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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
84
good

1,953 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,953
Reviews: 656
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 43
Gots: 154 | 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: 1,953 | Reviews: 656 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of skriv
4/5  rDev +8.4%

skriv, Nov 15, 2013
Photo of mjaggers
4/5  rDev +8.4%

mjaggers, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of mcphish22
4/5  rDev +8.4%

mcphish22, May 18, 2013
Photo of schnarr84
4/5  rDev +8.4%

schnarr84, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of KVNBGRY
3.99/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'm surprised this rating is so "low". Maybe it's because it was my first 21A beer, but I thought it was great. I rarely write full reviews, but I felt compelled to say something. Appearance/aroma/taste were what I have come to expect from a cascadian dark ale. It was a little too "smooth" but that's not a bad thing... Notes of pine, oak, and grapefruit all came out in the nose and taste. As its not the best CDA I've ever had, it's far from the worst. Keep up the good work 21A!

KVNBGRY, Aug 11, 2013
Photo of tdm168
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brownish black with cascading cappuccino colored head similar to the way Guinness pours. Great head retention. Smells of roasted malt, citrusy hops, and faint alcohol esters. In the taste, citrus and piny hops battle the roasted and chocolate malts. Well balanced. Well hopped. Nice malt character. Rich, smooth, drinkable. A little thin, but refreshing.

A very drinkable, rich, dark beer. Very good take on the style.

tdm168, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of Sky2625
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a glass mug/stein (this review is from notes taken 7/11/11).

A - Poured a medium dark brown, clear and with a light body, almost like a cola. 2 finger cream-colored, tiny-to-medium bubble head with good retention and thick lacing.

S - Citrus/pine hop nose for the duration, with a hint of molasses at the end. Easy on the nose, not pungent but pleasant.

T - Coffee note to start, followed by mild pine, underpinned by a hint of molasses. Transitions to simultaneous sweet and bitter with dark roasted malt notes. Finishes with a flush of spicy heat, bitterness, and a note of dark unsweetened chocolate.

M - Light medium body, with a flash of carbonation fizz to aid the transition from coffee to pine flavor, and which sets up the flash of spice.

D - This beer is great. Light enough in body, not too spicy or bitter to be a single-order beer, but flavorful enough to slow you down and make you appreciate it.

Sky2625, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of haywire77
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew poured a dull dark brown with very little light coming through only around the edges. About 1 inch of mocha colored head faded very quickly to a decent cap that left pretty nice lacing down the glass. Yeasty sediment can be seen throughout and in abundance in the bottom of the glass.

Smells of piney resin and malt. Sweet malt, almost like a good piece of hard candy that makes my sweet tooth show itself. Nothing over powering, but very mild in a good way.

Taste is a little off putting at first, but makes it's way in with a bunch of chocolate and/or caramel malts and almost no hops or bitterness at all. A touch of roasted coffee and maybe, just maybe a little hop tingle after you swallow. Not IPAish in my book at all. There is another flavor here that I can't figure out.

Mouthfeel is different also. Not creamy, not dry, maybe it's the carbonation that is dominant here.

Overall this is a beer that I could have a few of in one sitting, but nothing that really jumps out at me. I do like it better than the other offerings that I have tried from this brewery.

haywire77, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of jlindros
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Because eveyone likes it in the can. Tasty cracked cans." as Niko likes to say. Another one from 21st A, which I've loved most of their beers so far. Here's another in the pipeline.

A: Wow, with a can I'm forced to pour somewhat aggressively and it comes out with a huge head that forces me to stop pouring, with a 50% head to beer ratio, which is fluffy and bubbly and fades semi slowly with a lot of lacing. The beer is a very dark brown, dark raisin brown with hints of light coming through around the edges showing that is it potentially clear.

N: An interesting blend of malts and hops. It has an earthy bitter hop aroma, more like an English bitter almost but adds the American spicy and piny hop aromas with that. There is also a darker malty aroma, with some crystal malts and slight chewy malt aspect.

T: Taste comes on just as strong, with lots of varying flavors. It actually starts with a slight citrus flavor, juicy hops and even juicy malts. Some darker malts and chewy malts line the backbone, with a slight sweetness and even a little sugary flavor. There is a nice bitterness that doesn't overpower, just adds the nice hit. Some spicy and earthy hops make their presence known, but not as much as the aroma. A slight caramel malt flavor starts to shine through later on the taste.

M: Medium body, slightly creamy too (creamy, really?), with tons of carbonation.

