Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

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BA SCORE
83
good

672 Reviews
THE BROS
72
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 672
Hads: 2,184
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 52
Gots: 290 | 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
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Reviews: 672 | Hads: 2,184
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)

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

A big thanks to BJ for the hookup!

Poured from a can into my Duvel tulip at 45°F.

Pours a dark shade of crimson, probably closer to dark brown but has glimpses of deep red in the light. A nicely formed off white/beige head that left massive mounds of froth all over the place. It's a bubble bath here! Aroma is very interesting. I gather lots of citrus aspects: grapefruit, tangerine peels, hint of lemon. Follow this with a nice honey/caramel sweetness and a touch of roasted coffee and that's your lovely bouquet right there. I must emphasize that the roastiness is just EVER so slight, you might think it's an off-aroma at first but give it a little bit to warm and let your olfaction adjust to it. Very balanced between bitter, toasty, and caramel sweetness. I was actually expecting less roast and more hops but this is quite pleasant. Much more of that coffee taste is apparent, but it works well with the citrus and honey. No alcohol heat detected at all. Moderate, yet appropriate, carbonation, touch of dryness in the finish. Medium bodied. Quite drinkable, in fact I wouldn't mind another at all! Or another after that...

Overall, I find this to be a most enjoyable beer. It brings a new perspective to how widely variable a style of beer can be and offers to blur the stylistic lines even more. If I were to describe this in terms of style, I would say that it's 80% citrusy IPA blended with 20% English porter. Thanks again, BJ! (1,444 characters)

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

A: Nearly pitch black. Darker than I was expecting for a black IPA. Good pour, thin tan head with good lacing.

S: Smells like a citrusy IPA. Orange, grapefruit, grassy with roasted malts and almost a touch of something spicy.

T: Good bitterness. Smoke comes across at first. The malts are definitely well roasted with this guy. The finish is almost a sharp mild chocolate. It's probably mental but I think I can almost pick up some of the metal from the can.

M: Medium mouthfeel. Surprisingly smooth at first but it feels pretty heavily carbonated towards the finish.

D: I never would've guessed this was right around 7%. Pretty good beer. I could probably have a second one of these but might stop there. The roastiness is a bit much for a few IPAs. (755 characters)

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

A - Dark brown, not black. HUGE head and lacing on the glass. That part is impressive

S - A lot of hops in the nose. Citrus, dried fruits, tangerines.

T - Nice hoppy flavor, dark malt backbone. Very well balanced.

M - Creamy. Full bodied, very well carbonated.

O - A very good beer, but not amazing like some of the other 21st Amendment brews I have enjoyed. (363 characters)

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

Poured into a nonic glass.

Pours a near black brew, with some ruby shined through on the edges. Tan head with massive chunky head that settles to a lace island and has great lacing throughout. Very good looking brew.

Brew smells of hops, nutty malts. Piney hops, maybe even grapefruit, nutty earth malts. Decent smell.

Brew is smooth and on medium feeling, slightly thin and carbonated. Very good flavor balance; nutty flavors, piney and fruit hops. Brew finishes a tad bit bitter and slightly dry. Has a oily resin noticed as you drink. This is a very good tasting brew.

The brew is thin enough to session like crazy. I bought a case and I am very pleased. This will be gobbled up for a nice session, at 6.8% it will catch up with you. Very good stuff. My first from 21st Amendment, certainly impressed. (808 characters)

Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 672 ratings.