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Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale)Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale)

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1,416 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,416
Reviews: 611
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 129
Gots: 117 | FT: 2
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
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Ratings: 1,416 | Reviews: 611 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GatheringBrews


4.47/5  rDev +8%

This pours a deep, rich black with a slight reddish hint against the light; the clarity is stunning. Its light tan head dissipates to a lacy collar around the edge of the beer. It's not heavily carbonated but moreso than a stout. While this is technically a double India Pale Ale in design, it's built to be more rounded, malty and balanced and less bitter than that style traditionally pours.

With a pleasantly hoppy aroma (citrus and pine), it follows through with some nice, balanced bitterness. A roasty malted flavor with notes of coffee and chocolate round out the rich mouthfeel, but it's definitely not heavy. It finishes with a malty carmel flavor balanced with a good hoppy bitterness.

The black hue comes mostly from the use of a particular malt (debittered black malt), which adds color while not weighing down the beer.

Overall, this is an exceedingly drinkable beer that would pair nicely with a range of foods or be good just on its own.

01-06-2011 01:47:35 | More by GatheringBrews
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.47/5  rDev +8%

Rich aroma is oily and smoky with tones of caramel, semi-sweet chocolate and burnt molasses, rather like a good stout. It pours a dark chocolate brown that is barely translucent just at the edges and has a thick, fluffy, fine-bubbled, pale tan head that leaves fairly heavy lacing. Flavor is rich and mouth-filling, mainly like semi-sweet chocolate with hints of smoke, molasses, caramel, toffee and licorice. Texture is slick and smooth with a subtle alcohol bite and a firm fizz so it leaves a strong, persistent tingle behind. Overall, this is more like a stout or porter than a strong ale. I strongly recommend this one.

12-29-2010 01:43:19 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of gopens44


4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

A - Pitch black and not a lot of head at all. Only a thin fizzy layer of, well, fizz....

S - Bright, sweet, malty and rich. A thin hint of raisins that gives way to some serious plum smells.

T - A ton of raisin with hints of molasses. A touch of well hidden spice on the back end with a tiny bit of dark bitter chocolate hanging around. Maybe the slightest bit sour, but not at all in a bad way.

M - Highly carbonated, crisp and smooth.

Quite an enjoyable drink this is. I look forward to more for certain!

12-24-2010 13:28:31 | More by gopens44
Photo of kiddynamite920


4.05/5  rDev -2.2%

A: Dark as night, as mentioned on the bottle...well not really. It really is a very dark brown. Has a creamy, off-white head that is pretty tight laced.

S: This thing is pretty beautiful as far as aroma goes. I am directly reminded of Nemesis 2010. Perhaps they follow a similar hop schedule. Very deep and dark roasted malt aroma, with the same interesting dark fruit character that Nemesis has. Getting a slight hint of band-aid in this one though. Surprisingly more of an alcohol aroma as well. Has sweet notes of honey, brown sugar and some caramel matched with some resinous hops.

T: Herbal and bitter hops came as a surprise here. Has a big roasty quality with a large amount of dark fruits. They note that they used debittered black malt on the bottle, which is why I am not finding the bitterness that is usually associated with the darker roasted malts. Very interesting take on the style.

M: Southern Tier doesn't let down on the mouthfeel of yet another beer. Always find their beers to be creamy and well carbonated. This one is slick and soft, with a pretty substantial body on it. Very nice.

D: Another delicious one from ST. Their beers tend to be dessert in a glass to me, so I always enjoy slow sipping. Alcohol is pretty well hidden on the palate, which throws this one into the dangerous category.

12-23-2010 03:40:59 | More by kiddynamite920
Photo of LanceW


3.9/5  rDev -5.8%

I have been impressed by just about everything I have had from southern tier. Once again they have not let me down. I have had their pumking and Hoppe. Both of those had a large syrupy mouth feel but his beer was very balanced. The color was of course dark and the head was a light brown color. I personally love it when the head on a good stout has a slight brown color. The aroma was complex. I could tell right way that it had alcohol in it but there was also a sent of sweetness. The smell of alcohol and sweetness is quite common with a brew of this stature and it followed suit. The taste was very satisfying. The alcohol lingers thought out the entire taste. The initial reaction was wow. The flavor almost made me feel like I was drinking a concentrated stout. Flavor per volume was huge. However, I could only drink one or two of these at a time. With a beer like this I need to nurse it along. The flavor and sweetness is great in small sips but could be over powering if rushed.

Long story short. i would definitely drink this beer again and would recommended to any stout fan.

12-23-2010 01:36:35 | More by LanceW
Photo of StlHopHead77


3.83/5  rDev -7.5%

A-Pours a not quite transparent dirty,maroon with a loose tawny head and nice rings of lacing.

