1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,386 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,386
Reviews: 609
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 124
Gots: 92 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,386 | Reviews: 609 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JackieTH
JackieTH

Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Color was very dark brown, but not at all opaque. A thin, light brown head forms.

Complex and inviting nose of caramel roast malts, figs, citrus, and other dark fruits possibly cherries.

The palate leads off with with immediate citrus and piney hop, then becomes more complex with dried dark fruit, again figs/cherries and finally there is some sweetness that tends to overwhelm preceeding flavors.

Medium body with mild carbonation.

I enjoyed this one, another good one from Southern Tier.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2010 15:29:05 | More by JackieTH
Photo of kwjd
kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark reddish-brown with thick off-white head and lots of lacing, with good retention. Smells of citrus and pine hops, with some roasted malt. One of the better smelling Cascadian Dark Ales (I like this name the best), as it seems to be really well balanced between the hops and the roasted malt. However, the flavour I'm not as impressed with. It just seems a bit too much like a sweet syrup then the bitter roasted flavour the smell would suggest. If you have a sweet tooth, I can see finding that appealing though. Mouthfeel is quite creamy.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2010 03:04:57 | More by kwjd
Photo of thetomG
thetomG

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish brown pour. Very little head with no lacing left behind on the glass. Taste is a nice blend of sweet malts and bittering hops. Syrupy mouthfeel, but could definitely use a bit more carbonation IMO. Glad I tried this one, but not likely to seek it out again.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2010 20:21:49 | More by thetomG
Photo of jampics2
jampics2

Ohio

4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The glass is full of Iniquity. The beer that sits in the goblet infront of me is black, it's almost opaque but just lets a little light through. Fluffy head makes this a great looking beer.

Smells of pine, hops, chocolate roasted malt. Nice, I've had a few that do it better, but this is good.

Taste is wonderful IMO. A great mixture of roasty chocolate and coffee and piney citrus hops. Not too bitter but packs a punch. An excellent Cascadian Dark from upstate New York.

Lighter mouthfeel than I expected. But still good. I liked the beer, thought it tasted good and finished cleanly. Overall, I'd have this again with pleasure.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2010 18:39:20 | More by jampics2
Photo of bigfnjoe
bigfnjoe

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- pours a dark, dark brown/black with a one finger...very light brown head. Lacing is gorgeous...not one break in it at all.

S- very strong citrus hops with a piney backbone. Getting some dark fruits in there as well...maybe some cherries or figs. Pretty complex.

T- starts off with a nice burst of citrus, then you get smacked with the piney bitterness before finishing with a cross between the sweet and bitter. Sweetness might be a little much, though...I'd prefer a little more bitterness actually

M- a little thick...syrupy. Not a huge fan of the feel.

D- the sweetness is a little much...its decent for the style. The big selling point is the BLACKNESS I guess...but whatever. Its an average DIPA

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2010 18:01:03 | More by bigfnjoe
Photo of mfunk9786
mfunk9786

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drinking this for the very first time. Purchased at Whole Foods, which is not the first place I've seen this heavily discounted. I think something about the unusual nature of the style is causing it to not sell as well as other Southern Tier imperials and as a necessity, go down in price. This is my first black IPA.

A: The flow from the bottle is a golden brown, but by the time it lands in my Unibroue tulip, it's, well, black. There's an anemic off-white head that's about the color of a malnourished vampire's complexion.

S: Smells roastier than I expected. Strong malt scent with some definite hop bitterness. The standout of the nose is a sweet dark fruit aroma.

T: Dark fruits, roasted malt, and some hops. Considering that this is classified on this site as a double IPA, I was quite surprised by the taste. It tastes more like a strange Baltic porter than it does a DIPA. There's a chocolate scent on each sip that reminds me of Troegs' Flying Mouflan.

M: The tanginess of this beer makes itself known on the tongue, but the alcohol is completely masked.

D: I can't imagine drinking more than one bomber in a row, it's certainly not a beer that encourages the drinker to polish it off, but it's very nice.

This beer is an absolute steal if you can find it, like I did, for less than $6 per bottle. Seek it out, don't ignore it, on that gorgeous shelf of Southern Tier imperials.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2010 01:32:55 | More by mfunk9786
Photo of scottbrew4u
scottbrew4u

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black in color with some light coming through but not much. Above is a pillowy tan head that leaves great lace.

S: Roasted and burnt malt, coffee, chocolate, chicory, char and molasses. Hops are earthy and spicy.

T: Char, roasted and burnt malt, raisins, molasses, weak coffee, licorice and chocolate make up the malt profile. Hops add some more bitterness and some spice. Finish is slightly bitter and dry.

M: medium body and small crisp carbonation. Some alcohol warmth noticeable.

D: Refreshing and still complex with some good flavors and good strength. Not hard to drink at all. Very good now but could age well too.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2010 04:37:33 | More by scottbrew4u
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with only the faintest bit of bubbles around the glass. Scent is a mild and subdued combinaton of dark roasted grain, faintest hints of roasted coffee and cocoa beans. A slight herbal, earthy and piney hop quality is there. Taste again brings a relatively mild and subdued quality - the roasted grains are present, backed by a noticibly unbitter presence of earhty, floral and piney hops. Tastes of dark fruit, coffee and chocolate barely touch the palate. Medium bodied, mildly carbonated. A decent beer that has some very mild flavors and lacks a bitter bite... nout much of a dIPA in my opinion.

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2010 15:10:20 | More by rfgetz
Photo of elgiacomo
elgiacomo

Georgia

3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, probably mid-April 2010 bottling date.

Pours medium brown with a one and a half finger beige head, leaves some lacing and recedes to a light foamy cap.

Aroma is a bit quiet, but features roasted malt, coffee, a little chocolate, some citrus and earthy hops, bread, yeast, toasted dark bread and yeast character increases as it warms.

Flavor is quite nice, good juicy citrus hops, caramel, toffee, light roast and chocolate, coffee, fairly sweet, a bit of bitterness, but less than I was hoping for. Some alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel is fairly thin, slick, low to medium carbonation.

Solid Black IPA, but weak aroma and thin body don't help...

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2010 03:14:01 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of juju7
juju7

Australia

4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Love a beer that evolves in the glass. Pours a dark red, cola colour with not much head. Initial bouquet of citrus hops gives way to some interesting cocoa and yeast aromas. On the palate as well, what starts out tasting like an IPA with driving bitterness starts to morph into a smooth almost dark Belgian kind of vibe. Finishes dry but with a hint of yeast sweetness. I've only had a couple of beers in this style but this is the one that has really sold it for me.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2010 11:15:17 | More by juju7
Photo of levifunk
levifunk

Wisconsin

3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber poured into a pint glass

a - very dark, low carbonation. I had to agitate the pour to get a decent head.

s - caramel, malts, some roasted cocoa.

t - same as nose, but not as sweet as the nose lets on. more of the smoked malt flavor. tobacco. does a good job hiding the 9%.

m - medium body. lower side of carbonation.

o - pretty decent. flavor is fairly mellow, but makes it very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2010 02:55:55 | More by levifunk
Photo of RomaniIteDomum
RomaniIteDomum

Florida

4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a nice fluffy light tan heat.

Smells like straight up hops with a little dangling sweetness.

Big citrusy blast in the front with a light pine and coffee finish. Interesting stuff going on here.

Creamy and well-carbonated. Good feel.

Drinkability is high. Lots of stuff going on that is reminiscent of an American Barleywine Lite. Nice.

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2010 02:19:11 | More by RomaniIteDomum
Photo of FickleBeast
FickleBeast

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at rfd in washington, dc. Reviewed on my droid.

Arrives in a goblet with one finger of foam that takes a few minutes to settle. Color is near black, and the aroma is a wonderful floral hoppiness. Very unusual to get a hoppy aroma from a dark beer.

Wow. This is a very nice, hoppy beer. Lace coats the goblet as I drink. The flavor is good, but I detect a strange maltiness that sticks out a bit, perhaps from the daRker roast malts? Nevertheless this is a very tasty beer with just a minor twinge of a sweet flavor that I don't care for. The hops do shine through to make this beer well balanced, and the alcohol is nicely masked.

I'd buy a bomber of this for sure and would get it again on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2010 22:15:28 | More by FickleBeast
Photo of mintjellie
mintjellie

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Iniquity isn't quite black in colour, being more of a brown so dark it appears black in the center. The thick & creamy latte hued foam that tops it takes its time thinning out and clings tenaciously to the glass. The aroma smells plummy, raisiny, and caramelized with citric, tropical hops. Rich caramel malt flavour with some molasses. Fruity and estery, in the dark and dried kind of way. Raisins, dried cherrys, the sort of fruit you would find in a fruit & nut chocolate bar, without the chocolate. The debittered black malt doesn't seem to contribute much to the beer outside of its appearance. Juicy tropical and grapefruit hop flavour. Firm, not extreme, bitterness. It's maltier than it is hoppy, but tastes good to me. I'll give it strong marks for the flavour with the caveat that this is really like a hoppy barleywine.

Thick bodied, sticky, sweet but not cloying with low carbonation. Smooth and syrupy. Southern Tier seem to brew their big beers for those with a sweet tooth, and I have one*. If you're looking for a real hop bomb of a DIPA this probably wont work for you. This certainly wasn't what I thought it would be when I bought it. I still enjoyed it for what it is though. It seems like they've brewed a delicious barleywine by accident, and a happy accident it is.

* Creme Brulee was still way too much of a good thing.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2010 19:00:38 | More by mintjellie
Photo of pootz
pootz

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber: My 3rd big ST from trade.

This one looks like a double porter with some bite. Black-brown, tan cap that stays. Cocoa-floral-pine aroma. Flavour is caramel, toasty, nutty, cocoa, earthy underneath floral, pine resin and botanicals. Long finish with a toasty bitter tang.

Big friggin' dark ale... I like it!

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2010 23:07:53 | More by pootz
Photo of Kaiser81
Kaiser81

California

3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BlueMoonCanyon for sending this to me

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my snifter glass

A - Pours a super dark mahogany, if that's possible, with slightly less than a finger width of head thae settles quickly, leaving spotty lacing on my glass.

S - Smells of some light hops, maybe some citrus, mixed with roast, coffeeish, and other dark fruit smells. I'm getting some plums, figs, and raisins in there. Maybe a touch of cocoa too.

T - Slight bit of hops up front with that dark fruit taste on the back end. Definitely a bit boozy on the aftertaste.

M - Creamy heavy body with low carbonation. Not sure how a dark IPA supposed to be, but a tad bit more bubbly would be nice.

D - I'm drinking this easy, and I could have some more.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2010 05:49:56 | More by Kaiser81
Photo of ZimZamZoom
ZimZamZoom

West Virginia

4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just a nice pretty chestnut brown colored ale, with a not-too-thick tan head floating sheepishly on top. The deep colored beer is very clear when held to some light. I can read the logo on my pint glass from the other side.

Crazy piney hop aroma. Some Dark caramel malt notes back this up, but it's all about the hops. Taste is also all about the hops, piney and earthy, even spicy. Alcohol warmth twisted around some dark fruity notes round it out. It does not finish too far on the bitter side, but there is a lingering bitter bite that lasts a bit on a tongue dried out by alcohol.

Big bodied, with a nice smooth feel. A good sipper even on a hot spring day.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 19:17:42 | More by ZimZamZoom
Photo of ugaterrapin
ugaterrapin

Georgia

3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: It pours a black color that when held up to the light reveals a deep amber hue. A finger and half of head resides on top for a prolonged time. A little bit of lacing remains on the edge of the glass with much more remaining on the surface of the beer.

S: As I poured the beer I thought I detected a bourbon smell, but I can't pick it up anymore. A roasted coffee character is the main thing detected in the aroma. There are some hints of hops with a faint alcohol presence as well.

T: The malt character is a subdued. There is a little bit of coffee, but less than expected. An earthy component lends itself to the beer. There are some bitter hops in the finish with a almond like flavor. The body is a little thinner than was expected.

Overall an okay beer. After having the Unearthly IPA, I had high expectations which were let down. It is still a good beer, but after having Sublimely Self-Righteous a couple of weeks ago, it is apparent this one is in a different league.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2010 00:51:28 | More by ugaterrapin
Photo of CHILLINDYLAN
CHILLINDYLAN

Washington

4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Allow the darkness to consume you"

Deep blackened and opaque. Deep amber highlights. small tan head that recedes into a pool of oils surrounded by a collar. Sticky patches of tiny bubbles of lace.

Roasty Smokey coffee/choc. Vanilla/oak/booze. Pine, herbal, resins, small citrus.

Robust roasty dark malts. bittersweet malty goodness. vanilla/booze/oak. Some spicy pine and bitter citrus. Great biting bitterness coupled with alcohol bite. Leaves a roasty bittersweet herbal resin aftertaste.

Sweet sticky black syrup. full bodied, smooth and silky, moderately low carbonation.

