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Back In Black | 21st Amendment Brewery

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BA SCORE
83
good
706 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:
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 Mora2000
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to bman1113vr for sending me this beer.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is roasted malt and chocolate, with quite a bit of pine from the hops.

The flavor is bitter pine with some lightly roasted malt. I also get a touch of chocolate and maybe some coffee, but it is fairly faint. Low bitterness and the beer is very dry.

Thin, watery mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 427 characters

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted in a pint glass from draft at Emil's on August 11, 2015. Look is dark brown, with medium head and lingering lacing. Smell is malt forward with chocolate, coffee, a hint of smoke and piney hops. Taste is reflective of the aroma with the addition of some caramel notes. Feel is medium in body with a smooth finish.

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Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a black color with a 1 inch head, considerable lacing throughout. Smell is dominated by hops, some citrus present. Taste is a good balance of hops and malts,a bit of citrus to it. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a quality brew.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.01/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz CAN into a Lancaster Brewing pint glass late at night.

Back in Black pretty much sums up the color on this 21ster, a black body with some dark reds along the edges. A gorgeous light tan headf came up and stayed forever leaving nice sheets of lace.

A good balance of dark malts mixed in with citrus goodness from the hopping, pretty much even. A nice citrus blast of grapefruit and the like. Roasted malts and a semi storm kingish hop smell from the freshness.

Much more hoppy than I was expecting, again it reminds me of drinking a very lightly hopped storm king, or maybe an aged bottle of that. The roasted quality comes out as well as some sweetness. Pineapple and grapefruit and other citrus tastes. Looking at this beer, I was not expecting such a hop bite, quite nice.

Feel is mediumish and amply carbed up, the head last forever and this is some active beer here. Goes down smooth and citrusy and not very bitter as the darks really take away from that aspect. Very drinkable beer here and I would go for another in a second.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A black IPA from 21st Amendment brewing, California based craft brews in cans. Found this on tap, however.

Appearance: Black as night with a light khaki colored head. Could be confused with a Guinness to the untrained eye. The lace show is pretty fantastic, webs of bubbly foam coat the glass with each sip.

Smell: Floral hops and some toasty malt give the beer a solid nose.

Taste: A very mellow IPA, dark and lightly roasted. I would call this a hoppy schwarzbier since it has that type of malt backing. Piney hops add some bitterness, subtle grapefruit tinge. Mighty tasty.

Mouthfeel: A bit heavy on the palate but still goes down smooth and easy.

Drinkability: Hell yea! Fond of this one for sure, a nice hybrid of styles but still maintains the IPA feel.

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

Poured a deep black hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a resinous hop and roasted malt.

The taste consisted of a moderate hop spice with a residual roasted barley.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a nice black IPA. Could use a bit more hop presence.

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Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It'd be awfully disappointing if Back in Black were actually a dark, opaque brown - as American ales of this sort tend to be - but fortunately it's as black as soot (only against the light is it visible that its trim may actually have a little chestnut colour to it). Although not pristine white, its spongy head is light in colour and the coating provides a good contrast.

The aroma is certainly Pacific North-West caliber and packed with milk chocolate maltiness - in other words, textbook Cascadian Dark Ale. Neither much citrus nor coffee-ish roast registers but the pine-y hops practically seep tree resin into the nostrils while an almost cookie dough-like maltiness triggers the sweet tooth. There's also a chicory root note.

The hops have an acidic zest to them, resembling something like a piquant tomatillo salsa, and without much roast (and no acrid burnt taste) from the malts, that part savory/part spicy note lingers long into the aftertaste. The beer is otherwise milky sweet, however, and almost reminds me of a chocolate maltshake. There's not a hint of alcohol what so ever.

65 IBU isn't too great a bitterness that coffee-and-cream and spruce tip flavours can't be appreciated. Indeed, there is plenty of flavour to this otherwise quenching, easily quaffed beer including cookie dough, pine needles and broiled grapefruit. This thing has been more than adequately hopped: the finish contains chicory and cedar wood notes.

I'm aware that 21st Amendment have had some issues with their canning facilities in the past - that, to me, seems the only thing that might explain why this beer hasn't a higher rating. I may have been more favorable to other CDAs but I struggle to think of many others that I'd rather have locally available to buy frequently. This is one of my favourite 21A brew.

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Photo of Zorro
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark brown colored beer that appears black without back-lighting. Very small tan colored head.

Smells strongly of patent malt. Coffee and a little chocolate smell. Little bit of grapefruit hop scent but not much. All in all it smells like a Porter.

Starts out strong on the patent malt with a good amount of bitterness. Strong roasted grain flavor with an charred edge to it. Substantial bitterness at least as much from the malt as the hops. Hop type is had to determine, the hops have combined together to give this a taste that is best described as "Carrot Sticks."

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall an OK beer. It tastes stronger than it is. The taste is pretty much that of a Porter hopped to hell.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz can into a pint glass.

