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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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1,201 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,201
Hads: 2,935
Avg: 4.07
pDev: 18.18%
Wants: 138
Gots: 371 | 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: 1,201 | Hads: 2,935
Photo of Jparkanzky
2.71/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From bottle to pint glass, split with wife.

A) Golden, more of a "sandy-blonde" as Patrick Bateman would say

S) Smells hoppy, and slightly of oak (although I've had the oak-aged version, which was completely different than this)

T) Malt... booze... a hint of hops... not what I would expect from an IPA.

M) Nothing memorable.

O) Not bad, just doesn't taste like an IPA or double at that.

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Photo of mpedara429
2.74/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.75

A: A deep amber color that is mostly clear. Two fingers of off white head. Rings of lacing around the glass.

S: A mild smell of dank pine, and bread. Catching subtle tones of booze and fruit in there.

T: Herbal and boozy with hints of fruit and pine.

M: Medium and smooth/creamy body. Carbonation is on the lower side.

O: I'm not sold on this one. The hop profile is extremely weak. It feels as if they brewed a double batch worth of malt with a single batch worth of hops to make this beer. Not at all what I would expect from an IIPA.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
2.74/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've enjoyed Unearthly many times before. This particular bomber hails from Harvest Fine Wine in West Hartford CT, purchased in September for $6.99. Bottle claims alcohol at 11.0% ABV. No date or code observed. Served at 44F in a tulip at the same temperature.

A: A significant cake of yeast is noted at the bottom of the bottle. Brew is a mostly-clear reddish copper color with a moderate quantity of small carbo bubbles drifting upward. Heavy/ moderate pour generates only 1/2" of tan head that settles to a creamy layer. Difficult to get any significant head out of it.

S: Smell is thick with malts that have been slightly caramelized by a long boil, a thick and slightly scorched grainy sweetness. Not much hop noted.

T/M: Thick malt body and taste identical to the smell, semi-sweet, scorched, really dominates the experience. Some mild yeasty funk is also present. Hops are pretty subtle, very tame for the style; some bitter orange pith, grapefruit, mixed herb. Finish is pretty long with citrus rinds and alcohol fumes. Alcohol is present but fairly subtle for 11%.

D: This is pretty lackluster, I remember it being much better. Not at all crisp or hoppy like a DIPA should be. Not much different from any other mediocre DIPA. I'm guessing it's due to some combination of over-cooked batch and an old bottle.

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Photo of alcstradamus
2.83/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A--Deep amber color with a finger of head using a standard pour into a pint glass, OK lacing left behind

S--Citrus and floral hops with a strong malty backbone. Grapefruit, apple peels, caramel, pears. Not a huge smell but still very good.

T--Piney hops, lots of maltiness, caramel, an odd sweet flavor that I can't identify, good bitterness levels. I'm not really too impressed with the taste here. That sweetness that I can't seem to identify is really distracting and takes away from the other flavors present.

M--Standard for a DIPA

D--A bomber of this was just too much. I could drink a pint for sure, but beyond that it becomes a chore.

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Photo of harrymel
2.85/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

No bottle date.

A: pours a hazy amber ale with under a single finger of tan foam which falls slowly to a broken sheet of the same with tortuous billows. Ringed lace.

S: This smells like sweet malts and some piny hops. Not much else. I fear this beer sat on the shelves for quite some time. That being said, the base malts smells of caramel and caramelized sugar.

T: Tastes like a sweet American style Barley Wine. Not impressed as an IPA goes. The malts are sweet and toffee like with hints of oxidation which has developed the malt nicely.

M: A hare thin on the body and low on the carb with a small slickness on the finish.

O: Well, I wish I knew the bottle date on this beer. I know it's not particularly new (as I've heard they've gone through a label change), but nonetheless, I know their beers to be generally sweet. As a result, I'm stuck believing this is relatively along the lines they intended. As an IIPA, this is far from hopped enough.

