1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.

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

2,789 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,789
Reviews: 1,182
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 123
Gots: 264 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,789 | Reviews: 1,182 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jbertsch
2.88/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

You gotta like raisins for this one, folks. Don't understand why others on here aren't noting that.

This poured a solid-looking, clear amber with a white, shiny, one-finger head.

The fruity-tart hops aroma is immediate...followed by fairly strong raisins. An aroma of malts is not overshadowed, though.

The raisin smell comes through the taste, mixed a tad with notes of dates, fig, and other bitter dark fruit. The malts come through with caramel characteristics.

Mouthfeel is a little sharp from the bitterness, and has a long, boozy, hoppy finish.

Drinkability is just OK. The aftertaste, for me, was harder to stomach than the 11% abv. Wasn't totally easy finishing the 650 ml bottle...maybe because I had other brews before this.

A half or full glass would make a decent apertif.

Photo of pmcadamis
3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Clear tangerine/pumpkin shell hued brew with a huge fluffy, yet totally solid head that shows a remnant of the tangerine color of the brew but looks a little more eggshell or what a new bride would probably call "ivory" or "buttercream" while the groom says "Looks white to me." Abundant lace sticks beautifully to the glass, and head retention is outstanding. This is one hell of a sexy-lookin' beer! Five point 0.

S - The aroma is more subdued than I expected, but shows some nice flowery-garden and orange juice notes, along with some more exotic tropical flowers... not tropical fruit so much as tropical flowers. The kind of flora that would look completely out of place in an English garden but totally at home on the grounds of your all-inclusive resort in Mexico/Jamaica/Bahamas, or on the ear of a stunning Hawaiian wahine.

T - Sweet molasses, tangy/sweet mango, and buttery caramel cream. Like the nose, this is not "all up in your face" with "xtreme" hops like other DIPA brews that make the glorious hop the centerpiece of the table (not that I blame them or dislike those brews). Rather, this one is subtly caramel-y, buttery, sweet, perfumed, and completely relaxed in its vibe. For some reason, the whole Hawaii vibe is coming though in this beer. I've never been to Hawaii, but I've been to the Caribbean too many times (the flight to Hawaii from the midwest is prohibitive when booking vacations) and I imagine Hawaii to be like Caribbean, but with much more lush vegetation and I would imagine that that vegetation smells and tastes like this beer.

M - Full bodied and extremely sugar-laden. This is a sipper for desert or the wee hours of the evening, and its best enjoyed cool but not cold (and by that I mean a bit cooler than I normally drink my DIPA's... which would approach room temp). The attack is round and mellow, and the transition to the finish is a gentle curve of sweetness - to slightly less sweet.

D - A bit to sugary and heavy IMO. I could stand to see a bit more hoppage in this one, with a reduction in residual sugar. Not bad, but I probably won't be revisiting this one. And sorry about that Hawaii tangent... that's just the vibe I get.

Photo of ATvics
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Victoria Gastro Pub.

A- Mild pale golden typical india pale ale color.

S- Ok nose of hops and citrus flavor. Not the backbone of this beer.

T- Woah, now were talkin. You're mouth explodes with grapefruity hopped up flavor. This lil bitch is jacked up on hops. Just what I was lookin for.

M- Perfect. Not too light and not too heavy. I could easily slam 4 or 5 of these down with no hesitation.

D- You know what you're walking into when you start sippin' on an imperial ipa. Some are just too much to take down to enjoy a second one, while others leave you confused as to why it's called a double/imperial ipa. The Unearthly in my opinion is the perfect balance of flavor, mouthfeel and drinkability to satisfy the everyday hophead. The only drawback is it's aroma. As Flavorful as it is I would expect a little more in the bouquet.

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

A - Dull golden with an eggshell head. Nice clarity.

S - Very strong malt bill on this one. A bit caramelly. Citrus hops are taking the back seat here.

T - It's really tough to decide which is the more predominant flavor. And they're not living in balance. The malt and hops seem to be battling it out. They say that there are no winners in war but obviously that's wrong. We are the winners.

M - Nice and thick. Good carbonation.

D - Very enjoyable. The alcohol is well hidden.

Photo of ClevoPiwo
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice light copper color with a half finger's width head. The head dissipates down to a frothy ring leaving pretty nice lacing down the glass.

