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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 tugdriver7
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Earlier this year, I tasted a Caserne 30, a gold-colored smoked ald at Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel in Montreal. It was a sensory mixed message, in terms of what a pale beer should taste like and I found it unpleasant and relatively difficult to drink. Conversely the Black IPA (Penombre) at the same establishment was surprisingly tasty and I had high hopes for this Black IPA from 21st Amendment--in spite of the mixed messages of taste and color. And I figured the can would be a big help for freshness. The beer poured a rich brown to black in the glass with a decent tan head and nice lacing throughout. Initial stout-like roasted malt in the nose, but the hops were immediately evident in the first taste. Unlike the Belgian Penombre and it's distinct hop bitterness, however, the hops here were a tad more fruity and bright. Coupled with the rich roasted flavor of the beer, it tasted a bit sour and a couple of times I checked the can to see if perhaps it was outdated. I definitely see the attraction and I did enjoy the drink, but it wasn't quite up to my expectations. Thus the less than perfect rating.

Photo of MCDuhamel
3.86/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a pint glass at fridge temperature. Formed a very thick and dense, lasting head, lightly tan and meringue like in texture. Nose is resin, a little tar and roast barley. The flavor starts out very much like a dry stout, showing mostly roasted barley, but then is followed by a definite American hops presence; some pine, some grass, and a little citrus. The finish is dry and nicely bitter, but not astringent. Fairly light on the mouth, again more like a stout than an IPA. I could, and will, drink several of these in a session.

Overall I find this to be a very nice beer, and I find that I am enjoying this emerging style. This is a very good example. It is great to see the packaging; cans make more sense than bottles.

Photo of BeerCon5
3.84/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours almost black in color with 2 fingers of thick foamy off white head that sticks around.

The scent is a little faint, but there is some roasted malts, hops, citrus, and coffee.

The taste is a bit more noticeable with roasted malts and coffee up front, followed by piney hops, some citrus, and notes of cocoa.

Full bodied, very smooth and creamy, moderate carbonation.

This was a pretty good beer, the flavor and scent could have been stronger, but it was well balanced and very drinkable.

Photo of u2carew
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz can!
A) Pours with a tan, two finger head. Nearly opaque. Tight sticky lacing.
S) Grassy. Subtle notes of caramel malt. Hints of citrus spice.
T) A decent balance of malt and hops, although seems a bit watered down. Not real robust, like one would expect from a Cascadian Ale. The malt flavors start to shine towards to finish.
M) Creamy. Medium body.
D) A decent brew, but not a standout for me.

Photo of CaptainTripps
2.83/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Cheerful Tortoise in portland. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a very dark brown, almost black but not quite. Finger worth of a tan creamy head, fair amount of lacing left on glass.

S- Pretty sweet, light roasted malts are present, hops are plentiful. Citrus and pine play around a little bit with the nose.

T- A fairly sweet IPA. Has that IPA bitterness along with a coffee bitterness which are kind of an odd pairing. Small roastedness to the beer, some what of a smokey flavor.

M- Very thin, dry and crisp finish. Good amount of carbonation.

D- Fairly good drinkable beer, something I could see myself buying a sixer here and there.

Pretty average beer overall. Nothing spectacular but nothing really wrong with it either. Just average.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I grabbed a can of this at Chevy Chase the other day.

Dark brown with reddish highlights, there's a dense, light brown head with excellent retention and lacing. The head sticks around as a thick disk, this is particularly impressive. The nose has a moderate hop bite with pine and a rather strange soapy character. The hop character is surprisingly muted here, allowing the roasted malt to really come through. The way the flavors are balanced, this is more of a hoppy stout than black IPA. There's bitter chocolate and a mild coffee grounds character here. A touch fruity too, especially as it warms up. Once the soap character dissipates, this is solid stuff.

