Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

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Back In BlackBack In Black

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BA SCORE
83
good

2,002 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,002
Reviews: 659
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.59%
Wants: 45
Gots: 164 | 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:
ABV varies around 7%.
65 IBU

(Beer added by: tpd975 on 11-23-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,002 | Reviews: 659 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nrbw23
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark reddish brown color with a cremay brown head. Head has pretty good retention and leaves some nice lacing.

S- The smell is floral and citrus hops. Along with some roasted malts and a bit of chocolate.

T- A bit of piney hops followed up with some roasted malts with a coffee and chocolate. The hops are there but not quite as hoppy as I'd like. A bit sweeter than I'd hope.

M- A bit on the thinner side of medium and in carbonation. Almost had a watery fell to it.

D- Not too bad just a bit more hops and it would be much better. I could drink this one again with no problems.

Photo of bobsy
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown pour with a finger of tan head that shows good retention and lace. Expected combo of coffee roast and grapefruit materialises in both the aroma and the flavour. Some bittersweet chocolate too, as well as a slight lactic sourness, which I'm not sure is from the roast or a problem in the beer (the hops still bring a good bitterness so it should be fresh). Medium body and carbonation.

Cheers Shawn!

Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Very rich dark chocolate brown with a one-finger tan head that last and deposits a fair amount of lacing. Just a hint of light transmission through the bottom of the glass.

S - Wonderful balance of toasted malts and earth-tone hops. Not much past that.

T - Starts out promising but then develops a tinny/sour flavor rather quickly. From what I can tell the beer has a nice malty flavor but not a very good hop presence due to the sour off-taste.

M/D - Medium to light body with a semi-sweet aftertaste. Low ABV not present. Smooth/creamy on the palate but the drinkability is low due to the strange sour off-flavor.

Beer had promise coming out of the can but fell on it's face when it hit the palate.

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$2.29 per can at Oak Tree.

Black body with large red highlights, topped by three fingers of rocky beige froth.

Roast coffee aroma, with a touch of milk to it. Backed by earthy hop note. Not very assertive.

Roast coffee foundation. Not heavily roasted though, slightly wimpy. Earthy hop finish. Not a big IPA type hop burst though.

Bubbly mouthfeel with some body. Good drinkability.

A lot more black than ipa, as much hoppy porter as black ipa. Worth a try, but not a "big wow".

Photo of Gregorious
2.83/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark as dark can be. But not thick at all, which is kind of weird since dark/opaque tend to follow with a thick mouthfeel. Had some nice lacing around the sides of the glass.

S - Deep dry roasting aromas, hops weren't in my business.

T - This is disappointing. Not only am I not getting the hoppiness I was looking for, but this beer has a very nasty sharp metallic aftertaste. I've heard that the flavor is actually not from the cans that they are stored in, but that the cans are brewed in a different brewery and it's there that that aftertaste is created.

M - Light, watery. Dry at the end.

D - Meh, this beer didn't go over so well.

UPDATE: I had this on tap and is MUCH better. Just stay clear of the cans.

Photo of projectflam86
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a black (go figure) color with a thick off-white foam head that leaves some decent lacing.

S- Scents of citrus hops and pine with a nice roasted flavor coming through as well. This one should be interesting.

T- Big assertive hop bitterness initially. The finish is quite roasted with a light burnt flavor and some sweetness.

M- Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Smooth even with the bitterness.

D- Interesting brew. I like the hops upfront with a nice sweet finish.

Photo of Gouxman
2.8/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, not quite as dark as I would expect from a "Black IPA" with a tan head

Aroma: A nice malty sweetness balanced by a subtle earthy hop aroma. Was actually expecting more of a hop presence.

Taste: Semi-sweet malt flavor with a rather low hop bitterness. I don't know if the 6pk I bought from Jungle Jim's was a bit out dated, but I do not detect any hop bitterness at all. Instead a slight diacetyl flavor takes me away from this beer. For having 65 IBUs, I don't taste a single BU.

M/D: The mouthfeel and drinkability reflects the flavor. I was expecting much more from this brewery I've heard so much about and a beer with a kick ass name. I hope I either got a bad batch or an old showing because this is one of the least impressive "Black IPAs" I've ever experienced.

