1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,772 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,772
Reviews: 643
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.59%
Wants: 37
Gots: 97 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Back In Black Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,772 | Reviews: 643 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Guden
Guden

Maryland

2.58/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A- A deep brown though definitely far from black. A one finger head of small white bubbles falls slowly leaving no lacing. This one is also clearly not filtered and contains lots of brown and white yeast that I wasn't expecting in a canned beer.

S- American hops (cascade) are up front in the nose with a little bubblegum and pine and a touch of caramel rounding out the heavy citrus. Would like more "dark beer" traits but smells like an IPA.

T- Flavor is sweet with the caramel and some bubblegum standing over a refrained hop character. Finishes with a rush of moderate bitterness. As an IPA it fails with little hop flavor, as an american brown it's just ok.

M- Moderate in body and fairly low in carbonation, it's not hard to drink but is not nearly as dry as an IPA and without any roastiness there isn't much of an excuse.

D- In almost all respects this one just feels like a lazy attempt at an over hopped brown. By no stretch of the imagination would I call this a black IPA as it isn't black, it isn't dry and there's practically no hop flavor. The thick layer of yeast sediment was also offputting in the glass and really uncalled for in a can. It was hard for me to give this brewery another try with how much I hated the watermelon wheat, now I know to stay away for good.

Serving type: can

01-31-2012 01:24:46 | More by Guden
Photo of mcann2pu
mcann2pu

Delaware

2.58/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: pours a surprisingly dark color, about a finger's worth or so of a fairly thick head, good amount of thick / heavy lacing remained on the glass.

Smell: a little bit of hops, I couldn't smell too much, some malt.

Taste: for an IPA I have to say I was unimpressed by the lack of overall hop taste, there was a good taste of dark malts, but overall it tasted far lighter than expected.

Mouthfeel: seemed a little watery, it was a bit too smooth in my opinion,

Drinkability: it wasn't my favorite but if you like lighter beers maybe it's for you.

Serving type: can

07-29-2010 15:05:47 | More by mcann2pu
Photo of dragonWhale
dragonWhale

New York

2.63/5  rDev -28.5%
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..

Serving type: can

10-12-2010 06:17:18 | More by dragonWhale
Photo of isualum12
isualum12

Idaho

2.65/5  rDev -28%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2011 19:56:39 | More by isualum12
Photo of robwestcott
robwestcott

Indiana

2.65/5  rDev -28%
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 ?

Serving type: can

10-06-2010 01:18:57 | More by robwestcott
Photo of Murrhey
Murrhey

Montana

2.68/5  rDev -27.2%
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.

Serving type: can

08-26-2012 19:33:58 | More by Murrhey
Photo of silentjay
silentjay

Massachusetts

2.68/5  rDev -27.2%
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.

Serving type: can

07-22-2010 05:31:22 | More by silentjay
Photo of bjoyce12
bjoyce12

Massachusetts

2.7/5  rDev -26.6%
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.

Serving type: can

08-05-2011 19:53:05 | More by bjoyce12
Photo of Risser09
Risser09

Pennsylvania

2.7/5  rDev -26.6%
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.

Serving type: can

10-02-2010 05:53:45 | More by Risser09
Photo of JDeming
JDeming

Maryland

2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

06-27-2014 02:29:14 | More by JDeming
Photo of chippo33
chippo33

Vermont

2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

03-13-2013 22:51:38 | More by chippo33
Photo of ejimhof
ejimhof

Pennsylvania

2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

12-30-2012 13:55:22 | More by ejimhof
Photo of smonice
smonice

New Jersey

2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

02-02-2013 03:11:37 | More by smonice
Photo of sendbeer
sendbeer

Georgia

2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

10-22-2012 16:46:07 | More by sendbeer
Photo of rodemey2
rodemey2

New York

2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

10-08-2013 22:12:59 | More by rodemey2
Photo of sbbb
sbbb

Ohio

2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

06-25-2012 12:53:54 | More by sbbb
Photo of seeswo
seeswo

Ohio

2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

12-04-2013 02:45:50 | More by seeswo
Photo of Chou
Chou

Oregon

2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

04-21-2012 04:00:34 | More by Chou
Photo of TubaDan
TubaDan

Minnesota

2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

02-11-2014 00:36:40 | More by TubaDan
Photo of nineworldseries
nineworldseries

Ohio

2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

05-09-2014 00:47:19 | More by nineworldseries
Photo of nogophers
nogophers

Minnesota

2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

12-31-2012 15:41:36 | More by nogophers
Photo of Duvel
Duvel

North Carolina

2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

03-08-2013 14:40:20 | More by Duvel
Photo of gc4hokies
gc4hokies

Virginia

2.78/5  rDev -24.5%
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.

Serving type: can

06-11-2011 02:35:54 | More by gc4hokies
Photo of Gouxman
Gouxman

Kentucky

2.8/5  rDev -23.9%
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.

Serving type: can

12-05-2010 04:17:42 | More by Gouxman
Photo of jujigatame
jujigatame

Massachusetts

2.8/5  rDev -23.9%
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.

Serving type: can

02-03-2012 05:09:44 | More by jujigatame
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,772 ratings.