Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

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

2,163 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,163
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: 2,163 | Reviews: 692
Photo of dragonWhale
2.66/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Sometimes this is what happens when other people bring over. This should be better, though. Dark brown with rubies..Roast and sweet malt battle with grassy, floral hops. Fairly nice smell, though the taste is where it loses me.
Not bad, just doesn't seem like quite the right mixture of hops and malt. Too much roast/coffee? Perhaps just the wrong kettle hops? It's difficult to say what is off, but with this style, it just is a little hit and miss, and this one misses for me right now. Little metallic..
Hopefully the new brewer can put his stamp on this one. Or maybe this is his..

Photo of silentjay
2.67/5  rDev -27.6%
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.

Photo of isualum12
2.68/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: darker brown...not totally black, or
Brown heavy head on this beer.
Smell: Hops have a pine earthy smell to them, The roasting of the barley was strong and shows in the smell....You can smell the hops but not identifiable on the smell

Taste: I expected IPA and I was not exactly rewarded with that. But it was not chew through the beer either like you still expect with the look. It is an ok IPA but nothing I would strive to get.
Mouthfeel: Light-medium body
Overall: I drank this beer at boise beer festival and it didn't live up to the other black ipa's there.

Photo of Murrhey
2.7/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A- Thin khaki head with minimal retention. Spotty lacing. Mahogany color with no clarity.

S- Hoppy but with malty sweetness, seems like a porter. Interesting.

T- Strange chocolate flavors. Roasted malts, bitter hops and a kind of milkiness.

M- Creamy and dry. Unique to black IPAs I've tasted.

O- I like this beer less and less the more I have it.

Photo of Tronicity
2.71/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Nothing special, had an odd aftertaste for me. Could be an old can, but regardless nothing exciting.

Photo of bjoyce12
2.74/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

DO NOT DRINK this issue in a can. For whatever the reason, metallic taste leeches into the contents of the can. Beer has aluminum-metallic aftertaste.

DO DRINK this if it's on tap. One of the best black IPA's I've tried. I don't understand the problems with the cans, led to major disappointment, but I will continue to look for this on tap.

Photo of robwestcott
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

poured from the can to a sun king shaped pint glass a dark cola color with a full finger loose bubbly mocha head leaving lace up the side of the glass.

strong aroma of floral hops and sweet candy.

sweet, tart and tangy, a very strange tasting brew. pungent floral, not at all agreeable.

thin, highly carbonated.

drinkable ?

Photo of harryhood1
2.76/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was really excited to try this because I'm a fan of 21st's beers for the most part. I have to say that this one was a disappointment for sure.

Aroma was kind of like tobacco and not appealing. Too malty to be a Black IPA and I have no idea where the 65 IBUs are? Nothing IPA about this beer. Mouthfeel to me was undercarbed and slick.

Would not go for this one again. Just not impressed and not what I expected. Had many better examples of this evolving style.

Photo of Soxandtuggy
2.76/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Nah to much of a charcoal burnt taste for my liking...

Photo of Risser09
2.78/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12 oz can into a tall pilsner - fridge - 2010

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, but not quite black color with orange highlights. The head is a towering 3.5" in my glass and shows great retention. Tons of sticky lace on the glass.

Smell: Citrus, probably from centennial is strong and clinging. A nice, toasted malt backbone of chocolate and sweet molasses. A nice balance.

Taste: A ton of flavor that results in quite a cacophony. Lots and lots of espresso, chocolate nibs and even a tannic astringency of bitterness. That hops are strong, bitter and lingering. This is too much for me.

Mouthfeel: Sweet, leathery, malty, bitter and lengthy. Medium bodied, ample alcohol and tons of malt.

Drinkability: This beer has it all, but at what cost? It's so confusing and clashing that I don't really enjoy it very much. I understand the attempt being made, but don't agree with the overall result of the flavors. I would leave this one.

