Back In Black
21st Amendment Brewery

Back In BlackBack In Black
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IPA - Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
Ranked #484
Ranked #37,837
3.72 | pDev: 12.9%
21st Amendment Brewery
California, United States
Back In BlackBack In Black
Notes: ABV varies around 7%.
65 IBU
Reviews: 738 | Ratings: 2,473 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
CAMRAhardliner from Canada (ON)

3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep ebony nearing on black with ruby edges. The foamy, thick head lasts a long time. Molasses, cocoa and citrusy, floral hops in the nose. Tropical, peach hop notes abound in the taste. Dark chocolate and roasted malts in there too. Sweetness lingers and makes the mouthfeel a little cloying. Medium to light bitterness and lingering sweetness in the finish.

A nice Black Ale but a bit on the sweet side. I find that with all of this brewery's offerings.

Jan 25, 2019
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lastmango from Pennsylvania

3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured black with a two finger frothy tan head that lingered like a milkshake. Lots of lacing was present. Nose was a bit piney and citrusy. Roasted malt forward with a quick transition to piney bitter hops. Moderate body and carbonation.

Dec 15, 2018
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singletary from Mississippi

3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours dark solid black with a tan foamy head that stays with the drink. The smell is citrus mostly but small hint of coffee also. The taste starts with a bite from the hops but a smoother malty the middle with a bit of bite to the end of it. The feel is a bit heavy to me. Overall it was good a little different with more hop flavor than I expect in a dark beer.

Nov 26, 2018
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MaltNPeppa from Virginia

4.88/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If you're really into barrel aged ales but don't want the high abv this beer has all the flavor without the boozy overload. Black ipas have never been my go to style but this beer somehow blurs the genre with it's rubost flavors mimicking the barrel aged beers out there. Love it ;)

Nov 09, 2018
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Gman12b from Delaware

3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a 6-pack of this tonight along with a 6-pack is Sam Adams 76. I must say of the 2 I like this one a whole lot better. Not sure f the color rating because I drank it right out of the can...glasses, describing how many fingers the head is and how long it lasts and all the garbage are for beer snobs...not beer swillers like myself. Overall, it was a bit shocking as I felt like I was drinking a heavier beer but with a nice amount of hops and in the end I didn’t feel like I needed a nap...I dig that! I would recommend trying this if you want to get out of the proverbial box, but then again I like Miller lite my shorts beer hypsters!

Aug 02, 2018
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Amendm from Rhode Island

3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12-oz. can packed on 04/16/18 poured moderately in to a 16-oz. mug produced a fat finger sized creamy beige head with sticky lacing, a thick cap remained thoughout the drink.
Very dark opaque brown, no change when held up to light.
Bitter roasted malt, hops and coffee for the smell.
The taste starts with bitter hops and roasted malt followed by semi-sweet malt and coffee in the middle, the roasted malt and hops return for a dry bitter finish.
Mouthfeel is on the bigger side of medium bodied, the abundant carbonation gives the flavors a lift. Slight peppery alcohol at the finish.
Although the roasted malt presents is a little above average it is balanced with sweeter malt and is not to hoppy or bitter.

Jul 30, 2018
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flgimp from Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: very dark brown pour with ample active 3 fingered head. Settled down to a thicker tan head. Lingering beige lacing on glass.
S: earthy coffee smell
T: big flavors. Smokey malt, toffee, coffee and hint of cocoa. Really nice balance
F: heavier side of medium. Good carbonation.

Overall agree that this one leans towards a porter.... Regardless of what style you want to pick this is a great tasting beer.

Apr 16, 2018
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WatertowerIV from District of Columbia

4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a deep, opaque Brown with a beige head that's thick as cotton and doesn't fade with time. Honestly looks more like a porter than an IOS.

S- Grassy hops and chocolate malt come together and remind me of high-cacao chocolate, with some tart cherry hiding behind it all

T- Like a dry chocolate milk. Mild malty sweetness sits behind the strongly bitter hop presence, with maybe some roasted malt adding a stout-like quality.

F- Thick and rich, helped out in no small part by the persistently foamy head. Still crisp though due to the hops

O- It's honestly more helpful to think of this beer as a dry-hopped stout than a "black IPA" (oxymoron). Still one of my favorites to grab if I'm in the mood for something a little weird.

Apr 09, 2018
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KTCamm from New Jersey

3.76/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

1/20/18...pours very dark brown, fast fizzy brown foam that settles down. Roasted malt nose. Some chocolate. Oily pine coffee taste. Milk chocolate beneath the bitter. Creamy mouthfeel . Tasty.

