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

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Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)

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2,826 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,826
Reviews: 1,190
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 129
Gots: 285 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: John on 02-24-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,826 | Reviews: 1,190 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nhudson
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'll start this review off saying that the bottle I had was aged 6 months before I drank it. I've had it on-tap and this bottle was completely different than what I had on-tap. With that said the aging seemed to have taken away some of the bitterness of this beer. The Red Wheat in the beer gives it the nice color. A nice light bronze color with a 1 to 1 1/2 finger head. Lacing is nice and sticks to the glass nicely. The beer is very sweet for an Imperial IPA. I don't know why people think it's a DIPA, but it's not. Smell I get a nice citrus (orangey) and floral hop aroma. For a high abv/ibu beer I get none of it, which I find good about this beer. The sweetness and the bitterness are very well balanced with the on-tap version I had. With this bottle the sweetness was well over the top. Over all this is one of the best IIPA's i've ever had. I wouldn't suggest aging this bottle, but if you can get it on-tap drink it up!

Photo of Blakaeris
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear auburn in color. Head is modest, dissipating quickly to a thin sheen.

Aroma is juicy citrus, and resinous piney hop. Fruity, with a sweet caramel malt base.

Taste is bready caramel malt. Surprisingly sweet brown sugar aspect. Citrus hops have a leafy green character. Finish is cleam with lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied. Light and clean with a very slight hop oil residue.

The high ABV is very well hidden. Overall flavor is quite mild, hops are present but are not overpowering. Sweeter than you expect for a DIPA, but not in an obnoxious way.

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

Poured a deep copper with a thin yet sticky long lasting head.

The smell started big with full green fresh hops then mellowed to a nice sweet bubblegum and cotton candy like smell.

Has a big sweet toasted malt flavor, very nice hints of sourdough, bubblegum, alcohol, and molasses. The hop flavors build slowly with only a slight bittering at first but seem to compound upon each other as you drink it with a sticky juniper and mint leading to more and more bitterness as you go.

The mouthfeel isn't as thick or oily as I would have expected, with a medium body and a long warm and dry finish.

Pretty good overall, much sweeter than I would have anticipated with the hops being a less dominant force than most Double IPA's.

Photo of steelerguy
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice bronze color, very clear, with a medium carbonation...very nice for this style. Pour into a chalice, small head, that faded to nothing pretty quick. A little surprised by that with the cara-pils they used.

S - Awesome smell, nice citrus and floral aromas with a little pine smell in there. Really pleasing smell.

T - Very good taste, no alcohol bite. Very nice citrus and floral hop flavors. Wasn't as bitter as I was expecting or would have liked, but I really like hops. Very balanced for a high IBU beer, not sure if I believe it is 135 as I have seen posted, but it does have a good malt backbone, so the balance my be fooling me.

M - It was good, not too dry, nice silky feel. About what I would expect in and Imperial IPA.

D - For such a high ABV beer I would say it is pretty drinkable. No problem with a 22 ounce bomber, but after that I am done. This is how I am with most high IBU beer, I love the assult on my senses for about 22-24 ounces worth of time, then it is time to relax.

Can't say I am blown away by this beer, but it is certainly very good and I am sure I will enjoy again in the future.

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

Shared a bottle with BA raznug during a recent Southern Tier tasting we had while brewing.

Pours a dark golden with slight head.

Smells slightly grassy. I expected more out of a Imp. IPA.

Tastes malty. Hops are there as slight undertones. They definitely take a backseat.

Mouth feel and drink ability are both OK.

I was really looking forward to this one, but was slightly disappointed.

Photo of boralyl
4.66/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Served in a chalice glass. Pours 2 fingers off sticky, off-white head. It laces everything it touches and has a pretty good retention. The beer is a dark amber, almost looking red in some light. This beer just looks tempting.

S - There are definitely some hops in the nose, but not quite as powerful as one would expect from a beer like this. Sweet malts and citrus take the spotlight. Undeniably inviting.

M - A medium to full bodied beer with a fairly creamy and smooth feel to it.

T - The hops are very apparent on the taste buds at first with pine and citrus flavors showing up. Then comes a masterful balance of sweet malts eventually fading into some more piny hops. The aftertaste is a combination of bitter and sweet. The high alcohol content is very well hidden in the taste but it can be felt going down.

A great DIPA. Not your traditional hop bomb flavored bitter beer that I have come accustom too. Instead it's a great balance of malts/hops that creates a unique "unearthly" taste.

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into goblet to reveal copper orange on top of brown/khaki to provide a interesting viewing of the color. The head was quite large, two and a half fingers size, big time creamy with big bubbles on one side of the glass and chiseled lace that stuck in rings on multiple levels.

