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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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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,778 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,778
Reviews: 1,181
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 121
Gots: 254 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: John on 02-24-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,778 | Reviews: 1,181 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am not normally a big fan of this style, though I did like this one. It was a very good hop mix and tasty, well malted. Hop resin, grapefruit aroma. Very drinkable at the end of a hot day.Alcohol was not so apparent."Wierd" was the reaction of my sharing guest.
On tap 9 months later, big bitterness.

Photo of t0rin0
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orangey color, a bit light for a DIPA but the tan head and little bubbles coming out of solution make up for that. Also, relatively clear but not crystal clear.

The smell was very strong of hops. Lots and lots of them but mostly as aroma hops, not bittering. There was a little malt smell coming out but the fruity hop smell dominated. The flavor was a bit more balanced in terms of malt vs hops. I did notice a little alcohol but nothing distracting. Although halfway through the glass, who cares, you're already buzzing from the 11% abv. Some moderate hop flavor and bitterness in the aftertaste.

The body was medium, a little lighter than I would have guessed for a DIPA but thats alright. Great beer all around.

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to shrek086 for sending this one!

Pours a murky honey orange-brown with a 1 inch fizzy orange-white head that settles to a thin cap. Thin foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is very much like a barleywine with malt, caramel, toffee, and lots of citrus zest hop aromas. Taste is also very much like a hoppy barleywine with malt, caramel/toffee, brown sugar, and some citrus zest on the finish. A mild bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a mild carbonation with a crisp yet smooth and slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that seems much more like a barleywine than a DIPA. I am pretty sure this was not intended but it's very good none the less.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice copper color with a good white head and a bit of staying power. Some nice white lacing. Nose is strong pine, citrus, and earthy hops with a bit of caramel in the back. The flavor is a bit less hoppy but adds a strong amount of bitterness along with a bit of caramel and bread. Nice feel with good carbonation and hop bitterness levels. Much better than the oak-aged version and a really nice DIPA.

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear orange in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger off white head that quickly faded away, leaving delicate lacing covering the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of citrus and floral hops in the nose along with notes of caramel malts.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but the flavors of caramel malts are more apparent and also contribute some notes of sweetness. There is a moderate amount of bitterness from the hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some dryness in the finish.
O: This beer has a good balance between the flavors of malts and hops and hides its alcohol very well from the taste. All in all, it’s a solid double IPA.

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber/golden color with a massive head that leaves quite a few patches

Smell: Grapefruit pith, pine and a minty character

Taste: Biscuity, for a sec, and then the hop parade begins, with a floral, citrusy, tropical fruit mix that joins with pine by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a wallop of sticky caramel and, though the finish is rather sweet, there is still plenty of hop bitterness in the residual

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: Overall, a bit too sticky and sweet to be my ideal DIPA; a rather good example for those who prefer that style of beer, however

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

Certainly a tremendous beer. It offers an extremely bold, yet delicate balance of intense malt sweetness and hop intenisy and flavor. The dryness of the hops, combined with the pronounced alcohols leaves a very spicy and dry sensation immediately. The flavors, though rich with caramels and barley, are thinned by the alcohols and citrus hops. The hops deliver strong citrus, pine, and earthy flavors of higher proportions. Along with flavor, the hops give a serious bitterness without the soapy, metalic flavors expected in big ipa's. The feel is full and rich, but I stop shy of saying 'thick or heavy'. Finishes with a focus on the dry, spicy hops with back-up tones of carmel malts and smooth fermented barley. Well balanced and strong flavored. Not for the timid, but pleasant after getting past the bitter shock.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a golden amber color ale with a medium foamy head with slightly below average retention. Aroma of bitter and citrus is dominating as expected but is well balance with some sweet caramel malt. Taste is also a nice mix between citrusy bitter malt with a nice backing of caramel malt. Body had an oily texture and was about medium full with some low carbonation. Very good take on the style but probably still notch down from my personal favourite such as Dreadnaught and Smuttynose Big A IPA.

