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:
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Ratings: 1,526 |  Reviews: 616
Photo of Vancer
3.48/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The ol' black ale is, of course, a translucent black with a darn fine ivory head nestled on top. Leaving a sheet of lace around the Corsendonk tulip.

Plenty of sweet malt, anise, chocolate in the aroma. Pine needles sticking the mouth on the quaff, with a hoppy black licorice arriving at the finish. Very different brew, never had one with so much sweet anise in the mix. Gets a bit cloying by mid-bottle A strong beer, but the alcohol never shows up.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a two finger dark cream head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Deep, clear amber/mahogany color. Grapefruit hop nose. Light-medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Flavor is malts and grapefruit hops that are really well balanced. Nice imperial black. $6.49 for a 22oz bottle from Manchester Wine and Liquors Manchester, CT.

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

Poured from the 22oz. bomber into a Duvel tulip glass the beer is a dark brown boardering on mohogany color with two fingers of white fluffy head that retains for then entire sample and leaves a curtain of lace down the side of the glass. A nice looking beer.

The nose has hops and lots of dark fruit. Raisons, figs, plums, mollasses, brown sugars and gingerbread are all present. Slightly sweet.

The taste starts sweet with lots of dried dark fruit flavors. Plums and rum-soaked raison come through and this gives way to a mild bitterness that braces the back of the tounge. Other fruitty flavors come through evincing sugar cookies with figs and raisons. Some pipe tobacco and slightly boozy with a rum like character in the finish. Noticable alcohol as the beer warms.

Medium body with rather low level of carbonation. Hot alcohol becomes apparent as the beer warms.

A very interesting beer. Tough to see this as a double IPA as hops are far from the focus here. Rather, lots of dark fruit and alchohol. This one seems closer to an american barley wine. Regardless, very enjoyable to sip and savor.

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Photo of kegger22
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very deep brown, almost black, with a one finger head with that quickly faded to a thin skin. The aroma was chocolate covered grapefruit. The taste, wow, this is an interesting beer. There is both chocolate and citrus hops. Who da thunk that would have made a good combination, but it did! The feel was medium to full bodied with light carbonation. Drinkability was fairly good, just a little sweet to have two bombers. A pleasant surprise.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a suprisingly solid black, with a finger of light mocha colored foam. This stays rich and creamy around the edges, leaving a strong smattering of spotty lacing back. The aroma is floral hops and resins, with a good bit of sweet citrus mixed in for good measure. All of this hop activity melds into thick notes of chocolate sweetness, nuttiness, and crunchy roast and coffee. This is nice.

The taste is dense with chocolate, black roast, and coffee character, with is layered under an assertive hoppy mix of sticky pine, citrus, and spice. Good balance here, with a big fullness to the taste. Much more so than some other "Black IPAs" that I've had. Finish is roasty and dry. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a cola-like sharpness to the carbonation. Alcohol beef is present, adding some definite heft to the body. Maybe a bit too much actually.

I liked what this brought to the table, style wise, and as I mentioned before, seemed much more robust than some others. My only issue was with the ABV of this, which didn't always work well with the hops and darker malts aspects of this, definitely cutting down on the drinkibility some. This is one to take your time with.

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

Poured from tap at the Ginger Hop bar/restaurant in Minneapolis, MN.

Appearance: Dark black with a slight deep ruby tint when held to the sunlight. One finger foamy tan head that didn't retain long, but left nice lacing.

Smell: Grapefruit hops and sweet malts. A nice blend of the two, although hops were the dominant scent.

Taste: Very good. Big bold hops flavors up front with nice sweet dark roasted malts in the mix. Some slight coffee and chocolate notes in the flavor. Finishes with a nice slight bitter hops tang. A tasty unique and complex combination of flavors.

Mouth Feel: Smooth and medium-Full body. Good carbonation and crisp on the palette.

Drinkability: An excellent IBA/Dubbel style beer that goes down easy for a higher ABV brew. I easily had a couple of these from the tap and could have had more if the ABV was lower.

