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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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1,466 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,466
Reviews: 615
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 142
Gots: 130 | FT: 1
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: 1,466 | Reviews: 615 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CampusCrew
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: pitch black with some good head rentention and lacing

smell: some citus, smells like a sublte IPA, roasted malt and coffee

taste: not as good as stone sublimely but I have no idea what the age of this beer is. hops were present but not pwoerful.

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: solid black IPA

CampusCrew, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of Florida9
2.85/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Very dark mahogany brown, but still somewhat translucent. Pours with about a 1/2" of tannish head that has little retention and absolutely no lacing.

S: Caramel malt. Floral or citrus hops. A sweet scent.

T: Sweet. Too sweet. Caramel malt. There is a roasted flavor, but it is subdued and there is a citrus hop flavor and it is also subdued. There is a sweet flavor. It is not subdued. A mild bitterness on the finish.

M: Medium body with low carbonation. Along with the sweetness it becomes cloying.

D: This beer is not a DIPA. If I were to review it as a DIPA, it would be an F. Aside from that, I found it difficult to drink. Annoyingly sweet with little else going for other than contrast between the roasted malts and some hops. Only saving grace is its 9% abv.

Florida9, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of abrand
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into the belgian Ommegang glass. Nice story on the lable and the usual ingredients from a ST beer.

The Iniquity pours a cola brown color with a cream white color and some retention on the glass. The head fizzles with carbonation and bubbles line the glass. Aromas are mostly plums and raisins. Faint hints of malts and licorice. Pretty good smelling brew. Quaff is not what I expected in any way. There are a lot more hops present than I expected which leads to a bitter finish. Some grapes and raisins present with plenty of alcohol. A truly unique tasting beer. Mouthfeel is bubbly and silky. Overall a great beer and will continue look for some in the future.

abrand, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of CharlatanSin
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been looking forward to trying this for a while. Southern Tier can do no wrong (except for that cherry saison, but we don't speak of that). Reviewed from notes a few days back.

A: Pours black with ruby around the edges. It's got a half-inch tan head that sticks around and laces.

S: Dark fruit dominates here. Plum, raisin. There's a little citrus hoppiness there, too. Definitely a brandy-like character as well. Definitely odd, but it works for the most part.

T: This tastes more like a strong ale to me than an IPA or anything else. It's got the same sweet but powerful alcoholic presence. Almost like a port. That taste persists throughout, and is complimented by a strong citrus hop taste. I compare it to a weaker Dogfish Head 120 Min.

M: A bit thin. A thicker presence would better compliment the sweet alcohol.

D: Definitely worth trying. Not ST's best, but is a solid changeup. It's complex, so I think I owe it another go.

CharlatanSin, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of vdread
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Iniquity pours a deep black with flashes of red when seen through the light. capped by a sticky, deeply pitted head that turns collar after a few minutes but leaves a wall of lace behind.

smells delightfully hoppy, like resinous orange/grapefruit peel and black coffee. i can already tell i'm going to love this brew.

taste is primarily black coffee/roasted malts, slight hints of baker's chocolate, and citrus fruity hops. the flavors are bold and work together, balancing perfectly.

hops are resinous, thick, piney, juicy.
malt is roasty, with strong coffee and chocolate tastes.
bitterness medium, though a bit on the heavy side. not as bitter as you would expect a DIPA to have. the alcohol is well hidden. i had no idea this was 9% until i checked it just a moment ago.

mouthfeel not lacking in texture. light and silky, but at the same time velvety, sticky, chewy. leaves me with coffee and orange peels sticking to my tongue

drinkability very high. this would be one of my go-to beers if it were available here in Texas.

+ smooth rich coffee and citrus fruit? my favorite beer combination hands down!

thanks JDV for the opportunity to try this beer

vdread, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of cjgator3
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

Finally get the chance to drink and review a beer from Southern Tier. Been waiting a long time to finally get to try some beer from this brewery and they are finally distributed down here.

A- Pours a dark black color with a light tan head that leaves a ton of lacing and has amazing retention as well. Very appealing in the glass.

S- At first whiff I can tell this is going to be a great beer. The aroma is pale and dark malt with an incredible citrusy hop aroma. Very nice, smells very fresh too.

T- The taste as the aroma suggests in absolutely fantastic. The taste starts out pretty smooth with dark malts but the citrusy hops quickly make their presence felt and linger around well after the sip. Starts out deliciously malty and ends with a nice lingering hoppy finish. There is also a nice kick in the finish from the alcohol as well. Delicious!

M- The mouthfeel is damn near perfect. Medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, Southern Tier did a fantastic job with this beer. As my first Southern Tier beer, I would say this is an excellent start. Can't wait to try more from this brewery. Recommended!

cjgator3, Mar 22, 2010
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours dark dark brown with tan head.

