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:
#27,705
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,406 |  Reviews: 717
Photo of caseyscarb
2.87/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Back in Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

I grabbed a growlette of this tonight- being an IPA lover this beer sounded pretty intriguing, it is however my 1st "Black IPA".

In to a pint glass it goes.

It is a dark hazel brown color, though fairly clarified, and a decent amount of carbonation producing slightly more head then I was expecting.

On the nose I initially get a piney hop and semi sweetness followed by a light roasted malt and coffee. As I continue to smell I even get some cocoa nibs.

While I'm pleased with the smell, it does not carry through very well to the taste-
It's a bit watery, and an initial sweetness is then bombarded by carbonation in the mid and finishes very bitter.

There are some really nice nuances in the flavors, but it doesn't tie together well as a whole.

When I envisioned a Black IPA, this is nowhere near what came to mind.

But to be fair, it has a tasty quality to it, but it's definitely nothing too special.

 953 characters

Photo of CharlatanSin
2.87/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a can into a pint glass. I remember liking this much better on tap than I did this time.

A: The beer pours a dark brown with a bit of coca-cola ruby around the edges. Small, off-white head.

S: Not good. There's tropical fruit, but it's muddled and smells oddly artificial. To me, it smells just like fruit sorbet, which is not a smell I want in an IPA or CDA. Not much roasted malt or chocolate character, either.

T/M: Better than the smell, but still not great. It's still got that sorbet-like fruit essence, which comes across as soapy in the flavor. But in the mouth you can at least discern actual hops. There's a bit of chocolate, and some harsh, dry bitterness like burnt coffee. Body's on the thin side with medium carbonation. Dry.

D: Like I said, I remember liking it okay when I had it on tap a while ago. But this was muddled and a mess. Too bad, since I like their IPA a lot.

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Photo of pwoods
2.88/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. can purchased at The Root Cellar, poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours black with some light around the edges. Moderate head on the pour without much retention but decent lacing.

S: Light American hopping with more of an English side. Nice dehusked black patent aroma.

T/M: Not much bitterness and not a lot of hop flavor. More of the dehusked flavor. Really not a lot going on. Body is medium to medium light with good carbonation.

D: Easy enough drinking but not very interesting.

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Photo of JizackFH
2.88/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - This beer pours a very dark brown color, that glows ruby on the edges when held to the light. It has a big 4-finger light tan head on it. The head has great retention, and leaves a nice layer of lace on the glass.

S - It smells of sweet and roasted malts. There is a bit of piney hop character, but I definitely expected more. Also, I am getting some scents of chocolate and a touch of coffee.

T - The taste starts of with some sweet caramel and roasted malts. There is a piney hop presence throughout the drink, but it is quite subdued. I am also getting some notes of chocolate, coffee, and some citrus. The finish leaves some lingering roasted bitterness behind. I really wish there was more hop presence here.

M - It has a lighter body and decent carbonation. It goes down quite easily, but the flavor is sort of bland for an IPA variation. There is some lingering bitterness in the finish.

O - The drinkability was alright, seeing as how its goes down quite easily. Overall though, this beer just doesn't stand out amongst other beers of this style that I've had so far. I would drink it again, but I wouldn't pay for it.

 1,135 characters

Photo of prisdefer
2.9/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Beejay
2.91/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark black with nice tan head.

S: A weird mixture of dark malts, and hops. I am picking up a little onion, or cheese. Not sure if I am digging this so far.

T: Not sure how I feel about all this. Starts a little tart, then hop notes come in. It ends nice and malty, with roasted flavors, and a nutty finish. I am still picking up a hint of onion.[-w

M: Fairly highly carbonated. Fairly light in mouthfeel.

D: Meh.. Not amazing, not terrible.

 450 characters

Photo of sjverla
2.91/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nose: Yeasty and biscuity. Mellow sweetness like molasses laced with grassiness to the back.

Appearance: Nearly opaque black. Sweet ruby on the edges. Big head the color of creamed coffee that sticks around.

Taste & Feel: Weird. Bready and bitter and slightly metallic. Almost soapy. Hops come in at the end, malts stay on the lips. The feel is fairly smooth.

Overall: Swing and a miss. This beer wants to be great, and I like it on uniqueness, it just misses the mark on taste. Something about it just doesn't translate.

 524 characters

Photo of beertunes
2.91/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in straight pint glass. Poured pure black, no translucence, with about a 1/2 inch of dark tan head that had good retention and moderate lacing.

The aroma had light roast and light hops, but otherwise wise fairly benign. The taste was fairly similar, some roast and hops, neither dominating, and was pretty well balanced. I don't think they were trying for balance.

The body was typical for this new style, Cascadia Dark Ale(Black IPA), not really thin or full and much like most IPA's. Drinkability was OK but not special. Overall, a decent but not noticeable take on the style. Worth trying if you see it.

 615 characters

Photo of wyattshotmaker
2.91/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured into a 25 cl snifter.looks pretty good, dark brownish black with a white head. nice lacing.

nose has alot of cocoa/dark chocolate. touch of roasted coffee.

the taste of this beer does more or less nothing for me. it's fairly bitter, not much hop flavor. alot of chocolate/roastiness. more like a watery porter if anything.

mouthfeel is kinda thin. drinkability is average at best. good to try but this isn't something im going back to.

 447 characters

Photo of Abragg3
2.92/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of CHADMC3
2.93/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown to black, remaining transparent at only the bottom of the glass. The head is fluffy and light tan head leaving a very sticky lacing clinging to the glass and just a thin, creamy layer atop the beer after a few minutes.

There appears to be a very nice hop/malt balance upon first inspection with prevailing hop bitterness, but tough to tell exactly type.

