Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

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677 Reviews

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Reviews: 677
Hads: 2,212
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 24.25%
Wants: 50
Gots: 307 | 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:
Beer added by: tpd975 on 11-23-2008

ABV varies around 7%.
65 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 677 | Hads: 2,212
Photo of qchic
3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Back in...not quite black. Dark red highlights around the edges, decent head retention with larger air bubbles suspended. Some roast, some hop citrus in the aroma, but not much else. Kinda generic. The flavor is more lively, but still muddled. Again, the citrus/roast thing with bitterness. The aftertaste is kinda nice...

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Photo of BierJager89
4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours translucent brown into black in the glass with a short, almost creamy, brown head.

S: Nutty dark malts, roasted malt, earthy coffee, sweet mango, and orange in the nose.

T: Malty, fading to floral hoppiness in the middle, finishing roasty, dark and dry.

M: Medium bodied and quite smooth.

O: Not the best of the style and, given how good the brewery is, a bit of a disappointment for someone like me (who loves the style). Recommended.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear very dark reddish brown (approaching but not quite black) in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation near the surface of the beer and some garnet red + crimson red highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy light tan head that reduces to a thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of roasted malts and coffee along with slightly stronger aromas of pine hops.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of roasted malts and lighter flavors of roasted coffee. Moderate flavors of pine hops with just a hint of citrus/grapefruit pith hops. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness in the finish which lasts for a moderate amount of time.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth, almost creamy with a light to moderate amount of dryness in the finish

O: This beer has a nice balance between the roasty malts and hoppy flavors as well as well hidden alcohol. Another nice brew from 21st Amendment and available in a can!

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Photo of Omnium
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can > Mason Pint

A - Dark brown/black with a finger of thick foamy khaki color head, big bubbly lacing.
S - Aroma is very subdued, earthy pine, grapefruit, dank grassy notes, toasted toffee and caramel.
T - Taste is very soapy, but that fades fast, so its not too bad, big grapefruit, some sweet orange, toasted caramel, roasted grains, lots of earthy pine, some spicy hop bite too on the end.
M - Decent feel, bitter and not too chewy, but a good medium texture.
O - Decent Black IPA, could back down from the bitterness and hopefully remove that soapy taste, but I'd have this one again, though there's a plethora of better options.

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Photo of 802homebrewer
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours very well with a nice head. Has great lacing on a dry glass.

Certainly can taste the bittering hops, but has a nice malty taste to it. Almost like a chocolate/coffee taste but not quite there. Very easy to drink and I would recommend it. Smooth

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Photo of mikeg67
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can. Pours brown with fluffy, beige, never ending head. Aroma is of citrusy hops, toasted malt and some dark fruit. Body is full and tangy. Taste is of citrusy hops, toffee, coffee, vanilla and dark fruit. Finish is medium and not too hoppy. I was not a fan of the style, but after this brew I might start liking it.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very dark brown beer with a deep purple light passing through. Light beige head formed at a height of over two inches. The foam looks dense and dry. Excellent head retention. Laces in blankets in properly dried glassware.

Earthy and piney hops in the nose exhibit dryness and heartiness with the added char of roasty malts. Some citrus notes include tangerine rind and grapefruit pith. A dry anise-like aroma cuts in from the direction of the malt.

Spicy pine notes with substantial leafiness and copious amounts of floral notes deliver with true whole hop cone flavor. Very bitter and gruff. Lots of intensity driven by the spicy hops. Malts are nicely roasted with an earthy appeal. Lots of herbal flavors going on with rooty vegetable and leafy astringency. Hint of fennel. Good beer.

Dry feel with residue of dried foam carbonation and spiciness from the alcoholic presence. A little frothy. Body is medium. There's some good chewiness.

A solid beer. One of my favorite, easily-accessible black IPAs.

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Photo of Ieatlambfries
4/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can into a Rock Island snifter.

A: Dark brown with tawny edges, with transparent gold and ruby hues. Lots of off-white head and lace.

S: The nose reveals piney hops and pine sap, with plenty of roasted malt character and a good dose of coffee. Orange peel as well.

T: More coffee; dark, roasted malt bordering on burnt...charcoal? Piney, spicy and herbal/earthy hops with a hint of citrus. A pleasant balance is struck between the hop component and the good dose of roasted barley in this brew.

MF: Lighter/moderate bitterness, stand-fare medium mouthfeel, smooth body, appropriate carbonation.

