1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.

2,549 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,549
Reviews: 1,169
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 106
Gots: 160 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,549 | Reviews: 1,169 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Xul


3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a translucent goldenrod/copper, topped by a half-finger off-white head that's rather quick to dissipate, leaving behind solid lacing.

S: Piney hops up front, along with some citrusy characteristics. Hops aren't over the top, balanced by a toffee/caramel malt base.

T: Pretty much the same as the nose, except the citrus doesn't show through as much, being replaced by a bit more of an earthy tone to complement the piney hops.

M: Very creamy, held up by solid carbonation to prevent it from feeling syrupy.

D: The ABV is nowhere to be found and it's an insanely smooth drinker, very dangerous for a beer of this strength.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2010 05:23:58 | More by Xul
Photo of cld253


4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

great, 1 finger, solid beige head that sticks around for a while, leaving lots of lace and a thin layer on top till the end. Golden-copper in color, very clear, this should be good.. ..

Smells fruity cascades with depths of others I can't pick out without the help of the notes on the bottle. A sweet malty and faint biscuity yeast aroma prevail througout.

As is the case with smell and taste, huge hop hit up front, kind of harsh (prob. from the real high AA chinooks) but complexity of other hops somehow balances this out. If i didn't love a lot of hops, I wouldn't love this beer like I do. The malt adds a sweat, earthy, then that lingering biscuit taste. Like how I imagine I would like the hoppy trub at the bottom of a fermenter to taste.

Mouthfeel is viscous for the style, resiny deliciousness.

Drinks well and easy, . . wish I had another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2010 00:14:01 | More by cld253
Photo of Tomdee74


3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a tulip glass with an inch an half head with very good lacing. pours a light brown color.. a little dark for an IPA.

S - smell reminds me of a smuttynose big a ipa actually.. very similar i imagine the same hops are used. i can smell the cascade hops and more of maybe an east coast ipa hoppy smell.. i would prefer the smell to bit more floral.. perhaps a bit more balanced..

T - I can't tell if this is dominated by too much malt as it is a big hop blast.. but it's sweet.. not as fruity or floral like the hops you get in a Hopslam or PTE. Just not very well balanced i don't believe. bitter dominates the taste here i just don't feel a great balance...

M - A bit sweet and hoppy.. it is complex and i did compare it to a Big A from Smuttynose and that is a huge compliment; however, this is not as good in my opinion. Not the worst thing I ever drank but i am slightly disappointed..

D - I wouldn't drink too many of these. I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped. But I would not say this was terrible I'm sure many people love this and I do not begrude anyone there.. this is a complex beer.. i'm tasting more hops now.. i just burped and i taste the citrusy taste i do like.. What ruined this was that I recently had a southern tier gemini IPA and that was very good. It made me look forward to trying this.. but then again that was $2 more so i can see why...

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2010 23:15:51 | More by Tomdee74
Photo of jsapunor


4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From the bottle into a snifter, not the usual glassware for a DIPA but let's trust the brewers.

A nice orange/amber color with a well formed head.

The nose is overflowing with caramel and honey with promises of sweetness in the flavor. Hops are surely here too.

Malty, hoppy, sweet are all combined in the taste. How can a beer with such a high IBU rating tate so balanced? A huge, let me say that again, huge presence. And where is the alcohol? While it is noticeable in the drinking in the taste, it is disguised to a remarkable degree. This is an excellent DIPA. Immense taste and great balance. I keep commenting on the balance but that's the most remarkable characteristic of this beer. It's not at all well mannered like a Pliny the Elder but it succeeds as a full on palate assault. I've got to get another.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2010 19:33:04 | More by jsapunor
Photo of Chinon01


2.25/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Apperance is a lovely hazy deep copper-gold. Dense sustained foamy head. Spotty lacing. Nose is strong and unpleasant to me. Murky dark stewed fruits like prunes, raisins, mangos, apricots and some hops but generous to a fault. This is unrestrained deep malt flavor that rests on the tongue. Taste is similar with a really bad band aid phenolic taste to boot. Finish is ashy tasting and feeling also unpleasant. Mouthfeel is nice while drinkability is low due to taste and aroma. I did not enjoy this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2010 02:48:39 | More by Chinon01
Photo of josefnewsong

New York

4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mmm a nice big beer. Thick, chewy malt body and intense hops explode on your pallet. I had no idea it was 10abv until afterwards, I would have guessed 8.5ish. Definitely well-balanced. I love the pine. For an ale of this size, it's definitely drinkable, even in the early afternoon :) I highly recommend it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2010 04:10:08 | More by josefnewsong
Photo of a10t2


4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Even a gentle pour summons a three-finger white head that's slow to recede. Clumps of foam hang around forever and leave thick, sticky lacing. God I love what hops do to a beer. Color is a filter-clear coppery orange, with lots of fine bubbles percolated to support that head.

