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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1,195 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,195
Hads: 2,906
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.29%
Wants: 134
Gots: 351 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,195 | Hads: 2,906
Photo of angrybabboon
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 10/13/12

Appearance: Dark orange, with some red highlights - decent size white head, leaves some nice spots of lacing - very clear

Smell: Hoppy and malty - lots of citrus - not particularly distinct - oranges and grapefruits - sweet, oily pine - caramel and amber malts - very sweet, as unfortunately expected - leafy mint

Taste: Sweet and hoppy - somewhere between a DIPA and an imperial amber - sweetly malty with lots of caramel and amber malts - biscuits with powdered sugar - overripe oranges and sweet grapefruits - oily pine and mint - about as sweet as fruit punch, with about average bitterness, and some booze

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium, nicely carbonated, a bit cloying but not awful

Overall: Good, better than I expected

Southern Tier has earned quite a reputation for making some really sugary beers. Personally, I think this works for some of their stouts. But I was dreading Unearthly. To my surprise, this is more pleasant that I remembered. Yes, it's overly sweet, but it's worth a try. (1,030 characters)

Photo of ms11781
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

DOB 01/04/2012 printed on bottle. 22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear, deep amberish color, very close to red. A small off-white head develops and recedes fairly quickly. A thin cap is left with soap-like foam collecting in a ring around the glass. Decent lacing sticks to the glass.

The first impression of the nose is that it's pretty sweet. Caramel-like aromas are met with some nice citrus and pine hop notes. Though the nose is sweet overall the hops provide a nice balance to keep it from being overly sweet.

The taste is bigger than the nose. The flavor profile is roughly the same as the aromas that were in the nose is more assertive. The sweetness is still a huge, maybe the biggest, component. It's a candy-like sweetness, caramel and sugar playing a big part. The citrus hops are here but the piny hops are much bigger and offer a substantial bitter kick at the finish. Despite the bigger hop flavor the sweetness has the upper hand.

This beer has a bigger mouthfeel for most beers I've had that aren't imperial stouts or barleywines. It's definitely one of the bigger DIPAs I've had. A thick body and carbonation on the low end of medium produce a big, thick, oily and slick mouthfeel.

This is definitely a big DIPA, probably one of the biggest I've had. The problem for me is that, in addition to big hops, there is a big sweet characteristic to it as well. At times the sweetness is what dominates. It's definitely a good beer and can be a welcome change when looking for a hop fix with something else going on but it's not a top notch DIPA. (1,580 characters)

Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

given the scores, i thought i'd enjoy this more than i did. it looked great in the glass, copper in color with a very slight haze and no visible sediment. aroma was resiny citrus , honeyed sweet malt and tropical fruit. taste was big sweet malt with a lingering hop bitterness. some alcohol was evident in the nose and taste, which is a ding for me. mouthfeel was big-bodied and viscous with the carbonation struggling through this big beer. drinkability suffers a bit due to the heaviness of this one and the high abv. (519 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

RBSG09 bottle at the grand tasting. Pours a dark orangey gold color with a creamy white head. Sweet caramel aroma with grapefruit and a more resinous, piney hop note as well. Flavor is too sweet, lots of caramel and sugar, sweet hop notes, decent herbal piney finish, bitter finish. Not bad and certainly very hoppy but file this one under 'diabetes-causing' with the other ST beers. (383 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.47/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Amber with a finger of fluffy cream coloured head.

S - Bitter hops up front - grapefruit, tangerine and some pine. A nice sweet caramel malt nose in the background balances it out. A superb nose!

T - Very bitter up front with grapefruit and pine. Some sweet malts in the background, but not enough to balance out the extreme bitterness that completely dominated the palate and lingers in the finish. I normally love hop bombs but there was something missing with this one. The bitterness was too pronounced without the flavour profile to mellow it out. A letdown after the excellent nose.

M - Medium body, light to medium carbonation.

D - A decent DIPA but not a memorable one. Would not buy this again. (713 characters)

Photo of cvm4
3.47/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a cloudy amber color. Builds to a nice one finger head. The lacing is thin on the side of the glass

S - The flavors seem fairly muted for whatever reason. I pick up citrus/pineapple/grapefruit to a certain extent.

T - The taste sure doesn't let me down! I got sweet fruit flavors along with caramel. Then at the end is the nice hoppy characteristics. You can definitely taste the alcohol, it's not well hidden.

