1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Not Rated.
Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,637 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,637
Reviews: 1,172
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 108
Gots: 206 | FT: 3
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: John on 02-24-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,637 | Reviews: 1,172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kcillini77


3.83/5  rDev -6.1%

Pours a deep reddish gold with a small head. Good lacing as it goes down.

Smell is spicy hops, with a little grapefruit and lemon. Aroma is very strong. I could sniff this all night, but I must move on to tasting the beer.

Sweet ruby red grapefruit, maybe a little lemon zest up front, but finishes with wonderful spicy hops. What flavor. A little alcohol burn. The 11% is not overpowering, but definitely noticeable.

Glad to have Southern Tier on board in Missouri. A very good example of the DIPA style.

06-25-2008 03:37:00 | More by kcillini77
Photo of vtfan77


3.83/5  rDev -6.1%

A- Pours a deep gold with a lot of active carbonation but without much head or lacing.

S- Loads of citrusy hops, and a lot of sweet malt to back them up. Alcohol is also quite prominent. The overall impression is of sweet, overripe fruit... and I mean that in the best way possible.

T- This is definitely an assault on the tastebuds. Sweet upfront with a nice honey caramel flavor, but turning quickly to bitter hop oils and alcohol. The hops nearly overwhelm, demonstrating that balance was an afterthought here and leaving no doubt as to the style of the beer. The malt profile actually seems pretty solid, but there is no way it can stand up to the hops. The finish is of hop bitterness and alcohol with a touch of sweetness from the generous (but not generous enough) malt profile.

M- Nice medium-full body with a good carbonation bite that keeps it from getting too syrupy.

D- I think one is enough here. There are several reasons why I wouldn't want another, not the least of which is the fact that I probably wouldn't be able to taste it.

Nice beer if you happen to like having your tastebuds temporarily destroyed. Being the IPA-lover (and therefore masochist) that I am, I actually do like it. This isn't a beer that I'd have every day, but then again, what Double IPA is? This beer is over-the-top in almost every way, exactly like a good Double IPA should be. For that I applaud it. I will definitely be revisiting it at some point in the future when I need a serious hop fix. Recommended, but only for lovers of the style.

05-30-2008 04:45:35 | More by vtfan77
Photo of StaveHooks


3.83/5  rDev -6.1%

Growler served into a Southern Tier tulip.

A - Pours a dark amber with 2 fingers of dense off-white head. Pretty nice lacing left at the top.

S - Sweet cereal grain, doughy bread, candied orange and grapefruit citrus, cotton candy, floral alcohol.

T - Sweet bready malt, caramel, grapefruit syrup. The hops start coming through in sweet citrus flavor and bitterness doesn't come until the end. Sweet pine resin comes out as it warms. Finishes sweet and semi bitter.

M - Thick body, chewy syrupy feel, sweet.

This is a sweet tooth DIPA. The thicker mouthfeel doesn't help for said sweetness but it's never to the point of cloying. It doesn't always have to be mouth numbing bitter every time and this fits the other side of the spectrum. The hops are there but they can't fight the heavy handed sweetness. That being said it works for the "BarleyWine meets DIPA Cleche". Their regular IPA on tap was my favorite beer from this brewery.

09-06-2012 00:45:23 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of vitALEity


3.81/5  rDev -6.6%

Bottled 2/13/14

A- Clear, light copper. Medium head that settles quickly. Mild lacing.

S- Sweet bread, pine, lemon, pepper

T- as it smells but way too much alcohol.

M- Med/Oily

I guess I'd say I'm a little disappointed, only b/c I was looking forward to trying this one. The alcohol comes through too much.

04-19-2014 03:07:14 | More by vitALEity
Photo of dougfur

New York

3.81/5  rDev -6.6%

Pours a really beautiful orange color, pretty clear, but with a little haze. Nice head. A very fine looking beer!
The smell is a real mix of hops, yeast and malt, not quite what I'd expect from a DIPA. The taste is also more balanced that one might expect. It's nice, but just too boozy for me. Mouthfeel was great. Overall, a nice beer if you like your DIPA's really strong and not all that hoppy...almost more of a strong ale. If you're checking out Southern Tier and like IPA's I'd stick with the 2x or the regular IPA.

07-23-2013 23:50:37 | More by dougfur
Photo of mudbug


3.8/5  rDev -6.9%

From the bomber into a fluted glass results in a quickly receding white head that laces nicely as the level drops.
Floral hops with sweetness of pineapple hits the nose in an understated way, not much pine.
Taste is a dichotomy sweet malt up front and center followed by a bread then a hop bitter wallop kind of a two dimensional experience.
I can see why some folks laud on this DIPA's balance, but I prefer the pallet wrecking hop bomb of other DIPA's .
A very good beer, but at 11% ABV I would like more hops cause you sure aren't going to drink a lot of this, might as well ruin the tastebuds with one.

