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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

2,072 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,072
Reviews: 669
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 49
Gots: 219 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,072 | Reviews: 669
Photo of dchester
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a coffee-colored translucent dk. brown. Finger sized beige head thins out pretty quickly. Smell is of caramel maltiness and piney hops. Taste is much the same with the piney hops lingering after the initial malt taste. Overall this is a nice beer, very refreshing, but a bit too thin for what I was expecting. It lacked the umph I was looking for.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown leaning toward black, but barely. Head is light tan and at least one-finger. Sticks around for a bit.

Smell: Nothing too crazy. Hints of citrus and pine sneak through a roasty malt base. Comes across as a well-balanced approach to the style.

Taste: Very close to the smell with a bit more hop bite to it. Citrus and pine lose ground to the heartier malt base which sweetens things up a bit and leaves a lingering roastyness to compliment the residual oily hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: Decent. A little thinner than I like my black ales, but the malts give it a little heft. Relatively smooth with only the faintest hints of roast on the back.

Drinkability: Pretty well balanced. It's nothing to write home about, but definitely a nice way to break in to the style. It's got enough hops and malts to be interesting without being overbearing.

Overall: This is a pretty easy way to get used to the idea of an American Black Ale. It hits a solid compromise between hops and malts without leaning too far one way or another.

Photo of buschbeer
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can
Served in a nonic glass

A - It pours a dark brown, similar to a bock. Three inches of tan head rests on top.

S - I am hit with citrus at first. Then I get some whiffs of roasted malt.

T - The taste is fresh grapefruit and orange initially. Then the roasted malt kicks in on the finish with some lingering grapefruit bitterness.

M - Medium.

D - This is a good balance of hops and roasted malt. This is a characteristic I prefer in this style

Photo of Durge
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A thick black-ish brown color with a healthy light brown head and a nice network of lacing. The aroma is a dark molasses malt and creamy nut with just a hint of can in there. Decent. The flavor is charcoal licorice malt with a bright herbal hop. It's very smooth, almost creamy with light carbonation, medium bodied and very drinkable. Lots of near chocolate malt and a pleasant hop overtone. At first I thought I detected some metal but that disappears quickly. I enjoyed this. Could drink quite a few and quite flavorful with stout and ipa ideas nicely blended.

Photo of tbraun1
3.06/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz can served in pint glass

A - Deep brown color with some ruby hints when brought up to the light. Tan, two fingered head with nice lacing retention.

S - Roasted/smoky malts; Chocolate essence with some hop spice

T - The hops are there but the malts confuse the flavor. I think this one has an identity crisis in terms of the dominant style/flavor. Somewhat bitter.

M - Somewhat watery body with a bitter/dry finish.

D - I went out on a limb when I got this one, and I think one was enough.

Photo of magnj
3.43/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Very deep brown body with hints of Ruby, clear when held up to the light, but barely. Off white head leaves little lacing and drops quickly to a thin covering.

S - Roasted Barley and somewhat sweet as well as some piney hops but it's all well balanced.

T - Decent hop bite up front complimented by the roasted grains. It balances out with a sweet malty body, ending with caramel and earthy hop flavor.

m/d - Full sticky body. Drinkable, not sure I love it although I'm not sure if it's the style or the interpretation.

Photo of atomicbeer
2.18/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours cola brown (without the carbonation) with a big taupe head that diminishes in a few minutes. Aroma is of grapefruit plus floral plus a bit of a sharp metallic tang. Tastes a nice dark roast malt and chocolate up front fading to grapefruit then burnt grapefruit rind. Combined taste is a bit nasty for me. One is plenty. Not something to impress friends with.

Photo of TheFightfan1
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a semi translucent brown with a tremendous looking off white thick heading. Lacing all throughout the tasting.

Smell has a slight metallic aroma from the start,many different aroma's ranging from citrus to leafy,some dark chocolate and subtle detection of bubblegum.

This is were it went wrong for me. Mostly I got a burnt tobacco flavor,extremely heavy linger of burnt caramel malts in the finish along with some hoppy notes. Like drinking a homebrew (diacytel in the mouth)

Mouth is medium bodied, good carbonation,decent smoothness with nice consistency not to watery not to thick.

This did seem like a solid beer from the start,the look,the aroma it was all there but just lost something in the taste for me.

Photo of woemad
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane. No obvious freshness date on the can, which features what looks to be an illustration of a Paul Revere-type figure that's seated on a motorcycle rather than a horse.

Poured a dark, cola-like color, with reddis highlights at the fringes. Big, beige rocky head.

Hops and burnt malts make up the scent of this beer.

Spicy hops and brown sugary malts make up most of the taste of this beer. It seems like the hops and malts are evenly balanced, making this not seem so much like an IPA.

Medium bodied, with a prickly, coating mouthfeel.

A decent, not earth shattering beer. I'm still somewhat on the fence when it comes to this style of beer, and this one isn't helping to push me in either direction.

Photo of StoneTSR
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jrod1969 for this one. What a killer extra he threw in my end of the trade!

