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Back In Black | 21st Amendment Brewery

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Back In BlackBack In Black
BA SCORE
3.7/5
Good
2,421 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:
#29,190
Reviews:
723
Ratings:
2,421
pDev:
13.24%
Bros Score:
3.1
 
 
Wants:
56
Gots:
406
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,421 |  Reviews: 723
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce pint - $5.50 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Slowly served up on a busy Saturday night a clearish, very, very dark brown body with a slim, off-white head.

Smell: Aroma smelling of bitter cocoa bars, Maxwell House ground coffee, grapefruit, yellow pine, and light caramel wrapped up with an earthy character.

Taste: An initial rush of roastiness, followed by an expanse of pale malts, more than anticipated. Of the various malt tastes, bittersweet chocolate leads, with lesser tastes of simple coffee and caramel trailing behind. Blend of citrusy, piney hops deliver a moderate amount of bitterness. Maybe a small hint of herbs lurking in there as well. Then, the taste rolls back towards the dark malts, leaving you with a close tasting of chocolate and coffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's black, it's bitter, but the hop profile, while certainly present, wasn't (thankfully) abrasive and as such, it kind of reminded me of Avery's New World Porter.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black with a chunky one finger head with great retention.

S: I got citrus and pine upfront and then a lot of roasted malts and some coffee on the back end.

T: Typical IPA flavors upfront - citrus and pine, but it quickly transitions into roasted barley and coffee on the back end.

D/M: Medium bodied with good carbonation. Really hard to rate drinkability. I like this beer, but don't know how many I would want to drink. It is really different, and something worth trying, but probably not a beer I am going to stock my fridge with.

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Photo of duceswild
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Inspired by Paul Revere's midnight ride, we rebelled against the British style IPA, embraced the more aggressive American version and then recast it in bold, brave, defiant black."

--21st Amendment website

The hue is more dark walnut with burnt orange edges than bold, brave, defiant black. Almost half the glass is currently filled with a lovely looking crown of caramel nougat colored foam that has an impressively bubbly surface. Lace is both extensive and attractive.

Back In Black smells like a black IPA... or a Cascadian dark ale... or an American black ale... or whatever the hell we're calling them this week. There are equal contributions from medium-dark malts and citrusy American hops: Columbus, Centennial and Simcoe.

The flavor score, although identical to the two above it, is the weakest one yet. The first half of each mouthful is wonderful. It's in the second half that a somewhat puckery lemon juiciness comes out to play. There are enough other flavors to keep it in control, but still.

The malts are mostly dark caramel-like with a contribution from bittersweet chocolate. Top notes include lemon and pink grapefruit with a small splash of pineapple juice. Sorry, but the taste score isn't able to hang in there and the drinkability score follows it right down to 3.5. Time and warming did nothing to help the cause.

The mouthfeel is just big enough and gains an enjoyable smoothness by the middle of the can. The bubbles could be better integrated, but they aren't bad, all things considered.

21st Amendment's Back In Black is not a raucous, rowdy, rock-and-rollin' roof-raiser that would do the AC/DC song of the same name proud. It's a black IPA that is a little bit too fruit juicy to compete with the best versions of this style.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 7/24/10 notes. Had at the cdc release.

a - Pours a dark black color with little to no head or carbonation.

s - Smells of roasted and toasted malts, caramel malts, and fruity hops.

t - Tastes of pine hops, roasted malts, and caramel malts.

m - Light body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty good black IPA, but seemed much mroe malty to me than hoppy. Would try again.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz. can poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body with a bit of transparency. Very nice cream colored head. Laces inside the glass and leaves a creamy pillow of foam.

Smell - Some grassy hops. A bit of an abrasive grapefruit aroma. Mild roast and some chocolate.

Taste - Roasted malts are more aggressive, but it's still a bit of grapefruit up front. Roasted malts turn sweeter into chocolate before giving way to a caramel sweetness and a hop bite in the back.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Nothing inherently wrong with it. Just dull and uninteresting.