The palate opens with a rather big roasted malt bitterness with char, bitter chocolate and then followed by some simpler sweetness, almost like caramel and sugar. The hops are secondary here, a little pine and some bitterness, both of which are overshadowed by the malt character. A little fruity in the mid-palate before a long finish with a roasted bitterness and a mild creaminess. Medium in body, the mid-palate is rather watery, and the creaminess makes this feel like it's on nitro. Solid stuff, this really is more of a stout than a black IPA, the big difference is the sweetness that's mildly pale malt -like

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A gift from Dennis. Thanks bro!

A: This beer appears an opaque shade of the darkest brown, bordering on black. The head is over an inch tall and looks like a chocolate milkshake. As it fades, it coats the glass in lacing.

S: Roasted malt and hops. I'm just not entirely sure about the black IPA style in general. The aromas seem to conflict with one another, creating an overall odd scent.

T: Decent tasting, and happily, it's better than the aroma would indicate. It's rich and smooth, with a noticeable hop bitterness in the finish. I suppose one could label this a "balanced" version of the style, as the roast aspect is quite prevalent, as well.

M: Good feel. Fairly thick, with a creamy smooth feel reminiscent of a stout.

D: Pretty interesting beer. I would drink it again, but it's not something I would seek out, or even choose at a store.

Photo of beertunes
2.91/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in straight pint glass. Poured pure black, no translucence, with about a 1/2 inch of dark tan head that had good retention and moderate lacing.

The aroma had light roast and light hops, but otherwise wise fairly benign. The taste was fairly similar, some roast and hops, neither dominating, and was pretty well balanced. I don't think they were trying for balance.

The body was typical for this new style, Cascadia Dark Ale(Black IPA), not really thin or full and much like most IPA's. Drinkability was OK but not special. Overall, a decent but not noticeable take on the style. Worth trying if you see it.

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

Black with two fingers of tan head. At more than half way gone still has a bit of head. Well laced. Aroma is a bit of pine. Taste is fruity piney hops with plenty of malt backing. There is a slight hint of coffee or roasted malts but not a lot. Mouthfeel is right on the money for an IPA. Nice dry bitter finish. Falls toward the middle of the Cascadian IPA spectrum. Awesome for a canned beer.

Photo of Pentastar
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark caramel color with flashes of garnet red, with half inch creamy tan head.

Aroma: Sweet, with a little coffee and some floral notes as well.

Taste: Some hop bitterness comes through, along with roasted barley malt, coffee, cacao and some residual sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation and full bodied.

Drinkability: A well balanced dark IPA.

Photo of herman77
3.11/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Near black, about a shade away, with a moderate light tan, foamy head. Good retention and good wispy lacing.

S: Lightly roasted and pale malts. Some breadiness. Hops are barely detectable, what is there is a little pine and a little citrus. I do get a little bit of putty like smell. Silly putty like?

T: Light roasted malts, pale malts again, like in a pale ale. Grapefruit and earthy pine hops come after the maltiness to provide a nice balance. Its pretty much backwards from traditional balanced IPAs, malty to hoppy. Finishes with some roasted acidic malt qualities and coffee bitterness. Something about it is a little off in the malt profile, I pick up that odd putty/plastic again, just like in the nose.

M: Medium to light body. Moderate carbonation. Feels a little smooth, more like a porter.

D: Not bad, but not good, just... average.

Not feeling any of the 21st Amendment beers I've had so far.

Photo of Mosstrooper
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz can into a 16oz Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Not quite black, but more of a darker coloa color. Large, foamy off-white, slightly tanned head dissipates very slowly and leaves behind a thick ring of lace.

Smell: Prevalent cascade hops backed up by buttery and roasty malts.

Taste: Begins with a buttery sweetness and a light hop flavor, finishing with intense (though not overly bitter) resiny hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with light carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkability: A highly drinkable and sessionable IPA. Nothing outstanding, but still very solid all-round. This is a beer I would enjoy drinking again and would recommend to others readily.

Photo of JDH2000
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours nearly black with some reddish hues when held to the light. About a finger of creamy tan head that stays through most of the beer. Nice lacing on the glass.

