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

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Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)
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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

2,718 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,718
Reviews: 1,178
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 114
Gots: 236 | 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: 2,718 | Reviews: 1,178 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LittleCreature
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 3.5
Thin, light beige head quickly disappeared over a hazy deep, rusty amber body.

Smell - 4.5
Hop juice with a spoonful of caramel. Aromas of sweet fumey alcohol, rich caramel, marmalade, apricot, pine needles and a little mint.

Taste - 4.0
Big, hoppy and strongly alcholic. Caramel sweetness is heavy, but more than compensated by the pine, stewed fruit, citrus peel and mint from the hops. Very bitter but well balanced overall with warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel - 4.0
Fine carbonation, full bodied and quite syrupy which I will forgive in such a big beer.

Drinkability - 4.0
I could drink two in a sitting no problem and I'd enjoy it too!

OVERALL - 4
This is a BIG DIPA. I tend to prefer something nearer 9% and more attenuated, but for what it is, this is a very nice beer.

LittleCreature, May 22, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a clear orange color with a large off-white head. The aroma is strong citrus hops. The flavor is citrus hops with some pine in there as well. There is a nice bready malt backbone. Medium bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

I have now had Unearthly, Hoppe and Gemini and liked Gemini the best of all of them, even though it is a 50-50 blend of the other two.

Mora2000, May 19, 2010
Photo of billshmeinke
3.1/5  rDev -24%
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.

billshmeinke, May 18, 2010
Photo of DrDemento456
4.8/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Again the only way to enjoy ST around here is to find it cheap on tap. Paid 5.50 for a 10oz pour.
A - Light amber in color with an inch of stick white head.
S - Ow wow the glorious citrus and grapefruit hops tickle the nose with a malty backbone.
T - OMG was the best imperial IPA I ever had! This stuff would be a nightmare if you had a couple of bombers but it went down way too quick and for a big hoppy beer it was really balance. Loved every drop.
M - Dry but drinkable this brew was the perfect texture.
D - Must... have... more before the keg taps out I hope to have it again at Smoking Joe's but maybe I will drop 10-11 dollars on a bottle. It's that damn good.

DrDemento456, May 16, 2010
Photo of Vincenzo839
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was really amazing. I originally had it in a 22oz. bottle and was extremely impressed, but then got a keg for my home kegerator and it is even better. For starters let's start with the alcohol. It is almost not noticeable until you have 3 pints, and you are finding it difficult to think clearly.

The taste is nothing short of spectacular. Strong, leafy hop flavors almost overpower my senses. A slightly fruity bitterness explodes from the start and lasts until the end of each pint. Toasty malt underlies the massive hop assault. A juicy bitterness and tonnes of hop aroma make for a never ending finish. Another pleasant suprise is the lack of head that comes out with every pint, maximum of 1 finger.

All in all I say that this beer is remarkable. I am anxiously waiting for the local store to get the Iniquity, Big Red and new Farmers Tan. I need to add them all to my kegerator ASAP.

Vincenzo839, May 15, 2010
Photo of Gobzilla
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bomber courtesy of malthegal thanx again mallory

A: poured a nice caramel hue into my tulip with a half finger of head which had some good sticky lacing.

S: nice sweet malts up front with candy notes and slight faint hops. after a couple whiffs I also get a little caramel in it as well.

T: nice piney caramel flavor but it seems to me that it's more malty than it is hoppy, I got slight bitterness at the back end of a sip. As it sits it starts to get more bitter.

M: meduim body with very little carbonation.

D: I think if it was fresh it would probably have more of a hoppy punch. I was hoping for a hop bomb but I guess we only have them on the west coast.

Gobzilla, May 15, 2010
Photo of scottyb88
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a dark clear copper color with a lot of carbonation and a huge rocky off-white head that never disappeared; great lacing

S-a little hard to detect at times but I got a lot of pine, oak, and a faint smell of peach or tangerine

T-very similar to the smell; the oak was more predominant than I was expecting; I wonder what the oak-aged version would be like; not as citrusy as other DIPAs, more on the pine-malt side of things

M-tongue bruiser up front with a malty earthiness at the end that left your mouth very drry

D-650ml at 11% will leave you a bit light-headed; its quite powerful but also quite good; a definite sipper, but also a great price at around $6.99 for a 650ml bottle

scottyb88, May 13, 2010
Photo of jlindros
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A light fluffy 1 finger head forms over hazy orange honey colored beer.

N: Lots of chewy hops with sweet chewy malts. A little citrus and tangerine, somewhat heavy on the hops and sweet malts, but not over the top yet.