Photo of Ego
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

eyes...
even on a careful pour the head froths forth into the glass, rising nearly three fingers it calms down into a craggy mess of large soap bubbles that are slightly off white, as the name implies this is black (not like steve martin). pretty good lookin' I must say...

nose...
the first sense is some subtle roast aroma, sweet cocoa lurks in the shadows underneath that layer, the hops are hard to detect but are there, a nice subdued bouquet

taste etc...
I wasn't expecting the carbonation as I forgot this is an "IPA"... the roast really threw me off, The carbonation sort of seems out of place but it does carry the bitter hops well... the roast kind of floats over the top of the bitterness. this feels slightly heavier than other IPAs, visually this throws me off but it really does drink like a tamer IPA with a hint of roast. The hops linger and gather as you sip this one down.. something about the carbonation really bothers me though... I really think less carb here would improve this beer.

verdict?
pretty interesting beer, definitely worth a look. I wouldn't turn one down if it was offered.

music: mindfunk - self titled debut

Photo of sjverla
2.88/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nose: Yeasty and biscuity. Mellow sweetness like molasses laced with grassiness to the back.

Appearance: Nearly opaque black. Sweet ruby on the edges. Big head the color of creamed coffee that sticks around.

Taste & Feel: Weird. Bready and bitter and slightly metallic. Almost soapy. Hops come in at the end, malts stay on the lips. The feel is fairly smooth.

Overall: Swing and a miss. This beer wants to be great, and I like it on uniqueness, it just misses the mark on taste. Something about it just doesn't translate.

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

Purchased from Jackson Wines & Spirits in Lafayette CA, and brought back in my luggage to Australia to crack open with my bro, and my bro from another mo.

Pours a deep brown, slightly red-tinged, slightly opaque colour, with a fine-bubbled and rather firm head of beige-brown bubbles. Lacing is solid and pretty decent. The colour is nice, but looks a little light for a IBA; it makes me wonder where the roasted characters are going to come from.

On the nose, however, they are there and present. Certainly some dark grain, toasted bread, with a light citric hop acidity and a hint of chemical astringency, that almost certainly comes from the hops as well. More of the roasted character, and less of the hops than I've had from many an IBA, but it's pretty interesting.

Taste is odd, but again, it works. Slight nutty malt character throughout, just punctuated with some light citric hops, and quite a light finish, that doesn't quite have much roasted or hoppy bitterness, although the mingled combination of the two lasts for some time. Feel is thin, but smooth.

It's a nice brew, but I've had better examples of the style. This one falls flat in a number of areas, and while it still yields a nice package, it's far from the pinnacle of the style.

Photo of r0nyn
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into my Otter Creek nonic.

Pours a reddish dark brown hue that is almost opaque, but lets just enough light through to be translucent. There's a quarter-inch tan head that lingers for quite a while and leaves some stringy, soapy lacing. Loose streams of carbonation can be seen rising from the bottom to the top. Smell is full of floral hops with a definite citrus character, but is more subdued than I'm used to from everyday IPAs. There's a malt presence at the end as well.

Some lightish bittering from the hops to start, but like the nose, is pretty subdued. Definitely not as robust as other pale ales I've sampled. The hoppy quality gives way some sweet roasted malts that are also a bit on the toned down side. There's some mild bitterness in the ephemeral aftertaste, but that's about it. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, with a fair bit of carbonation. Finishes dry on the tongue. Bit of a chewy quality to it as well.

I had to review a beer named after my favorite AC/DC album and while it's not a bad beer, it's pretty underwhelming. Taste is a bit on the quiet side and while I'm not a big fan of big hops and bitterness, this definitely could have done well with a bit more character to it.

Photo of endincolorado
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep, chestnut-brown with a huge light tan head that hangs around for a long time and leaves behind plenty of sticky lacing.

Aroma is of moderately roasty malt balanced by a decent, dry, hoppiness.

Flavor is nice and refreshing with a moderately bitter hop character and a well-balanced toasty malt content.

Mouthfeel is medium with appropriate carbonation.