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Photo of BEER88
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mikesgroove
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

black as night opaque liquid. You could tell it was not that thick though as there was some light getting through on the sides and bottom. A nice off white head formed on the top, maybe about two inches in height. Sticky and foamy it gradually relented and rested back down to about a half inch layer across the top and this hung around for the rest of the session.

pine aromas, Almost ripping the nose apart, very good indeed. Now there was some underlying roasted malts in there as well. Now to be honest this was nothing extraordinary, nothing really new, and nothing really absurd Somewhat sweet in the finish at first, but that lasts for all of about two seconds before your lips stick to your teeth and the dry bitterness kicked in. mix of the hops was actually quite nice as it really wasn’t tearing up your mouth as much as one woudld think. There was definitely a touch of malt in there, especially after it warmed up a bit as a subtle sweetness, and earthy type of flavor started to work its way it.
Lots of carbonation which always helps in these situations, now the other side to this was that it was jet black.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I appreciated tenderbranson69 sharing this can with me -poured chilled into a tulip.

A - A black as night opaque liquid w/ rocky light tan cap and frothy lace pattern that sticks well, the bead is tiny

S - The arom has a lot of pine from the hopping w/ a sweet malt accent and mild bit of roasted scnets to augment the fruit notes like prune. There is a gentle pepper elment for good measure

M - The feel is slightly bitter with light sweet tinged and hint of tart fruit w/ light pepper spiced and roast in the dry finish

T - The taste of bitter pine hops w/ mild toffee and sweetened coffee w/ light caramel tinge. The pine mixed with the roasted malt gives a light molasses flavor. the pine is augmented by a slight raisin and grassy tinge. The flavor is a good blend of both dark caramel malt and pine that lingers into the finish

D - A queer blend of flavors w/ black malt and bitter hops to me it is not the best of an emerging style, but I enjoyed for what it is

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Photo of jgunther71
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of orangesol
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of WoodBrew
3.34/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

To name a beer after a famous ACDC song....it better be awesome! Unfortunately 21st Century Back In Black Black IPA is not....however, it is solid. I just don't think it hit the mark. I use the Stone Self Righteous as my barometer. The B in B from 21st was a very dark ruby amber with a thin white head. The scent was most dissappointing, maybe some subtle malt...but not any hop. The taste follows the smell, subtle roast and malt, a lil hint of hop. I do like how it comes off the pallete clean...not lingering. The beer is easy on the mouth and could drink my weight.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at 21A

A: The pour is reminiscent of cola in terms of the color with a dense off-white head and some spots of lacing.

S: The nose is primarily of roasted malts and bitter-sweet chocolate. A moderate citrus hop aroma of grapefruit and orange peels. Not quite as hoppy as your usual black IPA.

T: The hop character is mild, especially in terms of the bitterness. Fairly sweet and chocolatey with a decent grapefruit flesh and peel flavor, though.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high level of carbonation.

D: Not exactly what you think of in terms of the black IPA, but still a good beer.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A gift from Dennis. Thanks bro!

A: This beer appears an opaque shade of the darkest brown, bordering on black. The head is over an inch tall and looks like a chocolate milkshake. As it fades, it coats the glass in lacing.

S: Roasted malt and hops. I'm just not entirely sure about the black IPA style in general. The aromas seem to conflict with one another, creating an overall odd scent.

T: Decent tasting, and happily, it's better than the aroma would indicate. It's rich and smooth, with a noticeable hop bitterness in the finish. I suppose one could label this a "balanced" version of the style, as the roast aspect is quite prevalent, as well.

M: Good feel. Fairly thick, with a creamy smooth feel reminiscent of a stout.