S- chocolate, hops, little malt and slight alcohol.

T- malty chocolate up front with some nuttiness and coffe in the middle then a mild hoplike aftertaste

M- fairly medium. flavor sticks well. but not as thick as I was expecting. Could be a little more chewy

D- very drinkable for 9%. not bad.

GOGRANDE, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark black, with a little carbonation evident and about an inch of light brown head with little retention.

s - Smells of dark fruits (plums, raisins, some cherry), as well as malts, some pine, and fig.

t - Tastes of oak, dark fruits, some malts, and has a little bit of a hoppy bite to it.

m - Smooth and creamy, full body and light carbonation.

d - Interesting beer. Nice mix of dark fruits, malts, and hops. Pretty enjoyable, would try again.

mdfb79, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of DmanGTR
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes on 3/14/10

A - Brilliantly clear, deep dark mahogany red with garnet hues. Off white 1.5" head, nice lacing and retained as a thin cap. 4.0

S - Lots of caramel, dark fruits, figs, currants, and a bit of earthiness. The bouquet is overall a bit subdued but the essentials are there. Very much like an American barleywine. 4.0

T - Again, caramel sweetness followed by a winelike flavor and some figs. Perhaps a touch of roastiness too. Finishes long and bittersweet. 4.0

M - Full bodied and smooth carbonation. Mmm very smooth indeed. 4.5

D - Good, but the alcohol in the finish is gonna get to ya. 3.5

DmanGTR, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of rapidsequence
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber from Beer Run in Charlottesville.

Appearance: In the tulip sitting on the counter, it looks pitch black. When held to light, its a deep dark garnet color. The head is light brown with average retention. Leaves nice lacing.

Smell: I have to close my eyes to really smell this. Even though I know its a black IPA, that amount of spicy and citrus hops coming off a black beer is strange. A bunch of different smells all mixed together here: sweet citrus hops, sweet and slightly roasty malt, leather, and chewing tobacco. Those last two were a real surprise.

Taste: Very different. A roasty IPA more than a hoppy stout. Nice citrusy, spicy, piney hops bite right up front, but with malty sweet, roastiness filling all around it. I'm hit again by chewing tobacco-- not unpleasant. Big and caramelly on the finish with a slight lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, almost silky and that would make it almost syrupy if it werent for the excellent carbonation that keeps it light and tingly.

Drinkability: Here the sum is greater than its parts. This is just a really good beer. Reading back over my review makes it sounds like a mess, but everything kind of works. Comparing this to an IPA isnt fair, so the review is a little artificial.

rapidsequence, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of babaracas
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mostly opaque black with brown edges, thin khaki head leaving spotty lace. Smell: orange citrus, pine, a little pineapple, background roastiness and dark caramel. Taste: lots of piney and citrus hops, tangerine, a little pineapple, and a bit leafy towards the end. In the back, dark caramel and a slightly astringent roasted flavor. Medium body, carbonation complements the bitterness well, finishes somewhat dry. Nice BIPA/IBA.

Note: rerated after another try, getting more of the usual ST DIPA profile: earthy, green, and a little offputting. Still, it's one of the better ST brews, and not a bad Double India Black Ale (or whatever this is called now).

babaracas, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of Yimosan
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 650ml bomber onto my "spoiled rotten" tulip glass.

A: Dr. Pepper dark, hardly any light getting through. It poured a 2 finger head, light beige, that lasted an adequate amount of time, considering the ABV.

S: Totally confusing, yet cool at the same time. The aroma is piney, citrusy, and a bit malty. I also get some fall spices working in the background. I say confusing in the fact that, a porter-like looking beer should not smell like that...I call this a fun gotcha beer.

T: Grapefruit and malt jostle beautifully, this is exactly what I like on my IPA's or IBA in this case. I love the bitterness of the India style brews with the roasted malt, it's sweet and sour, it's caramel and citric acid slow dancing to a Michael Buble bolero song...my favorite!!!

M: It is medium to full bodied and palate cleansing at the same time. It is creamy and long lasting.

D: This beer is very interesting...kinda' like a Houdini trick, you see one thing, but you get another. Now, it is 9% so a better trick would be to stand up after a couple of these guys!!! I'm just saying!

Pleasantly surprised, and so far the two offering I've had from Southern Tier, have thoroughly impressed me!


Yimosan, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of DosBeerigos
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

H. Black
N. Citrus Hops strong grapefruit

Notes taken from my blog;

I was looking forward to this beer. Southern Tier is new to the area, and this is one of their year round offerings. Beautiful color of this beer, nice and dark. Nice off-tan colored head that disappears quickly. Insane taste on this beer, the carbonation dances on your tongue, nice roasted malt on the attack with a slam of smoke on the back end. There is a bit of hop bittnerness to this beer, but it sneaks up on you. Sorta like your little cousin that thinks its "cute" to scare you, the hop comes up and slaps you subtly across the face. Good Beer!