The smell is great, with a nice balance between hops and malt sweetness. The hops give a nice pine hint with a background of malt sweetness and a slight presence of alcohol

Taste is similar to the smell. There is a big earthy and sweet malt flavor up front with the hops following closely behind leaving a nice hoppy aftertaste that lingers on the palate. The alcohol taste builds with multiple sips but is definitely hidden well for 11%.

This a great DIPA, very well balanced with just the right mix of hop punch and big malt flavor.

Photo of freescribbles
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On pour, the head had a nice mild gold tone and faded quickly. The beer itself was cloudy with a nice copper color.

The aroma was pleasant and the taste was pleasant for a DIPA but overall I felt nothing was distinctive compared to other I've had. There is a hint of ethanol, which for a beer with 11% alcohol, is not too surprising.

The texture/mouthfeel leaves me with the sensation of just having had some caramel.

Photo of TheViolator666
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber poured into Great Lakes snifter.

A: Pretty typical looking DIPA. Pale copper color with a quick fading white head. Lacing is nice.

S: Smells of hops and sweetness, also typical of a DIPA. Hint of ethanol. Nothing really in-your-face.

T: Taste is very sweet upon first sip. Piney hops balanced by sweet malts. Kind of earthy, ha! This is pretty much the standard DIPA in my opinion. Ethanol makes it's way through at the end.

M/D: Great body and goes down curiously smooth for an 11% ABV beer.

Definitely not a bad beer, and wasn't terribly expensive at $6.99 a bomber. Just don't expect anything over the top.

Photo of strangemusic
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark orange/amber with 1.5 fingers of sticky, dense head. No complaints.

The smell is a little bit weak, caramel sugary with fragrant hop oils. Very slight grassiness and a lingering bright grapefruit typical of the style. Just not very pungent or interesting.

Taste makes up for the lacklustre aroma, it packs a big flavour punch of grassy hops, and lots of caramel malt sweetness (maybe a bit too much on the sweet side!), warm alcohols and fresh citrus.

Mouthfeel is fairly smooth, not too oily but a little thin.

There is a large alcohol presence in this beer and it will zing you on the way down... the taste is refreshing, but it's not all that drinkable in the sense that you'd want to have glass after glass (such is the difficulty with a lot of big IPAs, I guess...). You'll certainly get through the bottle though!

Photo of gatornation
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a hazy golden orange color from 22 oz. bomber with 1/2 inch head an a nice ring..smell is typical dipa ..hops grapefruit grass malts..taste is the same its not outstanding but good its a creamy piney hop forward dipa with an ok malt background however there are way to many dipas and ipas for me to buy and this one does not stand out ...this one again its not one ill reach for but one to try.. so recommended only if you have not tried it

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber bottle into my nonic pint glass. The ale appears a hazed rich copper color with at least an inch of fluffy off white foam. The head leaves a moderate layer of lace on my glass as I sip my way to the bottom. Nose and flavor consist of resinous pine, a nice dose of caramelized malt, citrus such as lemon and orange, toasted bready grains, alcohol is quite noticeable. Medium bodied with adequate carbonation. A bit too boozy for my tastes, but still a tasty DIPA.

Photo of HopHeadHerman
3.38/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A -- Golden copper

S -- A bit sweet, a bit piny (Honestly, I have a stuffed up nose right now, so I can't be of great detail)

T -- Hits you before you have a chance to swallow. The alcohol is quite present, but for 11%, it's not bad. Smooth, real smooth.

M -- Not as light as some other IPA's I've had.

D -- For an Imperial IPA, not bad at all. Not one of my favorites, though.

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

Pours a three finger off-white head that fades quickly leaving a very good lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Light sweet piney nose. Flavor follows the nose - sweet piney hops with mild bitter aftertaste. High ABV totally hidden. $5.99 for a 22oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

Photo of aewinte1
3.35/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- transparent copper-yellow. Thick 3 inch head comes from semi-vigorous pour
S- Hoppy as expected, but definitely not a hop bomb. Can almost smell the malt sweetness through the hops.
T- Very balanced. Very malty for a beer of DIPA. Alcohol is hardly detectable.
M- Thin, but somewhat oily. Carbonation and great malt/hop balance give this one a great mouthfeel.
D- Drinkability is dangerously good for a beer of this ABV. It would be possible to drink three 22 oz bombers, but probably not advisable.
Overall- A good beer. Definitely not a hop bomb. Somewhat comparable to left hand twisted sisters IPA because of the good balance and strong malt backbone.

