Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

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Back In BlackBack In Black

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BA SCORE
83
good

672 Reviews
THE BROS
72
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 672
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: 672 | Hads: 2,184
Photo of caseyscarb
2.87/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Back in Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

I grabbed a growlette of this tonight- being an IPA lover this beer sounded pretty intriguing, it is however my 1st "Black IPA".

In to a pint glass it goes.

It is a dark hazel brown color, though fairly clarified, and a decent amount of carbonation producing slightly more head then I was expecting.

On the nose I initially get a piney hop and semi sweetness followed by a light roasted malt and coffee. As I continue to smell I even get some cocoa nibs.

While I'm pleased with the smell, it does not carry through very well to the taste-
It's a bit watery, and an initial sweetness is then bombarded by carbonation in the mid and finishes very bitter.

There are some really nice nuances in the flavors, but it doesn't tie together well as a whole.

When I envisioned a Black IPA, this is nowhere near what came to mind.

But to be fair, it has a tasty quality to it, but it's definitely nothing too special. (953 characters)

Photo of dtreindl
4.63/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Surprisingly creamy smooth mouthfeel on this black IPA. Not too bitter. Nice roasted malt flavor is not overwhelmed by the hops. So well-balanced hops and malt, which I think is essential for a good black IPA. Easy drinking...I could drink several of these, despite the 6.8abv. Black IPAs seem to be trendy now and this example is a good one. I'll be drinking this long after any trend fades as long as 21st A is willing to brew it! (432 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 One_Man_Gang
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this on tap at 2 Stones Pub in Newark, DE. this is a great brew.

the color is black, with a good solid 2 inch head that laces nicely

the smell is somewhat smokey, with chocolate and/or coffee hints, and a nice hop aroma

taste is everything i would want in this style, it starts like a stout and finishes like an IPA. has a chocolate, smokey taste to start as well as a piney, bitter finish.

overall i really enjoy this one. i have since found it in cans, and when poured into a glass, it is very good that way as well.
another solid offering from 21st Amendment! (571 characters)

Photo of jealousmonk
2.01/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a can into a pint glass.

A -- Looks fairly typical for a black IPA. Maybe a bit on the dark and syrupy side, but that might be bias from drinking it.

S -- Smells malty and sweet, without a lot of hop odor.

T -- Taste is similar. Too thick and sweet, not enough happiness.

M -- Not good. Thick, cloying, not enough carbonation (maybe not canned well). Does not drink like a black IPA.

This is definitely my least favorite black IPA so far. From some of the other comments, it seems like maybe the can is the problem. Unfortunately, this beer is sold in a can, so that's how I drank it. I've had plenty of good canned beers, so if that's the problem, I suppose the canning of this beer was just not handled properly. (731 characters)

Photo of jbredbeard
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Wow. This looks like a stout but is all west coast style IPA. Very piney aroma folllows into the flavor with a medium-strong hippy bitterness that is very refreshing. Pleasantly surprised. (189 characters)

Photo of haywire77
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew poured a dull dark brown with very little light coming through only around the edges. About 1 inch of mocha colored head faded very quickly to a decent cap that left pretty nice lacing down the glass. Yeasty sediment can be seen throughout and in abundance in the bottom of the glass.

Smells of piney resin and malt. Sweet malt, almost like a good piece of hard candy that makes my sweet tooth show itself. Nothing over powering, but very mild in a good way.

Taste is a little off putting at first, but makes it's way in with a bunch of chocolate and/or caramel malts and almost no hops or bitterness at all. A touch of roasted coffee and maybe, just maybe a little hop tingle after you swallow. Not IPAish in my book at all. There is another flavor here that I can't figure out.

Mouthfeel is different also. Not creamy, not dry, maybe it's the carbonation that is dominant here.

Overall this is a beer that I could have a few of in one sitting, but nothing that really jumps out at me. I do like it better than the other offerings that I have tried from this brewery. (1,079 characters)

Photo of hopking311
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one at my favorite craft beer bar of all time.. The distillery in Savannah.

