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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

1,909 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,909
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: 1,909 | Reviews: 653 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ppoitras
4.4/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz can purchased as part of a 6-pack from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1 1/2" tan head above the slightly cloudy reddish brown brew. Dense head lasts nicely, with sporadic chunky lacing. Aroma is grapefruity hops. Taste is sweet through to the middle, then citrus and grapefruit hops come on, lasting through the close. Mouthfeel is uber-smooth, and drinkability is superb. Another great beer to get for when cans are better than glass, or anytime.

ppoitras, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of kenpo23
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the black packaging made it a bit hard for me to pass by for some reason. glad i grabbed it.

A- poured pretty nice with a good but short lived head. great black coloring which is what i was looking for from this.

S- smelled like malty, caramely fantastic goodness to me.

T- a really nice almost porter taste to it. still has that IPA taste to it to remind you that you are not drinking a porter though.

i loved the smooth taste it had and polished off the 6er pretty quickly. its definitely something i would want to sit and drink on a cool autumn night.

kenpo23, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 7/24/10 notes. Had at the cdc release.

a - Pours a dark black color with little to no head or carbonation.

s - Smells of roasted and toasted malts, caramel malts, and fruity hops.

t - Tastes of pine hops, roasted malts, and caramel malts.

m - Light body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty good black IPA, but seemed much mroe malty to me than hoppy. Would try again.

mdfb79, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of Stigs
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz pour at The Library, served in a standard pint glass

A - very thin, short-lived film floating on top of the glass...the beer is very dark brown/amber in color...settling becomes very soda-like.

S - lightly roasted and charred malt, earthy and piney hops with a touch of light grass.

T - starts off with roasted malts, some ash, earthy hops, wet pine needles. minor notes of bakers chocolate and some lightly roasted coffee grounds. good, just not as pronounced as other Black IPA's.

M - medium body with sharp prickly carbonation. a little drying from the charred malts and earthy hops.

D - eh, decent...just missing either some complexity or grace of others like it. I was ready to move on about halfway through this glass.

Stigs, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of ABOWMan
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My curiosity got the better of me and I decided to give this "interesting" take on an IPA, at try.

A: Poured a deep "cola" brown color with perfect clarity (once I held it up to a strong enough light to see through it) and my pour generated two fingers of caramel colored fine foam head. Lacing was evident and the head had great retention.

S: Roasted malt, caramel, maybe some floral hop in the background, but if so, it is very faint.

T: The flavor is mostly reminiscent of a porter. Roasted malt and caramel, but as I took a sip, I got a nasally blast of piny hops in my olfactory cavity.Really quite interesting. Not much else in the way of flavor profile, just a nicely roasted malty beer with a touch of hop.

M: Somewhat coating on your tongue from the roasted malt, not enough floral hop to create a cleansing crispness.

D: If your in the mood for a porter, this would be very drinkable. If you looking to enjoy a hoppy IPA then this ale probably won't cut it for you.

ABOWMan, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of ugaterrapin
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours and almost pure black color. When held up to the light there is a little transparency that reveals a deep coppery red color. The pour resulted in a two fingered billowy tan head. It recedes at a moderate pace to leave a little lacing.

S: The aroma is somewhat subdued. There is a hop and slightly roasted malt presence. There is also an aroma I can't place my finger on that I hope doesn't show up in the taste.

T: Luckily the off smell didn't make it into the taste. It has a straight forward Black IPA taste that I am used to in others I have tried. It has a nice dark malt presence on the front of the palate and then rolls into a nice balanced hop finish with very little bitterness. Overall a good example of this new style. The drinkability on this beer is great. I am about half way done with the first and feel like I could easily go through a six pack.

ugaterrapin, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of jpmclaug
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a stemed tulip

A - Black with a big fluffy light tan head.

S - Hint of citrus hop flavor with some roasted malt in the background. Not especially aromatic.

T - Similar to the smell. Some roasted malt flavor mixed with a slight citrus hop flavor. Not too much going on here. A little lighter on the hops than I'd like. Also a bit more balanced than I'd like. I think upping the hops would help a lot.

