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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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1,396 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,396
Reviews: 609
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 127
Gots: 98 | 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: 1,396 | Reviews: 609 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UA8


4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours an opaque coffee black with a one inch thick bubbly light brown head.

S- Big scents of tangerines and lemon, with a caramel malt backing.

T- Leads with a sweet caramel malts, mid palate is of tangerine sourness and finishes big with heavily roasted sweet malts, a slight smokiness and herbal hops and orange rind.

M- Smooth, big , and round with a nice light carbonation.

D- Man this stuff goes down way too easy. I love black IPAs!

Had this several times since and have to say on each revisit have found the malts a bit heavy handed and artificially sweet. Still worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 01:50:49 | More by UA8
Photo of jsp2


4.58/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into pint glass, dark black but light penetrates the edges. Foam is very thick and just off white.

Delicious aroma of roasted barley with notes of coffee and vanilla, with a slightly citrus but more floral hop counterpoint.

Sweet and milky roasted barley combined with piney hops. Very curious bitter aftertaste that is some combination of toasted barley and hops. Aftertaste is somewhat sweet.

Carbonation is very low and body feels very full. Satisfying.

Extremely falvorfull yet quaffable and light.

Another successful experiment from ST. I think it could be slightly less sweet, but it delivers everywhere else. Reminds me of a "black and tan" I had with a sweet east coast IPA and a nice balanced stout, if you were to stir it up.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 01:17:12 | More by jsp2
Photo of Doomcifer

Rhode Island

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

Pours very dark with minimal light coming through. Not much of a head but tremendous lacing. Smells very floral, citrusy, tropical fruits...hop bomb. Tastes of more huge hoppiness, citrusy, pine, melon, hints of alcohol, light roastiness. Delicious. Mouthfeel is pretty heavy, perfect carbonation. Very enjoyable and drinkable...fantastic tasting Hop Burps!

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2009 23:56:00 | More by Doomcifer
Photo of gabrielsyme


4.72/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Rustico. Pours brown with half a finger's worth of tan head. Strong, delicious floral hop taste giving way to chocaltey-sweet goodness, combining to amazing aftertaste and the best hop burps ever. Very drinkable at 9%, no noticeable burn. I've had a few of these black IPAs (they seem to be all the rage) and this one was unique. Worth seeking out.

Serving type: on-tap

04-27-2009 20:31:48 | More by gabrielsyme
Photo of gws187


4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a nice dark brown/ black. Good head retention throughout.
Smell-Hops, hops, and roasted malt.
Taste- Wow. Nice hop taste with a roasted malt finish. Nice balance.
Mouthfeel- Very smooth, little carbonation.
Drinkability- Extremely. Even at 9% alcohol this beer is one I could enjoy multiple times in a night.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2009 02:28:30 | More by gws187
Photo of KarlHungus


4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours an opaque black color. The head is a quarter inch in height, and recedes slowly into moderate lacing. The aroma is of citrus, grapefruit, and pine resin with traces of malt in the background. The taste is full of hops, but the part I like most is the roasted malt backbone. The mouthfeel is full bodied with lively carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a good beer. I'm not sure what an "Imperial Black Ale" is suppose to taste like, but I am sure that this beer works.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2009 21:53:27 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours sinfully dark with an absolutely HUGE foamy light tan head that fades slowly. Tons of Belgian lacing left behind with each mouthful. Is that to style? P*s on that! It's better than looking through a pale fizzy yellow beverage. The smell comes across to me like a candied grassy pine, huge sweetness behind it, and a lemon-vanilla combination. I've picked up on that common thread with the last couple of beers that ST has rolled out. It dominated the oak-aged unearthly; its as if there were leftovers from the brulee. Full flavored, the taste is a balance of extremes; big tangy grassy lemon minty hops married with an overly stated sweetness. Adequately carbonated, the mouth feel almost burns from the hop and alcohol combo. That hoppy business is all up in the front and on the tip of the tongue while the back of the mouth bathes in sweetness. It gives the impression of being lighter in body. The taste and spicy burn lingers significantly. A really interesting beverage!! I hope my tastes aren't changing that drastically...i wasn't looking for that much sweetness. The 9% ABV warmed the chest nicely. Totally different experience than XI.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2009 02:15:58 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of Celt44

New York

4.85/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Pours a deep, dark brownish black. Head is nice and frothy and lacing lasts throughout. Nice tan foam. Good looking beer.

Aroma - Citrusy hops mixed with malts right off the bat. Lemons. Hints of freshly baked bread.

Taste is exceptional. Not as bitter up front as their IPAs. It eases you into the slightly bitter and lemony hops. Fruity also. Delicious. Malts take over near the end to distinguish itself from an IPA.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Slight alcohol burn. Just enough.

Overall another EXCEPTIONAL beer from ST. One of the best I've ever had. They never cease to amaze me.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2009 23:30:00 | More by Celt44
Photo of kbnooshay

New York

3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured fairly black but with red highlights at the bottom of the glass when held up to light. The super thick and frothy light brown head was crazy. The lacing was also thick and frothy as the head refused to leave the side of the glass. Aroma is of piney hops mixed cough syrup. Kinda tastes liek a strong ale but the alcohol taste is well hidden, the throat warmth is present though. This is quite balanced, the super sweet maltiness is balanced by the piney hops. Feel is moderate and smooth but slightly tingly to the tounge. As fun as this is to describe this beer almost tastes too mild, like there is too much balance. Drinkable, but the plainest strong beer ive had from southern tier. One of the few misfires from this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2009 02:32:02 | More by kbnooshay
Photo of paco1029384756


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

Pours a deep purple color with a short off white head.

Scent of bitter hops, dark fruits, roasted malts, and a hint of oak. A bit odd, but a nice change from the usual Imperial IPA.

Taste of bitter hops, roasted malts, a hint of smoke/chalk, and some dark fruits. This isn't too biting or overpowering, it is a pretty damn tasty Imperial IPA. It takes a bit of getting used to, but I like it.

Mouthfeel is is medium light bodied and clean with a nice amount of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2009 00:00:15 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of ThePeskyDingo


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

Another beer I split with my good friend mothman.

Poured into a Sam Adams sensory glass. The pour left a .5 finger off-white head which dissipated quickly. The color is a dark ruby amber color. Can only see through this beer right around the edges.

Smells of hops, citrus, and I noticed a butterscotch smell once you get past the hops.

Tastes of hops, citrus, dark fruits, with a pinch of booze in the background.

Smooth in the mouth. Body is on the high end of medium. Mild carbonation.

Drinks very easy for the 9% ABV. Very tasty, mothman and I wish we had more!!

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 05:30:08 | More by ThePeskyDingo
Photo of Bighuge


4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark mahogany. Clear. Thick and bubbly light brown crop of froth sits on top. Retention and lacing properties are very good. Great aroma of chocolate and resiny, piney hop tones. This fits the bill for a Black IPA. Closest thing I've had to Alpha Klaus, though this is a little different. The "blackness" of the beer and the "hopness" off the beer blend really nicely. Roasted and chocolate notes are form the malt base with gooey, resiny, sticky hop traits adding great character. The body is about medium or so and the carbonation is fairly restrained. VERY easy drinking. Alcohol damn near absent in this. Quite an accomplishment here.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 03:36:16 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Boozefox


4.63/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Daaaamn. This is tasty.

Poured from a sexy bomber into a Brewery Ommegang snifter.

A: Blocks almost all incident photons. Imperial Black Ale indeed. Small, transient head.

S: Kinda small on the nose. Sweet, alcoholic, with hops and malts of various natures appearing and changing as the drink warms and sits and I drink it.

T: Mmmm yes. Dark and light malt backbones hold this beast up while five different hops ping off in various directions as you taste it. I'm drinking it with a bowl of Butter Chicken Curry with Peas and the hops pick up even more after every bite of curry. This is a good pairing with a great beer.

M: Nice, smooth, silky. Not too thin, not too chewy.

D: Oh yeah. 9%? Where? Gimme another!

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 00:43:34 | More by Boozefox
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

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

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

Oours only a 1.2 finger head and settles pretty quick. Head is off white colored. Leaves some thin lacing. Color is a dark brown/dark dark ruby color. Can only see through the glass around the edges. Doesn't look like a DIPA, which is really cool.

Aroma: Hops off the top. Pine hops, grapefruit and other citrus notes. After a deep inhale butterscotch comes out. A very hop dominated beer.

Taste: Hops initially. But a little different than the normal DIPAs. Kind of has a caramel taste to it. Really hard to distinguish what is dark about this beer except its color. Citrus notes come out a lot. Slight alcohol but hidden well for 9% abv.

Mouthfeel: I got it here! This DIPA is smooth and creamy, and slightly bitter. But this is where the dark part comes out. Very pleasing on the palate. Ends with a sticky hoppy aftertaste.

Overall, a sweet looking DIPA. With a sweeter than normal taste. Still had the DIPA flavor. I wanted this beer to never be finished. I highly recommend!

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 00:24:00 | More by mothman
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

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

22oz bottle served in a standard pint glass, which is the way to go despite what the recommended glassware says.

L - black brew with a bubbly beige head that left good bits of sticky lacing behind.

S - intitial whiff is citrus hops, as the beer sits/warms a roasted malt background aroma becomes more pronounced.

T - some bitterness upfront is slapped around with roasted malty flavors of coffee, chocolate and a bit of booze, finish is dry and slightly bitter and the aftertaste is somewhat sweet.

F - medium/full bodied with a pleasant amount of carbonation.

D - it goes down nice and easy and at 9% abv that's the way it should be consumed.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2009 22:39:05 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of citan133

Rhode Island

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

on tap at the Graduate student bar at Brown University. 4.50 for a full pint! Not too shabby...

It's a little dark in the bar so its hard to tell if this is really as black as it looks right (probably not) but it looks like its a little opaque, some red and brown hues coming through when I hold it up to the light. Slight head, also dark, leaves a little lacing on the glass but not much. Looks nice.

Smells like a relatively mellow IPA, some citrus coming through with some earthy scents in there, too, a little porter-like roast. Some nice pine comes through as it warms as well.

This is really good. Some nice roasted flavors in the front with piney hops hitting in the mid palate and finishing off with the citrus hops, a really nice three-stage flavor. The citrus becomes more obvious as it warms with a lot of sweetness coming through now, those hops leaving my mouth bitter the more I have. No sign of alcohol and getting some kind of sweet spice in there now, maybe brown sugar.

Just thick enough that it coats your mouth and has some heft but not enough to make you want to chew it. Pretty much perfect for how it compliments the flavor.

This is very good and very drinkable. Theres' a lot going on in terms of flavor, everything is balanced out very well with the hops and everything else playing supporting roles with each other and just weak enough in abv so two can go down relatively easy. I haven't had the XI by Stone yet but so far this is the best of this style I've had. After finishing two I still want to go for a third, only my buzz is stopping me.

Serving type: on-tap

04-20-2009 04:39:03 | More by citan133
Photo of BeerSox


4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into nonic.

Deep brown, with ruby and amber highlights. A two finger tan, rocky, dense head settles to a very thick cap, leaving behind thick and solid lacing.

Heavy citrus aromas on top of a roasted grain base. A little bit of coffee in there. A bit of a smokey quality to the aroma.

More roastiness, coffee, a bit of dark fruit, and plenty of grapefruit-like citrus flavor, which actually overwhelms the malts in the background. Some more of the smoke repeats. Full bodied. The alcohol is well hidden, not even detectable. Very smooth as well.

A pretty good porter, mixed with some pretty good hops normally found in an American IPA. While hops are always favored, I still would prefer a porter that's focused more on the roasty malts, like the porters from Anchor and Smuttynose.

This one is classified on BA (at the time of this writing) as a Black DIPA. I say this doesn't make sense. Considering it has both black and pale in the name. I like the idea that's presented in the description on the bottle, as an IBA, or India Black Ale (or maybe Imperial?). Let's stop calling these beers, along with Stone's 11th Anniversary Ale as a Black IPA. First off, it's black, not pale. Also there is no history in this beer that has to do with India. Therefore, we drop the I and the P. So that leaves us with Black A, or Black Ale. Strictly and American style. It perfectly fits what's a porter that's basically highly hopped. We can put this beer, Stone 11th, and Flying Dog's Gonzo Porter in this area. You can have a Black Ale and and Imperial Black Ale (which would fit this one better. Everything makes sense, I know. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2009 21:34:39 | More by BeerSox
Photo of williamherbert

New York

4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is still, black liquid. Thin head that goes down quick. Does leave behind some nice specks of white lace.

The smell is citrusy, sweet hops, over a roasted but caramel-laden malt. Coffee and mocha. Hops are sweet, malt is dark and bitter.

The taste is a comination of the heavily roasted taste of burnt, stout-like malt. The two flavors battle it out for supremacy. The hops win the early rounds; malts remain on the back of the tongue.

The mouthfeel is thick, oily, buttery. Very heavily bodied. This beer is strong and challenging, but bursting with flavor. A superior beer. [Similar in style/flavor to Stone XI Anniversary ale, http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/147/38470]

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2009 14:13:23 | More by williamherbert
Photo of bum732


4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black with red tints, nice creamy head with great lacing. Smells of piney hops with some earthy malt roastiness in the background. Hints of coffee and grapefruit. Tastes of piney hop presence up front followed quickly by a roasty sweetness. Finishes quite sweet with some roastiness on the palate. Great heavy mouthfeel, creamy.

I've never had a black IPA before, but i am impressed. The choice of hops and a moderate to mild roastiness works great together in this beer. A little rich from the sweetness brings down the drinkability a tad, but all in all, a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2009 00:03:26 | More by bum732
Photo of Proteus93


4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a bomber to split with CrellMoset at Beer Run

A: Doesn't pour with as black an appearance as we thought, but ends up quite black in the glass. Rather stark white head in contrast, though it's a slightly off-white, really

S: Citrus hops, some hints of earthiness. A little piney, but more like the tree itself than the needles... the whole thing, if that makes sense.

T: Big hop flavour, quite citrusy... mostly orange, rather than grapefruit. A big, creamy flavour of malts that I didn't expect. There's even a suggestion of smokiness on the palate, strangely. Some more fruity notes come out with a little time to breathe.

M + D: A medium body, with a little slickness. Alcohol is hidden very nicely, though the flavours linger for some time. Could be an interesting aging candidate, even though it's a hop based beer. Pretty nice stuff.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2009 22:02:27 | More by Proteus93
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I shared this with a friend with high hopes.a bit of a let down.Poured into a standard pint glass a deep dark black but not opaque,a thinner but well retained off white head atop.A mix of left coast hop and bitter chocolate in the nose,quite bitter and earthy.Not the hop profile I was hoping for on the palate,it left me wanting more.Big earth and unsweetened chocolate on the palate,the hops seem more subdued in citric form.A nice beer but it left me wanting more.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2009 02:08:58 | More by oberon
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.72/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a black color with a nice 2" head that slowly fades. Thick lacing paints the glass.

Smell: big floral hop aroma with some citrus and caramel sweetness.

Taste: huge malt profile. Caramel, big pine, some grapefruit, and loads of floral attributes too. Some hidden licorice is barely noticable. Alcohol is warming and adds to the complex flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp throughout. Medium-heavy in body. Aftertaste is long on the bitterness.

Drinkability: superb beer that you can't put down. The flavors are well balanced and if you are in the mood for a differnt big IPA this is the beer to buy.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2009 01:55:14 | More by Gavage
Photo of Yetiman420


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

22 oz bottle all to myself. Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass.

Pours black with a tan gray 1.5 finger hear.

It's too bad I looked at the blackness of this beer before evaluating aroma. I think the color *taints* your perception of the aroma. The centennial and cascade dry hops are certainly in there, but my mind is telling me I smell more malt sweetness (from the black) than I probably really do. Lots of double checking here. There is a malt component present in the aroma - along the lines of nuttiness. Very faint.

Patchy lacing.

Flavor has a delightful silkiness to it. Add the component of smoothness and this beer is very enjoyable. Doesn't feel as big as a 9% DIPA. Drinks very easy.

Dry finish makes me drink this one quicker than I should. By the time I sip and put down my glass, I'm ready for another sip. Good sign.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2009 01:39:42 | More by Yetiman420
Photo of MasterSki


3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber of this on a whim. Served in my Bell's tulip glass.

A - One finger of late-rising tan head with excellent retention and some attractive lacing. Pitch black, with a hint of reddish-brown when held against the light and a few visible bubbles in there. I wish there was a little more volume to the head, but otherwise it's a pretty handsome brew.

S - Lots of hoppy goodness, some zesty citrus and pine, along with a burnt malt backbone full of chocolate. Very potent as well - smells more like a porter that has been dry-hopped like crazy than a conventional DIPA.

T - Lots of burnt sugar and semisweet chocolate, mixed with some hoppy pine and citrus notes. The aftertaste is very roasty with a touch of bitterness, but there's a metallic flavor that starts to build at the back end that I don't care for much. Alcohol is very well hidden in this one.

M - Medium body and very creamy - some mild carbonation. There's lots of residual stickiness, but there's also a faint sensation more akin to a dry stout at the top of the palate (something about the foam consistency is similar) that accompanies the metallic twang flavor.

D - The first glass was terrific, but then I started to struggle with the relatively high ABV and the funny metallic twang. I was definitely not looking for any more after I polished off the bomber. I'm not sure what causes that odd flavor, but if Southern Tier could get rid of it (or mute it a bit) this would be a much more successful brew. Still, I liked the well-hidden ABV and carbonation level one this one.

Not as good as Stone SSR, but still pretty decent for us unfortunate souls who don't get Stone in our distribution network. Reminds me a little of GI Night Stalker as well, even though the hops used are different.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2009 21:11:20 | More by MasterSki
Photo of klewis


4.68/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Not quite black - more like a deep brown. Moderate foamy head. Plenty of lacing.

S: Quite hoppy with piney and earthy aromas.

T: Complex hop taste with piney and floral characters. Just a hint of roasted malt in the finish provides an added layer of depth. Perfectly balanced with a full, smooth flavor.

M: Full-bodied with light carbonation. Super smooth and silky.

D: This one gives Stone 11th a run for its money and is definitely one of the better black IPAs on the market. Go get some.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2009 01:33:55 | More by klewis
Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,396 ratings.