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:
#27,679
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 mylar
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of frenchblood21
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Light black with a tan head that quickly fades away.

Smell- Chocolate, orange zest and pine (in a good way)

Taste- Its absolutely an IPA, but Back in Black kicks it up a notch with the chocolate notes. I know its hoppy, but my brain says coffee stout too...I'm pleasantly confused.

Mouthfeel- A bit thin. I know IPAs aren't known for their ability to coat your mouth, but this one is especially thin.

Overall- Bottom line, this beer will not change your life, but for the price tag, you'd be an idiot not to grab a six.

 539 characters

Photo of CummingsK21
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of eeggles
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of vtownAL
2/5  rDev -45.9%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of jriggins6
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Chaney
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned 10/25/11. Poured into a Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale tumbler.

A: Sure this was dark, but I got a hint of ruby around the edges when I held it up to a light source. Stupid saying of the month: "If the beer weren't black, I would be able to see right through it". The extremely dense head looked liked cappuccino whipped cream.

S: The pineapple flair is definitely strong with this one. Additionally, I got some dark malts as well. This was almost a black and tan with about 2/3 IPA, and the rest smoked porter.

T: This was very smooth and the IPA-ness that I got on the nose got lost to the roast. But that's okay by me though. This was almost sort of a weak "Storm King" or something in that vain - Strong malt core with fruity, hoppy characteristics.

M: The lacing on this one resembled melted and cooled marshmallow creme on top of hot chocolate. Highly drinkable, with slightly prickly carbonation, and only a touch of bitterness on the end.

O: I think the reason that the scores are so low on this one is due to it's malt heaviness as opposed to its puny hop zing. Lighten up peeps!

 1,100 characters

Photo of tbeq00
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of phideltashaggy
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pored from the can into a standard pint glass.

A-The body is opaque black, with a little bit of dark-brown along the edges when held up to light. There's a nice tan head that quickly dissipates but leaves some nice lacing along the glass.

S- Smells like a standard lighter IPA. Some citrus-hops notes.

T- The citrus hops isn't as noticeable in the taste, but it is there. More bitter taste than hops. The dark malts come through in the middle of the taste, then fade away as the aftertaste comes in with a clean bitter.

MF- Somewhat thin, but not in a bad way. But the carbonation feels fairly flat, not what I was expecting.

Overall, this is a nice beer that I would drink again, but I'm not going to seek it out.

 720 characters

Photo of Jimmys
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can into tulip.

A: very very dark brown. im not calling this black. a lot of sediment is sitting on the bottom of my glass. looks like this puppy was can-conditioned. hoping for some better head retention/lacing.

S: aroma that melds citrical, fruity american hops with a definitive chocolate. the sweetness from the malt that surrounds the hoppy aroma is very pleasant.

T: a very bitter body on this brew. i would actually say this bitterness is more from the hops than the malt. a roasted bitterness makes its presence known more towards the end. finish is sweet and chocolate-y.

M: carbonation closer to the mellow side than average. medium body.

D: this is one of those styles that has both bodies and ABV's littered all over the spectrum. i like how this one is on the "lighter" side but still offers a flavorful palate. a good, drinkable ABA.

 862 characters

Photo of Pintofbrown
4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I served this one into a shaker pint.

Appearance- The pour is a little lighter than expected, like a bright auburn. The head, however, is a two and a half-finger monster of ashy-beige that looks very compacted.

There is a nice smattering of tiny bubbles on the smooth and velvety lid. And retention is solid, leaving sheet lace in it's wake. The body is so close to opaque with only slight ruby highlights showing in random spots of the glass.

Smell- Dark malts that smell a little of toffee, roast, and chocolate greet the nose readily. The hops are really, really subtle behind the sweetness, and come out a little piney and grassy.

Maybe even some slight lemon now that I have taken a couple more sniffs. I really like this! Usually black ales lead with the hops and you get a mingling malt character, but it is opposite on this beer.

Taste- First impression is that this is not a "big" black ale. All the flavors kind of slowly seep their way into your taste buds. Hops aren't jumping around and ripping at your tongue; the malt is pretty laid back.

There is a slight resin feel in the finish that comes from the hops, but I could not find hop notes anywhere else on this thing. Just some pine that lingers long into the finish.

The malt itself is the star of the show, and man is it good. It is a nice combination of biscuit and chocolate malt, with just a little bit of earthy roast. Overall the impression is sweet, more so than roasted, however.

