1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale)Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,329 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1329
Reviews: 602
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.11%

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 01-12-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,329 | Reviews: 602 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of deltatauhobbit


3.91/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown approaching black (but not quite there) color, about a finger's worth of head which fades at a moderate pace, few patches of sticky lacing on the glass.

Smell has a strong roasted/burnt malt aroma, hops aren't quite as strong but there is some pine lingering around.

Taste throughout is a mix of roasted malt and pine, burnt bitter aftertaste but enough sweetness to not be overwhelming, carbonation is medium with an average body.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2014 22:21:03 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of Emnmarko


3.84/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 1/4/14 enjoyed 3/28/14.

A- Black with a slight brown hue. Clear. An off white one finger head putters out quickly to leave a light cap. Very little lacing at all.

S- Has a dank pine hop tone with roasted malts there too. Black licorice notes as well.

T- Dark roasted malts. A nutty flavor in there. Caramel with a little cocoa. Then some charcoal notes . You get a a warming alcohol feel starting in the middle and lasting well into the end. A complex brew, it throws alot at you.

M- A heavier brew, creamy feeling. Somewhat gritty. A meal in a bottle. Perhaps a little bit too carbonated. A couple few may be too much. More a sippin' beer.

O- This black ale is deep without being rude. Tons of flavor and feel from the dark side. Roasted malts mingling with a bitter hop backbone makes for an interesting conversation. And that ain't no lie. Good sippin' brew but could fill you up. Enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 23:15:34 | More by Emnmarko
Photo of Alextricity


4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled January 6th and poured March 25th. $2.49 single poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Aggressively poured -- too much so. Got most of the beer in the glass, but a four finger soapy and creamy head stuck around for a bit. Iniquity is a perfectly clear mahogany color. There's a lot of lacing for this beer as well. Looks very nice in the glass.

Smell: Delicious. Outstanding. Awesome. Incredible. Really now. So much fruit and earthiness from the hops, it's pretty much insane. Massively hoppy. A lot of sorts of nondescript fruitiness and sweetness are there... just a sort of fruit cocktail of fruity deliciousness. The undertones on the aroma are all the earthy, piney, resinous hop smells. There is maybe also a faint hint of roasty character as well, but it's basically all about the hops. Going on three months old, and it smells like it was bottled yesterday. I'd love to get a whiff of this fresh.

Taste/feel: Holy balls. Alright, okay, that's interesting, let me gather my thoughts here. Okay. Wow. This is gonna be a long description. Rolls across the tongue almost tangy with some alcohol warmth and a bit of an alcohol flavor. The tangy and alcohol combination meet with the combination of fruity and earthy hops as well as roasted malt and make for an experience that, well, needs to be experienced. It's hard to describe what's going on adequately. I guess the tanginess is throwing me for a loop because it was so unexpected. The alcohol isn't well hidden, but it's not a problem for me here. There's a fair amount of flavor and warmth. A bit bitter, but there's also a pretty huge amount of sweetness on the finish as well. It's clusterfuck-y, yet it works. There's a slight belly warmth after the swallow, too. Iniquity has a pretty low carbonation, and about a medium sort of body to it as well.

Interesting beer that I feel I could easily pick out of a line up of black ales. That tanginess is unmistakable. For all I know, this beer is mildy infected, but whether it is or isn't, that little sort of funk is more than welcome. Bursting with resinous hops, a roasty character on the finish, alcohol that's not shy to show itself... a very interesting, enjoyable beer. Well worth the $2.49, because this was an experience worth having. Would have it again, for sure.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 16:12:36 | More by Alextricity
Photo of ski271


2.64/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Maybe it's possible I got a bad bottle? There was something a little off with the smell. And then at the initial taste, this quite off-putting heavy alcohol aroma hits. Completely ruins this otherwise-good beer for me. But again, with people praising this beer and rating it so highly, I'll have to try it again and adjust my review. But until then I have to rate it poorly.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2014 19:09:23 | More by ski271
Photo of mrfrancis


3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a nearly opaque black with subtle ruby highlights and a thin, creamy khaki head.

S: Mild aromas of herbs, caramel, cream, dark chocolate, lemon, and grass take some time to develop on the nose.

T: Delicate flavors of lemon, lime, orange rind, grass, herbs, cream, dark chocolate, and caramel are present, though hints of pine, cedar, and juniper berries linger in the background throughout. The finish is mildly resinous and unexpectedly clean with a nice, mellow combination of caramel, lemon, and herb flavors.