M - Medium mouthfeel with an above average amount of carbonation.

D - Pretty easy drinking. This beer is decent but it doesn't blow me away like I was hoping. Could go for some more hop flavor. That being said this being in a can really helps it stick out. I would like having this available to me locally just for the convenience of it coming in a can. I would consider picking this up again if I was in the mood.

jpmclaug, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of Brew33
2.5/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Picked up a 6 pack at Jungle Jim's.

The pour is promising. 2 fingers of white head atop a Porter-esque body. The smell is more Pale Ale than anything. Not too hoppy. Very little dark malt. The taste was not very good. STRONG metallic taste right up front. IDK if it was the can or something in the beer but tons of metallic flavors, not something I've encountered with other canned craft beer. Watered down. Lacking in flavor. Dull, boring. The mouthfeel was thin and the drinkability was okay although I didn't really like the beer.

I'd like to see some more reviews to see if anyone else gets the metallic flavors.

Brew33, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of gatornation
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a black semi-thick color with a tan staying 1 finger head..looks good..smell is subdued with hops and malt some toffee and burnt toast or caramel,with some chocolate..flavor is similar its light on the porter flavors and light on the ipa flavors,,pine and citrus are there so is toffee and roasted malts,,but its all so light..mouth feel is light in relation to the style it has subdued flavors..21st just does not do it for me as a brewery..however out of the 3 ive tried i did like this one the best,,my recommendation? buy a single

gatornation, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This is my second foray into the world of 21st Ammendment beers. I was excited to try this one in addition to the regular IPA these guys offer.

Looks great. Large, stark white head with plenty of lacing. Opaque, purplr chocolate in color with some dark chocolate highlights.

Aroma was okay. I definitely got some citrus type hops with a little bit of pine too. I didnt, however, get much of the roastiness that should be there, seeing as this is a black IPA.

Flavor was a bit off. A bit of sourness with a large metallic presence. The hop bitterness shines through but doesnt do much in the way of adding value to the beer.

The beer, although topped with a large head, was flat and dry and watery and very unremarkable on the tongue. The mouthfeel was the worst thing about the beer and was the final turn-off for me.

Wasnt please with this one. It looked great in the glass but fell apart upon tasting. Both of the 21st Ammendment beers were big misses for me.

SaCkErZ9, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of berkey
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On tap at Hopyard San Ramon as an after work brew 08/06/10. I've had this once before but not on a fresh palate. Served in a pint glass.

A small but stubborn tan head tops a very dark brown (but not quite black) body with some ruddy highlights. Some decent filmy lacing.

Aroma is roasty and bitter with some subtle chocolate notes. Bitterness seems to be coming more from the roasted malts but the hops are playing a role as well.

Flavor follows the aroma to a high degree with mildly bitter chocolate still the main characteristic. Finishes clean but slightly bland. Hop bitterness is nearly drowned in the more stout-like qualities of this beer but manages to show some signs of West Coast citric goodness. Not sure it's enough for me though.

I'm not sure if the previously mentioned stout flavors are influencing my perception here but the feel seems very watery. Easy drinking but I'm ready for something more engaging and I'm less than one quarter done with this pint.

berkey, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of dubinsky
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Mostly black, but when help up to the light i see red. Poured it rather aggressively and had a nice foamy 3 finger than head. Good retention and lacing.

S- Malts, caramel, spices and a faint hop aroma. Smells rather fruity for an IPA, honestly not what i like to smell when drinking a hop forward beer, but its not bad.

T- I hate to say it, but the first sip of the beer was tinny. Tasted like aluminum, but as the time went on, that went away. The beer is awfully malty for an IPA, and thats whats killing me. I would like it more if it was marketed as something else than an IPA, but if i'm comparing it to others IPA's, something doesn't quite work form me. The roast and caramel malt flavors just don't mesh well with the hops here. Feels a bit all over the place, kind of like this review, yet somehow i am still drinking it and secretly enjoying it.