Mouth feel- Very, very creamy, that is all you need to know about the feel. The carbonation is pitch perfect. It is a little dry, but not surprised as this is a black ale.

Overall- I enjoyed this black ale in every facet of grading. The smell is a little weak, but with the malt being so strong that is going to be the case.

Generally, if you like your black ales to be very hop forward, this will probably be a disappointment, but I still think it will be hard to say it is not a great beer.

 1,958 characters

Photo of Chugs13
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of hyoung41
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of azdback
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Port Brewing Co. pint glass. Deep dark brown, not quite black but pretty dark. Head is a light tan color and a large one finger in size. Appearance of the head is light cream and just a bit thin. Lace sticks quite nicely all the way to the bottom of the glass in a ring and spotted pattern.

Smell is a fantastic dark roasted and wood soaked dream. I have smelled plenty of Barrel Aged Stouts and Porters that smell like this but not to date a Black Ale. Dark roasted coffee and chocolate. Charred wood, vanilla and some booze, maybe even some tart fruit, fig or cherry.

Taste is a huge let down. The flavors are all very watered down. They are there for a second, but it's like I sipped through a layer of flavor and ended up in water. Those flavors are just as the smell, dark roasted coffee beans, a bit of charred wood and some vanilla. There is some hop bitter here too but it almost is the culprit to it's thinness.

Mouth is smooth and light creamy. Body is delicate to light and the finish is average and just a smidge on the wet side.

Overall I really did enjoy this. I just wish it's taste and mouth were a bit more full and rich. A great interpretation of the style. I still search out a Black Ale that can dethrone the king-Stone 15th Anniversary. I'll keep looking and thanks to matttYCE for this sample. A must try.

 1,345 characters

Photo of elNopalero
4.09/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a can, picked up on a recent trip to San Francisco. As I type this I realize I realize I didn’t make note of a canned on/best by date. But I’ve had it for about three weeks at this point. Doesn’t seem like it’s suffered.

Pours black, like a darker shade of cola. To be honest, the novelty of a canned beer doesn’t hold much effect upon me, typically, but pouring this I got a kick out of it for some reason. Anyways, there’s a pleasing hop aroma that comes through on the nose. Citrus notes, tropical fruit blend, grapefruit zest and a sprinkling of pine. Tastes good, with more of the same coming through in each sip. For 65 IBUs it’s an exceptionally easy sipper. There’s a slim malt but a nice mild roast that complements the hop bitterness. Crisp and refreshing.

When I first tried this a year or so ago I wasn’t impressed but either the recipe or the batch (or my own palate) has changed for the better. Tasty!

 942 characters

Photo of frankiep77
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of garuda
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of jvillefan
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark, very dark with a light brown head.

S: The smell is very good and faint but the aroma is hopy and malty.

T: Not great but is still good. There is a surprising woody taste with the hops, citrus, and malt.

M: Very light and is very carbonated.

O: Black IPAs are my favorite beers but this one is not. It is better then an average beer but this beer is not good for an average beer.

 391 characters

Photo of VncentLIFE
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Leftover keg from the 21st Ammendment tasting at Sams. Welcome to Durham, 21st Ammendment!

Pours very dark brown, dark brown and mahogany hues are noticeable in light. Eggshell white head of about a half inch.

Smells light and slightly sweet. Hints of bittering hops, and lots of roasted malts. Tastes very sweet, almost adjunct sweet. Feels like BMC's attempt at a Swarzbier. Very light and sweet with hints of roast, hm Guiness Light!

 438 characters

Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of jtierney89
2/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a very very deep mahogany with a huge off white head. Best smelling can beer I've had so far. Head is thick and sticky as well, looks nice.

Nose is big on charcoal coffee and burnt dark malts. Very stick lacing. Charcoal and burnt roasted caramel on the front end of flavor. Really no mid range with a bitter black chocolate finish supplemented by a slight hop addition. Light to medium in body with a slightly dirty finish of confused flavors (malts trying to balance the hops and vice versa)

Mostly a malty beer though with good carbonation. Not as smooth as others I've had though. Flavors are unbalanced and simple.

Still questing for a craft beer in a can that I like.

 682 characters

Photo of OzmanBey
2/5  rDev -45.9%

Photo of Donsmitty
5/5  rDev +35.1%

Photo of russpowell
4/5  rDev +8.1%

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