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Back In Black | 21st Amendment Brewery

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BA SCORE
83
good
706 Reviews
THE BROS
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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
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Reviews: 706 | Ratings: 2,367
Photo of garymuchow
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can dated 0221 - Aug 9, 2010. Shouldn't be too old in flavor, I suppose. It is a can after all. Paul Revere on a motorcyle.
Poured into SA glass and fills it to the top with the rich dense tan head capping a black drink, that holds deep dark reds and is clear in the light. Lots of messy lacing.
Still a fresh hop aroma and mixed with slight roast and dark malt aroma. I like the aroma of this, it s a nice blend, although a little tight.
Adequately complex with a light and drinkable body. Very long lasting bitterenss on the finish, although not intense. The blending of the hop flavors with the dark toast, light roast of the malt is a nice combination. Tart citrus hop flavor. Nice sweetness up front and it seems as much hop as malt in character.
This is very drinkable and rather tasty too. The creaminess of the very long lasting head adds a very pleasing quality.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

DATE: June 3, 2016... GLASSWARE: Barley Creek pint... OCCASION: Relaxing after a nice coach pitch win....pours a powerful three-finger brown head that is creamy, rocky, foamlike lacing... the black body akin to cola... aroma has the strength of punchy citrus--lemon, watermelon--with the malt-forward spiciness, especially pepper and toasted bread.... the palate is warming, slightly crunchy, dry at the finish, and nicely textured for a beer at 6.8% ABV... medium-bodied and, as the write-up suggests, quite mellow.... the flavor is malty, spicy and hoppy in balance... enough citrus exists to evoke an IPA, while the low end bakes nicely in the taste buds... another quality offering from 21st Amendment, and a beer that dangerously entices the drinker to session...

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Photo of schlimenhaumer
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. can into a pint glass at low altitude.

A: Pours a translucent dark brown color that gives off a ruby hue when held to the light. One-finger cream colored head with moderate retention and nice lacing.

S: Prominent hop notes up front with equally strong roasty malt notes. Definitely an enticing smell.

T: A nice mix of flowery hops and roasted malts. Both flavors hit the palate strongly at the same time, but I think they come together nicely and balance each other.

M: Medium-bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Complements the flavors well in my opinion.

D: This one goes down very easy considering the ABV.

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Photo of pzrhsau
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice rich dark brown color that is opaque with a two finger creamy coffee colored head (yay adjectives)
S: It has a dark roasty aroma coupled with a nice hop bitterness.
T: Its strange because the dark malt actually gives it a sweetness and a depth while still maintaining that bitterness of an ipa. Also some nice roasty notes in an after taste.
D/M: My eyes say porter but my head says IPA. This is just a cool beer style overall. Very innovative and brings some great crisp flavors together that I wouldn't have expected. I highly recommend this for someone who has not tried the style.

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Photo of NCSUdo
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can

A: Black body under a medium sized tan head. Good lace and retention. Good looking beer.

S: Toasted and chocolate malt mixed with some grapefruit/pine hops. Pretty balanced.

T: Some chocolate, toasted, mildy roasted malt mixed with some grapefruit and pine hop. Bitterness is about medium, and balances very well.

M/D: Medium to full bodied, carbonation is a touch high. Drinkability is very good. Overall, a very solid beer.

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Photo of JayS2629
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cola black that lets little light through. Some red tints in the light with a two finger dirty rocky tan head that sticks around for a while leaving foamy walls of lace.

The aroma is of tangerine, grapefruit and other citrus notes riding on top of a roasted coffee with hints of cocoa and caramel.

The taste very well balanced with a nice roasted coffee, mocha, chocolate front end. A bit of caramel gives way to some herbal, grassy hops that ends with a good dose of grapefruit. Its rounded out with an earthy note and some dark fruit aftertaste. Figs and cocoa are in the aftertaste.

Its got a creaminess up front but finished a bit thin and dry. Overall it is very drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of hopphead31415
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I saw a curious box with some neat illustrations. The box has dark colors to reflect the black IPA hidden inside. It has 65 IBUs and 6.8% ABV.

Look-It pours a nearly opaque black body with a tan head that is rich and foamy.

Smell-It smells of rich coffee beans and chocolate. I get hints of toffee and brown sugar.

