Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

673 Reviews
THE BROS
72
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 673
Hads: 2,184
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 52
Gots: 290 | FT: 1
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 673 | Hads: 2,184
Photo of Beejay
2.91/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark black with nice tan head.

S: A weird mixture of dark malts, and hops. I am picking up a little onion, or cheese. Not sure if I am digging this so far.

T: Not sure how I feel about all this. Starts a little tart, then hop notes come in. It ends nice and malty, with roasted flavors, and a nutty finish. I am still picking up a hint of onion.[-w

M: Fairly highly carbonated. Fairly light in mouthfeel.

D: Meh.. Not amazing, not terrible. (450 characters)

Photo of 404UGA
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Came from a can poured in your everyday beer glass

The beer looks really nice, its very dark with a thick brown head. A but of it seems to linger over the course of the beer. It does smell a little bit cakey but that not necessarily bad. Has a malty flavor to it, almost to the point of tasting a little bit like whoppers. Its certainly not bad, just not really what I expected. The mouthfeel is alright. For such a dark beer it didn't seem terribly smooth. It was drinkable and if I were to drink a dark beer on a hot day, this wouldn't be a bad one to start with. All in all an enjoyable drink. (597 characters)

Photo of Buebie
3.14/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single last week.

Poured from the can into a pub glass. A light brown 2" head is formed, taking its time to recede. Leaving sea foam consistency froth and sticky lace.
Color of the beer is black at the wider portion of the glass, but a glowing red can be seen at the tapering bottom and edges.

Aroma does not seem to follow the style, there really is not hop aroma to be found. But dont get me wrong, aroma is quite good. It smells like chocolate cake batter, sweet and delicious. For the style though it lacks.

Hops are citruss filled in taste and provide great leafy fruit forward flavors. Not too bitter though, but very good. Through the swallow an almost woody, semi charred grain flavor follows, as does mineral water and a bit of husky grains.
Finishing with bittering grains and a dash of pine.

Mouthfeel is light, with just the right amount of slick feel and carbonation.

Definatly a good beer all around, except for the husky grains. Does not seem to follow the style it is listed under here on BA, of an american ipa. But for a black ipa it does the trick. However, hop aroma does suffer. An interesting brew, but not somthing I could see myself drinking again. (1,194 characters)

Photo of dpodratsky3
3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into imperial pint glass

A: Good think I used my imperial glass for this one, pours with a massive tan head, has that Guinness effect of the carbonation turning the head into beer which is always fun to watch, it takes forever to come down at all, looks like a massive dollop of whipped cream on top of my beer, no light gets through at all, super super dark brown (could be black), some light gets through bottom revealing the brown, leaves huge amounts of lace

S: Not much different than a normal IPA aroma, floral and resin hops, maybe a touch more sweetness from the malt but I can't smell any roast or smoke

T: Same basic theme as the aroma, floral and resin hops, but not super flavorful, the malt comes through a lot more than the aroma, but doesn't quite live up to what it could be, a light roast comes through which is better than aroma but not much

M: A little thin, I wanted the malt to help the mouthfeel a little, but it still ends up a tad thin and slick, dries in the finish

D: High, despite slight let-down it is a solid beer

Notes: This beer is kind of all over the map. The appearance is definitely its best best attribute. It looks amazing. The color is as black as I expected and the head is crazy big. The aroma is pretty bland, but a little better than average. Overall it ends up making a good beer, but nothing earth changing. (1,374 characters)

Photo of perrymarcus
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can served in a standard pint glass.

pours a dark, cola-like brown with 2 fingers of head, noteworthy lacing. settled in the glass it has a look reminiscent of a stout, so it's funny to take in the citrus and pine evident in the nose. taste is, as you would expect, more malty than a traditional ipa but the citrus and pine notes are certainly present. quite tasty, actually. medium to highly carbonated with a velvety sort of mouthfeel. 6.8 ABV is a bit high for a session beer, but i could see having a few of these without much trouble. not un upper eschelon beer but definitely a keeper. (597 characters)

Photo of prototypic
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Back in Black is a dark mahogany color. Looks a bit like cola. It's not opaque, and has strong burgundy highlights when held to light. A tan head caps it and rises to about a finger and a half in depth. It dissipated somewhat slowly. A very sticky coat of lace lined the glass.

The nose is good. It kicks off with a nice hoppy punch. Citrus grapefruit and pineapple are in the mix. Pine is secondary to the citrus scents, but is noted. Dark malts are notable. Smells mostly like roasted malts to me. There might be a touch of cocoa or chocolate, but not much. Alcohol is buried pretty well. All in all, it smells good. It's fairly simple, but good nonetheless.