T: Lots of sweet chewy malts here, with more chewy citrus hops. Semi bitter with some spicy hops as well. Very sweet with a nougat like taste even. Way too sweet for me, as usual from Southern Tier. A slight floral hop flavor too.

M: Medium to light body with lower carbonation.

F: Bitter with a long astringent flavor that's not as pleasant as it was on the initial taste. Lots of lingering sweet malts, some nougat, citrus hops and a little pine, orange peel too. Long sweetness and astringent hops. A touch of warming booze on the finish as well.

jlindros, May 13, 2010
Photo of elgiacomo
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, presumably mid-late April 2010. Labeled @ 11% ABV.

Pours slightly hazy orange/amber/copper with a light-orange head that is foamy and leaves some lacing.

Aroma is citrus, pine, earth, grass, some spiciness, some bread, quite strong with good complexity.

Flavor is bitter, resinous hops, earth, pine, light citrus, spice, with a good caramel malt backbone, moderate sweetness, but bitterness dominates, big and biting. Alcohol is quite present as well and adds to the biting finish. Starts to get awfully boozy and brash toward the last third of the bottle.

Mouthfeel is full, sticky, medium carbonation.

This is my first Southern Tier beer after wanting to try them for quite some time. A good example of the style, although too much booze knocks off a couple of tenths.

elgiacomo, May 12, 2010
Photo of wedgie9
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted from a 650mL bottle. Pours a clear orange amber with a one finger white head that quickly dissipates leaving some lacing. There isn't a whole lot going on with the nose. Some light malt with a light lemon and grapefruit citrus. On the palate, this beer is much more exciting. On the front of the palate, it tastes dangerously hoppy, but that quickly fades to show a very balanced IPA. There are some biscuit flavors, with just a hint of sweetness. The back of the palate is dominated by citrus rind notes. The carbonation is average, with an oily and coating palate and a long lasting bitter finish. This beer is very good. With how balanced this beer is, I would have never guessed that the alcohol would be so high. I would love to drink this beer again.

wedgie9, May 11, 2010
Photo of ToasterChef
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just picked this up at RSVP in Portland, ME. It's my first Southern Tier purchase since they began distribution in Maine. The bottle was warm, so I chilled it in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes before pouring it into my Smuttynose Big Beer Series goblet. The beer pours out with a big tan foam head. Some carbonation is rising in the liquid, which is translucent and has a beautiful rusty orange hue. Swirling the beer leaves a decent amount of lacework. This is a very pretty beer; nearly perfect for the style. The aroma is magnificent. Big, bready hops fill my nose. There is also some pine and malt sweetness. This smells like a hearty beer. The flavor begins with some light grassy hops as soon as the beer touches my lips. Big, artisanal bread malts make up the backbone of the beer; they appear next. On top of the malts are chunky, bitter hops. When I swallow, I can pick up a bit of the alcohol and a lot of bitterness. It is hot, sharp, and in your face. I like it a lot. There is hardly any sweetness, which is equally surprising and impressive. This is pretty full-bodied beer. It leaves a noticeable coat, but not as much as many beers that use the "Imperial" qualifier. There is average carbonation and some stickiness on my lips. The bitter oils can really be felt on my tongue. For a strong, hoppy beer, this is pretty drinkable. I wouldn't order round after round of Unearthly, but I certainly won't have any problems finishing all 22 ounces by myself. I'm really enjoying this brew. I think it offers great evidence that top DIPAs do not have to come from the Pacific time zone--us folks back east can work our hop magic as well. I'll certainly purchase this beer again.

ToasterChef, May 10, 2010
Photo of sk8man121
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into goblet.

A: Pours a bourbon-colored hue of orange with little to no head. Beautiful clarity to this beer. Similar in looks to DFH 90 Minute. Very nice.

S: Grapefruit, pine and faint spearmint fill the nose. Extremely refreshing smell, but surprisingly not very powerful.

M: VERY bitter as soon as it hits the palette. At first I thought it was too much, but as this beer warms a malty sweetness comes through and balances out the act. Alcohol is definitely present but drinks more like an 8% brew than the 11% that the bottle totes.

M: Silky, sticky, resiny - you get the idea. Carbonation is medium to low; it would be nice if it was a bit stronger, but it does help the malts come through. The bitter stickiness that this brew leaves behind is a bit distracting and not entirely enjoyable.

D: All in all, a pretty good beer. Bitter, yet nicely balanced. It certainly drinks as if it is far below 11%, but I'm not sure I'd want to quaff more than a bottle of this at a time.

Doesn't quite measure up to Iniquity, but a solid brew nonetheless.

sk8man121, May 05, 2010
Photo of avalon07
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had an amber color and a clear texture. There was a quarter inch of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Excellent lacing.

