Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

2,164 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,164
Reviews: 692
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 51
Gots: 283 | FT: 1
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: 2,164 | Reviews: 692
Photo of SuperSpy
3.05/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very dark brown with a very clingy, off-white head. It looks promising, but not as dark as I was expecting for a "black" ale.

There is some sweet malt and floral hops in the nose but it is very, faint.

Very smooth and medium bodied, but a touch lighter than I expected from the looks of the beer. The flavor has a faint roasted character but it quickly gives way to the earthy, bitter hops that carry the flavor into a semi-dry finish. A decent beer, but not a medal winner.

Photo of inlimbo77
3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed on tap at Chelsea Tavern in Wilmington, DE. Poured into a simple pint glass. Interesting side note: heard the server actually say, "Good. Someone ordered that, we need to get rid of that keg." Not a good start.

A: Pours a deep, rich deep brown color. Not completely black, but more of a cola color. Minimal head that faded quickly. Off white head. Good lacing.

S: Mild hop aroma, but not much. More malty. Stout-ish smells....a bad stout that is.

T: I got mostly malts. Not the hops that I was expecting from an IPA. Not crazy hoppy at all. Unimpressed.

M: Not mouth coating. Surprisingly watery?

D: Easy drinking but would I want another....that would be a no.

Overall, disappointing brew. All around. Sorry 21st Amendment, probably won't try others from you line.

Photo of Bfarr
3.02/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Black with little hints of red with big foamy brown head with good though very uneven retention and lacing. Aroma is lightly hoppy with some roasted malts and something a little sour. Interesting blended taste at first matching the aroma. However, ths sour is light at first but eventually takes over. Mouthfeel is thin and a little tacky with moderate to low carbonation.

An intriguing take on a black IPA but the hops were not as present as Is usual and the sour taste dominated the palate to produce a balanced yet offstyle beer. Worth giving a try if you like sour beer but not to my liking for a black IPA.

Photo of samie85
3.01/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a pitch black color two and a half fingers of thick, stout-like head that leaves thick, sticky lacing behind.

S-The nose is very fragrant and floral with some tropical pineapple with some pine and grapefruit.

T-Slightly bitter pineapple and pine with a little orange, some chocolate and a tiny bit of roast.

M-The body is pretty light with low amounts of carbonation and a slightly sticky feel.

D-Drinkabiity is high but the mouth is a little watery and the falvor profile is a little underwhelming.

Photo of gkunkle
3.01/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep brown to black color with a one finger tan head that is very dense and had good retention. Smell is of grassy hops ad a touch of chocolate malt. Taste is disappointing, I get a bit of raisin or something in the beginning, and a touch of chocolate malt, but no hop presence. Overall, pretty watery taste. The mouthfeel is medium, but the carbonation is lacking. Overall, I've had much better CDAs and I expected a better showing from 21A.

Photo of CuriousMonk
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a sampler glass at a beer festival. From notes: Aroma: Very interesting--roasted chocolate and caramel malts, but with floral hops underneath. Lots of things happening in the nose of this one. Appearance: Clear black with a thick tan head that dissipated too quickly. Taste: Medium-heavy sweetness with a light bitterness in the finish. Palate: Medium body, slick texture, average carbonation, with a decent finish. Overall: It's drinkable, and it's not something I'd snub my noise at were it served to me at a party, but I'm not overly blown away by this beer.

Photo of coachdonovan
2.99/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Hmmm, is this really black? No, not quite. When I hold it up to the sunlight (yes, I'm drinking this afternoon) it looks more like a reddish brown, but still very dark. Khaki head carries enough weight that this beer actually overflowed my shaker glass. Damn, and I'm usually such a good pourer. The foam is nice and fluffy as pockets settle over the course of a few minutes.

Aroma is cleaner than I'd like. The citrusy and piney hops are there, but they don't exactly punch me in the nose. Taste is dominated by this fruity, soapy flavor that I can't quite nail down. Actually, it is less fruity and more leafy, green, astringent, almost metallic. I don't know that I've tasted it before, and I'm not entirely sure it's supposed to be there. Finish is fairly dry as the roasted dark malts come to the forefront.

I would really like to dry this from the tap in SF to see if those odd flavors are always present. Something tells me this one got a little lost in translation on its way to the contract brewer's cannery.

Photo of birderbeerer
2.99/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours dark black with a four finger coffee head.

Aroma is some piney hops with a big cloyingly sweet malt jolt. Interesting.

Multiple tastes come through in phases. The malts overcome the hops with only a slight bitter sharp edge. Flavors resemble stout, brown ale, a low hop ipa, and even lager. Strange. The waves of flavor pass too quickly to hang on or enjoy them. Seems like it was brewed as a crap shoot beer. Throw a bunch of ingredients in and see how they interact.

