Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,201 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,201
Hads: 2,932
Avg: 4.07
pDev: 18.18%
Wants: 138
Gots: 368 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,201 | Hads: 2,932
Photo of WeymouthMike
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A dark mahogany reddish/brown which is clear with a one finger white head. Taste reminds me of a 90 minute, warm and sweet , perfect in my book. Mouthfeel is different than the 90 minute, this is thicker with a little more bitterness to the finish. One thing I love about Southern Tier is the bottle gives you the geeky beer numbers and ingredients, bottle design is also top notch.

 382 characters

Photo of TrickKnee
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I would have gave this little beer it if were not for the lack on consistency. I bought a couple bottles of this about a week ago and had one right away. Thought it had a great hoppiness to it, nice amber color and decent head. And believe you and I, the 11% abv does give you a little kick. Had another bottle last night and it was completely different, sever lack of head and a completely different taste, so much so that i thought i was drinking another beer. Lack of the same amount of hops smell from my sample no less than a week before. Will definetly have to try again and see which result i can create.

 611 characters

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - a tea brown color, with a durable off-white/light-tan head, absent of carbonation and sediment

S - hopariffic, hoppy to a piney degree, the hops are overpowering if there are any other aromas

T - a nice background honey type sweetness that is still evident despite the bombing of hopes, that ultra piney deliciousness of tons of quality hops that i have come to love and savor

M - bitter of course, but still well balanced

D - high for hopheads, others who dont particularly enjoy hops may find this brew too bitter

 531 characters

Photo of edchicma
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish gold with an initial decent head.. Smell is rich..a blend of yeast and hop aromas. The taste is an explosion of hops, but in a smooth presnetation...no harshness. Excellent for the high abv...very little "bite". Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied, which leads into a very good drinkability rating.

 313 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
4.16/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber. Pours a vert deep golden color with a half finger of head that falls to a lightly broken head over top. Clarity is excellent, and there is no apparent carbonation bubbling up in the glass. This is a really good looking brew. It almost has a glow to it. The aroma is very thick. It has huge caramel notes balanced out by big juicy and sweet grapefruity hop. There is a lot of sweetness in the nose here. Its almost a bit too much for me. Flavor is pretty nice. It is definately dominated by big caramel maltyness. It is backed with a moderate grapefruity hop and a very mild and faint piney hop that is mostly flavor. The bitterness on the finish is very mild, and I think this keeps the beer very easy drinking. There is really no hint of the 11% ABV in the flavor at all. Mouthfeel is thick, almost a touch slick and syrupy. The carbonation is pretty much absent, so this one really sits heavy. As far as DIPA's go, this one is working well for me. The nose is a bit strong in sweetness, but this is more balanced in the flavor. Its defintaly letting me know that the alcohol is there as I drink more of it, but its not in the nose or flavor. This is a nice DIPA.

 1,178 characters

Photo of suIIy
3.42/5  rDev -16%
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 trep
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle with a plethora of information about the beer on the silk-screened label. Very classy looking bottle.

Truely the definition of amber colored body. Off-white head slowly settles to leave scattered bubbles and a bit of lacing.

Very pleasing aroma of citrus, pine, and floral hops followed by a dash of sweet honey. Definitely a good bit of malt sweetness as well which keeps the nose from being dominated by hops. Not that I would be complaining.

Stinging piney hop bitterness initially then it suddenly fades to let the citrus and floral hops through. Ton of malt in this one and a nice fruity finish that tastes like canteloupe or honeydew. Sweet malts keep this one fairly balanced. Not as bitter as I was expecting it to be, but definitely a top notch beer.

Not super thick, but definitely not thin...or even medium. Nice carbonation and it's pretty balanced. Mind-blowingly easy drinking for 11%. Anytime something 11% goes down this easy I just have to give it a high number.

 1,004 characters

Photo of mcowgill
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer pours a great clear amberish color with nice creamy head that lasts awhile.

S - Citrus hoppy aroma but also very present malt aroma as well. It doesn't have an intense hoppy aroma. I was surprised by this.

