Back In Black | 21st Amendment Brewery

BA SCORE
83
good
708 Reviews
THE BROS
72
okay
Read the review
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:
708
Ratings:
2,380
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
13.32%
 
 
Wants:
54
Gots:
389
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 708 | Ratings: 2,380
Photo of DavidS333
4.4/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Back in Black is a tasty American black ale. The beer pours quite nicely with a small-medium level of "head". The foam is a nice coffee color. The color of the beer/ale its self is quite dark, like a dark brown color per se, and is pretty much opaque. The smell is somewhat hoppy and rich.

The taste is quite good, it has a richness to it and a sort of hoppyness echoing throughout it per se, giving it a nice solid after taste. The main emphasis of the taste seems to be in the front end per se, of the taste. The body is quite interesting it is also smoothe. Instead of the taste sort of vanishing into a sort of solely hoppy taste, there are other tastes in the aftertaste, that perhaps other reviewers have discussed more thoroughly, but there is none the less, quite an interesting mixture of sort of subtle tastes along the edges per se of the aftertaste.

Beers that come to mind in relation to this beer/ale, are perhaps a sort heavier aftertaste in "Palate wrecker" by Green Flash. The two beers/ales are quite different, but both have a sort of very strong sort of hoppy taste to them at different points in the sort of drinking experience albeit.

Overall a great rich beer, it is nice to find a new high IBU high alcohol content beer, and this gem is certainly a sort of horse of a different color, it being an American Black Ale, and that sort of perhaps lends it a sort of uniqueness, that helps make for quite a tasty, flavorful beer. Great beer/ale overall.

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Photo of garrettparkal
4.39/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big fan of the Back in Black... this is the beer that got me into 21st Amendment. I prefer this Black IPA to both the Sublimely Self-Righteous from Stone and the Imperial Iniquity from Southern Tier. The nose on the Back in Black is superb , hops hit you quick , and the tast and mouthfeel are malty and full of smoke. Great can as well.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
4.38/5  rDev +19%
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.

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Photo of morenone
4.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's one of only a few Black IPAs I've had, but I would definitely get it again! I got a single at Beer Run in Charlottesville VA, but wish I had got a six pack. I haven't seen too many black IPAs around, but try to get one whenever I see it. Go get some!

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Photo of ordybill
4.37/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 OZ can into a pint glass.
Aroma- Malt, chocolate and some citrus
Appearance- A reddish black color with a tan head. Looks real good
Taste- Has a roasted malt flavor that also includes cocoa and some citrus
Palate- A medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation
Overall- A real good brew, I will drink this again.

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Photo of nitro0292
4.37/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a snifter.

A - Easy pour produced a solid inch head. Aggressive pour overflowed my glass. Wonderful black with a tan head. Looks like Guinness, but no nitro pour.

S - Deeelicious. Coffee, sweetness and citrus hops. So much goodness.

T - See above. Terrific blend of dark and roasted malts and hops. Level of bitterness and hop profile are ideal. Any more would be too hoppy for the style and any less would be too stout like.

M - Medium body. Maybe a touch more carbonation, but I am nitpicking.

D - I honestly could finish the entire 6er in one sitting. Good thing I didn't.

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Photo of peacebone116
4.37/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from can into tulip glass on 6/28/2011. Not sure when this was canned, but I picked up a sixer of this the day it came into Bobby's Liquors in Santa Clara.

A: Dark brown with red highlights. Coffee froth head that sticks around for a while before slowly retreating toward the side. There is good lace throughout the enjoyment.

N: Coffee and fruitiness are evident while this beer is cold. It is not until this beer warms up to just below room temp that it really gets good (both in the nose and the taste!); burned chocolate & oak notes become prominent.

T/M: As stated above, this beer really hits its stride when it gets a bit warmer. Chocolate and coffee notes blend with an oak-like bourbon sweetness. This is all complimented by a flash of citric bitterness. The beer has a slightly dry mouthfeel.