F: Still pretty bitter as it finishes. Some grassy hops come out at this point, and bring more slight citrus and pine but very light. A slight sticky syrupy finish but no real sweetness as it dries to a somewhat dry finish. Some lingering earthy and spicy hop pellet flavors, with late hop addition flavors. Not bad for a black IPA, doesn't go overboard in any category, and is pretty clean and tasty. Going on trips with this would be great, cause taking it in the can always works better.

jlindros, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of dpnelson1978
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. can into glass pint.
40°F

$1.75 / ea.

A: Bright deep brown body topped with a tan two finger head of fantastic retention that leaves generous lacing and a thick rocky head. Really nice.

S: Piny hops dominate the aroma with a hint of peach citrus and mild roasted nuts and coffee.

T: Strong coffee flavors blended with a posted deep roasted malt character. The hops are piny, and the beer in general comes off as a bitter porter. The aftertaste is mild, and does not accumulate. The beer is good, but I'm not really sure how to grade it with regard to style.

M: Light body with high carbonation. Very crisp.

D: Very sessionable for me, but it may confuse some. The body is light, the flavor interesting, and finish crisp. If nothing else you will have some fun talking about it!

O: The blend of a stout and IPA will either please people, or offend two different expectations. Interesting beer none-the-less.

dpnelson1978, Oct 02, 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 notsoprobeer
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color was dark brown--not quite black. It had a tan colored head with good retention. Aroma was mostly hops, along the lines of grapefruit. After it warmed up, I could smell the malts. The first flavors I noticed were some roasted malts and coffee. Then the taste of the hops came through and left a slightly bitter aftertaste, which was pleasant. There was a touch of sweetness, that I could have done without. Body was light. Carbonation level was nice. Very drinkable.

notsoprobeer, Feb 07, 2011
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 vfgccp
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep black brown body with red brown highlights. Nice bone white head. Fine bubbles. Nice lace and great retention.

S - Soft pine, light roast, and sweet chocolate.

T - Herbal hops over coffee and a nice roast grain. Slow ramp-up of bitter chocolate before a shock of woody hops in the center. Malty finish.

M - Medium/light body

O - Low end of the hop spectrum for the style, but still a great offering.

vfgccp, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of DocJitsu
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque, very dark brown with a huge, fluffy dark taupe head. Average head retention. Cola-ruby glints are noted around the bottom edges. Aroma is characterized by chocolate, roasted malt, and cherry. Mouthfeel is thin for a stout style, but they call this a black IPA, in which case it is more true to style. Carbonation is a bit on the low average side. Very mild flavors, given the appearance, of chocolate covered cherries and some coffee acidity late. There's a mild sweetness throughout. Some of its hop character expresses itself about midway. It still drinks a bit more like an English stout. The 65 IBUs likely put it in an IPA category. Otherwise, it should be in an English stout category.

DocJitsu, Oct 27, 2012
Photo of jondeelee
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Back in Black comes straight out of the can smelling mainly like an IPA, heavy on the grapefruit and pine notes, the emphasis being primarily on a more sugary version of the grapefruit notes. Hints of lemon and lime add extra citrus zest to the nose. All this lies atop a darker bed than is normally found in an IPA (this is a Black IPA, after all), which brings black malt, ash, and tobacco to the mix, albeit in far lesser proportions, compared to the hops.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a good shock of hops, here the flavors moving more toward grapefruit zest and pine than the sugary notes found in the nose. Again, lemon zest brings a heavier citrus burst. The beer isn't particularly bitter--only 65 IBUs--but the hops bring good flavor. The "black" part of the IPA--that is, if the hops were removed or lessened to only showcase the malts--tastes much like a weaker, watery stout geared almost exclusively towards ash, coffee, tobacco, and black malt flavors, though toasted pecans also come into play. Some sugars play in the background, and a few fruit esters (apricot, orange) peek their heads around the corner meekly. Late the in mouthful, especially if the beer is held on the tongue long enough, the ash and tobacco flavors largely take over. The aftertaste is mainly ash and tobacco, with a remaining runnel of grapefruit hops and pecans, and lingers for a while. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is good beer in terms of flavor, the hops and malts each bringing a good series of tastes, and all of which meld together fairly well. At times the ash and tobacco flavors can slightly outshine the rest of the beer, and the medium-light mouthfeel is strange, given the potency of the flavors. Still, this is a far better-than-average Black IPA, and worth trying.

jondeelee, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of prototypic
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Back in Black is a dark mahogany color. Looks a bit like cola. It's not opaque, and has strong burgundy highlights when held to light. A tan head caps it and rises to about a finger and a half in depth. It dissipated somewhat slowly. A very sticky coat of lace lined the glass.

