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

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

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2,651 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,651
Reviews: 1,172
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 108
Gots: 210 | 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
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Ratings: 2,651 | Reviews: 1,172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of barczar
3.84/5  rDev -5.9%

Pours a slightly hazy deep copper with a frothy cream head that lingers.

Resin, pine, rich caramel, toasted malt, and muted citrus form the initial aroma. Seems fairly sweet.

Underpinnings of grapefruit and muted tangerine start the flavor profile, with sweet caramel malt, tobacco, and toasted breadcrust taking over mid palate, and resin and pine rounding out into the lightly bitter, dry finish.

Body is moderate to full, with slightly low carbonation, and noticeable alcohol warmth.

Fairly sweet at first, almost cloying, and more balanced than most. Not overly bitter, which suits my palate. Hop complexity is somewhat lacking.

barczar, Oct 01, 2013
Photo of thgreatrandini
3.84/5  rDev -5.9%

thgreatrandini, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of noeldundas
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%

deep burnt orange colour, with minimal off white head, good lacing though.

aroma is malty with a strong toffee note, biscuit-like toastiness, and herbaceous hop. not as hoppy as I would have thought, I imagine it's not as fresh as I or the brewer would like.

a juicy impressive hop flavour . it's quite drinkable for such a large hoppy beer, and not the slight bit cloying or overly sweet.

All in all, I'm disappointed. It's pretty clear that this particular bottle has lost it's hop character. Not the brewers fault though.

noeldundas, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of UA8
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%

A- Amber to copperish color with a medium thick head and medium lacing

S- Wow talk about hops I set this on my desk before typing the review and could smell it from 5 ft away. wonder citrus hop along with a bit of bread yeast smell

T- A huge serving of hops. Pure piney and resinous form start to finish. Very light on the malts. Could be a bit more balanced.

M- Medium to high carbonation with hops that jsut stick to your tongue.

D- At 22 oz. with 11% alcohol and the sheer amount of hops in this beer i would say this a one and done deal. Anymore than one of these in a day and it would be bed time for me. On sheer taste it needs more balance the hops are a bit on the dominate side for me.

UA8, Jun 29, 2008
Photo of froghop
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%

pours a clear bright orange with a medium size off-white bubbly head that has great staying power, good lacing.

smell is of hops, caramel, citrus, and a earthiness.

taste is smooth, light grapefruit, caramel, citrus, well balanced hops and malt, somewhat sweet, ends bitter but not overpowering, the 11% alcohol is not apparent at all.

froghop, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of micromaniac129
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%

Unearthy begins as an exciting burnished orange amber color which is quite deep in tone.
There is very little in way of carbonation and the foamy cap fairs no better. The foamy head is light and thin with some clinging lace at the edge.

Aroma was mostly sweet caramel malts and alcohol.
Hops are absent as far as I can tell. Perhaps I have a stale beer. You would think that an imperial IPA would have considerable hop wallop both in aroma and taste.

Taste is finds sweet toffee malts and warming alcohol. Very light hop flavor.
Drinks fairly smooth and is quite dry and bitter lingering deep into the aftertaste,
I would of liked to have seen more hops but it's possible this is stale and out of date.

micromaniac129, Sep 03, 2012
Photo of utopiajane
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%

Unearthly pours a copper orange with a dense head of sticky foam that recedes unwillingly, fighting all the way and clinging to the glass. It doesn’t assault the nose like some IPA’s but boasts it’s hops behind the strength of it’s malt. Slick pine, oak and moss. On the palate the malt stays steady and sweet while the hops come up to a tart flourish. The body is heavy and slightly thick, mouthfeel is creamy but a little syrupy. An expressive IPA that lingers bitter and amenable.

utopiajane, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of Beer_Runner
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%

No enjoy by date on the bottle; but, the malt and hops bill is listed on the label. Cool...

Slow pour into a standard pint glass.

A: No head formed during the pour. The brew is a light copper color with just a touch of a golden hue. It is also very clear.

S: The aroma is mild, and consists of a grapefruit and orange citrus hops. There is also just a hint of sweet malt, and a bit of booziness, too.

T: The taste is earthy hops and a bit of citrus, along with just enough sweet caramel-like malt to take the harsh edge off the bitterness. There is also a little alcohol heat, too.

M: The body is on the heavier side of medium. It is also pretty smooth for a 9% beer.

O: A pretty good IPA. It has a pleasanlty strong earthy hops flavor, which is different from the aroma. It is a good beer, but I might not go too far out of my way to find it again. But, glad I tried it.

Beer_Runner, Jun 22, 2012
Photo of tadowdaddy
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%

A- Beautiful clear amber with finger length head. Left a nice spider like lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Fruity hops and tons of caramel malt. Couldn't get any other smells out of this one.

T- To me, tastes like it smells. I love hops, so this one was a pretty decent beer. Definitely not a super complex tasting beer. Could definitely taste the alcohol after swallowing it.

M- Felt great in the mouth. Not too thick, not too light. Very good aftertaste of caramel malts and alcohol. I liked the combination.

D- Not my absolute favorite beer, due to the lack of complexity, but drinkable enough. Would definitely give it another shot. For an over 10% DIPA, probably one of the biggest alcohol tastes I've encountered.

tadowdaddy, Oct 31, 2008
Photo of shivtim
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%

Good name, good reputation... gotta try it.
Came in a nice chalice. Nice looking golden hazy copper hue with a small but thick off-white head that faded to a persistent halo. Nose is chock full 'o hops. Intense layers of hops. Taste is piney hops with sweet citrus kicks and more hops. I like the hop intensity in the nose, but the flavor is a tad bit overdone, although balanced nicely with sweetness and a bitter ending. Couldn't feel or taste the alcohol at all through that hop attack. Great mouthfeel. Thick IPA goodness. Overall a very nice IPA.

shivtim, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of aficionado
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%

Served in a Duvel tulip.

DOB ~ 6/30/11

9.5% abv, 2-row pale, cara-pils, red wheat. kettle hops: chinook & cascade. hop back: styrian golding. dry hopped: cascade, centennial, & chinook.

Hazy deep orange body with hints of yellow near the surface. Inch tall head with superb lacing that sticks to the glass AND creates soapy bubble inside of the bottle.

Piney, catty, grapefruit, & rich caramel. Smells intense and mean... like it's going to do some damage. Extremely fruity, hoppy, and fierce.

Taste is sweet!! The caramel overtakes everything else. But there are definite blasts of intense catty grapefruit, Spring flower petals, and fresh pine cones. I remember this beer tasting much better when I was a beer newb vs. today now that I strongly prefer the drier hoppy beers.

Mouthfeel is heavy and thick. Light carbonation and a sticky feel. This is a dessert Imperial IPA. A must try and a quality beer, but a little too thick and sweet to be top notch.

aficionado, Aug 13, 2011
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.

kcillini77, Jun 25, 2008
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.

vtfan77, May 30, 2008
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.

StaveHooks, Sep 06, 2012
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.

vitALEity, Apr 19, 2014
Photo of dougfur
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.

dougfur, Jul 23, 2013
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.

mudbug, Oct 09, 2010
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!

cjgator3, Mar 24, 2010
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.

deltatauhobbit, Apr 07, 2014
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

BillHaverchuck, Aug 28, 2010
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.

teromous, May 27, 2011
Photo of plowe70
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.

plowe70, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of Ralphus
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!

Ralphus, Jan 18, 2009
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.

NoLeafClover44, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of BabyBastard
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.

BabyBastard, Apr 18, 2010
Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,651 ratings.