Photo of wisrarebeer
2.99/5  rDev -19%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: deep, deep copper color, clear with nice ruby tan head
S: full nose, good roasted malt with perfumy hops
T: Back in Black has a good roasted malt character but the hops are too medicinal
M: nice roasted up front but too unbalanced with medicinal hops

Photo of MbpBugeye
2.99/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Can into a Perfect Pint.

Appearance
I didn't think I poured too hard, but I guess I was wrong. Most of this beer flashed into a very fine froth as soon as it rolled into the glass. It doesn't strike me as infected or anything, just over carbonated. The beer is a dark root beer color on the pour, collecting near black.

Aroma
For being a 21st Amendment beer there is a surprising lack of aluminum and a hopeful level of hops. Spicy pine and citrus hops. There's not a whole lot of roasted stuff, but there is a lot of black pepper.

Taste
The flavor is actually pretty nice, it just falls very flat, very quickly. Things start with sweet citrus and some spiciness, but suddenly all flavors are gone. Its weird. The finish is sweet and almost grape-like.

Mouthfeel
Carbonation isn't as scary as it was on the pour, which is a relief. Its still prickly, however. The body is about medium.

Overall
I'd say this isn't too bad, especially as compared to the other 12A beers I've had. I'd drink this again in a pinch, I suppose.

Photo of Hojaminbag
2.98/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Back in Black has a dark black body, which is no surprise considering not only the style but the name of the beer itself. The thin brown head has ok retention and leaves a few scraps of lacing.

The aroma has a lot of roasted malt and a puff of smoke. Surprisingly fruity with just a hint of citrus from the hops.

This is a weird one. The fruit characteristics make it taste like beer mixing with some sort of fruit punch. The malt base is actually pretty good, with lots of roast and a little bit of a peat-like, smokey character. The hops are in the background, with bits of pine and citrus. They provide more bitterness than flavor. The fruit is the biggest flavor, and the more I drink of it the less I want.

Mouthfeel could use a bit more carbonation, but its pretty substantial at least.

I was not a fan of this one. The first sip I though it was weird, the second I thought it was OK because I liked the smokey character, but after a few more sips I was ready to be finished.

Photo of JMforman
2.97/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Jet black with a nice fluffy tan head.

S- Chocolate, grapefruit, toasted malt, very pleasant smell

T- Like grapefruit juice. Weird. Not much in the way of malt. Not very bitter. Very juice-like. I've never had a beer quite like this.

M- Thin and peppery.

D- Drinks like a soda... I guess its very drinkable in that regard, but if you want a beer, look elsewhere.

Photo of MarkQ617
2.96/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this on tap at Taco Mac, my first offering from these guys. Stronger roasted malt flavor than I'm accustomed to for black IPAs, could've used a bit more hops. Definitely more black than IPA. Deep brownish black color as you'd expect, lighter head than I'd have expected give the flavor. Somewhat flat aroma.

Photo of chumba526
2.95/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appears ironically a really dark red color. It's almost black but it's not. There is about an inch of tan foam.
Smells sour like, citrusy and herbal. There is a potent orange smell going on. I also smell a bit of caramel as well.
It tastes very citrusy there is also a kind of chalkiness to the beer. It is a little bitter. There is a nice but not overbearing sweetness to the beer. There is a bit of a subdued caramel flavor going on as well. The carbonation is moderate. The drinkability is ok: the chalk like flavor of the beer makes it less appealing to drink.
Overall an ok example of a black IPA but not that impressive.

Photo of CHADMC3
2.93/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown to black, remaining transparent at only the bottom of the glass. The head is fluffy and light tan head leaving a very sticky lacing clinging to the glass and just a thin, creamy layer atop the beer after a few minutes.

There appears to be a very nice hop/malt balance upon first inspection with prevailing hop bitterness, but tough to tell exactly type.

The flavor certainly has a fair amount of roasted malt, bordering on burnt, with some earthy hops and grassy notes. As the beer warms, there even appears to be a touch of sourness.

A bit overly carbonated with a medium body and dry or pungent finish.

This is a newer style, but based on what I have sampled this seems to miss the mark for the style with more roasted malt than I care for, and less of the earthy or floral hops I am accustomed to. Certainly not a bad beer, but there are better examples.

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

A: Dark black with nice tan head.

S: A weird mixture of dark malts, and hops. I am picking up a little onion, or cheese. Not sure if I am digging this so far.

T: Not sure how I feel about all this. Starts a little tart, then hop notes come in. It ends nice and malty, with roasted flavors, and a nutty finish. I am still picking up a hint of onion.[-w

M: Fairly highly carbonated. Fairly light in mouthfeel.

D: Meh.. Not amazing, not terrible.

Photo of sjverla
2.91/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nose: Yeasty and biscuity. Mellow sweetness like molasses laced with grassiness to the back.

Appearance: Nearly opaque black. Sweet ruby on the edges. Big head the color of creamed coffee that sticks around.