S: As soon as the bottle is opened, a big whiff of pine and resin hits the nose. There's plenty of citrus in there too, but nothing else: just big, complex, layered hop character.

T: The bitterness is surprisingly subdued, but there's plenty of hop flavor to go around. The citrus is in the background again, with pine and a little peppery flavor dominating. Label says they use Chinook throughout - that would do it. There's a judicious amount of malt trying to hold its own too, and mostly succeeding. It actually manages to dominate the finish, with big sticky caramel flavor.

M: For as highly carbonated as it is, it goes down quickly. The hops actually get to be numbing after a while, and it's only in the back of the throat that you realize that if this beer wasn't obscenely hopped, it would be downright syrupy.

D: If you like DIPAs, this is a great, highly drinkable example, but it's no session beer. Balance is the key here, as opposed to using the ludicrous hopping as a crutch.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 06:38:54 | More by a10t2
Photo of Arenbeer


4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Pint glass (all I had)

A- Poured a golden orange with a thin fluffy 1 finger head that left a pretty decent amount of lacing.

S- Floral and earthy hops dominate with a real sweet fruity citrus backround. The second I opened the bottle i smelt bananas haha

T- Very Fruity! As i took the first sip i was hit with very complex hops, earthy, floral and grainy malts. All complemented by a delicious citrusy fruity backround possibly tangerine, orange, mango, or banana. As it warms the alcohol becomes a little strong, too much for my taste but still definitely good.

M- Medium light body that leaves a good amount of bitter after taste, and the right amount of carbonation.

Overall this is a really great I.I.P.A that is more than worth trying. But unfortunetly not the best I've had.


Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 05:11:47 | More by Arenbeer
Photo of Sideswipe


4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aquired in a trade with beerbeerbeerbeer. Thanks! Poured from the bomber into a pint glass. The beer is a clear, dark copper color with two fingers of dense white foam that bubbles over the rim. Smell is of spicy, piney hops. Some citrus notes but they are secondary to the pine. Tastes of piney spice, and bitter hops backed by sweet malts. Some caramel, but by the time it reaches the back of the tongue the hops have regained control with a vengance. Finish is dry and bitter just the way I like a big DIPA. Feel is right for the style with enough bubbles to keep things lively, and a viscosity level that sticks to the mouth but is not too thick. ABV is well hidden making this a very drinkable beer. IMHO this is an excellent DIPA, that I am glad I got the opportunity to try. If it was available in Cali I would buy it on a regular basis. Recommend!

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2010 03:28:56 | More by Sideswipe
Photo of Wisconsinality


3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into imperial pint glass.

A- A nice, murky deep golden orange. About one finger's worth of head that recedes quickly and leaves a little bit of lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Smells like an imperial alright. Lots of hops right away and a little bit of maltiness on the tail end. Also there is just the slightest hint of alcohol peaking through.

T- Lots of hops that bite the tongue. Pine and some grass in there as well. The malt is barely even present. As the beers warms a little bit, some of the alcohol starts to see it's way through.

M- Medium to heavy body which fits this beer very well. Also there is some bite from the bitterness on the tongue. Pretty good interpretation for the style.

D- The drinkability takes a hit because of the high ABV and the fact that this one is pretty bitter and does a number on the palate after only one bomber.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2010 04:07:05 | More by Wisconsinality
Photo of mikeborglum


3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured 22oz bottle in tulip glass; doughy and fruity aroma; opaque amber color with light cream colored head; sweet very bitter taste but good balance and not much trace of alchohol considering the 11% ABV; nice creamy texture on the pallate with very flat carbonation and long dry finish; good brew better than average.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2010 01:43:42 | More by mikeborglum
Photo of MikeGill

New York

3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served on tap in a standard pint glass.

Deep redish orange with good clarity and a tight one finger head with sticky lacing.

Lots of fresh herbs on the nose with pine resine and buttery yeast aromas.

Huge carmel malt backbone. Slightly chewy texture. Medium bodied, although I consider this beer on the cusp of full. Very boozy, wish the alcohol was better intergrated. Mouthfeel is smooth and slightly syrupy. Beyond full flavored - big time overripe melon, toasted malt and orange oil. There is a continuous onslaught of sweet and bitter. These elements seem to both complement and contrast so the end result is something quite round.

