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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

1,860 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,860
Reviews: 650
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 42
Gots: 133 | 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: 1,860 | Reviews: 650 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rootbeerman
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

rootbeerman, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of silentjay
2.68/5  rDev -27.4%
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.

silentjay, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of gford217
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

gford217, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of elgiacomo
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
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...)

elgiacomo, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of RustyDiamond
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

RustyDiamond, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

indiapaleale, Jul 19, 2010
Photo of jmerloni
3.15/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

jmerloni, Jul 18, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
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

barleywinefiend, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of GarrettMD
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

GarrettMD, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of jampics2
3.43/5  rDev -7%
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.

jampics2, Jul 15, 2010
Photo of flexabull
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

flexabull, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of femALEist
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

femALEist, Apr 28, 2010
Photo of weeare138
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

weeare138, Mar 12, 2010
Photo of david18
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

david18, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of KeefD
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

KeefD, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of MPLS
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

MPLS, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of dirtylou
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
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

dirtylou, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of vdoz3
4.63/5  rDev +25.5%
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.

vdoz3, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
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!

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 19, 2009
Photo of momolo
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The IPA was a very deep, warm black with almost an inch of tan head. Past the citrusy hops, the smell swirling out of the bottle was of a dark roast which dominated most of the flavor of the brew until it finished. The coffee and the chocolate malt are evident, but there wasn't an abnormal sweetness to it. It begins smooth and milky, but then there's the sourness of grapefruit.

My taste buds cringed at the finish, but I kept going back to relive the beginning. The flavors didn't seem to blend well, but they did mask the taste of the alcohol. It was also served too cold...human error.

Can't say I'd go back for more.

momolo, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of John_M
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with very good head retention and lacing. I'll say this, the beer looks impressive. The nose, however, I'm not loving so much. Although I get some noticeable peppery hop aroma, there's also something of a ginger and roasty malt aspect to the aroma profile. I get some cola as well. Flavors replicate the nose quite well, which is OK, but is not wowing me. Mouthfeel is light and almost a bit watery. Drinkability is likewise not all that impressive. Although the alcohol is pretty well disguised, the slight ginger flavor with the roasty malt just isn't a good combination for me.

Mehhh... While certainly not wretched, can't see any reason why I'd want to try this again.

John_M, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of Lunch
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Fricso Grille in Columbia, MD (12/01/09) into a shaker pint glass at an appropriate temperature.

A: Pours a nice shade of blackish brown capped off with 1 finger of an off-white head that lingers for the duration of the beer and leaves thick lacing.

S: A pungent aroma of grapefruit and citrus, with a slight hop bittereness and hit of roasted malt.

T: The citrus theme continues onto the palate with a hefty dose of grapefruit and tropical citrus flavors. A layer of a roasty malt works it way in, but not to a great extent. For some reason both this beer and their IPA seem to have some sort of duck-sauce flavor according to my palate, that is certainly not off-putting, but rather unique and distinctive.

M: Creamy medium-body with a slight oiliness and smooth carbonation.

D: None of the 6.8% abv. shines through and frankly I was quite impressed with the overall balance of the flavors.

Overall this I find this to be a wonderful Black IPA and another strong offering from 21st Amendment. Recommended

Lunch, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of drabmuh
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

These black IPAs are interesting.

Beer is black, lacing is high and carbonation is low. Head is thin and made up of brown bubbles (from the roasted malt).

The aroma smells like an IPA (mostly). Citrus hop aroma dominates. No detectable roast in the aroma at all.

Beer is a little thin IMO. And here is the roast. It mixes in the back of the mouth with the hop bitterness. Its not a terrible mix but it does seem a little out of place. Beer is a little harsh with all that back of the mouth bitterness with very little in the other parts of the palate to connect them. Drinkability and mouthfeel suffers.

drabmuh, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of cynicgiraffe
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my first black IPA for what it's worth. Pours opaque black. Overwhelming grapefruit in the aroma. So much so that I can't get anything else. Thin creamy head, disappears quickly but leaves lots of lacing. Taste: lots of grapefruit but some pine. Thick mouthfeel, almost like a Russian imperial. Bizarre (and has some palette dissonance) to have this palette with the hop profile. Back end has a peculiar combo of hop bitterness and stout bitterness. I love this beer. Well balanced. I would drink this any time. Awesome.

cynicgiraffe, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of lbkornlb14
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this in growler, The color is really awesome for an IPA, it truly is black, and I have never seen a Black IPA before. I have been impressed with 21st AMDT Brewery since trying their Watermelon and Regular IPA. THis beer smells of dark roasted malt and some nice hops. It tastes excellent as it has a nice coffee and roasted taste which compliment that big hops very well, this beer is very drinkable as it doesnt have that "back of your throat dryness" that some IPAs tend to exhibit. You could drink this all night if you were an IPA fan. great job again to 21st amendment who is really establishing themselves as a top 10 brewer.

lbkornlb14, Nov 13, 2009
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,860 ratings.