Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Back In BlackBack In Black

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

673 Reviews
THE BROS
72
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 673
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Back In Black Alström Bros
Reviews: 673 | Hads: 2,184
Photo of avalon07
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
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 dirtylou
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
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 ccrida
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
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 xnicknj
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
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)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
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 Cyberkedi
4.61/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque warm sable with a thick, fine-bubbled, light tan head. Strong aroma is fairly hoppy with a firm undertone of citrus, mainly orange and a bit of grapefruit. Strong, hoppy flavor has smoky and nutty undertones and hints of chocolate and licorice. It fairly successfully marries most of the flavors I like in a stout or porter with the hoppy and citrus flavors I appreciate in an IPA. Maybe I should change my favorite sort of beer to black IPA. Texture is fairly smooth and fizzy with a slight tinny undertone. (524 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a blackish body with good head that receeds on the quick and leaves lace patches down glass. A mix of citric hops and some roasted malts, hint of sweetness...nothing stands out. A little sticky w/ a medium-to-heavy body and the roasted malts are prevelant as beer has a dryish edge. Soapy, citric hops w/ a little spice perk up and poke on the tongue for some good ol' IPA hops taste. The balance is OK but not perfect as I find the hops are muddled and not much sweet malt...just dry and touch of blandness as I drink. This is a good beer but a tad funky aftertaste and overall w/ beer I'm just left with an alright feeling. (631 characters)

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

A thick black-ish brown color with a healthy light brown head and a nice network of lacing. The aroma is a dark molasses malt and creamy nut with just a hint of can in there. Decent. The flavor is charcoal licorice malt with a bright herbal hop. It's very smooth, almost creamy with light carbonation, medium bodied and very drinkable. Lots of near chocolate malt and a pleasant hop overtone. At first I thought I detected some metal but that disappears quickly. I enjoyed this. Could drink quite a few and quite flavorful with stout and ipa ideas nicely blended. (563 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
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 VelvetExtract
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Paul Revere

A-Looks like a porter.

S-smells like a hoppy porter.

T-sweet and roasted. hops follow the stout qualities. Not bad. not awesome. Definately caught some metallic flavor. From the can? Maybe?

M-nick and thick but isn't hoppy enough to stick around

D-Got a sixer, drank four... (293 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
3.23/5  rDev -12%
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 thagr81us
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in the company of mikesgroove. Served from tap into a shaker. Poured a massively dark brown almost black with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, slight bitter hop, and cream. The flavor was of roasted malt, sweet malt, slight bitter hop, and cream. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. It was not awe-inspiring by any means, but still good. If this one had a little bit more of a hop profile going on it would have been quite good. As it was more toward the roasted side of things for the most part. A must try Black IPA. (728 characters)

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my very first crack at this new style, so I was pretty excited to try it. Notes are recent.

Black it is, with just a hint of brown around the edges when held up to the light. A light colored head forms about one finger high and manages good retention and lacing.
This is quite fragrant, pretty much as I expect an IPA sort of aroma but strongly backed by dark chocolate, caramel, coffee, and roasted malts notes. This is very interesting wrapped up in citrus and light pine resin hops aromas. There's an earthiness from hops and an earthiness from malts that compound the earthy aroma.
The taste follows suit, and as this style develops I think it'll be interesting to pick out the particularities of the different flavors that can be detected from both the malts and the hops. As it is, this may be the opposite of something like a well-hopped stout: a strongly-malted IPA. I think it works well, but if done wrong I could see a Black IPA being extremely discordant. In my opinion, 21st Amendment struck a nice balance.
The body is medium-full with moderate carbonation. It starts off crisp and ends with a moderate smoothness, with a semi-dry finish lingering for a short time.
I think this beer is a great effort from 21st Amendment and I look forward to seeing how this style continues to develop. This one can be enjoyed as a sessional and equally as much in almost any climate/temperature situation. (1,414 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
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 OWSLEY069
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper color to black with a light tan head. In the aroma, roasty coffee and a small hop presence. In the taste, just like the aroma, roasty coffee and a small pine like hop. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry, roasty, coffee aftertaste. Kind of like a hoppy porter. (297 characters)

Photo of drpimento
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
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 popery
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at City Beer Store in San Francisco.

