Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) - Southern Tier Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,420 | Reviews: 611 | Display Reviews Only:
4.22/5 rDev +1.9%
Pours black body with a white generous head. Great C-aroma. Great taste of grapefruit, lemon with the malting making it a great complexity. Above-average moutheel. Good drinkability. A tad acidic, still one of the better beers I have had, regardless of being a DIPA.
05-03-2009 02:37:11 | More by Sammy
4.15/5 rDev +0.2%
Reviewed from notes.
Pours near black with a nice tan head, leaving a little bit of lacing behind. The nose is in your face with a strong attack of citrus and pine hops atop a good amount of strongly-roasted malt. The taste is pretty good in its balance, though it lacks the depth and interactions of the nose. The roast comes through a bit more here. The dry roast and hop bitterness combine well in the feel. Quite a drinkable brew and one of the first Black IPAs I ever came across.
10-26-2010 11:07:52 | More by Thorpe429
4.1/5 rDev -1%
A: The beer is clear very dark amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter-finger high tan head that died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of roasted malts in the nose along with notes of citrus and pine resin hops.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of roasted malts, citrusy hops along with some hints of bitter chocolate and coffee beans. Not much bitterness is present because it is balanced off by hints of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink compared to other beers in the style because the hop bitterness is well balanced by the underlying malts.
01-05-2012 03:15:04 | More by metter98
4.4/5 rDev +6.3%
Roasted coffee bean black that fails the opacity test when backlit. That's okay, this stuff wasn't brewed to be an RIS. It's actually reddish chestnut in color and has a stupendous looking cap of golden caramel colored foam. The lid is incredibly sticky and is beginning to lay down some of the best looking lace that I've seen in weeks. Maybe months.
Debittered black malt was probably just used for color because it sure isn't appreciated in the nose. Instead, good ol' citrus fruity American hops have the run of the joint. A lineup that includes Cascade, Chinook, Centennial (dry-hopping only) and Willamette is hard to beat, especially given this brewery's chops when it comes to the little green cones.
Southern Tier has done it yet again. Iniquity actually tastes like a black DIPA rather than a hoppy Imperial porter or stout. The key is a perfectly calibrated amount of black malt that is easily swamped by hoppy goodness. If this is a mixture of two different beers, they got the percentages pretty much perfect.
Flavors include candied orange and grapefruit peel swimming in dark chocolate and dark caramel sauce. A fraction too much sweetness hurts drinkability... but only a little. On second thought, whenever I start looking forward to the next mouthful as soon as the current one is gone, drinkability is up there. No appreciable alcohol (other than by the central nervous system) helps as well.
The mouthfeel is some kind of impressive. It's heavily silky smooth and lush and plush and nougat chewy and lip sticky and ideally bubbled and... oh what a sensory treat this beer is. A perfect score got some serious consideration.
Southern Tier has many, many more hits than misses. In fact, their misses fit on one hand with fingers to spare. In the still sparsely populated category of Black DIPAs, Iniquity is a bull's eye. I would gladly pay $6.99 for another bomber. And another... and another... and another...
10-11-2009 14:14:35 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.01/5 rDev -3.1%
Appearance: A dramatic pour with stout-like intensity though the color is considerably lighter with some translucence and ruby highlights; the rocky head sticks nicely and leaves clumps of lacing
Smell: A very different aroma indeed, with peppermint and spruce wafting above a burnt caramel base
Taste: Opens with caramel and peppermint; underneath, the caramel malt builds and produces a burnt brown sugar aspect by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sweet and bitter flavors nicely interact and both sides of the profile linger into the aftertaste
Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation
Overall: Certainly quite different from the other Black IPAs I have sampled, this one is somewhat sweeter but still has the dramatic contrasting sweetness/bitterness I seek
04-15-2011 01:30:53 | More by brentk56
3.5/5 rDev -15.5%
Bottle: Poured a deep black color ale with a small foamy head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of light roasted malt with notes of piney hops with light citrus undertones. Taste is also a unique mix between some light roasted ,malt with traces or caramel and a medium hoppy finish with lots of note piney and citrus hops. Body is about average full with medium carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not bad and interesting take on the style.
02-22-2010 03:08:39 | More by Phyl21ca
4.1/5 rDev -1%
American-style black ales or 'Cascadian' ales seem to be graining steam. Iniquity is part of this schizophrenic scene with an intensely hopped flavor and nearly black cast.
The pour brings a dark, dark brown color that approached black. An onyx-like sheen atests to the odd clarity of both dark ales and dry-hopped beers. A creamy (remarkably light) tan head rests on the beer in rather dense fashion and holds firm through the session without demanding too much thought. A good look, even for a small stout.
Aromas are in vast contrast to the impressions given to the eye. Resiny hop character resemble pine, grapefruit pith, and herbal grasses; not the caramel rich or heavy toast aroma that are usually associated with darker, heavier beers. Light malt character emmit with subtle toast and malted barley.
Flavors again are right out of Stone's playbook: Sharp pine flavors along with fresh cut grass, sappy bitterness, and citrus peels give an aggressive hop overtone to the beer. Light and crisp malt flavors struggle to offset the bitterness with the faintest flavor of burnt molasass and dry toast. There's little else that make any impact to the beer- hops, light toasty, and a slightly solventy alcohol taste.
Malty rich and creamy with the first sip, but the carbonation soon gives way to a toasty-dry, alcoholic warmth, and piney bite in the throat. A big transition for a big beer- again much like an ipa.
It's difficult to get past the notion of ipa's being black and offering the acrid dryness of burnt toast; it becomes hard to tell where the hop bitterness ends and the burnt toast bitterness begins- but again, that's all part of the fun. Kinda reminds me when the green ketchup came out; then, the psychological game was too much to accept. We'll see about black pale ales.