Apr 08, 2018
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bella1956 from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a very average to below average black ipa. For some reason I find most of 21st's beer to have a lot of flavor up front then seem to turn to water at the back end of the palate

Mar 12, 2018
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BrewMaven from New York

3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown brew with a persistent thin head that left good lace. I'm getting some roasted malts and tobacco on the nose. Taste has more roasted malt, a hint of resiny hops and a semi dry charr on the back end. Medium bodied with mild carbonation. Nice, semi sessionable take on the style. Cheers!

Mar 02, 2018
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ThisWangsChung from Maryland

3.59/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown color. The head is two fingers high and mocha in shade. Duration is excellent, and lacing left behind is plentiful.

This definitely offers a hoppy aroma - it's a pine-laden, slightly citrusy profile that fits the dark malts well. Said dark malts offer notes of brown sugar, chocolate, and faint roast. Together, the hops and malts combine to create an espresso vibe like a good black IPA should. There's little to complain about here, apart from the lack of general nuance that would have landed it an even higher score.

No surprises here: espresso (twinges of lemon peel and all) dominate the start and middle nicely. The citrusy lemon flavors build up on the finish, leaving a slightly bitter aftertaste. This does a good job of coming off like a black IPA instead of a hoppy porter. Hops generally dominate, but the dark malts aren't dinky or pathetic. Only thing is, the simplicity of the aroma also translated down to the taste buds. There isn't much beyond what was described. Decent cohesion and balance more than saves it from mediocrity.

It feels creamy on the palate, but it's also a dry beer - the best of both worlds. Of course, it also has a decent body, and that tends to slow the speed at which this can be consumed. Carbonation is subtle, never overpowering the medium-thick texture.

This is kind of like a poor man's Wookey Jack (remember that one?) in that it doesn't taste like a hoppier-than-average porter, but an IPA with darker malts. It's a bit one-note, but enjoyable the same. I'll come back to this one from time to time.

3.59/5: The most played out AC/DC reference in the business, but there's a decent beer inside

Dec 17, 2017
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Ob512316 from Pennsylvania

4.34/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: black with tan head, with medium lacing.
Smell: pine, coffee, roasted barley.
Taste: Pine and floral notes. Then dark chocolate and roasted barley. The finish is the same as it started.
Feel: A little heavy due to the complex flavors.
Overall: great beer, probably the second or third Black IPA I have tried, need to try more

Dec 04, 2017
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drtth from Pennsylvania

3.81/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The dark, reddish brown, liquid pours out into a nonic pint glass with a 1/2" light tan head. Leaving lots of thick rings of foam as the beer is consumed. Sipping creates some arches of leggy lacing and lots of small specks of lacing.

The aromas are filled with both pine and dark roasted malt that brings a bit of coffee.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with the roasted malt up front and with the coffee and the piney hops in the background.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly crisp with the fine moderate carbonation. The moderately long finish begins as the roasted malt and coffee begin to fade, followed by the piney hops. The residual dry ending seems slightly burnt and dry.

On the whole this is a well made beer that I mostly have enjoyed. My major reservation is that the final dry ending seems more bitter from the slightly burnt character than from the hop bitterness. I'd also prefer a bit more citric character. So I'll probably not be buying more.

Nov 28, 2017
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cyclonece09 from Wisconsin

3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a pint glass. Pours pitch black with a fluffy off white head. Smells of grapes and darker grain. Tastes of dark grain and light citrus. Beer is light bodied, good carbonation , easy drinking. Overall, an above average beer.

Nov 04, 2017
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BrewTunes from Washington

3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz. can into glass.

Look: Dark reddish brown. Thick foamy tan head, settled to about a third of an inch a few minutes after pour.
Smell: Like an IPA! Strong floral and piney hops with heavy roasted maltiness. Hint of citrus too.
Taste: Malts very forward in the taste, some coffee notes too. Hops are less aggressive than in the smell, but balance nicely with the malts to bring a balanced finish. Decently bitter with slight sweetness.
Feel: Pretty standard. Slightly thicker than some IPA's, and smooth overall. Good carbonation.
Overall: Good malty IPA. Definitely a solid winter time brew after all of the lighter summer IPA's. Solid choice with good flavor and tasty roasted malts. Looks pretty cool too!

Oct 12, 2017
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VoxRationis from New York

3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Decanted from a 12 oz (355 ml) can into a conical pint glass; no uncoded production information.
A: Pours an mahogany brown to black with a foamy, 3/4 inch, tan head with moderate retention and solid, complex lacing.
S: Floral initially with roasted malts predominating.
T: Interesting combination of citrus, pine and black coffee. Nicely balanced with bittering hops causing a clean, refreshing finish.
M: Medium bodied with solid carbonation. Full, rich mouthfeel.
O: Enjoyable. More on the IPA side of a black IPA than most. Interesting.