I am really falling in love with the American Black Ale style...and this beer seems to be helping me get there. I have had this beer several times in the past, and never felt that impressed by it. However, recently (maybe they tweaked the recipe), I have been picking up on the bourbon/oak notes and found myself loving this beer and the great complexity complexity it has to offer! It is a bit more malt forward than most Black IPA, but it does it right, so that is all I am concerned with.

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Photo of beerhan
4.36/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from a can into a pint glass. Beautiful thick head that just creeps towards the top of the glass. This has a real nice dark brown almost black color. A great blend of stoutiness and ipa. Smells very floral with a chocolatey feel. Tastes like caramel and grass. Interestingly enough an amazing combination. The only thing that this beer really loses points on is that I can still kind of taste can. I could drink this beer forever and it is quite cheap.

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.36/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz can,into a Cigar City spiegelau IPA glass.

Pours a deep brown forming a creamy dark khaki colored head,that stands 1 finger tall.Very nice head retention,and beautiful lacing.Dark brown / deep amber colored body,with distorted light showing through the glass.Very light carbonation.

On the nose I get dark roasted malts,and some citrusy tropical fruit hops.Also getting some caramel,and coffee notes.

On the palate I get mostly dark roasted malts,coffee,caramel and toffee,balanced with a nice solid piney hop flavor.This is a very nice beer.

The body is thin with a moderately dry finish.

This is a very nice beer,not sure why it didn't get a higher rating,although I admit I am a sucker for dark beers.This is my first time trying a black IPA,and I definitely look forward to trying more of them.

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Photo of Mancer
4.36/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a fantastic deep dark brown/jet black with an excellent two finger high, light brown head. The lacing was thick and clung nicely to the glass. The head receded slowly and remained for most of the beer. The initial smell of the beer is citrus with light pine. The smell was not overwhelming but was instead quite nice on the nose. The initial taste of the beer was that of the smell, citrus and pine flavors with a light bitter bite on the tongue. Additionally, the lightly roasted malts were a wonderful addition and complimented the beer perfectly. The beer had a medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall, this has got to be one of my favorite IPA's yet. I am absolutely blown away by the appearance and flavors of this beer. Additionally, this is the first canned beer that I have been drawn to and I have to say that I am impressed. I definitely need to seek out more beers by this brewery. I would also like to add that this brewery is wonderfully creative with their can designs, as well as the box that this 6er came in.

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Photo of TheSeeker61
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this brew @ the Porter beer bar in Atlanta.

Poured jet black into a pint glass. Nice one finger head which mellowed into a ring. Nice lacing.
Nose was kinda interesting. Citrus was noticible along with some hops & malt especially as it warms.

Begins with a citrus bitter, moves into a nice malt & not too hoppy.

The mouthfeel is nice & creamy. Will definitely drink this baby again. Gets better as it warms.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As The CANQuest (TM) approaches # 350 (!?!), I decided to give the nod to the Tallgrass people, but in order to do so, I had to insert a CAN of someone else's beer as either 348 or 349. This is number 348 on this journey. CAN you dig it?

The ol' Crack & Glug produced a solid two-fingers of deep-tan foam with excellent retention. It looked like the top of a root beer float. Color was NOT black, as a previous reviewer noted, but instead a deep, dark-brown with cola highlights. Nose was rich with piney hops. I have missed drinking IPAs with the preponderance of CANned beers coming in the form of AALs. I don't get a hop jones like I used to, but neither have I kicked the hop habit. Thank Bob that the chattering monkey on my back has gone away, though. Mouthfeel was medium with a solid hop bite initially followed by a roastiness in the mouth. Wow! What a brilliant way to play with the style. Finish was dry with a magnificent interplay between the hops and dark malts mentioned on the CAN. I am not sure that it would be terribly refreshing on the beach, but it definitely merits inclusion in the cooler in a limited quantity. Put it towards the back, on the bottom, next to the Ten Fidy for the end of the day. Great lacing throughout!

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Photo of Pentastar
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark caramel color with flashes of garnet red, with half inch creamy tan head.