Mmmm. This is tasty stuff. The dark malt base works very well with the hops. It does taste like roasted malts to me. A little cocoa is here, but it's mostly just a nice roasted flavor. Hops add a ton of flavor. Grapefruit and pineapple flavors are delicious. A hint of pine rounds it out. It is bitter, but not all that much. I wouldn't mind a little more. Alcohol isn't noticeable at all. It finishes hoppy and a little dry. It's not perfect, but it is very good.

The body is somewhere between light and medium. Carbonation seems quite active and is a tad buzzy. It's not quite smooth. Drinkability is quite good. Back in Black is tasty beer that goes down easy and is quite refreshing. Good stuff on a hot day.

This is my first beer from 21st Amendment Brewing, and I must say I'm quite impressed. Back in Black certainly has no shortage of flavor and is a very enjoyable beer. I'll nitpick and say it would be a little better with more hop bitterness. It's very good stuff as it is though. Cool can, too. Definitely recommended. (1,696 characters)

Photo of pvsob
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Cola colored with a two finger head (tan) that has excellent staying power and leaves great lacing.

S- Citrus hops, roasted malt, and some pine.

T- Chocolate, caramel, citrus and pine bitterness, and a flavor that reminds me of blood.

M- Very smooth and silky. The best part of this beer.

D/O- Standard American IPA, but wait, this one's black. It looks great and feel great, but other than that, this one's not worth seeking out. Get in your car/truck/bike, pick a direction, drive 45-60 minutes, and there's a good chance you'll find a better IPA at one of your local breweries/brewpubs. Cheers. (604 characters)

Photo of morimech
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not quite black in color so the name is misleading. Dark brown with a large tan head that had good retention before settling to a thin cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. The aroma is really weak. I just pick up some citrus hops. Sufficiently hoppy flavor giving citrus hints. The dark malt is used more than just color. I do get some roasted malt in the flavor. Bitterness is moderate and at 65 IBUs, well represented. The body is a little more thick and chewy than most IPAs and I credit that to the dark malts. Nice carbonation. Available in cans so the drinkability automatically goes up. Has a couple of weaknesses but otherwise a solid IPA. (650 characters)

Photo of Jayli
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: This beer pours a deep dark brown with chestnut brown and ruby highlights around the edges. A one and a half finger of creamy khaki head sits on top. As the head recedes at a nice moderate pace, it becomes rocky and leaves thick clumps of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of dark, roasted malts and a good amount of citrus, grapefruit hops.

T: Taste starts with a dark, roasted almost burnt malt flavoring. Notes of milk chocolate come through with some mild hints of caramel. Finish begins with a coffee flavoring and then sharply switches to a burst of grapefruit hops. Milk chocolate comes through again and hangs a bit.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, crisp, clean body with a dry finish.

D: Goes down easily, well blended, really enjoyed the malt/hop blend on this. Mild kick, nice representation of the Black IPA style. Definitely worth sitting with for a while. (906 characters)

Photo of Ryan011235
3.12/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter on 7/21/10

Dark scorched brown settles black. The head is just shy of two fingers & rather billowy. It drops in a modest amount of time with nice swaths of lace left behind. Ok retention, hardly any lace.

Smells like a hoppy Porter to me. Roasted notes abound - dark malts & hint of coffee. Maybe a spot of baker's chocolate. The roastiness is the focal point, intentional or not. Still, the hop profile seems decent. Piney with some citric aromas, grapefruit & lemon zest.

Hmm, the aroma set the stage for the taste. Hoppy Porter, indeed. Moderate hop bitterness upfront. Muddled citrus & pine give way to plentiful dry, roasted flavors. Quite similar to the nose - dark malts, coffee. Maybe not the chocolate. Not bad, but kind of messy, overall.

Rather full bodied. Moderate carbonation; close to spot on. Slightly resinous with a mild grittiness. Roasted residuals. Standard fare.

Seems more like a hoppy porter than a Cascadian Dark Ale. It's definitely a hoppy Porter, though it's pretty decent. Nothing spectacular though. I'll just stick with Edmund Fitzgerald. (1,096 characters)

Photo of GrizzlyBrew
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Black is right alright. (well, dark, dark red it seems when held up to the light) Has a beautiful tan, well-supported head that collapsed fairly quickly, but left a thin layer on top.

S - To me, it was nothing but hops, citrus hops to be exact, typical for IPA and a nice level at that. I'm not getting much roast or toast to boast, if any.