Drinkability is moderate. Something about this one leaves me ready for a change after one or two.

Photo of Bogforce
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: BLACK. Two finger head that goes away slowly after the first drink. Decent amount of lacing.

S: Smells like an IPA mainly, can tell it has the dark malts in it.

T: Pretty decent mix between an ipa and dark beer at first. Finishing taste is an ipa

D: Probably wouldn't drink this a ton but it's a pretty good beer

Photo of nitro0292
4.4/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a snifter.

A - Easy pour produced a solid inch head. Aggressive pour overflowed my glass. Wonderful black with a tan head. Looks like Guinness, but no nitro pour.

S - Deeelicious. Coffee, sweetness and citrus hops. So much goodness.

T - See above. Terrific blend of dark and roasted malts and hops. Level of bitterness and hop profile are ideal. Any more would be too hoppy for the style and any less would be too stout like.

M - Medium body. Maybe a touch more carbonation, but I am nitpicking.

D - I honestly could finish the entire 6er in one sitting. Good thing I didn't.

Photo of CharlatanSin
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a can into a pint glass. I remember liking this much better on tap than I did this time.

A: The beer pours a dark brown with a bit of coca-cola ruby around the edges. Small, off-white head.

S: Not good. There's tropical fruit, but it's muddled and smells oddly artificial. To me, it smells just like fruit sorbet, which is not a smell I want in an IPA or CDA. Not much roasted malt or chocolate character, either.

T/M: Better than the smell, but still not great. It's still got that sorbet-like fruit essence, which comes across as soapy in the flavor. But in the mouth you can at least discern actual hops. There's a bit of chocolate, and some harsh, dry bitterness like burnt coffee. Body's on the thin side with medium carbonation. Dry.

D: Like I said, I remember liking it okay when I had it on tap a while ago. But this was muddled and a mess. Too bad, since I like their IPA a lot.

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

On-tap at 21A

A: The pour is reminiscent of cola in terms of the color with a dense off-white head and some spots of lacing.

S: The nose is primarily of roasted malts and bitter-sweet chocolate. A moderate citrus hop aroma of grapefruit and orange peels. Not quite as hoppy as your usual black IPA.

T: The hop character is mild, especially in terms of the bitterness. Fairly sweet and chocolatey with a decent grapefruit flesh and peel flavor, though.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high level of carbonation.

D: Not exactly what you think of in terms of the black IPA, but still a good beer.

Photo of Mancer
4.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a fantastic deep dark brown/jet black with an excellent two finger high, light brown head. The lacing was thick and clung nicely to the glass. The head receded slowly and remained for most of the beer. The initial smell of the beer is citrus with light pine. The smell was not overwhelming but was instead quite nice on the nose. The initial taste of the beer was that of the smell, citrus and pine flavors with a light bitter bite on the tongue. Additionally, the lightly roasted malts were a wonderful addition and complimented the beer perfectly. The beer had a medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall, this has got to be one of my favorite IPA's yet. I am absolutely blown away by the appearance and flavors of this beer. Additionally, this is the first canned beer that I have been drawn to and I have to say that I am impressed. I definitely need to seek out more beers by this brewery. I would also like to add that this brewery is wonderfully creative with their can designs, as well as the box that this 6er came in.

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

Was my beer to kick off that night at Anchor and Hope...

A = Every one at the table was suprised I started the night with this...But I knew it was not going to be heavy...Dark..dark...dark, but nice head

S = Hops a plenty

M = not as bitter on the finish as I would have thought but had a nice choclate finish

D= Excuse me sir...but can I have another....Loved it and could drking all night

Photo of clayrock81
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a blackish body with good head that receeds on the quick and leaves lace patches down glass. A mix of citric hops and some roasted malts, hint of sweetness...nothing stands out. A little sticky w/ a medium-to-heavy body and the roasted malts are prevelant as beer has a dryish edge. Soapy, citric hops w/ a little spice perk up and poke on the tongue for some good ol' IPA hops taste. The balance is OK but not perfect as I find the hops are muddled and not much sweet malt...just dry and touch of blandness as I drink. This is a good beer but a tad funky aftertaste and overall w/ beer I'm just left with an alright feeling.

