1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,704 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,704
Reviews: 1,177
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 112
Gots: 230 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,704 | Reviews: 1,177 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.4/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Taken from notes on 3.31.11

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Medium orange in color, slightly hazy. The head is a darker cream color.

S - Wood, vanilla, and citrus.

T - Just like a hopped up vanilla flavored IPA.

D - Drinks a bit sweet, and very vanilla forward.

HuskyinPDX, Jun 02, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Knapp85, May 31, 2011
Photo of suspect
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber to a Duvel tulip. Split with my brother-in-law. As always with Southern Tier - no freshness date.

A: Wonderful amber color, crystal clear. Aggressive pour leads to a fluffy slightly off-white head that sticks around for probably 5 minutes or more. Slowly fading head leads to strong lacing that coats with the color of wood glue.

S: Strangely malt forward - but in a good way because the floral hops that follow are that much more welcome. Citrus hops round out the nose.

T: Wonderfully complex. This isn't the oak-aged unearthly (which I wasn't all that much of a fan of) but it tastes like it was aged in some sort of wood barrel. Flower hops find their way to my palate the most followed by the malt flavor (I assume it's the two-row shining here). Alcohol is not present.

M: Medium body, good carbonation, sticky bitterness in my mouth. Excellent feel.

O: Really nice beer that as long as I can know it is fresh, I will be certain to be purchasing again. A really really nice representation of a DIPA.

suspect, May 31, 2011
Photo of teromous
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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 28, 2011
Photo of slicknuss
3/5  rDev -26.5%
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.

slicknuss, May 27, 2011
Photo of lennerja
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear copper amber color with a one finger head that dissipates to leave some nice lacing that sticks to the side of the glass.

S- I smell sweet malt and barley right up front with a slight bit of hops as well.

T- It is very sweet right away with some caramel malt notes. The sweetness fades to leave a strong hop bitterness.

M- It has a medium mouthfeel that slightly sticks to the mouth.

O- This beer has a lot of very nice strong flavors that balance out nicely and it looks great when poured too.

lennerja, May 23, 2011
Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Bright and deep golden orange with a huge white head that slowly fades into a thin white layer. Good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Strong aroma of fruity hops consisting of grapefruit, orange, and lemon. A decent amount of caramel and toffee malts balance it out.

Taste: Strong burst of citrus and earthy hops with grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, and a hint of pineapple. Also some sweetness from the caramel and toffee malts. Plenty of bitterness but it is balanced well by the fruity sweetness and malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium to high body with a medium carbonation. Fairly creamy and smooth and the alcohol is hidden well.

Overall: A very good take on a DIPA.

MattyG85, May 22, 2011
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Gorgeous coppery amber color, crystal clear, with nice rising bubbles, a two finger head with some staying power and great lacing.

Smell is of highly earthy malts, and lots of them, accented with a bold hops profile. It's very complex and hard to put your finger on, as the malts are so forward, but the aromatic hops are more subdued than you would expect. A bit strange, but nonetheless quite appealing aroma.

Taste is far hoppier than the smell, lots of hops going on here, with a very busy flavor profile. Floral and fruity hops flavors are forthright, along with an accenting background of pine and citrus. Malts are also bold and forward, adding to the high degree of complexity of this beer.

Full bodied with ample carbonation, noticeably oily on the tongue, somewhat sweet aftertaste, ample bitterness. Alcohol warming is obvious. Reminds me of hopslam, but with more malts. Great mouthfeel!

Overall it's pretty good, but less than spectacular. Still, a bomber of this is certainly more than a meal for most of your daily DIPA needs.

AlCaponeJunior, May 21, 2011
Photo of jayhawk73
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a medium gold color w/ orange streaks. One finger cocoa head w/ quickly disappears. Excellent lacing and decent carbonation. This beer looks like it's glowing in my snifter- pretty cool. A real looker. Opaque in look as well.

S- Grapefruit, brown sugar, oranges, hops, malt. Very sweet on the nose, but nice- and fairly balanced for such a big beer. Nice nose, but not quite up to the appearance.

T- Very nice. Sweet, but the hops are much more forward in the taste than the nose. The fruit is still there, but more in the background than the nose. Big sweet brown sugar malt backbone on this one. A little too sweet for me. If the sweetness backed off just a tad, this would be a 4.5...

