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Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

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

1,906 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,906
Reviews: 653
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 44
Gots: 143 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Back In Black Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,906 | Reviews: 653 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dubber55
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First black ipa. Here we go:

Dark brown/black. When held up to the light, its looks dark brown. 2 finger mocha head.

Smells hoppy, grassy, and a little metallic.

Flavor is hoppy but not really piney. Not really citrusy either. A little earthy/grassy. I taste some roast as well. Definitly a unique take on the style. I have never had an ipa with a flavor profile like this but, its pretty good. Its a little bitter but not too crazy. I guess I would have liked some more hops. Dry on the finish.

Mouthfeel is solidly medium. Carbonation is medium to high

Drinkability is good. The roasted flavor is bit drying but I think I could drink a few of these.

Dubber55, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of claspada
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours fairly black/dark with a nice toffee colored quickly dissipating head.

Aromas are caramel, robust, toffee malts; definitely some piny/resiny hops as well.

The taste is really nice; almost a robust porter taste to it; def not your average light/watery Schwartzbier. It still has that IPA piny/citrusy hop character taste to it to remind you that you are not drinking a porter.

Overall I loved the smooth taste; wouldn't drink a whole 6 pack of this but a few could be in order. I really enjoy this new Cascadian Black IPA style, not the best one I've had but still good.

claspada, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of hogwildhogwild
1.33/5  rDev -64%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Got a 6 pack from WholeFoods and I never even finished a can. Tried pouring into a glass, drinking it out of the can, either way it was terrible. Resiny hop bitterness, dingy malt character, and an unpleasent sweetness from underattenuation. All in all this is in my top 5 worst beers in the bay area.

hogwildhogwild, Aug 26, 2010
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper color to black with a light tan head. In the aroma, roasty coffee and a small hop presence. In the taste, just like the aroma, roasty coffee and a small pine like hop. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry, roasty, coffee aftertaste. Kind of like a hoppy porter.

OWSLEY069, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of Torps
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grower fill from our friends at DeCicco's..

I have to say this tastes more like a stout with a hop backbone.. compared to Deschutes Hop in the Dark and Stone's black IPA(no clue was it's called as I got it on tap mysteriously @ a buffalo wild wings and the waitress was clueless other than that it was from Stone) which tasted more like a good, solid IPA with a heavy malt backbone. I'd liken this to Troegs Dead Reckoning Porter! Some sawdust aroma but predominately malt.. Heavy lacing. This is an alright IPA I guess but where are the hops?

Torps, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of Billolick
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mini growler pour from the good folks at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. Pours black, medium tan/slate head, frothy and lasting forever at the very thick film stage. Leaves a collar as well and bits of fine lacing. Musty, caramel and winter spice in the nose. Chalky, hoppy, malty. Not much fruit or complexity, mostly I get a quite dry and yes again a chalky note. As it warms, dark malts, and mildly gritty hops come to the fore. Nothing overly impressive going on here. Decent IPA not much beyond that.

Billolick, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of tone77
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a black color with a 1 inch head, considerable lacing throughout. Smell is dominated by hops, some citrus present. Taste is a good balance of hops and malts,a bit of citrus to it. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a quality brew.

tone77, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of jjboesen
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apparently, the "Black IPA" is the current next best thing, the one beer that us geeks are to die for. Eh. From the can, it pours a thick vanilla head atop a dark mahogany body; around the glassrim, one finds a thick and slippery smattering of lace. The nose detects some banana and cinnamon; the palate, a gentle teasing of molasses with a short but sweet fade-off.

The mouthfeel is excellent; there is a wonderful balance between hop and malt, all in a creamy smooth froth. There is the obvious alcohol that one expects in a beer of this type. I found it interesting; unique and highly quaffable. Try it if you can obtain it.

jjboesen, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Back in Black, 21st. Amendment, American IPA brewed with rich, dark malts, 6.8% abv, 65 IBU.

