Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

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

2,168 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,168
Reviews: 693
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.28%
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: 2,168 | Reviews: 693
Photo of mntlover
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black, deep drown with red when held to light. Head is tan two fingers that falls slow and laces well.

Aroma is roasted malt with nice piny hops thrown in to balance it out. Roasted some what weak coffee notes with hints of coco and pine.

Taste is roasted malt with more coffee thens present in the nose. Malt is not overly strong but then neither are the hops, Seems like a nice balanced brew. Hops are piny and leave a lingering bitterness in the finish but there not over powering. Nice crisp, dry brew with lots of flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium with carbonation thats not fizzy but pretty peppy.

Drinkability is good and enjoyable black IPA, perfect balance going on with out either side dominating.

Photo of david18
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a couple of these the other night and really enjoyed it. Not too hoppy, like many west coast ipas, and it was quite drinkable. Dark in color, very smooth drinker, easy to drink a lot of. I suspect it won't be here on the east coast enough to be a great bar favorite but if you can get this on a regular basis you should.

Photo of Ieatlambfries
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark reddish brown, almost opaque. Two finger light tan head with clingy lace.

The smell was heavy with citrus rind hop oils and smokey malts

Taste was full of roasted malts followed up by resinous hops and citrus grapefruit rind flavors.

Mouthfeel was very good. Started with a nice creamy head and finished with slightly slick hop oils on the tongue.

Overall a very good black IPA. Not overly malty, nor sweet. The roasted malt compliments the hops quite well. I'd even say well balanced.

Photo of thebrood1987
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pretty black and I get some really rich caramel chocolate roasted malt smells that even reminds me of a scotch ale with some citrus and earthy hop undertones. Its a very smooth and rich beer with the chocolate and caramel tastes up front and then the dark roasted malt bitterness blends in well with the earthy pine slight citrus hop finish.

This comes from a can? That's awesome especially when you realize how good this beer is. As it warms the earthy roasted bitterness comes out more and it ends dry as well. Get this if you want a perfect combination of hops and rich stout like malts. My first 21st Amendment beer and definitely not my last by any means.

Photo of projectflam86
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a black (go figure) color with a thick off-white foam head that leaves some decent lacing.

S- Scents of citrus hops and pine with a nice roasted flavor coming through as well. This one should be interesting.

T- Big assertive hop bitterness initially. The finish is quite roasted with a light burnt flavor and some sweetness.

M- Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Smooth even with the bitterness.

D- Interesting brew. I like the hops upfront with a nice sweet finish.

Photo of MadCat
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

CANquest part 6!

Appearance: Dark brown, not black. Good tan head that dissipates at a moderate pace, leaving significant lacing

Smell: Mild piney hops and roasty malts

Taste: Good roasted malts with lots of piney hops.

Mouthfeel: Suprisingly light body, smooth and creamy texture, decent carbonation

Overall: Good for something different in a can, and good overall, but nothing compells me to buy it again. Which isn't a problem because the CANquest seems like a losing battle (a delicious one though!) Not as good as Southern Tier Iniquity or Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, but those are hard to compete with.

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a one finger, tan head of foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of citrus, pine and roasted malts.

T - It tasted of citrus, pine and strong roasted malt with some sweet toffee and chocolate.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a very good black ale. 21st Amendment continues to make great canned beer.

Photo of jkdrummer
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For some reason I was expecting more from the IPA side of things. Pours a fantastic brown foamy head that dwindled into a nice layer of foam to the bottom of the glass. The taste is like a smoky, chocolate and roasted malt flavor -- like a true porter actually. Where's the hop burst of an IPA? Overall though, not that bad.

Photo of thain709
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Served with a darker shade of brown body and some lighter ruby highlights...a one finger head stayed around for a little and showed some nice lacing

S - The nose is very hop forward...lots of citrusy hops...they are bold and juicy...some earthy tones but not a lot of roasted malt

T - The flavors turn around from the nose...the malts jump out first and present a pleasant roastiness across the palate...there is a brief bitter chocolate flavor that crosses in the middle of the beer...that bitter chocolate leads nicely into the bitter finish that the hops provide

M - Medium bodied...nice finish...smooth...no real complaints

D - This was a nice black IPA...the nose was very hop forward, but the flavors were malt forward with a nice hop finish...I would drink this again

Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of AgentMunky
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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

Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of femALEist
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of Fubar1453
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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

Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of wvsabbath
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of jjboesen
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of ffejherb
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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."

Photo of Meerkey
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.01/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 2,168 ratings.