Oct 01, 2017
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HaoleBoy from California

4.4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful pour. Opaque black with a foamy tan head that hangs around awhile.
faint malts on the nose. Not particularly aromatic.
Crisp, slightly sweet with a hint of citrus and pine. Definitely get roasted malts, but the flavors are really well balanced. Finishes with a mild citrus bite.
I like this beer ... a lot! Certainly my favorite from 21st.
6.8% ABV, 65 IBU

Sep 20, 2017
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz can into a tall glass. NO freshness dating that could be understood.

Looks very nice, blackish brown with a solid oatmeal colored head leaving very good lacing.

Roasted malt and a faint hop hit on the nose.

The malts aren't overly roasted, which I appreciate. The hops are quite muted. I wonder if this particular can is a bit on the old side. Having said that, it's a nice balance for this particular palate.

Mouth is just a bit below medium, slightly creamy and roasted on the finish.

Overall, and I go back and forth on Black Ales, this one was okay in my book. I see other reviews have lauded the roastiness, which makes me think this might be an older can. But I'm okay with that, as burnt malts are a turn off for this chap.

Jul 30, 2017
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RyanK252 from California

3.96/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours dark chestnut brown with a frothy tan head that settles to a firm layer that hangs around and leaves some nice lacing.

S: Roasted malt comes out swinging, coffee, earthy, a little chocolate, followed with resinous pine, citrus rind, faint floral notes, and a touch of burnt sugar.

T: Lots of dark roast malt, burnt toast, and a touch of smoke, earthy, chocolate, and coffee, opens up to the hoppy side of pine with citrus undertones of grapefruit and lemon, mild peppery spice and floral notes, and a touch of burnt sugar sweetness.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, slightly creamy.

O: They definitely opted to give this one a fair bit of dark malt flavor, not just color. I dig it.

Jul 26, 2017
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skepticnibble from Virginia

4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz can into wide mouth pint glass. 6pk of cans was $9.50 at Wegmans in Northern VA.

L: Dark brown, nearly black with thick foamy head that dissipates quickly and laces nicely.
S: Roasty espresso with notes of wood and black licorice. Muted hops.
MF: Light, creamy, with moderate bitterness and nice peppery bite.
T: Roasted coffee and pine, with bitter hop finish. Reminiscence of big imperial stout but lighter and more bitter.

Overall, a well executed dark IPA. If you like IPAs and stouts, you'll like this one too.

Jun 25, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance was a nice black color with a one finger white to off white foamy head that dissipated a nice pace and ends up leaving a decent amount of foamy lacing sticking to the sides of the glass. The smell was roasty yet bitter and had a nice coffee/almost slight chocolate trying to come out through some nice citrus hoppiness. The taste was basically bitter and roasty with a nice allocation of bitter coffee-ness coming through. I didn’t get any aftertaste but there is a decent somewhat bitter dry finish. On the palate, it sat about a light to medium on the body as it tried to show a decent sessionable quality about it. The carbonation is good for the style and for me as it shows a decent harshness but nothing overbearing. Overall, in my opinion, I say this is a good American Black Ale, well worthy of having again.

Jun 08, 2017
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MurphyMacManus from Pennsylvania

4.52/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz can into oversized wine glass.

Look: Dark brown with a big, fluffy head that lingers.

Smell: slightly smoky, dark malts. Earthy hops.

Taste: Roasted malt. Very slight smokiness. Balanced in the finish with an earthy and slightly citric bitterness. Bitterness from roasted malt and hops lingers on the palate.

Feel: A bit chewy. There's substance and body, which is lightened a little by very tight carbonation.

Overall: A nice middle ground between an IPA and a porter/stout.

May 27, 2017
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EMV from Pennsylvania

3.81/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Dark, dark brown pour... nearly black with 2 fingers of foamy off-white head. Falls quickly with nice lacing.

S: Roasted grains and a bit of char. Pine and coffee.

T/F: Lots of roast character. Grains and espresso... evergreen/pine hop flavors. A bit of pepper and spice. Medium bodied... well carbonated. Finish is bitter roast mingled with hops.

O: Overall a well done black IPA. Not at the top of the heap but certainly well above average. If you enjoy bitter beers then this one will probably hit the spot.

May 20, 2017
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MacMalt from New Jersey

3.69/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can was 4+ months old. Poured into pint glass. It pours a dark ruby color with a fluffy, khaki-colored head and extensive lacing. The smell was subdued: mostly roasted malt with a faint whiff of caramel. The taste includes roasted malt, char, burnt coffee grounds, some bakers chocolate, and piny, resinous hops. On the whole, it is quite bitter, perhaps due to the age of the can. I'm not getting any sweetness at all. It is medium-bodied with a pleasant creaminess and carbonation, and its 6.8% ABV gives it some substance but isn't overwhelming. Overall, this is a pleasant Black Ale but offers no special attributes. It isn't in the same discussion as Wookey Jack, Dubhe or my personal favorite, Carton's Epitome.

May 11, 2017
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 2473 ratings