Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Back In Black | 21st Amendment Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
83
good
706 Reviews
THE BROS
72
okay
Read the review
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
Reviews:
706
Ratings:
2,367
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
24.18%
 
 
Wants:
54
Gots:
383
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 706 | Ratings: 2,367
Photo of dciBA
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark black into my snifter. A fingers worth of off white head forms and quickly fades to a solid skimming which lingers for a while.

Smell is nice and complex, albeit a little weak. Chocolate, coffee, hops, dark fruit, but also a metallic smell of some sort. I'm trying to convince myself its not there and it's just the can playing tricks on me. I can't get over it though, it's definitely there, but also doesn't smell like a beer can. hhhmmmm, moving on...

Taste is similar to smell, just not quite as complex. I'm not really picking up on much in the way of hops. Mostly just a nice roastiness and a little chocolate. There's that metallic again coming through in the finish for a second before fading away. Overall taste is ok, just doesn't have a whole lot of impact and the metallic twang is really a downer.

Perfect amount of carbonation, and a smooth mouthfeel. This goes down easy with no hint of the higher than average %ABV which keeps the drinkability high.

 989 characters

Photo of MistahBeah
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Black or a very dark brown. Khaki head with good lacing. Lots of carbonation

Aroma: Roasty chocolate and toffee notes. Earthy hops. Caramel

Taste: Chewy roasted chocolate and some bitter coffee flavor. Resiny earthen hop bitterness. A little citrus. Bitter but not overly so. Ironically this was more bitter than their IPA. A tad salty in the finish as well

Mouthfeel: Creamy and chewy. Lingering bitter finish

Overall: Not bad by any stretch but nothing I would strongly recommend. Decent

 505 characters

Photo of BigMike
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Very dark ruby red. Barely see through when held up to the light. A thin tan head of maybe 1/4 inch.

S: Lots of citrus and a strange nuttiness in the background.

T: lots of bitter citrus notes up front with a roasted coffee/nuttiness on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with a touch much carbonation. A little less would have helped smooth things out a bit.

Overall: An ok "black" ipa. A better mouthfeel and replacing the nuttiness with some chocolate and more roasted coffee would have helped things a lot.

 515 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This poured out as a nice black looking brew, the head was tan in color and leaves a little bit of lacing behind. The smell of the beer was hoppy and had plenty of roasted malt aromas in there too. The taste of the beer kinda of fell off the radar for me... The hops that were used or the malts they used seems to be a little on the gross side in my opinion. Whatever it was, I felt like it just wasn't working for me. The mouthfeel of the beer was pretty good, but still nothing special really. Overall this brew had a good look, but flavor wise it just wasn't for me.

 569 characters

Photo of brother_rebus
3.34/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Great dark hue with deep amber tinge and a slick vanishing porter-like head. Cola-ish scent. A bit dull on the way in, but carries nice carbonation across the middle of the tongue, and leaves a malty trail down the back of the pallet as it deposits slight tones of tobacco and vanilla. Not all its hyped to be, but would order one at a bar on a crisp winter evening.

 366 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.34/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

To name a beer after a famous ACDC song....it better be awesome! Unfortunately 21st Century Back In Black Black IPA is not....however, it is solid. I just don't think it hit the mark. I use the Stone Self Righteous as my barometer. The B in B from 21st was a very dark ruby amber with a thin white head. The scent was most dissappointing, maybe some subtle malt...but not any hop. The taste follows the smell, subtle roast and malt, a lil hint of hop. I do like how it comes off the pallete clean...not lingering. The beer is easy on the mouth and could drink my weight.

 570 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
3.34/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampling a cellar temp glass poured into a pint glass. The beer pours a deep cola brown with fluffy tan head of 3 cm foaming up and reaching the top my glass before receding to a sturdy edge layer.
Aroma is rich and surprisingly malty. black ipa? where are the hops? I get some chocolate and maybe abit of herbal tea leaf scent, but certainly not the nose I anticipated.
First sip reveals an average body and fine tingly carbonation that is actually pretty gentle across the palate.

Flavor is caramel and toffee with bits of chocolate. I do get a little bit of astringent hops on the finish that dries out my mouth. Lingering bitterness as well.

The beer is very easy to drink, but the aroma is misleading to disappointing with lack of hops.
Probably wouldnt chase this one down again.