The nose is good. It kicks off with a nice hoppy punch. Citrus grapefruit and pineapple are in the mix. Pine is secondary to the citrus scents, but is noted. Dark malts are notable. Smells mostly like roasted malts to me. There might be a touch of cocoa or chocolate, but not much. Alcohol is buried pretty well. All in all, it smells good. It's fairly simple, but good nonetheless.

Mmmm. This is tasty stuff. The dark malt base works very well with the hops. It does taste like roasted malts to me. A little cocoa is here, but it's mostly just a nice roasted flavor. Hops add a ton of flavor. Grapefruit and pineapple flavors are delicious. A hint of pine rounds it out. It is bitter, but not all that much. I wouldn't mind a little more. Alcohol isn't noticeable at all. It finishes hoppy and a little dry. It's not perfect, but it is very good.

The body is somewhere between light and medium. Carbonation seems quite active and is a tad buzzy. It's not quite smooth. Drinkability is quite good. Back in Black is tasty beer that goes down easy and is quite refreshing. Good stuff on a hot day.

This is my first beer from 21st Amendment Brewing, and I must say I'm quite impressed. Back in Black certainly has no shortage of flavor and is a very enjoyable beer. I'll nitpick and say it would be a little better with more hop bitterness. It's very good stuff as it is though. Cool can, too. Definitely recommended.

prototypic, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark, nearly opaque brown with puffy 2 finger head.

S - Some bright hoppiness, grapefruit and pine. Good amount of malt in the background.

T - Much more malty in the taste. Almost drinks like a porter, some rich toasted malt, caramel, and a hint of chocolate. A little bit of hop kick on the end.

M - Smooth, good amount of carbonation present.

Overall - Not a bad beverage at all. Definitely more malty than an IPA (even a black IPA) would suggest, but I found the flavors present good.

BeerBuckeye, May 06, 2012
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 ForWhatAlesYou
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap into a pint glass

A: Deep black, small off white head. Decent lace.

S: Initially I get a really fresh hop note but that gives way to some darker characteristics (smoke, chocolate).

T: I am glad this is listed here as a black ale instead of an IPA. The hop from the aroma is nearly non existent in the taste. The flavors are still good but not as punchy as I would have wanted from a brew labeled as a "Black IPA". This is a bit like Guinness' evil cousin. Good.

M: Thin but I think that this helps with the drinkability factor.

D: Worth a shot. I would be happy to drink again but certainly wouldn't seek out fervently.

ForWhatAlesYou, Dec 21, 2011
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.

Mosstrooper, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of Bogforce
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: BLACK. Two finger head that goes away slowly after the first drink. Decent amount of lacing.

S: Smells like an IPA mainly, can tell it has the dark malts in it.

T: Pretty decent mix between an ipa and dark beer at first. Finishing taste is an ipa

D: Probably wouldn't drink this a ton but it's a pretty good beer

Bogforce, Nov 30, 2010
Photo of DrJay
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark with clear, coppery brown edges and a fluffy tan cap. Good head retention with spotty, clumpy lace. Hoppy aroma, lots of grapefruit and citrus pith. Chocolate notes, some brown sugar, slight alcohol. Sharp, piney bitterness, juicy grapefruit flavour, malty sweetness and cocoa towards the end. Very creamy texture with fine carbonation, but the body felt a bit light. I liked it and I'm glad I picked up a six-pack.

DrJay, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of ujsplace
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an oversized tulip.

This brew is black with a thick, frothy two-fingered tan head. Nice lacing and a thin, wispy layer is left as the head is reduced to a chunk sitting in the middle of the layer.

Smells of roasted malts and citrus hops with a piney resinous smell in there as well.

Initially tastes of big citrus hops that is balanced nicely with a nice maltiness that is like dark chocolate, coffee and nutty. The finish is an astringent pine-like hoppiness.

Medium bodied, nicely carbonated.

An easy drinking brew that definitely doesn't let you forget that this is an IPA. Would easily buy a case of this stuff. This is a very sessionable brew.

ujsplace, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of mdcrouser
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown with a muted whitish head. Layers of lace. Looks pretty compelling, and a good way to begin the evening.

Piney/greenery hops on the nose - but with a knowing undercurrent of malts.

Subtly hoppy - can't decide if that's balance or watery. It's refreshing though that the hops aren't overwhelming - they're composed. The malts are even less so, with a bit of burnt toast on the tongue.

Highly drinkable - I enjoyed this beer more than I thought I would.

mdcrouser, Jan 20, 2011
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 1,953 ratings.