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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

1,637 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1637
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: 1,637 | Reviews: 635 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of CBlack85
CBlack85

South Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Duckworths, served in a pint glass

The beer is nearly black, more of a deep, deep brown with ruby highlights. There is a creamy tan colored head that sticks around seemingly forever, leaving a thin crown that lasts for the remainder of the beer. As the beer is consumed there is an impressive amount of lacing coating the glass.

The aroma is comprised mainly of citrusy, and to a lesser degree, piney hops. Just a huge hoppy nose fitting of any IPA. Once you get past the hops you will find hints of sweet and roasty dark malts.

The taste is a bit more balanced than the nose. A fair amount of citrusy hops mingle with caramel and chocolate notes up front. There is just a bit more bitterness in the finish than I would like to see. Medium bodied and well carbonated, the beer is fairly drinkable.

Overall, this is a decent beer. Not the best example of the style that I have encountered, but certainly not the worst.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2011 14:05:46 | More by CBlack85
Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
ForWhatAlesYou

Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap into a pint glass

A: Deep black, small off white head. Decent lace.

S: Initially I get a really fresh hop note but that gives way to some darker characteristics (smoke, chocolate).

T: I am glad this is listed here as a black ale instead of an IPA. The hop from the aroma is nearly non existent in the taste. The flavors are still good but not as punchy as I would have wanted from a brew labeled as a "Black IPA". This is a bit like Guinness' evil cousin. Good.

M: Thin but I think that this helps with the drinkability factor.

D: Worth a shot. I would be happy to drink again but certainly wouldn't seek out fervently.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2011 19:01:38 | More by ForWhatAlesYou
Photo of VncentLIFE
VncentLIFE

North Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Leftover keg from the 21st Ammendment tasting at Sams. Welcome to Durham, 21st Ammendment!

Pours very dark brown, dark brown and mahogany hues are noticeable in light. Eggshell white head of about a half inch.

Smells light and slightly sweet. Hints of bittering hops, and lots of roasted malts. Tastes very sweet, almost adjunct sweet. Feels like BMC's attempt at a Swarzbier. Very light and sweet with hints of roast, hm Guiness Light!

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2011 01:02:24 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of 57md
57md

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Basic black with a finger of head that left behind some nice lacing. There is a light roasty nose to this beer. There is a pretty robust blend of malt and hops upfront and a solid hop bite in the finish. This was my first offering from 21st Amendment and I was reasonably impressed.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2011 03:21:16 | More by 57md
Photo of nataku00
nataku00

California

3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a shaker pint glass. Beer is pitch black with thin slightly foamy tan tead. Was able to swirl up about a half a finger of foamy head after I had a few sips though. Some light lacing that quickly slid back into the beer. A few bubbles clinging to the edge of the glass, but can't see much through the opaque beer.

Nose was a bit weak and one dimensional, just mainly dark roasted malt that starts to give off hints of milk chocolate. As it warmed a little, there is a hint of citrus hops, but it is very light.

Taking a sip, more of the same from the nose, though the touch of citrus is at the front of the tongue, before underwhelming dark roasted malt flavor. Finish is medium, some residual sweet chocolate flavors and bitter burnt malt on the back of the tongue.

Medium body with some good smooth carbonation that helps contribute to a creamy mouthfeel. While the flavors are one dimensional, the beer was pretty tasty. If the beer was listed as a black IPA like I had originally thought this was, I would have probably dinged the flavor and aroma scores a little more.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2011 18:08:00 | More by nataku00
Photo of brystmar
brystmar

Texas

3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour is black with an average amount of off-white head. Nice lacing on my glass. Nose has piney hops, but not the awesomely fresh hops I've become accustomed to as of late.

Pretty straightforward taste: hops linger over a roasted malt backbone. Lags noticeably behind its peers in both execution and complexity. Not a bad beer, but there are many better Black IPAs on the market today.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2011 18:10:17 | More by brystmar
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour was deep brown and porter-like, with a moderate mocha head. Up front well-roasted malt notes are prominent, with malt caramelization and some background grain flavor. Hopping is substantial, and moves in quickly with an overall blunt bittering note. Finish picks up some roasted grain sweetness. Not sure what to make of this one, a bit heavy on the roasted malt aspect and not well balanced with the hops.

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2011 14:11:17 | More by Brent
Photo of hopking311
hopking311

Florida

3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one at my favorite craft beer bar of all time.. The distillery in Savannah.

Black slight reddish tint with one finger head.. lacey lacey.. coats glass

smells of rich smokey citrus.

taste slightly smokey with a citrus lemon, lime backbone.. amazing how the hops show thru on this one.

medium bodied.. great carbonation.

Great drinkability.. The quality of this beer upon first impression prompted me to purchase a sixer of this as well as any other first amendment brews I could locate.

Thanks Ben..

