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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

677 Reviews
THE BROS
72
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 677
Hads: 2,199
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 51
Gots: 299 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Back In Black Alström Bros
Reviews: 677 | Hads: 2,199
Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark brown in color with brown highlights and had a finger of head leaving lots of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: I could definitely smell the hops on the first whiff but had a nice sweet malty aroma along with citrusy character. I did however spot out a little nuttiness in the aroma as well.

T: The sweet malts were more apparent on the taste with caramel, nutty, and hoppy flavors but did have a touch of roasty coffee on the back end.

M: the brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, hoppy, and creamy finish.

D: a really pleasent black IPA that was really easy to drink and was more on the sweet side but I didn't mind it at all. (695 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a pilsner glass. Stamped 1192 1122 on the bottom.

A: Convincingly dark. Dark cola hints in the light, but only at the slenderest part of an admittedly thin glass. Topped with a couple fingers of almost-tan head; decent retention. Some bubbles visible at the edges of the glass. Comprehensive, scattered lace. Nice.

S: Roasted malts. The can reads 'rich dark malts,' but there is a definite porter-ish quality here, almost smoky. On smell alone, it could pass for a rauchbier. Interesting.

T/M: Also intriguing. I am unsure why this is classified as a Black IPA. It tastes mellow and roasted, with hops emerging only on the endtaste. Creamy, supported, and substantial mouthfeel. Again, more like a porter than an IPA. I suppose the bitterness on the aftertaste is more hoppy than roasty, but still...anyways, good beer.

O: Interesting, recommended, and more worth your time than the Brew Free or Die IPA. Would drink again. (959 characters)

Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Resurrection Ale House, 8/19/10.

A-Pour is dark brown, opaque with hints of amber. A thin white head and some good lacing.

S-Roasty with an undertone of bitter hoppiness.

T-Good roasted malt and medium roasted coffee notes in the front, with earthy, bitter hops in the finish. Some sweet malt is detectable as the beer warms.

M-Medium bodied, dry and crisp.

D-Pleasant and easy drinking, won't blow you away but tasty.

HV (437 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It'd be awfully disappointing if Back in Black were actually a dark, opaque brown - as American ales of this sort tend to be - but fortunately it's as black as soot (only against the light is it visible that its trim may actually have a little chestnut colour to it). Although not pristine white, its spongy head is light in colour and the coating provides a good contrast.

The aroma is certainly Pacific North-West caliber and packed with milk chocolate maltiness - in other words, textbook Cascadian Dark Ale. Neither much citrus nor coffee-ish roast registers but the pine-y hops practically seep tree resin into the nostrils while an almost cookie dough-like maltiness triggers the sweet tooth. There's also a chicory root note.

The hops have an acidic zest to them, resembling something like a piquant tomatillo salsa, and without much roast (and no acrid burnt taste) from the malts, that part savory/part spicy note lingers long into the aftertaste. The beer is otherwise milky sweet, however, and almost reminds me of a chocolate maltshake. There's not a hint of alcohol what so ever.

65 IBU isn't too great a bitterness that coffee-and-cream and spruce tip flavours can't be appreciated. Indeed, there is plenty of flavour to this otherwise quenching, easily quaffed beer including cookie dough, pine needles and broiled grapefruit. This thing has been more than adequately hopped: the finish contains chicory and cedar wood notes.

I'm aware that 21st Amendment have had some issues with their canning facilities in the past - that, to me, seems the only thing that might explain why this beer hasn't a higher rating. I may have been more favorable to other CDAs but I struggle to think of many others that I'd rather have locally available to buy frequently. This is one of my favourite 21A brew. (1,814 characters)

Photo of femALEist
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on cask at the 2010 Firkin Festival.

This poured a dark chocolate with a slight reddish hue and a frothy oatmeal head.

It smelled of malt, light grapefruit, lemon and pine.

It tasted malty with dry, bitter hops, pine, and a grapefruit skin ending.

Good carbonation. Good malt to hop balance. Wondering if they actually brewed this baby or if they had a guest brewer do it because it's a great beer. (415 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 7/24/10 notes. Had at the cdc release.

a - Pours a dark black color with little to no head or carbonation.

s - Smells of roasted and toasted malts, caramel malts, and fruity hops.

t - Tastes of pine hops, roasted malts, and caramel malts.

m - Light body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty good black IPA, but seemed much mroe malty to me than hoppy. Would try again. (380 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fairly dark brown-black color with just a bit of light creeping in around the edges. A thick covering of creamy tan-brown head forms atop and fades slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is full of a mix of roasted chocolate and caramel malts with some pine hops mixed in as well. Nice balance.

T - Starts off a bit weak with some growing roasted chocolate malt flavor. The flavor kicks in a bit more soon after with the addition of some pine hops flavor. Through the middle, a bit of sweeter caramel malt flavor mixes in with some hop bitterness. The finish is a mix of roasted chocolate and bitterness that lingers for a bit.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer feels fairly smooth with a bit of a syrupy feel. The roasted and bitter flavors really make for a nice dry mouthfeel.

D - Very drinkable. Well balanced overall. Could have used just a bit more punch in the flavor somewhere. (932 characters)

Photo of Fubar1453
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned 10.25.11
My first craft brew in a can and my first black IPA.

A: Black with red hues, nice creamy head with good lacing.

S: Hops and chocolate, strange mixture but appealing.

T: Hops on the front, coffee in the middle and chocolate mixed with hops on the end. Nice balance very drinkable.

M: Creamy and wet, almost watery at times, medium carbonation.

O: I really liked this beer. I love stouts and IPAs so this was right in my ballpark. A really great combo and a good beer, will definitely pick up again.

RVII (526 characters)

Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - dark auburn and ruby reddish in color as it floods the glass. A thick, rich, pancake batter-esque head develops on top. This looks both impressive and inviting. Hold this to the light to really see how dark this IPA truly is!

Aroma - spicy, piney, citrusy goodness emanates from the glass as soon as the beer hits the bottom. There are also some rich chocolate and malt aromas that give this almost a chocolate covered candied orange aroma. I'd like to dive in now please.

Taste - not quite an IPA meets stout flavor but it does have some IPA meets American-style Porter qualities with the maltiness and the more pronounced hop profile. I taste chocolate and orange, or even pineapple, along with the very unique flavor that the simcoe hops impart (eucalpytus?) as well as the boldness of the Columbus and Centennials. The hops truly shine in this unique brew and it makes me realize that this whole "Black IPA" thing is pretty badass. It's awesome. It's all awesome!

Overall - This is absolutely delicious. Maybe its just me but I was really happy with this brew. The flavor combo of hops and dark malt is perfect and my taste buds are left wondering what the hell just happened. Sweet citrus meets chocolate and then is walloped with a dose of Pacific Northwest hops. Hooray for new styles of beer! American brewers never stop innovating.

Would I buy more of it? - yep. As soon as this glass is empty another can will be opened and it will be refilled. (1,470 characters)

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz can into SA Perfect Pint.

A. 3 finger head. Color of head is off white. Nice retention. Color is very dark brown almost black. Pretty thick lacing.

S. Smell is hoppy and malty. Has something going on in the aroma that I can't quite put my finger on.

T. Taste is somewhat unique as well. Some sweetness from the malt and a roasty dark characteristics balanced against some hop bitterness. Black IPA's have characteristics of quite a few different styles. Almost tastes like a porter.

M. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Finishes with a bit of bitterness.

D. Drinkable. Black IPA's are somewhat new to me. Don't know if it is one of my preferred styles. As for this beer it is pretty good. Nothing exceptional in the aroma or flavor department but good. (778 characters)

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this my last trip down to Maryland (haven't seen it around CT yet). Really liking this new hybrid style, the hoppiness of IPA's combined with tasty dark malts. Pours a deep mahogany color, nice cream colored fluffy head do it. Nice roasty aroma, taste is bitter and hoppy but nicely balanced by some caramel tasting malts. Great beer, would definitely purchase again and hope this style keeps growing and growing. (417 characters)

Photo of wvsabbath
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Can

Appearance - Dark tan/black, killer 2 inch foamy head. Looks just like a porter

Smell - Hops, dark roasted malts, smoke, some chocolate.

Taste - Hoppy and malty starts this beer off. This beer is like a mix of a ipa and porter with some strong ale thrown in. Dark fruits, hops, roasted malts and some sugars are dominate flavor. Nice toasted flavor, much like coffee adds a boldness.

Mouthfeel - Fairly thick but not overly strong. Hops and malts coat mouth and leave a trace of coffee and sugars. Palette is left intact and aftertaste is mildy bitter.