Taste & Feel: Weird. Bready and bitter and slightly metallic. Almost soapy. Hops come in at the end, malts stay on the lips. The feel is fairly smooth.

Overall: Swing and a miss. This beer wants to be great, and I like it on uniqueness, it just misses the mark on taste. Something about it just doesn't translate.

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 wyattshotmaker
2.91/5  rDev -21.1%
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.

Photo of pwoods
2.88/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. can purchased at The Root Cellar, poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours black with some light around the edges. Moderate head on the pour without much retention but decent lacing.

S: Light American hopping with more of an English side. Nice dehusked black patent aroma.

T/M: Not much bitterness and not a lot of hop flavor. More of the dehusked flavor. Really not a lot going on. Body is medium to medium light with good carbonation.

D: Easy enough drinking but not very interesting.

Photo of JizackFH
2.88/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - This beer pours a very dark brown color, that glows ruby on the edges when held to the light. It has a big 4-finger light tan head on it. The head has great retention, and leaves a nice layer of lace on the glass.

S - It smells of sweet and roasted malts. There is a bit of piney hop character, but I definitely expected more. Also, I am getting some scents of chocolate and a touch of coffee.

T - The taste starts of with some sweet caramel and roasted malts. There is a piney hop presence throughout the drink, but it is quite subdued. I am also getting some notes of chocolate, coffee, and some citrus. The finish leaves some lingering roasted bitterness behind. I really wish there was more hop presence here.

M - It has a lighter body and decent carbonation. It goes down quite easily, but the flavor is sort of bland for an IPA variation. There is some lingering bitterness in the finish.

O - The drinkability was alright, seeing as how its goes down quite easily. Overall though, this beer just doesn't stand out amongst other beers of this style that I've had so far. I would drink it again, but I wouldn't pay for it.

Photo of caseyscarb
2.87/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Back in Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

I grabbed a growlette of this tonight- being an IPA lover this beer sounded pretty intriguing, it is however my 1st "Black IPA".

In to a pint glass it goes.

It is a dark hazel brown color, though fairly clarified, and a decent amount of carbonation producing slightly more head then I was expecting.

On the nose I initially get a piney hop and semi sweetness followed by a light roasted malt and coffee. As I continue to smell I even get some cocoa nibs.

While I'm pleased with the smell, it does not carry through very well to the taste-
It's a bit watery, and an initial sweetness is then bombarded by carbonation in the mid and finishes very bitter.

There are some really nice nuances in the flavors, but it doesn't tie together well as a whole.

When I envisioned a Black IPA, this is nowhere near what came to mind.

But to be fair, it has a tasty quality to it, but it's definitely nothing too special.

Photo of CharlatanSin
2.87/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a can into a pint glass. I remember liking this much better on tap than I did this time.

A: The beer pours a dark brown with a bit of coca-cola ruby around the edges. Small, off-white head.

S: Not good. There's tropical fruit, but it's muddled and smells oddly artificial. To me, it smells just like fruit sorbet, which is not a smell I want in an IPA or CDA. Not much roasted malt or chocolate character, either.

T/M: Better than the smell, but still not great. It's still got that sorbet-like fruit essence, which comes across as soapy in the flavor. But in the mouth you can at least discern actual hops. There's a bit of chocolate, and some harsh, dry bitterness like burnt coffee. Body's on the thin side with medium carbonation. Dry.

D: Like I said, I remember liking it okay when I had it on tap a while ago. But this was muddled and a mess. Too bad, since I like their IPA a lot.

Photo of Gregorious
2.86/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark as dark can be. But not thick at all, which is kind of weird since dark/opaque tend to follow with a thick mouthfeel. Had some nice lacing around the sides of the glass.

S - Deep dry roasting aromas, hops weren't in my business.

T - This is disappointing. Not only am I not getting the hoppiness I was looking for, but this beer has a very nasty sharp metallic aftertaste. I've heard that the flavor is actually not from the cans that they are stored in, but that the cans are brewed in a different brewery and it's there that that aftertaste is created.

M - Light, watery. Dry at the end.

D - Meh, this beer didn't go over so well.

UPDATE: I had this on tap and is MUCH better. Just stay clear of the cans.

Photo of OnThenIn
2.86/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A finger and a half of darker tan head on top of a black body.

S: The aroma has a little bit of pine as well as that of raisins and for some reason reminds of lychee fruit juice. The aroma severely lacks complexity and is really disappointing.

T: Some roasty flavors are upfront, which then mixes with a fruit like flavor and some sweetness. Bitterness then follows and then everything resolves into a mess with a bit of sweetness and bitterness both lingering.

M: The body was thin to medium with decent carbonation, but the body was really thinner than I would have liked.

D: I really didn't love this beer and feel that 21st amendment is slightly more hit or miss on their beers than I would like. I love the can portability and they are covering some cool styles, like with this beer; however, they have a serious execution problem.

Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 2,164 ratings.