Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery
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Ratings: 1,825 | Reviews: 645 | Display Reviews Only:
3.75/5 rDev +1.6%
Sinister in its darkness, there's really no telling to its hoppy secrets within. Porterlike to the eye, its not until the nose gets close that the senses are taken back by the IPA that lurks beneath.
21st Amendment's "black" IPA engulfs the olfactory senses with resinous notes of spruce, torn pinecone, and sharply aromatic grasses. As the mocha malt flavors attempt to balance the beer, early taste of burnt citrus come to rescue the early palate.
As the tandem of piquant citrus and herbal, earthen bouquet remain front and center, the malt doesn't give up so easy. Those toasty, chocolaty, coffee flavors carry enough sweetness to suggest porter. And the body does similar with a velvety center that attempts to seduce the palate. Yet those dominant hops win out as the ale trends drier and drier heading into finish.
Its deeply resinous bittering closes out the session with a sticky dryness that only highly hopped ale can give. It easily out-duels the malt sweetness and relies on its persistent char to not only meet the intensity of bitterness but intensifies it with its own coffeelike bitterness and roast-derived astringency.
The fear for any brewer with this up-and-coming style to to make an IPA first and allow the dark grain to complement. But most attempts carelessly revert to simply a hoppy porter. Riding that line dangerously close, Back In Black edges out the porter and sides with IPA, but only slightly.
07-11-2014 15:37:39 | More by BEERchitect
3.84/5 rDev +4.1%
Pours very dark like black walnut with a crimson hue deep within the beer. A fat khaki head of foam falls slowly and leaves lace. The nose is bright with grapefruit. Really tart smelling and earthy with a bit of the peel. Some toasted sugar comes forward as it warms and a bit of dark malt scent like coffee. The taste is excellent. The mouthfeel is thin and has the quality of a good light IPA. The malt takes center stage in the drink as it comes forward with a touch of bitter roast and some weak coffee. A light caramel and some citrus take up the mid palate where the grapefruit has been tamed but still very much present. Finishes dry and roasty with a bit of the malt sweetness and a hint of char to linger at the back of the throat with a bit of the bright citrus peel. What it does not do is blast away at the finish with hop bitterness and that lets those roasted malts linger a touch with the citrus as a gentle compliment.
I really liked this one and this style can be somewhat elusive for me. I usually find that the stout like qualities of the malt clash and are too heavy alongside the citrusy IPA flavors. Not so in this beer. The malt is as light as it could possibly be and still be roasted almost black. Light and drinks lightly I love it!
07-10-2014 17:48:45 | More by utopiajane
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,825 ratings.