Black slight reddish tint with one finger head.. lacey lacey.. coats glass

smells of rich smokey citrus.

taste slightly smokey with a citrus lemon, lime backbone.. amazing how the hops show thru on this one.

medium bodied.. great carbonation.

Great drinkability.. The quality of this beer upon first impression prompted me to purchase a sixer of this as well as any other first amendment brews I could locate.

Thanks Ben.. (513 characters)

Photo of bensbeers
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Golden West in Baltimore. Appearance was nothing special. Must not have gotten a good pour out of the tap because I had no head at all. Color was a dark dark brown with hints of red around the edges. Slightest touch of caramel colored suds on the top. Looks like a stout but definitely drinks like an IPA. Lots of rich scents on the nose - coffee, buttercream, chocolate, and a touch of smoke. The taste closely mimics the nose - definitely can taste the hops. Not citrusy but robust which gives me the impression that they are extremely well-balanced with the grains. Malty character but not too sweet - toasty and roasty. Dark flavors - bittersweet chocolate and toast with a hint of strong coffee at the finish. Mouthfeel was extremely pleasant. Not too crisp but not as flat as other dark beers can be. Overall an extemely tasty beer. Great take on the black IPA , but this is certainly open to interpretation - some my call it a stout m, some a brown ale. A great beer to kick off a session and enjoy when the weather is turning from cold to colder. Cheers! (1,076 characters)

Photo of TheEarl
2.26/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had Back in Black poured from a can into a standard pint glass on the evening of May 23, 2012.

Appearance: As the name suggests, Back in Black is…black. Beyond the color, there is a quickly dissipating off-white head with medium bubbles and some decent lacing.

Smell: Back in Black’s aroma is as roasty and bready as the dark color suggests but I found the hop notes seem a bit inorganic—less like a pine trees and tropical fruit and more like pine air freshener and Capri Sun.

Taste: The taste is dry with roasted malt as the overwhelming flavor.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel with Black IPAs or, as we like to call them in Seattle, CDAs, is always a bit jarring. Simply put, the appearance primes you for a more substantial texture than these beers tend to offer and Back in Black is no exception. The mouthfeel is pretty thin, which is fine, but, I also found the beer lacked in terms of slickness or viscosity—it just felt rough.

Overall: I didn’t like Back in Black and I wouldn’t buy it again. BIPA/CDAs seem like a very “hit or miss” style and, for me, HUB’s Secession or Firestone Walker’s Wookey Jack are significantly better ales. (1,167 characters)

Photo of JDH2000
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours nearly black with some reddish hues when held to the light. About a finger of creamy tan head that stays through most of the beer. Nice lacing on the glass.

S- Beautiful aroma of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate come first, followed by citrus and some pine hops.

T- The taste is so much more complex than the initial aromas let on. The roasted malts almost have an astringent and bitter flavor about them. The coffee and cocoa flavors come out and then are balanced out with the nice hoppy finish.

M- This is a nice, smooth medium-bodied beer with great complexity and flavors.

D- This was my first Black IPA and I was very impressed. I found it to be quite drinkable. I will definitely have it again and I look forward to exploring others in this style. (767 characters)

Photo of sdsurfer217
4.27/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Finger and half of cappuccino colored head, that slowly dissipates, lacing the glass nicely. Very dark colored, with some deep brown notes around the edge. A pretty sexy looking beer.

S: Floral notes jump out of the glass, with some tropical fruits. Smells a boozy, but has a good caramel aroma to it. A nice play of sweet and hoppy smells coming from the glass

T: Flavors follow the aromas, but it is dominated more by the roasted coffee flavor than the fruity hops. Finishes with a nice piney hop flavor.

M: A pretty rich feeling beer at the beginning, but it finishes pretty clean. Starts out rather heavy and finishes rather light.