D: Pretty interesting beer. I would drink it again, but it's not something I would seek out, or even choose at a store.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Another decision made for me by my boy Mike in IL, with Jethro Tull's "Windup" rockin' in the background. It pours a barely transulcent, very dark ruby brown topped by a steadfast finger of ecru foam. The nose is odd, kinda like a ruby red grapefruit drizzled with lemon juice. Some orange slices and pine sap find their way in there as well, and I assume that's some light caramel that's trying to evade me in the back. Honestly, this smells kinda weird. Hard to explain, just doesn't seem quite right. The taste is pretty hop-forward, with plenty o' citrus hops flying at me, grapefruit, orange, and lime flavors resulting. Instead of straight caramel, though, some light roasted malts make their way into town, blowin' in like the fools who always fuck with Clint Eastwood (much to their ultimate dismay). The two competing sides continue fighting throughout the tasting, making for quite a pleasant feel, all while Chubby Checker's "Limbo Rock" makes me wanna dance a little. Still, something's missing, leaving me ultimately unsatisfied as a whole. The body is a heavy light, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly creamy feel. Overall, a nice BIPA (or CDA, whichever you prefer), definitely worth a taste.

 1,266 characters

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

Can at America on Tap Manchester today ..
Dark brown/black color. Light roast and chocolate with some pine and citrus hops to counter. Decent Black IPA

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Photo of chippo33
2.75/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of dvmin98
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of tdm168
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brownish black with cascading cappuccino colored head similar to the way Guinness pours. Great head retention. Smells of roasted malt, citrusy hops, and faint alcohol esters. In the taste, citrus and piny hops battle the roasted and chocolate malts. Well balanced. Well hopped. Nice malt character. Rich, smooth, drinkable. A little thin, but refreshing.

A very drinkable, rich, dark beer. Very good take on the style.

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Photo of stakem
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to wishuwerebeer for gifting me with a can of this. Poured into a snifter, this brew stream a clear dark brown color but as it comes to rest in my glass it looks closer to black. A finger of creamy tan head appears initially and fades to a thin film across the top. It leaves a wall of lacing effect on the glass.

The smell of this brew is fruity with hops. A bit herbal, catty and citrus-like before melding into the sweet scent of dark roasty grain. The combination of hops and dark roast form a scent more in line with raisins and alcohol. As it warms up, it picks up more of a roasty scent of the dark kilned grains and a hint of citrus-like coffee.

The first sip of this brew is quite unique. It is almost minty or methol-like with the way the hops intertwine with the roast of the grain and alcohol. The hop character is a mixture of herbal, fruity, citrus and pine-like flavors. This brew is mildly bitter from a combination of roasted malt and hops, it is enjoyably not over-done and blends together quite well with each unique flavor blending into the other counterpart. The aftertaste is a little bit like prunes but with an herbal edge to it.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. The feel was just right and the alcohol was fairly well integrated. I am not the biggest fan of the style but this offering was pretty decent. I dont know if I would have liked it any more or less if it was more fresh. As-is I might try it again but it wouldn't be my top pick if I had other choices.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pous like a stout , light cream head that decides to coat the sides of my pint glass with each sip. Aroma had dark roasted malts with herbal hops going on more like a hoppy porter or a stout than other black IPAs I've come across. This is the popular style of the moment everybody is making a dark hoppy beer nice to see some variation, not overly bitter in anyway. Flavor was creamy dark roasts a mix of dark chocolate and light coffee tones with blasts of herbal slightly citric hops, goes together ncely a good balanced blend. Mouthfeel is medium bodied carbonation is smooth and easy going I can't complain it's actally silky texture. Drinkability overall a nice blalanced hoppy dark beer I can't really call it a BIPA compared to other more aggressive versions but it was enjoyable.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
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 BMart
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance was a nice black color with a one finger white to off white foamy head that dissipated a nice pace and ends up leaving a decent amount of foamy lacing sticking to the sides of the glass. The smell was roasty yet bitter and had a nice coffee/almost slight chocolate trying to come out through some nice citrus hoppiness. The taste was basically bitter and roasty with a nice allocation of bitter coffee-ness coming through. I didn’t get any aftertaste but there is a decent somewhat bitter dry finish. On the palate, it sat about a light to medium on the body as it tried to show a decent sessionable quality about it. The carbonation is good for the style and for me as it shows a decent harshness but nothing overbearing. Overall, in my opinion, I say this is a good American Black Ale, well worthy of having again.

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Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,421 ratings
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