M - Very drinkable and it just coats your mouth. Somewhat "hot" due to the alcohol.

O - It's a good IIPA, but I just feel like it could be more balanced. The flavors meld really well but I could just see it being a little less sweeter with more hop characteristics and less boozy taste. (713 characters)

Photo of do_ob
3.47/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a tulip. Pours a clear amber with about 1/2 a finger of bubbly, white foam on top. Sugary-sweet fruit and malt on the nose. Smells boozy and almost syrupy, with little traces of citrus here and there. Medium weight, and dense and syrupy on the mouthfeel. There's an artificial sweetness up front on the taste that attempts to mask the booziness of this beer, but doesn't quite cut it. Over-ripe oranges and apples, sweet malt, and alcohol are what I get on the taste. Finishes somewhat abrasive, and leaves a bittersweet residue behind to make up the aftertaste.

Overall, this beer didn't impress me at all. I found the taste to be too artificial, and it was incredibly syrupy and boozy. (700 characters)

Photo of Rutager
3.46/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Light amber with a very slight haze. One finger head that fades pretty quick. Very little lacing.

Smell. Lemon, grapefruit and honey. All somewhat faint.

Taste. Orange, pineapple, yellow grapefruit and some pine needles. Some sweetness and booze and a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel. Thick, syropy with medium-low carbonation and warming alcohol.

Drinkability. So-so drinker. Sweetness and booze presence hold this one back a little. (452 characters)

Photo of TK5150
3.46/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a nice orangey, amber color with an off-white head.

S- Smells of apricots, malt, grapefruit, orange and alcohol.

T- Tastes of apricots, lots of malty sweetness, biscuits, grapefruit and alcohol.

M- Full medium body.

D- Pretty good drinkability, but the alcohol hurts it.

Nontraditionally sweet for a DIPA, but a decent beer overall. I might drink this again if there's nothing else interesting around to drink. (425 characters)

Photo of BDLbrewster
3.46/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice even, clear copper color with some moderate visible carbonation. Sticky, foamy head that won't go away.
Smells heavily of citrusy hops, lemon and some pine all well remaining somewhat sweet.
This beer is sweet. Syrupy herbal hops, pineapple and toffee on the forefront with some serious alcohol warmth in the aftertase. The hops are not nearly as prevalent as I would expect, but it is balanced. There is some pine bitterness in the finish, but where is the rash hoppiness of the DIPA?
Mouthfeel is thick and there is enough carbonation to cut through it.
I expected a hoppier brew here. Sweet smooth and could potentially get you in trouble at 11%. (664 characters)

Photo of GPHarris
3.46/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - poured a two-fingers thick off-white fluffy head into a tulip glass that left great lacing and sheeting throughout. the body was a bright amber color.
s - piney hops.
t - nicely balanced with pine and floral hops against a caramel backbone. the hops seem somewhat dull though (bottle date was late february so it's fresh) and had a slight peppery finish.
m - medium.
o - reminds me of oskar blues gubna and i'm not a huge fan of that beer either. worth trying but doesn't stand up to my favorite DIPAs. (506 characters)

Photo of joejost
3.45/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour from a growler that was purchased 30 minutes prior to consumption.
Orange-red color kind of threw me. Smelled like, flowers, soap, pine, and slight malt. Taste was spicy, soap and hoppy with a severe alcohol presense. Drank two pints in a half hour, so it wasn't half bad. I'd still choose other DIPA's before I go back to UnEarthly. (339 characters)

Photo of jegross2
3.45/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing Unearthly from Southern Tier Brewing Company. Last week, I review the Oak Aged version of this beer.
Score: 83

2011 bomber bottle, slightly chilled, poured in a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a transparent-translucent mahogany color with one and a half finger of cream-colored head that settles into a thin foamy ring around the glass and clump in the middle. Pretty good lacing. 4/5

Smell: Heavy notes of alcohol and dirt hit first. Swirling the beer releases notes of vanilla, toffee and raisin. Very pungent apples and orange citrus. Lots of sweet malts too. Even detecting hints of milk chocolate malts. My roommate concurs on the chocolate notes -- a very interesting twist on the aroma. 4/5

Taste: Very unbalanced, with a heavy emphasis on alcohol fire and earthy bitterness. Dirt and figs hit upfront. Increasing caramel-malty sweetness and sweet vanilla on the mid-palate as the beer layers. I am definitely detecting citrus in the beer, but the alcohol fire kills my tongue's ability to nuance. The finish is like bitter caramel vodka. The alcohol presence in the beer becomes an aggressively fiery palate killer as the beer approaches room. 3/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a low amount of carbonation that makes the bitter alcohol finish sit heavy on the tongue and linger. The finish is bittersweet. 3.5/5

Overall: I am a big hop head, but this beer has too much unbalanced alcohol fire to wallow in the beer's aggressive hoppiness. The alcohol really overwhelms the palate and gets worse as the beer warms. I remember this one being much better than it was. Unearthly is a definite sipper.

Recommendation: Casual beer drinkers should steer clear. Beer geeks and hop heads might find this one interesting. I'd highly recommend drinking this one as a colder temperature than slightly chilled.

Pairings: Spicy Thai food. The alcohol and hops would really accentuate the spices.

Cost: $7.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle. (1,954 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.45/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Taken from notes on 3.31.11

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Medium orange in color, slightly hazy. The head is a darker cream color.

S - Wood, vanilla, and citrus.

T - Just like a hopped up vanilla flavored IPA.

D - Drinks a bit sweet, and very vanilla forward. (276 characters)

Photo of pmcadamis
3.44/5  rDev -15.7%
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. (2,185 characters)

Photo of CaptainOats
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 8/24/13

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Brooklyn snifter at home

A- Cloudy when first poured cold but the haze subsided for the most part. It clears up nicely to reveal a beautiful amber color. No lacing whatsoever

S- when cold I was getting a soapiness on the nose, it was a bit off putting. As it warmed up I started to get a lot of the malt sweetness on the nose. Just a bit of hops on the nose. I was really expecting more from the hops from an American imperial IPA.

T- I found the hops, must have been some early additions because the bitterness is there but i wish there was more in the nose. I do get some pine on the tongue and a lot of the malt and sweetness. It does cover up the alcohol well.

M- Not as chewie as some big IPAs I've had. I wish the carbonation lasted a bit longer.

O- not a bad beer but definitely not my favorite imperial IPA. Nice balance with the malt but I need more hops on the nose to score his higher. I can't blame it on age, it's less that 2 months old (1,005 characters)

Photo of TangTKE402
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bomber bottle into a beer mug. Hazy deep tan in color with a white foam head and some decent lacing.

S: Woody with some boozey aromas of prunes and figs. A slight hop aroma under the heat.

T: Big flavors of grain and dark fruit with a raisin swallow and a touch of bitterness on the aftertaste. Alcohol is very present in the flavor, as are notes of cherry wood, dirt, grass, grape leaves, and key limes... Not much in the way of hops flavor at all.*

M: This feels heavy and a touch syrupy, almost like a barleywine. It still has some residual stickiness that one associates with an IPA (you know, on the side of your mouth by the molars) but other than that, the feel is misleading.

O: This beer is not for hopheads looking for an overwhelming bitterness and pine/floral/citrus hop flavors. It's not a bad beer, but you feel the hooch as you drink it, and it has an almost oak-aged quality to it, which is unexpected.

*Note: I could not find a "born on" date on the bottle, so it may not be the freshest of beers, as it tastes like some other Imperial IPAs I've had past their prime... (1,108 characters)

Photo of caskstrength
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

was looking for a hop bomb. Tried this a couple times.

Too thick. ST is trying too hard. Yes, it has hops. Yes, it's bitter. I'm sure the IBUs are up there.

But it doesn't satisfy. And it's too heavy. Too syrupy/malty. There are IPAs with more flavor, more zest, more crispness, more satisfaction, more thirst quenching ability out there.

Find those. (356 characters)

Photo of Moxley
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Popped this bomber with Pleepleus on a Friday night.

A - Poured an opaque orange with a dense off-white head that left thick spidery lacing.

S - Sweet hoppy smell with spicy cloves. Interesting nose.

T - Hops explode on you tongue then give way to a spicy clove and grassy, earthiness. Faint apricot on the finish.

M&D - Sticky sweet mouth-coating. The high ABV (11.0) gives this beer a booziness at first, but you quickly get used to that and can then really enjoy this beer for its sweet hop nectar.

Worth picking up. (524 characters)

Photo of DoctorDog
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 1pt. 6 oz bottle. I slavishly follow instructions on the bottle and pour contents into a large, fluted glass.

A- Vibrant clear amber appearance. Ample off white head, which fades slowly into thin cap. Heavy lacing.

S- Sweet citrus and pine hops notes mingle with a subtle dried-apricot odor.

T- Fairly sharp earthy and citrus hops hit first, mingling with slightly biting alcohol flavors. Citrus feel to the hops gradually cedes to a more pine resin flavor sensation. Big malt sweetness works hard to balance, and eventually succeeds in overwhelming the substantially bitter hopiness.

M- Carbonation is fairly high, and slightly biting crispness. Slightly syrupy and oily. Alcohol is felt, but without substantial warming.

D- Reasonably drinkable for its 11% ABV, though the sweet flavors and body don't come off quite well enough for me to want more than what is in front of me.

Future outlook: This was an OK drink of beer, but not really what I'm looking for when I get a DIPA. (1,001 characters)

Photo of suIIy
3.42/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draught @ RedBones 7/6/06. Pours a bright redish amber color with a small off white head. Nose is syrupy sugar with some faint hop notes and a caramel malt presence. Mouthfeel is sticky and syrupy, can almost feel the sugar granules. Flavor leaves much to be desired. Hops are there but are overtaken by syrup, sugar and a sticky caramel maltiness. Finishes with a light bitterness and a sticky mouth. (401 characters)

Photo of jbphoto88
3.41/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper in color. Kind of on the lighter side of things for a double IPA if you ask me. The head is all but non existent and I would imagine that has to do with the ABV. It does leave a ring around the collar at the highest water mark of the glass. 11%? It sure doesn't look like it.

Smell is mild for the IIPA category too. There is a hop presence but it is not as kick ass as I would expect. A malt backbone lives behind the guise of hops. This isn't a bad smelling beer but a IIPA? I don't think so.

Taste is close to the scent. Poached stale hops with a sweet malt backbone. Light and uninteresting except for a great bitter bite in the finish, which is the only thing that resembles an IIPA. A light fruity cantaloupe is beaten into submission by the bitterness and the sweet malts.

Hard to tell if I have an old bottle or not. No bottled on date but based on other reviews it has to be. I sense no hint of fresh hops and the beer seems thin maybe mellowed for a double IPA. It's hard to believe this beer has 11% abv. Yeah it gives you a warmth to the belly but I've had 7 percenters that had more kick. Despite the negativity this is a tasty beer. I don't think in it's current form presented to me, is it a IIPA but I still enjoy the medium body and the bitterness. I will have to find a fresher one and see if there is a difference. (1,349 characters)

Photo of Goliath
3.4/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a gorgeous amber/copper color with a huge off white head sitting on top. Head has good retention and leaves some lacing.

Aroma is nice. A nice hop profile showcasing sweet citrus notes. Most noteably is grapefruit backed by a light maltiness.

The taste is pretty good. A subdued hoppiness with light citrus flavors and some floral notes. It's rather bland for an ipa, not much bitterness or intense flavor. I pick up some metallic notes also. Actually, I'm kind of disappointed.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and gently carbonated. It feels pretty good.

Drinkability is moderate. Flavors are easy to consume, but a bit of a bore for an IPA. I don't think I want to drink more than this bomber, probably not even the whole thing. Think I'll go find someone to share it with. (780 characters)

Photo of TVolt1
3.4/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: A nice light amber color but a little bit of cloudiness to the beer. Finger length of white head. Small amount of carb bubbles.

S: Smells strongly of carmamel malt. I do nto smell a strong aroma of hops.

T: Taste very similar to how it smells. The only difference is i initially get a taste of a small amount of citrus hops then is followed by a strong amount of caramel malt taste.

M: Pretty thick mouthfeel for a IIPA. If it were my choice, I'd have it a little smoother and crisper.

O: Overall, this is an alright beer. It seems a little off for an IIPA. Little too thick, too swett, and too rich. Not a memorable beer (629 characters)

Photo of curasowa
3.4/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear, copper color with one finger of head that fades with a curtain of lace.

Aroma: Sweet caramel malt over muted piney hops with some medicinal notes.

Taste: Creamy malt sweetness, then lots of spicy booze. There's bitterness towards the back end, but not a lot of depth of flavor - it's more of a metallic bitterness. Also some woodiness towards the finish which is lingering and hot with booze.

The Rest: Not a bad sipping beer, but a bit hot and rough. Stick with the 2XIPA, it has much better balance. (524 characters)

Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,195 ratings.