T - This is a very well balanced tasty brew. The oily hops are huge but the malt is there balancing it all out.

M - Medium bodied, fairly carbonated, and smooth.

D - This is one very drinkable beer considering the ABV and the fact that it's a huge IPA.

 485 characters

Photo of nlmartin
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was served in a imperial nonic.

Appearance: The beer has a clear copper coloration. The beer has a very thick honey white head. The beer leaves major lacing behind on the glass.

Smell: The beer delivers a massive hoppy pine resin and grapefruit smells. The beer has a big caramel maltyness.

Taste: The beer gives a great delivery on hops. The beer gives out a major load of grapefruit and pine resin hoppyness. The beer has a good spicy alcohol accompliment. The beer has a majorly big caramel maltyness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer has a majorly big body. The alcohol compliments the beer providing spicyness without heat. This beer is very drinkable. The beer is a party in a bottle for one or two people.

 735 characters

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.

 303 characters

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

22oz beer purchased in.. hmm.. northampton?

it sure looks imperial in the glass. it's a deep, unflinching dark copper color with 1.5 fingers of majestic, crowning foam. patchy and crusty on the top like the inside of an italian loaf.. the bottom 2/3 are solid as a rock, and diminish into a tight, creamy thin layer. tiny bubbles are visible racing. looks like they have no trouble making it to the top.

nose is dreamy in its raw hoppiness, bringing out sweet sticky malts versus over-the-top mouthwatering citrus pulp and pressed juice of grapefruits. slightly piney, mostly fresh-picked goodness. cascades well used and serves well to cover up some of the booziness that this beer carries, inevitably.

body itself is pretty thick yet smooth, and a slight afterburn in the esophagus is a result, no doubt, of the jacked abv. the beer itself begins as a spicy melange of hop juices and raw-consumed whole flowers. if the base beer was any less sweet, this would be too bitter to take. however, it's balanced like two giants doing battle and works. the finish is a unique, licorice flavor with hints of earth and raw nutmeg. really quite unique and impressive. sure, you can't chug this, but i keep wanting more. for almost 12%, that makes it 'drinkable' in my book. many beers this high are too sweet or abrasive for me to even contemplate drinking.

a hophead's dream.. close to behemoth barleywine in its succulence. a really good choice.

 1,451 characters

Photo of Prufrock
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber into a pilsner.

deep orange amber with an inch of thick off-white head that retains well and leaves tons of lace. tons of rising bubbles. nice-looking beer.

tons of fruity, gummi candy aromas. peaches, tangerines, grapefruits, and tropical fruits. sugary sweet malts as well.

amazingly drinkable given the alcohol and IBUs. nicely complex hop flavors with a medium-bodied, refreshingly drinkable mouthfeel. sugary caramel start, then finishes with a citrusy, fruity hoppiness. impressively balanced, and a great beer.

 540 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber, without freshness or vintage dating. This stunner pours a bright copper shade of amber, clear and glistening. Supports a long lasting, creamy tan head, and leaves thick, sticky and long lasting stringy lacing after a swirl.. Aroma is of goey, oily hops. Lots of grapefruit, and oily hop crunch in the flavor profile here. Full bodied and full flavor DIPA. Smooth and heady brew, alcohol clearly present, but its layered and dovetailed nicely into and within the layers of hops/malty base. Complex, strong, bold and highly recommended creation. Fine sipper/nightcapper

 575 characters

Photo of soultrain
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A-Crystal clear amber, 2" off-white foam, fades to 1/4" in minutes. Mild carbonation. Some o.k. lacing.
S-Sweet malts and lots of hop aroma. Smells great, but hops are stronger in the aroma than in the taste.
T-11% alcohol very apparent, not like a kick in the skull with a hobnail boot, but it seems this beer had one foot in barleywine territory. Had this at cellar temp.; wish I started it cooler and let it gradually warm. After the boozy intro, the well balanced hop/malt flavors appear, and they are tasty indeed, yet the 153 I.B.U.s and the dryhopping don't yield the extreme bitter hop-bomb that I was expecting. Sweet, peppery, long-lingering spicey finish. Long lingering hop aftertaste. A boozy sipper: consume wisely, it says on the label, like a warning. I understood this when I tried to stand: respect beer.
M-Chewy thick mouthfeel. A little too syrupy-sweet for my taste, but nice overall.
D-Imperial alcohol content makes this hard to drink in quantity and I'm glad I split this bottle with someone.

