Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Back In Black | 21st Amendment Brewery

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Back In BlackBack In Black
BA SCORE
3.7/5
Good
2,421 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:
#29,190
Reviews:
723
Ratings:
2,421
pDev:
13.24%
Bros Score:
3.1
 
 
Wants:
56
Gots:
406
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,421 |  Reviews: 723
Photo of psoriasaurus
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of q33jeff
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

**
07/09/2015
Very nice and smooth offering. Aroma is a nice mix of toasted barley and hops. Taste is wood and bittersweet chocolate. Dark black (though thin) with a big fat white head. Medium carbonation."
**
10/10/2015
Had it again at the CJ Beer Festival. Still excellent, No Change, Except for some reason their sign said "Back To Black".
**

 352 characters

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

Photo of aerozeppl
3.37/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with only some brown when held up to the light. Fairly typical for the style. A finger of coffee tinted head with some lacing.

S: The nose is kind of tight. You really do not get any real hop aroma which is kind of the point. Little bit of wet blanket in there as well. Not a pleasant nose. The worst part of this beer.

T: The hops are bright in the taste though. It comes across as mostly tangerine and orange which was a really nice surprise.

M: Light bodied. The carbonation is fairly low.

D: A decent enough beer but the nose was a mess. The taste was decent and the citrus in it was nice. Better examples of the style out there though.

 653 characters

Photo of bashiba
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a brown with a creamy brown head, surprisingly clear and brown for something with black in the name. Nice retention and lacing.

The smell is mild with a bit of dark chocolate and green hops.

The flavor is very malt forward with sweet chocolate notes mixing in with some light blackened burnt malts and a hint of smoke, the hops show up in the finish with a bit of piney bitterness mixing in with the black malty sweetness along with a touch of astringency.

The mouthfeel is chewy and resiny with a touch of dryness and a powdery finish.

A decent black IPA, a little maltier than I would like and needs more dry hopping, but still worth picking up.

 658 characters

Photo of MonkeyPilates
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of Paccamacca
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of ohiobeer29
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of j0hnc2468
4.19/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jmccraney
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of woodchip
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of inlimbo77
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed on tap at Chelsea Tavern in Wilmington, DE. Poured into a simple pint glass. Interesting side note: heard the server actually say, "Good. Someone ordered that, we need to get rid of that keg." Not a good start.

A: Pours a deep, rich deep brown color. Not completely black, but more of a cola color. Minimal head that faded quickly. Off white head. Good lacing.

S: Mild hop aroma, but not much. More malty. Stout-ish smells....a bad stout that is.

T: I got mostly malts. Not the hops that I was expecting from an IPA. Not crazy hoppy at all. Unimpressed.

M: Not mouth coating. Surprisingly watery?

D: Easy drinking but would I want another....that would be a no.

Overall, disappointing brew. All around. Sorry 21st Amendment, probably won't try others from you line.

 779 characters

Photo of jbertsch
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Not as black as I'd expected. Off-white head reduces to a film but laces well.

I smelled amped-up roasted malts, and non-citrusy hops. Notes of caramel and chocolate. Taste followed suit with nutty malts that taste significant up front but are very short and faintly bitter. Thin mouthfeel.

Given the subdued hops for the style, and the thin-ish mouthfeel, drinkability is high.

This doesn't measure up to others in the style, however, it is a pleasantly sessionable take on the style so it has that going for itself.

 523 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting thing, this Black IPA. This is my second tasting of one and I think I get what it's all about. Cool little novelty - who knows how long it'll stay hot.

This ale, at first, drank like a mix between a porter and an IPA - or a hoppy porter. I'd say this one worked. I enjoyed it for what I suppose it is. The pour left a rather magnanimous 2+ inch head, khaki-colored, breaking up in a most unique way - from within - leaving a dense, spider-web formation and somewhat generous lacing. The liquid shows dark brown initially but later reveals a deep ruby color. Very porteresque qualities burst forth in the aroma - mild sourness, light acidic pungency. The hops start to come through after a minute or so - piney and flowery - a strange contrast against the slowly increasing rounded bitter roast aromas emanating with time. That not-quite-sharp sour bite maintains a lead role in the taste throughout, poking out through a thin, depth-deprived porter flavor (a porter profile which reminded me of Yuengling Porter - which I dig). An intriguing fruitiness and Belgian dubbel characteristics show up after about 5 minutes and fill in nicely what starts off as a fairly tasty yet somewhat two-dimensional beer. It drinks equal parts light/smooth and biting and the fruitiness lingers for quite sometime. Overall, worth trying. Not sure if I'd session this, however.

