Thursday, April 28, 2011

21st Amendment Back in Black IPA

Seems like I've done a lot of Black IPAs this season! I've only had one other beer from 21st Amendment which also was an IPA, but it wasn't amazing. I decided to shoot this on the front porch at night - which is something I've never done before. Let's see how it turns out....

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (627) - Albany, USA - APR 28, 2011
I poured a 12oz can into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Seemingly opaque black, but noticeable ruby red glow along the bottom. Forms a large, thick, frothy, off-white head which retains very well and leaves good lacing on the glass.

Smell: Much more in line with its IPA roots as I get light flowers and citrus candy.

Taste: This is what I look for in a black IPA. It’s got all the makings a typical floral IPA throughout the first half with a slightly tart citrusy flavor too. While only 65 IBUs it does seem much more bitter than this stat would indicate. There’s an overt dryness accentuated by the hops. The second half of the palate is milder than most black IPAs as the roasted malts don’t kick in until just as the beer finishes. There’s a very pleasant flavor of semisweet chocolate and perhaps a touch of coffee. These flavors linger for a moment in conjunction with the hops to make for a bitter aftertaste. It does get a little cloying, but is easily remedied by taking another swig.

Mouthfeel: Perfectly medium bodied. The head imparts a slightly creamy texture. Not fizzy, nor flat.

Drinkability: While an overtly bitter beer, Back In Black is highly drinkable. Low carbonation makes it a gulper although the dry, hoppy flavors might take some getting used to. The 6.8% ABV is the perfect potency for this brew as it’s strong enough to create for real flavors, but doesn’t have the intensity of an imperial.

Overall, this is one of the better black IPAs I’ve had. Best of all - no nasty solvent smell!

Grade: 8/10

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