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Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Back In BlackBack In Black

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

1,635 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1635
Reviews: 635
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.86%


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
Ratings: 1,635 | Reviews: 635 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of KeefD
KeefD

Minnesota

3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Stub n Herb's. Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head. Aroma is like a little baby Darkness. Nice roastiness with huge hop presence, but on a lighter scale. Hops are nicely balanced with the roasted malts when it's cold, but becomes overly hoppy as it warms, which throws it out of balance. The last few swigs of the goblet yielded a bitter, minty, herbal hop flavor that just didn't mesh well with the dull roastiness. I would have liked more sweetness in this beer accentuate the hops, but it wasn't bad when it was cold.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2010 00:18:55 | More by KeefD
Photo of MPLS
MPLS

Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I wasn't afraid to order a pour of this on a whim, as Southern Tier introduced to to the "Black IPA"

A: Upon it's arrival there was a big 3 cm soapy off mocha head with a kind of bistre colored body. The lacing resembled glue, really stuck to the glass making it look eternally frosted. Active carbonation had to see with such a dark colored body.

S: The first thing I pull out is the hop profile. The hop profile is piney with a slight citrus twang, this is underneath the malt bill that 21st Amendment used. There is roasted malts, delicate chocolate and sugar. A trace of alcohol is also present.

T: The taste and nose match up like biological twins. Albeit not identical, but very similar in so many ways. I am sort of conflicted with this style, but this one does it right. Resiny hops + roasted chocolate malt. In this particular instance it works as the malt bill isn't gigantic. The primarily resinous hops are enjoyable and lead way to chocolate and roasted malts. Bitter finish.

M: Ample bodied with enough carbonation and slight oily texture.

D: This particular batch does the black IPA justice, but not a style that I particularly love.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2010 20:21:13 | More by MPLS
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap at the brewery

cellphone notes

appearance: served in a standard pint - ebony body, very dark with a light beige lace

smell: bright citrus hops, chocolate, rye, roasted malt, coffee

taste: very nice black ipa - dark and full bodied, biting citrus hops, dark chocolate and coffee, big roasted malts. nice

mouthfeel: big bodied, nice hop depth

drinkability: good

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2010 00:23:07 | More by dirtylou
Photo of momolo
momolo

New York

3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The IPA was a very deep, warm black with almost an inch of tan head. Past the citrusy hops, the smell swirling out of the bottle was of a dark roast which dominated most of the flavor of the brew until it finished. The coffee and the chocolate malt are evident, but there wasn't an abnormal sweetness to it. It begins smooth and milky, but then there's the sourness of grapefruit.

My taste buds cringed at the finish, but I kept going back to relive the beginning. The flavors didn't seem to blend well, but they did mask the taste of the alcohol. It was also served too cold...human error.

Can't say I'd go back for more.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2009 17:30:00 | More by momolo
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with very good head retention and lacing. I'll say this, the beer looks impressive. The nose, however, I'm not loving so much. Although I get some noticeable peppery hop aroma, there's also something of a ginger and roasty malt aspect to the aroma profile. I get some cola as well. Flavors replicate the nose quite well, which is OK, but is not wowing me. Mouthfeel is light and almost a bit watery. Drinkability is likewise not all that impressive. Although the alcohol is pretty well disguised, the slight ginger flavor with the roasty malt just isn't a good combination for me.

Mehhh... While certainly not wretched, can't see any reason why I'd want to try this again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2009 22:00:45 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of Lunch
Lunch

Maryland

4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Fricso Grille in Columbia, MD (12/01/09) into a shaker pint glass at an appropriate temperature.

A: Pours a nice shade of blackish brown capped off with 1 finger of an off-white head that lingers for the duration of the beer and leaves thick lacing.

S: A pungent aroma of grapefruit and citrus, with a slight hop bittereness and hit of roasted malt.

T: The citrus theme continues onto the palate with a hefty dose of grapefruit and tropical citrus flavors. A layer of a roasty malt works it way in, but not to a great extent. For some reason both this beer and their IPA seem to have some sort of duck-sauce flavor according to my palate, that is certainly not off-putting, but rather unique and distinctive.

M: Creamy medium-body with a slight oiliness and smooth carbonation.

D: None of the 6.8% abv. shines through and frankly I was quite impressed with the overall balance of the flavors.

Overall this I find this to be a wonderful Black IPA and another strong offering from 21st Amendment. Recommended

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2009 16:41:46 | More by Lunch
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

These black IPAs are interesting.