Photo of gc4hokies
2.79/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A = pours an "almost" black color. Nice head and lacing.
S = Very malty with a slight dark chocolate and alcohol note
T = Black jelly bean malts is the best I can describe it. I'm not sure where the IPA came from on the can but I wouldn't use IPA in the title. Dark malts, sweet to start, dry finish

Overall, I wouldn't call this a Black IPA at all. The hops are there with some noticeable bitterness, but piney, citrus hop flavor and aromas that are associated with IPAs are nowhere to be found. Not a bad beer, but I wouldn't buy this again.

Photo of Gouxman
2.83/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, not quite as dark as I would expect from a "Black IPA" with a tan head

Aroma: A nice malty sweetness balanced by a subtle earthy hop aroma. Was actually expecting more of a hop presence.

Taste: Semi-sweet malt flavor with a rather low hop bitterness. I don't know if the 6pk I bought from Jungle Jim's was a bit out dated, but I do not detect any hop bitterness at all. Instead a slight diacetyl flavor takes me away from this beer. For having 65 IBUs, I don't taste a single BU.

M/D: The mouthfeel and drinkability reflects the flavor. I was expecting much more from this brewery I've heard so much about and a beer with a kick ass name. I hope I either got a bad batch or an old showing because this is one of the least impressive "Black IPAs" I've ever experienced.

Photo of jujigatame
2.83/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can into a nonic pint.

Pretty black with a little light peeking through at the bottom. Almost 3 fingers worth of light tan head that starts to dissipate after a few minutes and get pillowy. Looks pretty inviting.

Smells more of malt that hops. The hops are there with a fresh presence but it’s rather faint in the overall picture. A little soapy smell here too.

The hops take the same backseat in the taste as they did in the smell. I know that they’re in there but they don’t seem to punch through enough. Perhaps I am expecting too much in this regard. The malt provides a nice backbone. Chocolate flavor comes around but I felt like it was in and out, not consistent.

Good mouthfeel. Smooth with a solid body to it. Drying on the tongue but not too much. Sticky on the lips.

I am somewhat conflicted on this one. The flavor was okay but I expected more. It just didn’t ring out in any way to me. I had no problem drinking it all but when it was over I didn’t have much in the way of strong impressions. What I have to balance that against is the fact that the last black IPA I had was Stone’s 2011 SSR a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed it. I think the fact that SSR really sang made Back in Black’s lack of wow stand out more. I can’t know what my thoughts on Back in Black would be had I not tried SSR beforehand. Since black IPAs are a style where my samples have been pretty limited it’s hard to get around the fact that SSR is a home run and everything else I’ve tried so far just…isn’t. I feel like I should come back to this beer again sometime for another go and see if it strikes me the same way or not.

Photo of goblue3509
2.83/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a black cola like color with a tan two finger head which gives way to some okay lace. The aroma is of coffee and chocolate with a very faint whiff of hops. The taste is of a coffee and chocolate malt, there is a very slight earthy hop bite which is only at the very end. The mouthfeel is creamy and moderately carbonated. The drinkability is okay the taste and aroma is a little flat and leaves you wanting more flavor.

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 philbertk
2.83/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

21st Amendment Brewery BACK in BLACK Black IPA--American IPA Brewed With Rich Dark Malts--2010 12 oz. MicroCan. 6.80% ABV. 65 IBU's. (2.5 / 5.0) Cascadian Dark Ale. Thickish pour. Big dense thick tan head with mild lace. Dark ruby edged black color. Fruity herbal mild floral hop front. Minimal black malt toast notes. Mild sweet toasted dry textured slightly fruity roasted black cherry body. Dry mild hop spice end. Confused Brew!! Hops there but not. Dark malts taste fruity without roastiness. Easy to drink with clean crisp mild citrus hop end. Sampled 2/7/2011. 6-Pack purchased for $9.00 at PCC--Fremont, Seattle on 7/29/2010.

Photo of smbslt
2.85/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Color lacked depth.
Taste improved as it warmed but had too much of a smoky, charred quality.
Overall - just not enough there to like.

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.

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 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 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.

Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 2,163 ratings.