Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,526 |  Reviews: 616
Photo of inlimbo77
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber bottle poured into snifter style glass, shared with others.

A: Pours a deep brown. not black (note the watery edge), but deep brown. little to no head retention. faint bubble line around outside of glass.

S: I got sweet hops, and some chocolate notes from the nose. Not a full BURST of hops like the Un-Earthly...hence the "antithesis" line on bottle.

T: As mentioned in other reviews, you get a bunch of malt up front in this brew and then the hops hit you on the back end. I really enjoyed my taste!

M: Not as sticky as I was expecting from an Imperial beverage. Fairly watery actually.

D: Very much drinkable brew. Only had a sample but probably could have taken down the bomber without blinking an eye. Good product from a solid brewery.

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Photo of flexabull
3.56/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottles courtesy of pwoody11 and TheManiacalOne, thanks again guys!

Pours a deep dark brown, almost black color with a nice off white head.

Aromas are earthy, with dark baked breads, and bitter bakers chocolate.

Taste is chocolately, lightly sweet, with brown sugar and cola flavors. Beer then settles into some creaminess, breadiness, and a mineral and earthy hop finish. I was expecting and hoping for more hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Nice fullness, and good carbonation.

Drinkability is ok. This is a pleasant enough beer, but it kind of misses when compared to other Black IPA's. There just isn't enough hoppiness to carry this one, and it kind of lacks complexity.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into cervoise

A - Black centre with brown and reddish edging against the light. Tan tinged head and lacing.

S - Roasty bitterness, decent hop smell of pine. You can smell the sweetness of the malt

T - Interesting tasting brew. This has too much caramel malty sweetness to really bring out the hop bitterness associated with Black Ales. You can pick up some of the dry pine bitterness as well as some roasted coffee flavour from the malt.

M - Not as heavy as I would expect out of a beer with an "Imperial" in the label. Very tacky on the back palate.

D - This beer is decent, but not the best example of the style. Easy enough to drink but a weird sticky sweetness to it. Okay beer, still love ST stuff.

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Photo of MadCat
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: More of a very dark brown than black. Small brown head that dissipates quick, but leaves some lacing

Smell: Beautiful bouquet of hops

Taste: Wonderful balance of malt, hops, and a reasonable amount of bitterness. Nice roasty flavors in there as well. Good complexity.

Mouthfeel: Good, some thickness, a normal level of carbonation

Drinkability: No problems finishing a 22oz bomber, certainly could drink more of it if it were one of those nights. Does not taste like 9% abv.

I think I would call this a stout drinker's IPA. Very hoppy and roasty, but not overly so on either. Not so many hops that you can't stand to drink more than one glass, but not so intensely malty either. Very nice balance, I think I have found something to go for when I'm in a hop mood.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark brown-- not quite black as night, produces a dense head that slowly recedes back from whence it came.

The nose produces hints of hops, raisins, caramel and even some malt.

The flavor lives up to it's name of "imperial"-- and it's certainly an ale. Much of the nose reveals the flavor-- hops, toasted malt, alcohol, raisin-tea and even a slathering of caramel.

The flavor is strong and up front and center.

The beer produces a long cordial finish with the added characteristics "falling off" leaving the bitter hops as the "last stand" on the finish wagon.

Mouthfeel is wonderful- makes this beer eminently enjoyable.
The beer is like a "coating" that covers the palate with a smooth and lingering flavor.

Drinkability-- even though this beer is rated as 9% ABV it's still so enjoyable, I braved the high(er) alcohol content for a "bomber" style bottle. Sadly, I only have one in my lager.

Definitely worth your effort to sample this libation!

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Photo of GPHarris
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a two-fingers thick and creamy tan head into a tulip that settles into a thick ring and sheeting that is gone about halfway through. the body was dark brown, almost black, with red tints when held to the light.
s - roasted chocolate malts with some piney hops.
t - very malty with a good hop profile. finishes sweeter than it starts. incredibly balanced.
m - slick, smooth and creamy.
d - wow, this is an incredible beer. southern tier's blackwater beers continue to amaze.

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Photo of Rutager
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance. Black. Half finger head which quickly reduces to whisps floating around.

Smell. Hops, raisins, caramel and alcohol.A little smokey too.