Aroma: Sweet, with a little coffee and some floral notes as well.

Taste: Some hop bitterness comes through, along with roasted barley malt, coffee, cacao and some residual sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation and full bodied.

Drinkability: A well balanced dark IPA.

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 Oz can into a pint glass. Pours a big frothy sea foam looking head and a thick chocolate. A great mix of hops, malts and very balanced flavors

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a black color. The head is a mammoth two inches in height, and recedes slowly into a thick cap of foam. The aroma is of grapefruit, pine resin and citrus. It is completely dominated by hops without even a trace of darker malt aromas. The taste is still very hoppy, but there is a solid malt profile too. The grapefruit, pine, and citrus from the aroma are still present with the addition of of nice roasted malt notes. The malt and the hops are well integrated within this beers taste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a very good beer that I will certainly drink again.

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Photo of threeviews
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a snifter glass

A- Pours near-black...if it was not knowing what black bfluid was (thank you Great Divide Oak-Aged Yeti RIS) then I would comment it as black, but it is certainly 7.6-8.0 on the Bortle Dark-Sky scale.

S- The olfactory hues are of citrus hops followed by licorice, wood and dare I say coffee(?)...quite complex and hard to classify...

T- Bold flavor with a nice balance of hop and malt with strong toffee notes...none of the malt is present in the nose, but balances nicely with the hops in the taste. Something in-between a West Coast IPA, Stout, Porter...it makes a Gemini such as myself giddy with the complexity that covers all the bases

M- Smooth and rich...nice carbonation a la their 'Brew Free Or Die IPA' and robust akin to a porter.

O- I really like this brew...but there is nothing I haven't liked from 21st Amendment....Brew Free Or Die IPA, Hell Or High Watermelon, Hop Crisis (and now) Back In Black are all that I admire (and rank high on my lists of IPA/DIPAs). This is another great brew and as far as I'm concerned, they cannot do wrong! Next up: Monk's Blood

Cheers!

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Photo of tpd975
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice shade of brown with a nice solid tan colored head. The head dies down but nice sheet lace is left behind.

S: Nice citrus aromas with hints of pine. A nice roasty maltiness is there to provide a bit of balance.

T: This one is mostly about the hops, but the malt is there. Hints of roasted malt and darkened brown sugar stand out. The hops do push thru the malt though with grapefruit being the most dominate. A touch of piney sweetness can be detected though.

M: Medium in body, smooth and creamy with great carbonation.

D: Very, I really like the dark IPA's and this one is one of the better examples.

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Photo of cruzncomet
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was my beer to kick off that night at Anchor and Hope...

A = Every one at the table was suprised I started the night with this...But I knew it was not going to be heavy...Dark..dark...dark, but nice head

S = Hops a plenty

M = not as bitter on the finish as I would have thought but had a nice choclate finish

D= Excuse me sir...but can I have another....Loved it and could drking all night

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Photo of Bubba83
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tumbler at 45 degrees.

A very dark brown body is topped with a light tan head which is frothy and sticks around a bit for some decent lacing.

Smell is quite awesome. Hops are really in your face, mostly a huge amount of pine, along with some citrus twang and roasty chocolate.

Tastes about the same as the smell. Nice and chocolatey, with some coffee and underlying roast that becomes more pronounced at the end of the sip. Doesn't take long for the hops to play a huge role either, very very fresh and hoppy, pine is the main flavor here. I'd love to put this next to a fresh Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale and compare, extremely similar and I'm not sure which I'd prefer.

Mouthfeel is about right, bubbles are small but prickly, it's not too thin or too thick.

Drinkability is usually an issue with this style for me, but this one doesn't come off too heavy. Alcohol plays no role in the flavor profile and this is a very tasty example of a great up and coming style.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Christmas Eve night review.

Poured from a 12oz. can into a Narragansett pint glass.

The color is a dark black with little highlights and two fingers of foamy brownish head and some thick lacing left on the glass.

The smell is pretty hoppy at first. Some floral hops come right out and announce themselves as a piney flavor hits right after. There is a slight malt flavor on the back-end but seems to be all hops.

