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Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

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

677 Reviews
THE BROS
72
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 677
Hads: 2,200
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 51
Gots: 299 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Back In Black Alström Bros
Reviews: 677 | Hads: 2,200
Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +9%
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. (380 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce can into tulip glass, canned on 8/15/2011(oh well, lets give it a shot). Pours a clear extremely dark brown color with a nice 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some good spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of orange, grapefruit, caramel, roasted malt, toast, pine, herbal, floral, and light chocolate. Aromas are pretty malty sweet smelling, with moderate roast character. Taste of grapefruit, pine, roasted malt, caramel, toast, chocolate, floral, and herbal spiciness. Fair amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, roasted malt, toast, pine, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Pretty nice balance flavors; with a good hop/roasted character balance. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and sticky mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a good black IPA. Nice roasted character to hop balance, and very smooth to drink. No idea what to expect from a fresher can, perhaps better aromas. (1,071 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into 16 oz clear plastic cup.

A - Pours opaque black/brown with brown edges were a little bit of light passes thru when backlit. Towering frothing head, light caramel color, with godd retention.

S - Hop aroma is evident right opening popping the can open. Plenty of citrus and earthy hops. Very promising.

... but it is downhill from here.

T - Very limited hop flavor compared ot the aroma, with more earthy dark roasted malt coming thru. These are a bit out of balance and do not blend so well IMO. The dark malts really dominate even in the finish but do leave a bitter, coffee-tinted aftertaste. The worse part is a rather sour an metallic component mid-taste.

M - Nice carbonation, although a bit much for an easy pour. Medium, but not quite satisfying, body.

O - Overall a disappointing beer. The aroma and look were not followed by excellent flavor or mouthfeel. I've been to the brewpub and enjoyed their beers on tap. Too bad this one doesn't fare so well in canning. (1,005 characters)

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

These black IPAs are interesting.

Beer is black, lacing is high and carbonation is low. Head is thin and made up of brown bubbles (from the roasted malt).

The aroma smells like an IPA (mostly). Citrus hop aroma dominates. No detectable roast in the aroma at all.

Beer is a little thin IMO. And here is the roast. It mixes in the back of the mouth with the hop bitterness. Its not a terrible mix but it does seem a little out of place. Beer is a little harsh with all that back of the mouth bitterness with very little in the other parts of the palate to connect them. Drinkability and mouthfeel suffers. (607 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear very dark reddish brown (approaching but not quite black) in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation near the surface of the beer and some garnet red + crimson red highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy light tan head that reduces to a thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of roasted malts and coffee along with slightly stronger aromas of pine hops.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of roasted malts and lighter flavors of roasted coffee. Moderate flavors of pine hops with just a hint of citrus/grapefruit pith hops. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness in the finish which lasts for a moderate amount of time.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth, almost creamy with a light to moderate amount of dryness in the finish

O: This beer has a nice balance between the roasty malts and hoppy flavors as well as well hidden alcohol. Another nice brew from 21st Amendment and available in a can! (1,126 characters)

Photo of mothman
1.82/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I really cannot see how this beer has a B+

Poured into pint glass.

Pours 1/2 finger of light tan head. color is a dark copper brown with high clarity for how dark it is. Decent retention with some lace.

Aroma: Pepperonis and crushed black pepper. This beer actually smells like pizza. Roasted malts. Where are the hops?

Taste: Tons of pepper flavors. Grassy hops show with some bitterness. Roasted/smokey malts. This beer just doesn't work.

Mouthfeel: Spiced and roasted with a slight bitterness to it. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry and grassy.

Overall, not a very good beer, at all. It is actually quite terrible. Doesn't taste anything like a bipa. Hardy any fresh hops. Pretty much a drainpour. (733 characters)

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

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black with a chunky one finger head with great retention.

S: I got citrus and pine upfront and then a lot of roasted malts and some coffee on the back end.

T: Typical IPA flavors upfront - citrus and pine, but it quickly transitions into roasted barley and coffee on the back end.

D/M: Medium bodied with good carbonation. Really hard to rate drinkability. I like this beer, but don't know how many I would want to drink. It is really different, and something worth trying, but probably not a beer I am going to stock my fridge with. (569 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark brown/black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice black and roasted malt scent along with a refreshingly bitter, citrus hop aroma. The taste is good. It has a killer, citrus hop bite up front laid over a bed of black and roasted malt flavors. It's dry and roasted with a fresh hop character that resinates in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking black IPA. The hop character is outstanding; very fresh and flavorful. (573 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to wishuwerebeer for gifting me with a can of this. Poured into a snifter, this brew stream a clear dark brown color but as it comes to rest in my glass it looks closer to black. A finger of creamy tan head appears initially and fades to a thin film across the top. It leaves a wall of lacing effect on the glass.

The smell of this brew is fruity with hops. A bit herbal, catty and citrus-like before melding into the sweet scent of dark roasty grain. The combination of hops and dark roast form a scent more in line with raisins and alcohol. As it warms up, it picks up more of a roasty scent of the dark kilned grains and a hint of citrus-like coffee.

