21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco puts out some great brews (notably a Quad from a coupla years ago and a Saison from last year that was surprisingly good), so I was excited to try their Back in Black Black IPA…especially at $2 for a can.
I really enjoy black beers (Rogue’s Dirtoir Black Lager continues to be one of my top five beers), and especially black IPAs, as the style generally highlights aspects of the ingredients and process I like, without over-emphasizing the hops. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…balance. Balance. Balance.
Let’s see how their Black IPA sat with me.
Pour: This sucker pours dark black with a handsome tan thick and dimply head.
Smell: Definite roasted hops. Sweet malts were there, but this definitely had a piney hops nose.
Taste: Eh, this was a pretty thin flavor profile that didn’t sit well with me. It was acidic and hoppy, but the piny hops were replaced with overly-roasted hops which fell flat. Alcohol was strong (6.8%). Not a complex flavor profile at all, but seemed like a half-assed attempt at a Black IPA.
I’ll admit, the flavor rounded itseelf out a bit at the end, but this remained an unexciting beer.
Would I but it again? Nope.