T - Hops on the front and back, roast I was expecting in the middle

M - A little light on viscosity, carbonation fairly high (which I like)

D - It's good and if you really like the roast/hops thing of DIPA's or CDA's (take your pick), this one one is definitely a sessionable one (628 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark with clear, coppery brown edges and a fluffy tan cap. Good head retention with spotty, clumpy lace. Hoppy aroma, lots of grapefruit and citrus pith. Chocolate notes, some brown sugar, slight alcohol. Sharp, piney bitterness, juicy grapefruit flavour, malty sweetness and cocoa towards the end. Very creamy texture with fine carbonation, but the body felt a bit light. I liked it and I'm glad I picked up a six-pack. (425 characters)

Photo of Thur123
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This pours an opaque black with a light khaki head about two fingers high. The smell is a well blended aroma of light toasted malts and a sweet and fruity hop edge that both blend together as to restrain both. In other words smells good and balanced, not too hop strong.

Glug glug glug

The flavor is burnt caramel and coffee flavored malt with a juicy ride like hop profile on top. The prominent flavors are bittersweet grapefruit and a sharp herbal flavor to the hoppiness as well. Overall this beer is a well balanced and excellent example of a black IPA and also would serve as a good introduction to this style for those more tuning off by the idea of hops and roasty malts. (680 characters)

Photo of rootbeerman
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into duvel tulip

A: pours dark brown, black in glass. head look creamy and in is just about a finger and a half thick, decent amount of lace as well
S: mostly light grapefruit hops, with a touch of pine as well. dark malt in the background.
T: tastes like an IPA and a porter had a kid. grapefruit and pine hops, with coffee and light bitter chocolate. hops do not over power the malt sweetness. the coffee and hop bitterness lingers for a good while
M: smooth almost silky but not quite. low to medium carbonation
D: easy to drink, flavors are good and last. brings me to like 21stAB more. (598 characters)

Photo of silentjay
2.67/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours an opaque black with a khaki-colored head that dissipates quickly but leaves a thick film on the glass.

aroma is faint and almost non-existent, but what is there is metallic and sweet with some citrusy hops and a bit of roasty malt.

taste has a bit of roast an some cocoa, as well as some citrusy hops, but something is off about this can so far and I cannot quite pin it down. I just cannot get past the off-flavor. The malt profile reminds me of a brown ale with a bit of stout mixed in and an herbal, minty hop presence. maybe it is this peppermint I get from the hops that isn't quite meshing with the rest of the beer.

light-medium bodied with enough prickly carbonation and just a little oily resin.

eh. the off-flavor in this one ruins its drinkability for me. I bought the six pack, but I wish I had tried a single first. I probably wouldn't have purchased it again. I hope it grows on me. It's not terrible, but not pleasing either. (952 characters)

Photo of gford217
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a tulip.

Pours a deep mahogany that looks almost black in the glass but has a deep copper look when held up to light. There is a small creamy beige head that sits down as a hefty collar and leaves excellent lacing.

I'm getting a little more accustomed to aromas like this - dark chocolate malts mixed with some citrus and floral hops.

Taste is a little more bitter with the floral hops and citrus leaving a slightly astringent kick up front. The black malts are present but it's not nearly as evident as in the aroma.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation but seems a little more watery than I would expect.

Not the best of black IPAs but pretty good. I definitely like seeing new craft beer in a can and this is no exception. (767 characters)

Photo of elgiacomo
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz canned July 2, 2010. Marked 6.8% ABV.

Pours dark brown, black in the glass with ruby highlights with a large tan head that recedes fairly quickly, leaves some short-term lace.

Aroma is quite citrusy up front, oranges and grapefruit, some floral hops, with a nice amount of roasted malt, caramel and a bit of chocolate. Decent dose of dark bread as well.

Flavor is a nicely balanced mix of hops and roasted malt. Citrus and resinous hops up front, roasted malt, chocolate, caramel in the middle, finishes with medium bitterness and a bit of sweetness. Tasty.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, low to medium carbonation, invites sip after sip.

Ahhh man what a nice Black IPA. Not as HUGE as Sublimely Self Righteous, but right there with Yakima Twilight tied for my 2nd favorite of the style that I've had so far, and it is a great value to boot. Will buy again (and again and again...) (901 characters)

Photo of RustyDiamond
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cracked this can into a Sierra 30th snifter. Root beer black with a cappuccino light brown froth. Bubbles on the ring, wavy froth in the middle leaving excellent webbed lacing. Big aroma of piney hops. Dry and roasty right off the bat. Dry, bitter hoppy mouthfeel. Good drinkability. Black IPA? Not as good as the Stone version but better than the Deschutes one. (362 characters)

Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - dark auburn and ruby reddish in color as it floods the glass. A thick, rich, pancake batter-esque head develops on top. This looks both impressive and inviting. Hold this to the light to really see how dark this IPA truly is!