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2010 20:26:42 | More by MikeGill
Photo of dgilks


4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big hop aroma teamed with the classic crystal malts found in American IPAs and DIPAs. Quite resinous and piney.

fairly clear, copper colour with a creamy, light tan head. Decent head retention even if the head isn't particularly large.

Really quite good. Lots of hop character with some classic piney bite but some nice floral character from the Goldings. The resinous character plays well into the toffee like, sweet crystal malt profile. Well balanced with a fairly dry finish. Plenty of bitterness but it works.

Medium body with moderately-high carbonation. Smooth. A touch of alcohol warming.

This is a great example of an East Coast IIPA. Lots of hop character and a decent malt backbone to hold it all up.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2010 08:47:03 | More by dgilks
Photo of Lukie


3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A careful pour gives a small one inch head, which dissipitates in clinging light lace around the top of the liquid. Colour is an orange golden marmalade, very clear, with golden highlights.

Piney, herbal and grassy all at once. The aroma is big hoppy bark, and smells a little oily. There isn't a huge aroma. I hope this isn't a freshness issue.

Big sticky honey malt at the front of the palate, gives way to a oily hoppy pine flavours. It's very well balanced, with very little astringency for such a huge beer. It's just about flavour. Lot's of flavour, almost like drinking a hoppy dessert wine. Lot's of dry orange, and grapefruit comes through, with green apple skin, oily pine, and a bit of a nutty finish.

It's hard to believe this is 11% alcohol, as it is masked very well. It is a little oily, but very refreshing and well balanced. I have had much bigger and bolder IPA's, but this one is all about... smoothness and flavour.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 14:49:45 | More by Lukie
Photo of dstc


4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy amber color with a decent white head. Head falls to almost nothing. Very thin lace.

Flowery hop aroma. Not overpowering but smells good.

Wonderful, bold hop taste. There is a sweet malt middle that is mild but there. Ends with a hint of oak taste and a lingering bitterness.

Rather smooth in the mouth with a nice, slight alcohol bite.

Good stuff. Nice hop brew that I enjoyed very much. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2010 12:07:11 | More by dstc
Photo of david18

New York

4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I like all of Southern Tier's beers and am especially impressed with their willingness to experiment with ingredients, styles and flavors. Unearthly, as a double IPA, is not my favorite because it's always a little strong to me. The draft, I have to say, is better than the bottle and I would have it again. Great flavor, much smoother than the bottle version, good balance of alcohol, malt and hops.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2010 23:01:28 | More by david18
Photo of ADZA


4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a deep orange hue with little carbonation that leaves a fast vanishing one finger head and sporadic lacing,the aromas are piney,citrus infused hops,it has a full weighty mouthfeel which feels abit syrupy at times with tastes of medicinal piney hops,passionfruit and it finishes with a little touch of bitter lime quite a nice drop thats easy enough to down but would of liked a drier finish.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2010 09:52:52 | More by ADZA
Photo of Pinto21


3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured an light orange amber, not much white head, not much at all

smelled of citrus hopes, orange. hint of grapefruit. touch of sweetness. honeyish

hop assault with citrus/orange dominate. The hops stay with you for a long while. Not much sweet to balance it, but not your west coast hop bomb. pretty interesting.

Mouth is ok, but is kinda hot. Not the best for a DIPA. but ok.

Overall not the best DIPA i've had but it's not bad by any means, or even average. Good stuff but not as good as others

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2010 01:22:50 | More by Pinto21
Photo of wd40

New York

4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Crystal clear amber color with a thick foamy head. The smell was citrus based with hints of orange, lemon and pine. The taste was good overall with a nice citrus bitterness. There is a very faintly sweet undertone that I can't place, but that I don't like. I may be biased since the other southern tier beers I've tried were much to sweet for my liking. The carbonation was spot on. The drinkability was only hampered by the weird artificial-sugar undertone, and the lingering bitterness. Were there a drier finish and no weird undertone I would absolutely love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2010 05:30:00 | More by wd40
Photo of katan


4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz into a pint

A - Pours a deep orange color - very opaque and thick looking. Head formation is light, off white in color, with only a film showing. Appears hazy, with a bit of bubbling.

S - Orange and floral hops are extremely potent. Certainly a dry hopped and late hopped beer - the aromas are supremely present. No malts or phenolic tones come through.

T - Starts off with a orange and floral hop note, grapefruit. A bit of malt sweetness. Immediately gets a very strong bitterness, which is almost tongue grabbing. The phenolic flavors come through a little towards the midstream. Finishes with a bitter bite. Overall, I find this beer's flavors to not be that strong.

