1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Back In BlackBack In Black

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

1,634 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1634
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: 1,634 | Reviews: 635 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of CFHMagnet
CFHMagnet

Ohio

3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A steady pour got a finger of beige head over a rich cola-brown body. Good lacing.

Roasty and malty on the nose. Good amount of caramel with a little buttered toffee and pine shining through.

Roasted malt with buttered toffee is the main flavor. Pine, grass and a little grapefruit come on through a little.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Leaves a decent residue.

Serving type: can

10-30-2013 01:06:44 | More by CFHMagnet
Photo of Glennlawless
Glennlawless

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a 16oz.

A - Spotty lacing and Just a deep burgundy blackish dark purple color with an off white slightly light, very light hint of purple frothy inch head. this beers beautiful!

S - Roasty right off the bat. Bready,coffee....mild floral hops and some grapefruit off in the background maybe. A ton of malt happening.

T - getting lots of malt and coffee in the beginning then leaves mellow with the slightest earthy and floral hop bitterness.

M - very creamy, low carbonation.

Overall, I never was a fan of black IPA's until this one.... Had almost the body of a porter, and was so drinkable. its just a big malt like coffee bomb and then hops slide by in the end for a mildly bitter and smooth finish. This beer is sessionable to me. Very drinkable. I loved this.

Serving type: can

10-23-2013 00:41:17 | More by Glennlawless
Photo of vette2006c5r
vette2006c5r

Minnesota

3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Back in Black pours a black color with a frothy large and lacing head. There is a tiny metal like aroma. The has a nice burnt like malty backbone, with hints of a floral hop near the end. Body is a bit watery, but flavors are present. Overall a nice mellow and drinkable Black Ale.

Serving type: can

10-13-2013 00:27:14 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of BeerKangaroo
BeerKangaroo

Alaska

3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned July 3, 2013:

Into a pint glass:

A: dark brown closer to a black colored body, thick foamy two finger off white head that caps a bit above the top, and falls after a minute leaving a spectacular show of spider web speckled lacing

S: roasted malts, bitter coffee grounds, sweet toffee, happily dosed with hops

T: sweet and roasty but also adds a some bitterness as well, dry roasty aftertaste and finish

M: light to medium, somewhat sessionable, carbonation is actually pretty smooth for the style (could be because I'm drinkin' an older American Black Ale)

O: this is a good American Black Ale that I would have again especially with the fact that it held up until now

Serving type: can

10-06-2013 19:17:04 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of cottonkoozie
cottonkoozie

North Carolina

4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Nice thick cream colored head, some lacing, good retention. Very dark brown, reddish in light.

S - Roasted malts, toffe sweetness, and hops. Kind of reminds me of a hopped porter smell.

T - Much heavier on the hops than what I could smell. Nice bitter hops up front, and then finished with a roasted malt flavor. Taste like a well balanced apa that has been roasted. There is a slight metallic aftertaste though, other wise very good.

M - pretty heavy, but I think that's appropriate for the beer.

O - Good beer. Like I mentioned before I am getting a slightly metallic aftertaste, but otherwise this is a good beer. I think it is a good alternative for a hop head that likes a little more toasted flavor of a dark malty beer for a change. This offers a good in between balance. I would buy it again.

Serving type: can

10-03-2013 23:23:35 | More by cottonkoozie
Photo of Mojo
Mojo

Alabama

3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce can -> Dogfish Head glass

A - pours up a deep ruby red/brown almost black with a one finger caramel colored fluffy head, good retention, and great lacing.

S - The nose is mostly roasted nuts and chickory.

T - The taste follows the nose with a nice smoky roasted bitter finish.

M - kind of a burnt aftertaste, not completely pleasant

O - nice offering. I would not turn one of these down.