 788 characters

Photo of NilocRellim
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer was poured from the can and into a pint glass. Very dark, almost black, in colour. Beer had a roasted, sweet malt nose which carried through into the flavour of the beer; tasting of dark roasted malts. No distinctive aftertastes or flavours.

Would I buy this beer again? Maybe.

 283 characters

Photo of gatornation
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a black semi-thick color with a tan staying 1 finger head..looks good..smell is subdued with hops and malt some toffee and burnt toast or caramel,with some chocolate..flavor is similar its light on the porter flavors and light on the ipa flavors,,pine and citrus are there so is toffee and roasted malts,,but its all so light..mouth feel is light in relation to the style it has subdued flavors..21st just does not do it for me as a brewery..however out of the 3 ive tried i did like this one the best,,my recommendation? buy a single

 540 characters

Photo of TaylorK
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a can of this from Kroger while I was over in Columbus for a beer festival. Picked up another from the same brewery and a mixed set. I've been enjoying craft brews for some time, but the canned craft isn't something I've encountered much. Still getting used to seeing that.

A: Poured this into a pint glass and it made a decent head. The beer itself is dark, but not quite as much as the marketing and packaging made me think it might be.

S: The piney hop smell is definitely dominant on the front.

T: I think one of the biggest elements here is first a very refreshing pine, but then it moves quickly into resin-y flavor that comes out ever stronger as the beer warms. This is isn't horrible, but I wasn't a big fan of the taste. To me, this is the core component, and I was disappointed with the Back in Black.

It's not a strong hop flavor, but I don't think there's much else there either. Maybe a little bit of sweet.

M: Nothing to complain about here. The feel is smooth and easy to drink.

O: This is a decent beer, but I doubt I will be picking up anymore. If it was available, I'd drink it. I'd even recommend it to a friend. This one just isn't for me.

 1,180 characters

Photo of Auracom
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Gotta love shit in a can. Not literally, of course. 12 oz. can from Primanti Bros., poured into a pint glass on April 14th, 2012.

A - Dark semi-clear brown coloring. Huge, 4-finger soapy, whipped tan head. Decent retention, good lacing. Not truly black but close enough.

S - East coast hop profile. Sweet, strong malt backbone adds in a stout-like quality of roasted coffee beans and grains.

T - More of the same really. Blending of light cocktail fruit, sweeter hops, and heavily roasted grains.

M - Light body, medium-high carbonation, semi-sweet finish.

D - Peculiar. Very malt-forward for the black IPA designation but decent contrasting notes of a more mild, sweeter IPA and a lighter, coffee-highlighted stout. Props for creativity.

 745 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a coffee color capped by a very impressive head that grows craggy but sticks a lot of lacing around

Smell: There is a piney, floral character but the malts dominate, bringing black bread and ash

Taste: Black bread, up front, bringing char and roast; by mid-palate, a bit of pine develops and, while it lingers into the finish, the malty muddle dominates

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Without a strong hop profile, this beer doesn't come near what I am looking for in an ABA, particularly since I didn't particularly like the indistinctly flavored malt bill, either

 614 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 Rhode17
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice little daily drinker from 21st Amendment. Comes off a little like a baby stout. Not super hopped and syrupy but does have a touch of hop on the nose and mid. Hints of cocoa and black coffee with a little bit of toffee on it as well. Doesn't stick around too long on the finish though. Not an A+ but good for what it is. And the can art is pretty slick as well. As a Black IPA goes, its not the craziest, certainly more subdued than some of the Black IPA's out there but worth the money.

 491 characters

Photo of anon
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very deep Ruby/dark brown. Not as dark as expected for the style. Creamy, thick finger-width head sits atop and attains it's retention quite well. Spotty lace.

Very subdued aroma, only picking up the faintest roast, malt, cacao and hop characteristics. Juicy hops up front on taste; pine, grass and earth. Malts take over the show with some decent roastiness; notes of coffee, grains, grass, milk chocolate and light toasted bread.

Finishes quite smooth and a bit creamy. Lingering of roast and light bitterness. This was the high point of this brew for me. Really not too bad, but for the style it sets out to be, falls short.

 639 characters

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

21st Amendment Back In Black is a clear, dim red-brown-black ale with a dense khaki head that has outstanding retention and lacing. It has a fruity and roasty aroma. It's pretty light bodied; a little watery and metallic with a pretty clean finish. It's quite bitter and dry; sharp and green. It's not very well balanced and not good for more than a pint.

