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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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1,432 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,432
Reviews: 613
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 133
Gots: 125 | 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: 1,432 | Reviews: 613 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

cameraman, Jan 10, 2010
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. ;-)

taez555, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of Richardberg
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)

Richardberg, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of scifan
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.

scifan, Jan 03, 2010
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.

Beerandraiderfan, Jan 02, 2010
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

cvfish, Dec 31, 2009
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.

manahansf, Dec 30, 2009
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.

Jayli, Dec 28, 2009
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.

Mora2000, Dec 28, 2009
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


bbeane, Dec 28, 2009
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.

billab914, Dec 25, 2009
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.

mjl21, Dec 24, 2009
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

Beertracker, Dec 22, 2009
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.

bonk0076, Dec 14, 2009
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???

beerdrifter, Dec 13, 2009
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.

jhoban19, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of Derek
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.

Derek, Dec 08, 2009
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!

cpetrone84, Dec 05, 2009
Photo of TexIndy
4.83/5  rDev +16.7%

Got in a trade with johnnnniee - many thanks! Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip. No dating info. Was dark brown color with mahogany edges. It had a massive tan head that took forever to settle into a foam cap. Great lacing as the head receded.

The aroma is excellent. A great blend of c-hops, grapefruit, pine, chocolate, caramel and dark malt. A mix of an ADIPA and a darker beer like a dunkle or a scharwbier. Very interesting. The taste also has the great blend of hops and black malt. Alternates back and forth from a hoppy delight to a smooth dark malt ale. Get the best of both worlds. The hops deliver great flavor without a sharply bitter finish. After each drink, I couldn't wait for the next one. Mouthfeel was rich and creamy with good carb levels. The finish was just right.

Overall, an exceptional beer that perfectly blends the hoppy ADIPA with a smooth malt flavor. Yet another excellent offering from ST. Most highly recommend. Rotation - not avail in TX so got in a trade. If here, it would be a regular. For now, I'll be trading for more for sure.

TexIndy, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%

A small brown/black body with two-finger head that left sheath lacing down glass. Smells like a regular DIPA w/ a strong citric/floral hop smell with some minor roasted and sweet malt. Great mix of hops and malts for a balanced taste in a medium-bodied beer that goes down smooth with a little dry kick in the finish. Reall hoppy as you drink it and yet it still has some light stout like qualities with a little bit of sweet caramel and coffee in the backend. A great blend that ST pulled off and very enjoyable.

clayrock81, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of wenkalman
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a standard pint glass; purchased from Curtis' Liquors in Weymouth, MA.

Appearance - Poured a very dark brown with only hints of light coming through at the base of the pint glass. Was able to get a 2 finger head with a slow poor directly down the middle of the glass. Head was a brown milky cloud that upon disipation, created very nice long lasting lacing.

Smell - Considering the darkness of this beer, I expected that the smell would be more malty, but the hops are the primary fragrance. The malts can be caught during the end of a long inhale. The smell is very balanced.

Taste - Very great blend of maltiness and hoppiness. Very, very well balanced. Good mixture of citrus and carmel. Each sip seems to have its own flavor profile, getting better and better with each one.

Mouthfeel - Has a thick but not syrupy mouthfeel. Wonderful feeling for a cold day (like it is right now). Light carbonation that just tickles the mouth.

Drinkability - this is a very easy to drink beer, especially for being an Imperial. The look of this beer can be deceiving if you are not a malt fan. The smell and taste notes are more hoppy, then malty.

This beer has great balance and is very pretty. Would highly recommend this to hop-heads.

wenkalman, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of cooncat
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%

Live report, as I've just poured this offering from Southern Tier into my special SA glass, in which I do most of my reviews.

The pour produces a nearly opaque colored beer, but if you hold it to a light, you will see that is is actually a very deep, dark mahogany or chestnut in color, with some ruby highlights. The head is ecru in color, and somewhat small, perhaps due to the cold refridgerator temp. Nevertheless, there is some very nice lacing going on the sides of the glass, which is beautiful.

Nose is full of citrusy hops, with the chinook and cascades leading the way, with some input from the centennial and willamette. The malt takes a back seat, but what there is comes across as toffee like, with a touch of caramel.

Taste follows the nose, in that this is one hop centric brew. I find it remarkably balanced, because not only is there a huge hop onslaught, but the background malty sweetness *almost* comes up to meet it. The debittered black malt adds only to the color. Mouthfeel is full, but not chewy. Drinkability is above average, as I could see myself downing quite a few of these. However, we must respect the 9% abv and not take this as a session brew. The alcohol makes no appearance in the taste, but I'm definitely feeling the effects after just one glass. Sip, savor and enjoy.

Southern Tier is on my list of breweries that consistently makes good brews ... they are probably in my top 5, and most certainly in my top 10. This is a wonderful offering, and you should go out of your way to obtain some of this and check it out for yourself. I'm enjoying it immensely.

Na Zdravje!

cooncat, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of darklordlager
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%

Pours a dark brown/black which reveals a few lighter highlights when held up to the light. Great 1.5" dark tan head that has some serious retention and stickage to the glass.

Smell is huge hops, piney goodness, some chocolate and a little dark fruit is noticeable as well--probably to become more pronounced as it warms.

Taste: Dark fruit melds with citrusy, resiny hops, nice roasty, malty middle to it, then fading into a complex bitterness from a combination of the dark malts and hops. Alcohol becomes very evident as it warms (somewhat uncharacteristic of ST's brews).

M-Creamy, medium carbonation.

D-Too much of a boozy feel to be repeatedly enjoyed--quite surprised, as Souther Tier usually manages to hide the alcohol extremely well.

darklordlager, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of PartyBear
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%

Appearance: Pure jet black body with a soft creamy tan head, and good level of carbonation.

Aroma: Lots of piney American hops on the nose, with grapefruit, and passion fruit. Slightly sweet caramel hiding behind the hops, alongside hints of orange chocolate.

Taste: There is the unmistakable bitter taste of fresh hops at the front, but after that it there is a fruity taste of orange cream, chocolate, and a touch of cinnamon.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, with an active feel of carbonation, and a silky texture.

Drinkability: The alcohol is well hidden, and makes this a very drinkable beer. The flavours are well balanced, and the malts are more prominent in this beer than most DIPAs.

PartyBear, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of NCSUdo
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%

22 oz bottle

A: Dark black, with a bit of brown around the bottom, under a good sized brown head. Good lace, good retention.

S: Fresh, grassy, citrus hops, roast malt, bit of chocolate. Well done.

T: Hoppy, big citrus and pine hop character, bitterness is very big. Some roasted malt and chocolate, but those 2 get lost a little in the bitterness.

M/D: Mouthfeel is perfect. Full bodied, smooth, velvety, a little oily; like a pillow on your tongue. Drinkability is really nice. A superb beer.

NCSUdo, Nov 20, 2009
Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,432 ratings.