Taste. Sweet caramel malt and molasses with a hoppy bite and a hint of sour.

Mouthfeel. Lower carbonation, slightly syrupy. Warming alcohol presence.

Drinkibility. Not too shabby, especially considering it's high abv. Good drinker behind that intimidating apearance.

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Photo of livewire78
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is black. Or is it? Is that some red peeking through as I hold it up to the light? Head looks like a frothy chocolate milk shake.

Smells of roasted malts and a little coffee. Oh and a touch of frothy chocolate milk shake.

The roasted malts, coffee and chocolate milk shake flavors are in there as well as some nice bitterness from the hops. A little cocoa? Just being a black IPA should give you a good idea as to what it tastes like.

Mouthfeel is nice and full. Rather frothy, you know, kind of like a chocolate milk shake.

I think this style is kind of growing on me. I'd drink another but not right now. Maybe I'll just have a real chocolate milk shake.

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Photo of BurpingtonDC
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

A - Black as night! A two-fingered foamy head gave way to a creamy, smooth head that floated on top and resisted dissipation for a good long while. A right handsome ale!

S - Smell is delicate. A little coffee, a little malt, a little raisin.

T - I've never had a "black ale" but this one tastes somewhere in between a rich porter and a sweet stout. Excellent, excellent flavor. A prominent chocolate flavor with a gentle hop dryness.

M - Wonderful, medium bodied, lightly carbonated. A toasty, chocolate flavor lingers on the tongue, but not cloyingly so.

D - Delicious! That's all.

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Photo of GatheringBrews
4.48/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a deep, rich black with a slight reddish hint against the light; the clarity is stunning. Its light tan head dissipates to a lacy collar around the edge of the beer. It's not heavily carbonated but moreso than a stout. While this is technically a double India Pale Ale in design, it's built to be more rounded, malty and balanced and less bitter than that style traditionally pours.

With a pleasantly hoppy aroma (citrus and pine), it follows through with some nice, balanced bitterness. A roasty malted flavor with notes of coffee and chocolate round out the rich mouthfeel, but it's definitely not heavy. It finishes with a malty carmel flavor balanced with a good hoppy bitterness.

The black hue comes mostly from the use of a particular malt (debittered black malt), which adds color while not weighing down the beer.

Overall, this is an exceedingly drinkable beer that would pair nicely with a range of foods or be good just on its own.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.48/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich aroma is oily and smoky with tones of caramel, semi-sweet chocolate and burnt molasses, rather like a good stout. It pours a dark chocolate brown that is barely translucent just at the edges and has a thick, fluffy, fine-bubbled, pale tan head that leaves fairly heavy lacing. Flavor is rich and mouth-filling, mainly like semi-sweet chocolate with hints of smoke, molasses, caramel, toffee and licorice. Texture is slick and smooth with a subtle alcohol bite and a firm fizz so it leaves a strong, persistent tingle behind. Overall, this is more like a stout or porter than a strong ale. I strongly recommend this one.

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Photo of gopens44
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black and not a lot of head at all. Only a thin fizzy layer of, well, fizz....

S - Bright, sweet, malty and rich. A thin hint of raisins that gives way to some serious plum smells.

T - A ton of raisin with hints of molasses. A touch of well hidden spice on the back end with a tiny bit of dark bitter chocolate hanging around. Maybe the slightest bit sour, but not at all in a bad way.

M - Highly carbonated, crisp and smooth.

Quite an enjoyable drink this is. I look forward to more for certain!

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Photo of kiddynamite920
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark as night, as mentioned on the bottle...well not really. It really is a very dark brown. Has a creamy, off-white head that is pretty tight laced.

S: This thing is pretty beautiful as far as aroma goes. I am directly reminded of Nemesis 2010. Perhaps they follow a similar hop schedule. Very deep and dark roasted malt aroma, with the same interesting dark fruit character that Nemesis has. Getting a slight hint of band-aid in this one though. Surprisingly more of an alcohol aroma as well. Has sweet notes of honey, brown sugar and some caramel matched with some resinous hops.

T: Herbal and bitter hops came as a surprise here. Has a big roasty quality with a large amount of dark fruits. They note that they used debittered black malt on the bottle, which is why I am not finding the bitterness that is usually associated with the darker roasted malts. Very interesting take on the style.