A: For an Imperial and a beer of this ABV, the nose was not an explosion of hops but of brown sugar and citrus(grapefruit). The bottle dutifully details the selection of quad hop marquee of (Chinook, Cascade, Centennial and Styrian Goldings).

T: The taste again follows the nose in the sense that your pallet is greated with a masterfully balanced melange of flavors instead of strong bitter hops as one would think with the multiple listing. What makes this beer different from many other DIPA is the malts. Along with the addition of honey to the flavor, there is a good power competition between the intimidating IBU level and fourhopsman. I enjoyed the silky nature of the estery orange mixing with the citrus grapefruit rolled out under a lovely flatbed of brown sugar. Unearthly indeed, or perhaps that different from a traditional west coast DIPA that to most tongue's, the lack of pain is other wordly.

M: Imperial makes itself known with the fullness of texture with each quaf. While the 11% ABV can pass you by, the creamy luxuerious mouthfeel cannot be ignored. Yes this is a big beer, but it progress through the glass and into your mouth with the measured furiosity of a Kennilworth to a Mac truck.

D: Southern Tier's Unearthly latest Imperial of the IPA category is moving along swimmingly. Instead of an emphasis on one ingredient (hops)of a IPA, you shall take into your smiling mouth malts and other delicious additions to make this a fantastic beer.

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

Found a fresh batch with the new-style peel-off labels last night and had to revisit.

A: Pours a surprisingly deep orange/amber with a beige head with solid retention and rather gorgeous lacework.

S: Fresh pine sap is stuffed into my lungs along with a little bit of malt sweetness, caramel in nature. While this isn't my preferred interpretation of the style, it's still solid

T: Opens up with plenty of hop bitterness to go around, mainly pine with a little bit of citrus. The hops feel bright! Malt is fairly pronounced but is not in the forefront, thanks to the freshness. Finishes hoppy with some sweetness.

M: Medium-light in body with rather low carbonation and a finish that, while hoppy, feels sweeter than it needs to be

D: One bomber was plenty but it wasn't a chore either

Notes: This beer is better on tap, where the carbonation is a little higher, resulting in a finish that's a little less sweet. It's a shade lighter too.

Photo of Ralphus
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

EDIT: We've since discovered this shipment was actually 6.5%. No wonder the extra alcohol content wasn't detectable!

Southern Tier Unearthly, despite the considerably higher alcohol, isn't that much different than their IPA. And that's a considerable achievement given that it kicks things up another 5%. My 11 bottles came on a private order (the 12th being given as a thank you to my amazing in laws that gave them to me as a gift).

The appearance is pleasing in color, a medium golden brown with with some reddish highlights. There's little head and no lacing to speak of. The smell is of sweet orange fruit mostly but you can pick up the hops as well. Taste-wise things are cranked up a notch. Lots of fruity sweetness initially and a burst of pine like hops towards the end balances things out nicely. The alcohol is there but you would never ever guess it was 11%. Southern Tier has done a great job hiding it.

Mouthfeel is pleasing.. silky smooth with a tiny prick of carbonation. Drinkability rates average for it's style.. no one in their right mind is going to be packing away many of these in a session!

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

A - Slightly hazy golden orange with a little bit of white head and good lacing

S - Mellow floral hops and some orange

T - Lots of hop flavor but not to bitter. Very noticeable alcohol presence with decent balance.

M - Medium body with medium-high carbonation

D - Pretty good but also pretty strong. Not to session but mostly enjoyable.

Photo of Ralelen
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought a bomber for $5.99 tonight and so far so good. Great aroma, the floral/citrus smell of the hops hit me right off the bat. The alcohol content was not overpowering as I thought it might be. There does seem to be something missing, maybe a bit more body would help?

Photo of bebopkola
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm not a hophead my any means but the aroma and taste of this beer definatley opened up my palate. Aromas of citrus and rich hops follow through upon tastign with flavors of mango, pineapple, and an earthy bitterness that reminds me of a belgium saison. The best part of this beer is that it is incredibly drinkable. Overall, an amazing DIPA that is complex and delectable at the same time.

Photo of JoeBloe
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this is the stuff! - i bought this on the blind when a turco's supermarket started carrying craft beers - they've (turco's) since expanded their space but apparently haven't re-upped the southern tier line , except for the seasonals - i got another distributor to add it to their already existing st line -
i really like the hop kick from this brew - at first it was overpowering hop-bitterness - now it's mind-blowing hop bitterness! incredible stuff!

Photo of bum732
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear amber orange. Great fluffy head with very nice lacing. Smells of sweet bread, lots of earthy hops, a little pine, grassy, citrus notes like orange and lemon. Tastes of sweet bready malt up front followed close behind by citrusy and earthy hopness. Finishes quite sweet with a very earthy taste. Alcohol is very well hidden, scary well hidden.