S: A nice aroma of citrus, hops, sweet malt, and sugars.

T: Well-rounded taste of hops, grapefruit, caramel, and malt. A very sharp, vibrant flavor.

M: Lots of carbonation with a somewhat slick finish. Medium-bodied, never particularly heavy.

D: This is one of the more drinkable Imperial IPAs I've tried as of late.

avalon07, May 05, 2010
Photo of Casey10
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a nice stong beer and again welcome to maine as I got this as a new beer to Maine from Wholefoods in Portland, ME

A - Sweet one finger head a nice copper yellow body.

S - Sweet apricots and a nice grapefuit smell.

T - Carmel and citrus come to mind with the taste of this nice.

M - Nice feel not to be forgotten.

D - It's 10% rated withing reason.

Casey10, May 05, 2010
Photo of nickfl
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - One finger of off-white head resting on top of a slightly hazy, amber-brown body. The foam settles relatively quickly but leaves nice lace.

S - Pine hops with lots of sweet malt. Bready notes as well as light caramel and big toffee notes that darken the hop character and bring out rummy spic-cake notes.

T - Equal parts sweet malt and resinous hops up front. Lots of toffee and caramel with a hint of molasses. The hop character is primarily grapefruit with notes of pine and orange that blend well with the malt. Finishes with big, sweet notes of malt as well as strong hop bitterness. Lingering toffee and brown sugar notes that combine with the hops to produce a plum and brandy/tobacco note that lingers on the palate.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - This is quite a nice beer with a good balance of thick, velvety malt and resinous hops, the only flaw I see is that it isn't a DIPA. Someone should really point out to Southern Tier that they have clearly created an American Barleywine in this beer; and a good one at that, The rich, sweet brown malt characteristics blend magnificently with the moderately powerful hop character and each aspect changes and enhances the other. This juxtaposition and mutual transformation is quite pleasant, though it clearly gives the beer more commonalities with great Barleywines than it has with high quality DIPAs. Seek it out, just be prepared to get something a bit different than what the name implies.

nickfl, May 04, 2010
Photo of jdense
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into De 'Prouf Brouwery flute 5.2.10.

One finger white head, medium-slow dissipation a very long lasting head, significant lacing. Orange amber body, a bit hazy, modicum of carbonation rising from bottom of glass. Pretty complex nose, citrus, pine, good malt backbone bread and some sweetness. Taste is hop forward primarily citrus, but overall well balanced with the bready/sweetish malts. Full mouthfeel, good effervescence. A pretty wicked kick at the ABV more of a sipper than a quaffer, but overall a really good DIPA. Well worth seeking out for fans of the style.

jdense, May 03, 2010
Photo of Gosox8787
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz. bomber bottle poured into my snifter glass. Served at a little lower than room temperature.

Appearance: Clear reddish orange in color. one finger beige and pillowy head with almost no retention. Recedes into absolutely no head.

Aroma: Astrigent citrus notes are strong upfront. The malt backobone is really aromoatic. Rye and some pale malt notes also stick out. Nicely balanced.

Taste: Strong, clean citrus notes. Bitter toward the end, but overall more sweet than most IPAs. The strong malt backbone, especially the rye, give this good balance. Rye gives a bit of spice and the pale malt gives a nice smooth finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and very smooth. A little bit of carbonation, but overall not that crisp for an IPA.

Drinkability: Despite the ABV, this is reall easy to drtink. The bitterness does not really get in the way much. Hard to imagine having more than one though.

Overall, a pleasant IPA with a nice rye backbone. More sweet than bitter and very full bodied. A nice twist on a big IPA. The spice of the rye really sticks out for me.

Gosox8787, May 02, 2010
Photo of Cs1987
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Amber-red, cloudy, small head.

Smell - A fair bit of sweet amber malt odour with a combination of summer fruits.

Taste - Lots of grapefruit and passionfruit bitterness, balanced with earthy malts. Pretty much no sweetness upfront. Alcohol well hidden.

Mouthfeel - Fairly heavy, but smooth. Low carbonation.

Drinkability - Pretty good for the style.

Overall - Very good, like most American IPAs, but not quite up with the best. Probably significantly better when fresh.

Cs1987, May 01, 2010
Photo of TK5150
3.45/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a nice orangey, amber color with an off-white head.

S- Smells of apricots, malt, grapefruit, orange and alcohol.

T- Tastes of apricots, lots of malty sweetness, biscuits, grapefruit and alcohol.

M- Full medium body.

D- Pretty good drinkability, but the alcohol hurts it.

Nontraditionally sweet for a DIPA, but a decent beer overall. I might drink this again if there's nothing else interesting around to drink.