M- Very syrup-like but thinner consistency. Goes down extremely easy. At 11%, you want to sip this beer and enjoy it though. Very chewy, almost like toffee. Sweet finish, hops nowhere to be found on the aftertaste.

O- Totally solid, although I think I like the oak aged unearthly a bit better. The sweetness was just a touch too much for me. Still, this is a totally solid beer that I'm sure I'll look for in the future.

jayhawk73, May 21, 2011
Photo of ermeis06
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

While this beer was good, it completely through me off!

A: This beer was a nice golden copper color. The head retention was good, and it had nice lacing all the way down my glass.

S: It had a nice citrusy hop scent, but you also can smell the malty sweetness.

T: This is what totally threw me off! I expected a much stronger hop flavor and scent than I got once I poured into my glass. There is a strong malt flavor and sweet caramel flavor to this beer. I felt like the hop flavor was overpowered almost. While it was good, I would have enjoyed more bitterness, or more hop flavor and aroma. Even a little more citrus would have been nice to cut through the sweet.

M: Good carbonation and a nice chewy caramel mouthfeel.

This beer took me by surprise. I was expecting an unearhtly amount of hops, and instead I got an unearthy amount of chewy, caramely malt. I think if I would have gotten a better description before drinking it I would have been able to enjoy it more. Despite all that, it was good and had an interesting flavor.

ermeis06, May 20, 2011
Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Southern tier unearthly ipa 9.5% abv

A There are dark amber hues with good carbonation and lacing, I assume. Please note that I drank this out of a bomber on a new jersey train so consider this entire review inherently flawed.

S There is a very herbal smell coming from the gaping bottle opening, again not a lot to comment due to north jersey laws and open container restrictions but the bouquet made its presence known to the front and side aisles. Hop bomb undetected by the TSA.

T There are very bold chinook and cascade notes that are more on the herbal earthy side than the bittering citrusy side. It reminds me of Dugana, if Dugana was all into doing 4H and riding horses. It is very drying but satisfying at the same time, like that show Damages with Glenn Close.
you
D This is very drinkable for the style with good heat on the palate and a big bite on the maltiness, but then again I drilled this like arctic circle oil in short order. So apparently, it goes down smoothely with little objection.

M This beer again is a little too chewy and malty for my tastes. Very whole milk character but if it had those hop notes with no underbody it would be like a size 0 girl with D breast implants, offcentered and unbalanced. A solid beer overall but mediocre for the ambitious style. I would buy it again, BUT I WOULDN’T BE EXCITED ABOUT IT.

Narrative: Daisy Michaels decided at age 15 that she had enough of the Deliverance church services that she had attended for years. Sure, for a child, people wretching and rolling in the aisles had a note of noble bitterness to it. However, after years and years of this behavior, the sad rancor in the room was just an overriding malaise. “ALL OF YOU CAEIUFH WREGHHHH BERRR!!!!” Daisy sighed as she held down a middle aged woman down with an outstretched blanket as she expelled her demons. “Wreghhhbleghhh-” to her right, the local librarian gagged and spit into a paper sack. Sure, it wasn’t the AVERAGE triumph of good over evil, but in the end it was still a type of grassy purity that came from a solid agrarian community.

SubpoenaDeuces, May 18, 2011
Photo of mjw1200
3.15/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This beer has such a syrupy feel that it was hard to get past. I don't mind thickness at all, but when the flavors that stick around do not have any of the characteristics of good solid DIPA it makes it hard to take seriously. It just was not for me.

mjw1200, May 15, 2011
Photo of Schmit
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A powerful IPA that's a bit on the sweet side.

Pours golden amber out of a 22-oz. bottle I picked up a while back at Tacoma Pipe and Tobacco and World Beers. Small head, but gives off a good hoppy aroma. Still, this is a strong one at 11% and you can smell the alcohol for sure. Not a bad tasting beer and the mouthfeel is fine, but the (not insubstantial) hop and malt are unfortunately not strong enough to balance out the powerful alcohol in this one as much as I'd like.

Not bad overall, but just a bit too much alcohol heat and sweetness for me to really be into.