M- Initial tastes were a bit harsh. Fuzzy feel on my teeth. Fairly thin with low carbonation.

DB- Like others mention, there doesn't seem to be a good balance here between the malt and hop profiles. The weak mouthfeel certainly doesn't help either. Why fix something that isn't broken, Black IPA's just dont really do it for me. That being said, i think this is a good effort from a brewery that i usually really love. Stick to what you guys to best!

dubinsky, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of Kaiser777
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown almost black which the name of the beer explains, with a thick off white head, that leaves a nice thick lace on the glass as you enjoy this beer notice how the lace sticks there and never really disappears, which is always a plus in my eyes!

S- Not as strong as most American IPAs useally are, but there's no denying the citrus aroma and the blast of the dark malty hops.

T- Very delicious matter of fact I only intended to drink one after a long night of work and had two more, it wasn't as bitter as I would of liked but I can not complain, with the heavy malty,
hoppy taste with a citrus after taste that I love, very refreshing and enjoyable!

MF- Little to no carbonation heavy thick feel which was awesome, with the classic but light citrus feel that coats the mouth and has your taste buds screaming for more.

D- Very drinkable, like I said before I only attended to have one, and ended up drinking three, very refreshing and satisfying which surprised me cause it only comes in cans which you expect that metallic taste which it didn't have at all, with that said two big thumbs up to the 25th Admendment brewing company for a very enjoyable American style IPA.

Kaiser777, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of wyattshotmaker
2.88/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured into a 25 cl snifter.looks pretty good, dark brownish black with a white head. nice lacing.

nose has alot of cocoa/dark chocolate. touch of roasted coffee.

the taste of this beer does more or less nothing for me. it's fairly bitter, not much hop flavor. alot of chocolate/roastiness. more like a watery porter if anything.

mouthfeel is kinda thin. drinkability is average at best. good to try but this isn't something im going back to.

wyattshotmaker, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of russwaddell
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am not a big American IPA fan, and I'm also not a fan of 21st Amendment's IPA. I wanted to give this a shot though, as I'm just starting to find a lot of dark IPAs and I dig the style.

a - this beer looks incredible. enormous head. creamy. really, incredibly dark. tons of lacing.
s - i'd like it stronger. hoppy, but i want more. roasty malt is there, but again i want more.
t - gets better the more i have, but i'm struggling to get any particular character from either the IPA side or the dark side. one major plus is a fantastic finish, maybe partly thanks to the decent abv. taste lingers a long time and gets more complex as it fades.
m - metallic, too thin for me. alcohol seems well hidden. maybe would do better with more bubbles.
d - i don't generally consider IPAs drinkable at all, but this one is not bad. i drank it fast, but can't say i was thinking "can't wait to get another mouthful"

In conclusion, a really well crafted beer that is maybe a work in progress. Looks awesome, I just don't think the taste backs it up. Maybe subtlety is lost on me.

addendum: awesome can and carry case.

russwaddell, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of cbutova
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Black with a huge tan head that has a nice creamy texture to it. Great head retention and some spotty of lace.

S- Light caramel and roasty malt. Hops lend a bit of fruit and earthy notes. Surprisingly a bit of alcohol too. Not much strength at all.

T- The roast and caramel malt flavors just don't work with the hops here. The hops seem out of place from the malt profile. Hops lend big pine/earthy flavor and some fruit notes. Feels a bit all over the place but still decent.

MF- Fairly thin, even for an IPA. The body doesn't work with the roast flavors very well. Somewhat watery with low-ish carbonation. Fair amount of bitters.