03-20-2011 18:12:09 | More by BEERchitect
4.4/5 rDev +6.3%
This was an insanely good beer that I was thrilled to be able to try. Coming my way via the NO BS 4 BIF, this was the first one of the box I decided to down. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/14/2009.
The pour was wonderful, black as night with a light colored head that rose up about an inch and a half before settling down into a nice broken crown that stayed throughout the session. The aroma was very bright, lots of citrus here, orange and tangerine mostly and a wonderfully bright lemon like aroma that rose up, not at all what you would have expected from something that looked so fark. Nice medium body with a smooth and mellow carbonation and a lightness to it that again was outside what I was expecting. Smooth flavor, clean, crisp, loaded with bitter citrus hops. Lots of grapefruit and pineapple here. Such a tight and very hoppy big IPA. I was very pleased with this one for sure. The alcohol was very well hidden I have to say and I was quite impressed with how smooth it came across.
Overall a really, really good beer. This was a shocker for me as I was not expecting it to come across as good as it did. Really another very good offering from Southern Tier.
04-15-2009 01:31:13 | More by mikesgroove
4.13/5 rDev -0.2%
A: quarter finger head with lots of lace. A little light getting through but very dark.
S: very little on the nose. Not much to comment on here.
T: caramel and roast. A sharp finish. Chocolate and smokey notes.
M: moderate carbonation. Medium to full body.
Overall: The taste is very good but the aroma was lacking. This is a very good tasting beer and I will be getting this one again.
09-17-2011 00:46:55 | More by kylehay2004
4.22/5 rDev +1.9%
22 ounce bottle - $7.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.
Appearance: Pours a black body with a foaming, reactionary, light tan head.
Smell: Slightly fudge-hinted chocolate with sugary caramel cubes and fruity citrus-scented hops in the nose with trifling hint of pine and booze tucked in rear.
Taste: Malty, sweet tastes of dark caramel sauce and melting semi-sweet chocolate greet the tongue. Moderately roasty. Fresh, fruity ripe Melogolds with a slender sliver of pith remaining. Whisper of nearby pine wood. Firmly bitter, but there's also plenty of residual sweetness to keep this, as well as the heated alcohol, in check. This sometimes displeases the hopheads out there. I'm just sayin'. Faintly acidic. A push-pull of malts and hops at the slightly lush finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Fairly smooth mouthfeel.
Overall: Flavorful and not too astringent or brutishly bitter like some, so, yeah, I'm down with Iniquity. Not even giving this beer a try, well, that would truly be the iniquity.
06-29-2011 21:01:00 | More by ChainGangGuy
4/5 rDev -3.4%
This beer poured out nice and black in color, the head was brownish tan and left behind a sticky lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer was pretty good, lots of chocolate and hop aromas pouring out of this one. The taste is a rich, and loaded with flavorful hop and roasted malts. The mouthfeel of the beer is a bit on the thick side and for Southern Tier that seems to be something that their Imperials never lack. Overall this brew was quite tasty, I'd really like to revisit this one someday.
09-17-2011 18:02:34 | More by Knapp85
3.78/5 rDev -8.7%
I shared this with a friend with high hopes.a bit of a let down.Poured into a standard pint glass a deep dark black but not opaque,a thinner but well retained off white head atop.A mix of left coast hop and bitter chocolate in the nose,quite bitter and earthy.Not the hop profile I was hoping for on the palate,it left me wanting more.Big earth and unsweetened chocolate on the palate,the hops seem more subdued in citric form.A nice beer but it left me wanting more.
04-18-2009 02:08:58 | More by oberon
4.18/5 rDev +1%
A - Poured out a dark, dark brown (almost black) color with a one-finger, tan head of foam. It left minimal lace.
S - It smelled very hoppy with citrus and floral notes. There were also sweet notes of chocolate and caramel.
T - It tasted of bitter grassy hops with a sharp citrus kick of orange peel and grapefruit. There was a roasty chocolate malt taste to give it its "black ale" name.
M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied beer that hides its high ABV very well.
D - This is a great brew from Southern Tier. I'm really becoming a fan of the Black IPA style and this is a great example.
11-03-2009 16:46:14 | More by zeff80
4.13/5 rDev -0.2%
Iniquity? There's certainly nothing evil or unjust about this beer. I was quite surprised and charmed by it. It's very dark, almost black, but there are brown highlights to it. But it's not roasty or chocolatey. There are notes of dark caramel, and soft notes of mocha, but it's nothing like a porter or stout. I thought it was more like a schwarzbier or dunkle. Very nicely rounded maltiness to it!
On top of that, it's pretty damned hoppy! But I look at the label and it reads "...this is an ale as black as night. It is the antithesis of Unearthly" (their hoppy IPA). Well, the color might be different, but with juicy-citrusy and softly piney hops this is far from the opposite of "Unearthly"! It is much less bitter though, and remarkably smooth. The alcohol (9%) never shows, even in the finish.
Oh, another thing about the label, they call it an Imperial IBA. Firstly, I thought the TTB did away with any abbreviations on labels, but regardless, I'm guessing they're calling it an Imperial Brown Ale, or is that Imperial Black Ale? Imperial Blacl Ale fits better. But whatever you call it, I'm drinking it! The darkened malt and citrus-pine hops just go together so well, and despite its strength it's oh so drinkable! Additionally, althought it's not really complex (...a couple of malt notes here, some yeasty fruit there, a few shining hop flavors, and some bitterness...), it's actually very unique. I've never had a beer like it before, and that makes it interesting enough for me. Well done, and given that uniqueness, well worth trying. Kudos once again to Southern Tier!
07-08-2009 01:39:56 | More by NeroFiddled
Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,420 ratings.