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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 Mongrel
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%

More delicious than I remember. Plenty of juicy, piney hops, but not too bitter. Nice smooth brown/black ale backdrop that's moderately dry and chocolatey with some toffee notes. Not overly roasty like some black IPAs/porters. Malt backbone complements the juicy hops; doesn't clash with them. (293 characters)

Photo of fscottkey
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Notes: Best by10/29/2014. (consumed 10/8/14). Poured into a nonic pint

A: [4.50] Looks black in the glass but is a nice ruby red when held up to the light. I got 3-4 fingers of head. The head is off white and had large bubbles on the edges. The middle was a nice creamy head (I suspect there was residue on the glass causing the large head and different bubbles). The can lists the best by date 10/29/14) and the IBUs 65 and the ABV 6.8%(+1 for the trifecta!)

S: [4.00] Nice grassy smell on the nose. Some wafting sweet smells too.

T: [4.25] There is a nice hop presence up front giving some pine and grassy notes. Then there is sweetness from the malts. The finish is again with the hops and slight bitterness. There is also a spicy flavor that is very nice.

M:[4.50] The mouthfeel is excellent for a 6.8% ABV beer.. Nice and creamy on the palate

O: [4.25] Normally I rate Appearance, Smell then taste. But on the first sip I was struck by the velvety mouthfeel. I really like this beer. 21st Amendment puts everything you need on the can. Then they put everything I like in the can. Great Black IPA. It is not too bitter but still has some hoppiness. (1,174 characters)

Photo of hophugger
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a nice deep chocolate-reddish brown letting a little light in barely. Aroma is of pine resin, beautiful. Taste is hops, some citrus and bitterness. I am a hop fan, but this bitterness is kinda weird and slightly metallic. Feels ok (236 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz. can poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body with a bit of transparency. Very nice cream colored head. Laces inside the glass and leaves a creamy pillow of foam.

Smell - Some grassy hops. A bit of an abrasive grapefruit aroma. Mild roast and some chocolate.

Taste - Roasted malts are more aggressive, but it's still a bit of grapefruit up front. Roasted malts turn sweeter into chocolate before giving way to a caramel sweetness and a hop bite in the back.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Nothing inherently wrong with it. Just dull and uninteresting. (599 characters)

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +9%

Nose: grassy, minty hops, some malt sweetness and roast.
Pours pitch black under a finely bubbled, persistent 2.5" foam cap. Lacy.
Starts with a hint of sweetness, mild roast, minty hops, fresh grain and faint fruit in the finish with mild hop bitterness.
Medium body and carbonation. Dries out on the finish. (310 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%

Can purchased as part of a mix-six pack from Wegmans.

Pours a dark creamy looking black, with a one inch head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells piney and grassy, with some chocolate and vanilla in the background. A bit of citrus as well.

The taste is basically the same. A run of the mill, but still tasty Black IPA here. The strong amount of vanilla and chocolate I'm getting sets apart from the pack. The usual tastes of piney/citrusy hops atop a roasty malt backbone sit here nicely.

This one is medium bodied, with a creamy but dry mouthfeel, and a medium amount of carbonation.

Not 21st Amendment's best beer (that honor goes to Bitter American or Brew Free or Die!), but it's still tasty. (704 characters)

Photo of TheAdamConners
5/5  rDev +36.2%

I always liked black IPA's, and this one solidified that. Just a great brew. Straight outta the can is quite nice. Good amount of hop flavor (65ibus) but great balance. This is one of the most drinkable black IPA's you'll find. Sits light on the stomach, and goes great with chicken and spicy peppers. (306 characters)

Photo of TheBeerSipper
4.42/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The days of frowning at canned beers are over my friends. This one proves that true with its fresh unique aroma and taste.

Appearance - Pours nicely leaving a thick, tan, foamy head. Being a black IPA, it doesn't have the usual look. This brew resembles that of a porter.

Smell - Flavorful smell of refreshing hops rush from the glass, inviting you to sip.

Taste - The best part. This beer mixes the taste of a great IPA and a dark toasted porter. This beer is best to sip slowly and savor, though its wonderful flavor make that a tough task.

I encourage all beer lovers to sample this delicious beer

Until Next Time

The Beer Sipper (638 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.24/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had at Bar of Soap Asheville. Served in a pint glass

A- Pours a mostly opaque dark brown color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains well before diminishing to a...whoops.

S- Semi-pungent piney hops break out of the glass against a mildly roasty backdrop.

T- Quite bitter with the dark roast accentuating the bitterness and leaving a chocolate aftertaste. Alcohol is certainly present but works well within the construct of the overall flavor profile. Bitterness lingers after a few sips.

M- Oily, thick and somewhat sharp. Medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- This is probably one of my favorite 21st Amendment beers. A no-nonsense black IPA that brings the hops and roast right into the forefront but, even on a hot day, it goes down nicely. (759 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sinister in its darkness, there's really no telling to its hoppy secrets within. Porterlike to the eye, its not until the nose gets close that the senses are taken back by the IPA that lurks beneath.

21st Amendment's "black" IPA engulfs the olfactory senses with resinous notes of spruce, torn pinecone, and sharply aromatic grasses. As the mocha malt flavors attempt to balance the beer, early taste of burnt citrus come to rescue the early palate.

As the tandem of piquant citrus and herbal, earthen bouquet remain front and center, the malt doesn't give up so easy. Those toasty, chocolaty, coffee flavors carry enough sweetness to suggest porter. And the body does similar with a velvety center that attempts to seduce the palate. Yet those dominant hops win out as the ale trends drier and drier heading into finish.

Its deeply resinous bittering closes out the session with a sticky dryness that only highly hopped ale can give. It easily out-duels the malt sweetness and relies on its persistent char to not only meet the intensity of bitterness but intensifies it with its own coffeelike bitterness and roast-derived astringency.