Beer is black, lacing is high and carbonation is low. Head is thin and made up of brown bubbles (from the roasted malt).

The aroma smells like an IPA (mostly). Citrus hop aroma dominates. No detectable roast in the aroma at all.

Beer is a little thin IMO. And here is the roast. It mixes in the back of the mouth with the hop bitterness. Its not a terrible mix but it does seem a little out of place. Beer is a little harsh with all that back of the mouth bitterness with very little in the other parts of the palate to connect them. Drinkability and mouthfeel suffers.

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2009 20:23:37 | More by drabmuh
Photo of cynicgiraffe
cynicgiraffe

District of Columbia

4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my first black IPA for what it's worth. Pours opaque black. Overwhelming grapefruit in the aroma. So much so that I can't get anything else. Thin creamy head, disappears quickly but leaves lots of lacing. Taste: lots of grapefruit but some pine. Thick mouthfeel, almost like a Russian imperial. Bizarre (and has some palette dissonance) to have this palette with the hop profile. Back end has a peculiar combo of hop bitterness and stout bitterness. I love this beer. Well balanced. I would drink this any time. Awesome.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2009 02:25:46 | More by cynicgiraffe
Photo of NJpadreFan
NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

21st Amendment- Back in Black

A- Deep dark ruby red/ brown with a solid lacing head.
S- Sweet sugary dark roasted choc. malt with a dose of pine hops.
T- Sweet roasted choc. malt, molasses, charcoal, dark roast coffee beans and a mild oily pine hop presence.
M- Thick sweet malt with a mild bitter hop touch in the body. Finishes off with a nice chewy malt and bitter hop balanced finish.

Overall- Solid throughout. Sessionable and hopefully will become more plentiful in my area.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2009 21:46:32 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of Norfawkers
Norfawkers

Virginia

3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black with minimal head; creamy head and lacing down the glass

Smell: Faint hops

Taste: It almost smells like a porter mixed with an IPA; coffee, chocolate, and hops

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy with some hop bitterness

Drinkability: Very drinkable, it goes down smooth

Serving type: on-tap

10-13-2009 20:03:01 | More by Norfawkers
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Pizzeria Paradiso in Dupont Circle in Washington DC.

Pours a dark brown color with a half-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of pine and citrus hops with good amounts of lightly roasted malts.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lightly roasted malts with good amounts of caramel flavors up front are quickly overtaken by large amounts of pine and citrus hop flavors. The ending is solidly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. There's a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another.

Overall this is a very solid dark IPA and one that's well worth seeking out if you like the style.

Serving type: on-tap

10-13-2009 02:11:54 | More by glid02
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown in color with a short head that breaks apart quickly. No lacing develops.

Smell: little caramel sweetness and a hint of bitterness is barely detectable here.

Taste: light roasted malt flavor with some grapefruits, pine, and prune and brown sugar sweetness. Bitterness is nicely balancing here.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp throughout. Aftertaste is short-lived.

Drinkability: this beer had a nice overall flavor and qas considerably easy to quaff.

Serving type: on-tap

10-08-2009 23:42:29 | More by Gavage
Photo of ffejherb
ffejherb

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +8.7%
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."

Serving type: on-tap

07-30-2009 22:31:07 | More by ffejherb
Photo of willjschmidt
willjschmidt

California

4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Monk's Kettle in SF on 5/30/09.

A: Pours a near black color with a light tan head.

S: Citrusy hops with a hint of roasted malt.

T: I love these dark IPA's and this one is no different. A big dose of grapefruit and piney hops overlaid over a nice roasted malt backbone.

M: Medium bodied, average carbonation.

D: An excellent beer. A great IPA kicked up a notch with some light roasted malt.

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2009 03:03:23 | More by willjschmidt
Photo of popery
popery

California

4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at City Beer Store in San Francisco.

It's not on the 21st Amendment website and I trust my fellow BAs, but I thought that I should mention that the abv was listed as 7.2% at the store, which would make sense as Back in Black is brewed along the same lines as the IPA (who cares, really). Anyway, the beer pours an opaque dark brown with purplish highlights and a good creamy mocha head that leaves excellent lacing. I'm not really sure how to rate the appearance of an intentionally dark IPA, which was certainly not to style, but I like how it looked. The aroma was very close to the IPA, strong, rich hop aromas of pine and spruce with a tinge of citrus and herbs. The flavor brings the dark malt into play with subtle roasted notes underlying the strong hop flavors. I've only had one other dark IPA that I can think of, Stone's 11th/Sublimely Self Righteous, and while they have different hop bills, they're similarly delicious. It's a great variant on the style but oddly rare among commercial brewers, although the homebrew community seems to have embraced it.