S-Smells of sweet citrus,caramel,burnt sugar and lightly roasted malt.

T-Tastes like a citrus-spiked porter with burnt marshmallow and some tawny port notes.Moderate bitterness from hops as well as dark malts.

M-Medium bodied with a good balance between sweet malts and resinous hop bitterness.

D-Good drinkability but still something there that makes me wonder if I could drink multiple pints of this.

12-20-2010 12:40:05 | More by StlHopHead77
Photo of lovindahops

New York

3.9/5  rDev -5.8%

Snagged a bomber of iniquity tonight. Love me some black ipa action!

A- black as night with highly anticipated lacing and fair enough foam on the sides

S- hops in the form of grapefruit and earthy tones. They mingle with a malt presence that is both roasted and smoked profile

T- ahhh that expected black ipa delivers on the spot. There is a sweet roasted taste that has an earthy hop flavor. A little syrupy

M- medium bodied a good flavor

D- iniquity has some dark characteristics that are tasty. Massive alcohol though. I will always snag some of these malt fests

12-18-2010 02:08:10 | More by lovindahops
Photo of smm


3.78/5  rDev -8.7%

A- Pours a semi-transparent black, they weren't messing around when they named it. Thin head on top with nice lacing.

S- Very sweet, heavy wafts of alcohol, dark and fruity. Maybe a hint of chocolate at the end.

T- Very complex and delightfully surprising. I was expecting something much more sweet from the smell. There is a mixture of hoppy and coffee bitterness at first which slips into a chocolaty sweetness.

M- Medium body, not too heavy. Carbonation hits you in the back of the throat.

D- Lovely complex flavor. The nose was a bit too sweet for me, the alcohol level makes it a bit hard to get through a bomber.

12-17-2010 03:41:42 | More by smm
Photo of cratez

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -3.4%

650ml bottle from Ryan's Party Store in Port Huron, MI.

Pours pitch black with a thin ring of beige head and stringy, webbed lacing on the tulip.

Huge hop nose has spruce, ethanol, melon, mango, burnt sugar, caramel, chocolate cookie dough, leather, licorice, vanilla, floral and citrus aromas, and green banana.

Taste is rich pale and roasted malts, dark chocolate, caramel sweetness, citric, grassy and spicy hops, more spruce, green banana, and mango, juicy and acidic bitterness on the tongue, burnt toasty finish with Oreo cookie and some alcoholic warmth going down. A touch too sweet for my liking, and for the style.

Mouthfeel is fuller than medium bodied, smooth and syrupy middle, prickly bitterness on the palate with a slight burn in the throat.

Overall, this is an excellent DIPA, but it lacks the full on roast, chocolate, toast, and ballsy hop bitterness that I expect from a Black IPA. All of these elements only show up in trace amounts here. Ironically the label states that Iniquity is "the anti-thesis of Un*Earthly," yet aside from a few flavours brought out by the black malts, I find the two beers to be almost identical. Granted, that's not a bad thing, as Un*Earthly is one of my all-time favourites.

12-16-2010 18:30:50 | More by cratez
Photo of ForrestWolf

New Jersey

4.72/5  rDev +14%

This is the second time I've had this beer. Picked it up at my favorite local beer store, EZ Liquors in Toms River NJ.

Appearance - pours a beautiful deep mahogany reddish brown when held to light. Head is thick and dense with lacing that lasts the whole pint.

Smell - Big burst of hops with notes of chocolate and roasty malts.

Taste - Excellent combination of bitter, hoppy IPA and chocolate sweetness. This one really hits the umami taste buds!

Mouthfeel - Carbonation is very well balanced with the amount of alcohol that cuts through. Aftertaste leaves you craving for more.

Drinkability - I would drink this beer anytime I could.

12-15-2010 04:59:06 | More by ForrestWolf
Photo of aepb1


3.3/5  rDev -20.3%

A- Black body with a creamy white head

S- Piney hops and some malts sneak through

T- Some molasses, breadiness and finishes with a piney hop bite

M- Medium bodied and good level of carbonation

D- Not 100% sure on the Black IPA style and I try to rate based on style but being a little unfamiliar, I may have to come back and re-review this one to give it a better shake.

12-11-2010 18:47:48 | More by aepb1
Photo of InebriatedJoker


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Poured from 22oz bottle -

Poured a two finger head that leveled out into a thick tan lacing,very dark beer,with moderate carbonation.

Smell - Light Chocolate hints, Coffee , Roasted Malts.

Taste - Toasty malt flavors with mild hops, burnt coffee hints with a touch of vanilla,light spicing.

