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Monday, July 19th 2010

Back in Black
(21st Amendment Brewery)

One of 21st Amendment's most recent canned releases, Back in Black, just hit shelves in the past couple days. The first of the so-called Black IPAs or Cascadian Dark Ales to be canned, Back in Black was previously a draft only release. I can't wait to crack this open! 

From the 21st Amendment site:

"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. Our Black IPA is a Declaration of Independence from the tyranny of the expected.

Back in Black is our newest year-round beer available now in six pack cans and on draft. Brewed like an American IPA but with the addition of rich, dark malts, this beer has all the flavor and hop character you expect with a smooth, mellow finish."

Here we go...


Pour - dark auburn and ruby reddish in color as it floods the glass. A thick, rich, pancake batter-esque head develops on top. This looks both impressive and inviting. Hold this to the light to really see how dark this IPA truly is!


Aroma - spicy, piney, citrusy goodness emanates from the glass as soon as the beer hits the bottom. There are also some rich chocolate and malt aromas that give this almost a chocolate covered candied orange aroma. I'd like to dive in now please.


Taste - not quite an IPA meets stout flavor but it does have some IPA meets American-style Porter qualities with the maltiness and the more pronounced hop profile. I taste chocolate and orange, or even pineapple, along with the very unique flavor that the simcoe hops impart (eucalpytus?) as well as the boldness of the Columbus and Centennials. The hops truly shine in this unique brew and it makes me realize that this whole "Black IPA" thing is pretty badass. It's awesome. It's all awesome! 


Overall - This is absolutely delicious. The flavor combo of hops and dark malt is perfect and my taste buds are left wondering what the hell just happened. Sweet citrus meets chocolate and then is walloped with a dose of Pacific Northwest hops. Hooray for new styles of beer! American brewers never stop innovating.


Would I buy more of it? - definitely, this is unique and delicious. As soon as this glass is empty another can will be opened and it will be refilled. 


Note - Wikipedia never ceases to amaze me. Someone has contributed the following about this emerging style of American craft beer:


The Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA) or "Black IPA" is a relatively new variant of IPA, with a characteristically dark or black appearance, due to roasted malts, while retaining the hop aroma typical of the IPA style. Examples of this style include Hopworks Urban Brewery Secession Black IPA, Widmer Brothers Brewery W'10, Laughing Dog Brewery Dogzilla, Cascade Brewing Dark Day, Deschutes Brewery Intergalactic Black IPA, Thornbridge Brewery Raven. The name refers to the Pacific Northwest Region of the United States ("Cascadia"), where many current commercial versions are made. The style was invented by Greg Noonan in Vermont in the early 1990s, and by the mid-2000s there were several commercial versions made in that state.

Hops Scale:
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Can Scale:
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Back in Black
Style: American Black IPA (Cascadian Dark Ale)
Brewery: 21st Amendment Brewery
San Francisco, California  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Rahr Pale Malt, Crystal 45L
Hops: Columbus, Centennial and Simcoe
ABV: 6.8%
IBUs: 65
Date: July 19th, 2010

Posted by Russ

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