APPEARANCE: Looks like a porter or a stout, stark black with a generous and foamy white head. As it SLOWLY faded away, the head did change color a little bit and take on a more off-white hue. The head retention was a thing of beauty and there is some lacing forming on the top of the glass already where the head dropped from. UPDATE: As the beer goes down, the lacing does not. It is really clinging to the glass all the way around and from top to bottom. This is an exceptional looking beer.

SMELL: A nice, solid traditional IPA smell - very piney, but bitter as well. It smells like there will be an impressive hop flavor. We shall see. Upon the second sniff, before the first sip and after the head had subsided a bit, a fairly strong, smoky, coffee flavor was present in addition to the hops and pine.

TASTE: The first sip was dominated by coffee. The hops seemed to be there, but only to provide a bitter aftertaste and not to provide the pine from the nose. A brief jolt of grapefruit also hits the palate with each sip. This is certainly a complex and unusual beer - a nice break from the ordinary.

MOUTHFEEL: The feel of this beer is more like that of a porter and not so much like an IPA. Very smooth and oily, but it is also drying on the way down as well. A nice feel, but I would have preferred more carbonation.

OVERALL: A lot of times something as unusual and different as a black IPA is can be too difficult for your palate to understand at first, making it tough to drink. That is not the case with the Back in Black. It is a very drinkable beer that tastes like a nice, bitter IPA and a smooth and smoky porter had a baby.

Photo of micromaniac129
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep brown to black out of the can producing a faily dense, tall deep tan foamy head.
Looks to be modestly carbonated by the looks of it. I'm judging from a Chimay goblet.
Aroma is akin to an imperial porter in that it has a roasted malt backbone and a sutle but robust hop boquet.
Taste is similar to what I experenced aroma wise. A deep rich roasted bill with a farily high amount of hop bitterness.
You can also pull out some simple smokeiness.
Hops have no desernable flavor nuiances, maybe earthy at best since this brew does have some earthy quialities about it.
A medium body beer that has agood sweet taste and finishs sweetly and follows with a slight bitter aftertaste.
A likeable beer all and all.

Photo of JMforman
2.97/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Jet black with a nice fluffy tan head.

S- Chocolate, grapefruit, toasted malt, very pleasant smell

T- Like grapefruit juice. Weird. Not much in the way of malt. Not very bitter. Very juice-like. I've never had a beer quite like this.

M- Thin and peppery.

D- Drinks like a soda... I guess its very drinkable in that regard, but if you want a beer, look elsewhere.

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Back in very dark brown actually. Fluffy tan head settles to a thick crown of retention that BiB wears proudly all glass long. Leaves lacey sheets in it's wake. Would be perfect if it was actually black.

Bright citrus with soft pine edges and brownie batter. Not too much dark roasty malt that I was anticipating but it works just the same.

Bright orange citrus hop and smooth dark roast malt flavor without any actual dark roasted bitterness. I'm guessing a lot of carafa was used here. Uber juicy hops become more and more prevalent as the beer warms and taste like cotton candy and Blue Raspberry Blow Pop.

Sweet and with less roast character than most beers of this style but I like it. More of a IPA that happens to be black.

Photo of philbertk
2.83/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

21st Amendment Brewery BACK in BLACK Black IPA--American IPA Brewed With Rich Dark Malts--2010 12 oz. MicroCan. 6.80% ABV. 65 IBU's. (2.5 / 5.0) Cascadian Dark Ale. Thickish pour. Big dense thick tan head with mild lace. Dark ruby edged black color. Fruity herbal mild floral hop front. Minimal black malt toast notes. Mild sweet toasted dry textured slightly fruity roasted black cherry body. Dry mild hop spice end. Confused Brew!! Hops there but not. Dark malts taste fruity without roastiness. Easy to drink with clean crisp mild citrus hop end. Sampled 2/7/2011. 6-Pack purchased for $9.00 at PCC--Fremont, Seattle on 7/29/2010.

Photo of matty
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black colored beer with a slowly fading huge creamy head.Aroma is dominated by hops.Taste is coffee,hops and sweet cream.Very sweet yet smooth goes down very easy.Overall a good beer that is best suited for winter days.I would recommend and would purchase again.

Photo of notsoprobeer
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color was dark brown--not quite black. It had a tan colored head with good retention. Aroma was mostly hops, along the lines of grapefruit. After it warmed up, I could smell the malts. The first flavors I noticed were some roasted malts and coffee. Then the taste of the hops came through and left a slightly bitter aftertaste, which was pleasant. There was a touch of sweetness, that I could have done without. Body was light. Carbonation level was nice. Very drinkable.

Photo of Norica
1.42/5  rDev -61.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

So excited to try this beer and out of the gate it looks promising with a opaque black appearance and strong head. Aroma is of vending machine hot chocolate, very faint. From here the beer heads down very fast. Taste of sour milk from a metal canteen and virtually no hopfeel on the tongue. My cheapness prevents the drinkability of this one taking a ride out to the town sewer. Can't get over how bad this one is from a brewery that I've had some luck with. It's a huge step forward that craft beer is turning to cans but it's still what is inside that counts and this one fails miserably.

Photo of kevinv
2.61/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the can into a pint glass.