DB- I just don't think there is a good balance between the decent malt and hop profiles. The weak mouthfeel certainly doesn't help either. Seems like the Black IPA is one of the new trends that might not make it very far, just feels a bit... off.

cbutova, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of blackie
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: schlitz chalice, deep brown in color with a frothy head that retains a nice layer

s: pale and caramel malt base with a moderate but still somewhat understated woody roast aroma, lightly sweet toffee, sappy green pine hops, simple

m: carbonation light-medium, body on the low end of the medium range, seems thin at times but that's more likely attributable to the dryness of the beer

t: the evident pale malt base belies the dark color of the beer, as a woody roast runs throughout showing glimpses of dry cocoa and coffee in succession, earthy toffee, mostly dry, full hop flavors - mostly dark green pine, and a balancing bitterness

d: no problem, a decent ipa variant, but the roast and hops don't really seem to jive

single from River City Cellars, Richmond, VA

blackie, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A black IPA from 21st Amendment brewing, California based craft brews in cans. Found this on tap, however.

Appearance: Black as night with a light khaki colored head. Could be confused with a Guinness to the untrained eye. The lace show is pretty fantastic, webs of bubbly foam coat the glass with each sip.

Smell: Floral hops and some toasty malt give the beer a solid nose.

Taste: A very mellow IPA, dark and lightly roasted. I would call this a hoppy schwarzbier since it has that type of malt backing. Piney hops add some bitterness, subtle grapefruit tinge. Mighty tasty.

Mouthfeel: A bit heavy on the palate but still goes down smooth and easy.

Drinkability: Hell yea! Fond of this one for sure, a nice hybrid of styles but still maintains the IPA feel.

Stinkypuss, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of Kegatron
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can into a tulip glass.

Pours black with 2 fingers of stiff lighter mocha colored head. Swirling gets this up to a rich frothy near finger that leaves a sticky latticework of lace back. Hops mostly control the aroma, being floral and a bit dank, with some peppery spice and green citrus coming out. There is an underlying layer of smokey roast present as well, which has a touch of an acrid tinge to it that is bordering on metallic smelling at times. Hmmm...

The taste is chocolate and some sweeter caramel up front, with bitter fruit and earth filling out the middle portion of the profile, while some deeply lingering roast pulls up the back. I'm once again picking up just the tiniest bit of a sour acrid bite in the finish that has some metallic tasting elements to it. Not necessarily horrible or anything but it is noticable. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with an overall creamy and bubbly feel to the carbonation. This is maybe a bit too creamy though, as it feels pretty light in the body in spots. I will say that the alcohol is deceptively hid though which helps out with the drinkable nature of this.

This was decent enough I guess but I've certainly had better Black IPAs recently. Probably the lack of body hurt this the most but a little more depth to the flavors would have been welcome as well. I think one can here was good enough for me.

Kegatron, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Another decision made for me by my boy Mike in IL, with Jethro Tull's "Windup" rockin' in the background. It pours a barely transulcent, very dark ruby brown topped by a steadfast finger of ecru foam. The nose is odd, kinda like a ruby red grapefruit drizzled with lemon juice. Some orange slices and pine sap find their way in there as well, and I assume that's some light caramel that's trying to evade me in the back. Honestly, this smells kinda weird. Hard to explain, just doesn't seem quite right. The taste is pretty hop-forward, with plenty o' citrus hops flying at me, grapefruit, orange, and lime flavors resulting. Instead of straight caramel, though, some light roasted malts make their way into town, blowin' in like the fools who always fuck with Clint Eastwood (much to their ultimate dismay). The two competing sides continue fighting throughout the tasting, making for quite a pleasant feel, all while Chubby Checker's "Limbo Rock" makes me wanna dance a little. Still, something's missing, leaving me ultimately unsatisfied as a whole. The body is a heavy light, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly creamy feel. Overall, a nice BIPA (or CDA, whichever you prefer), definitely worth a taste.

TMoney2591, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of portia99
2.48/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz can poured into a Shipyard imperial pint glass.

A - Pours an almost dead black that lets thru practically no light...no sign of haze, but too dark to be totally sure. A finger + of creamy tan, fluffy foam sits on top of the beer for a brief minute before falling to the surface leaving a rocky, uneven layer and collar and a bunch of lace on the glass.

S - Bitter, burnt black malt, a touch of buttery diacetyl, dill pickles?, a bit metallic, black pepper. Green hops, somewhat vegetable like - green peas, green beans. Umm, very weird.

