Back In Black | 21st Amendment Brewery

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Back In BlackBack In Black
2,435 Ratings
Back In BlackBack In Black

Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery
California, United States

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,435 |  Reviews: 726
Reviews by brewdoc75:
Photo of brewdoc75
4.45/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I gotta say, I haven't been a huge fan of the whole Cascadian Dark Ale/Black IPA craze. Nevertheless, I try to have a beer from the style on occasion to see if I change my mind. I heard this was a good one, plus it was on sale at my local liquor store.

A: Like the name would suggest, this beer is black. No Imperial Stout black, but definitely dark. There are some ruby hues throughout. The head is a off-white, bordering on brown color and is very present. Much creamier head than I would expect from an IPA. More like an oatmeal stout. It seems to last a long time and turns into a strong lace.

S: West coast hops here! Lots of grapefruit and pine. Very heavy hop aromas. I do get some chocolate and roastiness in the aroma as well. A little caramel too. Very nice aromas.

T: Again, I am impressed. Loads of hop flavors balanced out by strong maltiness and rich flavors from the debittered roast malts. It has the malty flavor of a good, foriegn export stout, without the strong, coffee-like roast component. Reminds me of a good Schwarzbier with loads of hops. The hops are very heavy on the grapefruit. I do get some nice pine as well. The beer finishes with ample bitterness, but not as much as I find with some other standard IPAs. The malts seem to add some nice chocolate and caramel notes. The yeast is fairly clean, but I do get some slight fruitiness in the end. All of this blends well together to make a tasty brew.

M: Medium bodied. Creamy at first, like an oatmeal stout, but finishes dry and crisp. I understand this is a fairly new style, but from what I've read, this beer fits well. Slight bit of lingering bitterness in the end, but not too much.

D: Overall, this was a great beer. I've been a little down on this style until now. Most of the beers I've had like this seemed like they were just dark IPAs, without much character from the malt. Or they were on the other end of the spectrum with too much roasted malts, making the beer more like a stout than an IPA. This beer had nice balance and great flavors. I hope to have more like this in the future.

 2,082 characters

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 drtth
3.81/5  rDev +3%
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.

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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%

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Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,435 ratings