Drinkabilty - well blended brew , smooth taste not overpowering for a 9% abv concoction, nice finish with a very nice aftertaste, This was my first one - won't be my last -

12-08-2010 00:05:47 | More by InebriatedJoker
Photo of SteveS1

New York

3.45/5  rDev -16.7%

Look- Dark, dark, brown. A bit of ruby shines through when held to the light. Stable frothy tan head, little retention.

Smell- Distinct American IPA aroma. Faint sweet malts, bubblegum, and sneaky citrus hops/lemon zest.

Taste- Bitter hops at the tip of the tongue, rich and sweet malts up front, bitter roasted flavor on the palate, and a mix of tangy hops and bitter malts going down. Bready throughout. I hesitate to identify any of the flavors as chocolate or coffee, it really has the original barley sweetness.

Feel- Big, bold, creamy and syrupy. Faint carbonation, though not flat by any means.

Drink- This brew gets a bit boozy if you drink indiscriminately, though you don't necessarily have to sip to enjoy. Probably best to split the 22oz with a friend.

12-06-2010 02:32:39 | More by SteveS1
Photo of buschbeer


3.95/5  rDev -4.6%

22oz bottle

A - Served in pint glass. Two inches of tan, almost mocha, head. This beer is dark. Ruby highlights only when held to direct light source.

S - Aromas of citrus and roasted malt come through. The hops are the dominant smell.

T - Citrus hops are the initial taste. The roasted malts mellows this beer out and are in the background.

M - There is a full, creamy mouthfeel. Silky smooth

D - The citrus hops and the creamy mouthfeel really help this beer out. It has an addictiveness to it that leaves me craving my next drink.

Overall, not the best black IPA that I have had. I prefer more of a pronounced malt character to get the best of both worlds. The hops were perfect. The creamy mouthfeel made this an easy drinker and I would like another.

11-28-2010 19:59:19 | More by buschbeer
Photo of beersensei305


3.38/5  rDev -18.4%

This beer is dark like a root beerish color with a flat tan head the disapears quickly with no retention around the glass. I can smell sweet malts and some floral hoppiness. The taste is pretty good- dark fruits and choclate. But I get a hint of licorce which I am not a fan of. the better has a watery mouthfeel to me, very disappointing to me. I wish this was a thicker brew.

11-27-2010 04:20:35 | More by beersensei305
Photo of ewright

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%

Poured half of a 22oz bottle into a snifter. The head receded a bit too quickly, but has left some pretty lacing on the glass and a nice thick ring around the edge. The beer is very close to pitch black, but with a 60W bulb in the background, it shows as dark dark brown with only a hint of light shining through.

Grapefruit, tangerine and other citrus notes dominate the aroma. Great smell that seems out of place in such a dark ale, but this is the nature of the Black "IPA". There is no noticeable aroma contribution from the malt.

The dark malts show up on the tongue though. The use of debittered black malt gives nice roasty flavors with no astringency commonly associated with roast barley or black patent malt. This provides a nice backdrop for the hop flavors. Grapefruit dominates the hop flavor with a little tropical fruit in the background. There is a slight alcohol bite at the end, but it is pretty well hidden by all the other flavors.

Good balance between the hops and malt make this lighter on the tongue than the color would indicate. No cloying aftertastes, just a bit of hop bite lingering.

This is one dangerously drinkable 9% dark ale that is pairing nicely with some fresh smoky gouda.

11-21-2010 17:45:07 | More by ewright
Photo of dogfishandi

New York

3.98/5  rDev -3.9%

reviewed from notes.

22oz bottle at about cellar temp. split with a friend poured into a standard pint glass.

pours a pitch black that reveals just a touch of dark ruby brown in the light. big frothy tan head with great retention and lots of lace.

a little bit of piney hops, mostly creamy caramel and roasted malts with hints of coffee and dark chocolate.

lots of creamy caramel and roasted malts. lots of hop bitterness but not too much hop flavor, a little piney. bits of coffee and fruit and quite a bit of alcohol heat

super smooth rich and creamy body. good feeling carbonation.

drinks good for the abv, but one bottle is more than enough, a good beer to split with someone due to its high abv and richness.

11-21-2010 15:04:59 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of D4rkn355


3.95/5  rDev -4.6%

poured into a weizen

A: Dark black very little head... looks amazing I love the way a good solid dark beer looks

S: roasted malts hint of dark choclate

T: Coffee, ROasted Malt Toffe with a kick of Hps

M: Medium Body

D: The pint went quickly but I personally would only stick to one a session.