A very nice beer, truly represents the east coast DIPA. Malty and rich with that earthy and citrusy hoppiness. Not really my cup of tea, but fantastic example of the style.

Photo of GilGarp
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a trip to Minnesota. I'm excited to try one of the great beers from this renown brewery.

Pours from the 650ml bottle into a globe shaped glass. It's hazy golden orange in color with almost no head. What little bit of white head is there at first quickly wanes to a skim layer.

Aroma is sweet and dominantly hoppy. I enjoy how the bottle details the different hops used in the brewing process. The smell is really nice with showing grapefruit and other citrusy hops.

Taste is really impressive for being so well balanced. The hops are certainly the star of the show but malts don't hide in the shadows of this beer. I get a lot of sweetness up front with citrus and pine towards the middle. It finishes bitter like many in this style but it never gives a lethal punch.

Mouthfeel is smooth and almost creamy. Not too sharp or bitter and the alcohol hides itself very well. Drinkability is good for the same reasons but I feel that 11% sneaking up.

A great beer overall and I can see why this brewery is so well respected. It's not easy to make a big double IPA feel both balanced and drinkable and they achieved both with Unearthly.

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

Talk about a hop bomb! I think this is a great example of an "eastt" coast DIPA. The appearance is almost a amber with a nice two finger frothy head. Not much in the lacing departmant though. Smells of straight up hops from the minute I cracked it open. Deffinatly cascade. Same with the taste. Cascade hops shine right through. Might be a little too much for me, but still a great brew

Photo of ibbjamin
2.25/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Paid $5.99 for a bomber from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. Poured into a large snifter.

Pours moderately thick for a DIPA leaving a rather fizzy half inch white head that dissipates quite quickly leaving minimal retention. Rather transparent light amber color with some carbonation visually present. Almost no lacing.

A well balanced DIPA. The hoppiness is balanced well with a grainy malt aroma. Rather mild on the nose.

Again, the goal with this one must have been to make a well balanced DIPA.

The mouth is somewhat creamy but has a somewhat watery, crisp finish. Aftertaste does not last much. Good carbonation.

Not what I'm looking for in a DIPA and even for what it's worth, I'm not really sure this brew was a success. Quite overrated. So much so, it makes me wonder if this is a bad batch or something?

Photo of czfreeman
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This behemoth IPA pours out a hazy amber murky golden tone. It actually looks very rendolent of a Flemish Red. Supreme head that is suprisingly light and fluffy despite the weight of the beast. Lots of lacing, hop resins everyhere. Very nice. IS there Belgian yeast here?
The aromomatic bomb contained in this bottle detonates as soon as it hits the glass, filling the room with its citric piney aftershock. The aroma alone rockets this "unearthy" beverage into orbit. A supremely complex spectrum of honeyed lemons,fresh malty bread,candied orange,grapefruit,a nice wiff of phenols to bind it all together. The utter freshness of the hops and just-kilned barley is remarkable. Unfiltered apple cider also comes to mind not only on the appearance,but in the aromatics as well. Im already extremly satified.
Wow. Thats really all I can say upon trying this brew. Extremly velvety and opulent mouthfeel. The "fresh" flavors comes immediatley. The malts come through immediately, follwed by delicate citrus fruits,barleywine-like concentration of fruity malts,vanilla-oaky burbon intensity.
Where is the ABV? This is a showcase of brewing Mastery. This is increadibly balanced, the ABV is buried, the hops an utilized,not over-exerted.
Drinkablity is perfection in my book, so easy to drink, yet so delicious its sippable lest all the beer is gone!
Ive never said that any IPA gives Dogfish 120 a run for its money in terms of true balance of such extreme proportions of ingredient used,but Unearthly steps up to the challenge and delivers.

Photo of Reaper16
3.77/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served from a 650mL bottle into a new 2009 Boulevard Smokestack Series goblet

Pours a pleasing shade of darkened tangerine. The head, on this pour anyway, was pretty low. (Was my glass not clean enough?)

Grassy hops, lemongrass, caramel malt, some biscuit. It is hard to distinguish specific aromas as they all blend in together quite seamlessly.

Wow, the malt hits the tongue first and stays. This is very malty, which surprises me. Not nearly as much grapefruit as I thought there was going to be given the hops used. Faint bitterness on the tongue. It's hoppy, sure, but not overly so. Actually, its not hoppy enough for my tastes. Unearthly manages to be restrained somewhow; it must the the huge, sweet malts. Some lemon and honey come out of the hops and round out the flavors. The alcohol does make itself noticed, too.

