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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

2,076 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,076
Reviews: 670
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 49
Gots: 222 | 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: 2,076 | Reviews: 670
Photo of capuchinpilates
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of BarronFlood
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of Steeda89
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of evergreen_machine
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of Thiestru
4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-oz. can into my Terrapin pint glass.

Appearance: A dark, transparent, porter-like color. I poured this too hard, which resulted in a billowy two-finger, creamy head.

Smell: The style is evident in the smell, as both the malt and hop scents are very strong.

Taste: Surprisingly refreshing! This is not very bitter, but the hops are there; the real star is the sweet, pleasant maltiness. It's a little chocolatey, very like a porter.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. I don't normally pay much attention to this aspect of beer, but here it stands out.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink. This is the kind of beer I find myself gulping, however I try not to. This is the first beer I've had from 21st Amendment, and I'm impressed. Check it out.

Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.46/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: As it pours into the glass it's a brown color. However it sits in the glass opaque black with only brown highlights. A billowing and rocky head, light khaki color, sits on top that last forever leaving an amazing amount of lace.

S: A strong floral and citrus hop aroma balanced with sweet roasted malts. Very earthy smell.

T: A crisp flavor of floral hops with a citrus bitterness. Light chocolate malts are evident with hints of espresso.

M: A medium body beer with light carbonation. Creamy texture, yet dry finish.

D: Love this beer. Easy to drink, good price, great taste... all around- a must try.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.45/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains floral hops, coffee, dark roasted malts and some citrus.

T: The taste starts with a strong but not over-powering burst of hops bitterness that is quickly followed by flavors of black coffee and a little bit of citrus fruit. The roasted malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice beer worth drinking for a long time.

Photo of godlessape
4.45/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Looks like a stout until you hold it up to a bright light and then, if you squint hard enough, employ a little imagination, you'll see just a slight hint of ruby highlights. It also has a great creamy tan head to it that lasts throughout.

Smell: It has that sharp IPA grape-fruity nose that I expect from this style, and the earthy dark malt and coffee aroma doesn't even try to hide itself.

Taste: Tastes somewhere in between a stout and a Scotch Ale--and that's a great place to be. This has a perfect balance to it that can't be ignored.

Mouth feel: Perfect carbonation. A little thinner than I expected body wise, but still good.

Overall: This won't be my last one.

Photo of spitInTheOcean
4.45/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

black. opaque and black. dark tan head.

smell is overwhelmingly hops. if im not mistaken there is a slight aroma of roasted barley. but lots of hops, mostly floral aromas. i would guess cascade and centennial.

slightly sweet taste, then huge hop flavor, and aggressive hop bitterness. sort of a piney hoppiness. the hop bitterness lingers, and as it does the roasted malts seem to become apparent slightly.

big mouthfeel, and the carbonation is pretty soft.

its a pretty hoppy beer. guessing blind it seems like about 80 IBUs, the the alcohol is not really apparent at all, you just kind of know that a beer the big has to have a high ABV.

Photo of brewdoc75
4.45/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I gotta say, I haven't been a huge fan of the whole Cascadian Dark Ale/Black IPA craze. Nevertheless, I try to have a beer from the style on occasion to see if I change my mind. I heard this was a good one, plus it was on sale at my local liquor store.

A: Like the name would suggest, this beer is black. No Imperial Stout black, but definitely dark. There are some ruby hues throughout. The head is a off-white, bordering on brown color and is very present. Much creamier head than I would expect from an IPA. More like an oatmeal stout. It seems to last a long time and turns into a strong lace.

S: West coast hops here! Lots of grapefruit and pine. Very heavy hop aromas. I do get some chocolate and roastiness in the aroma as well. A little caramel too. Very nice aromas.

T: Again, I am impressed. Loads of hop flavors balanced out by strong maltiness and rich flavors from the debittered roast malts. It has the malty flavor of a good, foriegn export stout, without the strong, coffee-like roast component. Reminds me of a good Schwarzbier with loads of hops. The hops are very heavy on the grapefruit. I do get some nice pine as well. The beer finishes with ample bitterness, but not as much as I find with some other standard IPAs. The malts seem to add some nice chocolate and caramel notes. The yeast is fairly clean, but I do get some slight fruitiness in the end. All of this blends well together to make a tasty brew.

