Back In Black | 21st Amendment Brewery

Back In BlackBack In Black
BA SCORE
54.4%
Liked This Beer
3.7 w/ 2,406 ratings
Back In BlackBack In Black
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery
California, United States
21st-amendment.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#27,655
Reviews:
717
Ratings:
2,406
Liked:
1,308
Avg:
3.7/5
pDev:
13.24%
Alströms:
3.1
 
 
Wants:
56
Gots:
399
Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,406 |  Reviews: 717
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Inspired by Paul Revere's midnight ride, we rebelled against the British style IPA, embraced the more aggressive American version and then recast it in bold, brave, defiant black."

--21st Amendment website

The hue is more dark walnut with burnt orange edges than bold, brave, defiant black. Almost half the glass is currently filled with a lovely looking crown of caramel nougat colored foam that has an impressively bubbly surface. Lace is both extensive and attractive.

Back In Black smells like a black IPA... or a Cascadian dark ale... or an American black ale... or whatever the hell we're calling them this week. There are equal contributions from medium-dark malts and citrusy American hops: Columbus, Centennial and Simcoe.

The flavor score, although identical to the two above it, is the weakest one yet. The first half of each mouthful is wonderful. It's in the second half that a somewhat puckery lemon juiciness comes out to play. There are enough other flavors to keep it in control, but still.

The malts are mostly dark caramel-like with a contribution from bittersweet chocolate. Top notes include lemon and pink grapefruit with a small splash of pineapple juice. Sorry, but the taste score isn't able to hang in there and the drinkability score follows it right down to 3.5. Time and warming did nothing to help the cause.

The mouthfeel is just big enough and gains an enjoyable smoothness by the middle of the can. The bubbles could be better integrated, but they aren't bad, all things considered.

21st Amendment's Back In Black is not a raucous, rowdy, rock-and-rollin' roof-raiser that would do the AC/DC song of the same name proud. It's a black IPA that is a little bit too fruit juicy to compete with the best versions of this style.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.36/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz can,into a Cigar City spiegelau IPA glass.

Pours a deep brown forming a creamy dark khaki colored head,that stands 1 finger tall.Very nice head retention,and beautiful lacing.Dark brown / deep amber colored body,with distorted light showing through the glass.Very light carbonation.

On the nose I get dark roasted malts,and some citrusy tropical fruit hops.Also getting some caramel,and coffee notes.

On the palate I get mostly dark roasted malts,coffee,caramel and toffee,balanced with a nice solid piney hop flavor.This is a very nice beer.

The body is thin with a moderately dry finish.

This is a very nice beer,not sure why it didn't get a higher rating,although I admit I am a sucker for dark beers.This is my first time trying a black IPA,and I definitely look forward to trying more of them.

 823 characters

Photo of Alejandrolikebeers3445
5/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

really tasty and good beer

26 characters

Photo of aszatk01
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Turbo
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of cynicgiraffe
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my first black IPA for what it's worth. Pours opaque black. Overwhelming grapefruit in the aroma. So much so that I can't get anything else. Thin creamy head, disappears quickly but leaves lots of lacing. Taste: lots of grapefruit but some pine. Thick mouthfeel, almost like a Russian imperial. Bizarre (and has some palette dissonance) to have this palette with the hop profile. Back end has a peculiar combo of hop bitterness and stout bitterness. I love this beer. Well balanced. I would drink this any time. Awesome.

 528 characters

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.06/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Jet black pour into a Brooklyn Pils glass with a slight fizzy cap that quickly deteriorates. Sweet malt aroma, a surprise after having read the label "Black IPA". Bitter first sip. Not citrusy, not piney, more astringent than anything else. I cannot get a bead on any hop character, just a bitter flavor. The bitterness dissipates and gets overwhelmed by candy sweetness, which is just inconsistent with the style attempt. The fizzy thin mouth feel finishes a pretty unpleasant drinking experience. Good thing that I bought the can as a single. Don't think I'll be going back for this one. I have not had great experience with 21st Amend. but I really enjoyed their Fire Side Chat and Monks Blood. Those two successes will keep me trying their new projects in the future; this effort was simply not their finest effort.