The fear for any brewer with this up-and-coming style to to make an IPA first and allow the dark grain to complement. But most attempts carelessly revert to simply a hoppy porter. Riding that line dangerously close, Back In Black edges out the porter and sides with IPA, but only slightly. (1,431 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark like black walnut with a crimson hue deep within the beer. A fat khaki head of foam falls slowly and leaves lace. The nose is bright with grapefruit. Really tart smelling and earthy with a bit of the peel. Some toasted sugar comes forward as it warms and a bit of dark malt scent like coffee. The taste is excellent. The mouthfeel is thin and has the quality of a good light IPA. The malt takes center stage in the drink as it comes forward with a touch of bitter roast and some weak coffee. A light caramel and some citrus take up the mid palate where the grapefruit has been tamed but still very much present. Finishes dry and roasty with a bit of the malt sweetness and a hint of char to linger at the back of the throat with a bit of the bright citrus peel. What it does not do is blast away at the finish with hop bitterness and that lets those roasted malts linger a touch with the citrus as a gentle compliment.

I really liked this one and this style can be somewhat elusive for me. I usually find that the stout like qualities of the malt clash and are too heavy alongside the citrusy IPA flavors. Not so in this beer. The malt is as light as it could possibly be and still be roasted almost black. Light and drinks lightly I love it! (1,260 characters)

Photo of dar482
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a dark brown with a light brown head.

The aroma has grapefruit, pine, and some sweet roasted malt.

The flavor has lots of pine and herbal with a rounding roasted malt. The beer has a substantial malt backbone for a hoppy brew with a touch of roasted malt quality in there.

A reasonably well made black IPA. (327 characters)

Photo of stephens101
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First beer I can recall having from this brewery, which is always a fun thing and foments a sense of adventure.

Dark brown with dark red edges. The tan head settles gently, leaving a swaths of lace behind.

Deep roasted malts mingle with some piney hops, and generally get along all the way to the nose.

More roasted goodness floats across the tongue, followed by a lingering, earthy bitterness, a hint of grain and caramel and a slight dark fruitiness.

A medium-bodied and quite flavorable ABA (498 characters)

Photo of WesMantooth
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Smells of hops and slight roasted malt. Tastes pretty much like the aroma. A little bit of hops up front with some nice balance from the roasted malt. It is pretty thin and easy drinking. Not real hoppy and not a ton of flavor, but nicely balanced and well done. I would call it a slightly hoppy, light bodied Schwartz. At 6.8%, you could get in trouble with these! Overall, a good beer that I would buy again and would be a nice offering for non IPA people. (458 characters)

Photo of Scrapss
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel Tulip at cellar temps.

A: Black, pitch black. Nice rocky head dissipates ultimately to a 1 mm solid disk. No lacing to speak of, wispy at best.

S: Weakly malty with a hint of hops. Neutral yeast indicators, not pronounced. Mild.

T: A kiss of hops up front, slightly bitter and very mild. The malt is definitely roasty and good. Just wish the hops were a little more pronounced. This reminds me of a slightly hoppier Schwarzbier, too. Lemony finish so there's some hops doing something kinda back-sliding in at the finish.

M: Thin. Very poundable and dangerous given the ABV. Light on the palate. Chocolatey finish. Like bitter, ephemeral chocolates.

O: I like it for what it is, a very smooth, quaffable brew that is kind of true to the style, which I consider an ANTI IPA style. Like "hey, we're calling this IPA but really is a hoppy Schwarz". Regardless I like it. (892 characters)

Photo of delta490
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark clear brown with a light tan head. The head has moderate retention but leaves some soapy lacing on the glass. The aroma is very roasted, much more reminiscent of a schwarzbier, with only a hint of hops. Its a nice aroma, but not very IPA-ish. The taste is equally close to a schwarzbier. Delicious, but not really an IPA. There's a nice feel to the body and it's nice a smooth. If this weren't billed as an IPA, I think it would get a much higher rating. It has a great flavor but it doesn't even closely resemble one. (531 characters)

Photo of tkelley
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a Perfect Pint.

A - kind of a murky sludgy brown. Light tan billowy head with very good lacing. Lighter highlights around the edges.

N - super resiny.

T - much maltier than the smell... roastier. Obvious pinkeye's hops too. Little bit of citrus.

M - cold... it was in the fridge.

D - not the best one ive had but its a pretty good beer. (362 characters)

Photo of Zach136
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (529 characters)

Photo of iheartmyTHO
3.63/5  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. (285 characters)

Photo of vkv822
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
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. (350 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (678 characters)

Photo of MarkQ617
2.96/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this on tap at Taco Mac, my first offering from these guys. Stronger roasted malt flavor than I'm accustomed to for black IPAs, could've used a bit more hops. Definitely more black than IPA. Deep brownish black color as you'd expect, lighter head than I'd have expected give the flavor. Somewhat flat aroma. (313 characters)

Photo of stevoj
3.44/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Malty and hoppy, near black body with creamy. silky beige head. Nice dark roast grain flavor comes through to accent the hops, elements of burnt toast, wood. Hops add more bitterness to the roast flavor, but still smooth on the finish. Some lingering bitterness on the palate. (276 characters)

Photo of FLima
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Black ruby color with a thick beige head with great retention and leaving a wall of laces.
Light aroma of sweet caramels, coffee at some point and pineapples.
Flavor of papaya, coffee, resin, roasted malts, grapefruits, American yeast and also earthy and floral hops. Dry aftertaste with its lingering flavors.
Medium body with low carbonation and a creamy sensation. Alcohol of 6.8% abv is well hidden.
Good malty and balanced black IPA, probably hoppier than it feels. (470 characters)

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... (322 characters)

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