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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:
2,368
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
24.18%
 
 
Wants:
54
Gots:
383
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 706 | Ratings: 2,368
Photo of thegodfather1076
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was served out of a 12oz. can dispensed into a glass....

Presentation - 21st has some cool modern ideas on the cans and this one is no exception.

Appearance - Poured a dark brown color with a light tan 1 finger head that dissipates quickly into a frothy covering. Nice lacing left on the glass.

Smell - Smells of citrus piney hops. Grapefruit and piney aromas prevalent. Nice nutty matly scent too.

Taste - Tastes of grapefruit and citrusy hops with a nice toasted malt flavor.

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation lead to a medium bodied feel.

Drinkability - Very drinkable if this is your type of beer. Excellent complex flavors.

I really enjoyed this as it was my first Black IPA. Very different from any IPA that I have ever had. I would recommend trying this.

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Photo of OnThenIn
2.86/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A finger and a half of darker tan head on top of a black body.

S: The aroma has a little bit of pine as well as that of raisins and for some reason reminds of lychee fruit juice. The aroma severely lacks complexity and is really disappointing.

T: Some roasty flavors are upfront, which then mixes with a fruit like flavor and some sweetness. Bitterness then follows and then everything resolves into a mess with a bit of sweetness and bitterness both lingering.

M: The body was thin to medium with decent carbonation, but the body was really thinner than I would have liked.

D: I really didn't love this beer and feel that 21st amendment is slightly more hit or miss on their beers than I would like. I love the can portability and they are covering some cool styles, like with this beer; however, they have a serious execution problem.

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Photo of Scrapss
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel Tulip at cellar temps.

A: Black, pitch black. Nice rocky head dissipates ultimately to a 1 mm solid disk. No lacing to speak of, wispy at best.

S: Weakly malty with a hint of hops. Neutral yeast indicators, not pronounced. Mild.

T: A kiss of hops up front, slightly bitter and very mild. The malt is definitely roasty and good. Just wish the hops were a little more pronounced. This reminds me of a slightly hoppier Schwarzbier, too. Lemony finish so there's some hops doing something kinda back-sliding in at the finish.

M: Thin. Very poundable and dangerous given the ABV. Light on the palate. Chocolatey finish. Like bitter, ephemeral chocolates.

O: I like it for what it is, a very smooth, quaffable brew that is kind of true to the style, which I consider an ANTI IPA style. Like "hey, we're calling this IPA but really is a hoppy Schwarz". Regardless I like it.

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Photo of matttttYCE
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard shaker pint. Head is 1 - 1 1/2 fingers tall. The color is light tan and it's fairly creamy. Color of the beer is a deep, dark, murky brown nearly black. I can also see some sediment floating around. Head dies down slowly and leaves a little lace but not much.

The aroma is of resinous hops, citrus, grapefruit and mango, floral notes, sweetness, big roasted qualities, caramel, cocoa, and chocolate malts, and hints of coffee as well (similar to porter type coffee notes).

The taste is of big bold resinous hops, citrus, grapefruit, sweetness, caramel, cocoa, bitter/dark chocolate, plenty of roasted malts, and some coffee notes. Nice tasting, different take on an American Black Ale.

The consistency is silky, carbonation is medium (maybe medium-high), the body is on the slightly heavier side of medium as well, and the finish is a bit long and wet (almost sticky) but not in a bad way. Feel is really just above average for me. I think it might be that it leans a tad too much towards the heavier side of things.

Overall this is definitely an American Black Ale that does it's own thing. Pretty different from the other examples I've tried of the style. Not my favorite, but certainly one I'd drink again and glad I got a 6 pack of it.

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Photo of MPLS
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I wasn't afraid to order a pour of this on a whim, as Southern Tier introduced to to the "Black IPA"

A: Upon it's arrival there was a big 3 cm soapy off mocha head with a kind of bistre colored body. The lacing resembled glue, really stuck to the glass making it look eternally frosted. Active carbonation had to see with such a dark colored body.

S: The first thing I pull out is the hop profile. The hop profile is piney with a slight citrus twang, this is underneath the malt bill that 21st Amendment used. There is roasted malts, delicate chocolate and sugar. A trace of alcohol is also present.