Photo of marvin213
3.13/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A lightly tanned, heady beer awaits my embrace. It's a light brown, copper color--like a penny from the 80s dulled from years of regular circulation. A solid surface of lacing marks the path of the foam's descent. This beverage certainly looks appealing.

The aroma from my glass isn't overly impressive. I was expecting a hop slam of sorts--not Hop Slam, but you know what I mean. I smell a balanced malt beverage. Hops are undoubtedly present, but absent is the distinct aroma of amarillo or simcoe. Instead, this particular hop combo just sort of blends the malts and wheat that comprise the beverage. It's odd because it's interesting without offering much character.

Southern Tier does a great job labeling specific ingredients, and I'd certainly be shy about calling out a caramel-type malt, but that's the taste that strikes me first. I similarly taste the red wheat. Where most (hoppy) beers have a malt backbone to counter the bittering hops, this one's got hops to counter the caramelized malts and the red wheat influences. I don't really want that from an IPA.

The hops taking a relative backseat hurts the mouthfeel. I fail to appreciate any textures the pale malt or wheat bring to the table. The caramalt sweetness is just okay, and--again--not really what I'm looking for from an IPA. My take on drinkability aligns with basically every other reaction to this beer--it's okay at best. For an $8.50 bomber, it simply doesn't cut it.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a ballooned pint glass.

Pours crystal clear, amber/copper in color. Pour yeilds a smooth off white, slightly tan head of about 1/2 inch, which slowly subsides into a just a ring around the edge of the glass.

Light fragrance of mixed citrus, but quite floral. A bit of malt sweet malt smell. Actually I'm not sure if I'm smelling malt or not, it just smells so sweet.

Wow. Bitter. Too bitter to discern any other flavors on the first drink. After my palate adjusted, I got a lot of sweetness and some grassy and herbaceous hops. It is a very strange combination of sweet and bitter. It's like hoppy honey.

There is a sweet, thick, almost chewy mouth feel. The sweetness lingers on the tongue for a while.

This one is a dangerous 11%. It goes down very easy and leaves you wanting another.

Photo of CortexBomb
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Interesting beer here. Southern Tier does a lot of quality stuff, but their high prices tend to dissuade me a bit. This brew pours decent amber with a decent head, albeit with little lacing. Nose is both grapefruity and malty, albeit more on the former than the latter.

In terms of flavour, this has to be one of the easier drinking 11%, DIPA type of beers that I've had, albeit in a relative sense. The beer has a very strong citrus/grapefruit background, but it's exceptionally balanced and the high ABV is not at all abrasive for my palate, unlike many of the recent DIPA offerings.

Mouthfeel relatively thick albeit not syrupy. Drinkability is the big winner: a very drinkable beer for being so huge, if you can afford it.

The bottom line: if you're acclimated to hops and you want something that is pretty well-balanced for the style, then Unearthly is a a good pick-up. I don't think it breaks any real ground in the style, and it's probably not big enough for the hop heads, but for someone like myself, who appreciates big hop beers but tends to like malt bombs more, it's a nice change of pace.

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

Pours deep-gold and slightly hazy. The nose is immediate with forward hops and sweet grain notes reminiscent of grape-nuts cereal. Clean, clear. deliberate hoppy notes. When poured an off-white-tan head forms with creamy top and medium to small bubbles below. Half-inch head stays till the bitter end. Medium body with hop throughout the palate. The hops is countered with malt notes that evidence sweet caramel, toasted grain and toffee. Hints of leather. Average carbonation. Creamy texture. Pleasant bitter lingering with notes of sweetness. The alcohol is not evident on the palate, but with 11% ABV this ale warrants caution. Moderate to marked lacing. The flavor is long-lasting. This ale is excellent on its own, but would be great with food that needs a bitter or structured accompaniment. Would be an excellent aperitif.

Photo of Chelsea1905
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wriing from memory, poured into a pint glass one sunny sunday afternoon.