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2011 17:12:55 | More by hopking311
Photo of droomyster
droomyster

Virginia

3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black body with two fingers of tan, super-sticky, ultra-glass-lacing foam. Aromas are more subdued than those of other Black IPA, and fairly straightforward: I get notes of charred pinewood that full of resin, with a distant hint cocoa nibs. Flavorwise, the char comes out with guns blazing. I was initially taken aback by its intense smokiness. Except for rauchbiers, this is as close as beer gets to tasting like the aftermath of a forest fire. Fortunately there's a lot more happening here. A pine needle bitterness is strong on the mid-palate and chocolaty sweetness comes out on the finish. This is tasty, indeed, but the strength of the charred flavors make me reluctant to follow one with another. I think this would work well with Southern BBQ or as a last beer with a chocolate or chocolate and berry dessert.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 11:06:30 | More by droomyster
Photo of jsprain1
jsprain1

Minnesota

3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours what I think of as a porter color. Dark brown, but not quite black. Head was one finger and retains well.
S- Smell is more roasted than hoppy. Chocolate, with light piney notes.
T- Again, I get more of the roasted flavor than hoppy. I like the general balance of it. Semisweet chocolate with a light pine note that comes through more as it warms.
M- The mouthfeel was really subpar for me. For a beer that was on the malty end of the style spectrum, I really would like more body. It was too light and kinda flat and unlively on the tongue.
T- This was a mixed bag for me. On one hand I liked that they found a good balance that is otherwise missing from the style. On the other, it just didn't have any body.

Serving type: on-tap

09-06-2011 02:20:00 | More by jsprain1
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review dated 3/8/2009.

On tap at City Beer in SF. Nearly black in color with a beige head. Aroma is roasted malt and piney hops. A little smokiness that’s reminiscent of bacon even, which sounds a little weird but it works. Same on the flavor, a little citrusy. Mouthfeel is more or less IPA-like, maybe a little drier.

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2011 18:27:31 | More by nickd717
Photo of isualum12
isualum12

Idaho

2.65/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: darker brown...not totally black, or
Brown heavy head on this beer.
Smell: Hops have a pine earthy smell to them, The roasting of the barley was strong and shows in the smell....You can smell the hops but not identifiable on the smell

Taste: I expected IPA and I was not exactly rewarded with that. But it was not chew through the beer either like you still expect with the look. It is an ok IPA but nothing I would strive to get.
Mouthfeel: Light-medium body
Overall: I drank this beer at boise beer festival and it didn't live up to the other black ipa's there.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2011 19:56:39 | More by isualum12
Photo of JerseyKirk
JerseyKirk

New Jersey

3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours pitch black with a 2 finger slightly darker white head. Looks like a stout. Surprising and interesting. Lacing is excellent.

S: Pine, cat pee with a little bit of citrus, coffee and chocolate.

T: Super piney hop flavor. Odd after taste that I can't place a flavor on.

M: Nicely carbonated and full bodied.

O: It's not a good ipa. I don't know if black ipa's are supposed to have a slight roastiness or not but I so get a little bit of a coffeeish vibe. IDK it's something different just not all that great. Everything seems forced and unbalanced.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 01:37:59 | More by JerseyKirk
Photo of robbrandes
robbrandes

Oregon

3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

reviewed from notes.

5oz taster, poured @ northern virginia brewfest.

pours nearly black, reasonable off-white head. nose a bit malt-forward, but the hops are at least passable for an IPA. close your eyes and it's a middle-of-the-road IPA. a little more burnt taste/aroma, on par with a middling stout, but nothing too exciting.

Serving type: on-tap

07-01-2011 01:02:33 | More by robbrandes
Photo of avaldivia
avaldivia

California

4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A; Really nice dark brew with a nice head about a finger wide. Lacing is fairly nice.

S: Fruity, citrus tones come though. Does not smell very roasted but I will not complain.

T: A really good hop kick to start, but that gives way to a nice roasted malty flavor. Nicely balanced and very enjoyable.

M: Nice and crisp with what I would consider a medium body.

O: A great brew from 21st Amendment. Very nice hop character with a wonderful maltyness. This is a beer that will be a regular in my fridge.

Serving type: on-tap

06-29-2011 07:18:14 | More by avaldivia
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Back in Black has a dark black body, which is no surprise considering not only the style but the name of the beer itself. The thin brown head has ok retention and leaves a few scraps of lacing.

The aroma has a lot of roasted malt and a puff of smoke. Surprisingly fruity with just a hint of citrus from the hops.

This is a weird one. The fruit characteristics make it taste like beer mixing with some sort of fruit punch. The malt base is actually pretty good, with lots of roast and a little bit of a peat-like, smokey character. The hops are in the background, with bits of pine and citrus. They provide more bitterness than flavor. The fruit is the biggest flavor, and the more I drink of it the less I want.

Mouthfeel could use a bit more carbonation, but its pretty substantial at least.