 819 characters

Photo of sherm570
4.46/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of GameOfBeers
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #43 (Aug 2010):

You know a beer style has made it when it has been canned. This beer has excellent lacing but is not as black as expected. It has a sweet, hoppy resin and malt sweetness in the nose. It's very smooth, with a faint roasted maltiness and some char when the beer lingers on the palate. The hops are doing their job, but the malt just lets go. This brew has a semidry finish with some faint roast and hop bitterness flavors to deal with. It seems a bit confused. Perhaps the contract brewer lost touch with the end goal here? It's decent at best, though a good pick if cans are your only option.

 649 characters

Photo of EastBay_Nick
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of mementoMori
4.32/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TheAdamConners
5/5  rDev +35.1%

I always liked black IPA's, and this one solidified that. Just a great brew. Straight outta the can is quite nice. Good amount of hop flavor (65ibus) but great balance. This is one of the most drinkable black IPA's you'll find. Sits light on the stomach, and goes great with chicken and spicy peppers.

 306 characters

Photo of kuishinbo_tantei
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of dandaugherty1221
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dobmaster
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nearly opaque brown with a tan, long-lasting head that leaves a lot of lace.
The aroma is a combination of citrus and roasted malt with a hint of something vegetal/grassy.
Taste features plenty of hop bite right up front, plenty of citrus and pine followed by dark chocolate and roast coffee notes that finish the sip on a bitter note.
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.
Quite enjoyed it.

 393 characters

Photo of DaftPatrick
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of heddar33
2.25/5  rDev -39.2%

Photo of SunDevilBeer
3.37/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Seen this alot at ;my local, finally decided to pick up a 6-er @ $10.99.

Not as dark as I expected it to look.

Smells more like a porter to the nose. Upon 1st sip...yup, this is a porter, not really an IPA. A hoppy porter at that, tho.

A bit of smokey bitterness that lingers after the sip. At 6.8%, a bit more boozy (& boozy tasting) than expected too.

A disappointment if you expecting a dark IPA, but not bad if you think of it as a hoppy porter.

 453 characters

Photo of nstroup
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of bellce0
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Fcip78
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

The Alstrom Brothers state that "You know a beer style has made it when it has been canned." I could not agree more, however don't think that it is a knock. The fact that we can get a quality Black IPA canned is a greajt thing. Back in Black pours opaque and has light malt notes in the nose. Plenty of nice hop flavor throughout each sip. It's very smooth and a dry finish. It is a decent quality canned option.

 412 characters

Photo of Doomcifer
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of Guden
2.61/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A- A deep brown though definitely far from black. A one finger head of small white bubbles falls slowly leaving no lacing. This one is also clearly not filtered and contains lots of brown and white yeast that I wasn't expecting in a canned beer.

S- American hops (cascade) are up front in the nose with a little bubblegum and pine and a touch of caramel rounding out the heavy citrus. Would like more "dark beer" traits but smells like an IPA.

T- Flavor is sweet with the caramel and some bubblegum standing over a refrained hop character. Finishes with a rush of moderate bitterness. As an IPA it fails with little hop flavor, as an american brown it's just ok.

M- Moderate in body and fairly low in carbonation, it's not hard to drink but is not nearly as dry as an IPA and without any roastiness there isn't much of an excuse.

D- In almost all respects this one just feels like a lazy attempt at an over hopped brown. By no stretch of the imagination would I call this a black IPA as it isn't black, it isn't dry and there's practically no hop flavor. The thick layer of yeast sediment was also offputting in the glass and really uncalled for in a can. It was hard for me to give this brewery another try with how much I hated the watermelon wheat, now I know to stay away for good.

 1,289 characters

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Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
Beer rating: 54.4% out of 100 with 2,406 ratings
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