1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

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

2,058 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,058
Reviews: 667
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 49
Gots: 209 | 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:
Beer added by: tpd975 on 11-23-2008

ABV varies around 7%.
65 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Back In Black Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,058 | Reviews: 667 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tastybeer
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Attractive beer...close to black with an inch high pile of dense foamy goodness on top. Looking carefully I see little bits of sediment around the bottom edge of my glass. Good lacing as the head fades too. Aroma is a pleasant mix of dark, caramelly malt and pine/citrus hops. Toasty bread, cocoa, vanilla, and a minty kind of pine. Taste matches rather well, and there's nice play between sweet and bitter. The texture reminds me of melted chocolate. I like the residual bitter hop dryness that lingers after the finish. This is a very likable beer.

Photo of chefduff2
2.5/5  rDev -32.2%

Photo of pjs234
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Lanstrum
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of abcdefghijkyle
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of utopiajane
3.84/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of tedho21
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of johnnyboy76
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of hopkrid
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of PaBeerLover
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of briandaube
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of SFLpunk
3.64/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz black can with "0183 0644" stamped on the bottom. Black IPA.

Appearance is unbelievable! Pitch black with thick creamy sudsy tan head with GREAT retention! Lots of lacing and spotting and sheeting. Perfect.

Nose is fairly muted. Some faint roasted notes and some dry leaves.

Palate is crisp and sharp, lots of bitterness right off the bat. Not a lot of IPA flavor here though. Some faint roasted malt/coffee like notes.

Body is spot on, bitterness and roasted qualities are in check, but the flavor is missing to make this a true IPA-style beer.

Photo of OnryAndMean
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of SonictheBeerhog
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of brpendergast85
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of BRYeleJR
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of magictacosinus
3.86/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a glass from a 12oz can.

The color isn't necessarily what I'd dub as "black," but rather a relatively darkened reddish-brown color overall. Decent amount of carbonation, and a half finger of foam that holds on pretty well throughout its sitting. Good lacing on the glass, and faint streaks of bubbles glide up the glass. Decent alcohol leggings, and despite its murky, off presentation, not a bad looking beer by any means.

Still not sure how close to style this is in terms of being a black IPA on the aroma... There's faint, yet refreshing, floral hops that come in, combined with a light toasted character and a little bit of grains. Somehow the roasted grains aren't playing so much of a part here, but definitely honeysuckle and warm citrus zest permeates, if only so lightly. If I was blindfolded I'd never be able to tell that this used darkened malts. The hops are definitely making themselves noticeable, which is good. It smells pleasing overall, but definitely isn't too complex.

The flavor fortunately reveals a bit more of the beer's intended roasted character, complete with a bready rye darkened nature, and a combination of grassy and floral bitterness at the finish. The hops and dark caramel characteristics of the malts are well balanced here. They're not explosive by any means (although the hops provide pleasant astringency in the aftertaste), but definitely well put together. There's a bit of lingering graininess, but nothing too distracting from the beer's intended flavors. No alcohol can be found here, which makes this easy to drink overall.

Definitely not the best example when rated to style, but this is still a good beer with a decent hop profile, despite muted roasted flavors. I do think it's the most balanced and drinkable offering by 21st Amendment that I've had so far, and would definitely have another if offered one. I'm still on the road to finding the ultimate black IPAs, however, so it may be later than sooner.

Photo of Kubrickx
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of BigGingDrinker
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of scootny
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice crisp Black IPA with a dry hoppy profile. Lots of lace in the glass but retention is average with a light covering on the glass. Aroma has lots of toasted grains and roasted caramel malt. Hops are piney and back in the mix. Taste showcases the hops with a lighter malt body. Nice chocolate malt shows up as it warms. In fact this should be consumed at English ale temperature, cool not cold to be appreciated. A bit of charcoal and burnt grains. Some grapefruit and hop oil as the main player with a darkly roasted grain profile underneath in the finish. Feel is on the lighter side of style with a mild but velvety carbonation. Dry finish leaves an astringent hoppiness. A nice drink overall. Sessionable and yummy.
While not a standout it is a solid offering that makes for a good winter IPA.

Photo of doughanson78
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz can poured into a pint glass.

A: Super dark black. A tad bit of light getting through at the edges. One finger light tan head with decent retention and good lacing.

S: Very floral hop aroma. Almost like incense. Not much else.

T: Very flowery. Again like an incense. Not digging it at all.

M: Light bodied. Slightly dry. Light crispness.

O: Have had this a few times now. Haven't cared for it any of the times.

Photo of KG710
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of u2carew
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz can!
A) Pours with a tan, two finger head. Nearly opaque. Tight sticky lacing.
S) Grassy. Subtle notes of caramel malt. Hints of citrus spice.
T) A decent balance of malt and hops, although seems a bit watered down. Not real robust, like one would expect from a Cascadian Ale. The malt flavors start to shine towards to finish.
M) Creamy. Medium body.
D) A decent brew, but not a standout for me.

Photo of steve8robin
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Wanted to try this one for a little while. 12oz can...

A: Super dark with very faint ruby highlights around the edges when held up to the light. Super, super thick 2 inch off white head that fades at a slow pace. Very good.

S: Bitter, grassy hop scents upfront with a hint of chocolate and caramel on the backend. I get some breadiness in the middle. Good.

T: Hmm, almost tastes like a porter blended with an IPA. A creamy coffee taste upfront quickly followed by a nice blend of bitter hop, but not super bitter. Very dry brew. I get some booziness on the backend. I get some malts hidden in the back. Good.

M: Medium body with a medium carbonation. Ok.

D: This one goes down a lot easier than expected. Very good.

All in all, this is a solid brew. Glad to get to try it. Definitely good if you're looking for an interesting take on an IPA or if you're a fan of Black & Tan's. If you're looking for the straight and narrow though, don't worry about this one.

Photo of BigMike
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Very dark ruby red. Barely see through when held up to the light. A thin tan head of maybe 1/4 inch.

S: Lots of citrus and a strange nuttiness in the background.

T: lots of bitter citrus notes up front with a roasted coffee/nuttiness on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with a touch much carbonation. A little less would have helped smooth things out a bit.

Overall: An ok "black" ipa. A better mouthfeel and replacing the nuttiness with some chocolate and more roasted coffee would have helped things a lot.

Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 2,058 ratings.