Aroma - spicy, piney, citrusy goodness emanates from the glass as soon as the beer hits the bottom. There are also some rich chocolate and malt aromas that give this almost a chocolate covered candied orange aroma. I'd like to dive in now please.

Taste - not quite an IPA meets stout flavor but it does have some IPA meets American-style Porter qualities with the maltiness and the more pronounced hop profile. I taste chocolate and orange, or even pineapple, along with the very unique flavor that the simcoe hops impart (eucalpytus?) as well as the boldness of the Columbus and Centennials. The hops truly shine in this unique brew and it makes me realize that this whole "Black IPA" thing is pretty badass. It's awesome. It's all awesome!

Overall - This is absolutely delicious. Maybe its just me but I was really happy with this brew. The flavor combo of hops and dark malt is perfect and my taste buds are left wondering what the hell just happened. Sweet citrus meets chocolate and then is walloped with a dose of Pacific Northwest hops. Hooray for new styles of beer! American brewers never stop innovating.

Would I buy more of it? - yep. As soon as this glass is empty another can will be opened and it will be refilled. (1,470 characters)

Photo of jmerloni
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Great dark brown that's a bit hazy. Head is huuuge and sticky. This is a slow pourer and a very interesting take on an IPA.

S - Roasted aroma. Citrus. Smells like it has a high acidity. Hops!

T - This is just a hoppier than usual stout. Mild chocolate flavor. It's good, but nothing special, and I don't really see how it's anything like an IPA. Hoppy bitter afterbite.

M - Medium bodied. Dry finish. Highly carbonated.

D - Somewhat drinkable. I'd give it a 3.0 normally, because it's so far off from an IPA, but I appreciate the creativity here that 21st Amendment is trying to introduce...there is nothing in the book that says IPAs must not include chocaltey flavors. It does need work. (698 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a light black with a tannish head and good carbonation

S: Smelled of chocolate, faint, grains, citrus and floral hops

T: I noticed some chocolate and black malts upfront, floral and citrus but lighter

M: SOmewhat bitter finish, lighter bodied

D: Ok (262 characters)

Photo of GarrettMD
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep red, almost black, not completely opaque. 2 finger off white fluffy head with great retention. Lacing is great.

S - All hops, mostly citrus, some pine comes through.

T - Nice chocolate and coffee malty taste up front, roasted malts work perfectly with the bitter hops. Slight citrus flavor, but the piney hops are the ones that come through in the taste.

M - Light bodied for the style. Good carbonation. Finish is much the same as the taste the whole way through, just slightly more bitter hops.

D - Very good drinkability. I would have probably liked a little more bitterness in the taste, but that's just me, overall a very good Black IPA, or CDA, whichever you choose to call it. Will definitely be getting again. (738 characters)

Photo of jampics2
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can into my Founders pint glass. Looks OK, nice black color with a three finger head that eventually fades to a film, leaving a nice bit of lace.

Smell is caramel malt, a touch of roast, mild hoppiness, and a sweet overall impression. Specific noted scents include chocolate covered oranges, coffee, cola and a touch of pine. Not enough strength going on here, just a lot of numbers.

Taste is decent and then some. But nothing out of this world. Nice dark malt characteristic gives roasty coffee and some sweet caramel too. Hoppiness is piney and just a touch citric. Not too flavorful, but it's on the right track. I'd just like to see a bit more focus and intensity. Finishes bitter w/ the roasty malt taking over.

Mouthfeel is nice, decent light refreshing body and nice lower carb gives a slightly creamy feel. Drinkable but just lacking that bit of personality I'd like to see. This was good, but a bit amateurish IMO. (926 characters)

Photo of flexabull
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a couple of pints of this prior to the Phillies vs. Giants game today.

Pours a dark brown color with a faint white head.

Aromas are of pine, some cocoa, caramel, and burnt brown sugars.

Taste is a little sweet, creamy, and chocolate like up front. Beer then settles into a light coffee and brown sugar notes. Finish is nice and crisp and biting with an earthy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is full, thick, but not too heavy.

Drinkability is very good. Nice black IPA, flavorful, with a nice balance of sweet and bitter notes. (534 characters)

Photo of femALEist
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on cask at the 2010 Firkin Festival.

This poured a dark chocolate with a slight reddish hue and a frothy oatmeal head.

It smelled of malt, light grapefruit, lemon and pine.

It tasted malty with dry, bitter hops, pine, and a grapefruit skin ending.

Good carbonation. Good malt to hop balance. Wondering if they actually brewed this baby or if they had a guest brewer do it because it's a great beer. (415 characters)

Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 673 ratings.