 355 characters

Photo of robbrandes
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

reviewed from notes.

5oz taster, poured @ northern virginia brewfest.

pours nearly black, reasonable off-white head. nose a bit malt-forward, but the hops are at least passable for an IPA. close your eyes and it's a middle-of-the-road IPA. a little more burnt taste/aroma, on par with a middling stout, but nothing too exciting.

 330 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz. can poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body with a bit of transparency. Very nice cream colored head. Laces inside the glass and leaves a creamy pillow of foam.

Smell - Some grassy hops. A bit of an abrasive grapefruit aroma. Mild roast and some chocolate.

Taste - Roasted malts are more aggressive, but it's still a bit of grapefruit up front. Roasted malts turn sweeter into chocolate before giving way to a caramel sweetness and a hop bite in the back.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Nothing inherently wrong with it. Just dull and uninteresting.

 599 characters

Photo of u2carew
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz can!
A) Pours with a tan, two finger head. Nearly opaque. Tight sticky lacing.
S) Grassy. Subtle notes of caramel malt. Hints of citrus spice.
T) A decent balance of malt and hops, although seems a bit watered down. Not real robust, like one would expect from a Cascadian Ale. The malt flavors start to shine towards to finish.
M) Creamy. Medium body.
D) A decent brew, but not a standout for me.

 402 characters

Photo of berkey
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On tap at Hopyard San Ramon as an after work brew 08/06/10. I've had this once before but not on a fresh palate. Served in a pint glass.

A small but stubborn tan head tops a very dark brown (but not quite black) body with some ruddy highlights. Some decent filmy lacing.

Aroma is roasty and bitter with some subtle chocolate notes. Bitterness seems to be coming more from the roasted malts but the hops are playing a role as well.

Flavor follows the aroma to a high degree with mildly bitter chocolate still the main characteristic. Finishes clean but slightly bland. Hop bitterness is nearly drowned in the more stout-like qualities of this beer but manages to show some signs of West Coast citric goodness. Not sure it's enough for me though.

I'm not sure if the previously mentioned stout flavors are influencing my perception here but the feel seems very watery. Easy drinking but I'm ready for something more engaging and I'm less than one quarter done with this pint.

 978 characters

Photo of sendsilk
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received in a recent trade.

A- Very, very dark with a decent head and some nice lacing.

S- Not too much in the line of hops on the nose, fairly malty in the smell.

T- Not great, not too bad. Pretty sweet though with a lot of malts. Let's face it, these black IPA's are just hard to quantify. It's not a bad beer, just not really an IPA IMO.

M- decent.

O- Not too bad but nothing to write home about.

 404 characters

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thrown in as an extra by wavers1 -- what a nice guy!

Appearance -- Pours a dark burgundy brown wiht one finger of stiff tan head.

Smell -- Grapefruit, Pine sap, Smokey dark roast malt, a tinge of berry tartness.

Taste -- Grapefruit and pine up front with some earthy herbal hop character and burnt breadcrusts, red grape, tart berries, french roast coffee, .

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with moderate prickly carbonation. It would be difficult to better the feel.

Drinkability -- Not too shabby. Hop-forwardness + big roast flavor is a pretty interesting combination. Don't think this one was my cup of tea; the berry-like sweet/tart thing threw me off a bit. This 'Black IPA' avoids the pitfalls of many of its contemporaries by showcasing bitter roast malt character instead of using debittered malt as essentially food coloring. Good on 'ya, 21st!

 855 characters

Photo of Arithmeticus
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: whoa! more head than beer; as advertised, it's black
S: pleasant quaff of hops with a strange overtone of something, almost like palatable burned rubber
T: as one other reviewer noted, there is a tinny taste; perhaps it's of the can and perhaps something else; at any rate, if that overtone were not present, this would be a stellar beer, with subdued but complex hop profile and a citrus sweetness
M: about as good as any craft beer

21st A: please check out that strange taste; drinkers: enjoy with the above proviso

 521 characters

Photo of hophugger
3.27/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a nice deep chocolate-reddish brown letting a little light in barely. Aroma is of pine resin, beautiful. Taste is hops, some citrus and bitterness. I am a hop fan, but this bitterness is kinda weird and slightly metallic. Feels ok

 236 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
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
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,367 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe