Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)

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2,883 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,883
Reviews: 1,202
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 132
Gots: 337 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: John on 02-24-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,883 | Reviews: 1,202
Reviews by pmcadamis:
Photo of pmcadamis
3.44/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Clear tangerine/pumpkin shell hued brew with a huge fluffy, yet totally solid head that shows a remnant of the tangerine color of the brew but looks a little more eggshell or what a new bride would probably call "ivory" or "buttercream" while the groom says "Looks white to me." Abundant lace sticks beautifully to the glass, and head retention is outstanding. This is one hell of a sexy-lookin' beer! Five point 0.

S - The aroma is more subdued than I expected, but shows some nice flowery-garden and orange juice notes, along with some more exotic tropical flowers... not tropical fruit so much as tropical flowers. The kind of flora that would look completely out of place in an English garden but totally at home on the grounds of your all-inclusive resort in Mexico/Jamaica/Bahamas, or on the ear of a stunning Hawaiian wahine.

T - Sweet molasses, tangy/sweet mango, and buttery caramel cream. Like the nose, this is not "all up in your face" with "xtreme" hops like other DIPA brews that make the glorious hop the centerpiece of the table (not that I blame them or dislike those brews). Rather, this one is subtly caramel-y, buttery, sweet, perfumed, and completely relaxed in its vibe. For some reason, the whole Hawaii vibe is coming though in this beer. I've never been to Hawaii, but I've been to the Caribbean too many times (the flight to Hawaii from the midwest is prohibitive when booking vacations) and I imagine Hawaii to be like Caribbean, but with much more lush vegetation and I would imagine that that vegetation smells and tastes like this beer.

M - Full bodied and extremely sugar-laden. This is a sipper for desert or the wee hours of the evening, and its best enjoyed cool but not cold (and by that I mean a bit cooler than I normally drink my DIPA's... which would approach room temp). The attack is round and mellow, and the transition to the finish is a gentle curve of sweetness - to slightly less sweet.

D - A bit to sugary and heavy IMO. I could stand to see a bit more hoppage in this one, with a reduction in residual sugar. Not bad, but I probably won't be revisiting this one. And sorry about that Hawaii tangent... that's just the vibe I get.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a great rich clear bronze witha very well retained 1/2 finger head with a fine bead just a pleasure to look at I have to say.The aromas are quite citric alot grapefruit in there maybe a note of apricot over top of caramel malt a whif of alcohol shows thru more so as it warms.This is not an in your face DIPA although the hops do pack a good punch not to mention alot of complexities citrus and piney cascades and chinooks really show themselves I even get a little earthiness as it warms saying all that there is a big enough of juicy lightly sweet caramel malt backbone to almost hold up against the hop onslaught.Wow amazed at this beer the alcohol is so well hidden you would have no idea how big it was and the hops take the show,"an unhibited infusion of hops" per bottle that sums it up,kick ass!

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This was a glowing brown in color and very clear with a good, reputable head.

Smell – The big, citrus hops did this bouquet proud. They didn’t run away with the nose though, as this ale has a wonderful malty base and a good sense of alcohol.

Taste – The malts are huge at the taste, and the alcohol lightens up a bit making this a nicely balanced brew. The citrus hops are large and in charge. This is a flavor explosion.

Mouthfeel – This is a solid medium-bodied with a slick, almost greasy mouthfeel. It’s interesting, because the hops are huge but it’s not brutally bitter.

Drinkability – This is a good-drinking bigger beer that was the life of the party.

Comments – Thanks to BeerGuy for donating this monster bomber to skyhand’s Broken Fridge party.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very pretty IPA color. Bright orange copper with equal amounts of brown and red hues. Head is gigantic, creamy, and just off white. Lacing is sticky and lasting. Aroma is powerful and diverse. Malt is difficult to determine. There may be some caramel but it’s hard to get past the hops. Resinous aroma of pine and juicy aroma of grapefruit, orange, and pineapple. No hint of booze. Is this really 11%? 153 IBUs stated on the lable. Scary. Actually…it’s the taste that is scary. No hint of the ABV and oddly, this is a lot less unbalanced then I would have thought. The body is very full and warming is certainly happening. Flavors of citrus are juicy and rich, velvety and luscious. Seconds of toast and caramel fade in and out but are hard to focus on and are often overwhelemed by grapefruit. Still, they are present. Drinkability is not that great…until one takes into account the fact that this is 11% and 153 IBUs. With those facts taken under consideration, this beer is downright stellar.