10-09-2010 22:13:19 | More by mudbug
Photo of cjgator3


3.8/5  rDev -6.9%

22oz bottle

A- Poured into a snifter. Pours a very slightly hazy amber color with an off-white head with good retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is sweet malt, grapefruit and an assortment of tropical fruits (citrus, pineapple) from the hops. Smells fantastic!

T- There is a nice malt backbone first and foremost creating a good amount of sweetness. Without a good dose of hops this one would be way too sweet. The hops definitely come through in a big way creating a lingering bitterness well into the finish. The alcohol creates quite a bit of heat in the finish as well.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- I have waited to try Unearthly for a long time and the wait was well worth it. Overall, it is a solid DIPA that I will definitely be purchasing again. Recommended!

03-24-2010 05:16:14 | More by cjgator3
Photo of deltatauhobbit


3.8/5  rDev -6.9%

Bottled 11/19/13

Pours a light amber/golden color, not too much head but there seems to be many spots of lacing on the glass regardless.

Smell is mostly caramel malt, could be that the 4.5 months since it was bottled that the hops have fades quite a bit, there still is a bit of earthiness in there in the form of a dank hops.

Taste is leaning on the caramel malt side of things over the earthy piney hops, if the flavors were bigger, specially the malt backing, I'd almost say this could have been an aged American Barleywine, carbonation is quite active but balances between crisp and soft, body has a bit of a resiny aspect, the alcohol content is hidden pretty well.

04-07-2014 23:25:34 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of BillHaverchuck


3.8/5  rDev -6.9%

poured into an opaque dark orange with nice foam stack on top
very nice earthy smell to it, a hop and malt hurricane
tastes very earthly malted with a bite of hops towards the end
goes down well, yet not really the easiest beer to drink

very good stuff here

08-28-2010 01:15:50 | More by BillHaverchuck
Photo of teromous


3.8/5  rDev -6.9%

A: Orange copper color, that is clear. Not a whole lot of carbonation visible, but the head is about two fingers tall and shows no signs of going away. Definitive "chug" lacing marks.

S: A very strong citrus smell, much like apricots and oranges. It has a sweet floral scent as well, like lavender stems.

T: At first I taste a biscuit-like malt flavor. There's then a light puckery flavor of grapefruit. There's some oak flavor in there as well. No signs of alcohol which is great for 9.5%ABV.

M: The mouthfeel is medium-bodied with an average bitterness. There is a strange slickness that is disconcerting. Carbonation is just right. Overall I'd have to give it about average in respects to mouthfeel, because it is pretty average.

O: Overall I think this is a good imperial IPA. It's definately something I'd drink again and it does a superb job of hiding the alcohol. I don't think it's perfect though.

05-27-2011 23:08:19 | More by teromous
Photo of plowe70

New York

3.8/5  rDev -6.9%

It poured a foggy golden color with a modest head. Nice smell of hops. My first impression was that it was too sweet. When it hit my palette I thought "fruity" which is normally not something I like. Someone described the taste as medicine-like which fits initially but by the time I finished my first glass I was anxious for more. To this beer's credit it may have been the ABV that changed my tune but my grandfather always says accentuate your best qualities.

10-28-2011 23:14:37 | More by plowe70
Photo of Ralphus

Ontario (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -6.9%

EDIT: We've since discovered this shipment was actually 6.5%. No wonder the extra alcohol content wasn't detectable!

Southern Tier Unearthly, despite the considerably higher alcohol, isn't that much different than their IPA. And that's a considerable achievement given that it kicks things up another 5%. My 11 bottles came on a private order (the 12th being given as a thank you to my amazing in laws that gave them to me as a gift).

The appearance is pleasing in color, a medium golden brown with with some reddish highlights. There's little head and no lacing to speak of. The smell is of sweet orange fruit mostly but you can pick up the hops as well. Taste-wise things are cranked up a notch. Lots of fruity sweetness initially and a burst of pine like hops towards the end balances things out nicely. The alcohol is there but you would never ever guess it was 11%. Southern Tier has done a great job hiding it.

Mouthfeel is pleasing.. silky smooth with a tiny prick of carbonation. Drinkability rates average for it's style.. no one in their right mind is going to be packing away many of these in a session!

01-18-2009 23:15:38 | More by Ralphus
Photo of NoLeafClover44


3.8/5  rDev -6.9%

32oz. growler poured into a DFH Signature glass. Filled a few hours ago at Kreston's.

A - Pours a deep copper color with hardly any head. The guy behind the counter said that the keg was almost kicked, and it took a really long time to fill, so I already feared it may be flat. Oh, well. I guess that's not the beer's fault. It is a beautiful color with almost perfect clarity.

S - Smells of sweet clover honey, caramel malts, and a healthy dosage of citrusy orange hops. There is also a distinct herbal character to the aroma. Some bread balances the unusual sweetness and aggressive hop profile.

T - The sweetness is what strikes me first. The malts are of caramel, Moravian sugar cake, and biscuit. Piney and herbal hops shine through in the swallow and long into the linger. Sweeter than I prefer for a Double IPA, but the flavor isn't unpleasant.

M - Lightly carbonated, probably because of the fill. Sticky feel with a slightly dry finish.

O - I found this beer to be a bit unbalanced, favoring the malts. I have no way of knowing the age of the keg, so I don't know if this is due to age. Tastes more like a Barleywine than a DIPA. With that being said, it is still a pretty nice beer. A complex malt profile with a little bit of herbal hop bitterness on the back end make for an enjoyable brew. I may need to grab a reasonably fresh bottle to see if my assessment is a fair one.

09-12-2013 00:51:16 | More by NoLeafClover44
Photo of BabyBastard

New York

3.8/5  rDev -6.9%

This is my second go with Unearthly. First time around I think my palate was not developed enough to fully appreciate the bitterness. Bomber pours into tulip a dark amber, almost reddish hue, with sizeable eggshell color head that leaves tremendous lacing about the entire glass. Surely is on the darker side for an IPA, but can be expected due to its "Imperial" status. Smells of light hop, and more malt than expected. Alcohol twinge also touches the nose after a hefty whiff. Taste on this bad boy is surprisingly malty, seems to be more pronounced than the hop bitterness. That malt backbone makes itself known, but is followed up sharply by a stinging slap of hops on the taste buds. Surely an interesting spin on the "Imperial" IPA. Feeling this one out is a real pleasure, tingly on the palate, also the slick and oily characteristic that is so often associated with IPAs is present. For such a "big" beer, the drinkability is certainly above average, just because it does taste so damn good. In my eyes, Unearthly has certainly redeemed itself. I may be picking up more bombers of this just to have around.

04-18-2010 05:04:28 | More by BabyBastard
Photo of imagineiii


3.8/5  rDev -6.9%

Just hit shelves in VT today.

Poured into a pint tumbler. pale amber. not much head to speak of. whats there diminishes quickly.

smells of pine, honey and some bitter citrus. scent is suprisingly sweet.

flavors are certainly big. carbonation and hop bitterness is immediately noticable. residual sweetness prevails for a moment while hops return to dry out the back of your palate.

mouthfeel is thick, and slightly abrasive. carbonation is too much. aftertaste is garlicy and dry.

this beer is very interesting approach to the style. sweetness and bitterness are balanced but dont necessarily play well with each other. i would prefer it to be fruitier.

03-06-2009 01:53:43 | More by imagineiii
Photo of Kadonny


3.79/5  rDev -7.1%

Poured from a bomber bottle into my European style glass.

A: A dark amber gold color with a thin one finger off white head. I don't see a lot of carbonation either. It looks good.

S: Wow, you can tell this is a DIPA right off the bat. Lots of citrus hops and earthly hops like pine and wood coupled with a malty sweetness. A hint of what is to come.

T: Again, wow. So much is going on with this beer, so complex. Hops start you off with strong flavors of citrus and pine with an almost oakey wood flavor followed immediately by the heavy malty flavors of bread and caramel and sweetness. Finish is a lengthy bitterness with undertones of malt. Everything about the taste of this beer is huge.

M: Full bodied absolutely with an oily feel. To me the 11% abv is there. Some say this beer isn't bitter, I will respectfully disagree.

D: For me, low. Again, to respectfully disagree with others the drinkability of this beer is puzzling. The first 8-10 ounces of this beer are heaven but from there it declines rapidly. I could never ever session this beer.

Overall this beer has me torn. I respect how complex this thing is and no doubt it's one of if not the biggest DIPA I have ever tasted, as I said earlier everything in this beer is huge. The thing that holds me back is the drinkability. The first few ounces are sheer heaven, but then the last few (of the bomber) are hell. It's like taste bud overload. By the end of the 22 ounces my mouth has had enough. I still have another 4 bottles or so and I'm going to see how age treats this monster.