CRUX: VERY BIG IMPERIAL IPA HERE. HUGE. An IPA that deserves a place in any serious big ipa tasting, for sure. It's well made; think this is a fine IPA to share and slowly savor with a friend. Glad I was able to try this.

Thanks to Lagrin for the sample.

 1,311 characters

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I’ve got high expectations for this one. 22 oz. bomber purchased at Ryan and Casey for $6.00. Very informative bottle literature. Seems loaded from the start. First pour is vigorous and lively, loaded with candied fruit, particularly bananas and cherries. Nose is very fresh, and unrelenting. At first sip I can tell this is a serious beer. Absolutely loaded with hops and bitters. Slightly dry finish.

A good DIPA. I think I may be tiring of this style, I just feel the alcohol is too prominent, not a bad thing, but it tends to lead the style streamlined.

 561 characters

Photo of HopasaurusRex
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish-amber bodied ale topped by thin flecks of foam. Nose of sweet pine sap, cotton candy, tangerine, and lupulin. Fresh punch of hops batters my tongue with bitterness. Some fusels due to high alcohol content. Tropical fruit flavors of pineapple, mandarin orange, and mango mingle with citrusy resinous hops. A truly unearthly combination of hops (Chinook, Cascade, Centennial, & Styrian Golding) that packs a wallop. Definitely approaches triple IPAhood. I took my time polishing off the bomber.

 500 characters

Photo of hoppymeal
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark burnt orange with a nice cream colored head that fades rapidly. Smells of pine trees, big piney hops, but also a big malty sweetness. Bitterness envelopes the tongue as soon as it hits your mouth, there is definitely a strong malt bill in this, it is evident in the mouthfeel and in the smell and taste, but the hops dominate in the taste. A little alcohol warmth/burn towards the finish of the taste, letting you know this beer is big. Some thick and syrupiness maltiness in the mouthfeel that finishes dry and bitter. A big thanks to bjohnson for scoring this great dipa for me.

 591 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Double deucer bottle pours with a clear coppery amber hue topped with a settled khaki ring full of rising bubbles.

Scents are powerful with hoppy swee aroma wafting across to my nose from the table. A bubblegum and fruity hop aroma with a touch of Spree candy in the nose.

First swigs: Huge hop blast that reminds me of a Stone IPA or a FFF Alpha King. A shmorgasborg of hops in the kettle, hopback and dry hopping really shine. A Juicy Fruit gum and sweetness are killer here. Some lemony zest hops are poking around with a firey grapefruit peel to perk your pucker.

Feel is bone dry and sizzle sand rough. Instant bone dry aftertaste instantly results.

Last swigs: Almost reminds me of Avery Ten or Eleven. Tons of varied hops. I am digging it. 11% ABV is undetectable. Cascade really runs the hops show but the Chinook and Centenial manage to show up. This is darn near a barley wine but ya won't catch this idiot complaining.

Beer is good. Happy 2IPA-slash-barleywine beering.

 996 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

 2,817 characters

Photo of mattcrill
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle inspection: 11% ABV, 23 Plato, 153 IBU's, 7.5 Lovibond
2-row pale malt, cara-pils malt, red wheat
Kettle hops: chinook and cascade
Hop back: styrian golding
Dry hopped: Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook
Serve in a fluted glass at 42 deg. F

Dang that's a label!!! A++ to Southern Tier for that one!

Aroma: Piney and citrusy hop resins, a touch of malt sweetness, flowery hop notes as well.

Appearance: Slightly cloudy burnt orange that fades to golden edging. A soapy, sudsy off-white head develops.