Appearance: extremely deep amber color, bordering on black. Plenty of red light is allowed through when held up to a light source. Head is one finger of fizzy tan foam which dissipates somewhat rapidly. It's not precisely black, nor at all IPA looking, but it's not bad.

Smell: somewhat chocolately roasted malt aroma with a bit of acidic sourness present. Hops are somewhat earthy and not especially prominent at this phase. This smells rather like an American porter.

Taste: plenty of sourness and a bit of the roast character remains. Hops seem slightly citrusy and slightly floral, with an earthy bitterness toward the end. The sourness dominates the beginning, though, with maltier flavors coming in toward the end. This is kind of a bizarre tasting beer which defies standard classifications; it's not too bad, though.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with an OK level of carbonation. Nothing really exciting here.

Drinkability: not bad at all. The sourness does keep me coming back and I find this beer refreshing for all its weirdness. Made a pretty good tailgating beer yesterday as well.

 1,138 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.79/5  rDev +3%

Can purchased as part of a mix-six pack from Wegmans.

Pours a dark creamy looking black, with a one inch head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells piney and grassy, with some chocolate and vanilla in the background. A bit of citrus as well.

The taste is basically the same. A run of the mill, but still tasty Black IPA here. The strong amount of vanilla and chocolate I'm getting sets apart from the pack. The usual tastes of piney/citrusy hops atop a roasty malt backbone sit here nicely.

This one is medium bodied, with a creamy but dry mouthfeel, and a medium amount of carbonation.

Not 21st Amendment's best beer (that honor goes to Bitter American or Brew Free or Die!), but it's still tasty.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A high quality black IPA with a smoother, softer overall feel on draft than in the can. Carbonation is rounded off a bit, there’s some stickiness, and the body is very much right down the middle. Black and opaque with a small tan head that settles down slowly, leaving nice lacing. Aroma is lightly roasty but led by grapefruit hop notes. The flavor is a bit more balanced and less aggressively citrusy than I remember the can being. Definite grapefruit hoppiness with some piney notes but there is a higher degree of roastiness here than in many other black IPAs or “Cascadian Ales” or what-have-you. Finishes fairly dry with a bit of lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. If you like this style this is a solid example.

 729 characters

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

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with very good head retention and lacing. I'll say this, the beer looks impressive. The nose, however, I'm not loving so much. Although I get some noticeable peppery hop aroma, there's also something of a ginger and roasty malt aspect to the aroma profile. I get some cola as well. Flavors replicate the nose quite well, which is OK, but is not wowing me. Mouthfeel is light and almost a bit watery. Drinkability is likewise not all that impressive. Although the alcohol is pretty well disguised, the slight ginger flavor with the roasty malt just isn't a good combination for me.

Mehhh... While certainly not wretched, can't see any reason why I'd want to try this again.

 736 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a swirly head. Smells pretty light with some light citrusy hops, some light roastiness, and a touch of sweetness. The taste is a good deal more pronounced- this isn't a blow you away beer, but something about the nicely balanced creaminess, dry stout-like roastiness and gentle citrusy bitterness really works for me. I'm at the end of this six-pack, and this beer has really grown on me. Nicely creamy in the mouth and quite tasty. I like this better than I though I would.

 496 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. can. Stamped Enjoy by 7/2/15. It is July 4, 2015. Hope it didn't go bad overnight.

Really dark brown pour under a full, tan head.

The aroma has some roasted malt sweetness but I also pick up something akin to roses. Maybe that is another way to define floral hops.

The body is about medium.

The hop bitterness kicks in more noticeably in the flavor after I get through those dark malt extracts. Mild bitterness at the end.

 447 characters

Photo of dar482
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a dark brown with a light brown head.

The aroma has grapefruit, pine, and some sweet roasted malt.

The flavor has lots of pine and herbal with a rounding roasted malt. The beer has a substantial malt backbone for a hoppy brew with a touch of roasted malt quality in there.

A reasonably well made black IPA.

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Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark brown with copper edges when held to the light. The head quickly fades into a gentle cap with spotty bits of lacing left all around the interior of the glass.
Smell is of caramel, piney, bitey, herbal hops, brown sugar, grapefruit, bittersweet cocoa, and rye bread.
Taste is of the aromas with more of a coffee flavor making it's presence known.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp from the carbonation, and semi-dry in the finish.

 444 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Jackson Wines & Spirits in Lafayette CA, and brought back in my luggage to Australia to crack open with my bro, and my bro from another mo.

Pours a deep brown, slightly red-tinged, slightly opaque colour, with a fine-bubbled and rather firm head of beige-brown bubbles. Lacing is solid and pretty decent. The colour is nice, but looks a little light for a IBA; it makes me wonder where the roasted characters are going to come from.

On the nose, however, they are there and present. Certainly some dark grain, toasted bread, with a light citric hop acidity and a hint of chemical astringency, that almost certainly comes from the hops as well. More of the roasted character, and less of the hops than I've had from many an IBA, but it's pretty interesting.