T: The taste and nose match up like biological twins. Albeit not identical, but very similar in so many ways. I am sort of conflicted with this style, but this one does it right. Resiny hops + roasted chocolate malt. In this particular instance it works as the malt bill isn't gigantic. The primarily resinous hops are enjoyable and lead way to chocolate and roasted malts. Bitter finish.

M: Ample bodied with enough carbonation and slight oily texture.

D: This particular batch does the black IPA justice, but not a style that I particularly love.

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Photo of colforbin73
3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

regarding the notion that a 3.0 is "average" -- well there is nothing average about this beer. but on a relative grading scale it falls somewhere to the back of middle -- scoring merit points for being an unusual brew, the seemingly up&coming "Black IPA." and while i am not entirely sure what a great black ipa would be, i am sure this brew is not it.

the first warning sign is the aroma -- which is "interesting," with a definite herb character (almost a juniper)... slightly medicinal. it is not really a hoppy aroma. pours a nice black with a hint of brown, a tan head foams up to about 1.5 fingers but dissipates quickly, leaving no lacing whatsoever as you drink it down.

the taste is somewhat resinous... maybe slightly burnt tasting. there is really no sweetness... i was expecting something richer and sweeter.... and the 65 IBUs, where are they? it has bitterness but it's not what you would expect. i don't hate this beer, but i find it confusing.... i "kind of" like it. (LOL -- enough to finish the 6 cans!)

when i think BLACK IPA -- i think an IPA that is richer in mouthfeel with more malt presence and earthiness. maybe... a black lager with extra hop bite. regardless, this was disappointing.

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Photo of stercomm
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz can

A- Coco Cola brown, slight tan head, medium lacing

S - Getting malts and citrusy hops on the nose.

T - Roasted malts with a slight coffee taste, nice citrusy hops on the backend, a well balanced taste.

M - Medium bodied good carbonation.

D - Good Black IPA, nicely balanced

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Photo of mcgwire756
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the can into a pint glass

A friend got this from his local place in Boonton and recommended it so I tried one of his. Like it says it is a Black IPA that pours like a normal IPA. Nice lacing on the glass. It has the hoppy notes in the nose and in the taste which was a nice surprise considering the appearance. This beer is extremely drinkable and a highly recommended IPA if you are in the mood for something slightly different and a little harder to find.

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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 GarrettMD
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep red, almost black, not completely opaque. 2 finger off white fluffy head with great retention. Lacing is great.

S - All hops, mostly citrus, some pine comes through.

T - Nice chocolate and coffee malty taste up front, roasted malts work perfectly with the bitter hops. Slight citrus flavor, but the piney hops are the ones that come through in the taste.

M - Light bodied for the style. Good carbonation. Finish is much the same as the taste the whole way through, just slightly more bitter hops.

D - Very good drinkability. I would have probably liked a little more bitterness in the taste, but that's just me, overall a very good Black IPA, or CDA, whichever you choose to call it. Will definitely be getting again.

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Photo of mikem0487
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass

Appearance-Poured black with a creamy tan two finger head. Has decent head retention but really nice lacing.

Smell-Get sweet white chocolate wrapped around a thin layer of citrus hops. Defiantly appealing to me.

Taste-Roasted chocolate taste. No hops really coming through. Has a refreshing taste to it but seems to be watered down. The after taste especially is disappointing leaving really no flavor on the palate. Does not really go with the aroma which I enjoyed alot.

Mouthfeel-Modestly carbonated and a little too thin. Not to viscous at all being a black ipa. To thin and watery for me.

Overall-First impressions with the appearance and smell were very good but mouthfeel and taste disappoint. A good beer that has the potential to be great...

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Photo of keanex
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 ounce can, not freshness date. Poured into a shaker glass.

A: Looks fantastic only the slightest bit of garnet shines through the light, other than that it's opaque. Near 2 finger foamy thick, rocky looking head. It looks a lot like a stout actually.

S: Light pine or citrus hop notes with some other faint hints I can't pick up. Light roasted malt notes make an appearance too.

T: Slight roasty bitterness, a tad earthy. It's easy to drink, but it's not what I was expecting, more like a light coffee stout really. Not what I was expecting really, especially not when labeled as an IPA, not enough hop presence.

M: Medium bodied with some light sharp carbonation.

O: This is not what I was expecting, not enough hop presence here. I like it, but it doesn't seem to match the style.

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Photo of ReelBigwigFish
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured can into pint glass

A: Opaque dark brown-black in color with tan creamy foam head. Looking a bit like Guinness at the moment, not a bad thing.