Flavor: Flowery hops, honey, a touch of carmelly sweetness, and a bit of alcohol dryness to finish. This is a full on hop assault! The palate bounces between pine, grapefruit rind, flowery notes, and hop bitterness. The alcohol is dangerously hidden.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, slightly chewy, with a dry finish.

Overall impression: This is one terrific brew! Hop-heads take heed...this is good stuff. Southern Tier continues to impress me. World Class in my book.

 1,000 characters

Photo of shirfan
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear orange-red with incredibly long-lasting off white lacing.

Clean and big aroma of floral and citric hops, light earthy malt tones and a hint of anise.

Taste pushes floral hops in a big way, but with medium-low bitterness and absolutely no indication of the 11% abv this weighs in at. Sweet and crisp finish with a bit of orange zest kicking in. A very juicy mouthfeel keeps begging another sip much like Southern Tier's standard IPA.

If I ever move back to Buffalo, access to nectars such as this from S.T. will be a non-trivial deciding factor.

 567 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep orange and clear, this was topped by a thick eggshell coloured head. Superb retention and clumpy lacing was left behind right down to the bottom of the glass. Intense pine aroma with orange and grapefruit taking a bit of a back seat. Alcohol was very faint. Solid sweetness up front that became milder later on, with a solid, balanced bitterness. Some caramel and mostly piney hops. Alcohol appeared in the end and lingered in the finish (along with hops and bitterness). Full body, low carbonation and slightly sticky. A well-balanced combination of hops, malt and alcohol.

 579 characters

Photo of Lnedrive14
4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite possibly the best looking DIPA I have seen. Big time head, strong lacing, deep amber with a bit of dusted garnet. A Rembrandt.

Taste and smell and all that fun stuff are of hops. This is a beer that knows what it does well, and doesnt hide it. It does hops well. Totally overwhelming, yet completely balanced (yes, i recognize the contradiction).

Quite thick for the style, which i actually think worked out quite nicely. Highly drinkable - all around, a great beer,

 480 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.73/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split with a fellow BA london101 at D's Sixpack, where it was sampled at nearly cellar temperature...next time we'll start it a bit cooler and let it warm up. Either way I love Southern Tier and I may be a bit biased here but let's review. As we pour it appears a nice vibrant copper amber colore with a full tan off white cream head leaves even bars of lacing with each sip. Aromatics hit you in the face with big floral and citrus hop combo grapefruit and green raw hops flood the senses along with a woody charred tone and big malty caramel tones with alcohol letting it's presence especially near cellar temp. Flavor profile is big with upfront bitterness more fresh hop juice flavor candied with the sweet caramelized sugary malt layers with a bitey herbal citrus hop character it all flows nicely together. Intense and aggressive hop profile can't wait to sample again there's layers of flavors yet remains somewhat balanced, weird? Mouthfeel is big bodied creamy textured oily with hop resins for certain even but sturdy carbonation to back up the high gravity. Drinkability is money, another quality hopped up creation from upstate NY thanks to Phinn and Matt especially the one that is still there I can't remember at this time, good stuff great double IPA.

 1,266 characters

Photo of tonytuffnuts
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a wonderful beer! Amber body with a thick, frothy three-finger head.

Just a tremendous hoppy scent. Smell of alcohol sneaks through the curtain of shy malts and floral hops.

A smooth balanced taste, I can tell that it's dry-hopped. I taste the cascade, but there's definately a couple other hops in there (a muted floral taste and the other more citrusy). I spent an entire glassfull dissecting the malt. Although the hop dynamic is so perfect, I think the malt makes this beer. It 's complicated and rich, but doesn't outweigh the alcohol or the hops. Earthy malt entrance and sweet malt exit, it yields to the hops, which remain in your mouth and nose as if you just walked through a cloud of hop dust.

Smooth and oily mouthfeel. Uninhibiting, almost unnoticable carbonation. I normally complain that the hoppiest of IPAs leave undersirable tastes in my mouth for hours after. I welcome the aftertaste!

Just be careful of the 11% ABV. Other than that, I want to try this big bodied beer the next time on on a walk in the woods. Great with cheese and crackers or BBQ (hot dogs/hamburg).

 1,104 characters

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