It's not on the 21st Amendment website and I trust my fellow BAs, but I thought that I should mention that the abv was listed as 7.2% at the store, which would make sense as Back in Black is brewed along the same lines as the IPA (who cares, really). Anyway, the beer pours an opaque dark brown with purplish highlights and a good creamy mocha head that leaves excellent lacing. I'm not really sure how to rate the appearance of an intentionally dark IPA, which was certainly not to style, but I like how it looked. The aroma was very close to the IPA, strong, rich hop aromas of pine and spruce with a tinge of citrus and herbs. The flavor brings the dark malt into play with subtle roasted notes underlying the strong hop flavors. I've only had one other dark IPA that I can think of, Stone's 11th/Sublimely Self Righteous, and while they have different hop bills, they're similarly delicious. It's a great variant on the style but oddly rare among commercial brewers, although the homebrew community seems to have embraced it. (1,081 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Browned black core of dense opaqueness. Dark beige crown lifts tall and lean with a creamy puffed thickness. Lots of thickly placed lacing in cob webbed frosting.

Aroma is quite the intriguing mix of dry cocoa, dry tea leaves, bittered with a twist of pine, tangerine, berries, dark orange, heavy roasted malt, and a low ended hint to coffee.

Taste brings in some low tangy roasted malt layers that has a bit of berryness, orange marmalade, and old tangerine. Bitterness is there among the roasted parts, mostly showing towards the back end with a rounded orangey tang. Mellow pineyness and chocolateyness flows lightly underneath with bits of burnt coffee and roast.

Body is about medium with a loosened roundness as it rolls into the finish. The roasted parts do mix well with the hoppy bitterness, but its missing the mark some in its smoothness due its burntish side.

All in all, a pretty good black IPA. Would have liked to see some more chocolate and creamy smoothness out of it though. Or maybe just more hops? This was a tough one to put the numbers to. May need to tweek them if needed as I drink more of it? (1,121 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.78/5  rDev +3%
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 ArrogantB
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can purchased at Beverage World in Ft. Oglethorpe, GA $2. Dark black color, decent lace, short head. Smells roasty, like a porter. Tastes very much like a porter and nothing like an IPA, it wasn't even hoppy. I have no idea how old this was but I am really starting to doubt the whole black IPA phenomenon. Its like most of them are just porters and the really hoppy ones still don't make me think IPA. Hoppy black ale would be a better moniker for these shits. (466 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%

Can purchased as part of a mix-six pack from Wegmans.

Pours a dark creamy looking black, with a one inch head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells piney and grassy, with some chocolate and vanilla in the background. A bit of citrus as well.

The taste is basically the same. A run of the mill, but still tasty Black IPA here. The strong amount of vanilla and chocolate I'm getting sets apart from the pack. The usual tastes of piney/citrusy hops atop a roasty malt backbone sit here nicely.

This one is medium bodied, with a creamy but dry mouthfeel, and a medium amount of carbonation.

Not 21st Amendment's best beer (that honor goes to Bitter American or Brew Free or Die!), but it's still tasty. (704 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4/5  rDev +9%
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 gford217
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a tulip.

Pours a deep mahogany that looks almost black in the glass but has a deep copper look when held up to light. There is a small creamy beige head that sits down as a hefty collar and leaves excellent lacing.

I'm getting a little more accustomed to aromas like this - dark chocolate malts mixed with some citrus and floral hops.

Taste is a little more bitter with the floral hops and citrus leaving a slightly astringent kick up front. The black malts are present but it's not nearly as evident as in the aroma.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation but seems a little more watery than I would expect.

Not the best of black IPAs but pretty good. I definitely like seeing new craft beer in a can and this is no exception. (767 characters)

Photo of tigg924
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
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 cbutova
3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Black with a huge tan head that has a nice creamy texture to it. Great head retention and some spotty of lace.

S- Light caramel and roasty malt. Hops lend a bit of fruit and earthy notes. Surprisingly a bit of alcohol too. Not much strength at all.

T- The roast and caramel malt flavors just don't work with the hops here. The hops seem out of place from the malt profile. Hops lend big pine/earthy flavor and some fruit notes. Feels a bit all over the place but still decent.

MF- Fairly thin, even for an IPA. The body doesn't work with the roast flavors very well. Somewhat watery with low-ish carbonation. Fair amount of bitters.

DB- I just don't think there is a good balance between the decent malt and hop profiles. The weak mouthfeel certainly doesn't help either. Seems like the Black IPA is one of the new trends that might not make it very far, just feels a bit... off. (886 characters)

Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 673 ratings.