Photo of garymuchow
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can dated 0221 - Aug 9, 2010. Shouldn't be too old in flavor, I suppose. It is a can after all. Paul Revere on a motorcyle.
Poured into SA glass and fills it to the top with the rich dense tan head capping a black drink, that holds deep dark reds and is clear in the light. Lots of messy lacing.
Still a fresh hop aroma and mixed with slight roast and dark malt aroma. I like the aroma of this, it s a nice blend, although a little tight.
Adequately complex with a light and drinkable body. Very long lasting bitterenss on the finish, although not intense. The blending of the hop flavors with the dark toast, light roast of the malt is a nice combination. Tart citrus hop flavor. Nice sweetness up front and it seems as much hop as malt in character.
This is very drinkable and rather tasty too. The creaminess of the very long lasting head adds a very pleasing quality.

Photo of donniecuffs
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled this one not too long ago at The Blind Tiger, NYC. Poured black, with less than a finger of off-white head; average retention and lacing, and modestly visible carbonation. Smelled of citrus hops; piney and bitter peel, though not overly pungent. The taste was surprisingly thin in flavor, starting on a citrus note, and then devolving to a thin, modestly dry finish. Very thin texture in general too, with a hint of carbonation. Aside from the well-hidden nature of the alcohol content, I found this to be a lackluster example of the style.

Photo of thedoubler55
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A:Pretty much blac in color with a nice two finger tan head at the top that leaves a bit of lacing around the glass.

S: This is a very piney beer, lots of hops and malts, gives off a chocolate smell and slight coffee notes in there as well.

T: The piney hops and chocoloate are a great match for this beer, it tastes even better as it warms.

M: Medium/heavy bodied, a slight amount of carbonation.

D: A good beer from 21st ammendment, Very refreshing and very well balanced as well.

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

Poured from the 12oz can into a Maudite snifter. Body is a rich black color, topped by an inch of creamy, off-white head that leaves some pretty thick lace on the glass. Appearance is very stout-like, much thicker and creamier than most Cascadian dark ales. Aroma of dark malt with a touch of lactose sweetness, with a touch of fruity hops with some tropical notes.
Palate is malt-forward, with a good bit of roast. Dark fruit notes from the malt, coupled with mild, tropical fruit (pineapple) from the hops. Definitely not as much hop presence as most beers of the style, this is more like a slightly hoppier milk stout.
Body is nice and creamy, with a bit of a dry finish. An enjoyable beer, for sure, but maybe just not up to the spec of a Cascadian dark ale.

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

12 oz. can poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. I couldn't believe the head one this beer. It's a cross between off-white and light brown in color, it's like a volcano and it produces excellent lacing. I would have rated the appearance higher except it really wasn't that dark. It's more like a cola colored brown except you can tell it's looks thicker.

The smell is pretty good, very earthy though. Pine hops with maybe some very slight citrus zest to it. A few hints of caramel and chocolate burned malts and a slight smokiness to it.

The taste is a very slight step up. The earthy flavor is maintained. Again with the pine hops, citrus slightly stronger in the taste than smell. Malts are slightly tasted providing balance to the beer. Smokiness towards the end possibly some pete.

The mouthfeel is very good. Well balanced, and certainly full bodied. This is the best part of the beer in my opinion. What these beers are supposed to consist of. A full well balanced flavor that maintains strong aspects of both the hop and malts. This beer equally has very good drinkability. Could easily be a year round beer for all occasions.

Photo of aerozeppl
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with only some brown when held up to the light. Fairly typical for the style. A finger of coffee tinted head with some lacing.

S: The nose is kind of tight. You really do not get any real hop aroma which is kind of the point. Little bit of wet blanket in there as well. Not a pleasant nose. The worst part of this beer.

T: The hops are bright in the taste though. It comes across as mostly tangerine and orange which was a really nice surprise.

M: Light bodied. The carbonation is fairly low.

D: A decent enough beer but the nose was a mess. The taste was decent and the citrus in it was nice. Better examples of the style out there though.

Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 2,002 ratings.