Serving type: can

10-03-2013 03:43:08 | More by Mojo
Photo of Goosehunter75
Goosehunter75

Missouri

3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A -Pout very dark. Almost looks like a cola. Nice 2 finger tan head with excellent retention

S - Smells of dark roasted malts. Slight citrus in the background followed by piney/earty hops. Slight nutty aromaas well

T - Very good flavor. Slightly smokey to start. Good bitter finish mixed with roasted and caramel malts

M - A medium body beer that is very smooth. Great creaminess to it

O - A very enjoyable IPA that is unique. Wonderful flavor. Would say that it could be a little more bitter. Overall its a very smooth beer with a knockout flavor. Would def pick it up again

Serving type: can

10-02-2013 16:11:21 | More by Goosehunter75
Photo of EyeOfBuck
EyeOfBuck

Ohio

4.6/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- fitting of its name black with an inch half of creamy tan head poured in a frosty mug. Thin covering of head stays to the last drop.
Smell - definitely smell of hops, that did not translate into the taste
Taste- sweetness that is a bit uncharteristic of an IPA with 65 IBUs followed by a slightly bitter aftertaste that is welcome, but does not linger. It comes back to a roasted malt flavor that sticks with you. Alcohol is present, but not overwhelming.
Mouthfeel - carbonation is lasting across the full depth of the tongue. A bit syrupy and fitting for a heavier IPA that makes you want another.

Serving type: can

09-14-2013 16:57:48 | More by EyeOfBuck
Photo of Arbadarchi
Arbadarchi

California

3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A- Great artwork on the can. Very black, minimal light finding its way through. I got a 2 finger head that lingered for a few minutes before fading to a thin cap on top. Some lacing on the glass.

S- Smells like the cross between an IPA and a stout. I got some citrusy hops and dark malts. Not the kind of aroma that jumps out at you

T- Hop forward that is blurred together with the darker malts. I got some of the citrus from the smell but I feel like the darker malts and some chocolate take priority. Good bitterness that stays with the taste the whole time. Some metallic flavors detract from the other flavors.

M- Not too thin, but not as full as most other dark beers. Moderate carbonation.

O- Not great, but not bad by any means. It's a satisfying beer if you come across some, however there are many other beers I'd rather buy than this.

Serving type: can

09-06-2013 07:26:56 | More by Arbadarchi
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Utterly black, this beer is presented in an artistically motifedd black can. The aroma is grainy and a little smokey. Charcoal and a touch of wood and background hops. The taste is dry, with a heavily roasted, and almost char quality. Full in body. Easy to drink and moderately full of flavor. Like a highly hopped dry stout. Nice.

Serving type: can

08-30-2013 23:36:31 | More by Suds
Photo of cavedave
cavedave

New York

3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for yet another great beer to drop on my sobriety courtesy of beertunes :-))

Pours a dark and thick black, as advertised. A finger of tan foam bites the dust pretty quick and leaves a permaring and oily legs.

Full aroma of chocolate and coffee, toffee a bit lighter note, some citrus and herbal bitter, even a hint of pine lightly behind it all. Yes!

Taste doesn't cash the aroma's check, but still a great taste. Starts with the bitter hitting into coffee and citrus, staying prominent as it peaks into a blast of bitter herbosity and roasty collosity. It is less balanced than the nose, designed to assault the palate with the range of hop high artillery and still be drinkable. As it warms it really starts to shine, moreso at room temp.

Highly viscous, full bodied, full of resin, intense finish, low carb., all spot on, but the negative is the cling couid be a bit cleaner.

Overall a beer that tries to do the impossible. Heavy roast and lotta hop attack. succeeds better than most, and gotta give em credit. Like strong flavors and a strong herbal dry finish? This is your brew.

Serving type: can

08-25-2013 23:51:27 | More by cavedave
Photo of dwren89
dwren89

Virginia

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

Appearance: dark brown with ruby highlights, creamy puffy light tan head

Aroma: roasty but not overly so, very piney, definite bitterness

Taste: roasty and piney, with a smooth but noticeably bitter finish (65 IBUs), a nice balance overall

Mouthfeel: creamy and rich, coats the mouth for a long finish, the creaminess also helps curb some of the bitterness, medium-full body

Overall: Very piney with dark roastiness to balance. A creamy mouthfeel gives this beer a nice texture that helps to curb some of the bitterness. Strong flavor with a long finish that leave you feeling quite satisfied. This beer would be great with smoked pork or beef.