M: Medium in body, smooth, and only mildly resinous compared to many other examples of the style. Carbonation is delicate and gentle. Alcohol warmth is present, but very restrained for an ale of this strength, making the beer dangerously easy to drink.

O: A really well executed and surprisingly balanced take on an American black ale. I could definitely see myself picking this one up again in the not too distant future.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2014 16:54:00 | More by mrfrancis
Photo of NilocRellim


4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

10 oz. pour from the tap.

The beer was solid black in colour.

There were clear notes of smokiness, malt, and citrus on the nose.

Tasted just like it smelled; the smokiness, malts, citrus, and hops were very balanced and surprisingly light. Not overpowering despite the ABV.

Would I buy it again? Definitely.

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2014 17:58:50 | More by NilocRellim
Photo of DionysusAwakened

New Jersey

4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm impressed with this beer and would buy it again. This is a great beer. It's appearance and smell weren't anything special, but it had a thick and rich mouthfeel and it's taste was rich and full. There wasn't any chalky or metallic taste and it hid its high alcohol content well.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 22:34:41 | More by DionysusAwakened
Photo of lacqueredmouse


3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried on-tap at the Local Taphouse in Darlinghurst.

Pours a black-ruby colour with a fair amount of clarity to it. Head is just a ring of bubble pale bubbles around the glass. Body is fairly light, some speckled lacing. Looks decent enough.

Nose is great, full and sweet with plums, ripe dates and an underlying solidity like brown bread. Christmas cake comes out nicely, giving a doughy solidity to it. Very pleasant.

Tasty on the palate as well. Creamy, dark and nutty, with characters of praline and hazelnut. Slight salty, mineral sea character comes through as well towards the back, leaving the back just a touch empty. The darkness lingers like a suggestion of liquorice. Feel is pretty light, but has a nice substance to it.

Overall, this is really nice stuff. Plenty of flavour, nicely balanced with a good amount of interest too. Very happy.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2013 03:26:11 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of Labeorphile


4.71/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Deep, dark with some red hints and a tan head that leaves lacing down the glass and hangs around.

Much more malty and toasty and less hoppy than a lot of black ales. Nose it inviting and I can't wait to taste it. Maybe a little coffee?

Taste follows nose, with good, sweet malts and chocolate with a hint of bitterness, but not crushingly bitter like many in the category. Definitely some coffee.

Also smooth and drinkable. The ABV sneaks up on you, but the mouthfeel isn't overly thin and works great.

A really good beer from Southern Tier.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 03:43:33 | More by Labeorphile
Photo of ivanovichi


4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz Bomber into a snifter

A- You hear imperial BLACK ale and it lives up to the name, very opaque with a half inch slightly off white head

S- Roasty, nutty, and a little hoppy on the end

T- Almost perfectly on point with the smell, that roasty nutty flavor comes out first and is quickly followed by a little hoppiness, there are definitely hints of chocolate in there too

M- Nice, not oily or greasy but retains in the mouth between sips, carbonated but not too much

O- A great brew for drinkability with the flavor of a black ale. Will definitely be buying another one of these bad boys

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2013 02:19:08 | More by ivanovichi
Photo of da_beers


4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-pours beautiful black. Bubbly off white head. Great lacing coming down the whole way thru.
S-nice roasty notes up. Slight hops at the end. Has an espresso stout quality to it. Has a nutty ness slightly at the end as well.
T-great across the palate the whole way. Starts bitter and roast like a stout, ends smooth and a faint hop kick at the end. I get some chocolate as well as coffee throughout.
M-med/full body. I like how this one sits on palate. Very balanced, not over boozy for 8-9%.
O-very much enjoyed this one. Drinkable by full of flavor. Nice twist on a traditional black ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2013 19:46:05 | More by da_beers
Photo of curasowa

New York

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark, dark red color with one finger of tan head that fades slowly with a thick curtain of lace.

Aroma: Roasted malt, milk chocolate, cocoa and alcohol.

Taste: Sweet, roasted malt, a fair amount of boozyness, then some sweet bread dough, a little chalkiness and a decent amount of earthy bitterness. Finish is pretty hot, but surprisingly clean, then some roasted notes pop back up and hang around.

The Rest: I really like this beer. The body is on the lighter side for an imperial, and it doesn't have that syrupy mouth-coating quality you sometimes find in imperials, but it has a nice layering of flavors, with maybe the alcohol showing up a bit too much. Overall very good.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2013 02:22:08 | More by curasowa
Photo of delta490


4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- a clear and very deep brown, not quite black. A hint of light gets through to illuminate the ruby tinge. A very short lived head has almost no retention.