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Photo of bman13
2.9/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Just okay. I hate southern tiers' malt bomination of mostly everything hoppy that they make. This one's probably the worst amongst them. It's a little bitter and citrus does come through a bit, but with every sip you are overwhelmed completely by the weird sticky sweet malty taste. Not a good thing. Maybe this f bottle is a bit old at around 4 months, but I've had it fresh and hardly have noticed a difference. Definitely stick with Gemini or 2x one for a hop forward beer and not a sweet malt bomb like this.

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Photo of mynie
2.92/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sort of a limp pour. Not ugly, not by any means, but you can tell by looking at it that the carbonination is real low. Not much of a head, either.

Smells like a hop bomb. Big nodes of Chinook and Centennial against a very strong, syrupy malt. I don't mean to sound like a wuss or nothing (I enjoy some immensely hoppy beers) but blend comes off as overpowering without any especially enjoyable nodes. Maybe the malt is stronger in the taste, I dunno...

Nope. Tastes like a blend of giant hops as a very bizarrely bitter syrupy malt background. (The syrupyness is accentuated by the fact that the beer is very undercarbonated). The hops burn the tongue and are mostly just bitter--there's no pleasurable nodes here, no citrus, no fruit, no pine, no woodiness. Just fiery bitterness.

I dunno. I just don't like it.

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Photo of Cresant
2.93/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into an IPA glass. No date. The body was a clear golden amber color with two fingers of camel colored head. The bottle suggests serving at 42F, I had it a little warmer (48-50F) and I wish I hadn't. I believe the alcohol overwhelmed the other aromas and flavors as it warmed.

Smell was malt and citrus. Sweet. Alcohol ramps up as it warmed.

Taste was also sweet, but bright in the beginning. The alcohol was well hidden at the beginning but blossomed as it warmed. Not a West Coast type of DIPA, more malty and sweet.

Mouthfeel was prickly on the tongue. The body was medium to full. I would like to try this one again, only served colder (I don't say that often!).

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Photo of jbertsch
2.93/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

You gotta like raisins for this one, folks. Don't understand why others on here aren't noting that.

This poured a solid-looking, clear amber with a white, shiny, one-finger head.

The fruity-tart hops aroma is immediate...followed by fairly strong raisins. An aroma of malts is not overshadowed, though.

The raisin smell comes through the taste, mixed a tad with notes of dates, fig, and other bitter dark fruit. The malts come through with caramel characteristics.

Mouthfeel is a little sharp from the bitterness, and has a long, boozy, hoppy finish.

Drinkability is just OK. The aftertaste, for me, was harder to stomach than the 11% abv. Wasn't totally easy finishing the 650 ml bottle...maybe because I had other brews before this.

A half or full glass would make a decent apertif.

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Photo of rangerred
2.95/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark copper with a one finger off-white head. Really good head retention and lacing considering the strength of this beer.

The aroma is quite weak with hints of overripe orange and tangerine. Some mango and pineapple sneaking through but it is very light.

The hop flavor is quite weak as well. Some tropical fruit with moderate floral and pine notes. Just a touch of bread but hops completely dominate. Bitterness is on the light side and has a hard time rising above the overwhelming sweetness. The sweetness gets to be a bit on the cloying side after awhile making this a little hard to finish.

Overall, this is really a sweet, sticky mess. I can't stand sweet IIPA's so this one is not a favorite of mine. So many other better options out there.

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Photo of charlesw
2.96/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Interesting... I love their trip and it's one of their lowest rated beers whereas this one is rated much higher and, well, it just doesn't do it for me. My biggest complaint is the underattenuation - on the order of an English barleywine, you know? Other than that... I guess I'd like to see it a bit more bitter. I do have to say that blended with another beer this was freaking amazing. As it is... Not quite.

Again, months later. Tastes... Just not very interesting. You really don't notice the alcohol, FWIW. But... It's just not there. Way too light in color and flavor for me for a DIPA. It seems a lot like Loose Cannon - maybe I should try these side by side? Of course, if they are, indeed, at all similar I'd much rather have the Loose Cannon, of course. Getting the same flavor and intensity out of a beer for 4% less ABV is a feat, IMO.