O: A dang good beer. I had never had a Black IPA before, and didn’t have any expectations. A flavorful and balanced beer that appeals to both my hoppy and malty pleasures. (847 characters)

Photo of Amdy
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just had one tonight, First out of the can then poured it into a glass. Pours out very dark brown. Smells sweet like orange or something. Tastes a bit metallic, sweet almost like a brown sugar taste, malty, a bit hoppy with a bit of an aftertaste at the back of my mouth, not sure if it is metallic or the citrus. Still,nice drinker, im not sure if i would be able to drink this all day though. (394 characters)

Photo of Kaiser777
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown almost black which the name of the beer explains, with a thick off white head, that leaves a nice thick lace on the glass as you enjoy this beer notice how the lace sticks there and never really disappears, which is always a plus in my eyes!

S- Not as strong as most American IPAs useally are, but there's no denying the citrus aroma and the blast of the dark malty hops.

T- Very delicious matter of fact I only intended to drink one after a long night of work and had two more, it wasn't as bitter as I would of liked but I can not complain, with the heavy malty,
hoppy taste with a citrus after taste that I love, very refreshing and enjoyable!

MF- Little to no carbonation heavy thick feel which was awesome, with the classic but light citrus feel that coats the mouth and has your taste buds screaming for more.

D- Very drinkable, like I said before I only attended to have one, and ended up drinking three, very refreshing and satisfying which surprised me cause it only comes in cans which you expect that metallic taste which it didn't have at all, with that said two big thumbs up to the 25th Admendment brewing company for a very enjoyable American style IPA. (1,188 characters)

Photo of Gouxman
2.83/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, not quite as dark as I would expect from a "Black IPA" with a tan head

Aroma: A nice malty sweetness balanced by a subtle earthy hop aroma. Was actually expecting more of a hop presence.

Taste: Semi-sweet malt flavor with a rather low hop bitterness. I don't know if the 6pk I bought from Jungle Jim's was a bit out dated, but I do not detect any hop bitterness at all. Instead a slight diacetyl flavor takes me away from this beer. For having 65 IBUs, I don't taste a single BU.

M/D: The mouthfeel and drinkability reflects the flavor. I was expecting much more from this brewery I've heard so much about and a beer with a kick ass name. I hope I either got a bad batch or an old showing because this is one of the least impressive "Black IPAs" I've ever experienced. (804 characters)

Photo of SMcGuire33
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I absolutely love IPA's, drink them whenever I can, but Back in Black was my first Black IPA.

A- Lighter shade of black, maybe molasses, with a thick eggshell head.

S- Smell is of chocolate and coffee aromas. Sweet

T- The taste was actually the best part of this beer. While not as hoppy as regular IPA's, there was a nice balance between hops and malt. Chocolaty throughout with a hint of coffee, but there was also a distinct bitterness to it which was nice. A hint of citrus in the middle.

M- Decent amount of carbonation. More than your average stout which this beer is often compared to, and comparative to your average IPA.

If you're craving an IPA I don't think Back in Black is what you're looking for, but to me it is a must try for any beer enthusiast. I am an IPA diehard and I very much enjoyed it. Yes sir, I will have another. (848 characters)

Photo of lbkornlb14
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this in growler, The color is really awesome for an IPA, it truly is black, and I have never seen a Black IPA before. I have been impressed with 21st AMDT Brewery since trying their Watermelon and Regular IPA. THis beer smells of dark roasted malt and some nice hops. It tastes excellent as it has a nice coffee and roasted taste which compliment that big hops very well, this beer is very drinkable as it doesnt have that "back of your throat dryness" that some IPAs tend to exhibit. You could drink this all night if you were an IPA fan. great job again to 21st amendment who is really establishing themselves as a top 10 brewer. (637 characters)

Photo of beer1018
4.65/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz can poured into a pint glass. Appears black with a nice creamy head that takes forever to go away. It smells good, nothing offensive here. The taste is a nice balance between the hops and roasted malts. Mouthfeel is like a less creamy guiness which feels very nice. The alcohol is hidden well. I could drink a whole 6 pack easy and i rarely drink more then two. This will be a new staple for me and one of the better beers i have had this year. (449 characters)