I was not a fan of this one. The first sip I though it was weird, the second I thought it was OK because I liked the smokey character, but after a few more sips I was ready to be finished.

Serving type: on-tap

05-27-2011 21:18:35 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of dtreindl
dtreindl

Virginia

4.68/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Surprisingly creamy smooth mouthfeel on this black IPA. Not too bitter. Nice roasted malt flavor is not overwhelmed by the hops. So well-balanced hops and malt, which I think is essential for a good black IPA. Easy drinking...I could drink several of these, despite the 6.8abv. Black IPAs seem to be trendy now and this example is a good one. I'll be drinking this long after any trend fades as long as 21st A is willing to brew it!

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2011 23:20:28 | More by dtreindl
Photo of Soonami
Soonami

Pennsylvania

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

The reviews for 21st Amendment Back in Black seem surprisingly low for what I thought of it. The beer is definitely not black, but a very dark brown. There is fantastic lacing and a head that stays almost full for the entire lifespan of this beer. The nose has a distinctly chocolate graham cracker aroma with a touch of resinous and grapefruit hops. The beer is has a definitely dark chocolate and roasted grain taste, which is a bit more than expect for a beer of this style, which tends to be more restrained in its roasted profile. The beer is slightly sweet with a good bitter kick in the finish. The hops are restrained but in balance with this beer. This is definitely a more malt-forward and chocolately black ale, but still delicious. A different interpretation of the style, more like DFH India Brown Ale than Stone SSR.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2011 06:00:02 | More by Soonami
Photo of thebrood1987
thebrood1987

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2011 00:02:55 | More by thebrood1987
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

One of my first Cascadian dark ales aka American black ales. Great "new" style. All the hoppiness of an IPA, but in a beer that could--colorwise--pass off as a porter or schwarzbier. Aroma is full of resinous hops and dark roasty malts. The taste follows the aroma well, with a definite roasty malt base that is dominated by a storm of piney hops. Medium mouthfeel, resinous, strong in flavor, a good introduction to the style.

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2011 21:15:13 | More by Rifugium
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew

Illinois

3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

To name a beer after a famous ACDC song....it better be awesome! Unfortunately 21st Century Back In Black Black IPA is not....however, it is solid. I just don't think it hit the mark. I use the Stone Self Righteous as my barometer. The B in B from 21st was a very dark ruby amber with a thin white head. The scent was most dissappointing, maybe some subtle malt...but not any hop. The taste follows the smell, subtle roast and malt, a lil hint of hop. I do like how it comes off the pallete clean...not lingering. The beer is easy on the mouth and could drink my weight.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2011 03:12:52 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of Teleweizen2
Teleweizen2

New Jersey

3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - lives up to its style. Black in color, completely opaque. Big three fingers worth of very light tan head that looks like dirty snow.

S - hops and malt seem balanced. Overall aroma is slightly dank. Citrus resiny hops. Bitter sweet dark chocolate and a roasty coffee undertone.

T - slight malty sweetness. Piney hops in the middle along with some coffee roastyness. Dry finish.

M - thin. A little watery. Mild carbonation.

D - decent ale. Black IPA, American black ale, whatever you want to call it, it fit its style guidelines and was easy drinking but not something I'd probably seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2011 05:40:17 | More by Teleweizen2
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77

Delaware

3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed on tap at Chelsea Tavern in Wilmington, DE. Poured into a simple pint glass. Interesting side note: heard the server actually say, "Good. Someone ordered that, we need to get rid of that keg." Not a good start.

A: Pours a deep, rich deep brown color. Not completely black, but more of a cola color. Minimal head that faded quickly. Off white head. Good lacing.

S: Mild hop aroma, but not much. More malty. Stout-ish smells....a bad stout that is.

T: I got mostly malts. Not the hops that I was expecting from an IPA. Not crazy hoppy at all. Unimpressed.

M: Not mouth coating. Surprisingly watery?

D: Easy drinking but would I want another....that would be a no.

Overall, disappointing brew. All around. Sorry 21st Amendment, probably won't try others from you line.

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2011 17:12:26 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

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

Enjoyed in the company of mikesgroove. Served from tap into a shaker. Poured a massively dark brown almost black with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, slight bitter hop, and cream. The flavor was of roasted malt, sweet malt, slight bitter hop, and cream. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. It was not awe-inspiring by any means, but still good. If this one had a little bit more of a hop profile going on it would have been quite good. As it was more toward the roasted side of things for the most part. A must try Black IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2011 15:02:03 | More by thagr81us
Photo of kwjd
kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

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

On tap at the 21st Amendment brewpub in San Francisco. Pours a bitch black colour with a finger or 2 of head, with nice retention. Lots of lacing down the glass. Smells of nice roasted malt and citrus hops. Good blend of bitterness and sweetness of the malt in the flavour. Creamy mouthfeel. Certainly one of the better CDA's I've had.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2010 18:36:54 | More by kwjd
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,637 ratings.