S- rich and malty. Note of coffee.

T- deep roasted malt. Reminiscent of schwarzbier in its flavor

M- pleasingly full and smooth with just a hint of bite from the hops bitterness

O- this is a delicious black ale with strong similarities to its German lager cousin.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 20:32:13 | More by delta490
Photo of a0lbudman


4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-black with a tan head, all you you see when you put it up to a light was a red from the light
S- sweet malt and hops
T-roasted malt with hops that fades to a sweet caramel malt, and a little hoppy aftertaste. You get a slight warming, but not like you expect from a beer with 9%ABV
M-medium body with a good amounts of cabonation
O-this beer has the taste and the aftertaste ans was a great beer

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2013 11:00:23 | More by a0lbudman
Photo of Donis


4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The iniquity beer was very well received between a friend of mine and myself. This was one of three beers I had given to me for my monthly beer club.

The beer poured very well with good viscosity and a nice thick head. The smell was our favorite aspect as it sniffed very very well. The taste was good but had a pretty harsh aftertaste. Mouthfeel was good and overall was a very good imperial black ale. I would recommend anyone to that hasn't tried and imperial black ale before as it's much easier on the palate.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2013 03:43:04 | More by Donis
Photo of Fuzzycranium


4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The limited amount of head is minute but last for an extended period of time. Roasted and phonolic aroma. Flavor is a bit alcoholic, warming to the throat and cleanly roasted. maybe a little raisin flavor too. A good, solid, black ale...no messing around...not super fancy...solid...enjoyable...luxurrious...

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2013 01:43:02 | More by Fuzzycranium
Photo of Tsar_Riga


3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Black, beautiful pour, with a nice head, which fairly quickly fades.
S: Powerful hints of the alcohol, with a good dose of hoppiness.
T: Strong, dark, with solid fruit and malt notes combined with hops and spice. The alcohol taste rears up and overpowers other flavors.
M: Sharp carbonation, but medium weight otherwise.
O: I enjoyed it, but I thought the booziness somewhat eclipsed the more subtle elements. Perhaps apt, given the name.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2013 23:22:53 | More by Tsar_Riga
Photo of TheMultiYeast


3.4/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours nearly black with a small creamy head.

Aroma opens with sweet malts and C-hop aroma. The roast doesn't really "pop" as much some black ales but it's there. Dark fruits and caramel round out the nose.

A bit more roast in the taste but piney/citrus hops take over. Even more, caramelized malt flavors come through with a mild bitterness.

Feel is pretty average. Medium bodied.

Decent beer but I expected more. Not sure how old this is but I would try it again.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2013 03:15:07 | More by TheMultiYeast
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pour a deep-brown color, nearly black, with a small half finger of fizzy looking off white foam formed upon pouring. The head persists only a short period of time, fading too leave lots of big bubbles floating atop the brew and some light foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is a nice mix of roasted malt, dark fruits and hop. The roasted aromas are heaviest of a roasted brown bread smell mixed with some light sweet cocoa aromas. Other roasty smells of a light coffee and some cola are there as well. The hops are lighter then the darker aromas, but still make a decent showing. The hop are heaviest of a more citrus aroma, but others of some earth and pine are there as well.

Taste – The taste starts out with a roasted bready flavor mixed with some sweeter flavors of caramel and vanilla. Some lighter cocoa flavors come to the tongue along with some hop flavors of a citrus nature. A grape and darker fruit flavor comes to the tongue more toward the middle of the taste, starting out lighter, but growing quite a bit stronger as the taste goes on to its finish. Along with the fruit flavors, so too comes more hop of a light pine and a very light earthy taste mixing with some more sweeter chocolate flavors, which overall, leaves a sweeter and more lightly hopped (for an IPA), roasted flavor to be left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the medium side in terms of thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is on the slightly higher side for a beer of 9 % abv. A little thicker of a body and a little less carbonation would have likely been better for the roasted and hoppy flavors of the brew, but overall it was OK.