Southern Tier is making some great beers though, and even though this one puzzles my taste buds, I still respect them for making it.


I had this from tap last night at Capones, and this beer is infinitely more drinkable from tap. Some of the harsh strong alcohol flavors I was getting in the bottle seemed to be much smoother on tap. I easily put down a pint of this and chould have easily had more. I upped the drinkability ranking for an overall better score. So in summation, this beer is growing on me and is totally kick ass.

****Update Again****

Everytime I drink this beer, I appreciate it more, there are few DIPAs that can live up to this excellent beer. Upping both drinkability and appearance, this beer is a solid 4.5-4.7 beer.

****Updated again****

Had another fresh bottle. I have come to realize that this beer is much more enjoyable from tap. In bottle form the sweetness really seems to pop more than tap, making the drinkability suffer a bit. As I said in the first part of my review, the end of the bomber the sweetness starts to wear. Still a great beer, just not a super guzzler. I think I need to move my tap review to be separate.

01-10-2008 15:03:32 | More by Kadonny
Photo of jeonseh


3.78/5  rDev -7.4%

Thanks to Bwyker for this beer that I picked up in a trade and poured into my Goose Island Tulip.

A - pours a dark copper color that has a light hint of dark orange and amber as well. Has a bit of the metallic sheen with some light carbonation as well. Has a nice one finger head as well that stuck around for a bit and is close to what I would call the color ivory with a light bit of head and leaves some nice lacing down the glass as well.

S - smell is a lot of hops that are a bit bitter with a light mango fruit presence but not too much of it.Also can pick up a lot of the alcohol in the nose as well.

T - hmm, this is an odd beer to me. It has hops but it seems to be bitter for almost the sake of being bitter. There is a little bit of a malt background but not enough to even mildly offset the bitterness of the hops as well. Lots of hoppy bitterness too but almost too much and seems a bit unbalanced to me as well. The taste is mostly the pine aspect of the hops that one would expect from the cascade. As this warmed up I could definitely get the maltiness that some of the other reviewers have spoken about and this is actually a bit too sweet afterawhile. The hops are still there at the end of the drink and complements nicely with the sweetness.

MF - Decent body on this one; not too thick or too thin. Has a nice amount of carbonation in there as well that attacks the tongue and goes well with the bitterness of the hops. The aftertaste is mainly a bitterness that sits on the tongue after the beer goes down the throat.

D - I felt like this is kinda of an average DIPA in my opinion. It seems a bit unbalanced to me too which means that I wouldn't be crazy to try to get another one. I think this is a a beer that I wouldn't go out of my way to get and would pass over as well compared to other DIPAs.

02-13-2008 00:28:42 | More by jeonseh
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

3.78/5  rDev -7.4%

This is a dark amber, thick honey color with a one-finger deep, thick and frothy head, dissipates really slow and plenty of sticky lacing to boot.

Smell's like honey-soaked pale malt, pungent fruitiness of ripe red berries and sweet caramel.

The flavor is a huge pine-tree resin and fruity hop bomb! citric acid and leafy hops make an acidic bite but a very sweet, honey-like current mellows all that out. The heat is hot, sure 11% is high, but it's the sharpness that makes this one a bit rough around the edges.

It's medium to full feel...full for an IPA and medium to full for a DIPA. The boozy alcohol males it feel sharp on the palate as well.

I found this one a bit hard to drink simply becuase of the sharp bitter hops and high boozy heat. The malt balance is nice though.

07-22-2008 18:55:27 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of cokes


3.78/5  rDev -7.4%

Smoky copper-orange hued with a trim eggy lacework.
A vague caramel doughy vapor quickly cedes the nose to the more forceful whiffs of pineapple, lime leaves, mangoes, pine pitch, and ferns. There's a fairly evident- but congruent and non-obnoxious- alcohol flair of juniper-heavy gin.
It unfolds similarly in the mouth. A quick and generally nondescript caramel breadiness. Then it lolls for a moment in dough and yeast. The hops hit with a forward lime zest and pineapple-mango-papaya smoothie effect. There are elements of acrid burnt conifers and resin, but on the whole it is more tropical than intense bitter. But even the tropical notes don't have all that much gumption, as the subside to a grassier, stemmy pulpiness. Alcohol adds as much dryness and flavor as anything, with that same Gin quality from the nose.
Moderately heavy through the mouth, but levitated with a minor, ever-trickling CO2. There's an illusory hollow feel, even in this thickness but it's a drinker for sure in spite of it all.
I'm sort of torn on this. For 11% and god knows how many IBUs, it's drinkable and almost balanced. And that is the problem. IIPAs are "experience" beers, and this lacks standout qualities. It's not loud, it's not intricate or complex. It's strong (though it doesn't really taste it), and that's about it.
I feel similarly about their regular IPA, both are without glaring flaws and without shining assets. Both are simply and decently middle-of-the-road.
The price-point is attractive and it's friendly enough that I'll likely buy this again, but So. Tier does much better things.