Overall - A nice change from a ipa or porter. Only drawback is it could use some more hops to break up the bold coffee porter taste. Soild and easy to drink none the less. (748 characters)

Photo of jjboesen
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apparently, the "Black IPA" is the current next best thing, the one beer that us geeks are to die for. Eh. From the can, it pours a thick vanilla head atop a dark mahogany body; around the glassrim, one finds a thick and slippery smattering of lace. The nose detects some banana and cinnamon; the palate, a gentle teasing of molasses with a short but sweet fade-off.

The mouthfeel is excellent; there is a wonderful balance between hop and malt, all in a creamy smooth froth. There is the obvious alcohol that one expects in a beer of this type. I found it interesting; unique and highly quaffable. Try it if you can obtain it. (628 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at 21st Amendment on 7/13/09.

A - Deep brown with burgundy highlights and half a finger of creamy beige head that settled to a thin ring and patchy film, leaving some thin lace around the glass. This is one dark-ass IPA!

S - Hint of grainy and chocolate malts amidst a hop bouquet suggesting piney and citrusy hops. Some sugary caramel sweetness also emerges.

T - Opens with a citrus hop character suggesting grapefruit with contrasting sticky piney notes. Malt is grainy with a subtle chocolate presence, albeit very nonchalant. Subtle hints of alcohol also creep into the mix.

M - Medium bodied with a syrupy texture and moderate, somewhat bristly carbonation. Finishes with a touch of metallic bitterness on the palate.

D - Very good dark IPA overall. Surprisingly, there's not a whole lot of malt character. The hops definitely dominate this IPA, though not in an overwhelming fashion. Good stuff!

Brewslut's Quote of the Day:
"... kind of a sinkwater smell." (979 characters)

Photo of Meerkey
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Thick beige head. Dark raw umber with murky muddiness at edges against the light.

S: Smoky and meaty! Surprising. A little chocolately and hoppy as well. Nice.

T: Dark. Mocha. Hoppy. bitter and mellow.

M: Smooth. Nice. Pleasantly heavy on the tongue. Nice finish.

O: I enjoy this more than their IPA. I'd probably pick up another sometime. (347 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.01/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz CAN into a Lancaster Brewing pint glass late at night.

Back in Black pretty much sums up the color on this 21ster, a black body with some dark reds along the edges. A gorgeous light tan headf came up and stayed forever leaving nice sheets of lace.

A good balance of dark malts mixed in with citrus goodness from the hopping, pretty much even. A nice citrus blast of grapefruit and the like. Roasted malts and a semi storm kingish hop smell from the freshness.

Much more hoppy than I was expecting, again it reminds me of drinking a very lightly hopped storm king, or maybe an aged bottle of that. The roasted quality comes out as well as some sweetness. Pineapple and grapefruit and other citrus tastes. Looking at this beer, I was not expecting such a hop bite, quite nice.

Feel is mediumish and amply carbed up, the head last forever and this is some active beer here. Goes down smooth and citrusy and not very bitter as the darks really take away from that aspect. Very drinkable beer here and I would go for another in a second. (1,041 characters)

Photo of ski271
4.01/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark chestnut brown, almost black, with a medium-sized, thick, foamy head that slowly diminishes to a lasting film. Nice lacing.
S: Floral and lightly resinous hop tones that are nicely balanced out sweet malty aromas. Dark crusty bread, coffee, light molasses and a hint of charcoal.
T: Initial zip of bitterness when it hits the tongue, then a huge amount of sweetness takes over. Cherry, molasses and dark fruit are notable. The bitterness works its way back into the mix toward the finish.
M: Med-full body, dry texture and moderate-low carbonation
D: Perplexing at first and pleasantly different. The dark sweetness of a porter in the hoppy ale. Worth a try for sure. Only complaint is that I wish there were more hops in the nose. (746 characters)

Photo of Brad007
4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Back in Black, just like AC/DC? Just loved the name and of course, I've never tried this.

Pours a dark, dark brown color (not quite black) with a reddish hue and two-finger head.

Cream, dark fruit and hops run circles around the nose with the hops exhibiting grassy characteristics.

Hops are subdued here, balanced out by dark fruit, cream and a hint of coffee. Doesn't come on strongly like other examples.

Grassy hops and dark fruit are the lingering flavors here. Alcohol is kept in check and nothing really jumps out at this point.

A decent example that strives to find balance, since a lot of American Black Ales are hop bombs or lean too much into dark ale/stout territory. (685 characters)

Photo of Kaiser777
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown almost black which the name of the beer explains, with a thick off white head, that leaves a nice thick lace on the glass as you enjoy this beer notice how the lace sticks there and never really disappears, which is always a plus in my eyes!

