Dismiss Notice
Get FREE shipping on all US orders of $25 or more from the BeerAdvocate Store.

No promo code required. Offer valid through 4/30.

Ready to gear up? Start shopping →

Back In Black | 21st Amendment Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
83
good
699 Reviews
THE BROS
72
okay
Read the review
BEER STATS
Reviews:
699
Ratings:
2,314
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
24.18%
 
 
Wants:
54
Gots:
363
For Trade:
0
Back In BlackBack In Black
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery
California, United States | website

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
ABV varies around 7%.
65 IBU

Added by tpd975 on 11-23-2008

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 699 | Ratings: 2,314
Photo of bluejacket74
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce can. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is mostly pine and citrusy hops (grapefruit) along with a bit of sweet malt. The taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like pine and citrusy (mostly grapefruit, some tropical fruit) hops, bready malt, and some coffee and roasted malt. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit oily and very smooth. Drinkability is pretty good, it's very easy and enjoyable to drink. I think this is a pretty good IPA, I'd definitely buy this again. Thanks to Joe at Blacklick Wine and Spirits for recommending this to me earlier today!

 657 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Smoking Joes for 4 dollars all day.

A - Pours a nice deep black with an inch of creamy white head. Looks awesome!

S - ow wow I can distinctly smell hops and caramel and chocolate malt here with a nice bit of barley.

T - Starts off great with bitter hops then transcends into a nice Carmel sweet body then finish a bit bitter with the toasted barley which leaves a kind of weird but overall satisfying finish.

M - Really light to medium body. Hard to believe it is almost 7 percent!

D - Meh I didn't really love it to throw down 10.50 for a sixer but it was cool to try it. And it defiantly better than that horrid excuse for a watermelon beer.

 659 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark chocolate ruby body. Tight froth chocolate brown head. Nice retention and lace properties. Nice mix of chocolate malts and vibrant, citric hops. Very nice aroma. Flavor is solid, but would better with even a bigger hop presence and bite. The chocolate, roasted malt flavor wins the battle in this beer with the piney, citric hops coming in second. Even keeled mouthfeel. Moderately carbonated and medium full body. Enjoyable.

 430 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours as expected, black, consistency a little thin w a beige head. Aroma was burnt malt and big on the bitterness.

Taste comes in a little soapy, after a few sips, it acts as better friends w yr palate, the bitterness melds with the hops, just takes some time to get it all together. Leads to a good mouthfeel, a dank dark resonance on the tongue. This one seems to be a bit of a palate wrecker.

 398 characters

Photo of Bung
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. Black pour, quite a bit of red and brown around the edges. Off white head, retained on, laced a bit.

Aroma, pine and roast malt. Some anise.

Taste, pretty well integrated roast, pine/ herbal hops.
There is just a slight phenolic note. Faint cocoa and coffee.

Just to the right of light, enough carbonation. A little watery, the balanced flavors don't help that. Could be a session ale, but at 6.8? Worth trying though.

 427 characters

Photo of Brad007
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Back in Black, just like AC/DC? Just loved the name and of course, I've never tried this.

Pours a dark, dark brown color (not quite black) with a reddish hue and two-finger head.

Cream, dark fruit and hops run circles around the nose with the hops exhibiting grassy characteristics.

Hops are subdued here, balanced out by dark fruit, cream and a hint of coffee. Doesn't come on strongly like other examples.

Grassy hops and dark fruit are the lingering flavors here. Alcohol is kept in check and nothing really jumps out at this point.

A decent example that strives to find balance, since a lot of American Black Ales are hop bombs or lean too much into dark ale/stout territory.

 685 characters

Photo of dgilks
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark black colour with a decent little tan head. A touch average as an appearance. The aroma is mildly roasted with some acrid malt and some decent hopping. Balanced and dry. A medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation which worked reasonably well with the beer. On the whole, this was a solid Black IPA with a decent hop character and no over the top malt other than a touch of roast. Good.

 400 characters

Photo of claspada
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours fairly black/dark with a nice toffee colored quickly dissipating head.

Aromas are caramel, robust, toffee malts; definitely some piny/resiny hops as well.

The taste is really nice; almost a robust porter taste to it; def not your average light/watery Schwartzbier. It still has that IPA piny/citrusy hop character taste to it to remind you that you are not drinking a porter.

Overall I loved the smooth taste; wouldn't drink a whole 6 pack of this but a few could be in order. I really enjoy this new Cascadian Black IPA style, not the best one I've had but still good.

 578 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a can to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a murky consistency. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A very mild aroma of hops, malt, and some coffee.

