Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale)Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale)
1,526 Ratings
Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale)Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale)

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 01-12-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,526 |  Reviews: 616
Photo of Sammy
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black body with a white generous head. Great C-aroma. Great taste of grapefruit, lemon with the malting making it a great complexity. Above-average moutheel. Good drinkability. A tad acidic, still one of the better beers I have had, regardless of being a DIPA.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: quarter finger head with lots of lace. A little light getting through but very dark.

S: very little on the nose. Not much to comment on here.

T: caramel and roast. A sharp finish. Chocolate and smokey notes.

M: moderate carbonation. Medium to full body.

Overall: The taste is very good but the aroma was lacking. This is a very good tasting beer and I will be getting this one again.

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Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out nice and black in color, the head was brownish tan and left behind a sticky lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer was pretty good, lots of chocolate and hop aromas pouring out of this one. The taste is a rich, and loaded with flavorful hop and roasted malts. The mouthfeel of the beer is a bit on the thick side and for Southern Tier that seems to be something that their Imperials never lack. Overall this brew was quite tasty, I'd really like to revisit this one someday.

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Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear very dark amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter-finger high tan head that died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of roasted malts in the nose along with notes of citrus and pine resin hops.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of roasted malts, citrusy hops along with some hints of bitter chocolate and coffee beans. Not much bitterness is present because it is balanced off by hints of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink compared to other beers in the style because the hop bitterness is well balanced by the underlying malts.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.28/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had high hopes for this beer, didn't exactly live up to the lofty standards. Being a rare, albeit one of my favorite, styles, I was expecting a nice smoky, charred hoppy taste. The hops are there.. but also just a cloying sweetness and not enough balance for my liking. Not a bad beer by any means, and probably above average, but if I'm spending $7 on a bomber I want superb taste with complexity and balance... and I didn't feel I got that with this one... also, too much of a boozy aftertaste, even for the high ABV.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -3.1%

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

American-style black ales or 'Cascadian' ales seem to be graining steam. Iniquity is part of this schizophrenic scene with an intensely hopped flavor and nearly black cast.

The pour brings a dark, dark brown color that approached black. An onyx-like sheen atests to the odd clarity of both dark ales and dry-hopped beers. A creamy (remarkably light) tan head rests on the beer in rather dense fashion and holds firm through the session without demanding too much thought. A good look, even for a small stout.

Aromas are in vast contrast to the impressions given to the eye. Resiny hop character resemble pine, grapefruit pith, and herbal grasses; not the caramel rich or heavy toast aroma that are usually associated with darker, heavier beers. Light malt character emmit with subtle toast and malted barley.

Flavors again are right out of Stone's playbook: Sharp pine flavors along with fresh cut grass, sappy bitterness, and citrus peels give an aggressive hop overtone to the beer. Light and crisp malt flavors struggle to offset the bitterness with the faintest flavor of burnt molasass and dry toast. There's little else that make any impact to the beer- hops, light toasty, and a slightly solventy alcohol taste.

Malty rich and creamy with the first sip, but the carbonation soon gives way to a toasty-dry, alcoholic warmth, and piney bite in the throat. A big transition for a big beer- again much like an ipa.

It's difficult to get past the notion of ipa's being black and offering the acrid dryness of burnt toast; it becomes hard to tell where the hop bitterness ends and the burnt toast bitterness begins- but again, that's all part of the fun. Kinda reminds me when the green ketchup came out; then, the psychological game was too much to accept. We'll see about black pale ales.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.5/5  rDev +9%

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

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled 12/30/2011. Pours fairly clear very dark reddish brown color with a fairly dense 1-2 finger light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some decent spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, dark chocolate, roasted malt, herbal, orange, biscuit, floral, pine, light coffee, and earthiness. Some really nice and well balanced aromas here, with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, dark chocolate, roasted malt, biscuit, floral, pine, light coffee, orange, toast, and earthy spiciness. Moderate amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, citrus, roasted malt, pine, light coffee, and toasted biscuit on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic flavor balance, with plenty of roasted malt sweetness balancing out the hops perfectly. Medium carbonation and body; with a very nice creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with only a minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely fantastic black IPA. Plenty of roasted malt sweetness balancing out the hop flavors; which is what I really like in the style. Very smooth and easy to sip on.

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Photo of zeff80
4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark, dark brown (almost black) color with a one-finger, tan head of foam. It left minimal lace.

S - It smelled very hoppy with citrus and floral notes. There were also sweet notes of chocolate and caramel.

T - It tasted of bitter grassy hops with a sharp citrus kick of orange peel and grapefruit. There was a roasty chocolate malt taste to give it its "black ale" name.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied beer that hides its high ABV very well.

D - This is a great brew from Southern Tier. I'm really becoming a fan of the Black IPA style and this is a great example.

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Photo of brentk56
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A dramatic pour with stout-like intensity though the color is considerably lighter with some translucence and ruby highlights; the rocky head sticks nicely and leaves clumps of lacing

Smell: A very different aroma indeed, with peppermint and spruce wafting above a burnt caramel base

Taste: Opens with caramel and peppermint; underneath, the caramel malt builds and produces a burnt brown sugar aspect by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sweet and bitter flavors nicely interact and both sides of the profile linger into the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Certainly quite different from the other Black IPAs I have sampled, this one is somewhat sweeter but still has the dramatic contrasting sweetness/bitterness I seek

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear very dark amber in color with some garnet red highlights and moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall thin sudsy light beige head that quickly reduces to a very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of dark roasted malts with some toffee/caramel malt sweetness (almost like what you would find in a American barleywine). There are moderate amounts of citrus/grapefruit and pine/resin hop aromas as well.

T: Upfront there is a light flavor of dark roasted malts with some toffee/caramel malt sweetness. Underneath the malt sweetness, there is a light to moderte amount of citrus/grapefruit and pine/resin hops. The beer has very light amounts of bitterness which is more than balanced out by the sweetness from the malts.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp and slightly oily in the finish.

O: Overall, the beer is pretty well balanced between the malts/hops and sweetness/bitterness but that disappointed me a little bit since I was expecting a little more bitterness due to this being a black IPA. The beer is pretty easy to drink but there are some slight hints of barleywine notes to it.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of mothman
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
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!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Iniquity? There's certainly nothing evil or unjust about this beer. I was quite surprised and charmed by it. It's very dark, almost black, but there are brown highlights to it. But it's not roasty or chocolatey. There are notes of dark caramel, and soft notes of mocha, but it's nothing like a porter or stout. I thought it was more like a schwarzbier or dunkle. Very nicely rounded maltiness to it!

On top of that, it's pretty damned hoppy! But I look at the label and it reads "...this is an ale as black as night. It is the antithesis of Unearthly" (their hoppy IPA). Well, the color might be different, but with juicy-citrusy and softly piney hops this is far from the opposite of "Unearthly"! It is much less bitter though, and remarkably smooth. The alcohol (9%) never shows, even in the finish.

Oh, another thing about the label, they call it an Imperial IBA. Firstly, I thought the TTB did away with any abbreviations on labels, but regardless, I'm guessing they're calling it an Imperial Brown Ale, or is that Imperial Black Ale? Imperial Blacl Ale fits better. But whatever you call it, I'm drinking it! The darkened malt and citrus-pine hops just go together so well, and despite its strength it's oh so drinkable! Additionally, althought it's not really complex (...a couple of malt notes here, some yeasty fruit there, a few shining hop flavors, and some bitterness...), it's actually very unique. I've never had a beer like it before, and that makes it interesting enough for me. Well done, and given that uniqueness, well worth trying. Kudos once again to Southern Tier!

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Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 1,526 ratings