T - Bitter dark malts, metallic, fresh green, grassy hops. Middle of the road hop bitterness. The green/vegetable like qualities of the aroma carry thru here...this really isn't hitting me. Very unusual and not in a good way.

M - Somewhat thin, as I have come to expect from black IPA's, although tending more towards medium bodied than most. Medium carbonation that is prickly on the tongue. I just can't get past the green, leafy, vegetable like character here.

D - Definitely not one of my favorite beers out there...and I am generall a big fan of 21st Ammendment stuff. This has a funny aroma/flavor that disagreed with me from the start...glad I only bought a single instead of the 4pk(6pk?)...based on others reviews, maybe I got an off can, but I have to say I'm just not getting what others are saying about this one.

portia99, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of hustlesworth
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- head monster. superhead. naturally this thing pours like a porter. it's black with some rosewood colored highs when held up to the light. the foam is amazing- it's big and khaki colored and unsettling an it leaves an unearthly amount of thick sticky lace behind.

S- huge aromas of mandarin orange and grapefruit, pineapple and passion fruit over a mellow smoky malt background. some burnt caramel and burnt chestnut roastiness as well with hints of lemon and lime. columbus/centennial/simcoe always a great combination.

T- tastes like a hugely hopped smoky porter. nutty and earthy, pumpernickel, burnt peanuts, charred wood, burnt grapefruit peel, burnt... everything. very nice. well balanced and well put together. hops definitely stand forward perhaps thanks to the de-bittered black malt? roasted char flavor is everywhere while roasted bitterness is nearly non-existent. some flavors of cocoa and coffee, but not in the usual sense. more of the essence of the two, so to speak. finishes woodsy and hoppy with a long piney burnt citrus and sour malt aftertaste.

MF- slightly juicy, slightly resinous, but overall more of a medicinal oily one-dimensional mediumly carbonated glass of thin hop juice. kinda boring.

D- although it looks and tastes like a hopped up porter, in truth it's more like a hopped up schwarzbier. seriously hopped up to the point where any and all malt sweetness is pretty much eradicated. hoppy and earthy, easily drinkable and handsome. black ipa is an interesting style and i have a feeling that sooner or later most breweries will take a stab at it.

hustlesworth, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of WOTO97
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just popped a can of this the other night; also had the pleasure of tasting it on tap at CBS. The nose is full of bright citrus hop qualities with lingering charcoal and cocoa bitterness in the background. This beer drink very well at cooler temps: the bright citrus hop flavors are there in the front to welcome you in while the roasted malts bring you home on the back of the palate, along with hints of caramel. Could use for a bit extra punch in the way of bittering hops. A bit thin in the body despite a nice initial creaminess. As the beer warms the big hop presence fades and gives way to burned coffee and roasted malts. All-in-all a very tasty drop and decent example of style (if you can call it that).

WOTO97, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of tempest
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from can into a pint glass the beer was pitch black. At first it was a lovely pairing that came off like dry Irish stout with dry cocoa malts and classic American citrus hops. Unfortunately, as it warmed up during diner a less pleasant (though not bad) molasses flavor came forward. I'm digging the style, and it's worth checking out if you are too.

tempest, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of argock
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz can into an oversized clear wine glass. No freshness date. Purchased as 6-pack at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $9.99.

A: Very dark brown with nice light-beige, 2-finger head with good retention and a short line of lace around the top of the glass.

S: Roasted malts are most prominent with chocolate and char mixed with orange citrus hops. More roasty and less hoppy with warming.

T: Good not great flavor as the roasted maltiness overwhelms the light orange citrus hoppiness and leaves this too much on the maltbomb side of the spectrum. There is char without astringency and a more earthy hops contribution as well.

M: Medium-bodied with clean roasty maltiness in the finish. Carbonation is medium.

D: A good black IPA with a more heavy hand with the hops needed mainly to better balance the roasted malty char flavor that pervades this brew. A slight change to the recipe to put a more citrus hoppy signature on this brew will push this beer higher and make it a big winner I think.

argock, Aug 02, 2010
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,909 ratings.