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

Pours a cola and molasses brown color with a nice, brown, one finger head. Most definetly does NOT look like an IPA. The Unearthly hops give a freash zest of citrusy grass, but the dark malt bring aout roasted nuts, coffee, and chocolate to this malty hop bomb. Starts with coffee, cocoa, and orange and citrus smashing togethe into to one homagenous flavor upfront. h texture comes up with some oily feelings to match the really bitter coffee in the middle. The adds the heat from the alcohol to this dark and Unearthly bitter concoction. Prettys unique beer with its style bending qualities an allure. This beer is a contemplative sipping brew.

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

09/17/09- Shared at a tasting with BA member Talisker.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2009 release, poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Lighet black in color with a 1/2 inch head. Light rim remains for part of the way leaving some nice lacing afterwards.

Smell- Fresh hop assault in the nose. Lots of grapefruit and notes of pine. A bit of a chocolate malt like sweetness detected.

Taste- Nice. Not like most Black IPA's which just taste like an IPA and are black. This one has a nice chocolate-caramel-coffee background. It is hoppy and that flavor carries the beer, but the sweetness from the malt really balances out the beer nicely.

Mouthfeel- Nice bitter hopped aftertaste with a light smokly flavor as well detected.

Drinkability- One of the better beers of the night. Great all around. I'd like another please!

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

Presentation: Thanks to my fellow beer geek of a wife for picking this up for me on a recent trip to Chicago. Label is grey, purple and white with a prominent "hexagram talisman." Described on the label as a customary symbol of brewing. Poured into an Imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours with 1 finger of medium tan head. This settles to splotchy, incomplete coverage with a ring around the glass. Some lacing as I drink. The beer itself is dark mahogany and clear. No sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Roastiness reminiscent of a porter or stout with distinctive sweetness from high ABV.

Taste: Roasted malt bitterness upfront, but not as strong as you typically find in a porter or stout. Kind of lacks the normal body to back up the roastiness, showcasing it a little better. Smooth malt backbone, with hints of a toasted marshmallow lactose sweetness. Finishes with a medium hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is good.

Drinkability: Interesting. While I am not sure I would throw this int he ring with other Imperials IPAs, it is certainly good. Just not the same level of extreme hoppiness one expects from the other IIPA/DIPAs. Rmeinds me in many ways of a dark lager in that the flavors are similar to a standard IPA, but have the additional maltiness and color of darker grains.

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

A: Poured a deep dark black with a rich brown one finger head that quickly faded yielding a nice ring with good lacing.
S: Immediate notes of smokiness and roasted malt followed by sweet caramel and molasses. A hint of floral hops.
T: Initially noted faint smokiness and roasted malt with a nice blend of sweet caramel, coffee, and chocolate. The smoke intensified at the end along with a hopped bitterness. There was a lingering sweetness throughout.
M: Smooth and clean with a light body and some carbonation.
D: Quite refreshing and drinkable. A nice balanced blend of flavors between the smokiness, sweetness, and bitterness.

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Photo of ToddT
3.23/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Almost black liquid topped with a beige head. Head dissipates quickly but leaves some nice lace on the glass.

S- Sweet but subdued fruit notes consisting of pineapple and grapefruit. Caramel and roasted malt as well, maybe that is what is toning down the hop aroma.

T- Roasted malt mixed with sweet fruit. Flavor combination doesn't work that well for me. There is a sweet finish to this and then a bitter kick of the hops to close it out.

M- Lighter than what you would think from the color and aroma. Less than medium in body and minimal carbonation. Smooth and creamy in the mouth but a little thin.

D- Pretty drinkable for 9.0% ABV, the alcohol starts to show up as this warms. I'm still having a little trouble with the flavor profile though.

I'll call it an interesting experiment that didn't win me over. Don't think I'll be going back for another one of these.