Poured a respectabel color for the Style, quite amber for an IPA but good.

Smlelled a pretty decent amount of Hops, but not as hoppy as some other DIPAs, anad the alcohol was ever present

taste was similar to the smell. very alcoholic on the tongue, then some hoppy citrusy and bitterness.

Drank well for the amount of ABV, and the mouthfeel was good.

For the amount I'd heard about this beer it was a little disappointing, but still good.

Photo of goblue3509
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper orange color with a little head. The smell is very strong of hops, citrus, and some caramel malts to it. The taste is of big hop flavor, citrusy hops and some other citrus notes. There is also some caramel malt included to balance out the bitterness of the hops. The mouthfeel is smooth and dry, lightly carbonated. Overall this is a very good IPA especially for the high alcohol content.

Photo of ZorPrime
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received during CanBIF5 from Ralphus. Was holding on it until I receive the Oak Age Version to do a side-by-side comparison with some friends, but none are hopheads like me. So, I couldn't wait no more, so I tasted it alone!

A: Copper color, very clear. No head or very little. Sticky 'tho. I would prefer more head. Maybe my pour was less than good.
S: wow, a very strong aroma. I could smell this beer without my nose being close to the glass. I get mainly hops, resinous and some grapefruit. I notice the alchohol.
T: Bitter in a strange, but good, way. I notice the hops but also the alchohol. Some notes of caramel, yeah caramel first then it has a bitter finish. Very well done.
M: Full bodied beer and very complex. Harmonious in the mouth.
D: Awesome for this kind of beer... and dangerously since it is 11%.

A very nice beer. Can't wait to try the oak age version...

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: Nice labeled 22oz brown pop top...no freshness date found

Appearance: Dark gold/burnt orange beer with a cream colored cap of large bubbles

Smell: Quite bright; there are grapefruit and orange rind hops, and just strong citrusy notes in general balanced by big caramel aromas

Taste: Big dose of earthy hops, notes of citrus, toasted biscuit as well...there's not a lot of complexity to this, and it's honestly a bit over-the-top and rough for me

Mouthfeel: Medium/heavy and obviously alcoholic

Drinkability: Medium

Conclusion: This is a bit brash for me...interesting, but nothing real special; a buddy and I split this bomber as our nightcap after an evening of tasting...1 bottle for two was definitely enough

Photo of BDTyre
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Yum! A nice DIPA from Southern Tier. A little more towards the DIPA than Hoppe. Rich, hoppy nose and flavour with a good malt profile. A little bit bitter on the aftertaste, but this is fairly well balanced.

Very drinkable for the ABV, and you can almost get away with putting away two of these a night.

Photo of cullen0013
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a bomber last night, chilled it, and drank in the evening. Wonderful hop aroma, nice copper color, with a fluffy tan head that laced the glass evenly throughout consumption. The taste was reminiscent of Flying Dog Brewery's Double Dog DIPA, possibly due to the high alcohol content of both beers. The taste is slightly coppery with a strong hop presence and a definite alcohol finish.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really liked this, I saved it for about 8 months or so and finally decided to break it out. I was a little worried about the flavor being a little compromised from this bottle because I had it in the fridge and had to move. It was in the fridge then went back down to room temp during the move, it happened again after taking it to a a friends for his birthday but we didn't end up drinking it then either so it went back down to room temp again. So this bottle survived two to major temperature changes. Well to the appraisal. From a bottle poured into a Sam's perfect pint glass. This beer had a great look to it, slightly darker than a normal IPA, almost a quality lager. Had a golden color, not completely clear with the slightest of slightest haze. Had some pretty good lacing to it too, lasted the entire drink. Smells is good, has a nice strong hoppy smell to it. Tastes great nice strong and refreshing hoppy taste. The taste lingers on a bit which is really nice. Had very good mouthfeel and drinkabiliy as well. Very nice drink to have, especially on a nice summer or warm spring day. Great brew from Southern Tier, highly recommended.

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

A little bit thicker and sweeter than the Hoppe but still way too drinkable for the ABV. You either like the big moutfeel of ST beers or you don't. I do like the way the beer balances out with lots of malt and a smoothness that really shows up in the finish. Not the most complex DIPA but certainly well made and very refined.

Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,789 ratings.