DosBeerigos, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap at the New World Brewery in Ybor City.

A – A way dark brew, not quite black but almost, with not much head but big lace rings.

S – Smells a lil roasted with a well balanced piney hop plus notes of carambola and lychee. Unusual.

T – The taste is very oak-y and woody overall, though it is not advertised as a woody beer in any way. The hop is prevalent but not specific, and seems to have some cork notes too. Licorice impressions are slightly available, with a peppery, peat-y, tobacco finish. But not like cigar or pipe tobacco, instead more like cigarette tobacco.

M – Medium-full, good and hearty.

D – I like it but this beer would not be a preference.

ktrillionaire, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of BlackBearForge
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle/pint glass

Iniquity pours like a dark stout, nearly an opaque black with ruby around the edges though with an off-white tan head where a stout would have a dark chocolate brown head. The head is leaving gobs and gobs of creamy lacing sticking all over the glass as it subsides.

The aroma is redolent with piney and citrusy hops on top of a somewhat chocolate/caramel malt scent.

The flavor is not as hoppy as the aroma might indicate but the piney, resinous and citrus hops are very prominent while bitterness is low. The malt body is equal parts chalky chocolate and creamy caramel drizzled with dark chocoalte syrup. Alcohol is nearly invisible.

The mouthfeel is very very good, somewhat fuller than medium, creamy and as smooth and slick as can be. Nice!

Iniquity is a lovely beer melding different styles, and is very very drinkable despite it's 9.0% ABV which is due in large part to it's exquisite mouthfeel. It almost wants to be gulped rather than savored!

BlackBearForge, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of Lerxst
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into a tulip

A-Black Ale is accurate. Pours black with a creamy mocha head that has good retention and leaves nice lacing. This is a good looking beer.

S-My eyes say, "this is a stout" but my nose says "Hops, and tons of 'em!" Huge citrus and pine hop aroma with delicious roasted malt and faint chocolate notes. Smells fantastic.

T-A truly complex and wonderful beer. Citrus and pine hops are evident along with dark fruit, a nice, nutty roasted malt flavor with a lingering caramel presence. Somehow these things all pull together and complement each other. Its really good.

M-Slightly more than medium bodied, a nice balanced carb level, slick and oily. Fantastic.

D-For such a big and complex beer, this is very drinkable.

Overall, I was very impressed and enjoyed this one a lot. Another great job by Southern Tier.

Lerxst, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of tippebrewcrew2
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Southern Tier
Black Ale

L=4.5 Little head with decent lacing. Pours a thin oil black

S= 3.5 Light black malts on the nose with lots of sweetness

T= 3.5 Malty sweetness with medium hops at the end. Nice brew. Not very much body

F= 4.0 Light finish at the end. Short lived bitterness as well

D= 4.0 It's a good beer and I didn't read the bjcp guidelines for the style. I have had a few previously but I wasn't all the impressed with this beer. It is a good brew though and southern tier is a great brew co.

tippebrewcrew2, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of Daniellobo
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich and complex black ale... A dark IPA with a sour edge?

Presentation: 22 oz bottle. Contemporary design around a splash of a six point star. Small narrative noting how it stands for good luck and brewing, followed by a small note explaining the intent of the brew. No printed bottling date on side, does not note IBUs, but shows °Plato (21), and Alc. (9.0%) alongside detailed list of ingredients, and recommended drinking temperature and glassware. Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Black pour with dark brown edges, good head with fine retention and rich lacing.

S - Malty aroma with a couple of hoppy notes in an almost sour and sweet whiff.

T - Rich taste around a dark malt profile and faint hoppy notes. Almost has a rich sour quality to it that leads to a rich sweet and dry finish. A bit unusual but rather pleasing.

M - Medium body with an occasional heavy feel. Smooth profile with a sticky hint that does not quite make itself present. Good carbonation.

D - Works rather well and is rather drinkable. Not extreme but not for all palates though.

Notes: Funny, not the first time I have this one and this tasting is really not like I remembered it, still pretty good and remarkable though. I wonder if it was a bit of aging on the bottle, change of recipe or most likely my faulty memory. Let´s compare notes with a future tasting...

Daniellobo, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of jdense
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle from Belmont Station PDX poured into workhorse Piraat tulip 2.24.10.

