let’s have a beer is a new column meant to provide my craft brew drinking habit with a purpose. From growlers to canned IPAs to beers you’ve certainly never heard of, I will sacrifice my taste buds for the pleasure of passing on knowledge of something new.

21st Amendment ‘Back In Black’ Black IPA

BREWERY WEBSITE: 21st-amendment.com/beer
ALC./VOL: 6.8%
IBUs: 65
COLOR: midnight black
AROMA: shades of lots of hops blended with the dark scent of a Guinness
THOUGHTS: Black IPAs are a rare jewel of the craft brew world. Not many people undertake them because they are difficult to get right—what with the blending of two very distinct styles of beer. But it’s no secret that I like me some Black IPA. Which is why I had to grab a 6-pack of cans of 21st Amendment’s ‘Back In Black’ Black IPA when I came across it in Spirits waiting for my growler to be filled with Dogfish Head Punnkin Ale (a full rundown of this beer to come soon).

First off, the selection of putting any IPA in a can tells one that the brewer knows their hops. Cans don’t allow light to penetrate the beer like a bottle does, so it allows for the hops to be fully preserved for their bitterness to be kept at ultimate levels. In a Black IPA that is crucial because of the blending with the Irish Stout, which if done improperly, can cancel out the bitterness of a classic IPA.

But Back In Black offers a quintessential blend between the two styles. It offers an initial taste of hoppiness followed by a contrasting of rich, dark flavors that you would expect from any good Irish Stout. And contrary to typical IPAs, it leaves a mellow, smooth finish with just the right tang of hops—so even haters of an IPA’s bitter aftertaste can admire the genial finish of this admirable Black IPA.

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