M: Southern Tier doesn't let down on the mouthfeel of yet another beer. Always find their beers to be creamy and well carbonated. This one is slick and soft, with a pretty substantial body on it. Very nice.

D: Another delicious one from ST. Their beers tend to be dessert in a glass to me, so I always enjoy slow sipping. Alcohol is pretty well hidden on the palate, which throws this one into the dangerous category.

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Photo of LanceW
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been impressed by just about everything I have had from southern tier. Once again they have not let me down. I have had their pumking and Hoppe. Both of those had a large syrupy mouth feel but his beer was very balanced. The color was of course dark and the head was a light brown color. I personally love it when the head on a good stout has a slight brown color. The aroma was complex. I could tell right way that it had alcohol in it but there was also a sent of sweetness. The smell of alcohol and sweetness is quite common with a brew of this stature and it followed suit. The taste was very satisfying. The alcohol lingers thought out the entire taste. The initial reaction was wow. The flavor almost made me feel like I was drinking a concentrated stout. Flavor per volume was huge. However, I could only drink one or two of these at a time. With a beer like this I need to nurse it along. The flavor and sweetness is great in small sips but could be over powering if rushed.

Long story short. i would definitely drink this beer again and would recommended to any stout fan.

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Photo of StlHopHead77
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a not quite transparent dirty,maroon with a loose tawny head and nice rings of lacing.

S-Smells of sweet citrus,caramel,burnt sugar and lightly roasted malt.

T-Tastes like a citrus-spiked porter with burnt marshmallow and some tawny port notes.Moderate bitterness from hops as well as dark malts.

M-Medium bodied with a good balance between sweet malts and resinous hop bitterness.

D-Good drinkability but still something there that makes me wonder if I could drink multiple pints of this.

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Photo of lovindahops
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snagged a bomber of iniquity tonight. Love me some black ipa action!

A- black as night with highly anticipated lacing and fair enough foam on the sides

S- hops in the form of grapefruit and earthy tones. They mingle with a malt presence that is both roasted and smoked profile

T- ahhh that expected black ipa delivers on the spot. There is a sweet roasted taste that has an earthy hop flavor. A little syrupy

M- medium bodied a good flavor

D- iniquity has some dark characteristics that are tasty. Massive alcohol though. I will always snag some of these malt fests

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Photo of smm
3.71/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a semi-transparent black, they weren't messing around when they named it. Thin head on top with nice lacing.

S- Very sweet, heavy wafts of alcohol, dark and fruity. Maybe a hint of chocolate at the end.

T- Very complex and delightfully surprising. I was expecting something much more sweet from the smell. There is a mixture of hoppy and coffee bitterness at first which slips into a chocolaty sweetness.

M- Medium body, not too heavy. Carbonation hits you in the back of the throat.

D- Lovely complex flavor. The nose was a bit too sweet for me, the alcohol level makes it a bit hard to get through a bomber.

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Photo of cratez
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle from Ryan's Party Store in Port Huron, MI.

Pours pitch black with a thin ring of beige head and stringy, webbed lacing on the tulip.

Huge hop nose has spruce, ethanol, melon, mango, burnt sugar, caramel, chocolate cookie dough, leather, licorice, vanilla, floral and citrus aromas, and green banana.

Taste is rich pale and roasted malts, dark chocolate, caramel sweetness, citric, grassy and spicy hops, more spruce, green banana, and mango, juicy and acidic bitterness on the tongue, burnt toasty finish with Oreo cookie and some alcoholic warmth going down. A touch too sweet for my liking, and for the style.

Mouthfeel is fuller than medium bodied, smooth and syrupy middle, prickly bitterness on the palate with a slight burn in the throat.

Overall, this is an excellent DIPA, but it lacks the full on roast, chocolate, toast, and ballsy hop bitterness that I expect from a Black IPA. All of these elements only show up in trace amounts here. Ironically the label states that Iniquity is "the anti-thesis of Un*Earthly," yet aside from a few flavours brought out by the black malts, I find the two beers to be almost identical. Granted, that's not a bad thing, as Un*Earthly is one of my all-time favourites.

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Photo of ForrestWolf
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the second time I've had this beer. Picked it up at my favorite local beer store, EZ Liquors in Toms River NJ.