One finger light tan head, quick dissipation with good lacing. Dark brown almost opaque body, no visible carbonation. The nose centers on a big malt hit, caramel, chocolate, roast, with flowery hops pretty well hidden by the malt, though after warming the hops became more prevalent in the nose, I'd recommend letting this beer warm up a bit before serving. The taste is chocolaty goodness up front with some roast leading to a hop-filled bitter finish. Mouthfeel is full and sticky. Warming alcohol glow cuts into drinkablility, but overall a fine tasting brew. I'll be checking out more beers from Southern Tier in the near future.

jdense, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Phyl21ca, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of magine
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Dinkle Acker oversized pint glass.

Pours a dark brown color, with an off white (light tan) head. Has a thick chunky head - fades to a lace island. Nice lace as well.

This brew smells of earthy hops and sweet caramel roasted malts.

This brew has a very smooth taste, slightly carbonated. Can taste the hops initially and then the malt balances it off nicely. Has a dry finish. The malts smooth it out and cut out some of the hops and makes it unique and very drinkable.

This is a very unusual tasting brew. Tastes good; seeing a dark IPA is not a common thing. A good drinkable brew for the high alcohol level. Another fine offering from Southern Tier. Stellar stuff indeed....

magine, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of racer2k
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 22oz. bomber into my favorite tulip glass after letting it warm up to about 42F as suggested on label.

A - Dark squid ink black with a tint of ruby red in the light. There is one finger of off white foam which quickly settles into a tight ring of lacing. Very nice looking Black IPA.

S - The initial aroma yields an earthy hop smell and then I get a blast of sweet malt, caramel, brown sugar and maple syrup as the beer warms up a bit.

T - Good balance of earthy hops and sweet nutty malt with a nice burnt maple sugar finish. The beer starts with a hopped up tangy front end but quickly smooths out and provides a maple sugary earthy finish. This beer finishes very sweet.

M - Smooth, medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. There is a distinct smooth sugary finish to the beer which appears to be driven by the balanced sweet malt profile.

D - A very balanced beer which produces a very nice black IPA profile. The dark color of the beer tends to play tricks with your mind as you immediately think it is a porter or a dark malty ale not an IPA which is very cool. Alcohol is well masked in the complex taste profile which is very drinkable. Great cold weather beer.

racer2k, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of Lukie
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out, funnily enough, black, with hints of deep, deep mahogoney brown hues against the light. The head is a billowing 2 fingers, before it cascades down into some mild lacing on the outside of the liquid.

Roasty malts give way to a brown sugar, candy sugar like aroma.

Big roasty flavours, with a bit of nutty qualities, give way to a nice, slightly syrupy sweet dark fruit. It's nicely balanced between the roast and the fruits, with blackberry licorice coming through oh so slightly.

Overall, a really interesting beer. It's got absolutely no semblance of being 9% alcohol, which I found with the ST DIPA aswell. It's a bit scary. Just really easy to drink, with fantastically well balanced flavours.

Lukie, Feb 14, 2010
Photo of brystmar
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a tulip glass.

A: pours a jet black color with about one finger of thick head which left a nice layer on the surface of the beer throughout the drink. Lacing on the glass.

S: chocolate, strong burnt malt, a little caramel too. Smells delicious!

T: starts off malty with chocolate & caramel right behind. Hints of dark fruit underneath. Turns mildly hoppy/bitter towards the end, but extremely well balanced overall. Lots of stuff going on here, but everything is complementary which results in a very bold -- yet smooth -- drink.

M: heavy mouthfeel, but still creamy. Medium carbonation. Leaves a pleasant taste & feel in the mouth after each swig.

D: a very enjoyable beer, but still a big beer. Easy drinking for the style; definitely the best black I've tasted. Shame it's so hard to get down here in Texas. :(

brystmar, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of mulder1010
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

100th review...I figured going with a good US beer would do the trick.

Poured into a La Chouffe Tulip 650 ML Bottle

A-- Poured jet black, no tints of red, no light, no nada. A solid one finger head, light kakhi in color. Creamy lacing left on the glass. No bubbles on the sides of the glass.

S-- After the pour started smelling big rich malt, hop and dark citrus smell. Mix in a bit of carmel and a tad bit of chocolate. Wow very big smell and impressive.

T-- Just as big a taste across the board. Pine does come through in a pretty aggressive way. Very aggressive beer. Bueno. More this opens up, the more the hops come out to play.

M-- Thick and dark, decent carbonation but what stands out is the menthol sort of feeling in your mouth afterwards. Pine really hold weight. Combination of all is very good but very aggressive. Hops have held up well going a good portion across the world.

D-- Drinkable yes. This is ment to be savored in a big way. First really big East Coast beer I have had that could pass for a West Coast. ABV is very well hidden because of the aggressive pine/ hop taste. Malt is there at first but the hops take over once it opens up more. I guess the irony is when I lived in AZ/CO I would not have seen this beer for a long time, distribution, good to see it in Australia.

mulder1010, Feb 03, 2010
Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,466 ratings.