It's dark alright, really black. And really fragrant, a buoyant bouquet of fruity esters, hops, etc. Lush, creamy head, long lasting, lovely,
Cream cocoa nose, sweet and bitter met well.

Taste: hoppy up at the top, goof bitterness, mixed with roasted malt, as well as the sweetness. Intriquing. Grapes and berries, lime and grapefruit. Tasty as heck.
Quite drinkable, too. Yum, I have to say, yum, I am compelled to report.

feloniousmonk, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of racer2k
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my favorite pint glass

A- Beer pours black like a porter style with a large tan colored head which is quite creamy. Heavy head retention with some light lacing around the glass.

S- An aroma of sweet toasted malt is the dominating aroma with a touch of fruity hops but pretty light for an IPA style.

T- A sweet caramel toasted malt flavor hits your tongue first followed by a moderate layer of fruity hops. There is also a grassy earthy tone to this beer

M- Thin texture to the beer with a lack of hop presence for the classic IPA beer style. Light to moderate carbonation.

D- A drinkable beer yes. A new innovative black IPA novelty beer style yes. This beer falls short on balance. The hops in this beer were just not a big player in the flavor. More hops please!

racer2k, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of kiddynamite920
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Falls into the American IPA style for now. Not really that style so I suppose I shouldn't judge it as so. Very dark brown.

S: Sweet malts and some bread, not getting a big hit of hops here. Smells a bit watered down.

T: Hops come forward on the palate. Definitely a good hit of roasty malts though. Some fruity hops, but this one really doesn't have any hop bite. Strange style.

M: A bit chalky and dry. Carbonation is moderate. Certainly not worth the money.

D: Actually drinks well, a new style that certainly needs to be refined. Malty IPA's won't work for me.

kiddynamite920, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Resurrection Ale House, 8/19/10.

A-Pour is dark brown, opaque with hints of amber. A thin white head and some good lacing.

S-Roasty with an undertone of bitter hoppiness.

T-Good roasted malt and medium roasted coffee notes in the front, with earthy, bitter hops in the finish. Some sweet malt is detectable as the beer warms.

M-Medium bodied, dry and crisp.

D-Pleasant and easy drinking, won't blow you away but tasty.

HV

sholland119, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of chumba526
2.95/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appears ironically a really dark red color. It's almost black but it's not. There is about an inch of tan foam.
Smells sour like, citrusy and herbal. There is a potent orange smell going on. I also smell a bit of caramel as well.
It tastes very citrusy there is also a kind of chalkiness to the beer. It is a little bitter. There is a nice but not overbearing sweetness to the beer. There is a bit of a subdued caramel flavor going on as well. The carbonation is moderate. The drinkability is ok: the chalk like flavor of the beer makes it less appealing to drink.
Overall an ok example of a black IPA but not that impressive.

chumba526, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of Chico1985
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap a while back, picked up a single can at Julio's a couple weeks ago.

Pours just about...black. Not see-through anyways. Nice fluffy off-white head. Stays at about half a finger, good retention and good lacing.

Decent amount of fruit and hops in the scent, could use some more strength.

Taste is grapefruit and lots of bubblegum sweetness and a little bit of citrus. Some coffee with cream and roasted malt in the back. Biscuity malt in the aftertaste. Has a little bit of a metallic flavor.

High carbonation, a little thin and tinny.

A little off-tasting but I liked it.

Chico1985, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of brewdoc75
4.45/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I gotta say, I haven't been a huge fan of the whole Cascadian Dark Ale/Black IPA craze. Nevertheless, I try to have a beer from the style on occasion to see if I change my mind. I heard this was a good one, plus it was on sale at my local liquor store.

A: Like the name would suggest, this beer is black. No Imperial Stout black, but definitely dark. There are some ruby hues throughout. The head is a off-white, bordering on brown color and is very present. Much creamier head than I would expect from an IPA. More like an oatmeal stout. It seems to last a long time and turns into a strong lace.