The first sip of this brew is quite unique. It is almost minty or methol-like with the way the hops intertwine with the roast of the grain and alcohol. The hop character is a mixture of herbal, fruity, citrus and pine-like flavors. This brew is mildly bitter from a combination of roasted malt and hops, it is enjoyably not over-done and blends together quite well with each unique flavor blending into the other counterpart. The aftertaste is a little bit like prunes but with an herbal edge to it.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. The feel was just right and the alcohol was fairly well integrated. I am not the biggest fan of the style but this offering was pretty decent. I dont know if I would have liked it any more or less if it was more fresh. As-is I might try it again but it wouldn't be my top pick if I had other choices. (1,530 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to bman1113vr for sending me this beer.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is roasted malt and chocolate, with quite a bit of pine from the hops.

The flavor is bitter pine with some lightly roasted malt. I also get a touch of chocolate and maybe some coffee, but it is fairly faint. Low bitterness and the beer is very dry.

Thin, watery mouthfeel and medium carbonation. (427 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A gift from Dennis. Thanks bro!

A: This beer appears an opaque shade of the darkest brown, bordering on black. The head is over an inch tall and looks like a chocolate milkshake. As it fades, it coats the glass in lacing.

S: Roasted malt and hops. I'm just not entirely sure about the black IPA style in general. The aromas seem to conflict with one another, creating an overall odd scent.

T: Decent tasting, and happily, it's better than the aroma would indicate. It's rich and smooth, with a noticeable hop bitterness in the finish. I suppose one could label this a "balanced" version of the style, as the roast aspect is quite prevalent, as well.

M: Good feel. Fairly thick, with a creamy smooth feel reminiscent of a stout.

D: Pretty interesting beer. I would drink it again, but it's not something I would seek out, or even choose at a store. (854 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brownish black with cascading cappuccino colored head similar to the way Guinness pours. Great head retention. Smells of roasted malt, citrusy hops, and faint alcohol esters. In the taste, citrus and piny hops battle the roasted and chocolate malts. Well balanced. Well hopped. Nice malt character. Rich, smooth, drinkable. A little thin, but refreshing.

A very drinkable, rich, dark beer. Very good take on the style. (438 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As The CANQuest (TM) approaches # 350 (!?!), I decided to give the nod to the Tallgrass people, but in order to do so, I had to insert a CAN of someone else's beer as either 348 or 349. This is number 348 on this journey. CAN you dig it?

The ol' Crack & Glug produced a solid two-fingers of deep-tan foam with excellent retention. It looked like the top of a root beer float. Color was NOT black, as a previous reviewer noted, but instead a deep, dark-brown with cola highlights. Nose was rich with piney hops. I have missed drinking IPAs with the preponderance of CANned beers coming in the form of AALs. I don't get a hop jones like I used to, but neither have I kicked the hop habit. Thank Bob that the chattering monkey on my back has gone away, though. Mouthfeel was medium with a solid hop bite initially followed by a roastiness in the mouth. Wow! What a brilliant way to play with the style. Finish was dry with a magnificent interplay between the hops and dark malts mentioned on the CAN. I am not sure that it would be terribly refreshing on the beach, but it definitely merits inclusion in the cooler in a limited quantity. Put it towards the back, on the bottom, next to the Ten Fidy for the end of the day. Great lacing throughout! (1,245 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown in color with a short head that breaks apart quickly. No lacing develops.

Smell: little caramel sweetness and a hint of bitterness is barely detectable here.

Taste: light roasted malt flavor with some grapefruits, pine, and prune and brown sugar sweetness. Bitterness is nicely balancing here.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp throughout. Aftertaste is short-lived.

Drinkability: this beer had a nice overall flavor and qas considerably easy to quaff. (472 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.01/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz CAN into a Lancaster Brewing pint glass late at night.

Back in Black pretty much sums up the color on this 21ster, a black body with some dark reds along the edges. A gorgeous light tan headf came up and stayed forever leaving nice sheets of lace.

A good balance of dark malts mixed in with citrus goodness from the hopping, pretty much even. A nice citrus blast of grapefruit and the like. Roasted malts and a semi storm kingish hop smell from the freshness.

Much more hoppy than I was expecting, again it reminds me of drinking a very lightly hopped storm king, or maybe an aged bottle of that. The roasted quality comes out as well as some sweetness. Pineapple and grapefruit and other citrus tastes. Looking at this beer, I was not expecting such a hop bite, quite nice.

Feel is mediumish and amply carbed up, the head last forever and this is some active beer here. Goes down smooth and citrusy and not very bitter as the darks really take away from that aspect. Very drinkable beer here and I would go for another in a second. (1,041 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into my Ithaca glass. It poured dark brown in color with a half inch of foam covering the top of the beer. Decent head retention and lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma has a noticeable juicy hoppiness mixing with some roasted darker malts. Coffee and some dark chocolate flavors come out and blend in relatively well with the citrus and pine hop flavors.

The taste shows off a little more of the darker malts. Coffee, dark chocolate and some burnt flavors are all present. The hops have a little more of a bitter grapefruit profile towards the finish. I get a little juicy hoppiness out of it, but it seems a little overshadowed by the darker malts.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being moderate. Overall, it's a decent beer for the style but the darker, roasted malts overshadowed the hops a little too much for me. The flavors are bold, but also pretty good. (923 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (499 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz. can poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body with a bit of transparency. Very nice cream colored head. Laces inside the glass and leaves a creamy pillow of foam.

Smell - Some grassy hops. A bit of an abrasive grapefruit aroma. Mild roast and some chocolate.

Taste - Roasted malts are more aggressive, but it's still a bit of grapefruit up front. Roasted malts turn sweeter into chocolate before giving way to a caramel sweetness and a hop bite in the back.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Nothing inherently wrong with it. Just dull and uninteresting. (599 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from can into a pint glass the beer was pitch black. At first it was a lovely pairing that came off like dry Irish stout with dry cocoa malts and classic American citrus hops. Unfortunately, as it warmed up during diner a less pleasant (though not bad) molasses flavor came forward. I'm digging the style, and it's worth checking out if you are too. (356 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A black IPA from 21st Amendment brewing, California based craft brews in cans. Found this on tap, however.

Appearance: Black as night with a light khaki colored head. Could be confused with a Guinness to the untrained eye. The lace show is pretty fantastic, webs of bubbly foam coat the glass with each sip.

Smell: Floral hops and some toasty malt give the beer a solid nose.

Taste: A very mellow IPA, dark and lightly roasted. I would call this a hoppy schwarzbier since it has that type of malt backing. Piney hops add some bitterness, subtle grapefruit tinge. Mighty tasty.

Mouthfeel: A bit heavy on the palate but still goes down smooth and easy.

Drinkability: Hell yea! Fond of this one for sure, a nice hybrid of styles but still maintains the IPA feel. (764 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a swirly head. Smells pretty light with some light citrusy hops, some light roastiness, and a touch of sweetness. The taste is a good deal more pronounced- this isn't a blow you away beer, but something about the nicely balanced creaminess, dry stout-like roastiness and gentle citrusy bitterness really works for me. I'm at the end of this six-pack, and this beer has really grown on me. Nicely creamy in the mouth and quite tasty. I like this better than I though I would. (496 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with slight mahogany edges when held to a light source and a two finger frothy, light beige head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a thick lasting cap that coats the glass with rings and splotches of soapy mocha lacing.

Earthy hop aroma with hints of pine needle as well as some citrus fruit notes. This is balanced by a slightly smokey, roasted malt presence. Hints of pine, grapefruit and lemon peel countered by chocolate and caramel malt, smoke, burnt toast and roasted coffee bean.

Medium bodied with a bitter, earthy hop blast up front that is contered by a roasted, smokey malt flavor mid-palate and a bitter dry finish. The hop presence is prominent with a lot of earthy pine flavor that lingers throughout. The citrus notes from the aroma are faint if there at all resulting in a mostly bitter beer that has a nice malt backbone. The malt presence is more prominent than expected for the style with an acrid, roasted/burnt presence. Hints of roasted coffee bean, burnt toast and oatmeal with hints of sweet chocolate, nut and toffee.

This beer is an interesting experiment, but for me, there's too much of a malt presence for it to be a good hop based beer(IPA, Cascade Dark Ale, Black IPA, American Dark Ale, whatever you want to call it) and too hoppy to be a malt based beer. It's not bad really just kind of all over the place with it's flavor profile. (1,422 characters)

Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark brown with copper edges when held to the light. The head quickly fades into a gentle cap with spotty bits of lacing left all around the interior of the glass.
Smell is of caramel, piney, bitey, herbal hops, brown sugar, grapefruit, bittersweet cocoa, and rye bread.
Taste is of the aromas with more of a coffee flavor making it's presence known.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp from the carbonation, and semi-dry in the finish. (444 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark brown colored beer that appears black without back-lighting. Very small tan colored head.

Smells strongly of patent malt. Coffee and a little chocolate smell. Little bit of grapefruit hop scent but not much. All in all it smells like a Porter.

Starts out strong on the patent malt with a good amount of bitterness. Strong roasted grain flavor with an charred edge to it. Substantial bitterness at least as much from the malt as the hops. Hop type is had to determine, the hops have combined together to give this a taste that is best described as "Carrot Sticks."

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall an OK beer. It tastes stronger than it is. The taste is pretty much that of a Porter hopped to hell. (706 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass, the beer is an almost black, muddled, brown color with a huge two inch, foamy, off-white head that is creamy and small bubbled. The head quickly settles into a thin film, and coats the entire glass while you drink. Nose is all cedar and pine, with resinous wet hops aromas and a slight, sweet, molasses background. Flavors are darkly sweet in the background, with the molasses making the foundation of the flavor palate, followed quickly by a grapefruit highlight and some mid-bodied hops spicing. Some light floral notes dance around in the mouth, also. The aftertaste is cloying and hoppy, making an interesting balance. The hops presence provides a good drying end-feel to the beer, making a nice, surprisingly clean finish despite all the resiny flavors and slick, cloying mouthfeel. Decent brew, but I also am a fan of most of 21st beers. (880 characters)

Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 677 ratings.