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Photo of ReelBigwigFish
2.96/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: dark amber color, with a slight reddish hue. After pouring the head formed up high and fizzed down with vigorous carbonation, but the remnant head is more creamy looking, a light amber color.

s: smells extremely malty and sweet, almost too sweet. there is also lots of alcohol in the aroma, not a whole lot of hops in the nose. mostly smells like malts, raisins, and alcohol.

t: intense malt sweetness up front, a little woody, and very boozy. there is a tinge of bitter hop flavor but it's just swept to the side by the overpowering combo of heavy malt and alcohol.

m: heavy, boozy, syrupy: not all that drinkable (i split this bomber with a friend and it's taking me 20 min to drink 11oz)

o: i really don't know what to say about this one. it's really expensive, and all my friends that have had this beer have said such great things about it. and honestly it was a huge let down. i think the oaked version of unearthly is far far better, and even gemini is much better. but if you're going to buy any southern tier beer ipa, get the 2x IPA. i haven't tried their regular ipa, but i've had all the others and the 2x is WAY better than all these small batch bombers. this one was definitely the least hoppy, somehow the oaked version tastes that much different.

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Photo of thecarster1
2.96/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a- bottle poured into a snifter, nearly two fingers of head, slight haze warm chesnut coloring.

s- warm biscuit, strong, some pine, light citrus.

t- this is a strong one, sappy pine, earthy hops come through, some huff and burn here as well, i wish the alcohol was a bit more hidden.

m- medium, coating, slick.

d- not the best, the alcohol isn't well hidden here. i was a bit disappointed here.

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Photo of Hugomarink
2.98/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Far too malty and sweet for my tastes, but it's smooth and has a rich flavor that some will enjoy. But for those who like big hop bombs this is a much more malt-forward approach to a DIPA. It's not bad at all, just not what I'm generally looking for in a DIPA.

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Photo of budgood1
3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber.

pours out a hazed bronze/copper colour. thin light tan head with accompaning slim lace. malty aroma...brown sugar, toffee and caramel. spicy hops are subdued, and i can detect a whiff of alcohol. flavour profile is malt forward with a good deal of spicy bitterness and boozy punch. the problem is since there are freshness dates on these ST bombers, i don't know how old this bottle is and the nuances i'm getting from this beer is that's it's definitley past it's prime. wet cardboard and apparent oxidation are prevalent, but i'll do my best to pick out some accentuating characteristics. besides the muddled sweet maltiness, a beer with an agressive hopping schedule should have a much more vibrant hop profile and all i get is some spiciness and bitterness. no real hop flavour to be had. full bodied but it has a slick and slippery mouthfeel. drinkability suffers becasue in my opinion this is not what i should be tasting.

overall this is a disappointment because it's obviously old or bad in some way. i'll try to get another review done with a fresher bottle.

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Photo of jrallen34
3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I drank this from a 22oz bottle into a Rochefort glass.

The beer is a medium oily orange, showing light brown in the light. The head is a very light tan that doesn't rise even a finger and is gone quickly. The lacing is also light.

The aroma is light for a dipa with a light citrus on the front with some alcoholy/soapy/hops on the back end.

The taste is light on the front with sweetness but then you are hit strongly with lots of alcohol and hops. The alcohol is too strong and distracting with too much pine, alcohol and soap.

The mouthfeel heavy but not a crisp drink.

The drinkability is limited by the alcohol.

Overall this is a pretty weak dipa. The appearance is boring, the aroma is light, and the taste is distracting.

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Photo of tewaris
3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter. No dates on it so can't say how fresh or not it is. Looks decent, if thick. And thick it is. I spilled a drop or two, my hand were sticky :-/

Aroma is malty, somewhat hoppy and just heavy. It's not bad but doesn't appeal much to me. Taste is similar... very sweet and quite bitter. Thick, cloying, boozy. It's big, not meant in a good way.