S- Not as strong as most American IPAs useally are, but there's no denying the citrus aroma and the blast of the dark malty hops.

T- Very delicious matter of fact I only intended to drink one after a long night of work and had two more, it wasn't as bitter as I would of liked but I can not complain, with the heavy malty,
hoppy taste with a citrus after taste that I love, very refreshing and enjoyable!

MF- Little to no carbonation heavy thick feel which was awesome, with the classic but light citrus feel that coats the mouth and has your taste buds screaming for more.

D- Very drinkable, like I said before I only attended to have one, and ended up drinking three, very refreshing and satisfying which surprised me cause it only comes in cans which you expect that metallic taste which it didn't have at all, with that said two big thumbs up to the 25th Admendment brewing company for a very enjoyable American style IPA. (1,188 characters)

Photo of One_Man_Gang
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this on tap at 2 Stones Pub in Newark, DE. this is a great brew.

the color is black, with a good solid 2 inch head that laces nicely

the smell is somewhat smokey, with chocolate and/or coffee hints, and a nice hop aroma

taste is everything i would want in this style, it starts like a stout and finishes like an IPA. has a chocolate, smokey taste to start as well as a piney, bitter finish.

overall i really enjoy this one. i have since found it in cans, and when poured into a glass, it is very good that way as well.
another solid offering from 21st Amendment! (571 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Back in very dark brown actually. Fluffy tan head settles to a thick crown of retention that BiB wears proudly all glass long. Leaves lacey sheets in it's wake. Would be perfect if it was actually black.

Bright citrus with soft pine edges and brownie batter. Not too much dark roasty malt that I was anticipating but it works just the same.

Bright orange citrus hop and smooth dark roast malt flavor without any actual dark roasted bitterness. I'm guessing a lot of carafa was used here. Uber juicy hops become more and more prevalent as the beer warms and taste like cotton candy and Blue Raspberry Blow Pop.

Sweet and with less roast character than most beers of this style but I like it. More of a IPA that happens to be black. (736 characters)

Photo of RustyDiamond
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cracked this can into a Sierra 30th snifter. Root beer black with a cappuccino light brown froth. Bubbles on the ring, wavy froth in the middle leaving excellent webbed lacing. Big aroma of piney hops. Dry and roasty right off the bat. Dry, bitter hoppy mouthfeel. Good drinkability. Black IPA? Not as good as the Stone version but better than the Deschutes one. (362 characters)

Photo of cichief
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poure from a 12 ounce can into a fluted pint glass.

A- Pours a very dark,nearly opaque, brown-black, with an ample brown head.

S- Some hoppy freshness, pine-like.

T- Hoppy, but not floral, a bit of coffee with a little sweetness.

M- Very bubbly, a bit of CO2 burn, medium body.

D- Very drinkable, not heavy, refreshing for a dark beer. (340 characters)

Photo of Durge
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A thick black-ish brown color with a healthy light brown head and a nice network of lacing. The aroma is a dark molasses malt and creamy nut with just a hint of can in there. Decent. The flavor is charcoal licorice malt with a bright herbal hop. It's very smooth, almost creamy with light carbonation, medium bodied and very drinkable. Lots of near chocolate malt and a pleasant hop overtone. At first I thought I detected some metal but that disappears quickly. I enjoyed this. Could drink quite a few and quite flavorful with stout and ipa ideas nicely blended. (563 characters)

Photo of steve8robin
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Wanted to try this one for a little while. 12oz can...

A: Super dark with very faint ruby highlights around the edges when held up to the light. Super, super thick 2 inch off white head that fades at a slow pace. Very good.

S: Bitter, grassy hop scents upfront with a hint of chocolate and caramel on the backend. I get some breadiness in the middle. Good.

T: Hmm, almost tastes like a porter blended with an IPA. A creamy coffee taste upfront quickly followed by a nice blend of bitter hop, but not super bitter. Very dry brew. I get some booziness on the backend. I get some malts hidden in the back. Good.

M: Medium body with a medium carbonation. Ok.

D: This one goes down a lot easier than expected. Very good.

All in all, this is a solid brew. Glad to get to try it. Definitely good if you're looking for an interesting take on an IPA or if you're a fan of Black & Tan's. If you're looking for the straight and narrow though, don't worry about this one. (965 characters)

Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 677 ratings.