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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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1,498 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,498
Reviews: 618
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.9%
Wants: 152
Gots: 143 | 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:
Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 01-12-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,498 | Reviews: 618 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Body is black. Pours with a nice 2 finger or so foamy cream colored head that slowly fades to 1/2 finger and has great retention from there. When held up to the light some lighter brown and tan hues are apparent.

S- Nose is on the sweet side as juicy citrus hops and aromas come through the most in the nose. In the background is a very minor accent of dark roasted malt.

T- Flavor is similar to the smell. The highlight of the flavor is juicy citrus hops-grapefruit, orange, maybe some mango and pineapple. The malt backbone is barely noticeable but does seem to be slightly roasted. Some earthy tones come through for the finish and a minimal to moderate hop bitterness lingers.

M- Moderate carbonation and medium weight body. Body is relatively smooth and oily.

D- This is a well done Black IIPA-the highlight is the hops, as it should be-the malt could come through a little more to make this better. As with all other ST beers the high ABV is completely masked-its nowhere in the nose, flavor, or mouthfeel. Another good beer by ST.

Photo of thain709
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - The body was black...duh...there were a few hints of highlighting around the edges...the head was tan in color and wasn't very big...nice lacing though

S - A nice nose with notes of bright, citrus hops and deep, roasted malts producing a sweet caramel and coffee aroma

T - The taste starts off sweet with the caramel malts and citrus sweetness...the flavors mingle and play well off each other...the roasted malts come out in the middle...they have a nice roastiness to them and never taste burnt...you can pick up the underlying chocolate/coffee notes...a hop bitterness creeps up at the end of the beer to provide a nice finish

M - Medium bodied...smooth and rather creamy...a great bittersweet taste throughout

D - I've been wanting to try Iniquity for a while and I'm glad I got the chance...I like this new trend of black IPA's...the hops were top notch coming from Southern Tier and the malts shined through when needed

Photo of dstc
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a tan head that falls to just about nothing. Average lace.

Big roasted malt aroma. Bit of a burnt quality in the nose.

Bold roasted malt taste. Nice and sweet backed by alcohol. Big boozy finish.

Rather full in the mouth and slick with an alcohol bite.

Nice, good quality, sipping beer.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

13oz Weyerbacher tulip glass at Capone's, I've been holding off on getting a bottle of this due to no dates on it.

Iniquity sports a black color from inside the glass, pretty thick looking for a DIPA. Some traces of brown towards the edges which widens as I drink the beer. On top a semi frothy foam that's cappachino looking in color. Not much lace from this.

And it does not smell like a DIPA either. There is some grapefruit from the hops in this but nothing approaching even a single IPA, some faint pine. A lot of malt sweetness, chocolate, toffee, and vanilla. The smell is bold, just like a Southern Tier beer should be.

For a DIPA, this taste more like something infused with chocolate because that's the main taste I get here. I thought they poured me choklat which was also on tap as well. Anyway chocolate with coffee and some roast with vanilla beans comes up first and then the hops come through with resin, pine and citrus, grapefruit, but it's really muted under all that malt sweetness. Some caramel and tootsie roll with warming.

The feel is malty rich and smooth with a above medium build and a hoppy aftertaste. The malt sweetness lingers while the hops come and go. This goes down real easy and the balance of flavor makes it easier. Carb is light and refreshing but could be boosted a notch.

This is a good beer, but it's not a DIPA, I don't know what to call it, imperial black ale with chocolate? There is a nice amount of hops in here so they are not absent, but they are not used like they should be. It's tough to rate this, so Im going to do it with style not in mind.

Photo of urwithdave
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing from notes. Guest tap at cigar city. Poured into a ccb pint.

A- very dark brown,almost black in color. Every once in a while a highlight of crimson red will shine through when held up to the light. A 1'1/2" off white head. Decent retention with some lacing.

A- roasted malts, citrus,hops, and a hint of coffee and chocolate. I'm already confused and I haven't even tasted it yet.

T- sweet roasted malts out the gate. Very sweet. Then the citrus shows up. I can't finger any particular fruit, but it's def some sort of citrus. Some chocolate and dark fruit get in the mix. Then a bit of hops. Lots of flavors all over the place. What am I drinking??? Don't get me wrong, whatever it is, it's pretty tastey. Just different. If you would have told me it was a DIPA I would have laughed at u.

M- medium to light in body. Good carbonation. Finishes with a slight bitterness.

D- pretty decent but a little sweet. The flavors are all over the place but I'm not sure how well they all blend together.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of floral hops, dark caramelized malts and citrus.

T: The taste is very nicely balanced and starts with a caramel and citrus sweetness. Then a strong but very complementary hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and there's a faint hint of chocolate in the background. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of the "black ale" style, this is yet another quality imperial beer from Southern Tier, it's very flavorful and is worth drinking for whole evening.

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

This beer pours a very dark brown with a thick kaki head that dissipates pretty quickley leaving a lot of lacing behinde.
It smells of chocolate with a hint of citrusy hops.
A very smooth chocolatey taste with hints of citrus similar to a choclate orange with a bit of hop bitterness.
The mouth feel of this beer is very smooth, light, and creamy. This beer is a pleasure to put in your mouth.
It is pretty drinkable and you don't really notice the 9% abv.

Photo of CampusCrew
4.13/5  rDev 0%
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

Photo of Florida9
2.92/5  rDev -29.3%
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.

Photo of abrand
4.32/5  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.

Photo of CharlatanSin
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of vdread
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
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

Photo of cjgator3
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
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!

4.17/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -8%
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.

Photo of DmanGTR
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
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

Photo of rapidsequence
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of babaracas
4.09/5  rDev -1%
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).

Photo of Yimosan
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
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!


Photo of DosBeerigos
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
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!

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

Photo of BlackBearForge
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
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!

Photo of Lerxst
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Photo of tippebrewcrew2
3.71/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

Photo of Daniellobo
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
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...

Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,498 ratings.