Back In Black | 21st Amendment Brewery

BA SCORE
83
good
2,395 Ratings
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
Ratings:
2,395
Reviews:
711
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
13.32%
 
 
Wants:
54
Gots:
395
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,395 |  Reviews: 711
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown leaning toward black, but barely. Head is light tan and at least one-finger. Sticks around for a bit.

Smell: Nothing too crazy. Hints of citrus and pine sneak through a roasty malt base. Comes across as a well-balanced approach to the style.

Taste: Very close to the smell with a bit more hop bite to it. Citrus and pine lose ground to the heartier malt base which sweetens things up a bit and leaves a lingering roastyness to compliment the residual oily hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: Decent. A little thinner than I like my black ales, but the malts give it a little heft. Relatively smooth with only the faintest hints of roast on the back.

Drinkability: Pretty well balanced. It's nothing to write home about, but definitely a nice way to break in to the style. It's got enough hops and malts to be interesting without being overbearing.

Overall: This is a pretty easy way to get used to the idea of an American Black Ale. It hits a solid compromise between hops and malts without leaning too far one way or another.

 1,043 characters

Photo of brystmar
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour is black with an average amount of off-white head. Nice lacing on my glass. Nose has piney hops, but not the awesomely fresh hops I've become accustomed to as of late.

Pretty straightforward taste: hops linger over a roasted malt backbone. Lags noticeably behind its peers in both execution and complexity. Not a bad beer, but there are many better Black IPAs on the market today.

 386 characters

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: Well, it's not pale and not quite black.
smell: Hops and malt yes. Fairly well balanced.
taste: Again hops and malt and fairly well balanced. Almost like an IPA and a brown were mixed in the same glass. Not better than the sum of it's parts but not bad either.
average: Love trying new brews and bravo for the creative spirit. Won't be going back for seconds.

 372 characters

Photo of retry4z
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of vkv822
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz : tulip
canned on: 12/16/13

Black, with deep espresso edges when held to light with a craggy, foamy tan head.

Roasty malts upfront with citric, spicy hop highlights in both the nose and taste.

Medium+ body, foamy carbonation.

Nothing particularly outstanding, but tasty nonetheless. Overall a well done, solid example of the Black Ale style.

 350 characters

Photo of Bdel34
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Alpha309
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of harsley
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of Budinetz
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of Jimmys
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
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 kingcrowing
2.63/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz can poured into a Duvel snifter.

Pours a pitch black silky smooth color with a nice solid one finger deep brown head with lots of cratering and sticky lacing. Nose is very sweet, malty and it almost smells a bit like Belgian yeast, interesting. There are some hops but it's not over the top.

Wow, taste is something different, I'm not sure if I like it. It's a bit metallic (I don't attribute that to the can), and has a somewhat sharp tang. It's fairly acidic and harsh, a bit grainy as well. There are some hops because I do get bitterness on this but it seems more like bitterness from roasted malt. Mouthfeel is fairly watery, with very light but sharp carbonation. It's not so easy drinking and it leaves a bit of an off flavor in your mouth. Honestly I'm a bit disappointed in this.

 795 characters

Photo of stampfler07
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%

Photo of jrohrbacher
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Jotora
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown, not black. HUGE head and lacing on the glass. That part is impressive

S - A lot of hops in the nose. Citrus, dried fruits, tangerines.

T - Nice hoppy flavor, dark malt backbone. Very well balanced.

M - Creamy. Full bodied, very well carbonated.

O - A very good beer, but not amazing like some of the other 21st Amendment brews I have enjoyed.

 363 characters

Photo of ElGordo
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12oz can into a Maudite snifter. Body is a rich black color, topped by an inch of creamy, off-white head that leaves some pretty thick lace on the glass. Appearance is very stout-like, much thicker and creamier than most Cascadian dark ales. Aroma of dark malt with a touch of lactose sweetness, with a touch of fruity hops with some tropical notes.
Palate is malt-forward, with a good bit of roast. Dark fruit notes from the malt, coupled with mild, tropical fruit (pineapple) from the hops. Definitely not as much hop presence as most beers of the style, this is more like a slightly hoppier milk stout.
Body is nice and creamy, with a bit of a dry finish. An enjoyable beer, for sure, but maybe just not up to the spec of a Cascadian dark ale.

 764 characters

Photo of Dirtinabottle
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of rudabegga9
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of MbpBugeye
2.99/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Can into a Perfect Pint.

Appearance
I didn't think I poured too hard, but I guess I was wrong. Most of this beer flashed into a very fine froth as soon as it rolled into the glass. It doesn't strike me as infected or anything, just over carbonated. The beer is a dark root beer color on the pour, collecting near black.

Aroma
For being a 21st Amendment beer there is a surprising lack of aluminum and a hopeful level of hops. Spicy pine and citrus hops. There's not a whole lot of roasted stuff, but there is a lot of black pepper.

Taste
The flavor is actually pretty nice, it just falls very flat, very quickly. Things start with sweet citrus and some spiciness, but suddenly all flavors are gone. Its weird. The finish is sweet and almost grape-like.

Mouthfeel
Carbonation isn't as scary as it was on the pour, which is a relief. Its still prickly, however. The body is about medium.

Overall
I'd say this isn't too bad, especially as compared to the other 12A beers I've had. I'd drink this again in a pinch, I suppose.

 1,031 characters

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

- from my notes
Can poured into a 20 ounce glass
A - not quite black and lacking the oily look of some of the darker beers.
S - malts and hops with no distinguishing character.
T - fairly malty with some hops to back it up. Better than I expected.
M - a light stout feel that is just a bit undercarbonated.
D - fairly good for a canned /portable beer and that is pretty much the point of the thing.

 398 characters

Photo of brbrocc
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of briandaube
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of dgherm
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of yesyouam
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

21st Amendment Back In Black is a clear, dim red-brown-black ale with a dense khaki head that has outstanding retention and lacing. It has a fruity and roasty aroma. It's pretty light bodied; a little watery and metallic with a pretty clean finish. It's quite bitter and dry; sharp and green. It's not very well balanced and not good for more than a pint.

 355 characters

Photo of jrfehon33
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,395 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe