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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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1,414 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,414
Reviews: 611
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 129
Gots: 116 | 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: 1,414 | Reviews: 611 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dgilks


4.3/5  rDev +3.9%

Very dark copper colour verging on black but not quite there. Big, creamy light tan head with good retention. Quite clear. Very good.

The aroma is interesting with grapefruit, pine, chocolate and caramel all playing a role. Really interesting and quite nice.

It tastes like a good IPA with some background caramel sweetness really adding a difference. The solid, silky malt backbone holds up the tasty, grapefruit and pine hops. Great resiny flavour.

Medium-light mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Silky, smooth and quite creamy. Top notch.

A really drinkable beer with lots of flavour and a bit of a twist. Very enjoyable.

01-25-2010 07:59:05 | More by dgilks
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

4.18/5  rDev +1%

Picked this up because it looked unique and I love Southern Tier's beers. Sure enough, this did stand out from anything that I've had recently and although this is categorically a Double/Imperial IPA, it's dark enough to be a Porter. This had me intrigued and upon opening it, there was no doubt that it was for a good reason!

The edges of this beer were a deep mahogany and unlike a few reviews I've seen on here, the head was quite nice as well. Each sip had a great mouthfeel - from start to finish - and the flavors mixed quite nicely too. It combined the smokiness of a Scotch Ale with mild hops, roasted coffee, and bitter chocolate, creating a strong but relatively easygoing beer that went down pretty easily. This did have an earthy feel to it like some English Red Ales but it wasn't heavy either. Even the lacing surprised me, especially when compared to other beers of this style.

This is strong at 9.00% ABV but that never got in the way of how this tasted. For the winter, this is a great choice as it combines several styles that are popular this time of the year. One of the better beers I've had recently and like their Hop Sun, another niche offering that Southern Tier should be proud to have in its lineup!

01-22-2010 21:24:39 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

3.65/5  rDev -11.8%

tons o hop and no foam? attractive liquid (deeeep mahogany)

plenty of centennial hops to the nose. brown-smelling notes as well. i think that's from some goodly kilining

fruity flavorings up front, but not perhaps in the usual sense. i think you'll see what i mean. hops are prominent but the malt bill certainly holds its own. strong bitterness and thoroughly NW flavors: citrus, pine; sticky all the while (though the liquid doesn't allow too much viscosity). the malt actually provides a tartness, form a dried cherry and currant type experience. plenty sweet, though a small amount of true darkness shines through. the tart is something i keep coming back to, though: perhaps it's a confluence of malt flavors and hop bitterness. regardless, the effect is minimally cough-syrupy to be tasty

a nifty twist on the D/IIPA. full points for originality, really (unless, i suppose, it was brewed with "american strong" in mind)

01-22-2010 04:10:07 | More by bruachan
Photo of sulldaddy


4.4/5  rDev +6.3%

Sampling a cellar temp bottle pouted into a snifter.
The beer pours a fairly dark cola brown with tan frothy head of 1 cm that fades to a bubbly edge layer quickly.
Aroma is a bit of caramel and molasses that mixes with some pine sap hits and herbal tea hops.
First sip reveals an average body with fine fizzy carbonation. Flavor is sweet malt, slightly burnt notes, molasses and moves agin to some herbal tea hits and resiny pine hops. Just a hint of booze mixes into the finish.
Fairly easy drinker and very complex beer. Well crafted and interesting, not sure of categorizing as a double IPA, but also not sure where else it fits per style. A nice beer that should be consumed if found on the shelves.

01-21-2010 01:22:11 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of Gehrig


4.43/5  rDev +7%

Iniquity pours a deep, rich brown with ruby trim, and a dense finger of tan head; good duration; dense lacing takes the cake, coating the trusty Duvel tulip--five-star appearance.

The smell emits plenty of citrus-pine, certainly well hopped with cascade, willamette, centennial and chinook nicely represented. But it's also rather malty, very much in balance--maybe a little too restrained for a brew listed as a DIPA, but nonetheless impressive.

Delicious taste--caramel, licorice, and dark chocolate with some orange peel in tow; fantastic. The malt and resiny, gritty hopped texture join forces smoothly, taking turns tantalizing with smooth malt alternating with chewy, oily taste. It's consioderably maltier in taste but certainly texture than most DIPAs, really showing in the mouthfeel its chops as an Imperial Black Ale (bottle characterization).

Every time I review a Southern Tier beverage, I cannot help but heap praise on what has become one of my very favorite breweries. Everything ST touches, it seems, turns to beer gold. Iniquity is no different.


01-19-2010 04:06:11 | More by Gehrig
Photo of jbowers56


4.1/5  rDev -1%

Black/Dark brown colour. Thin white head with the usual bubbly layer that is caused by a ton o hops.

I love the way a good black IPA smells. The intense citrus mingling with the rich chocolate and sweet maltiness is so good. Im glad I picked this one out of the fridge.

Almost dissapointing in the palate. Not as bitter as I'd hoped. That being said, it delivers in all departments very well. Citrus hops mingle well with chocolate malts and roasted malts. Very good, kind of wish they'd up the bitterness. It's balanced. Maybe that's my problem....

01-16-2010 14:27:07 | More by jbowers56
Photo of inspektor

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +1%

Pours a very deep brown/black color with a very nice off white head that leaves its trail along the glass. Carbonation is faintly present as well.

The smell is hoppy with traces of caramel for balance that are followed by roasted coffee as well.

The taste is of strong roasted malt, citrus hops, and a coffee finish. Caramel and chocolate are present as well.

The mouthfeel is high-medium and definitely borderline in the full range, but is aided by the light carbonation and smoothness.

Overall a very drinkable beer, especially given the abv. Refreshingly good as my 2nd ST beer, definitely implores me to continue sampling their offerings.

01-14-2010 13:17:44 | More by inspektor
Photo of cameraman


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

A dark brown color is poured, with a light tan colored head that is inch and half high. The head clings and laces to the glass, leaving its mark as slowly creeps down. A dark bread aroma hits the nose, bringing dried fruit fragrance as well. A malty scent lingers in the nose for some time. The malt attacks the palate with bread, biscuit, and touches of coffee and chocolate flavors. The taste finishes with a grassy, pine, and earthy bitterness to balance it all out. A thin feel at the front then moving towards a heavy water feel gaining weight to become more of the texture of skim milk. The back of the palate is left with a mild dryness. This beer is malt strong, that dominates the aroma and taste. The color is dark and inviting, the texture is the touch that makes it a great beer.

01-10-2010 05:00:49 | More by cameraman
Photo of taez555


4/5  rDev -3.4%

Reviewed from notes 9/2/09

This beer poured a coca cola colored body with a matter white head.

Nose was surprisingly citric with touches of herbs and dark malts.

Interesting taste. It has a firm dark roasted malt taste, but at the same time a firm herbal coffee ground, but without a strong coffee bean flavor. As it warms its very creamy and actually very bitter with lots of citrus and herbal and earthy hop touches. What an odd complex beer. Its not sure if it wants to be a cream stout, IPA or herb beer. Alcohol is completely hidden.

An interesting beer. I like it, but am confused. I guess that's the point. ;-)

01-09-2010 20:22:00 | More by taez555
Photo of Richardberg

New York

4.1/5  rDev -1%

A - poured into a pint glass. Big, very thick cream foam tops a deep mahogany liquid. Somewhat thin for its utter opacity.

S - big roasty malts, lots of hops character without leaning toward any one aroma (citrus, grass, floral), a little nutty

T - just like it smells, except more intense, and with a bigger emphasis on the nearly-burnt malt flavor. Alky is noticeable but has the effect of making the whole taste "sharp" (think milk stouts, or espresso) rather than boozy.

M - velvety but thin for something this dark; sticks to the tongue because it's oily, not creamy

D - off the charts for something this strong (in both gravity & flavor)

01-04-2010 02:47:50 | More by Richardberg
Photo of scifan

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%

Pours black, but when held to light you can see dark brown highlights. Has a nice off white head that leaves tons of lacing along the glass. Smells like a good ol' hop bomb, but with a slight twist. Lots of tropical citrusy hoppy goodness in the front but right in the background there's some sweet roasty malts. With the first sip I'm assaulted by loads of citrus hoppiness, but right behind there's sweet malt, chocolate, licorice and a slight smokiness. Great balance. Lots of hop flavor here with little hop bitterness. Very smooth in the mouth. Each sip leaves me wanting more. Not a hint of alcohol. Very nice brew.

01-03-2010 05:07:59 | More by scifan
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.85/5  rDev -7%

A neat little IBA. Pours a dark brown, small amounts of carbonation, rich, deep two finger head.

Smell, lacking, no herbal, floral, citrus, pine or any other hop aroma noticeable, which is a rarity for a ST brew.

Taste is where you really get thrown off. Again, the hop character wasn't there ocmpared to a normal iba, and certainly not ST. Malt wise, super weird, not chocolate or coffee, can't figure out what predominates the style roasted deep brown here, and its flavor component. Sure, there's a bit of nuttyness, but I doubt its driving it entirely. Kind of a mystery. One of those beers that makes you wish you could see the recipe list with it while you drink it, because I have not much of a clue.

Mouthfeel, decent, doesn't fade, just keeps being mysterious. Drinkable, yes, as you keep wanting to drink more hoping to find the answer to its riddle, but alas, I missed.

01-02-2010 01:12:19 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of cvfish


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

A - This beer poured a very dark brown color that produced a fluffy tan head that had a great amount of retention and laced the side of the glass very nicely

S - The aromas produced by this beer were dominated by the crazy mix of hops, the dark malts add nothing to the aroma

T - The taste of this beer started with some black malts, but no chocolate or coffee to be found, followed by a crazy mix of hops (lemon, orange, grapefruit, and some pine). This does not taste like an over hopped Stout or Porter, it is its own being

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a smooth, medium body with a light to moderate amount of carbonation

D - This beer was one of the best beers I have had from Southern Tier, which is saying a lot because I love this brewery, kudos for making one of the most unique beers I have every tasted

12-31-2009 18:22:28 | More by cvfish
Photo of manahansf


3.4/5  rDev -17.9%

Pours clear brown with a thick and creamy, white tan head. The dark brew gives off strong aromas of citrus hops. The drink is different. Roasted malt flavors with hints of coffee flow through the light body and high carbonation levels and then are overwhelmed by a sudden explosion of citrus hop bitterness. The combination of dark malts, light body, and outrageous hoppyness is new to me and to be honest, I wasn't ready for it. The common balance was not present and the contrasting flavors made it hard to drink.

12-30-2009 03:55:38 | More by manahansf
Photo of Jayli


3.58/5  rDev -13.5%

Consumed 12/22/09

A: This beer pours a thin, dark chocolate brown with some mahogany hues around the edges. One finger of rocky, creamy, khaki head that recedes nicely leaving thick rocky lacing.

S: Nose is of caramel malts, slight citrus hops, and bitter chocolate.

T: Taste is starts with a citrusy hop bite, then lends to a very sweet flavoring. Brown sugar, caramal malts, and a touch of molasses comes through. Finish has a hint of bitter chocolate, and then piney hops.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, clena and crisp feel.

D: A nicely crafted beer, easy to drink, goes down well, I would opt for others of the style though.

12-28-2009 13:57:02 | More by Jayli
Photo of Mora2000


4.1/5  rDev -1%

Bottle provided by slasher007.

This beer pours a dark brown color with a white head. The aroma is roasted malt with some hops, but not as much as you would get in a regular DIPA. The flavor is very different, with some hop bitterness and citrus flavor as well as lots of flavors you normally associate with porter and stouts. I get some coffee and some roasted malt. This tastes about like a schwarzbier mixed with an IPA. A very interesting beer that I applaud Southern Tier for making.

I had this beer last in a flight of IPAs and DIPAs so there is a good chance some of the hop character was muted due to the prior beers. With that being said, I still really enjoyed this.

12-28-2009 04:23:09 | More by Mora2000
Photo of bbeane


4.2/5  rDev +1.4%

A- Poured into a snifter... starts with a weak head that leaves a little lacing behind. Beer is black and turns a shade of red when held up to the light

S- A light smell of sweet malt and subtle hoppy characteristics

T- Very similar to the smell. A nicely blended mix of sweet toasted malts and hops... caramel coffee finish

M- Medium bodied with light carbonation. Leaves a carmamel aftertaste

D- Not my favorite of the Southern Tier Imperial Series, but a nice well rounded beer IMO


12-28-2009 03:23:48 | More by bbeane
Photo of billab914


4.13/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier glass. Pours nearly black with a thin tan covering for a head. Moderate lacing on the glass.

Aroma has some hoppy, citrusy and grapefruit from the hops mixed with some roasty sweet caramely chocolate malts. The hoppy aroma is definitely the more dominant characteristic in the nose but the addition of the roasted malts is nice.

Taste is a lot like the nose. Hoppy and citrusy up front with some sweet caramel and chocolate maltiness to it. Very good mix of flavors in this, I really like this style of beer. Nice change of pace from your average IPA.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and slightly creamy. Drinkability is good. I enjoyed this one on several occasions now and probably will many more. A nice choice when wanting something different.

12-25-2009 00:42:32 | More by billab914
Photo of mjl21


3.98/5  rDev -3.9%

Acquired via trade...thanks Josh. 22 ounce bottle poured into my Moonlight Brewing glass. Comes in at 9%. No bottling info is given.

A-Pours an extremely dark brown. It has a two finger sandy head that collapses into a lumpy, frothy top that covers most of the glass. It leaves lots of nice lace.

S-A blend of a few different things. I get grapefruit and pine from the hops. There is some noticeable brown sugar sweetness. It picks up some grassy aroma as it warms. The roast malt is stronger as it warms, but it never overtakes the hops.

T-It starts with grapefruit. In the middle it becomes sweet with brown sugar and caramel flavors. Pine and bittersweet chocolate also rear their heads. There is a touch of warming booze every few sips as it goes down. It leaves a nice roast flavor in the back of my mouth. The aftertaste is comprised of a little bitterness and some roast flavor.

M-It falls on the upper end of the medium spectrum. It is creamy, smooth, and lightly carbonated.

D-The abv is fairly well masked. This one is not the sugar bomb that I have begun to associate with ST.

This has been the best beer I have tried from ST. Would love to try this fresh from the tap.

12-24-2009 00:40:34 | More by mjl21
Photo of Beertracker


4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

Iniquity pours up with ample carbonation that creates a brief khaki brown head that adorns the clear deep russet-mahogany body. The aroma is slightly sharp from the combination of the fruitiness (blood orange, tangerine, white grapefruit), earthy hops (pine nuts, tall grass, evergreen) and roasted malts (burnt toffee, coffee, cacoa nibs), but not altogether unpleasant, just different. Some alcoholic warmth creeps in towards the end, as the beer warms in hand. The flavor starts off with a controlled sweetness with hints of toffee & caramel that leads to a surprisingly balanced bitterness that defines the bittersweet chocolate finish. This medium to medium-full bodied BDIPA is quite a unique experience and provides the tastebuds with unsurpassed quality. Iniquity will certainly right any injustices of any given day with just one sip. Seek, and ye shall find.

CHEERS! Beertracker

12-22-2009 19:53:33 | More by Beertracker
Photo of bonk0076


4.7/5  rDev +13.5%

Had this on tap after in the same glass I had a bottle of Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA immediately before it, so I can't say this is accurate. Pours a pitch black color with a nice beige head that leave a sticky lacing. Aroma of citrus and pine, with dark malts beneath it. Taste is surprisingly bitter, with molasses and roasted malt leading the way, and finishing with a lot of hop bitterness. Full mouthfeel that hides the ABV.

12-14-2009 16:05:14 | More by bonk0076
Photo of beerdrifter


4.1/5  rDev -1%

My sister sent me a couple of these from my hometown brewery. Deep dark ruby brown pour with nice creamy carmel head and great lacing. The nose is huge and complex. Pine, citrus, dark fruit, rasins, bread, and chocolate. It seemed like each time I smelled it I found something new. The taste was much the same as the nose. Very unique style that seemed like a cross between a German Schwarzbier, a Porter and an Imperial IPA. Really complex, well balanced and surprising. Not at all what I had expected. Dark fruit, rasins, chocolate, oak, citrus, and a touch of vanilla. Chewy, but not as much as I expected. Really nice mothfeel, not so syrupy and sweet like a few of their offerings have been as of late. It's actually quite drinkable for a big beer, but that's what Southern Tier does best. Why couldn't they have existed when I lived in Western NY???

12-13-2009 15:15:46 | More by beerdrifter
Photo of jhoban19


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

22oz. bottle poured in my personalized chalice. Paired with a pulled pork sandwich and crispy sweet potato fries topped with brown sugar.

A: Dark as night with ruby hues when struck by the light. Solid finger of foam that quickly settles into a thin ring with modest surface coverage. Lacing is minimal, but what develops holds its ground on the glass.

S: Citrus and floral hops jump out of the glass from the get go, with some maple and brown sugar following as it warms.

T: Beautiful balance of citrus hops and sweet malts- maple, brown sugar and a bit of caramel, much like the aroma.

M: Smooth and creamy, medium bodied (bordering on full bodied) with a perfect amount of carbonation. The hops provide an excellent gritty yet floral finish, with a well balanced sweetness along for the ride.

D: Very impressed with Iniquity. A well-balanced ale that is strong on both hops and sweet malts. Well crafted and a different type of experience for lovers of IPA/DIPA.

12-12-2009 20:13:46 | More by jhoban19
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%

A: Black with ruby highlights, very light tan head, some retention, great leg/lace.

S: HUGE piny resin is a little one-dimensional, yet pretty awesome. Tangerine, grapefruit rind, cotton-candy, dark caramel & brown sugar.

T: Quite piny, grapefruit rind, tangerine, nectarine, dark caramel, brown sugar, hints of nut, good bitterness, warming alcohol.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body has a drying finish. Really great for a brew of this strength. Well-crafted.

D: I like it, but it's fairly big & bold.

12-08-2009 01:26:25 | More by Derek
Photo of cpetrone84


4.35/5  rDev +5.1%

A-deep black in color allowing just a hint of light to escape through it, a beautiful two fingers of thick caramel head that retains decently and leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

S-big nose that is very balanced with citrus hops hitting first followed by a nice roasted chocolate malt aroma and some piney bitterness at the tail end

T-big roasted malt accompanied by some bitter sweet chocolate followed by a nice citrus hop with a fair amount of pine in their and a light bitterness

M-very smooth and full bodied with a syrupy type texture. there is some carbonation towards the back as well as a hint of warming from the alcohol

D-this is so well balanced and has such big flavors with a great mf, another great seasonal from ST!

12-05-2009 22:42:32 | More by cpetrone84
Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,414 ratings.