11-26-2007 09:20:48 | More by cokes
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev -7.4%

Pours a golden tinged brown color, clean and clear with a nice cap of off-white head. Decent retention and minimal sticky lacing. Scent is a muddled combination of carmel, earthy and floral hops with a background of light grapefruit, pine and citrus. First taste is a rather bitter bite of hops - earthy, floral are dominant with pine and citrus in the rear. Strong toffee, carmel and bready malt backbone, slightly sweet. Fuller side of medium body, oily and thick, minimal bitter aftertaste. A good dIPA that leans more towards the malty sweet end and the hops are slightly muddled.

06-20-2010 18:42:34 | More by rfgetz
Photo of AgentZero


3.78/5  rDev -7.4%

A - Slight head tha bubbled up nicely from the bottom, no real lacing. Orangish colored, hazy brew.

S - Citrusy and a lot of floral hops. Little soapy and gingery, actually get a hint of malts in there surprisingly.

T - A little sweet, very hoppy, pretty good, but not as complex as I was hoping for. Some carmel malts come through nicely to add a nice touch. Get a nice dose of alcohol on the frount

M - Would have liked it to be a little crisper. Medium bodied, decently carbonated.

D - Not bad, but high alcohol makes this hard to do tons of.

12-14-2009 04:28:34 | More by AgentZero
Photo of joeskirkie

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev -7.4%

Screen printed 22oz. bottle like the other Southern Tiers I've had, theres a grain bill listed on the bottle. Also "Serve in a fluted glass best at 42°F.

I chose my Duvel tulip.

In it, the beer sits bright orange, not much in the way of head, but still refreshing to look at.

The scent is decidedly citursy and husky. Theres some sweet bread in there as well, but the hops dominate.

Once I taste it theres an immediate bitter bite followed by a strong citrus and an almost medicinal alcohol. Theres an underlying note of sweet malts in there as well. It's a nice complexity.

There's a sweet ,sticky, creamy mouthfeel, not really heavy.

I've never had a Southern Tier that I didn't like, and I do like this one, it definitely has it's own distinguishing qualities.

04-03-2008 00:49:38 | More by joeskirkie
Photo of JackieTH


3.78/5  rDev -7.4%

Appearance: Coppery orange with two fingers of white foamy head.

Smell: Resinous pine and grapefruit aroma.

Taste: Similar to nose but more malty presence. Sweeter than expected. Becomes slightly cloying as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Nice. Medium bodied, creamy, with crisp edge to the carbonation.

Drinkability: Stronger ABV although the profile is standard fare, thus easy enough to drink but won't stand out in a crowd.

01-03-2011 02:28:52 | More by JackieTH
Photo of WJVII


3.78/5  rDev -7.4%

Thanks BA bud Cdkrenz. Poured from a bomber into a pint glass this brew has a nice orange amber color with a thick white 2 finger head with an aggressive pour. The head settles into a nice thin cap leaving sticky delicious lacing down the glass. The brews aroma is full of pine needles with nice clove and nutty notes. The taste is not over powering. There is a very strong hop start with a slight butterscotch middle and a mild bitter finish with some brown sugar and caramel malt balance. This brew is not the POW hop flavor I expected. It is balanced, sweet and spicy. Very good brew.

09-22-2010 00:32:46 | More by WJVII
Photo of klkatz


3.78/5  rDev -7.4%

from a large bottle (what is that 20 ounces??) - poored into a National Mechanics Bill Cosby glass (I didn't steal the glass, a bartender gave it to me... wrapped it in paper too)

Gave Cosby a reddish gold look.... with a thick off-white head. I was celebrating Chinese New Year while drinking this and the bubbles were happy to meander to the top and show me there presence. Happy Chinese New Year!

Yes! Aroma was excellent. Hops. Grapefruit... floral... like a wet, lush morning stroll through the jungle crunching plants beneath your boots...

Taste - Boom! it's a slap in the face with bitterness... thinking at first maybe too much. Hmm... another sip.

Mouthfeel sits well... but kind of soapy...

Drinkability - is average... with 11% alcohol it is kind of impressive.. .but I think 1 (maybe) 2 is enough.

02-16-2011 01:35:39 | More by klkatz
Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,637 ratings.