Overall I was very impressed Would buy again. I bought as a part of a winter mix I was building... Though its not a seasonal winter beer it sure goes well with it

11-20-2010 21:15:52 | More by D4rkn355
Photo of dedrinker


2.8/5  rDev -32.4%

Black color with tan head.

Aromas of roasted malts, light coffee/ cocoa.

The flavor was like the aroma - roasted malts on the front - like a porter, but the hoppy flavor that followed was kind of bitter and sour in a very distracting and detracting way.

I have had other black IPA type beers that were much better balanced - either in favor of malt or hop, but this one had an pleasant hop character.

medium-full body with a bitter/ sour finish. Bummer.

11-20-2010 17:53:15 | More by dedrinker
Photo of bierguru


4.47/5  rDev +8%

A -
tan head inch thick which holds very well boby is a very dark amber

S -
sweet malts with a hint of citurs/floral character

T -
malty coffee-ish upfront bold hop flaovr like expected from an ipa and finished with like a bittersweet chocolate

M -
smooth heavyish slight bite

D -
this beer is awesome i havent had to many of this style but in my mind this is what i expect it to taste like

11-11-2010 21:56:23 | More by bierguru
Photo of WildTurkey


3.8/5  rDev -8.2%

Bomber bottle into a Troubadour stem glass.

A: Very dark; looked solid black. Couldn't make out any amber around the edges, because the lighting was poor. Small-Medium cream head. Lookin' good.

S: Dark roasted malts are obvious. With some pine smell secondary. Kinda reminds me of a german dunkel. I'm confused.

T: Not too sweet. But good hop bitterness is right for the dark malts. Not noticing the alcohol flavor.

M: Feels like a medium body, and pretty crisp. I wasn't expecting that. Seemed lighter. A little carbonation.

D: Went down pretty well for a big beer.

I liked this but I was a little confused by the style. Is it an IPA with the hoppiness?; was it a Porter with the dark roast malts? or was it something else with the lighter body (lighter than expected)? My senses were not calibrated for this.

11-07-2010 21:21:51 | More by WildTurkey
Photo of Beerbuddha


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Appearance- This brew pours a nice dark black with ruby highlights. The head is a nice and frothy tan. Lacing present throughout.

Smell- The aroma has a nice piney hoppiness with hints of citrus and roasted malt, chocolate and caramel.

Taste- GREAT brew! As in the nose it has a nice hoppy bitterness with hints of roasted malt, chocolate, caramel and toffee. The roasted malt in the IPA really creates a well balanced brew.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall- Incredible brew!!! The Black IPA is something we're seeing more of and I love them!

11-02-2010 20:24:09 | More by Beerbuddha
Photo of Mess


3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

pours dark reddish brown. off white head dissipates quickly. sweet brown bread in nose. taste of molasses cookies, licorice, raisins, chocolate. citrusy hops on tongue in finish. tasty. well made, curious how would taste on tap and would drink again.

10-31-2010 04:36:02 | More by Mess
Photo of hopheadjuice


3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

22 oz. bottle, no freshness date

Pours a near black but with brown around the edges. tight one finger tan head that leaves modest lacing.

Hops are upfront being grapefruit and pine, dark malts with chocolate and coffee aspects to them. This smells very bitter almost astringent but in a good way.

Malts are upfront in the taste which is kind of weird, Bakers chocolate and slight mocha feel to it. Hops are not as present as i would've liked, slightly diminished but small pine and citrus notes balance the malts.

Medium bodied ale with a slightly slick feel on the tongue. finishes semi dry with a lasting aftertaste of bitter chocolate.

9% ABV and you wouldn't even know it, easy to drink and not to harsh. Overall not as hoppy as i would've liked but maybe i bought an old bottle from Table and Vine, ya' never know unless they date um'.

10-30-2010 02:48:38 | More by hopheadjuice
Photo of zhanson88


2.68/5  rDev -35.3%

Appearance: Almost pitch black with a couple fingers of light caramel colored head. Lacing is fine and pretty decent.

Smell: Roasted dark malts form the base of this beer, that is for sure. I also get a lot of strong fruity aromas. Makes for a weird combination, in my opinion.

Taste: Dark malts form the backbone, and a lot of fruity flavors and floral hops provide the rest of the flavor. I've tried a couple examples of this style, and this beer stands out as coming close to being a complete mess of fruity and roasted flavors. They just don't combine well for this beer.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: A nice medium-to-full mouthfeel, clings to the palate a bit. With all of the strong, conflicting flavors in this beer, the alcohol is easily hidden. This is an interesting style to say the least. Others have rated this beer very highly, so if you're looking to try a Black IPA I would certainly pick it up and give it a try. This beer just isn't for me.

10-27-2010 03:22:28 | More by zhanson88
Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,416 ratings.