Not much carbonation, which leads to this beer being almost syrupy. Any more chewiness and this beer would have been too sweet; as is, the feel is still good. Its 11% ABV, and I'm starting to feel it as finish the bomber.

This is another Imperial IPA that I find to be too balanced for my liking. Its a very good beer,and my ratings reflect that. I just want a double IPA that is more bitter, drying, hoppy and less malty/sweet. Can I get some CA DIPAs, please?

Photo of Gehrig
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

At long last, I am finally able to buy Southern Tier here in Illinois. Hallelujah! Clear bronze body with two and one-half fingers of off-white head atop. Rich aromas of hops, plenty of citrus with a hint of pine and mint leaf. Not a big blast on the nose but a steady whiff of malt and citrus hops. However, so far, I'm quite impressed.

The taste is terrific--grapefruit, a bit of lemon, lots of caramel. Very smooth and malty but also with that chewy, almost gritty hopped texture that I love so much, Unearthly strikes a fine balance as a good DIPA must, making the mouthfeel ideal.

Unearthly has quickly vaulted into my top-10 IPAs. An excellent beer, this makes me all the more thankful that Southern Tier is finally available here. Many thanks to all the good BAs who recommended this and other Southern Tier wares in the forum.


Photo of ryrust5301
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Deep orange with a golden yellow tint. Looks about like i'd like my DIPA's too. Head was a pillow of creamy whiteness, which settled into a fair amount of lacing. Tough to find fault with anything.

Smell - A few different kinds of hops were used in the one, and they mesh nicely in the nose. Hops are very subtle and whispy, not overpowering. Almost a buttery like smell from the malt, blended in with some grapefruit.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Remarkable balance! The bitterness of the hops makes it a perfect sipper. Not too much as was the case in the nose, but the perfect amount to make the mouth pucker a bit, before gliding into a sweet honey malt. Very smooth, buttery, and fullbodied feel to it. It almost wants to go the barleywine route, but stays right in the middle which is a damn fine achievement.

Drinkability - A heavenly sipper to quaff for an hour or so. Beautifully blended, and balanced so shockingly well that even the alcohol is hardly noticeable

Photo of ShrLSU
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle from Sam's in Chicago. Appearence was a deep copper with a bubbly white head that disappated after pouring. The nose bready yeast, sweet malt and citrus hops. The taste is sweet and malty with hop bitterness. I was expecting a hop overload at first. It was more balanced which is the characteristic of an imperial ipa. It was kind of buttery and slick with a slight boozy taste. Not much carbonation and pretty easy to drink. Know what you are drinking before you open it. It fits the style well and is very enjoyable.

Photo of brunop
2.6/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

i really wanted to like this. everyone was always going on about it and all. so i was stoked when i got a bottle and chilled it good and got out my favorite glass and poured it.

what a let down. maybe i was too stoked. i don't know.

i was all set for a hop blast. wasn't happenin' at all. maybe i got a bad bottle, i don't know.

a great disappointment. hardly any hop flavor at all. and there was even a sweet undercurrent.

i may try their other beers, but i am skeptical.

Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very nice deep golden color, very clear not cloudy at all with a nice little head on top.

Smells of strong hops with traces of pine scent.

Very strong hops and malt flavor as expected with a nice sweet balance of caramel and a small pine kick at the end all masking the alcohol well. Very impressive.

Very thick and creamy with moderate carbonation making for a very smooth drink.

Overall a uniquely tasty DIPA that's very smooth. Will buy again!

Photo of PerzentRizen
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was my first Southern Tier beer but I have many more to try from my latest beer run.

I poured this one into a Duvel glass. The head developed a little slow as the beer was chilled to the prescribed 42 degrees. I let it warm a bit. I think with 11 percent ABV this beer is better at 50 or so. This beer as amazing clarity and looks great.

The aroma is of sweet hops but it's hard to determine one hop from another since this has 4 varieties to serve as aroma, taste, and bitterness. The smell unlike most IPA's makes the beer seem extremely approachable for even the non-Hophead (although I am one).

The first taste proves the above statement to be misleading as an all out war is waged with Hops being the only weapons. The flavors of this one are special. This beer has the ability to seem extremely unbalanced up front but the malt then takes over and the hops linger as a pleasant memory in the back of the throat. The deep roastiness of the malt soothes the hop-burnt tastebuds.

The mouthfeel is like velvet. This beer has the texture of an RIS. Very Very Viscous! I almost had to chew this one. That through me off a bit. I would imagine that is due to the 11% ABV. I loved the flavor but texturally it was a bit much.

Drinkability suffered for me because I knew I was not in any position to drink another one of these. I will say this beer was extremely smooth and extremely easy to move through. I would not however seek another in my beer stash to put down tonight. Great brew!

Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,826 ratings.