Bottle purchased at La Cav du Vin, Cleveland.

Photo of tectactoe
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a murky amber, copper color, highly opaque with an off-white, two finger head. Decent lacing is left along the sides of the glass nearly all the way down. Aroma is heavy on hops, of course, of the spicy variety, resinous and piney, backed by some caramel, toasted malts. Mouth is big and heavy, kind of sticky and thick - hops up front with a nice spicy character, white pepper, coriander, grapefruit rinds, oil and resin, and light pine needles. Lemon and orange zest are abundant, as is the powerful alcohol character, think PineSol. Malts are used liberally and do a fine job of clashing and balancing the heavy hop bill. Caramel malts, light toffee, molasses, high sweetness, and a touch of some medicinal and metallic flavors. Carbonation is a little lower than I was expecting; thick, almost syrupy body.

Solid DIPA, reminds me a little bit of Weyerbacher's Double Simcoe. Nice spicy hop profile and a good balance with plenty of caramel malts.

Photo of ExtraStout
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this beast (22oz bomber) up for under $7.00. All I can say is WOW. This is one of the greatest DIPAs ever. What a wonderful creation. Thank you Southern Tier.
A-Poured from 22 oz bomber into 12 oz snifter in two pours of course. Poured with about a finger width of head. Nice amber color.
S-Sweet with hops, faint pine, caramel smell
T-Exceptional flavor, bold hops with proper balance of sweetness. I like the sticky head at the beginning. Alcohol is present but is carried by flavor properly with a strong finish.
M-Hops slam your tounge with perfect bitterness followed by the sweet finish. Drinks a little thicker and finishes perfect not to dry.
D-Very good. With 10+% ABV you better take it easy.

Photo of hopsleeroy
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Excited about this bottle that I received via trade.
A-Looking pretty good, golden beer with a decent white head that dissipated quickly.
S-Citrus and tropical fruit flavors, slight pine smell, sweet caramel malt
T-Very malt and fruit forward DIPA, some bread caramel flavors, slightly grain flavor, hop flavor not as prevelant at first but hit on the way back, citrus grapefruit presence there but has a backseat, alcohol flavors seem to sharpen the flavors rather than compliment them, Overly sweet, too much alcohol, and would have preferred more upfront hops
M-Good but not great, slightly grainy feel and alcohol flavor detracted, good carbonation tickle
D-Not a big fan of this one and didn't make it through the whole bottle. I find too much alcohol sweetness in Southern Tier beers that don't compliment the flavors underneath which are usually very good.

Photo of sgoodship
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up for $6.99 at Binny's in the South Loop.

I like some humorous copy on a beer label but when it is all marketing and tells you nothing about the beer, I always feel like the label doesn't come directly from the brewers. Anyhow, I digress.

A: I could have done with pouring more vigorously. Slightly creamy yellow, fine frothy half a finger head. Medium hazy amber that becomes yellow gold toward the bottom. Nice lacing.

S: Like smelling hop resin - pretty intense. Big fresh fruity hops. Pine forest with lemon and tangerine. Some sweet maltiness in the background. The alcohol is there for sure but doesn't dominate.

T: On first taste it fills the mouth with a nice caramel maltiness and goes into a surprisingly sweet and lemony hop profile. Big hop but not big aggressive bite. Some sourness in the aftertaste. When it settled, it didn't do it for me in quite the same way. The fruit became more tart and the hop bite developed a big pine bite. When it warmed up, it became too soapy for me.

M: Feels like a nice medium body. Slick and smooth. Carbonation is low.

D: An impressive beer but the mix and focus was just not right for my personal taste. It goes down real easy. The trouble is that it is 11 ABV! An evening on this stuff would be a short evening indeed.

Photo of explosivebeer
4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice light orange with a thin white head. The aroma is loaded with hops but balanced with some malty sweetness. It has a full body with solid bitterness to balance out the imperial maltiness. It finishes well and leaves you wanting more. Overall, a very good beer.

Photo of steelerguy
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice bronze color, very clear, with a medium carbonation...very nice for this style. Pour into a chalice, small head, that faded to nothing pretty quick. A little surprised by that with the cara-pils they used.

S - Awesome smell, nice citrus and floral aromas with a little pine smell in there. Really pleasing smell.

T - Very good taste, no alcohol bite. Very nice citrus and floral hop flavors. Wasn't as bitter as I was expecting or would have liked, but I really like hops. Very balanced for a high IBU beer, not sure if I believe it is 135 as I have seen posted, but it does have a good malt backbone, so the balance my be fooling me.

M - It was good, not too dry, nice silky feel. About what I would expect in and Imperial IPA.

D - For such a high ABV beer I would say it is pretty drinkable. No problem with a 22 ounce bomber, but after that I am done. This is how I am with most high IBU beer, I love the assult on my senses for about 22-24 ounces worth of time, then it is time to relax.

Can't say I am blown away by this beer, but it is certainly very good and I am sure I will enjoy again in the future.

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

Aggressive pour from a bomber into a tulip glass.

Clear honey color with a fluffy, sticky, pale orange head that doesn't dissipate and leaves a noticeable ring. Very nice lacing down the glass.

Assertive and complex mix of herbal, floral, and citrus with some sweet, biscuity malt thrown in.

Very strong on the citrus and herbal flavors, with noticeable warming from the alcohol. Surprisingly high residual sugars that become overwhelming (along with the alcohol) if it warms up too much.

Nice balance of thick creaminess with moderate carbonation that satisfies without overwhelming for the style.

The bottle recommends 42 F, which sounds cold, but I wouldn't recommend drinking it any warmer. DIPAs seem to each have a unique balance point, and this one is definitely a bit better on the cooler side. Regardless, this beer demands food accompaniment. Not for the faint of heart of the empty-stomached.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.44/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Unearthly Imperial IPA arrives in an awesome silkscreened bomber, my eyes catch that this is dry hopped with cascade, centenial and chinook..oh yeah, bring it on! Pours from the bottle a wonderful reddish orange huge with exquisite clarity. A nice cap of off white head tops it off in fine style. Aromas hit with dank citric and fresh sap dripping piney hop goodness. Overflowing lupulin oils drench an underlying caramelly dough maltiness. Green, earthy and herbal are all words that also come to mind. Just the aroma I look for in a DIPA.

First sip brings a dense maltiness that brings to mind caramel covered hop cones. Citrusy and piney hop oils rush across the palate bringing a good dose of bitterness with them on the way down. A bit doughy/biscuity with an overall earthy, herbal element to it. Finishes with a lingering hoppy bitterness. Hoppy burps ensue, this is a darn tasty imperial IPA with a touch of spiciness and well hidden alcohol...well done!

Mouthfeel is rather big and chewy...this one really makes itself known with each sip. Mellower on the carbonation side, which is nice. I really enjoy the flavor here, but the 11% abv hinders the drinkability a bit for me, as this bomber is gonna get me plenty buzzed. Overall, a wonderfully hoppy brew that still maintains a sturdy malt backbone...this is a DIPA I hope to have the chance to come back to again sometime and another winner for Souther Tier. Thanks warriorsoul!

Photo of blitz134
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been wanting to try this for a while, finally got a bottle from jjayejaye, thanks...

Pours a nice clear copper color with some carbonation bubbles rising to the surface to support an eighth inch of offwhite head. Nice tight lacing left on the glass too.

Aroma is sweet and hop laden. Lots of caramel and candy sugar, a little sweet bubble gum and cotton candy. Floral and citrus hops dominate, tangerine and orange peels.

Pretty nice flavor with a lot of stuff going on, fairly balanced overall. A solid caramel backbone works underneath a lot of different hops flavors. Has a grapefruity edge and some bitter citrus pith flavors. Some floral hints work well with the caramel malts, but the finish has a nice bitter edge and a touch of pine sap to round it out. Good stuff. Alcoholic edge though.