Serving type: can

08-14-2013 01:43:37 | More by dwren89
Photo of KVNBGRY
KVNBGRY

Florida

3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'm surprised this rating is so "low". Maybe it's because it was my first 21A beer, but I thought it was great. I rarely write full reviews, but I felt compelled to say something. Appearance/aroma/taste were what I have come to expect from a cascadian dark ale. It was a little too "smooth" but that's not a bad thing... Notes of pine, oak, and grapefruit all came out in the nose and taste. As its not the best CDA I've ever had, it's far from the worst. Keep up the good work 21A!

Serving type: can

08-11-2013 05:02:52 | More by KVNBGRY
Photo of papat444
papat444

Quebec (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. can, canned 04/22/13.

Appearance: Very bubbly head, firmly latched on to the glass. Deep dark brown body with blood red tinges and thick rings left behind.

Smell: Resiny, creamy coffee, pine needles, some roasted aromas.

Taste: Pine, oatmeal, mix of sweet & bitter, roasted coffee, bit of grapefruit.

Mouthfeel: Good full body, stick, lip smacking, rolling bitterness.

Overall: Decent stab at the style.

Serving type: can

08-02-2013 17:51:54 | More by papat444
Photo of Act25
Act25

New Jersey

4.11/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alstrom's, I always read them, but every now and then, they need to re-review a beer to do it justice. Back in Black is such a case, it's a delightful 4.0 beer.

A: Can poured into a .5l cylinder named Spaten. Results in dark walnut clear brew with large tan head, and tons of retention and lacing. A sticky cola like pour. A beauty.

S: aroma is nicely balanced between citrus, hoppy, leafy, and floral set against a malty base malt of dark caramel, chocolate and black bread.

T: Like it smells but better. Well balanced, slightly sweet, plenty hoppy, never over done. Definitely want another, definitely want to find a case.

Paired with garden tomatoes, cukes, peppers, mozz, with truffle oil and balsamic, multi grain toast points. - Perfect August dinner!

M: medium bodied, creamy with a zesty finale of carbonation and bitter on the tongue.

Overall: accessible. If you love porter and you enjoy hops, try this. Love the depth, sweetness, and originality. I don't feel this beer has lost it's way, it's just a "good herb" like its namesake home.

I 100% agree with the reviewer NeroFiddled (PA) who wrote:
"Rich and smooth, 21st Amendment packs the strength of an IPA (6.8% alc./vol.), all of the bitterness (65 IBU's), and quite a bit of hop flavor and aroma (65 IBU's) into one really nicely balanced, chocolatey/roasty ale."

When in SF, try visiting 21st Amendment!

Serving type: can

08-02-2013 01:08:03 | More by Act25
Photo of richj1970
richj1970

Alabama

3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz can into snifter.

A: Very dark brown almost lack with very nice 3-4 finger head. Nice retention and fairly consistent lacing.

S: Resin, pines, dark malts.

T: Nice roasty flavors from the malts with a bit of fruity undertones. Hops come through in the back with some nice bitterness.

M: A fair amount of carbonation, and comes off a bit dry. Perhaps a bit thin.

O: Enjoyable Black IPA. Still trying to get my mind around a dark beer that isn't a stout... I can see myself picking up some more of these soon.

Serving type: can

07-29-2013 02:09:13 | More by richj1970
Photo of gcamparone
gcamparone

Rhode Island

3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz can into a snifter. Acquired in a trade with gwdavis.

A- Pours a deep brown body with cherry highlights. The head is 2 fingers and off white, leaving some uniform lacing.

S- Not very potent.. the hops are resinous and piney, some dark malt in there. Very subtle. Had to strain.

T- Upfront I get some sweet dark malt, particularly toffee and caramel. This develops into subtle piney, resinous hops. The finish is slightly roasty with some vanilla.

M- Easy drinker, slightly watery though. Medium-low carbonation.

A fairly executed black IPA. Not awesome but not bad. I could throw a few of these back.