O: I've had this a few times without reviewing and without any memorable moments, but this time revealed a decent roast & malt-heavy black IPA, if you lean that way. Pleasant drinker for me.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can dated 02/11/13 – purchased at Boynton Liquors San Jose, CA
Hotel tumbler glass – 11/20/13

A: Pours a dark chestnut brown that becomes even darker as it collects in the glass. A thick and stubborn dark khaki head produces over the body leaving behind some streaking ribbons of lace on the glass.

S: Smells of piney hops with a pronounced dark roast barley note. I get loads of fresh roast coffee in the nose which basically makes up the better portion of the aromas. Nice and a bit more roasty than I was expecting for a Black IPA.

T: Highly kilned malts of roast coffee bean and slight charcoal ash noted. Touch of piney earth and light spice. Very smooth with a low amount of bitterness and well integrated alcohol. Lots of dark malt coming through on this one. I like this but it is drinking more like a stout than say a Black IPA.

M: A touch thin and watery but with nice smooth creamy feel across the palate with a moderately low bitterness. Finish has a slight drying effect but it is fairly clean overall.

D: This is one of those Black IPA’s that drinks more like a hoppy stout. A little too heavy on the roast to let the hops play the part. Tasty none the less with good flavor and balance.

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Photo of rwhitmore
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap in a shaker pint at Urban Tavern in San Francisco.

Nice off-white head, that left good lacing. Midnight black that let just a little dark burgundy light through.

Aroma is lot's of coffee roast, with orange and grapefruit peel. This aroma is a big reason I like black IPAs.

Smooth coffee and chocolate roast flavor, with the crisp bright citrus notes are up front. Hop bitterness builds into the pine of a northwest IPA. Again, this is a favorite style, and this beer hit all the marks.

Mouthfeel was caramel-ly in an IPA way, and the roast lingered in the finish.

Paired this with the spicy caggiano beer sausage and pretzel small plate, and it was just great.

I really like most black IPAa, and Black on Black is a great black IPA.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A steady pour got a finger of beige head over a rich cola-brown body. Good lacing.

Roasty and malty on the nose. Good amount of caramel with a little buttered toffee and pine shining through.

Roasted malt with buttered toffee is the main flavor. Pine, grass and a little grapefruit come on through a little.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Leaves a decent residue.

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Photo of Glennlawless
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a 16oz.

A - Spotty lacing and Just a deep burgundy blackish dark purple color with an off white slightly light, very light hint of purple frothy inch head. this beers beautiful!

S - Roasty right off the bat. Bready,coffee....mild floral hops and some grapefruit off in the background maybe. A ton of malt happening.

T - getting lots of malt and coffee in the beginning then leaves mellow with the slightest earthy and floral hop bitterness.

M - very creamy, low carbonation.

Overall, I never was a fan of black IPA's until this one.... Had almost the body of a porter, and was so drinkable. its just a big malt like coffee bomb and then hops slide by in the end for a mildly bitter and smooth finish. This beer is sessionable to me. Very drinkable. I loved this.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.54/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Back in Black pours a black color with a frothy large and lacing head. There is a tiny metal like aroma. The has a nice burnt like malty backbone, with hints of a floral hop near the end. Body is a bit watery, but flavors are present. Overall a nice mellow and drinkable Black Ale.

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Photo of cottonkoozie
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Nice thick cream colored head, some lacing, good retention. Very dark brown, reddish in light.

S - Roasted malts, toffe sweetness, and hops. Kind of reminds me of a hopped porter smell.

T - Much heavier on the hops than what I could smell. Nice bitter hops up front, and then finished with a roasted malt flavor. Taste like a well balanced apa that has been roasted. There is a slight metallic aftertaste though, other wise very good.

M - pretty heavy, but I think that's appropriate for the beer.

O - Good beer. Like I mentioned before I am getting a slightly metallic aftertaste, but otherwise this is a good beer. I think it is a good alternative for a hop head that likes a little more toasted flavor of a dark malty beer for a change. This offers a good in between balance. I would buy it again.

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Photo of Mojo
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce can -> Dogfish Head glass

A - pours up a deep ruby red/brown almost black with a one finger caramel colored fluffy head, good retention, and great lacing.

S - The nose is mostly roasted nuts and chickory.

T - The taste follows the nose with a nice smoky roasted bitter finish.

M - kind of a burnt aftertaste, not completely pleasant

O - nice offering. I would not turn one of these down.