S: Strong dark malt and hops. There are earthy aromas I can't quite put my finger on, like dirty dark malty chocolate burnt espresso.

T: All of the smell on the palette, plus lots of bitter hop flavors. Finishes a bit dry with lingering dark chocolate flavor.

M: Somewhat of a light body for such a dark roasty beer, and it goes down pretty easy. Yes, it finishes a little dry and there are a bit of stout-esque qualities, but it really is an easy to drink beer. Almost disappointingly so.

O: This was the first of this style that I've reviewed, and the other two of this style that I've ever had, were both over a year ago, so I don't have much to judge it against in that regard. Although I do remember really liking Stone's SSRA. ANYWAY, I liked this beer, but I don't think I'd buy it, it's almost too much of a hybrid for me.

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Photo of jdoncbus
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown leather, fluffy tan head that sticks nicely to the SA turbulator glass. Active carbonation creates nice visuals when held up to a light.

Malt dominates the nose. Whiffs of dark roasted grain, coffee, and butterscotch-carmel. Cutting through it all is a raisin, citrus fruit smell; interesting.

Similar to the nose the malt takes control of this offering; giving the drinker a nice taste of burnt grains and a pinch of coffee; almost reminds me of a smoke beer. The hops are not overpowering in the least but manage to cut through the malt onslaught to a degree. It does its job of balancing it all out.

Smooth mouthfeel, almost creamy on initial contact. The hops manage to dry things up a bit at the end; performing a little mop up duty.

A very nice change up for the hopheads out there (me included). As the leaves start to fall, I can see myself putting a few of these down. In tne end it is a nice, ballanced beer.

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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 dwren89
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown with ruby highlights, creamy puffy light tan head

Aroma: roasty but not overly so, very piney, definite bitterness

Taste: roasty and piney, with a smooth but noticeably bitter finish (65 IBUs), a nice balance overall

Mouthfeel: creamy and rich, coats the mouth for a long finish, the creaminess also helps curb some of the bitterness, medium-full body

Overall: Very piney with dark roastiness to balance. A creamy mouthfeel gives this beer a nice texture that helps to curb some of the bitterness. Strong flavor with a long finish that leave you feeling quite satisfied. This beer would be great with smoked pork or beef.

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Photo of mpedara429
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark in color, hence why they call it a "black" IPA. Somehow, it actually seemed a little bit lighter and browner than most other black IPAs. A very thin layer of head formed after pouring that was light brown in color. A very small amount of lacing stuck to the glass and was consistent the whole way through.

S: Very sweet and malty. There is a hint of citrus and piney hops too. It smells very much like a homebrew wort.

T: A strong reflection of its smell. It is very malty with a hoppy finish. The IPA part of the beer is really struggling to show itself. The malt portion has got a burnished/roasty taste to it.

M: Medium/Low carbonation over a medium body. Goes down pretty clean with little aftertaste.

O: I was happy to try this as black IPAs seem to be a bit hard to find in my area. This one had a very prominent malt taste to it. Overall, it was good, but average in every aspect. This would be good as a beginners black IPA.

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Photo of 100floods
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

first off, the label on this beer is super fucking awesome. Dare I say epic? Yes. Pours a deep, near dark brown. Huge tan head. Pretty fizzy, at least it sounds fizzy. Looks good, but not quite black. Pretty interesting aroma. Very sour smelling, not citrus, like you'd think of most hoppy beers. It doesn't smell like a wild ale. This is a different kind of sour. Smells almost like lemon rinds. There's a kind of dark malt thing in there, but not really. The overall aroma seems complex, but pretty hard to pick apart. First sip is a doozey. The dark malt and hops come at you simultaneously. They create their own flavor. It's kind of an earthy, pine off-citrus flavor. At first it hits you and you think you're drinking something thats suppose to be kind of sour, but then you realize it's the hops. Then the hops and malt coalesce to create a truly unique flavor combination that I've never tasted before. At some points it aint bad, but other times I don't even want it. The finish gives off a strong lemon juice flavor. This beer is certainly a good test for the pallet, and definitely a unique experience. It is, however, probably not the best choice for a go to, casual beer.

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Photo of IllNate
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with dark amber highlights, generous light tan head, great retention. Generous hopping in the nose, citrus, with resin and pine, with some dark roasted malt in the backseat. Taste follows with malts moving taking a step towards the front seat. Hops are still mainly citrus, resin and pine. Mouthfeel is a bit harsh, but nice bitterness. Overall a fine cascadian dark ale, but not my favorite exable of the style.