The flavor certainly has a fair amount of roasted malt, bordering on burnt, with some earthy hops and grassy notes. As the beer warms, there even appears to be a touch of sourness.

A bit overly carbonated with a medium body and dry or pungent finish.

This is a newer style, but based on what I have sampled this seems to miss the mark for the style with more roasted malt than I care for, and less of the earthy or floral hops I am accustomed to. Certainly not a bad beer, but there are better examples.

 886 characters

Photo of chumba526
2.95/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appears ironically a really dark red color. It's almost black but it's not. There is about an inch of tan foam.
Smells sour like, citrusy and herbal. There is a potent orange smell going on. I also smell a bit of caramel as well.
It tastes very citrusy there is also a kind of chalkiness to the beer. It is a little bitter. There is a nice but not overbearing sweetness to the beer. There is a bit of a subdued caramel flavor going on as well. The carbonation is moderate. The drinkability is ok: the chalk like flavor of the beer makes it less appealing to drink.
Overall an ok example of a black IPA but not that impressive.

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Photo of MarkQ617
2.96/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this on tap at Taco Mac, my first offering from these guys. Stronger roasted malt flavor than I'm accustomed to for black IPAs, could've used a bit more hops. Definitely more black than IPA. Deep brownish black color as you'd expect, lighter head than I'd have expected give the flavor. Somewhat flat aroma.

 313 characters

Photo of JMforman
2.97/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Jet black with a nice fluffy tan head.

S- Chocolate, grapefruit, toasted malt, very pleasant smell

T- Like grapefruit juice. Weird. Not much in the way of malt. Not very bitter. Very juice-like. I've never had a beer quite like this.

M- Thin and peppery.

D- Drinks like a soda... I guess its very drinkable in that regard, but if you want a beer, look elsewhere.

 369 characters

Photo of TheBigBoy
2.98/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of Hojaminbag
2.98/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Back in Black has a dark black body, which is no surprise considering not only the style but the name of the beer itself. The thin brown head has ok retention and leaves a few scraps of lacing.

The aroma has a lot of roasted malt and a puff of smoke. Surprisingly fruity with just a hint of citrus from the hops.

This is a weird one. The fruit characteristics make it taste like beer mixing with some sort of fruit punch. The malt base is actually pretty good, with lots of roast and a little bit of a peat-like, smokey character. The hops are in the background, with bits of pine and citrus. They provide more bitterness than flavor. The fruit is the biggest flavor, and the more I drink of it the less I want.

Mouthfeel could use a bit more carbonation, but its pretty substantial at least.

I was not a fan of this one. The first sip I though it was weird, the second I thought it was OK because I liked the smokey character, but after a few more sips I was ready to be finished.

 985 characters

Photo of coachdonovan
2.99/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Hmmm, is this really black? No, not quite. When I hold it up to the sunlight (yes, I'm drinking this afternoon) it looks more like a reddish brown, but still very dark. Khaki head carries enough weight that this beer actually overflowed my shaker glass. Damn, and I'm usually such a good pourer. The foam is nice and fluffy as pockets settle over the course of a few minutes.

Aroma is cleaner than I'd like. The citrusy and piney hops are there, but they don't exactly punch me in the nose. Taste is dominated by this fruity, soapy flavor that I can't quite nail down. Actually, it is less fruity and more leafy, green, astringent, almost metallic. I don't know that I've tasted it before, and I'm not entirely sure it's supposed to be there. Finish is fairly dry as the roasted dark malts come to the forefront.

I would really like to dry this from the tap in SF to see if those odd flavors are always present. Something tells me this one got a little lost in translation on its way to the contract brewer's cannery.

 1,019 characters

Photo of jkonte
2.99/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Photo of birderbeerer
2.99/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours dark black with a four finger coffee head.

Aroma is some piney hops with a big cloyingly sweet malt jolt. Interesting.

Multiple tastes come through in phases. The malts overcome the hops with only a slight bitter sharp edge. Flavors resemble stout, brown ale, a low hop ipa, and even lager. Strange. The waves of flavor pass too quickly to hang on or enjoy them. Seems like it was brewed as a crap shoot beer. Throw a bunch of ingredients in and see how they interact.

 476 characters

Photo of wisrarebeer
2.99/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: deep, deep copper color, clear with nice ruby tan head
S: full nose, good roasted malt with perfumy hops
T: Back in Black has a good roasted malt character but the hops are too medicinal
M: nice roasted up front but too unbalanced with medicinal hops

 253 characters

Photo of MbpBugeye
2.99/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Can into a Perfect Pint.

Appearance
I didn't think I poured too hard, but I guess I was wrong. Most of this beer flashed into a very fine froth as soon as it rolled into the glass. It doesn't strike me as infected or anything, just over carbonated. The beer is a dark root beer color on the pour, collecting near black.

Aroma
For being a 21st Amendment beer there is a surprising lack of aluminum and a hopeful level of hops. Spicy pine and citrus hops. There's not a whole lot of roasted stuff, but there is a lot of black pepper.

Taste
The flavor is actually pretty nice, it just falls very flat, very quickly. Things start with sweet citrus and some spiciness, but suddenly all flavors are gone. Its weird. The finish is sweet and almost grape-like.

Mouthfeel
Carbonation isn't as scary as it was on the pour, which is a relief. Its still prickly, however. The body is about medium.

Overall
I'd say this isn't too bad, especially as compared to the other 12A beers I've had. I'd drink this again in a pinch, I suppose.

 1,031 characters

Photo of kuishinbo_tantei
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of Doomcifer
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of Beerswag
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of dankjohn
3/5  rDev -18.9%

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