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Photo of Goosehunter75
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A -Pout very dark. Almost looks like a cola. Nice 2 finger tan head with excellent retention

S - Smells of dark roasted malts. Slight citrus in the background followed by piney/earty hops. Slight nutty aromaas well

T - Very good flavor. Slightly smokey to start. Good bitter finish mixed with roasted and caramel malts

M - A medium body beer that is very smooth. Great creaminess to it

O - A very enjoyable IPA that is unique. Wonderful flavor. Would say that it could be a little more bitter. Overall its a very smooth beer with a knockout flavor. Would def pick it up again

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Photo of EyeOfBuck
4.59/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- fitting of its name black with an inch half of creamy tan head poured in a frosty mug. Thin covering of head stays to the last drop.
Smell - definitely smell of hops, that did not translate into the taste
Taste- sweetness that is a bit uncharteristic of an IPA with 65 IBUs followed by a slightly bitter aftertaste that is welcome, but does not linger. It comes back to a roasted malt flavor that sticks with you. Alcohol is present, but not overwhelming.
Mouthfeel - carbonation is lasting across the full depth of the tongue. A bit syrupy and fitting for a heavier IPA that makes you want another.

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Photo of Arbadarchi
3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A- Great artwork on the can. Very black, minimal light finding its way through. I got a 2 finger head that lingered for a few minutes before fading to a thin cap on top. Some lacing on the glass.

S- Smells like the cross between an IPA and a stout. I got some citrusy hops and dark malts. Not the kind of aroma that jumps out at you

T- Hop forward that is blurred together with the darker malts. I got some of the citrus from the smell but I feel like the darker malts and some chocolate take priority. Good bitterness that stays with the taste the whole time. Some metallic flavors detract from the other flavors.

M- Not too thin, but not as full as most other dark beers. Moderate carbonation.

O- Not great, but not bad by any means. It's a satisfying beer if you come across some, however there are many other beers I'd rather buy than this.

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Photo of Suds
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Utterly black, this beer is presented in an artistically motifedd black can. The aroma is grainy and a little smokey. Charcoal and a touch of wood and background hops. The taste is dry, with a heavily roasted, and almost char quality. Full in body. Easy to drink and moderately full of flavor. Like a highly hopped dry stout. Nice.

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Photo of cavedave
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for yet another great beer to drop on my sobriety courtesy of beertunes :-))

Pours a dark and thick black, as advertised. A finger of tan foam bites the dust pretty quick and leaves a permaring and oily legs.

Full aroma of chocolate and coffee, toffee a bit lighter note, some citrus and herbal bitter, even a hint of pine lightly behind it all. Yes!

Taste doesn't cash the aroma's check, but still a great taste. Starts with the bitter hitting into coffee and citrus, staying prominent as it peaks into a blast of bitter herbosity and roasty collosity. It is less balanced than the nose, designed to assault the palate with the range of hop high artillery and still be drinkable. As it warms it really starts to shine, moreso at room temp.

Highly viscous, full bodied, full of resin, intense finish, low carb., all spot on, but the negative is the cling couid be a bit cleaner.

Overall a beer that tries to do the impossible. Heavy roast and lotta hop attack. succeeds better than most, and gotta give em credit. Like strong flavors and a strong herbal dry finish? This is your brew.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted in a pint glass from draft at Emil's on August 11, 2015. Look is dark brown, with medium head and lingering lacing. Smell is malt forward with chocolate, coffee, a hint of smoke and piney hops. Taste is reflective of the aroma with the addition of some caramel notes. Feel is medium in body with a smooth finish.

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Photo of dwren89
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown with ruby highlights, creamy puffy light tan head

Aroma: roasty but not overly so, very piney, definite bitterness

Taste: roasty and piney, with a smooth but noticeably bitter finish (65 IBUs), a nice balance overall

Mouthfeel: creamy and rich, coats the mouth for a long finish, the creaminess also helps curb some of the bitterness, medium-full body

Overall: Very piney with dark roastiness to balance. A creamy mouthfeel gives this beer a nice texture that helps to curb some of the bitterness. Strong flavor with a long finish that leave you feeling quite satisfied. This beer would be great with smoked pork or beef.

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Photo of KVNBGRY
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'm surprised this rating is so "low". Maybe it's because it was my first 21A beer, but I thought it was great. I rarely write full reviews, but I felt compelled to say something. Appearance/aroma/taste were what I have come to expect from a cascadian dark ale. It was a little too "smooth" but that's not a bad thing... Notes of pine, oak, and grapefruit all came out in the nose and taste. As its not the best CDA I've ever had, it's far from the worst. Keep up the good work 21A!

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Photo of papat444
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. can, canned 04/22/13.

Appearance: Very bubbly head, firmly latched on to the glass. Deep dark brown body with blood red tinges and thick rings left behind.

Smell: Resiny, creamy coffee, pine needles, some roasted aromas.

Taste: Pine, oatmeal, mix of sweet & bitter, roasted coffee, bit of grapefruit.

Mouthfeel: Good full body, stick, lip smacking, rolling bitterness.

Overall: Decent stab at the style.

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