Back In Black | 21st Amendment Brewery

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Back In BlackBack In Black
2,452 Ratings
Back In BlackBack In Black

Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery
California, United States

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,452 |  Reviews: 730
Photo of Stengelfoot
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of Shortbox81
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of 1971bernat
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown color. The head is two fingers high and mocha in shade. Duration is excellent, and lacing left behind is plentiful.

This definitely offers a hoppy aroma - it's a pine-laden, slightly citrusy profile that fits the dark malts well. Said dark malts offer notes of brown sugar, chocolate, and faint roast. Together, the hops and malts combine to create an espresso vibe like a good black IPA should. There's little to complain about here, apart from the lack of general nuance that would have landed it an even higher score.

No surprises here: espresso (twinges of lemon peel and all) dominate the start and middle nicely. The citrusy lemon flavors build up on the finish, leaving a slightly bitter aftertaste. This does a good job of coming off like a black IPA instead of a hoppy porter. Hops generally dominate, but the dark malts aren't dinky or pathetic. Only thing is, the simplicity of the aroma also translated down to the taste buds. There isn't much beyond what was described. Decent cohesion and balance more than saves it from mediocrity.

It feels creamy on the palate, but it's also a dry beer - the best of both worlds. Of course, it also has a decent body, and that tends to slow the speed at which this can be consumed. Carbonation is subtle, never overpowering the medium-thick texture.

This is kind of like a poor man's Wookey Jack (remember that one?) in that it doesn't taste like a hoppier-than-average porter, but an IPA with darker malts. It's a bit one-note, but enjoyable the same. I'll come back to this one from time to time.

3.59/5: The most played out AC/DC reference in the business, but there's a decent beer inside

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Photo of ADKbeerguy
3.49/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Ob512316
4.34/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: black with tan head, with medium lacing.
Smell: pine, coffee, roasted barley.
Taste: Pine and floral notes. Then dark chocolate and roasted barley. The finish is the same as it started.
Feel: A little heavy due to the complex flavors.
Overall: great beer, probably the second or third Black IPA I have tried, need to try more

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Photo of Deets
4.27/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

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Photo of travelguy
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of cyclonece09
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a pint glass. Pours pitch black with a fluffy off white head. Smells of grapes and darker grain. Tastes of dark grain and light citrus. Beer is light bodied, good carbonation , easy drinking. Overall, an above average beer.

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Photo of Born_Beerknurd
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small > Taste

Well done for one of my favorite styles.

55 characters

Photo of one_au
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Very solid black IPA. May not have as many flavor tones as I'd like but I'd be very happy to be drinking this all night.

120 characters

Photo of TheHopsman
3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chrismattlin
3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Stu_Ayers
3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of BrewTunes
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz. can into glass.

Look: Dark reddish brown. Thick foamy tan head, settled to about a third of an inch a few minutes after pour.
Smell: Like an IPA! Strong floral and piney hops with heavy roasted maltiness. Hint of citrus too.
Taste: Malts very forward in the taste, some coffee notes too. Hops are less aggressive than in the smell, but balance nicely with the malts to bring a balanced finish. Decently bitter with slight sweetness.
Feel: Pretty standard. Slightly thicker than some IPA's, and smooth overall. Good carbonation.
Overall: Good malty IPA. Definitely a solid winter time brew after all of the lighter summer IPA's. Solid choice with good flavor and tasty roasted malts. Looks pretty cool too!

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Photo of DuncanBishop24
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Photo of mklmcgrew
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of christinelovesbeer
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of VoxRationis
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Decanted from a 12 oz (355 ml) can into a conical pint glass; no uncoded production information.
A: Pours an mahogany brown to black with a foamy, 3/4 inch, tan head with moderate retention and solid, complex lacing.
S: Floral initially with roasted malts predominating.
T: Interesting combination of citrus, pine and black coffee. Nicely balanced with bittering hops causing a clean, refreshing finish.
M: Medium bodied with solid carbonation. Full, rich mouthfeel.
O: Enjoyable. More on the IPA side of a black IPA than most. Interesting.

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Photo of kitekid
4.4/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful pour. Opaque black with a foamy tan head that hangs around awhile.
faint malts on the nose. Not particularly aromatic.
Crisp, slightly sweet with a hint of citrus and pine. Definitely get roasted malts, but the flavors are really well balanced. Finishes with a mild citrus bite.
I like this beer ... a lot! Certainly my favorite from 21st.
6.8% ABV, 65 IBU

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Photo of GaryColeman
4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Nightmare1972
3.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MikeWard
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz can into a tall glass. NO freshness dating that could be understood.

Looks very nice, blackish brown with a solid oatmeal colored head leaving very good lacing.

Roasted malt and a faint hop hit on the nose.

The malts aren't overly roasted, which I appreciate. The hops are quite muted. I wonder if this particular can is a bit on the old side. Having said that, it's a nice balance for this particular palate.

Mouth is just a bit below medium, slightly creamy and roasted on the finish.

Overall, and I go back and forth on Black Ales, this one was okay in my book. I see other reviews have lauded the roastiness, which makes me think this might be an older can. But I'm okay with that, as burnt malts are a turn off for this chap.

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Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,452 ratings