Taste-You get a swath of grassy hops right up front that are subtle and delicate. The flavors of dark chocolate, coffee beans, toffee, caramel hints with some brown sugar, come out strong and then it finishes clean.

Mouthfeel-It is smooth and fizzy from the medium strong carbonation. The grassy hops burst forth from the carbonation and the brew overall is about medium-bodied. There is a lingering grassy bitterness that coats the tongue nicely which cuts the sweetness.

Overall-This beer isn’t syrupy or overly sweet at all. It is rather refreshing and enjoyable. It’s very drinkable and delicious. Cheers!

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Photo of hopsolutely
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Although this specific can is not exemplary, perhaps the best "Cascadian" black IPA I have ever encountered. A perfect mix of "stout" roasted malts with west-coast citrus hoppy undertones.

Can pours a dark burgundy colour, a beautiful amber when held up to the light, with decent head and lacing. Mouthfeel is pleasantly carbonated without being too slick, and the 6.8% ABV is terrifyingly well hidden. Aroma of dark roasted malts, albeit a subtle metallic twang in this can that hasn't been present in previous ones. Taste is well balanced with the dark chocolate and coffee roasted malt flavours, finishing with delightful citrus and tropical fruit hop notes. A pleasant bitterness lingers with the mango...

All in all, I consider this a benchmark beer. Thank-you 21st Amendment!

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Photo of BigPlay1824
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

enjoyed in a pint glass

A: pours a clear deep brown almost black with two fingers of mocha colored fine bubbled and silky textured head that lingers nicely and leaves a ton of creamy lacing on the glass
S: very nice floral hop notes and also deep caramel malts and roasted malts really even it out
T: hmm, begins with the nice malt character and then moves into the nice citrus hop notes which linger and become more floral on the palate long after the initial sip
M: smooth, gentle carbonation that is a bit brisk, leaves the mouth every so slightly dry but very nice
O: typically im not big on black IPAs but this one was positively fantastic, so well balanced and just wonderfully drinkable, well done!

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Photo of kwjd
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the 21st Amendment brewpub in San Francisco. Pours a bitch black colour with a finger or 2 of head, with nice retention. Lots of lacing down the glass. Smells of nice roasted malt and citrus hops. Good blend of bitterness and sweetness of the malt in the flavour. Creamy mouthfeel. Certainly one of the better CDA's I've had.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark chocolate ruby body. Tight froth chocolate brown head. Nice retention and lace properties. Nice mix of chocolate malts and vibrant, citric hops. Very nice aroma. Flavor is solid, but would better with even a bigger hop presence and bite. The chocolate, roasted malt flavor wins the battle in this beer with the piney, citric hops coming in second. Even keeled mouthfeel. Moderately carbonated and medium full body. Enjoyable.

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Photo of maltman24
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Nice black color with lasting tan head.
Forward hop presence in the aroma with some sweetness from malts. Flavor is well balanced with forward hop presence and malt backbone. Finishes very clean with a little lingering bitterness. Very smooth finish not harsh at all. I'll have another!

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Photo of beer2day
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour with 1-finger tan head. No retention but nice lace.

Cascade weak on the nose. Roast malt comes through a little stronger.

Nice roast flavor up front, with Substantial chocolate malt and coffee. Hop note is milder than expected but still nice.

Medium feel for a beer this rich.

Nice beer. Worth a glass or two.

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Photo of bensbeers
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Golden West in Baltimore. Appearance was nothing special. Must not have gotten a good pour out of the tap because I had no head at all. Color was a dark dark brown with hints of red around the edges. Slightest touch of caramel colored suds on the top. Looks like a stout but definitely drinks like an IPA. Lots of rich scents on the nose - coffee, buttercream, chocolate, and a touch of smoke. The taste closely mimics the nose - definitely can taste the hops. Not citrusy but robust which gives me the impression that they are extremely well-balanced with the grains. Malty character but not too sweet - toasty and roasty. Dark flavors - bittersweet chocolate and toast with a hint of strong coffee at the finish. Mouthfeel was extremely pleasant. Not too crisp but not as flat as other dark beers can be. Overall an extemely tasty beer. Great take on the black IPA , but this is certainly open to interpretation - some my call it a stout m, some a brown ale. A great beer to kick off a session and enjoy when the weather is turning from cold to colder. Cheers!