S: West coast hops here! Lots of grapefruit and pine. Very heavy hop aromas. I do get some chocolate and roastiness in the aroma as well. A little caramel too. Very nice aromas.

T: Again, I am impressed. Loads of hop flavors balanced out by strong maltiness and rich flavors from the debittered roast malts. It has the malty flavor of a good, foriegn export stout, without the strong, coffee-like roast component. Reminds me of a good Schwarzbier with loads of hops. The hops are very heavy on the grapefruit. I do get some nice pine as well. The beer finishes with ample bitterness, but not as much as I find with some other standard IPAs. The malts seem to add some nice chocolate and caramel notes. The yeast is fairly clean, but I do get some slight fruitiness in the end. All of this blends well together to make a tasty brew.

M: Medium bodied. Creamy at first, like an oatmeal stout, but finishes dry and crisp. I understand this is a fairly new style, but from what I've read, this beer fits well. Slight bit of lingering bitterness in the end, but not too much.

D: Overall, this was a great beer. I've been a little down on this style until now. Most of the beers I've had like this seemed like they were just dark IPAs, without much character from the malt. Or they were on the other end of the spectrum with too much roasted malts, making the beer more like a stout than an IPA. This beer had nice balance and great flavors. I hope to have more like this in the future.

brewdoc75, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of HopheadDre
1.43/5  rDev -61.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

12 oz can poured into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass.

It looked good out of the can, with a dark, almost black color with hints of red. The smell was not promising, a little bit hoppy with metallic notes. The immediate taste was unpleasant; some astringency as if the husks were still present but everything else was blocked out by the overwhelming metallic taste. The lingering taste was metallic. I let it warm (or air out, "open") but everything was still dominated by metal.

Overall, very disappointing. It was not palatable and I could not finish it, pouring out half.

I enjoy other 21st Amendment beers and canned craft beers in general. I actually had a 12 pack of Dale's Pale in my hand before seeing Back in Black at my local store. I hope this was a problem with a particular can or of bad transit.

HopheadDre, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of damndirtyape
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Single can poured into a shaker pint glass. I know the company is in San Fran, CA, but my can says made in Cold Spring, MN. Huh? Maybe they contract brew there.

Appearance: On the table, black, with a light tan foam with lacing all over the place. The foam dies down to a thin 1/16" head across the top, but the foam will be more persistent if you give it a hard pour. Held up to the light, the beer is a very dark ruby red. The artwork on the can is very appealing...I have to admit it was what made me decide to pick it up. Nice work to whoever came up with this one.

Smell: An interesting combination of grapefruit/citrus hops up front and roasted malts at the end. Nicely appealing.

Taste: The beer is an odd clash of flavors. Not bad, just kind of odd. The citrus/grapefruit collides with a roasted malt and bitter coffee finish (probably from the roasted malts). It's okay cold, and better when warm. For the blend of hops and malt I think I prefer the Indian Brown style. It's good though - just not "wow" fantastic.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of carbonation, but not too much on the tongue. Does stick to the teeth a bit.

Drinkability: Interesting, but a one at a time beer for me. I've had it by itself and also with a meal...but I don't think I've found the right food to go with it yet.

damndirtyape, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of Mdog
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown, big head.

Smell: Malty then mild citrus.

Taste: Citrusy but not too bitter, underlying roasted flavor.

Drinkability: The beer went down pretty easy, I could have a couple in a sitting.

This was a pretty decent beer. Basically it seems like an overhopped porter to me--roasted malt flavors with more citrus bitterness than the porter. Interesting beer to try.

Mdog, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of pwoods
2.85/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. can purchased at The Root Cellar, poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours black with some light around the edges. Moderate head on the pour without much retention but decent lacing.

S: Light American hopping with more of an English side. Nice dehusked black patent aroma.

T/M: Not much bitterness and not a lot of hop flavor. More of the dehusked flavor. Really not a lot going on. Body is medium to medium light with good carbonation.

D: Easy enough drinking but not very interesting.

pwoods, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of HitokiriNate85
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Entirely black except for the slightest dark red tinge around the bottom of the glass. Frothy tan head that's breaking apart and starting to lace from the start.

S - Pithy herbal, orangey, citrus hop aroma with undertones of bread and chocolate. It's a really nice smell that's only lacking a bit in power. After taking a sip the smell reminds almost exactly of orange chocolates. Also, about halfway through the glass, it smells just like black patent grains.

T - Strong citrus rind, orangey, pithy hops lead the charge, but there's plenty of malt backbone to match. There's a breadiness to it, but chocolate really dominates. The finish is slightly roasty, but it doesn't dominate anything else. I thought bitterness might seem a little low at 65, but I think it hits the mark really well.

MF - Pretty standard for the style, leaning towards a lighter body.

D - I'm really enjoying this so far. I had sort of gotten the notion that black IPAs(or IBAs, whatever) weren't my favorite, as the grain bill and hops always seemed to clash. I love this combination, though, which is probably because it uses two of my absolute favorite hops(Columbus and Centennial).

HitokiriNate85, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pous like a stout , light cream head that decides to coat the sides of my pint glass with each sip. Aroma had dark roasted malts with herbal hops going on more like a hoppy porter or a stout than other black IPAs I've come across. This is the popular style of the moment everybody is making a dark hoppy beer nice to see some variation, not overly bitter in anyway. Flavor was creamy dark roasts a mix of dark chocolate and light coffee tones with blasts of herbal slightly citric hops, goes together ncely a good balanced blend. Mouthfeel is medium bodied carbonation is smooth and easy going I can't complain it's actally silky texture. Drinkability overall a nice blalanced hoppy dark beer I can't really call it a BIPA compared to other more aggressive versions but it was enjoyable.

WVbeergeek, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of mwa423
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Black as most stouts with two fingers of billowy tan head that stuck around for a good long time and left a great lacing.

S - Smells like a pot plant recently harvested and really nothing else. I assume the marijuana smell is the type of hops used.

T - This is a very interesting and complex flavor that reminds me of both a porter and an IPA. There are plenty of hops, but they are very balanced with a rich maltiness with hints of chocolate and coffee. Unlike most IPAs the flavor this leaves in the mouth is the malty sweetness and not the hoppy bite.

M/D - Mouthfeel is weak but certainly a beer that you don't mind keeping in your mouth to enjoy the different flavors. As for drinkability, I doubt that this would be a go-to for any single style lover, but it is an interesting an complex beer to try once.

mwa423, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of ppoitras
4.4/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz can purchased as part of a 6-pack from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1 1/2" tan head above the slightly cloudy reddish brown brew. Dense head lasts nicely, with sporadic chunky lacing. Aroma is grapefruity hops. Taste is sweet through to the middle, then citrus and grapefruit hops come on, lasting through the close. Mouthfeel is uber-smooth, and drinkability is superb. Another great beer to get for when cans are better than glass, or anytime.

ppoitras, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of kenpo23
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the black packaging made it a bit hard for me to pass by for some reason. glad i grabbed it.

A- poured pretty nice with a good but short lived head. great black coloring which is what i was looking for from this.

S- smelled like malty, caramely fantastic goodness to me.

T- a really nice almost porter taste to it. still has that IPA taste to it to remind you that you are not drinking a porter though.

i loved the smooth taste it had and polished off the 6er pretty quickly. its definitely something i would want to sit and drink on a cool autumn night.

kenpo23, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 7/24/10 notes. Had at the cdc release.

a - Pours a dark black color with little to no head or carbonation.

s - Smells of roasted and toasted malts, caramel malts, and fruity hops.

t - Tastes of pine hops, roasted malts, and caramel malts.

m - Light body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty good black IPA, but seemed much mroe malty to me than hoppy. Would try again.

mdfb79, Aug 12, 2010
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,906 ratings.