Serving type: on-tap

05-31-2009 04:09:58 | More by popery
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The placard at their brewpub stated "7.2% and 65 IBUS, same hops as 21A IPA but with a touch of dark malt for slight roast.

Served in a shaker pint, Back in Black is a dark brown with a tight khaki head that leaves pretty heavy lace.

Smell is a massive blast of American hops, huge cedar notes, minty as well, even a hint of watermelon.

Taste is also bright hops, a bit more resinous then the nose, really nice interplay of the roasted malt. This is the best Black IPA I've had, I really prefer the resin vs. grapefruit hop flavor with the roasted malts, which aren't too overwhelming anyways, just really a nice touch of depth.

Mouthfeel is slick, medium bodied, nice carbonation.

Drinkability is high, this is damn tasty. Really easy to loose the roast in the pungency of the hops, but it's there no doubt, and isn't overly chocolatey or sweet like of the other black IPAs I've had. Wow, super impressed with 21A, each beer is better then the next.

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2009 22:03:34 | More by ccrida
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice shade of brown with a nice solid tan colored head. The head dies down but nice sheet lace is left behind.

S: Nice citrus aromas with hints of pine. A nice roasty maltiness is there to provide a bit of balance.

T: This one is mostly about the hops, but the malt is there. Hints of roasted malt and darkened brown sugar stand out. The hops do push thru the malt though with grapefruit being the most dominate. A touch of piney sweetness can be detected though.

M: Medium in body, smooth and creamy with great carbonation.

D: Very, I really like the dark IPA's and this one is one of the better examples.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2008 05:12:43 | More by tpd975
Photo of Zach136
Zach136

Georgia

3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can, enjoy by 7/17/14 poured into an IPA glass.

A - Deep mahogany and crystal clear body with a pinky sized beige head, OK lacing.

S - Burnt charcoal, tree bark and pine needles.

T - Roast and pine bitterness. Accelerated astringency with little to no balancing sweetness.

M - Dry, lingering burnt finish.

O - I don't like this style of beer in most situations, this brew is no exception. I feel that it brings out the least pleasant characteristics of stouts and IPAs without show casing either's redeeming qualities.

Serving type: growler

04-09-2014 03:45:03 | More by Zach136
Photo of iheartmyTHO
iheartmyTHO

Georgia

3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

First off, I'm loving this trend of craft beers being available in cans. But as for this Black IPA, it's pretty darn tasty. It's not as bitter or hoppy as other IPA's I have had, but still has good flavor. There's a nice malt and heaviness to the beer without being cloying or filling.

Serving type: can

03-30-2014 02:52:06 | More by iheartmyTHO
Photo of vkv822
vkv822

Oregon

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz : tulip
canned on: 12/16/13

Black, with deep espresso edges when held to light with a craggy, foamy tan head.

Roasty malts upfront with citric, spicy hop highlights in both the nose and taste.

Medium+ body, foamy carbonation.

Nothing particularly outstanding, but tasty nonetheless. Overall a well done, solid example of the Black Ale style.

Serving type: can

03-12-2014 07:49:22 | More by vkv822
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

3.51/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can poured to tall glass at Mustard's in Napa Valley. Noticed the beer was canned on May 20, 2013 and I had it March 5, 2014. Nice restaurants really need to start figuring this beer things out, not really acceptable for an IPA, black or not. Anyway, pours dark brown to black with a little purple hue, small off white head. Smells like lemon pinesol and some sweet chocolate in the background. The flavor follows the aroma rather closely, with much more malt sweetness. Chocolate, lemon, pine, old hops I guess. Medium mouthfeel, a bit creamy, with medium level carbonation. Would like to try fresh but as is it wasn't bad. With that said, plenty of better things to reach for.

Serving type: can

03-06-2014 04:43:46 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of qchic
qchic

Maryland

3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
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...

Serving type: can

02-12-2014 02:20:13 | More by qchic
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89

California

4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 07:38:03 | More by BierJager89
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
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!

Serving type: can

01-12-2014 03:21:12 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Omnium
Omnium

Pennsylvania

3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Serving type: can

01-09-2014 02:00:05 | More by Omnium
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,635 ratings.