 1,076 characters

Photo of BDJake
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've tried a number of black IPA's over the last year, but from a can? Here's my take on my first canned one:

A- a nearly perfect pour, deep dark brown that falls just short of black, capped with an inch and a half of tan head that lasted for a long time and laced extremely well.

S- mostly of orange, pine, and of sweetly roasted malts

T- for such a dark version of this style, there was a lot of orange peel, grapefruit, pine, molasses and caramel... in other words, it had very little burnt notes I was expecting but good nonetheless

M- light-medium body, ample carbonation, and a citrusy aftertaste that was not in the least bit harsh or bitter

D- one of the easiest-drinking CDA's I have ever had the pleasure of drinking, and even though some may want more roasted or bitter tones, it was one of the best canned beers I have ever had

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Photo of shand
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Back in Black pours a deep brown color with two fingers of mocha head. The aroma is excellent, it's got a big amount of piney hops over roasted malts. The taste follows the nose, striking the formula for a black IPA right on the nose. Piney hops, roasty malts, that's all you need. The mouthfeel is lighter and well-carbonated, and the drinkability is great. It's not particularly jaw-dropping, but a perfectly tasty beer. It gets the balance just right.

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Photo of LtCracker20
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a not-quite-black deep brown body with reddish hues. A nice 2-finger tan head that falls relatively quickly to a nice thick cap. It leaves some really nice lacing.

S- Chocolate up front, espresso, coffee, caramel malts, and slight citrus hops.

T- Hops play a more up front role in the taste than in the aroma. But, still, mostly chocoloate and caramel malts are the big players here.

MF- Almost a full body with a good amount of carbonation.

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Photo of flexabull
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a couple of pints of this prior to the Phillies vs. Giants game today.

Pours a dark brown color with a faint white head.

Aromas are of pine, some cocoa, caramel, and burnt brown sugars.

Taste is a little sweet, creamy, and chocolate like up front. Beer then settles into a light coffee and brown sugar notes. Finish is nice and crisp and biting with an earthy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is full, thick, but not too heavy.

Drinkability is very good. Nice black IPA, flavorful, with a nice balance of sweet and bitter notes.

 534 characters

Photo of farrago
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yields a big three finger head of deep tan color, quite airy, little dimpling, almost entirely microbubbles, the lacing is noticeably thick and sticks excellently. Not quite fully black liquid, more like brackish, muddy water, lots of brown with some yellow touches, plenty of floaties inside too. The nose has a gentle roast to it, coffee, cocoa, mocha and malted milk balls, brings some raisin to plum fruit too, nice floral dew, macadamia nuts, dried orange peel, requires concentration to register its complexity but it is there for the taking. Medium-bodied, at times a touch too foamy but calms down quickly, this added creamy texture helps reign in the hoppiness albeit it by no stretch gets close to greenness or bitter puckering. More dark chocolate and coffee bean than sweeter caramel or toffee, some milkiness though. The nuttiness higher here, that macadamia plus pecan and Brazil nuts. Conversely the citrus recedes yet you get more pine. Not sweet enough for raisin, stays in the plum, peach, cherry and apple range. Clings to your mouth pores, borderline oily. A very interesting as well as chuggable beer that is not worth getting pedantic about in terms of general categorization.

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Photo of Ricochet
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the first true "craft brewed" beer I've ever had from the can. I have been meaning to try Dale's , but never have. When I saw this at my "weird beers" store, I figured I'd give it a go. I took a swig from the can too, just to see.. Yep. It's what I thought. Damn good taste from a can. So, I poured and let's get to review:

A:Black. No see thru here, Poured with average head, but thick lace, sticky to the glass. Porter? Anyone? IPA! Hmmm.

S: Porter anyone? IPA! Hmmm. Coffee note is the strongest but a malty smell, like Co-Co Wheats brings up the rear. I also get the distinct smell of ice cream cones? That's different.

M: Bursts creamy in the mouth, washes with coffee bitter but aftertaste of bitter dark chocolate. Very nice.

T: Heh. This isn't from a can. It's a joke right? As I see more brewers are doing it, I say GO! When I took the tour of Yuengling Tampa, the tour guide said the boss hates canning. I say, WHY? Let's start with the coffee like bitterness then get into the follow through which adds a sharp malty-ness that really asserts itself. Sharp malty-ness? I said it. It bursts out in front of the hops but not enough to dominate.

D: I'd love to have this beer when everyone else is drinking Bud light...or maybe I need new friends.