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Photo of tigg924
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, dark leather brown, clear

Smell: hops, malt, and a touch of chocolate

Taste: chocolate, coffee, small hops, and burnt malt

Mouthfeel: very smooth, light bodied, little carbonation, with a slightly bitter aftertaste

Drinkability: Not sure I would call this an imperial IPA but it is a very very good beer. It almost drinks like a light RIS and is dangerously sessionable although due to the high ABV one is enough. It is odd that such a dark beer can drink this light. Another Southern Tier triumph and one of my favorites of theirs.

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

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a 1 ½ finger thicker tan head with good retention. Dark brown, almost black, with minimal carbonation evident. Fades slowly to a thin film. A splotch of film remains and leaves some decent lacing down the sides of the glass.

SMELL: Roasted malt and smokiness. Notes of espresso and dark chocolate, as well as caramel undertones. A nice flowery hop presence in the background too. Mild strength. Like a mild stout and IPA combined. Pretty nice and unique, though could be a little bolder.

TASTE: Roasted malt, smokiness and caramel through the middle. Coffee and chocolate notes too. More bitter hops at the finish, as well as some soapiness. Ends with roasted malts and bitterness with an alcohol punch at the end. Strong and long aftertaste is roasted, smoky and bitter, with some spicy alcohol as well. Nice, but not quite as interesting and complex as the nose indicated. A more stout or porter-like taste profile than the nose, which had featured more IPA qualities itself.

PALATE: Medium body, low end carbonation. Very creamy smooth on the palate, goes down velvety smooth and finishes with an alcohol bite at the end. Finishes slightly mouth coating.

OVERALL: Very enjoyable and drinkable brew. Listed as a DIPA, but everything points more to an Imperial Stout. The nose gave the impression of a DIPA, though the flowery and citrus hop notes stopped there. An good brew I'd certainly have again, but wouldn't reach for if I were in the mood for a DIPA.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to portia99 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is slightly hoppy, with some malts, with some spices. The taste is hoppy, malty, sweet, bitter, with some spicyness. Medium body. Drinkable, I would not call it a DIPA.

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Photo of fropones
4.78/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on-tap at the Blind Pig in Champaign. Pour was thoroughly black, with no light shining through even when I hold it to the light. Mocha head sitting on top. Smell is hops, pine, some caramel malt. Interesting combination. The taste is a delicious and perfect balance of hops and dark chocolate malt. Some toffee, and more hops. Absolutely delicious. The mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy. Light carbonation. The drinkability is very high. 9% abv? I think not! Couldn't even taste the alcohol. India Black Ale is really a great way to describe it, as it stands out from your typical IIPAs as well as your typical stouts. Really an amazing beer.

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

Purchased from Charleston Beer Works on 08/29/09 for $6.99. 22oz bomber poured into nonic pint glass. Cola brown in the glass with red hues. Thick 3 fingers of off-white froth. Very frothy with active bubblies.

Leather, nutty aroma, Nestle Quik powder. Nostril burning hop alcohol twinge.

Quite roasty malty up front, tobacco. Nice fruity zest of hops pokes it's little old head out for a minute- cranberrry, strawberry, light citrus. Caramel sweetness in the middle. Hop zest in the rear. Maltier than what I was expecting. I guess the hop flavor is under the malt. I appreciate their effort here.

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Photo of adamette
2.73/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from tap at the brewery 8 28 09 into a clean, clear glass. Review from notes

A Dark, dark body under a brief off white head. Nice, interesting look consistent with the name and the style. 4.0

S Hops and little malt to the nose. This is not my favorite smell but it carries a little more interest than a hopped up DIPA. 3.5

T Hops dominate but there is some dark malt sweetness buried deeply behind the hops. I don't appreciate how prominent the hops are and I wonder what the malt might taste like (it is eclipsed by the hops). 2.5

M Big with bitter hops and alcohol that is not real well hidden. 2.5

D Not good drinkability due to the huge size, not well hidden alcohol and that annoying hops. 2.0

Notes: I want to be positive but this beer was nearly ruined by the hop presence.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark cola, not much, off white tan head. Some light cling web of a lace.

S - Very light roasted malt and chocolate.

T - Hopped up but very lightly malted stout.