 1,373 characters

Photo of Mdog
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown, big head.

Smell: Malty then mild citrus.

Taste: Citrusy but not too bitter, underlying roasted flavor.

Drinkability: The beer went down pretty easy, I could have a couple in a sitting.

This was a pretty decent beer. Basically it seems like an overhopped porter to me--roasted malt flavors with more citrus bitterness than the porter. Interesting beer to try.

 386 characters

Photo of Act25
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Alstrom's, I always read them, but every now and then, they need to re-review a beer to do it justice. Back in Black is such a case, it's a delightful 4.0 beer.

A: Can poured into a .5l cylinder named Spaten. Results in dark walnut clear brew with large tan head, and tons of retention and lacing. A sticky cola like pour. A beauty.

S: aroma is nicely balanced between citrus, hoppy, leafy, and floral set against a malty base malt of dark caramel, chocolate and black bread.

T: Like it smells but better. Well balanced, slightly sweet, plenty hoppy, never over done. Definitely want another, definitely want to find a case.

Paired with garden tomatoes, cukes, peppers, mozz, with truffle oil and balsamic, multi grain toast points. - Perfect August dinner!

M: medium bodied, creamy with a zesty finale of carbonation and bitter on the tongue.

Overall: accessible. If you love porter and you enjoy hops, try this. Love the depth, sweetness, and originality. I don't feel this beer has lost it's way, it's just a "good herb" like its namesake home.

I 100% agree with the reviewer NeroFiddled (PA) who wrote:
"Rich and smooth, 21st Amendment packs the strength of an IPA (6.8% alc./vol.), all of the bitterness (65 IBU's), and quite a bit of hop flavor and aroma (65 IBU's) into one really nicely balanced, chocolatey/roasty ale."

When in SF, try visiting 21st Amendment!

 1,381 characters

Photo of polopaul20
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of drdiesel9483
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of tedho21
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of johnnyboy76
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of utopiajane
3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark like black walnut with a crimson hue deep within the beer. A fat khaki head of foam falls slowly and leaves lace. The nose is bright with grapefruit. Really tart smelling and earthy with a bit of the peel. Some toasted sugar comes forward as it warms and a bit of dark malt scent like coffee. The taste is excellent. The mouthfeel is thin and has the quality of a good light IPA. The malt takes center stage in the drink as it comes forward with a touch of bitter roast and some weak coffee. A light caramel and some citrus take up the mid palate where the grapefruit has been tamed but still very much present. Finishes dry and roasty with a bit of the malt sweetness and a hint of char to linger at the back of the throat with a bit of the bright citrus peel. What it does not do is blast away at the finish with hop bitterness and that lets those roasted malts linger a touch with the citrus as a gentle compliment.

I really liked this one and this style can be somewhat elusive for me. I usually find that the stout like qualities of the malt clash and are too heavy alongside the citrusy IPA flavors. Not so in this beer. The malt is as light as it could possibly be and still be roasted almost black. Light and drinks lightly I love it!

 1,260 characters

Photo of vrbulldog22
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of SLeffler27
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark chocolate, but it black in the glass. Puts up a modest, thin, creamy manila head that leaves a fine coating of lace.

Has an aroma of light pine with some tea. Orange comes out with warmth.

From the hops, one can perceive pine tar bitterness in equal balance with roasted malt chocolate, all rather subtle. The finish returns after a moment to become much more prevalent with bitterness and a hint of tartness.

The body is medium to full with greater alcohol than expected. Carbonation is prickly and there is an oily texture and drying finish.

Enjoyed from a Dogfish Head snifter with salty snacks. This would be a fine beer for casual conversation as it is much more subdued than other examples of this style.

 725 characters

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

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.

 997 characters

Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,421 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.