Schmit, May 15, 2011
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is richly hoppy, almost evergreen, with a firm grapefruit undertone. It pours a nice orange amber with a fluffy and fairly persistent off-white head. Flavor is quite hoppy and slightly but pleasantly bitter, with a definite oak tone and more than a hint of grapefruit. Texture is rough and lively, leaving a nice tingle. Recommended to all "hop heads."

Cyberkedi, May 15, 2011
Photo of ElGrecoVerde
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look:
Bright copper with a frothy off white head.

Smell:
Despite the range of aromas, a bit milder than expected. Sweet grapefruit and hops, loads of caramel, and toast.

Taste:
An assault of citrus and floral hops, followed by a perfect balance of sweet caramel and toffee. Undertones of brown sugar and cereal compliment well. Southern Tier did a great job balancing this one.

Feel:
Creamy and smooth. A tad thick but good carbonation keeps that in check.

One of my new favorites of the style. Carefully toes the line between "just enough" and "too much".

ElGrecoVerde, May 14, 2011
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an amber-bronze color with a very creamy, large ecru head that falls slowly to a thin lace covering. Solid amounts of sticky lace remain on the glass. Firmly above-average appearance for a DIPA.

S: Sweet, sugary grapefruit with a twinge of other tropical fruits and a hefty dose of alcohol. Rather sweet, malty nose for the style.

T&M: Loads of grapefruit and orange, with loads of caramel and burnt brown sugar. Finish is sugary with a twinge of dry, grassy hop flavor. It's rather tame and balanced for a DIPA, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The alcohol is hidden well, too. The brewing skill and stylistic conformity merits a 4, even though it's not quite up to my taste preferences for DIPAs. Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety, big, and very much to-style.

Overall, this is a well-crafted DIPA that hides its alcohol well and balances flavors nicely. However, it's a "middle road" that has a lot of malt balance and not as much explosive hop flavor as one would expect.

BamaBeerBuff, May 13, 2011
Photo of Nugganooch
3.38/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First off many thanks to mdfb79 for knocking out one of my wants. Cheers!

Secondly, it is worth noting the info posted on this brew contradicts what is printed on the label. My bottle states this is an 11%ABV brew not 9.5%? And how is there no pic yet? Mysterious.

At any rate poured into a pint & looks like a bottling # on the bottom but no distinguishable dating.

A: Pours a slight hazy pale color with some lighter hues to it. Like that of spun caramel sugar. Nice 1 finger thick khaki white head formed with some respectable lacing.

S: Clean fresh water and ingredients are detected by nose and are dominated with a spicy hop aroma. Some faint hints of citrus come through but mostly that earthy spice hop scent.

T: Taste leaves a little bit more to be desired. No mistake this is a big brew with very rich caramel malt and toffee like flavors. While there is a nice spicy hop bitter bite there with some citrus and pine undertones. It finishes much sweeter. Like a spicy orange juice really.

M: Overall I would say the beer has a decent cream texture to it but pretty sticky on the palate and warming towards the end.

D: Dangerous. Most IPA's get too boozy for me once they hit 10% but this one I felt is masked quite well. Probably the best thing going for this brew...if it is in fact 11%. Very smooth at such a high ABV in my opinion. I was really searching for the ABV's in the beginning but it really only starts to warm the throat towards the end.

I think there is alot to be said about designing such a massive beer and maintaining the drinkability. And I can also really appreciate that I can taste the fresh water and ingredients used here. But in the end this one finishes on the sweet side and I would have liked to see a better marriage of the hops used. The spicy hop and sweet tofee malt flavors just kind of take over. Glad to have tried for sure though!

Nugganooch, May 09, 2011
Photo of zachariaIPA
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful copper with an inch of off-white resiny head. Intense hop aromas..even more intense hop taste..floral, citrus, spicy, piney, bitter yet balanced with a substantial amount of sweet malt. You can definitely taste how strong this beer is. Hop resins seep from your pores after drinking one of these.

zachariaIPA, May 08, 2011
Photo of StoneTSR
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE: Gorgeous beer. A bright, orange-yellow color with a little bit of haze. The head was about an inch thick in my 20 oz. glass and the lacing was pretty solid.

SMELL: This is an outstanding smelling beer. Floral, hoppy and piney with a hint of grapefruit and orange.

TASTE: The Unearthly Imperial IPA is almost a different beer than what it smells like. It is still tasty, but it is much sweeter than the smell would indicate. A strong honey and orange flavor hits the palate to start and then slowly balances out into a more grapefruit-like flavor.