TK5150, Apr 28, 2010
Photo of Shaw
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light-ish copper in color with a nice tight foamy head.

Biscuity and citrus/earthy hop aroma.

The fusel alcohol flavors are the most prominent note here. Citrus hop flavors are also big, while the bitterness isn't. Sweet notes, too, though secondary.

Nice and oily body.

Overall an above-average Double IPA, more like a barleywine to me.

Shaw, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of jslot38
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I love Southern Tiers go big or go home attitude. Picked up the oak aged version as well, but thats for another day.

App: Large rocky head. Body is an awesome copper with red ruby intermixed (red wheat). This is one of the best looking DIPA's I've ever seen. Intense lacing.

Smell: A good mix of grass and touches of pine with a orange zest. A bit of cereal grains in the background and bread.

Taste: Caramel and hop overload. This is almost barleywine like... yes I said it. Has what some people would probably call an "east coast DIPA" feel to it. Pine and orange are the predominate hop flavors, with a bit of grapefruit sneaking through. Malt backing of bread and caramel. Wish this was a little lighter on the grain bill... but then again how else would you get to 11%.

MF: Mid level of carbonation, a bit heavy on the tongue, but quickly smooths out. Well done.

This is an intense beer. Taking on a bomber on an empty stomach may have been a poor choice on my part... but I won't hold it against Southern Tier.

If you blindfolded me and put this in front of me I'd swear its a barleywine. A solid beer.

jslot38, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of hopheadjuice
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber into my beautiful goblet.

Pours a nice hazed orage-red copper color with an off white 1 finger head that laces well.

tinge of hops with a sweet lingering scent as you inhale more deeply. smells a little bit fruity with orange/grapefruit characteristics showing through, hint of spice.

Really nice hop bitterness that balances out the nice sweet malts, some scents carry over having a nice orange like citrus quality to it.finishes moderatly dry with a beutiful lingering after hop. the 11 % abv is hardly noticable and WILL kick you to the floor.

The hops make the mouthfeel a little bit syrupy but in a good way. slick hops move way to the nice moderate carbonation that trys to even things out.

Share this with a friend as the drinkability can be a little low due to alcohol.

A really well crafted IIPA. i love southern tiers products so far and cant wait to try more

hopheadjuice, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of ExtraStout
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this beast (22oz bomber) up for under $7.00. All I can say is WOW. This is one of the greatest DIPAs ever. What a wonderful creation. Thank you Southern Tier.
A-Poured from 22 oz bomber into 12 oz snifter in two pours of course. Poured with about a finger width of head. Nice amber color.
S-Sweet with hops, faint pine, caramel smell
T-Exceptional flavor, bold hops with proper balance of sweetness. I like the sticky head at the beginning. Alcohol is present but is carried by flavor properly with a strong finish.
M-Hops slam your tounge with perfect bitterness followed by the sweet finish. Drinks a little thicker and finishes perfect not to dry.
D-Very good. With 10+% ABV you better take it easy.

ExtraStout, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of BabyBastard
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my second go with Unearthly. First time around I think my palate was not developed enough to fully appreciate the bitterness. Bomber pours into tulip a dark amber, almost reddish hue, with sizeable eggshell color head that leaves tremendous lacing about the entire glass. Surely is on the darker side for an IPA, but can be expected due to its "Imperial" status. Smells of light hop, and more malt than expected. Alcohol twinge also touches the nose after a hefty whiff. Taste on this bad boy is surprisingly malty, seems to be more pronounced than the hop bitterness. That malt backbone makes itself known, but is followed up sharply by a stinging slap of hops on the taste buds. Surely an interesting spin on the "Imperial" IPA. Feeling this one out is a real pleasure, tingly on the palate, also the slick and oily characteristic that is so often associated with IPAs is present. For such a "big" beer, the drinkability is certainly above average, just because it does taste so damn good. In my eyes, Unearthly has certainly redeemed itself. I may be picking up more bombers of this just to have around.

BabyBastard, Apr 18, 2010
Photo of Long813
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From: Pub Italia

G: Pint

A: Dark and cloudy amber body with two fingers of creamy white head. Good retention throughout and little lacing.

S: Large front of candied malts, caramel with citrus and hops trailing behind. Captures the English IPA style well.

T: Much like the aromas, the front is full of caramel malts and honey. Some, but not much hoppiness follows with hints of pine and citrus.

M: Thick bodied with medium-high carbonation. Leaves that oily pine aftertaste along with caramel notes.

D: Great beer, I don't really like English IPA's that much, but I did enjoy this quite a bit. Thought it could be more hoppy though.

Long813, Apr 18, 2010
Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,718 ratings.