Overall – This is a rather tasty brew. If looking for something decently hoppy, moderately sweet, and roasty, this is a good brew to try.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2013 00:39:25 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of Qbdoo


4.83/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - black, incredibly dark for something other than stout or porter.
Smell - Amazing. Citrus with berries (blueberry??). Truly unbelievable.
Taste - A big, bold mix of malt and hops, intense but balanced.
Mouthfeel - along with the smell this in the amazing thing about this beer. Kind of creamy and very full.
Overall - This is the second time I've had this beer and it's more amazing than I remembered. It's a great midwinter beer for hop lovers.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2013 04:47:32 | More by Qbdoo
Photo of laituegonflable


3.09/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a red-tinged dark brown. Nice beige head, webbed but sticky. Could be a bit darker but still nice.

Fruity on the nose. Banana, passionfruit, plenty of tropical notes. Bit of resin, but overall a bit light and almost stodgy. Needs more dark characters.

Taste is similar. Quite winter warmery with spice and dark fruit. Some banana, and a bit of rummy booze on the back. Not the best IBA I've had, a bit sweet and lacking roast characters.

Smooth texture, bit of hop pull and touch of booze on the back. Not bad.

To me the darker flavours are so integral to the success of a black ale. This seems more like an IPA that happens to look dark, and even then it's a bit flighty and fruity and lacking in gravitas. Can't say I love it.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2013 01:17:33 | More by laituegonflable
Photo of TeamMathis

West Virginia

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep, dark brown. Tan, thick head.
Smell: Pepper, vanilla (I think), and alcohol.
Taste: Pepper, strong alcohol, maybe grape, and something slightly sweet.
Mouthfeel: Thick. Moderate carbonation.

This is a big drink, but it's not overwhelming. You don't necessarily feel the need to have to slow down and sip; you do it because it's very enjoyable. I had a bit of trouble figuring out particular hints that I noticed with each smell and taste. The pepper and alcohol were the first things to come to mind, but it's not as if they dominated the taste. I couldn't quite place much more. I noticed a sweet vanilla hint in the smell, and it seems like there was a grape taste present. Of course, I didn't want to get totally lost in figuring out what the smells and tastes were and forget to enjoy it. The sum of the parts make this a great brew. I will get this again.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2013 03:29:50 | More by TeamMathis
Photo of hreb


4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. Beer is pitch black in the pint glass; held up to the light it reveals reddish brown accents. No head. Aroma is slightly citrusy/peely, like an IPA. I think we might have a CDA on our hands.

Flavorwise this beer is up front with big hops: I'm thinking Amarillo? Simcoe? or maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about. But this is not merely a black IPA, there's also a malt backbone with a strong molasses note. Finishes dry but not clean, leaving a little bit of a funky bitter edge in the back of the mouth. Alcohol wise the 9% is relatively apparent, a teeny bit of alcohol burn and just a very alcohol rich flavor. But still quite drinkable considering.

There are so many great black / Cascadian ales out there, and this is not my favorite. I think the molasses flavor is a little much for the style and the hops flavors are good but just not quite what I want. But this is just quibbling: this is a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 02:10:33 | More by hreb
Photo of thabeerguy


4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Very dark with some lower tones of red around the sides when held in the light. The pour created a frothy head with nice lacing as I finished my glass.

S - The roasted malt is pretty prevalent here, and I also pick up notes of chocolate and dark fruit beneath that. The darker fruit smell I get on the end is almost like fig but I'm still not quite sure. It's very dark and discrete.

T - The taste was roasty with some lower notes of chocolate and coffee. The finish is bitter and hoppy, with some very subtle citrus tones embedded deep within its full-bodied taste.

M - I would call this somewhere between medium and full-bodied. It has the hoppiness of an IPA and the body and flavor of a porter with those sneaky coffee tones that jump out on the finish.

O - Overall, I think that this was one heck of a great ale and more than deserving of it's present rating of 92. This beer had an incredible balance of hops, bitterness, and malt. I will definitely buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2013 04:43:02 | More by thabeerguy
Photo of CASK1


3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bomber poured to a tulip.

A - Jet black, with dark ruby highlights when held up to a light. Light tan, dense head with good staying power. Nice lacing as the glass empties.

S - Low sweet toffee and milk chocolate aroma. Piney, resiny hops kick in late and linger. Low non-descript fruitiness from hops and yeast.

T - Complex and balanced. Bitter chocolate from roast malt, quickly followed by medium-high hop bitterness, and a wave a piney, resiny, citrusy hop flavor. Starts out roasty but quickly moves to the hops.

M - Medium-light body, low for such a strong beer but not thin or watery. Low alcohol warmth, but not hot. Dry, hoppy, slightly astringent finish.

O - Very enjoyable take on the style. I will get this one again!

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2013 00:59:40 | More by CASK1
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,329 ratings.