Serving type: can

07-24-2013 01:46:30 | More by gcamparone
Photo of ksimons
ksimons

New York

3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A-pours chestnut brown with three fingers worth of light tan head

S-citrus and piney hops with a bit of caramel malt

T-taste is somewhat sweeter than I expected from the smell with a heavy backbone of caramel malt and a mild amount of citrus hops

M-medium body, very smooth, mild carbonation

Overall not the most exciting beer, but still good tasting and easy to drink

Serving type: can

07-10-2013 22:41:50 | More by ksimons
Photo of Libationguy
Libationguy

Nevada

4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with an off-white head. Carbonation is fine and there is a moderate head retention.

Citrus, resin, pine, white flowers, roasted malt, pumpernickel bread and a light coffee note. The aromatics hold a medium intensity and while the hop notes are fresh, they are not overly aggressive.

Really picks up on the palate. Resin, hop bitterness, espresso. Rich, roasted malt flavors.

Nice full mouthfeel, with the hops well balanced but notable.

Bold in style and really well made.

Serving type: can

07-07-2013 03:23:08 | More by Libationguy
Photo of SerialHiker
SerialHiker

Illinois

4.01/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, not porter dark brown, but close…head is minimal, just off white and thins rather quickly…I could use a touch more that’s for sure…easily the least satisfactory part of this brew…(3/5)

Smell: Roasted malts up front, but they are light and fresh smelling…an airy, citrus hops quality is also readily apparent…I’m catching whiffs of oatmeal, dark fruit sweetness, very light milkiness and a subtle hint of coffee bitterness…a nice smelling brew that’s watering my mouth…(3.75/5)

Taste: Yum! Roasted malts and piney hops collide creating a fantastic flavor in my mouth…very fresh and vibrant…malts are strong but not over powering, balancing the strong IPA flavor that exists within…subtle flavors of oatmeal, citrus hops, coffee bitterness and touch of toastiness also picked up…a very balanced brew, that’s for sure…roasted malts and piney hops are a hell of a combo! (4.25/5)

Mouthfeel: A light medium body…the carbonation is medium to lots, bringing a nice tasting cloud of roasted malts to the palate…everything is balanced well, after malts fade, I get a hoppy/coffee bitterness lingering well after I swallow…slightly robust, mildly chewing and easy drinking, this is a strong point for this brew…(4/5)

Overall: Fantastic! I’ve been digging the black ales lately and this is one of the better ones I’ve tried…while the malts are strong in flavor, they don’t overpower the hops and work well in complimenting one another…it’s maltiness doesn’t stop its drinkability as I surely could have a few of these while hanging out and be very happy…I’ve heard of 21st Amendment before, but this is my first sampling of what they produce and I have to say I’m impressed…it’s no wonder they are distributed widely…easy to recommend, this brew would do well on the disc golf course, at the poker table, around a camp fire or while watching your favorite local sports franchise…scoop up a sixer of this and you won’t be disappointed…be warned, others will like this as well, so sharing is done at your own risk! (4/5)

www.brewreport.blogspot.com

Serving type: can

06-29-2013 00:32:16 | More by SerialHiker
Photo of MistahBeah
MistahBeah

Massachusetts

3.34/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Black or a very dark brown. Khaki head with good lacing. Lots of carbonation

Aroma: Roasty chocolate and toffee notes. Earthy hops. Caramel

Taste: Chewy roasted chocolate and some bitter coffee flavor. Resiny earthen hop bitterness. A little citrus. Bitter but not overly so. Ironically this was more bitter than their IPA. A tad salty in the finish as well

Mouthfeel: Creamy and chewy. Lingering bitter finish

Overall: Not bad by any stretch but nothing I would strongly recommend. Decent

Serving type: can

06-23-2013 23:29:11 | More by MistahBeah
Photo of MacQ32
MacQ32

South Carolina

3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours damn near black with about a half finger of light chocolate/dark tan colored head. Retention is so-so the lacing is strong.