Delish black IPA, complex and tasty. This one had about 6 months of age on it. great roasty flavor and hoppy bitterness.

consumed jan 2010.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2010 00:15:05 | More by CHILLINDYLAN
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into my Duvel tulip, Iniquity is a dark, blackish brown with a light tan head leaving chunks of foamy lace.

Smell is pretty hoppy, pine, some stemmy woodiness that comes off like peanut butter due to the dark, sweeter malt. Not overly strong, but fairly pleasant.

Taste is fairly hoppy, a really nice balance between hops and malt, basically an exaggerated porter, it's very smooth and well integrated. Some chocolate notes, the hops have a hint of sour citrus but are mostly a woodsy vibe, maybe some smores? When I lived back east, these guys where one of the top up and comers, after which they seemed to have lost something...this one is a good reclamation of their ability to not only brew big beers, but big beers will. Bold is only good if you pull it off, which they did. There's a big push locally for all hoppy dark ales to be called Cascadian Dark Ales (CDAs), of which this one pretty much fits the bill, although perhaps a bit more hoppy porter then black IPA. Regardless of style though, there is an inherent tastiness to this that I really enjoy.

Mouthfeel is good, smoot, not too heavy.

Drinkability is pretty good, a tasty dark IPA, totally different then the local CDAs, but very good. Granted my bias towards them, it's still very good.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2010 08:23:20 | More by ccrida
Photo of Docer
Docer

Washington

3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

- Pours a murky rootbeer brown... cola colored... thin off-white head.. bit of a ring... and lacing.

- There's that unmistakable Southern Tier sweet caramel malt.. oats, grain... bread... brown sugar... bitter pine a fruity hop. Candy...

- Caramel, chocolate... bitter pine, grain, oats... and a fruity hop finish... this isn't bad. Good dose of hops and candy-like chocolate malt.

- Actually medium bodied without being too sticky and sweet like most of their beers. Little chewy...

- Overall this is one of the better offerings from Southern Tier. I would take this brew over any of their Imperial IPA's... Unearthly, Oaked Unearthly, Hoppe, and Gemeni. It's just better. Still on the sweet side... but at least it seems most of the sweetness is from the grain.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2010 00:35:52 | More by Docer
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle for 9 bucks which is pretty good for ST around here (most are between 10-13 dollars)

A - Dark but not pitch black as seen through the liquid as pouring but settled in the glass with decent head.
S - Mostly floral hops with whiffs of caramel and molasses
T - mmm definitely not as hoppy as others described but the molasses is an interesting flavor to have mixed with an IPA.
M - Heavy with every sip having a mild Alcohol sting
D - As for most high ABV southern Tier beers I could enjoy in succession this one was kind of one and done due to the alcohol being very noticeable. I would much rather pick up another unearthy or Jav-ha than drop another 9 on a bomber. One and done.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2010 10:44:46 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of Casey10
Casey10

Maine

3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is not your typical IPA. In fact this is so different for me this is not a IPA. Of course this is always a revewier's decision so that is oaky.

My ratings are based on this beer is is worth trying and is very different based on described style and taste as well.

This is a beer that should be tried though at least once.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 06:23:05 | More by Casey10
Photo of Gyle41386
Gyle41386

South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

Black pour. Not really a shocker. Some red when held up to light. A finger or so of mocha colored foam retains pretty well. Nice stickage.

I was expecting a huge blast of bitterness in the nose...didn't get it, so I re-read the label. De-bittered black malt. Oh. Lots of citrus hops (I generally enjoy the hop profile in ST's big beers) and sweet malt. Some pine, too. If you smelled this beer without looking at it, you'd think it was an IPA.

Flavor follows. The de-bittered black malt doesn't really do much in the nose, but it provides a great balance to the hop flavor. Orange, grapefruit, and maybe even lemon, along with chocolate and caramel.

Really like the texture. Big body. Plush feel. No real noticeable alcohol. Easy drinker, for a style I don't consider to be terribly drinkable. It's no Sublimely Self-Righteous, but it's still a delicious beer. Another Southern Tier "big" beer is a winner.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2010 01:43:33 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

3.35/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In a tulip glass this beer was black with a miniscule tan head and no lacing. Sweet, fruity aroma, some floral notes. Muted taste of dark fruit and pine. Oily in the mouth.
Southern Tier is newly arrived in Maine. Thus far, not impressed. I imagine I'll try some of their other beers.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2010 00:22:30 | More by lordofthewiens
Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,386 ratings.