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Photo of slicknuss
3.01/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - This beer has a dark copper color and pours with almost no head at all.

S - Smells of malt, honey and pine.

T - I wasn't completely impressed with the taste. When I poured the beer, it looked delicious, but the taste is kind of bland. I taste more alcohol than hop flavor. If this beer tasted like it smelled, we would be in business.

M - Nice carbonation, but the beer consistency is a little syrupy, especially after it warms a bit.

O - Not a bad beer by any means, but I don't think I would purchase it again. I prefer my DIPA to have more hops and less syrupy sweetness. There are a lot better DIPA's out there.

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Photo of Lerxst
3.02/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a golden/amber color with a one finger off white head that fades quickly and leaves little lacing.

S-Pine and citrus hops with a stronger than expected malt presence.

T-Sweet malt seems to override the hops. Pine and citrus hops are evident but overwhelmed by the sweet maltiness. Way to sweet and malty for the style, and not hoppy enough.

M-Medium body with a strong carb bite, a bit sticky.

D-I had trouble finishing the bomber. Not very drinkable.

Love everything I had tried so far from Southern Tier, but this one was a miss. I won't be having this one again.

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Photo of GJ40
3.08/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Sampled from a 22oz bottle in a standard pint glass.

A - Copper with great clarity and a small beige head. Very attractive.

S - Very piney with notes of grass, peat and oak.

T - Very piney with intense hop oils and a firm kick of alcohol. This beer is very rich; too rich in fact. I love IPAs & DIPAs but this one seems too focused on packing a punch and not enough on delivering good flavor.

M - Oily and thick with a nice low carbonation.

D - Not one for me. After struggling through the first half, I poured it. This one's proof that bigger isn't always better.

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Photo of largadeer
3.09/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Copper in color, bright and perfectly clear. Head retention is great for an 11% beer, leaving plenty of lace sticking to the glass.

Smell: Citrusy, floral hops over a substantial malt backbone. You can tell from the first whiff that this is going to be heavy stuff.

Taste & mouthfeel: And heavy it is. Oily hops, an enormous malt backbone and stratospheric ABV make for an extremely heavy DIPA - this stuff is downright syrupy. There's quite a bit of fresh hop flavor here, but the malt base is right up there with it, creating a pleasant bittersweet flavor that leans toward the bitter in the finish. Not my preferred style of DIPA, but not bad.

Notes: Received from Dyan in a recent trade; thanks!

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Photo of mnstorm99
3.1/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was really excited about this one, but I should have known at 11% it would be a little too much for me.
Nice copper amber pour with a nice white smooth head that sticks well.
Beatiful aroma of pine and floral hops, nice aromatics coming from the malt also.
Taste at first is alchohol (sorry just an offputting flavor for me when it comes to beer). This is more of a barleywine than a IIPA, but I do detect some of the citrus notes from the hops as well as a decent malt sweetness.
Mouthfeel is alchohol burn, but smooth once that is gone. For the price (same as Hoppe) there are better options IMO.

On to the ÜberSun

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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.

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Photo of Vendetta
3.12/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Original Rating Date:
September 6, 2008

Super heavy hops in the aroma. Small fizzy head, super hoppy, a little flat carbonation wise. Tastes of soap as well. Enjoyable but it seems that 2IPAs are either hit or miss with me, this isn't one of the better ones that I've had.

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Photo of billshmeinke
3.12/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a "fluted" glass as the bottle recommends (in this case a white wine glass).

One finger white head. Amber with some honey in color. Spotty foam resides to a ring of foam around the glass with a patch in the middle. Head tightness and retention are good.

Smells of honey and toffee. Floral hops, mint and zesty citrus.

Taste is of honey, toffee, bitter resin, dank, and zest. Hops come through as mostly floral, there is spearmint in there as well. Nice bitterness, but pretty malt forward.

Fairly thick and full bodied. Tight aggressive carbonation. Big hop bite on the end.

A solid east coast DIPA. Hard to get through a bottle.

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Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,201 ratings.