MOUTHFEEL: This is where the beer went south for me. It is more than oily and mouthcoating and crosses the line into downright syrupy. The carbonation was almost non-existent, which was in stark contrast to the initial appearance.

OVERALL: If this beer tasted as good as it smelled and felt as good as it looked it would be one of the best in the world. It is still pretty good, but not what it could have been.

StoneTSR, May 08, 2011
Photo of jzeilinger
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a rich copper/amber color with small amount of head on the top and no carbonation.

S - Graham cracker bread, spices, pine, and a malty booze presence. Could be stronger in this category.

T - Balanced quality throughout. Honey, graham crackery, spicey, toasted toffee, and there's a partial butterscotch nuance that's very unusual compared to other IPA's I've had. There's some citrus mixed in around midway through along with an alcohol effervesence. The mouth is left with a coating of orange and spicy graham cracker.

M - Silky smooth, sticky, thick, full bodied.

O - This is very unusual for an Imperial IPA which is why I like it so much. Not your typical Imperial/D-IPA, nice job, Southern Tier. I've had this beer so many times before but never reviewed it. Even more astonishing, over 900 reviews and a picture was finally submitted! That's very unusual.

jzeilinger, May 05, 2011
Photo of Jparkanzky
2.68/5  rDev -34.3%
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.

Jparkanzky, May 05, 2011
Photo of ReelBigwigFish
2.95/5  rDev -27.7%
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.

ReelBigwigFish, May 04, 2011
Photo of TangTKE402
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bomber bottle into a beer mug. Hazy deep tan in color with a white foam head and some decent lacing.

S: Woody with some boozey aromas of prunes and figs. A slight hop aroma under the heat.

T: Big flavors of grain and dark fruit with a raisin swallow and a touch of bitterness on the aftertaste. Alcohol is very present in the flavor, as are notes of cherry wood, dirt, grass, grape leaves, and key limes... Not much in the way of hops flavor at all.*

M: This feels heavy and a touch syrupy, almost like a barleywine. It still has some residual stickiness that one associates with an IPA (you know, on the side of your mouth by the molars) but other than that, the feel is misleading.

O: This beer is not for hopheads looking for an overwhelming bitterness and pine/floral/citrus hop flavors. It's not a bad beer, but you feel the hooch as you drink it, and it has an almost oak-aged quality to it, which is unexpected.

*Note: I could not find a "born on" date on the bottle, so it may not be the freshest of beers, as it tastes like some other Imperial IPAs I've had past their prime...

TangTKE402, May 04, 2011
Photo of NODAK
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is, at first, rather floral with heavy notes of pine. However, as it opens up, a sticky malt base shows up with a spiciness as well.

Pours somewhat orange and cloudy in the glass with a small head that doesn't last too long.

Good hit of bitterness immediately upon taking a drink. Pine notes, a little tropical perhaps. This goes into a sticky sweet toffee and caramel maltiness pretty quickly though, that I would say defines this beer more than hops do. There is a small resinous bitterness that finishes the beer off, but it isn't much and doesn't take much away from just how malty it is. It's definitely thick...you can tell this is a boozy one. That isn't to say it isn't hoppy, as it has a pretty good bitterness upfront especially and in the finish, it's just that this beer has a very heavy malt inclusion.

This one won't please hopheads, I know that. However, as a person who does enjoy malty DIPA's, I found this a very easy drinker although it was so sweet for style that it could get cloying. The ABV is really high, so that's something to watch out for.

NODAK, May 01, 2011
Photo of thehopsguy
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Good pour, short head but good carbonation, golden with a hint of amber in color from amber malts and red wheat's.

S- balance of malt aromas ( 2-row,cara-pills) with a sudden hint of citrus/ pine hops..which is interesting because they "hop back" this brew..which adds hop aroma (and some hop flavor) but not much bitterness. would have thought there would be more aggressive hop aromas. ( hopback using whole hop styrian golding)

T- Strong boozy flavors of caramel sweetness at first with a strong bitter finish (dryhopped w/ cascade centenial & chinook) first couple of sips at 42* F second half of the bomber was around 50*F which brought out some more hop flavors

M- Medium to heavy body...very dry finish

thehopsguy, Apr 28, 2011
Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,704 ratings.