M: Medium bodied. Creamy at first, like an oatmeal stout, but finishes dry and crisp. I understand this is a fairly new style, but from what I've read, this beer fits well. Slight bit of lingering bitterness in the end, but not too much.

D: Overall, this was a great beer. I've been a little down on this style until now. Most of the beers I've had like this seemed like they were just dark IPAs, without much character from the malt. Or they were on the other end of the spectrum with too much roasted malts, making the beer more like a stout than an IPA. This beer had nice balance and great flavors. I hope to have more like this in the future.

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.

Photo of ppoitras
4.42/5  rDev +19.8%
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.

Photo of TheBeerSipper
4.42/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The days of frowning at canned beers are over my friends. This one proves that true with its fresh unique aroma and taste.

Appearance - Pours nicely leaving a thick, tan, foamy head. Being a black IPA, it doesn't have the usual look. This brew resembles that of a porter.

Smell - Flavorful smell of refreshing hops rush from the glass, inviting you to sip.

Taste - The best part. This beer mixes the taste of a great IPA and a dark toasted porter. This beer is best to sip slowly and savor, though its wonderful flavor make that a tough task.

I encourage all beer lovers to sample this delicious beer

Until Next Time

The Beer Sipper

Photo of 9InchNails
4.42/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tan head, crimson red on the edges and dark in the center. Nice looking beer.

Wow, what a interesting pleasant smell! Roasted and sweet malt mixing with some piney hops.

Dark fruits, sweet fruits, some citrus, caramel, pine, chocolate, sweet and bitter, toasted and roasted flavors. There is so much going in here that there is this taste I can't put my finger on but it's awesome.

Medium body, medium carbonation, incredibly smooth, feels really nice.

One of the tastiest brews I've had in a while. Smooth, tasty, unique, bitter, sweet. I think I might have found a staple in my beer rotation. Why just the B Rating? I don't know. Maybe I'm bias because I love dark beers and IPA's. Give it a shot despite the B rating, really worth it.

Photo of mattcrill
4.42/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Slight roasty notes up front with piney, sticky resiny hop aromas that dominate. Clean American yeast character.

Appearance: Clear chocolate brown pour with leather edges. Tan sticky head that retains well.

Flavor: Lots of earthy, piney hop character. Balance is firmly bitter. Background roasty notes but just hints. All dominated by the American hops. Finish is clean, roasty, and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. Slight hop and grain derived astringency.

Overall impression: An easy drinking American Ale. Love this interpretation. Very glad we can get 21A in Central OH now.

Photo of ABeezy
4.41/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this once before at the bar. Saw the can and had to have it but drank straight from the can so I have been itching to pour into a glass and see what this is all about. Bought a six at Giant Eagle.

Poured into a vintage thick glass Michelob goblet that I just rescued from the thrift store. All my pint glasses are dirty but this works.

Appearance - I love it, it looks like a stout, my favorite style. Creamy light tan head. Reduces to a ring and a light film of bubbles on top. Pretty nice lacing, thick right towards the top of the glass. Looks pretty black but it's dark in the house. Held towards the lights you can see some brown highlights.

Smell - I have to be honest with you I have a bit of a head cold right now, maybe shoudn't be reviewing but oh well. Smell I get vanilla? Like a boozey vanilla, I didn't really expect that.

Taste - I get big vanilla, again I really didn't expect that. It's malty and sweet. This really doesn't taste that hoppy to me. I had a Java Head Stout last week and that was more hoppy than this imo. I really like this flavor though. I hope it doesn't change drastically when my cold goes away. I get the hops more when I am belching lol. It's there but it's more balanced than I was thinking it would be. Just a tiny bit of citrus there.

Moutfeel - it's pretty creamy it goes along with the look it's not just an IPA with food coloring this is a dark malty beer.

I would defo do this again. I know I have seen reviews of 21a go one way or the other but I am pretty impressed tbh.

Photo of jdciencia
4.4/5  rDev +19.2%

Photo of garrettparkal
4.39/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big fan of the Back in Black... this is the beer that got me into 21st Amendment. I prefer this Black IPA to both the Sublimely Self-Righteous from Stone and the Imperial Iniquity from Southern Tier. The nose on the Back in Black is superb , hops hit you quick , and the tast and mouthfeel are malty and full of smoke. Great can as well.

Photo of Pintofbrown
4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I served this one into a shaker pint.

Appearance- The pour is a little lighter than expected, like a bright auburn. The head, however, is a two and a half-finger monster of ashy-beige that looks very compacted.