Taste is odd, but again, it works. Slight nutty malt character throughout, just punctuated with some light citric hops, and quite a light finish, that doesn't quite have much roasted or hoppy bitterness, although the mingled combination of the two lasts for some time. Feel is thin, but smooth.

It's a nice brew, but I've had better examples of the style. This one falls flat in a number of areas, and while it still yields a nice package, it's far from the pinnacle of the style.

 1,256 characters

Photo of corby112
3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with slight mahogany edges when held to a light source and a two finger frothy, light beige head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a thick lasting cap that coats the glass with rings and splotches of soapy mocha lacing.

Earthy hop aroma with hints of pine needle as well as some citrus fruit notes. This is balanced by a slightly smokey, roasted malt presence. Hints of pine, grapefruit and lemon peel countered by chocolate and caramel malt, smoke, burnt toast and roasted coffee bean.

Medium bodied with a bitter, earthy hop blast up front that is contered by a roasted, smokey malt flavor mid-palate and a bitter dry finish. The hop presence is prominent with a lot of earthy pine flavor that lingers throughout. The citrus notes from the aroma are faint if there at all resulting in a mostly bitter beer that has a nice malt backbone. The malt presence is more prominent than expected for the style with an acrid, roasted/burnt presence. Hints of roasted coffee bean, burnt toast and oatmeal with hints of sweet chocolate, nut and toffee.

This beer is an interesting experiment, but for me, there's too much of a malt presence for it to be a good hop based beer(IPA, Cascade Dark Ale, Black IPA, American Dark Ale, whatever you want to call it) and too hoppy to be a malt based beer. It's not bad really just kind of all over the place with it's flavor profile.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a blackish body with good head that receeds on the quick and leaves lace patches down glass. A mix of citric hops and some roasted malts, hint of sweetness...nothing stands out. A little sticky w/ a medium-to-heavy body and the roasted malts are prevelant as beer has a dryish edge. Soapy, citric hops w/ a little spice perk up and poke on the tongue for some good ol' IPA hops taste. The balance is OK but not perfect as I find the hops are muddled and not much sweet malt...just dry and touch of blandness as I drink. This is a good beer but a tad funky aftertaste and overall w/ beer I'm just left with an alright feeling.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dr. pepper color from the can is black in the vessel with little to no head. Some agitation formed a spongy, khaki head that was short lived.

S: The aroma was boozy scotch-pine moderate in strength.

T: The flavor was oily coffee roast, citrus and pine. Some boozy scotch alcohol. Think scotch and cold coffee. Decent level of bitterness, oily hops with a wet smooth roast kiss on the finish. If I didn’t know better this tastes almost bal-aged.

M: oily coffee roast, malty body with some sotchy booziness lingering about. Good carbonation detection.

O: Overall the alcohol seems to both contribute some uniqueness while distracts at times. Strong scotch alcohol notes, good level of bitterness and a wet, oily coffee roast backing makes for a good pairing. Big alcohol flavor though may limit drinkability taking a back seat for multiples.

 852 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a light black with a tannish head and good carbonation

S: Smelled of chocolate, faint, grains, citrus and floral hops

T: I noticed some chocolate and black malts upfront, floral and citrus but lighter

M: SOmewhat bitter finish, lighter bodied

D: Ok

 262 characters

Photo of beertunes
2.91/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in straight pint glass. Poured pure black, no translucence, with about a 1/2 inch of dark tan head that had good retention and moderate lacing.

The aroma had light roast and light hops, but otherwise wise fairly benign. The taste was fairly similar, some roast and hops, neither dominating, and was pretty well balanced. I don't think they were trying for balance.

The body was typical for this new style, Cascadia Dark Ale(Black IPA), not really thin or full and much like most IPA's. Drinkability was OK but not special. Overall, a decent but not noticeable take on the style. Worth trying if you see it.

 615 characters

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Nose: grassy, minty hops, some malt sweetness and roast.
Pours pitch black under a finely bubbled, persistent 2.5" foam cap. Lacy.
Starts with a hint of sweetness, mild roast, minty hops, fresh grain and faint fruit in the finish with mild hop bitterness.
Medium body and carbonation. Dries out on the finish.

 310 characters

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

Paul Revere

A-Looks like a porter.

S-smells like a hoppy porter.

T-sweet and roasted. hops follow the stout qualities. Not bad. not awesome. Definately caught some metallic flavor. From the can? Maybe?

M-nick and thick but isn't hoppy enough to stick around

D-Got a sixer, drank four...

 293 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz can purchased as part of a 6-pack from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1 1/2" tan head above the slightly cloudy reddish brown brew. Dense head lasts nicely, with sporadic chunky lacing. Aroma is grapefruity hops. Taste is sweet through to the middle, then citrus and grapefruit hops come on, lasting through the close. Mouthfeel is uber-smooth, and drinkability is superb. Another great beer to get for when cans are better than glass, or anytime.

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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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