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Photo of pvsob
3.36/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Cola colored with a two finger head (tan) that has excellent staying power and leaves great lacing.

S- Citrus hops, roasted malt, and some pine.

T- Chocolate, caramel, citrus and pine bitterness, and a flavor that reminds me of blood.

M- Very smooth and silky. The best part of this beer.

D/O- Standard American IPA, but wait, this one's black. It looks great and feel great, but other than that, this one's not worth seeking out. Get in your car/truck/bike, pick a direction, drive 45-60 minutes, and there's a good chance you'll find a better IPA at one of your local breweries/brewpubs. Cheers.

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Photo of Hefe
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Great brew in a can from 21st Amendment. Dark brown to black color with a ruddy tan head. Subtly malty aroma with a titch of herbal hoppiness. Medium body, almost light but with a good presence of flavor, nothing sticks out or overwhelms. Well balanced and eminently drinkable!

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Photo of racer2k
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my favorite pint glass

A- Beer pours black like a porter style with a large tan colored head which is quite creamy. Heavy head retention with some light lacing around the glass.

S- An aroma of sweet toasted malt is the dominating aroma with a touch of fruity hops but pretty light for an IPA style.

T- A sweet caramel toasted malt flavor hits your tongue first followed by a moderate layer of fruity hops. There is also a grassy earthy tone to this beer

M- Thin texture to the beer with a lack of hop presence for the classic IPA beer style. Light to moderate carbonation.

D- A drinkable beer yes. A new innovative black IPA novelty beer style yes. This beer falls short on balance. The hops in this beer were just not a big player in the flavor. More hops please!

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Photo of happy4hoppybeer
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From can(though I swore to never patronize cans, but the bartender praised this so much, so I caved):

A=Beautiful pitch-black,with thick creamy tan head, with heavy lacing. Guinness??Guinness is mainstream crap.

S=Malts,chocolate,coffee, faint hops.

Upon sip, I can detect a fairly thin to medium body of same, with the can maybe getting in the way. I know there's a reason I avoid cans, and recommend that all self-respecting brewers avoid cans. This is it. Light carbonation. Overall, decent, but the label says IPA, when it's anything but.

A decent brew,but nothing I would purchase again.

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Photo of birderbeerer
2.99/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

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Photo of SerialHiker
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, not porter dark brown, but close…head is minimal, just off white and thins rather quickly…I could use a touch more that’s for sure…easily the least satisfactory part of this brew…(3/5)

Smell: Roasted malts up front, but they are light and fresh smelling…an airy, citrus hops quality is also readily apparent…I’m catching whiffs of oatmeal, dark fruit sweetness, very light milkiness and a subtle hint of coffee bitterness…a nice smelling brew that’s watering my mouth…(3.75/5)

Taste: Yum! Roasted malts and piney hops collide creating a fantastic flavor in my mouth…very fresh and vibrant…malts are strong but not over powering, balancing the strong IPA flavor that exists within…subtle flavors of oatmeal, citrus hops, coffee bitterness and touch of toastiness also picked up…a very balanced brew, that’s for sure…roasted malts and piney hops are a hell of a combo! (4.25/5)

Mouthfeel: A light medium body…the carbonation is medium to lots, bringing a nice tasting cloud of roasted malts to the palate…everything is balanced well, after malts fade, I get a hoppy/coffee bitterness lingering well after I swallow…slightly robust, mildly chewing and easy drinking, this is a strong point for this brew…(4/5)

Overall: Fantastic! I’ve been digging the black ales lately and this is one of the better ones I’ve tried…while the malts are strong in flavor, they don’t overpower the hops and work well in complimenting one another…it’s maltiness doesn’t stop its drinkability as I surely could have a few of these while hanging out and be very happy…I’ve heard of 21st Amendment before, but this is my first sampling of what they produce and I have to say I’m impressed…it’s no wonder they are distributed widely…easy to recommend, this brew would do well on the disc golf course, at the poker table, around a camp fire or while watching your favorite local sports franchise…scoop up a sixer of this and you won’t be disappointed…be warned, others will like this as well, so sharing is done at your own risk! (4/5)

www.brewreport.blogspot.com

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Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,368 ratings.
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