On a recent road trip to MA, I decided to make a beer run. Namely to find my absolute favorite beer that you cannot get in MI. I stopped in Mentor, Ohio and found a really amazing store that had all kinds of goodies. Really amazing considering the kinda crappy strip mall and unassuming name - "Save On Tobacco and Beverage." Inside, aisles of beers from all over the country and world. Including some 21st Amendment beers from San Francisco.
First up was the Back in Black, an American-style IPA brewed with dark malts. It has 6.8% alcohol and 65 International Bitterness Units (IBUs). This poured very dark, although not exactly black, into my chicken glass. It had 1 finger of a rocky brown head with excellent retention. The nose was quite hoppy, and notably grapefruity.
Back in Black was a tasty IPA. There was an interesting balance of hops, a touch of spice, and just enough nutty malt taste to balance it out. A nice medium to full body and easy and pleasant to drink. I like IPAs a lot, and definitely enjoyed this one. It's kind of a strange style though, and I'm somewhat of a hop head, so don't see the need for dark malts in my IPAs.
I totally scored a can of Monks Blood too. I didn't know it was a score, but the cashier was excited because it's a limited release and I got the last one in the store. Therefore, SCORE. 21st Amendment has some nice packaging, and I enjoyed reading some of the scripture about monks on the can...But mostly went ahead to the tasting. This has 8.3% alcohol and 34 IBUs. Description: "Belgian-style dark ale brewed with cinnamon, vanilla, oak chips, and dried figs." OOH LA LA fancy pants.
Monk's Blood poured a cloudy brown with a thick sudsy light brown head. It smelled mildly sweet and malty. It tasted very nice. Sweet vanilla, mild cinnamon spice, and the oak flavor stood out as the beer warmed. This is a nice, mellow, well-balanced ale. Very soft in body, but a sipper due to the noticeable alcohol. Also I did not pick up a lot of fig or dark fruit flavors, which is my preference. So yeah. I enjoyed the Monk's Blood a lot.
Back in Black IPA: B+
Monk's Blood: A-
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