T: Tasted of hops, sweet malt, coffee, and what seemed to be a little chocolate. The problem here is that the flavor is very thin in the finish. Could have been stronger.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: While this is isn't a terrible beer, it is a wildly uneven one. Not one of the best examples of the style.

 555 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I grabbed a can of this at Chevy Chase the other day.

Dark brown with reddish highlights, there's a dense, light brown head with excellent retention and lacing. The head sticks around as a thick disk, this is particularly impressive. The nose has a moderate hop bite with pine and a rather strange soapy character. The hop character is surprisingly muted here, allowing the roasted malt to really come through. The way the flavors are balanced, this is more of a hoppy stout than black IPA. There's bitter chocolate and a mild coffee grounds character here. A touch fruity too, especially as it warms up. Once the soap character dissipates, this is solid stuff.

The palate opens with a rather big roasted malt bitterness with char, bitter chocolate and then followed by some simpler sweetness, almost like caramel and sugar. The hops are secondary here, a little pine and some bitterness, both of which are overshadowed by the malt character. A little fruity in the mid-palate before a long finish with a roasted bitterness and a mild creaminess. Medium in body, the mid-palate is rather watery, and the creaminess makes this feel like it's on nitro. Solid stuff, this really is more of a stout than a black IPA, the big difference is the sweetness that's mildly pale malt -like

 1,280 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the 3 canned 21st Amendment beers available in my area now. It pours a dark murky brown colorm fairly opaque, with a thick light tan head that laces in dried chunks on the glass. It smells like wet resiny hops and roasted malts, and the taste is no different. I'm not the biggest fan of black IPAs in general but this one is pretty good. The hops take enough of a lead to keep me happy. The body's kind of light but this beer goes down easy. This beer will work in a pinch.

 488 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had at Bar of Soap Asheville. Served in a pint glass

A- Pours a mostly opaque dark brown color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains well before diminishing to a...whoops.

S- Semi-pungent piney hops break out of the glass against a mildly roasty backdrop.

T- Quite bitter with the dark roast accentuating the bitterness and leaving a chocolate aftertaste. Alcohol is certainly present but works well within the construct of the overall flavor profile. Bitterness lingers after a few sips.

M- Oily, thick and somewhat sharp. Medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- This is probably one of my favorite 21st Amendment beers. A no-nonsense black IPA that brings the hops and roast right into the forefront but, even on a hot day, it goes down nicely.

 759 characters

Photo of rfgetz
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep charcoal color, big poof of lightly khaki head, good retention and tons of sticky lacing. Scent is dominated by the malts - only lightly sweet, decent roast qualities with some char. The hops are quite muted in the nose, i pick up some citrus, but not much. Taste is malt forward, dry roastyness and lacking too much sweetness. The hops have gone missing as only a faint touch of citrus and grass can be found, and only if you think really hard. Maybe its like when you tell a lie so many times you being to believe it... hops are there, right? Medium bodied, quite high in carbonation and dry. Disapointing due to the lack of hop charachter.

 655 characters

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Pizzeria Paradiso in Dupont Circle in Washington DC.

Pours a dark brown color with a half-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of pine and citrus hops with good amounts of lightly roasted malts.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lightly roasted malts with good amounts of caramel flavors up front are quickly overtaken by large amounts of pine and citrus hop flavors. The ending is solidly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. There's a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another.

Overall this is a very solid dark IPA and one that's well worth seeking out if you like the style.

 711 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with dark ivory almost tan colored head. Pine, roasted malt, bread, and some grass on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium to full bodied. Finishes with pine and roast.

 198 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a tulip

Pours a dark mahogany with a fluffy khaki cap that rises to fill the glass. Some delicate lacing left behind. The aroma is of pine needles, orange rind and cocoa nibs. The flavor profile follows the nose. Fresh cut pine off the bat before a rush of chocolate and a slight bitter finish. The feel is a little thin and very undercarbonated. This has some good qualities but falls short in some of the finer points. Above average.

 457 characters

Photo of drpimento
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pretty good. Aroma's mainly hop with a hint of malt. Appearance is excellent with a huge, long lasting, tan head, lots of lace, and a clear dark garnet color. Taste is similar to nose, good balance between malt sweet, hop bitter, & carbonic tang. Good body. Finish falls fast at first and then tapers very slow at the last. Fairly drinkable beer; wouldn't mind another.

 369 characters

Photo of barnzy78
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz can, Enjoy by 05/15/15
A - fluffy tan colored head tops a cola colored ale; great head retention
S - earthy, tea-like, faint chocolate and citrus
T - nice complexity with well balanced flavors: chocolate, pine, tea, earth, grapefruit rind, roasted barley
M - medium body, a bit resinous, nice roasty bitter finish
O - one of the better American black ales I've had. I really like this style, and this one is solidly good.