Photo of Rhode17
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice little daily drinker from 21st Amendment. Comes off a little like a baby stout. Not super hopped and syrupy but does have a touch of hop on the nose and mid. Hints of cocoa and black coffee with a little bit of toffee on it as well. Doesn't stick around too long on the finish though. Not an A+ but good for what it is. And the can art is pretty slick as well. As a Black IPA goes, its not the craziest, certainly more subdued than some of the Black IPA's out there but worth the money. (491 characters)

Photo of russwaddell
3.24/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am not a big American IPA fan, and I'm also not a fan of 21st Amendment's IPA. I wanted to give this a shot though, as I'm just starting to find a lot of dark IPAs and I dig the style.

a - this beer looks incredible. enormous head. creamy. really, incredibly dark. tons of lacing.
s - i'd like it stronger. hoppy, but i want more. roasty malt is there, but again i want more.
t - gets better the more i have, but i'm struggling to get any particular character from either the IPA side or the dark side. one major plus is a fantastic finish, maybe partly thanks to the decent abv. taste lingers a long time and gets more complex as it fades.
m - metallic, too thin for me. alcohol seems well hidden. maybe would do better with more bubbles.
d - i don't generally consider IPAs drinkable at all, but this one is not bad. i drank it fast, but can't say i was thinking "can't wait to get another mouthful"

In conclusion, a really well crafted beer that is maybe a work in progress. Looks awesome, I just don't think the taste backs it up. Maybe subtlety is lost on me.

addendum: awesome can and carry case. (1,107 characters)

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

For a black hops, this is my fav so far. They call this a hybrid of beers (subtle chocolate, coffee and hops). It's hoppy but a little thicker, deeper, darker and richer than the usual hop beers. Reminds me of a Guinness but you'll be surprised after the hops hit you. 6.8 etoh and 65 IBU's. Good job on diversifying the hop beers, 21st Amend! (343 characters)

Photo of PayDay
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

An unusually nice day for November in Oregon yesterday, so I picked up a bargain growlette at Plew's to give this a try with some grilled burgers. It was very pleasant, with a nice bitter back to complement the roasted malt, and it went really well with the mushroom and onion burgers.
I'd definitely buy this again sometime. (326 characters)

Photo of vdoz3
4.57/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

+1 for being named after a great song. A 32 oz growler in one night, all drank from a DFH pint glass (http://www.sudsgear.com/ProductImages/dogfish/DOGPT_dogfish-l.jpg)

A - Solid black body showing hints of reddish/brown borders at the edges. Head grows beautifully, before settling down and become sticky lacing trailing behind the level.

S - Hops. Tart, citrusy hops. There was also a slight metallic smell earlier on, but I've never noticed that before when I've had this beer before, willing to bet that was because I left it in the growler too long.

T - Citrus hops dominate, leaving a rich aftertaste, competing with the roasted malt aftertaste that creeps in.

M - Thick coating (willing to bet the roasted malt has something to do with this), and you can feel where the beer is hitting your tongue because the hops work at it instantly.

D - Amazing. I could drink this all night.

Up there with Stone's Sublimely Self Righteous (/11th Anniversary Ale), imho. (970 characters)

Photo of Kyrgyzbrewer
2.31/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

C- Dark Brown almost black

A- Very hop forward

Taste – Surprising malt start to the taste that ends with a strong hop finish. There are some strong roasted notes.

Overall – My first sip made me think cough medicine. The more I drank, the better it gets. The odd thing is that it seems like I get different flavors with each sip. One sip will be overwhelming, and then the next will be relatively soft. Black IPAs are the new vogue beer style, and that is certainly a good thing. The problem for this beer is that there are so many brewers doing it well it is overshadowed by better competitors despite throwing a ton of flavor. (634 characters)

Photo of KM_Seahawk
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz can - pours a dark caramel/black color similar to cola, with 2 finger beige head with moderate lacing. The smell is roasted malt with slight coffee notes and faint earthy pine hops. The taste is like the nose, roasted malt upfront with small amount of coffee finished with mild bitter pith and semidry. Definitely hides the 6.8% alc well. Light to medium body and low to medium carbonation. Overall not bad but not mind blowing either. Nice to have if you want something a bit different and I like cans. (508 characters)

Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 672 ratings.