S - Slightly roasty malts and a very earthy hop presence. Roasty chocolates/toasted caramel malts , minimally grassy and resinous hop qualities.

T - Roasty malts and citrusy/earthy hops are definitely at the forefront initially. Roastyness really lingers and along with the hoppy astringency (quite astringent) blocks out any sweetness from malts. Astringent hoppy flavors definitely linger and there's a hint of malty and citrusy sweetness for a split second at the finish. 3

With time and warmth the astrigency is much less devastating and much better balanced - although roasty and earthy hops w/ mildly sweet finish is really all im getting out of this. Simple but much better than initially thought. Aftertaste doesnt linger too much bit is bitter earthy hops. 3.75

M - Medium bodied, very smooth, but somehow very carbonated (for the style). I kind of dig it but the overpowering astringency makes it difficult to gauge anything else. I don't think it's the fault of the mouthfeel, and I rather like it - although it does seem a little confused as do the flavors. 3.5

Over time, like taste, the mouthfeel becomes a bit less confused and better gauged as the astrigency has died down. Still pretty well carbonated, although not as much so as initially thought, still very smooth, medium bodied. 3.75

O - Not awful, but as others have said, and i believe it described it perfectly - This seems to be a very confused beer (especially in regards to taste and mouthfeel). A lot going on at once, seemingly blocking everything else. 3.25

Over time my opinion of this brew has definitely improved, im about half way through as I re-review parts of this and the beer is probably around 55 degrees 3.75

Serving type: can

06-20-2013 23:53:14 | More by MacQ32
Photo of alaimoa
alaimoa

Connecticut

3.19/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a nice black with lots if brown head that lingers with nice lacing. Smells a bit of burnt chocolate, burnt caramel and hop resin. Taste isn't bad but thin and not too compkex, slightly too malty with a bitterness that hangs around for too long.

Serving type: can

06-15-2013 23:08:08 | More by alaimoa
Photo of angrybabboon
angrybabboon

Rhode Island

3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Consumed 6/15/13

Cheers to magictacosinus for sending this as an extra. I've been sitting on this can for about two months, not out of disinterest, but because I've had so many other beers to drink! Plus, I've already had this in the past, and I know I like it, so...

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black - holding it up to direct light reveals that this beer is actually really clear, and has some serious garnet tones - pours with a big, creamy, beige head, retains a nice cap, leaves above-average lacing

Smell: Roasty chocolate malts and some hops - nicely roasty, without being particularly aggressive - some nice coffee-like notes - lightly burnt chocolate malts - lightly hoppy, with some citrus and some grassy tones - some pale and caramel grainy sweetness in the background

Taste: Subdued chocolate malts and some hops - a uniquely mellow take on the style - roasty coffee notes - lightly burnt, dry chocolate malts, and some dark chocolate flavors - a nice level of hoppiness with some fleshy grapefruit, and some vague citrus peel - some nice sweetness, from caramel malts - somewhat bready

Mouthfeel: Medium body, smooth, nice carbonation, clean finish

Overall: Won't rock you all night long, but will make other AC/DC references

This is a uniquely mellow, unexpectedly drinkable black IPA. Balancing the bitter, burnt flavors with bitter, fruity hop flavors is always a challenge. This beer isn't aggressive in either regard, which is not particularly exciting, but it is nicely charming.

Serving type: can

06-15-2013 04:19:42 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of ChuckHackett
ChuckHackett

Alaska

4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smooth,Malt, earthy. Slightly hopped. Very Easy Beer to drink. Even though the IBU's were at 65, it didn't taste that hoppy. I think it's a unique beer. I didn't feel like it was 6.8%ABV. It was very smooth and would think it was more in the 6.2%. It was like having a Nitro Milk Stout and a Alaskan IPA having a child.
I think there is room for the creation of the Dark IPA market. It's nice to have those earthy, full-mouthed IPA with some stout notes.
I would think that this would be at least scored in the 80's. I think there are better IPA's, but then again. Is this just an IPA?

Serving type: can

04-28-2013 01:45:45 | More by ChuckHackett
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,634 ratings.