S- Beautiful aroma of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate come first, followed by citrus and some pine hops.

T- The taste is so much more complex than the initial aromas let on. The roasted malts almost have an astringent and bitter flavor about them. The coffee and cocoa flavors come out and then are balanced out with the nice hoppy finish.

M- This is a nice, smooth medium-bodied beer with great complexity and flavors.

D- This was my first Black IPA and I was very impressed. I found it to be quite drinkable. I will definitely have it again and I look forward to exploring others in this style.

Photo of djbreezy
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - excellent head, good lacing, dark and black

Smell - toasty malts, vegetal hops

Taste - malts dominate, grassy notes, bitter

Mouthfeel - highly carbonated, medium body, dry finish

Drinkability - not too fond of the grass notes or the high carbonation, not a great example of the style

Photo of pzrhsau
4.16/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice rich dark brown color that is opaque with a two finger creamy coffee colored head (yay adjectives)
S: It has a dark roasty aroma coupled with a nice hop bitterness.
T: Its strange because the dark malt actually gives it a sweetness and a depth while still maintaining that bitterness of an ipa. Also some nice roasty notes in an after taste.
D/M: My eyes say porter but my head says IPA. This is just a cool beer style overall. Very innovative and brings some great crisp flavors together that I wouldn't have expected. I highly recommend this for someone who has not tried the style.

Photo of Mora2000
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to bman1113vr for sending me this beer.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is roasted malt and chocolate, with quite a bit of pine from the hops.

The flavor is bitter pine with some lightly roasted malt. I also get a touch of chocolate and maybe some coffee, but it is fairly faint. Low bitterness and the beer is very dry.

Thin, watery mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can courtesy of xnicknj via the Nice Cans II BIF. Thanks!

Pours a deep, dark coffee color that lets cola leak in at the edges. Atop, a stubborn tuft of custard foam holds court and attaches sticky lacing to the inside of my BlackStar Co-op pint glass. A spicy aroma suggests black pepper and floral perfume. Wooden, musty hops balance well with a hint of chocolate & black patent malts.

Spicy hops continue their theme in the taste. Malts are crisp and lightly chocolate-coated, but the finish has a hint of metallic copper and other mineral notes. Still, the tight carbonation and creamy mouthfeel are a delight as Back in Black tacks on a snappy zest as the hoppiness lingers after each sip. All in all, a very solid Black IPA that drinks easily for the style. The mineral note is a bit of a distraction, but everything else melds harmoniously. Recommended.

Photo of thain709
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Served with a darker shade of brown body and some lighter ruby highlights...a one finger head stayed around for a little and showed some nice lacing

S - The nose is very hop forward...lots of citrusy hops...they are bold and juicy...some earthy tones but not a lot of roasted malt

T - The flavors turn around from the nose...the malts jump out first and present a pleasant roastiness across the palate...there is a brief bitter chocolate flavor that crosses in the middle of the beer...that bitter chocolate leads nicely into the bitter finish that the hops provide

M - Medium bodied...nice finish...smooth...no real complaints

D - This was a nice black IPA...the nose was very hop forward, but the flavors were malt forward with a nice hop finish...I would drink this again

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

Presentation: From a 12 oz. can into a nonic.

A- Brown. Pours with ~1+ fingers of off tan head, which fades gradually to a thin cap. Fair amount of lacing.

S- Piney, slightly herbaceous hopiness, with a roasty, biscuity, malty sweetness coming in behind the hops.

T- Herbaceous, citrus peel. A bit of acrid coffee bitterness. Sharp, fleeting citrusy sweetness. Unusual, hard to pin down flavors going on here...

M- Moderate carbonation and a medium-light feel. Slightly thin feel, and a bit astringent.

D- Decent. Easy drinking and interesting...

Future outlook: An interesting beer....a pretty decent experience, but probably not one that has moved me to buy again.

Photo of ToddT
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark brown almost black topped with a tan head. Head falls slowly to a ring but leaves little bits of lace on the glass.

