bitterness. It has a mild body and lots of carbonation. The beer has very clean, crisp flavors. A great cascadian ale.

bonkers, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of BARFLYB
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz CAN into a Lancaster Brewing pint glass late at night.

Back in Black pretty much sums up the color on this 21ster, a black body with some dark reds along the edges. A gorgeous light tan headf came up and stayed forever leaving nice sheets of lace.

A good balance of dark malts mixed in with citrus goodness from the hopping, pretty much even. A nice citrus blast of grapefruit and the like. Roasted malts and a semi storm kingish hop smell from the freshness.

Much more hoppy than I was expecting, again it reminds me of drinking a very lightly hopped storm king, or maybe an aged bottle of that. The roasted quality comes out as well as some sweetness. Pineapple and grapefruit and other citrus tastes. Looking at this beer, I was not expecting such a hop bite, quite nice.

Feel is mediumish and amply carbed up, the head last forever and this is some active beer here. Goes down smooth and citrusy and not very bitter as the darks really take away from that aspect. Very drinkable beer here and I would go for another in a second.

BARFLYB, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of tigg924
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1 inch head, dark brown in color, clear

Smell: toasted malt and chocolate

Taste: burnt malt, chocolate, nut, and citrus hops

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, light body, sweet with a bitter backbone.

Drinkability: Delicious. One of my favorites from the brewery. There is a nice mix of malts and hops in this one. I am glad I picked up a six.

tigg924, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of SFLpunk
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz black can with "0183 0644" stamped on the bottom. Black IPA.

Appearance is unbelievable! Pitch black with thick creamy sudsy tan head with GREAT retention! Lots of lacing and spotting and sheeting. Perfect.

Nose is fairly muted. Some faint roasted notes and some dry leaves.

Palate is crisp and sharp, lots of bitterness right off the bat. Not a lot of IPA flavor here though. Some faint roasted malt/coffee like notes.

Body is spot on, bitterness and roasted qualities are in check, but the flavor is missing to make this a true IPA-style beer.

SFLpunk, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the 3 canned 21st Amendment beers available in my area now. It pours a dark murky brown colorm fairly opaque, with a thick light tan head that laces in dried chunks on the glass. It smells like wet resiny hops and roasted malts, and the taste is no different. I'm not the biggest fan of black IPAs in general but this one is pretty good. The hops take enough of a lead to keep me happy. The body's kind of light but this beer goes down easy. This beer will work in a pinch.

TurdFurgison, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a swirly head. Smells pretty light with some light citrusy hops, some light roastiness, and a touch of sweetness. The taste is a good deal more pronounced- this isn't a blow you away beer, but something about the nicely balanced creaminess, dry stout-like roastiness and gentle citrusy bitterness really works for me. I'm at the end of this six-pack, and this beer has really grown on me. Nicely creamy in the mouth and quite tasty. I like this better than I though I would.

Georgiabeer, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of cbak999
4.45/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a dark brown, almost black, but with a light, almost white head. Awesome lacing on the glass...this beer sticks to the inside of the glass.

S - caramel, chocolate, burnt brown sugar.

T - this drinks like a roasty porter. A bit hop forward, with a coffee finish that lingers. Finishes with a butter, creamy taste - dare I say butterscotch?

D - For almost 7% and dark, this beer drinks extremely well. It goes down easy due to the coffee/buttery finish. I like.

cbak999, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of Slatetank
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I appreciated tenderbranson69 sharing this can with me -poured chilled into a tulip.

A - A black as night opaque liquid w/ rocky light tan cap and frothy lace pattern that sticks well, the bead is tiny

S - The arom has a lot of pine from the hopping w/ a sweet malt accent and mild bit of roasted scnets to augment the fruit notes like prune. There is a gentle pepper elment for good measure

M - The feel is slightly bitter with light sweet tinged and hint of tart fruit w/ light pepper spiced and roast in the dry finish

T - The taste of bitter pine hops w/ mild toffee and sweetened coffee w/ light caramel tinge. The pine mixed with the roasted malt gives a light molasses flavor. the pine is augmented by a slight raisin and grassy tinge. The flavor is a good blend of both dark caramel malt and pine that lingers into the finish

D - A queer blend of flavors w/ black malt and bitter hops to me it is not the best of an emerging style, but I enjoyed for what it is

Slatetank, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of mdaschaf
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black with a chunky one finger head with great retention.

S: I got citrus and pine upfront and then a lot of roasted malts and some coffee on the back end.

T: Typical IPA flavors upfront - citrus and pine, but it quickly transitions into roasted barley and coffee on the back end.

D/M: Medium bodied with good carbonation. Really hard to rate drinkability. I like this beer, but don't know how many I would want to drink. It is really different, and something worth trying, but probably not a beer I am going to stock my fridge with.

mdaschaf, Sep 10, 2010
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,908 ratings.