M - Medium body, fair coating, easy to balance as not much controversy to deal with.

D - Fine beer especially for the ABV.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed on 8/28/2009 and poured into a snifter. Thanks checkii. Appears black with a one inch off white head. The beer has traces of crimson when held to the light of a banished sun. The head expires like Christendom and leaves scattered lacing clinging to the glass.

The aroma smells more like a weak stout than a black Double IPA. The malt is roasted, with a little cocoa. There's a little alcohol and no noticeable hop presence.

This doesn't taste like a black Double IPA. The malt is roasted with subtle chocolate notes. There's a low level of bitterness and the finish is roasted.

The beer is medium full bodied with medium carbonation and a thing, unsatisfying mouthfeel. A mediocre, unmemorable stout masquerading as a black Double IPA.

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Photo of jera1350
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cola colored with a hint of light tan head which forms a ring around the glass.

Licorice and hops dominate. Reminds me of a quad. Some toasted malt and citrus also appear.

Wow, unique is an understatement. The first thing that comes to mind is a hopped up coffee stout. A blend of rich burnt malt with sweet citric hops. A little bit of alcohol. I'm liking this more with each sip.

Medium bodied and smooth. Not much carbonation going on.

Nice drinkability, but at 9% ABV, this one could sneak up on a person. Unique beer indeed. I would call this a hoppy quad or a hopped up stout. Either way, very good. I would drink this again. Another solid beer from ST.

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Photo of Stunner97
4.49/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- dark black to very dark brown, some what able to see a little bit of light coming through the glass, moderate to think white head off the pour that quickly dissipates out to nothing

Smell- the smell is delicious, a mix of sweet hops and sweet malts very beautifully balanced out, seems to be walking a balancing act of smell between being beautiful malts and beautiful hops, nice sweet caramel tones jump out great

Taste- hmm very unique beer here, it very much walks the line from being a very super hoppy bitter beer and being a slightly more malty and sweet style beer, has some of the essences of some scotch aless and then the hops kick in give you a nice balance,

Mouthfeel- medium to very full bodied, very nice long lingering finish that is beautiful , interesting texture

Drinkability- Extremely delicious and grows on you as you go, you certainly have no clue how big the alcohol is but certainly a sipper, it has nice longer finish starting to become reminiscent of a barley wine, overall a good drinkable brew

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a small bubbly off white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of mild grapefruit, some earthy hops, a bit of chocolate and light caramel. The taste is a smooth light chocolate and caramel earthy hops with a bit of that "c" hop twang in the back of your mouth. Prunes, raisins, some brown sugar in there as well. Slight alcohol burn leads to a smooth hop finish. Creamy mouthfeel, light carbonation, thick body. WOW that one is different. Beautifully complex brew. ST is continuing to knock them out of the park IMHO. Start sending em to NH already will ya!!!

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

A - Dark dark clear reddish brown with a tan rocky head. I love this color.

S - Mix of grapefruit and chocolate notes. It's a very unique smell I haven't experienced before. It's an odd sort of sweet.

T/M - A biting carbonation hits first, followed by a thick cocoa wave. The hops don't come through until later, but are refreshing after the chocolate. Feels frothy, but a little dry.

D - I quite like it, but I wish it didn't have a dry feel.

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

L: Pours a black color with hints of copper at the bottom and a light bodied, short, and off-white colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of black malts, piney and earthy hops at the end that pretty much dominate the aroma.
T: Starts off with sweet toasted malts then big bitter black malt, then finishes with a huge piney and earthy hop flavor that is really interesting.
M: Very crisp, fresh, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable, especially for such a twist on a traditional style, really like their creativity.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No head to speak of. My gentle pour caused a light head. Color was a deep, dark brown with NE-quality clarity. Nose was very dry, chocolate, malty, dark fruit. Mouthfeel was medium with soy sauce, prunes, raisins, bourbon, grapefruit, pineapple, and chocolate on the tongue. Finish had a salty medium finish that lingered. Another beer to share.

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