Pretty thick mouthfeel, a bit oily. Carbonation levels are right on. Coats the mouth like sticky syrup, which for me hurts the drinkability a bit.

Good drinkability overall, a bit too sweet for me to have much more than this bomber. I like a drier, more resin-like DIPA personally. Its good stuff though and worth a try.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22oz bomber poured into a tulip glass. It was a clear amber color with a small head. Wonderful aroma: hop resin, pine, something sweet like honey. Flavor's great too. Hops up front, a subtle pine taste. The sweetness in the taste seemed to be more fruity. A substantial beer, one to sip and savor.

Photo of NWer
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased off the shelf at Top Foods in Bellevue. A surprise. I don't remember seeing Southern Tier anything available around here before but that could just be me. I'm not very observant sometimes. Just ask my wife.
So, reading the label :
"Kettle hops: chinook and cascade
Hop back: syrian golding
Dry hopped: cascade centennial & chinook"
Along with the 11% abv (not the 10% stated) I'm expecting some sort of hop bomb.
Nothing of the sort.
Very smooth. "Delicately balanced" as stated and enjoyable.
It deserves high marks for achieving its objective. If you want a hop bomb, look elsewhere. If you enjoy a very good hop forward beer that is totally drinkable, you've found it in un*earthly.

Photo of cjbinvt
4.82/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

OK - so this beer is kinda like a merger between the belgium style triple and a well hopped IPA. I tend to be a fan of the belgium styles, as well as IPA's, so this particular beer was a standout for me. In fact, it was the sole motivator for signing up on BeerAdvocate.

Hoppy Citrus aroma, light flavor, sudsy, very strong hops and not over sweet. Nice.

I have seen some comments about its drinkability - ok - so most belgium beers are too strong to be "drinkable". Your not going to sit back and knock off a sixer of these on a hot day - its just not that kind of beer. It is, however, a remarkable beer with few peers.

Photo of marvin213
3.11/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A lightly tanned, heady beer awaits my embrace. It's a light brown, copper color--like a penny from the 80s dulled from years of regular circulation. A solid surface of lacing marks the path of the foam's descent. This beverage certainly looks appealing.

The aroma from my glass isn't overly impressive. I was expecting a hop slam of sorts--not Hop Slam, but you know what I mean. I smell a balanced malt beverage. Hops are undoubtedly present, but absent is the distinct aroma of amarillo or simcoe. Instead, this particular hop combo just sort of blends the malts and wheat that comprise the beverage. It's odd because it's interesting without offering much character.

Southern Tier does a great job labeling specific ingredients, and I'd certainly be shy about calling out a caramel-type malt, but that's the taste that strikes me first. I similarly taste the red wheat. Where most (hoppy) beers have a malt backbone to counter the bittering hops, this one's got hops to counter the caramelized malts and the red wheat influences. I don't really want that from an IPA.

The hops taking a relative backseat hurts the mouthfeel. I fail to appreciate any textures the pale malt or wheat bring to the table. The caramalt sweetness is just okay, and--again--not really what I'm looking for from an IPA. My take on drinkability aligns with basically every other reaction to this beer--it's okay at best. For an $8.50 bomber, it simply doesn't cut it.

Photo of cschepers
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear caramelly orange.. almost the color of fresh motor oil (not the used stuff). Beautiful carbonation bubbles rise through the glass. Small off-whitish head.

Smell is of grapefruit & lemon rind and caramel malt.

Taste is of heavy caramel malt, pine and orange hops, toffee, maybe some faint smoke or pine resin. Very little alcohol noticeable for an 11% abv beer. Some cedary hops stick around in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is really thick and slick. Very nice and viscous.

Drinkability is as high as can be expected for this big a beer. Easy to sip, that seems to be about the right pace.

Really good DIPA, incredibly balanced. Very well done.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber color with head which dissipates to the side of the glass

Malt and a hop fruitiness not overwhelming but compliments well

The taste of hop fruitiness overall, it is paired well with the pale malts. It is sweet and finishes floral with a slight citrus hop

The mouth is very smooth and little carbonation and has a slight alcohol dry finish

For a double IPA this is very easy to drink, not heavy malt body but full of flavor.

Photo of Doomcifer
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a semi-clear, reddish/amber color with a magnificent, off-white, creamy head that retains wonderfully. Great lacing leaves my glassware beautifully decorated as well. Nice!!!

Aroma is of huge citrusy hops, with a strong sweet malty backbone. Lots of grassy notes are present as well, including hop spiciness, candy, and wonderful floral hoppy notes. No alcohol detected in the nose at all, even though this brew clocks in at 11.0% abv. Outstanding.

Taste is just phenomenal. Spicy and huge piney hops up front with an amazing malty flavored backbone. Grassy, earthy, and ending semi-dry but not astringent. From the smell, you would think this beer would be a bit on the sweet side even though it isn't. Ridiculously smooth and balanced. Alcohol @ 11.0 is hardly detected!!

Mouthfeel is rich and velvety with moderate carbonation. Great feel for an Impy IPA.

Judging based solely on flavor, I could drink this baby all damn day. It is that good...no, GREAT. Throw in the alcohol factor, and I would have to say one bomber is enough. Tolerance allowing though, this is just smooth as silk and ultra-balanced. A magnificent Imperial IPA, Triple IPA even, that is probably my second favorite, right behind Yulesmith. Which is a feat in itself. Hats off to Southern Tier for brewing one of the best beers in the entire world.

Photo of Schmit
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A powerful IPA that's a bit on the sweet side.

Pours golden amber out of a 22-oz. bottle I picked up a while back at Tacoma Pipe and Tobacco and World Beers. Small head, but gives off a good hoppy aroma. Still, this is a strong one at 11% and you can smell the alcohol for sure. Not a bad tasting beer and the mouthfeel is fine, but the (not insubstantial) hop and malt are unfortunately not strong enough to balance out the powerful alcohol in this one as much as I'd like.

Not bad overall, but just a bit too much alcohol heat and sweetness for me to really be into.

Photo of tjthresh
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle served in my Duvel tulip.
Pours a crystal clear brilliant amber with a dense creamy resinous head. The aroma is a fabulous balance of citrus and earthy hops and sweet malt. The flavor features a dump truck of hops. Damn. Very aggressively bitter. Citrus and earthy notes, just as the aroma. Sweet malts work through, as does the alcohol. At 11% the alcohol is apparent, but not doesn’t come off as hot. Slick over the tongue. A welcome beer in my glass any day.

Photo of merlin48
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle pours a clear apricot body with a large beige head. Retention is excellent and lacing is lavish and sticky. Aroma is luscious, with citrusy hop oils like grapefruit and pineapple. Orange blossom and pine notes add to the nose. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated. A bit resinous. Taste is dominated by a citrusy hop bitterness that is heavy on the grapefruit. Orange and pineapple notes add interest and sweetness. Slight caramel malt presence. Finishes with more grapefruit bitterness. Alcohol is well disguised. Very well balanced, pleasantly complex, and quite tasty.

Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber, without freshness or vintage dating. This stunner pours a bright copper shade of amber, clear and glistening. Supports a long lasting, creamy tan head, and leaves thick, sticky and long lasting stringy lacing after a swirl.. Aroma is of goey, oily hops. Lots of grapefruit, and oily hop crunch in the flavor profile here. Full bodied and full flavor DIPA. Smooth and heady brew, alcohol clearly present, but its layered and dovetailed nicely into and within the layers of hops/malty base. Complex, strong, bold and highly recommended creation. Fine sipper/nightcapper

Photo of warriorsoul
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Snagged a bomber from Downtown W&S...
Pours clear...dark amber in color with a full finger and a half of thick, off-white head...settles in nicely and leaves some sticky lacing.
Not overwhelming in the nose at first whiff, but fruity hops dominate...mangos mainly and some carmelized malt.
The taste is where this one takes off...hitting me quite similar to OB's Gordon...berry flavor and a hefty dose of malt to balance out this whopper of a double. The alcohol heat is there as it warms, but not enough to have me shy away from consuming this bomber effortlessly.
Thick mouthfeel with just a touch too much carbonation IMO.
Always enjoyed ST's brews and with the Jah-VA Stout and now this on the shelves in MA...life is good.
Well done...

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Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,883 ratings.