 426 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1 inch head, dark brown in color, clear

Smell: toasted malt and chocolate

Taste: burnt malt, chocolate, nut, and citrus hops

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, light body, sweet with a bitter backbone.

Drinkability: Delicious. One of my favorites from the brewery. There is a nice mix of malts and hops in this one. I am glad I picked up a six.

 356 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap at the brewery

cellphone notes

appearance: served in a standard pint - ebony body, very dark with a light beige lace

smell: bright citrus hops, chocolate, rye, roasted malt, coffee

taste: very nice black ipa - dark and full bodied, biting citrus hops, dark chocolate and coffee, big roasted malts. nice

mouthfeel: big bodied, nice hop depth

drinkability: good

 372 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark burgundy in color (when held to the light) but overall, black and a thick creamy ring of lacing.

S - Dark roasted malt and creamy aroma.

T - Dark roasted malt with light citrus.

M - Medium body with prickly carbonation.

O - Glad was able to try.

 258 characters

Photo of ccrida
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The placard at their brewpub stated "7.2% and 65 IBUS, same hops as 21A IPA but with a touch of dark malt for slight roast.

Served in a shaker pint, Back in Black is a dark brown with a tight khaki head that leaves pretty heavy lace.

Smell is a massive blast of American hops, huge cedar notes, minty as well, even a hint of watermelon.

Taste is also bright hops, a bit more resinous then the nose, really nice interplay of the roasted malt. This is the best Black IPA I've had, I really prefer the resin vs. grapefruit hop flavor with the roasted malts, which aren't too overwhelming anyways, just really a nice touch of depth.

Mouthfeel is slick, medium bodied, nice carbonation.

Drinkability is high, this is damn tasty. Really easy to loose the roast in the pungency of the hops, but it's there no doubt, and isn't overly chocolatey or sweet like of the other black IPAs I've had. Wow, super impressed with 21A, each beer is better then the next.

 960 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a pilsner glass. Stamped 1192 1122 on the bottom.

A: Convincingly dark. Dark cola hints in the light, but only at the slenderest part of an admittedly thin glass. Topped with a couple fingers of almost-tan head; decent retention. Some bubbles visible at the edges of the glass. Comprehensive, scattered lace. Nice.

S: Roasted malts. The can reads 'rich dark malts,' but there is a definite porter-ish quality here, almost smoky. On smell alone, it could pass for a rauchbier. Interesting.

T/M: Also intriguing. I am unsure why this is classified as a Black IPA. It tastes mellow and roasted, with hops emerging only on the endtaste. Creamy, supported, and substantial mouthfeel. Again, more like a porter than an IPA. I suppose the bitterness on the aftertaste is more hoppy than roasty, but still...anyways, good beer.

O: Interesting, recommended, and more worth your time than the Brew Free or Die IPA. Would drink again.

 959 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from can into pint glass

Appearance -A nice dark brew, deep brown toward nearly black. Some sediment is seen floating about the brew which sinks to the the bottom of the glass. Looks of hop pellet. A nice tan head forms with big bubbles entrapped within. The head fades with a bit of lacing.

Smell - Initially pick up the slighted roasty coffee and malt notes. This however is soon is lost to a nice moderate piney hop aroma.

Taste - Coffee and a bit of chocolate are the first to be experienced in the taste. the hop then starts to work its way in around the middle of the taste experience. Not as potent as a traditional IPA of ~ this abv, but definitely miles above the standard stout or porter. A nice blend of flavors with noting too overpowering.

Mouthfeel - More in line with the traditional IPA then a stout or porter. A little thinner then I was original expecting. Thinner, but not anything bad, just sorta average.

Overall - Its not quite a IPA and not quite a darker beer. Its good, but I think if the hoppiness was bolstered a bit it would possibly be great.

 1,084 characters

Photo of xnicknj
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

can poured into pint glass

A - Pours super dark with a slight brown hue around the edges of the glass. A frothy, bubbly head nearly erupts right over the rim of the pint glass with a slightly tan hint. The retention is nearly everlasting, forming a substantial layer over the beer with an abundance of stringy lacing.

S - An array of heavier malts and dark scents. Grain, malt, and a healthy helping of caramel all swirl together.

T - It seems to have a tendency to wander while tasting, as toasted grains and caramel malt begin the initial wave of flavor. Bitter hops attempt to break through, especially during the finish, but a decent amount of dryness from the malts and a touch of coffee continues to linger, which appears to impact the hop profile.

M/D - There's a relatively chewy, medium body, as the silky smooth feel makes it an easy beer to drink.

This is decent enough, but it almost feels like a cross between multiple styles (porter, ipa, stout) which can confuse the palate.

 996 characters

Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 699 ratings.