There is a nice smattering of tiny bubbles on the smooth and velvety lid. And retention is solid, leaving sheet lace in it's wake. The body is so close to opaque with only slight ruby highlights showing in random spots of the glass.

Smell- Dark malts that smell a little of toffee, roast, and chocolate greet the nose readily. The hops are really, really subtle behind the sweetness, and come out a little piney and grassy.

Maybe even some slight lemon now that I have taken a couple more sniffs. I really like this! Usually black ales lead with the hops and you get a mingling malt character, but it is opposite on this beer.

Taste- First impression is that this is not a "big" black ale. All the flavors kind of slowly seep their way into your taste buds. Hops aren't jumping around and ripping at your tongue; the malt is pretty laid back.

There is a slight resin feel in the finish that comes from the hops, but I could not find hop notes anywhere else on this thing. Just some pine that lingers long into the finish.

The malt itself is the star of the show, and man is it good. It is a nice combination of biscuit and chocolate malt, with just a little bit of earthy roast. Overall the impression is sweet, more so than roasted, however.

Mouth feel- Very, very creamy, that is all you need to know about the feel. The carbonation is pitch perfect. It is a little dry, but not surprised as this is a black ale.

Overall- I enjoyed this black ale in every facet of grading. The smell is a little weak, but with the malt being so strong that is going to be the case.

Generally, if you like your black ales to be very hop forward, this will probably be a disappointment, but I still think it will be hard to say it is not a great beer.

Photo of Stokastic
4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of morenone
4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's one of only a few Black IPAs I've had, but I would definitely get it again! I got a single at Beer Run in Charlottesville VA, but wish I had got a six pack. I haven't seen too many black IPAs around, but try to get one whenever I see it. Go get some!

Photo of nitro0292
4.37/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a snifter.

A - Easy pour produced a solid inch head. Aggressive pour overflowed my glass. Wonderful black with a tan head. Looks like Guinness, but no nitro pour.

S - Deeelicious. Coffee, sweetness and citrus hops. So much goodness.

T - See above. Terrific blend of dark and roasted malts and hops. Level of bitterness and hop profile are ideal. Any more would be too hoppy for the style and any less would be too stout like.

M - Medium body. Maybe a touch more carbonation, but I am nitpicking.

D - I honestly could finish the entire 6er in one sitting. Good thing I didn't.

Photo of peacebone116
4.37/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from can into tulip glass on 6/28/2011. Not sure when this was canned, but I picked up a sixer of this the day it came into Bobby's Liquors in Santa Clara.

A: Dark brown with red highlights. Coffee froth head that sticks around for a while before slowly retreating toward the side. There is good lace throughout the enjoyment.

N: Coffee and fruitiness are evident while this beer is cold. It is not until this beer warms up to just below room temp that it really gets good (both in the nose and the taste!); burned chocolate & oak notes become prominent.

T/M: As stated above, this beer really hits its stride when it gets a bit warmer. Chocolate and coffee notes blend with an oak-like bourbon sweetness. This is all complimented by a flash of citric bitterness. The beer has a slightly dry mouthfeel.

I am really falling in love with the American Black Ale style...and this beer seems to be helping me get there. I have had this beer several times in the past, and never felt that impressed by it. However, recently (maybe they tweaked the recipe), I have been picking up on the bourbon/oak notes and found myself loving this beer and the great complexity complexity it has to offer! It is a bit more malt forward than most Black IPA, but it does it right, so that is all I am concerned with.

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.

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

This beer poured a fantastic deep dark brown/jet black with an excellent two finger high, light brown head. The lacing was thick and clung nicely to the glass. The head receded slowly and remained for most of the beer. The initial smell of the beer is citrus with light pine. The smell was not overwhelming but was instead quite nice on the nose. The initial taste of the beer was that of the smell, citrus and pine flavors with a light bitter bite on the tongue. Additionally, the lightly roasted malts were a wonderful addition and complimented the beer perfectly. The beer had a medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall, this has got to be one of my favorite IPA's yet. I am absolutely blown away by the appearance and flavors of this beer. Additionally, this is the first canned beer that I have been drawn to and I have to say that I am impressed. I definitely need to seek out more beers by this brewery. I would also like to add that this brewery is wonderfully creative with their can designs, as well as the box that this 6er came in.

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Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 2,076 ratings.