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Photo of lstokes
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark and very fragrant--you can really smell the grapefruit and citric hops on this one as well as some nice cocoa undertone.

The taste picks up on the smell but adds some coffee and brown sugar, and the mouthfeel is a little on the light side but still very wonderfully drinkable. It's one of the lighter, more approachable dark IPAs I've had, and I would definitely drink it again.

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Photo of popery
4.12/5  rDev +12%
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 zoso1967
4.11/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As one might expect, Back in Black pours a slightly transparent black. When I say slightly transparent, I pretty much mean only when held up to a bright light source does it show some clean motor oil like hues around the edges. The head is a surprisingly dark tan color, creamy, and stubborn in its staying power. It leaves some pretty serious lace on the sides of my glass. This is a beautiful looking beer.

It has a pretty powerful aroma full of slightly charred roasty malts and juicy citrus hops. There is also a fair amount of chocolate, and some pleasant bready malt sweetness. Everything is well integrated, and if you smell it without concentrating hard it adds up to just one singular and tasty aroma.

The flavor strikes me as much more complex. Right off the bat it is slightly smoky and leathery. Astringent charred malt comes in next, with roasty coffee and some bitter cocoa also making an appearance. Grapfruity citrus and pine are also there. If I was to describe the hop flavor in a picture I would draw a nice juicy ruby red grapefruit hanging from a pine branch. There is also a nice biscuity malt sweetness that combats most of the bitterness of this brew.

The mouthfeel is on the fuller side of medium. This is a smooth drinking beer that has a well crafted finish. This beer is neither too dry nor sweet and the slightly sticky aftertaste is chameleon like in its nature, vacillating between roasty, malty and hoppy.

This beer is fairly drinkable, but is one of those beers that I drink slowly just to appreciate all that is going on. The India black ale is still a young style, and the different interpretations I have had are all quite different, but one thing is for sure, this is one of the better examples I have tried thus far.

 1,758 characters

Photo of velosuds
4.11/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Edit 9/4/2011:

I have now gone through about 4 more six packs since reviewing this upon the first try. I like this more than I indicated in original review (4.5/3.5/4.0/4.0/4.0). Increasing the taste to 4.5. If the aroma were a little more developed I would raise the total to about 4.25. This is my favorite Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale/American Black Ale available in six packs. Good value at $10.99. Great value on sale tonight at $7.99. This "style" is becoming my favorite. I know it rubs some the wrong way, but I love the creativity and innovation.

From a 12 oz. can into a clear pint glass. No freshness dating apparent. Paid $9.99 a six pack at Whole Foods in Bend, Oregon.

A-pours a ruby chestnut brown, not quite dark enough to be a black ale. Generous two-finger, fluffy, tan head slowly recedes into sticky lacing.

S-Aroma is too faint for style, but nicely balanced between dark malts and citrusy hops. Good choice of hops in Columbus, Centennial, and Simcoe, the latter two also dry hopped. I was expecting more intense aroma, but have no idea how fresh, or not this beer was.

T-Initial citrusy hops are sufficiently hoppy and bitter to be an IPA at 65 IBUs, but not overpowering since it was balanced by deep, bready and roasted malt flavors. Hops are not assertive enough in the taste, aside from the adequate bitterness.

M-Medium dry body is very smooth and well balanced. Carbonation level is very good.

O-Overall this is decent.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
4.11/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thrilled to find this in Ohio; further thrilled that it is in cans! For some reason craft beer in the Columbus area seems old or abused by the time it makes its way into my hands. I had recently made a Black IPA of my own, and had heard a lot about this and wanted to see how my mine stacked up.

And they are quite different! This beer differs from other IPAs in more ways than just color. It is (of course) dark and nearly opaque, but the dark color betrays a ton of dark roast chocolate-y aroma and flavor. It is far more chocolate-y and deeply malty-sweet (like a malted milkball) than my beer turned out. This chocolate and maltiness was balanced out by a slammin' amount of citrus-y hop character. The beer is plenty hoppy, but I'd say it is skewed more towards the chocolate/malt end of the spectrum than the hoppy side of things.

Mouthfeel is pretty good...a touch thick and chalky feeling. Until I can make another BIPA, I'd buy this again.

I bought this 6-pack at Blacklick Liquor in Columbus, OH.

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Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,367 ratings.
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