M - Creamy and thick. Carbonation isn't biting my palette - seems more built around a thick sipping beer.

D - ABV can knock you around rather easily - note that the bottle says 11% instead of 10%. Not at all filling. Flavors, while DIPA like, are pretty manageable for the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2010 04:33:42 | More by katan
Photo of coalcracker


4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served out of 22oz bomber.

Appearance: Medium gold in appearance with fluffy head upon first pour. A bit cloudy in appearance.

Smell: Very floral and citrus hoppy aroma upon opening. You can also discern the malts fairly easily- notes of caramel present.

Taste: 'Quite malty' was my first impression. The hops were also big here, but seemed to be a little overshadowed by the big malt backbone. The hops pulled through at the back end of the tasting. An alcohol warmth then followed. Hops are a little piney in nature.

Mouthfeel: Big and malty body with a dry finish.

Drinkability: ABV is high here- the big nature of this beer will also limit any attempt to imbibe beyond a reasonable pace.

Overall- Crazy big. This is one of those DIPAs that seem to favor a bigger malt presence over the bittering hops, which is fine by me. A huge offering, tasty.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 03:27:12 | More by coalcracker
Photo of kingcrowing


4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a tulip.

Pours a very golden amber with a small white head. Nose is fantastic. Really hoppy, citrusy and fruity.

Taste is really hoppy, bitter and sweet. It's a very good IIPA with a nice malty backbone. Really underrated. Worth trying if you haven't.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2010 00:51:54 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of dasenebler


3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Would have liked to have seen a bottling date on this bomber. Actually 11 percent abv, rather than the 10 percent listed above.

Poured into a snifter. Strawberry-blonde, dark amber. Nice little head for such a big beer. Above average lacing.

Aroma is very good, with lots of spicy, menthol-like, and medicinal hops in the nose. Healthy dose of booziness as well.

Flavor is very bitter and medicinal. Alcohol is really present, making this a sipper. The malt profile is very full with a burnt caramel character that adds complexity to the hop bitterness. Not nearly as sweet as I expected. Almost drinks like a barleywine instead of a DIPA. And at 11 percent abv, I have a hard time seeing it as the advertised style. Mouthfeel and carbonation were not up to snuff and didn't compliment one another very well. This is not the most drinkable of DIPAs, but it's not a bad beer.

A six-dollar bomber that has more alcohol than a six-pack of most light beers-- yep, this one does the trick. Big ass beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2010 05:44:06 | More by dasenebler
Photo of jbowers56


4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber colour. Just slightly off white head - not even a finger of head but tight with nice bubbles that fade to a thin pox-marked kind of layer. Great lacing.

A big old nose on this one. Truckloads of resiny, citrusy hops. I get strong citrus maybe grapefruit mixed in with pine, as well as some more tropical fruits and then a fair whack of caramel sweetness to balance it out. Loverly!

Ok, wow. Not as big as I expected. That being said at 11% abv and 150 ibus I expected a monster. I think the recommended serving temperature of around 5 degrees is too cold, and I will enjoy this more as it warms up. That being said - this is an absolute ripper. Fruity, both tropical and citrus. The malt balances it well. I think it almost needs to be 11% because without that crystal malt sweetness there would just be a hop landslide. There is plenty of body and sweetness to fight against the hops - but the hops dominate.

Mouthfeel is great for a DIPA, lowish carbonation, slick but not oily pallate. Great.

Drinkability is quite good for the style.

This has impressed me a great deal, and I can't wait to try another one of Southern Tier's efforts in a few nights!

Edit: Should not have taken this on alone. This beer is kicking my arse!!! That 11% sneaks up on you, i'll tell you that much. That being said, I don't have too many friends who i'd share a beer like this with.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 09:52:03 | More by jbowers56
Photo of beerdrifter


4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sister sent me a 22oz bomber of this from my hometown brewery. I've had this beer several times but just now getting around to reviewing it. Nice deep amber, copper pour with a modest quickly fading head and decent lacing. Huge malty sweet nose with hints of pine and candy. Tons of syrupy, sweet slighty toasted bitterness up front with some perfumy notes at the back of your tongue. For me it's borderline too sweet, but as you work your way through a bomber it mellows and balances out enough to make it quite enjoyable. The alcohol, as always with Southern Tier, is extremely well hidden. And for such a big, in your face hop monster, it's really quite drinkable, especially on a day like today when it's cold as hell outside. Can't think of a better way to stay warm then with a bomber of Southern Tier!

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2010 13:32:28 | More by beerdrifter
Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,549 ratings.