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

Polished bronze-like orange. Not quite brown enough to be titian, nor red enough to be terra cotta. Whatever color it is, this is a beautiful shade for a DIPA. The large head is a masterpiece, as expected. Heavily creamy to start, it melts into a milkshake-like puddle atop the beer and deposits a respectable amount of soon-to-be-crusty lace.

The nose isn't quite as hop resin explosive as I had hoped, but it's still damn good. UIIPA has a classic DIPA aroma of brown sugared grapefruit, thanks to a hop bill that includes Chinook, Cascade, Centennial and Styrian Goldings. Great hops, each and every one.

Believe it or not, this sucker is balanced for the style. Since the impressive silk-screened label states that the beer contains 'an uninhibited infusion of hops' and has a stratospheric 153 IBUs, I can only conclude that the brewers include a few fields worth of barley in each batch. The malt is dark honey sweet and lays down a rock-ribbed foundation that any amount of hops would have a hard time overwhelming.

The flavor is akin to liquified brown sugar and caramel-coated white grapefruit and orange sections. This is delicious beer that I'll try not to penalize for falling a fraction short of my preferred DIPA profile of dazzlingly bright citric top notes that threaten to scrub the top few layers off the tongue. Unearthly is one of those versions that edges into the gray zone between DIPA and barleywine, while staying firmly on the side of the former.

As a rule, I don't drink DIPAs out of a fluted glass, as the label recommends, but this is one case where that might not be such a bad idea. This is a supremely civilized, sippable beer that would look and taste great out of such a vessel. Even though I've never had the pleasure of meeting them, I like the folks at Southern Tier because they brew some of the best beer on the planet. That won't stop me from calling them out on the stated ABV. All kidding aside, this is one of the most perfectly masked 11%'ers in the history of beer.

When I take the time to reflect on the mouthfeel, which I've been doing off and on since the very first sip, the words that enter my mind are plush, lush, crushed velvety, buttery and heavily silky smooth. If this beer was a car, it'd be a Rolls Royce (and if it was a liquor, it'd be a well-aged, single barrel bourbon). I don't remember a DIPA with a mouthfeel any more full or any more impressive than this.

Unearthly (adj.): concerned with or affecting the spirit or soul. Southern Tier's foray into the world of DIPAs with Unearthly Imperial IPA is an unqualified success. Although it may not 'wow' me the way some versions do, it's definitely a beer that is long on spirit and soul. It's worth getting to know over the course of a slowly sipped bomber. A big thank you to Calico for the bottle.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1.5 finger head with solid circumferential lacing on a clear golden with crimson hues body.

S: light citrus with a cinnamon note otherwise not much on the nose.

T: initially a bitter citrus flavor with a maple syrup like finish both in taste and mouthfeel. The hips are lighter than I was expecting. Candy like notes as well.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: this one is an interesting beer. The mouthfeel is thicker than I expected and there is more of a molasses note than hops.

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poired a deep dark orange amber with a nice average size white head, Very quick fade left behind adecent film ontop and a really awesome lace. Very gooey and thick on the sides of the glass.

S - Nice clean smell and hop character here, Not too much of a citrus profile, more of a piney tone..Nice slightly grain back trying to poke out and balances it very nicely not letting the hop character overtake it. Very lean and sweet.

M & T - First impression was whoa. Very very sweet, logs of sugar in here. Extremely smooth, but with a slight tingling from the alcohol, and a tiny burn on the lips, but it faded away nicely as it warmed up. Bigtime hop bomb kool aid with sugar type of taste. This was a damn strong brew!

D - Overall very nice with lots of alcohol, which can hurt the drinkability somewhat, but overall this was very nice and definatly my type of brew. Would love to try one again, as I really thought this was a fine ale.

Photo of Knapp85
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this a little while ago from a bottle and thought it was fantastic. Last summer I took a trip to the brewery and brought home a Growler of it. This beer pours out as a really great looking copper color with a creamy looking frothy head on it. The lacing is thick and sticky. The smell of this is of course hoppy, lots of pine and cirtus in the mix. The taste is very good for any IPA lover. The mouthfeel is sharp and tingley on the tongue. Truely a really good beer here. Looking forward to having this whenever I can.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.25/5  rDev -44.7%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -1.7%

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Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,778 ratings.