A: Opaque dark brown. Ruby hues when held to the light. Large retaining tan head. Prolonged lacing throughout.

S: Light piney hops. Sweet malts.

T: Sweet and roasted malts. Light hop presence. Slight bitterness and an off-taste that I can't put my finger on in the finish. It kind of tastes like...soap? The 'roasty-ness' is nice. There's a little bit of an unpleasant sweetness that lingers. Other than that, there's not much going on.

M: Light, thin feel. Medium carbonation. It could use a bigger body.

D: Drinkability is alright. The alcohol is hidden well. It's just a little too sweet for me, so I don't think I'd want more than one.

Photo of birderbeerer
2.99/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours dark black with a four finger coffee head.

Aroma is some piney hops with a big cloyingly sweet malt jolt. Interesting.

Multiple tastes come through in phases. The malts overcome the hops with only a slight bitter sharp edge. Flavors resemble stout, brown ale, a low hop ipa, and even lager. Strange. The waves of flavor pass too quickly to hang on or enjoy them. Seems like it was brewed as a crap shoot beer. Throw a bunch of ingredients in and see how they interact.

Photo of BenjieK
3.43/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: dark brown, decent head, black highlights. Left some lacing.

S: Dark bread, coffee, light smell of hops. Not bad.

T: The taste was a let down for me. Have been drinking some great local ABAs. This was lackluster, with not so intense coffee and hops nots, but more sweetness.

M: Kind of light but well carbonated and refreshing.

D: Could definately drink a few of these under the right circumstances.

Photo of CHickman
3.81/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with a reddish brown color around the edges when held up to light and a massive foamy tan head that lasted a long time and stuck around like a cloud of foam that you could run your finger through; great foamy lacing that left rings as it went down. Really great looking beer.

Smells of sweet malt, floral hops, citrus fruit, caramel, grapefruit, lemon zest, toasted grains and some brown sugar; smells more malty than hoppy, but still a nice balanced mix.

Tastes of sweet malt, toasted grains, burnt wood, floral hops, light flowers, grapefruit, lemon, orange peel, piney hops, brown sugar, grass, hay, yeast, light spices like pepper and something else which I can't put my finger on; overall this is very sweet, with a mix of malts, citrus hops and a roasted flavor that's almost like a barrel aging effect. Not what I expected based on the title, but this was still tasty.

Mouthfeel was very creamy and smooth, with almost no carbonation, a body that leans towards heavy for an "IPA", and a slick feel on the tongue. Good drinkability, this goes down easy, hides the alcohol well and was overall quite enjoyable. A recommendation, as I would have this again.

Photo of cichief
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poure from a 12 ounce can into a fluted pint glass.

A- Pours a very dark,nearly opaque, brown-black, with an ample brown head.

S- Some hoppy freshness, pine-like.

T- Hoppy, but not floral, a bit of coffee with a little sweetness.

M- Very bubbly, a bit of CO2 burn, medium body.

D- Very drinkable, not heavy, refreshing for a dark beer.

Photo of inlimbo77
3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

Photo of feylure
2.06/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Oh wow. This one didn't hit me quite so well.

Appearance is great. It pours such a dark brown that it becomes almost pitch black in the glass, and it has a nice amount of carbonation.

Smell is odd. I can sense a light bit of hops, but for the most part it's over-taken by a puckering-bitter smell.

At first taste, it's pretty good with dark notes and malts, then something happens that I don't enjoy. Like the smell, a wave of sweet-bitterness that makes me pucker hits. The tail is very dry and leaves that bitter taste lingering.

Personally I don't find the puckering taste that enjoyable, so I can't say I find this beer all that drinkable. All said and done, I have to give it a try!

Cheers

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Inspired by Paul Revere's midnight ride, we rebelled against the British style IPA, embraced the more aggressive American version and then recast it in bold, brave, defiant black."

--21st Amendment website

The hue is more dark walnut with burnt orange edges than bold, brave, defiant black. Almost half the glass is currently filled with a lovely looking crown of caramel nougat colored foam that has an impressively bubbly surface. Lace is both extensive and attractive.

Back In Black smells like a black IPA... or a Cascadian dark ale... or an American black ale... or whatever the hell we're calling them this week. There are equal contributions from medium-dark malts and citrusy American hops: Columbus, Centennial and Simcoe.

The flavor score, although identical to the two above it, is the weakest one yet. The first half of each mouthful is wonderful. It's in the second half that a somewhat puckery lemon juiciness comes out to play. There are enough other flavors to keep it in control, but still.

The malts are mostly dark caramel-like with a contribution from bittersweet chocolate. Top notes include lemon and pink grapefruit with a small splash of pineapple juice. Sorry, but the taste score isn't able to hang in there and the drinkability score follows it right down to 3.5. Time and warming did nothing to help the cause.

The mouthfeel is just big enough and gains an enjoyable smoothness by the middle of the can. The bubbles could be better integrated, but they aren't bad, all things considered.

21st Amendment's Back In Black is not a raucous, rowdy, rock-and-rollin' roof-raiser that would do the AC/DC song of the same name proud. It's a black IPA that is a little bit too fruit juicy to compete with the best versions of this style.

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Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 2,072 ratings.