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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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1,501 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,501
Reviews: 620
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.9%
Wants: 160
Gots: 147 | 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: 1,501 | Reviews: 620
Photo of manahansf
3.46/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

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

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.

Photo of Mora2000
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of bbeane
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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


Photo of billab914
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of mjl21
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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

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

Photo of bonk0076
4.67/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of beerdrifter
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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???

Photo of jhoban19
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Derek
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of TexIndy
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

Photo of cooncat
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of darklordlager
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of PartyBear
3.66/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of NCSUdo
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of canucklehead
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pretty cool beer with the IDA idea showing up all over the place. Pours almost jet black but the nose says IPA. The malt is quite strong but the hops are more dominant especially as the beer warms up. I like the thick mouthfeel ( a ST trademark) and the drinkability for such a big beer. IDA's take the IPA into more Fall/ Winter territory .

Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is classified on this site as an DIPA and this is pretty inadequate a description of this beer. I usually try to review beers strictly to style being as objective as I can but I cannot with this beer. This is not a good example of a DIPA, but it is a good beer. The label states that it is an Imperial Black Ale, not a recognized style of this website. Off to the review.

Poured from a bottle into a conic pint glass. Beer is black and carbonation is low. Head is brown and made up of small to medium sized bubbles. The beer is brown at the corners of the glass. Lacing is high. Its an attractive looking beer.

There is some ethanol aroma to this beer as well as some malt sweetness. Its faint but there is definitely some roast in the nose, I can detect it only after several attempts. Not a lot of hops in this aroma though, as you might expect from the DIPA. They just aren't there.

Beer is overall sweet with a slight roast in the back. There is some hop flavoring and bitterness but they are understated and well balanced with the rest of the beer. Beer is smooth and his a nice medium body to it. Definitely a repeat, my wife also really loved this beer. Drinkability high.

Photo of jgasparine
4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured with almost no head- just a bit of edge lacing... the body was a dark ruby red (almost black) with no visible carbonation.

S- Smells of caramel malt (despite the lack of caramel malt in the recipe) and earthy hops, with more subtle aromas of leather, dark fruit and the *slightest* hint of roasty notes.

T- A beautiful balance of caramel malt flavors and earthy hops. Some booziness and vinous notes are also present. Finishes strong with a lingering hop bitterness. If my eyes were closed, I would think I were drinking an imperial red ale.

M- Nice big firm body with a little creaminess imparted by the soft carbonation. Moderately attenuated, but it still keeps the mouth adequately coated.

D- Very drinkable, despite the higher ABV. I easily could enjoy an entire bomber on my own.

Photo of GeezLynn
3.77/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with little tan around the edges. Weak white head that recedes into a few patches of foam.

S: Chocolate malt with a hop spice and grapefruit punch.

T: Smooth, sweet, milk chocolate and caramel followed by a slightly spicy finish. Citrus hop finish, which may have lost a little over the last few months (no date on bottle!), but also appears to be somewhat restrained by dark malts. Masks high ABV wonderfully.

M: Lighter bodied than expected with a fairly low level of carbonation.

Not sure what to make of this confusing beer. Sort of a milk stout-DIPA combination. I think Southern Tier did a good job of of accomplishing what they set out to brew, but seems like kind of a novelty beer. Tasty, but I would prefer either a porter/milk stout and get my dark malts, or to drink a DIPA and have my hops less muddled.

Photo of Gosox8787
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured from a bomber bottle into a pint glass in two parts.

Appearance is dark brown (not black) with ruby edges. One finger beige head has good retention. The aroma is citrus hops upfront with a strong malt backbone. Chocolate and caramel in the background, with some booze present. The taste hits first with some citrus notes from the hops. These are not as strong and astrigent as a tradtional DIPA. Chocolate, and smoke notes from the malt add a nice malty backbone. Neither hops nor malt really shine as much as they could though. The texture is medium to full bodied. There is a slight sticky and oily character. But overall, it is creamy. Drinlability is below average here. The high ABV is not completley hidden and the flavors are not as well balanced as they could be.

Overall, not as strong as a DIPA should be in hops and not that impressive as a malt offering. The flavor profile could use a little work. Enjoyable overall, but it does fall short at times.

Photo of LOCAL
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz into Duvel tulip

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with red high lights and a tannish head that goes rather quick.

Smell: Its a nice blend of roasted malts, caramel. citrus, and even a little oak.

Taste: Starts off with a bright porter like flavor with the roasted malts. Mid pallet the caramel and citrus of the hops show them selves before finishing with am almost oak like character.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and VERY easy to drink. Maybe a little thin feeling seeing that the flavors are traditionally in a heavier feeling beer.

Drinkability: Showing no sign of the 9% ABV its easy to find your self going through this one a little bit too quickly. This was the first black IPA I've had and was very impressed with it. Certainly something that I would purchase again.

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Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,501 ratings.