The taste is a bit sweet with some malty flavor that was expected from the color and delivered here. Some bitterness is there and will be heard from. The pine flavor mixes well with a sweetness that is pretty interesting. This beer seems to go to other places with the mixing of resiny hops and sweet dark malt.

The feel of this beer is pretty easy and it goes down with a bitterenss that is not too crazy. There is a nice drinkable feel since there is a leash on the IBUs.

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Photo of Libationguy
4.31/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with an off-white head. Carbonation is fine and there is a moderate head retention.

Citrus, resin, pine, white flowers, roasted malt, pumpernickel bread and a light coffee note. The aromatics hold a medium intensity and while the hop notes are fresh, they are not overly aggressive.

Really picks up on the palate. Resin, hop bitterness, espresso. Rich, roasted malt flavors.

Nice full mouthfeel, with the hops well balanced but notable.

Bold in style and really well made.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce can. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is mostly pine and citrusy hops (grapefruit) along with a bit of sweet malt. The taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like pine and citrusy (mostly grapefruit, some tropical fruit) hops, bready malt, and some coffee and roasted malt. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit oily and very smooth. Drinkability is pretty good, it's very easy and enjoyable to drink. I think this is a pretty good IPA, I'd definitely buy this again. Thanks to Joe at Blacklick Wine and Spirits for recommending this to me earlier today!

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Photo of Jdouble777
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Date: 7/8/12
Consumed: 8/18/12

First and foremost, Paul Revere ripping on a motorcycle is a pretty sweet can cover.

Appearance: Looks precisely as you would think, deep dark brownish/blackish with amber hues along the bottom of my glass. Presents well and appears as advertised. Nothing about the look stands out for me but is alluring.

Smell: Not fancy, which I enjoy, the smell is very akin to that of a milk stout with a light hint of chocolate surrounding a coffee and malty aroma. Not sure where the other guy got grapefruit or floral, to me this is an extremely prototypical dark beer. Smells delicious =0)

Taste: Spot on! Black IPAs are wonderful in that you get that milky sweetness of a milk stout without the coma inducing heaviness of a stout and a nice crisp hoppy finish. I agree with another reviewer, perhaps a different and more robust hops would allow it to finish with more of a "wow factor." Nevertheless, to me at least, very drinkable and enjoyable from sip to sip. Personally, I love this beer...I love stouts and pale ales the most of any style and this combines them brilliantly.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly soft and IPA like feel really was mind boggling given the texture of the head and very dark appearance. Again, there is nothing about it that makes the feel "pop," but overall the flow is smooth and almost creamy with an subtle IPA like finish.

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Photo of skinnymcgruder
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

It is my firm belief that packaging beer in a can protects its flavor better than a bottle. That being said, this is a great example of a black IPA. The smell is of coffee and caramel. It is an extremely drinkable beer that doesn't overload you with hops.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz can...

A- Pours a deep dark brown almost black color. When held to the light there was some light reddish hues. Two finger brown head shows good retention. Long streaks of lace on the sides of the glass.

S- Grapefruit aroma in the front with a big roasted malt scent as well. Light toffee in the middle with the grapefruit aroma starting to die down. Light coffee in the background with piney hops that take hold in the final part of the nose.

T- Roasted malts in the front with citrus hops blasting right next to the roasted malts. Middle of the beer is lighter for a second with a hint of toffee. Backend of the beer has a strong black coffee flavor that has piney hops keep it in line for balance. Alcohol does show up in the ending but nothing overpowering.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Roasted malts and light citrus hops left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly alcohol, piney bitter hops, and roasted malts with hints of coffee. Flavors for the style for me were actually well balanced. No off flavors in this beer...rad. Medium high alcohol drying on the palate.

O- Overall this beer drinks well. I was more than happy with it. The alcohol after a little while might take a zapping out of my palate so I would take it easy on this. Flavors seemed to be balanced overall more so than other Black IPA's I have had.

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Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,380 ratings.
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