Appearance - pours a beautiful deep mahogany reddish brown when held to light. Head is thick and dense with lacing that lasts the whole pint.

Smell - Big burst of hops with notes of chocolate and roasty malts.

Taste - Excellent combination of bitter, hoppy IPA and chocolate sweetness. This one really hits the umami taste buds!

Mouthfeel - Carbonation is very well balanced with the amount of alcohol that cuts through. Aftertaste leaves you craving for more.

Drinkability - I would drink this beer anytime I could.

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Photo of aepb1
3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Black body with a creamy white head

S- Piney hops and some malts sneak through

T- Some molasses, breadiness and finishes with a piney hop bite

M- Medium bodied and good level of carbonation

D- Not 100% sure on the Black IPA style and I try to rate based on style but being a little unfamiliar, I may have to come back and re-review this one to give it a better shake.

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Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle -

Poured a two finger head that leveled out into a thick tan lacing,very dark beer,with moderate carbonation.

Smell - Light Chocolate hints, Coffee , Roasted Malts.

Taste - Toasty malt flavors with mild hops, burnt coffee hints with a touch of vanilla,light spicing.

Drinkabilty - well blended brew , smooth taste not overpowering for a 9% abv concoction, nice finish with a very nice aftertaste, This was my first one - won't be my last -

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Photo of SteveS1
3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look- Dark, dark, brown. A bit of ruby shines through when held to the light. Stable frothy tan head, little retention.

Smell- Distinct American IPA aroma. Faint sweet malts, bubblegum, and sneaky citrus hops/lemon zest.

Taste- Bitter hops at the tip of the tongue, rich and sweet malts up front, bitter roasted flavor on the palate, and a mix of tangy hops and bitter malts going down. Bready throughout. I hesitate to identify any of the flavors as chocolate or coffee, it really has the original barley sweetness.

Feel- Big, bold, creamy and syrupy. Faint carbonation, though not flat by any means.

Drink- This brew gets a bit boozy if you drink indiscriminately, though you don't necessarily have to sip to enjoy. Probably best to split the 22oz with a friend.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle

A - Served in pint glass. Two inches of tan, almost mocha, head. This beer is dark. Ruby highlights only when held to direct light source.

S - Aromas of citrus and roasted malt come through. The hops are the dominant smell.

T - Citrus hops are the initial taste. The roasted malts mellows this beer out and are in the background.

M - There is a full, creamy mouthfeel. Silky smooth

D - The citrus hops and the creamy mouthfeel really help this beer out. It has an addictiveness to it that leaves me craving my next drink.

Overall, not the best black IPA that I have had. I prefer more of a pronounced malt character to get the best of both worlds. The hops were perfect. The creamy mouthfeel made this an easy drinker and I would like another.

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Photo of beersensei305
3.4/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This beer is dark like a root beerish color with a flat tan head the disapears quickly with no retention around the glass. I can smell sweet malts and some floral hoppiness. The taste is pretty good- dark fruits and choclate. But I get a hint of licorce which I am not a fan of. the better has a watery mouthfeel to me, very disappointing to me. I wish this was a thicker brew.

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Photo of ewright
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured half of a 22oz bottle into a snifter. The head receded a bit too quickly, but has left some pretty lacing on the glass and a nice thick ring around the edge. The beer is very close to pitch black, but with a 60W bulb in the background, it shows as dark dark brown with only a hint of light shining through.

Grapefruit, tangerine and other citrus notes dominate the aroma. Great smell that seems out of place in such a dark ale, but this is the nature of the Black "IPA". There is no noticeable aroma contribution from the malt.

The dark malts show up on the tongue though. The use of debittered black malt gives nice roasty flavors with no astringency commonly associated with roast barley or black patent malt. This provides a nice backdrop for the hop flavors. Grapefruit dominates the hop flavor with a little tropical fruit in the background. There is a slight alcohol bite at the end, but it is pretty well hidden by all the other flavors.

Good balance between the hops and malt make this lighter on the tongue than the color would indicate. No cloying aftertastes, just a bit of hop bite lingering.

This is one dangerously drinkable 9% dark ale that is pairing nicely with some fresh smoky gouda.

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Iniquity (Imperial Black Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.09 out of 5 based on 1,526 ratings.
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