S- Subtle aroma, some hops, caramel malt, and hints of oak. For suck a formidable looking beer the nose is kind of tame.

T- Sweet malt and some oak notes, big swell of hops in the middle that is subdued in bitterness but still forward on the palate. Finish is a struggle between the sweet malt and the bitterness of the hops with the bitterness and dryness of the hops coming out on top.

M- Medium in body and good carbonation, thinner in body that what I was expecting.

D- Decent drinkability a little sweet for my tastes, but the 7% ABV doesn't show through anywhere. Could be session able if you like sweet.

Not my favorite style of beer but a decent enough effort. Worth checking out.

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

Poured from 12oz can into SA Perfect Pint.

A. 3 finger head. Color of head is off white. Nice retention. Color is very dark brown almost black. Pretty thick lacing.

S. Smell is hoppy and malty. Has something going on in the aroma that I can't quite put my finger on.

T. Taste is somewhat unique as well. Some sweetness from the malt and a roasty dark characteristics balanced against some hop bitterness. Black IPA's have characteristics of quite a few different styles. Almost tastes like a porter.

M. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Finishes with a bit of bitterness.

D. Drinkable. Black IPA's are somewhat new to me. Don't know if it is one of my preferred styles. As for this beer it is pretty good. Nothing exceptional in the aroma or flavor department but good.

Photo of Arenbeer
3.36/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can thanks to UncleJimbo for throwing it in as an extra!

A- Pours a really nice dark dark brown that appears black out of the light. On top is a decent 1 finger off white head that doesn't stick around.

S- Dark roasted malts with some coffee and maybe some sweet chocolate. Slight hop presence but not to much. Definitely some fruitiness in there as well.

T- Strong roasted malts and coffee, take the flavor with a decent hop bitterness and fruitiness in the background.

M- Medium body with a lot of carbonation and a decent bitter finish.

SkÅL!

Photo of Florida9
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown, approaching black, in color, but edges reveal a chestnut color to this beer. Forms a big inch plus of khaki colored head. Decent retention, but little lacing.

S: Coffee, cocoa, and roasted malts.

T: Strongly pronounced dark roasted malts. Some citrus, maybe a metallic flavor as well. Moderate bitterness. Roasted flavor lingers on the finish.

M: On the lighter side of medium with appropriate carbonation. Drying.

D: A good beer, though not the best. Too heavy on the roasted malts for my preference, but the lightness of the beer does lend to an easier drinkability.

Photo of dudemuskie
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Snagged a single can at The Andersons in Toledo, OH!

Appearance- Deep brown with garnet highlights and a tall creamy, linger-n-lace beige head.

Aroma- Big, sticky grapefruit citrus nose with some grassy, herbal, and floral hop notes. Dusting of black malt hidden well below the blanket of hops with some biscuit-like maltiness also present. Very hop forward!

Flavor- Starts with nice bright citrusy hop kick that leads into a nicely balanced middle that mingles the big hops with a slightly sweet, fresh malt flavor. Finishes with a bit more malt complexity including the faint dusty black, almost chocolaty malt notes and a healthy dose of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, low-moderate CO2, nice balance but big hop presence. Low residual sugars and assertive hop bitterness makes this quite drinkable and almost refreshing, but the slightly bigger body might make this brew a bit filling after a full pint or two.

Overall- Mind bender of a beer because it feels like an IPA, with little other than color contribution from the dark specialty malt. I expected a lot more malt complexity/body out of this just eyeing it up! Well done black IPA and quite fun to drink!

Photo of beerhan
4.36/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from a can into a pint glass. Beautiful thick head that just creeps towards the top of the glass. This has a real nice dark brown almost black color. A great blend of stoutiness and ipa. Smells very floral with a chocolatey feel. Tastes like caramel and grass. Interestingly enough an amazing combination. The only thing that this beer really loses points on is that I can still kind of taste can. I could drink this beer forever and it is quite cheap.

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