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

Not Rated.
Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,655 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,655
Reviews: 1,172
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 108
Gots: 210 | 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
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Ratings: 2,655 | Reviews: 1,172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HopDerek
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with about an inch of foamy eggshell colored head, nice lasting retention leaves some good sticky lacing. Smells of caramel, honey, biscuit, pine, citrus, and floral hops. Tastes of grapefruit and peppermint up front with a nice solid caramel and biscuity malt backbone and a good spruce finish with alcohol warmth. Medium in body with good carbonation, smooth, sticky, sweet, and bitter with noticeable alcohol that comes out more as the beer warms up and becomes medicinal. A solid and flavorful DIPA, but the high alcohol content and how strongly it comes out makes this a beer I wouldn't want very often, and would definitely have to split it with someone.

HopDerek, May 14, 2008
Photo of phisig137
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Almost perfect... deep rich amber color is crystal clear, with a two finger head. Great retention for the ABV, and leaves tons of delicate intricate lacing all the way to the bottom of the glass.

S- Loads of those deliciously American "C" hops, mainly citrus and pine components. This is another one of those beers that I would wear as cologne if it were socially acceptable to walk around smelling of beer all day. Top notch IPA aroma.

F- Incredibly well balanced and well made. Solid citrusy hop flavor from front to back, with points of caramel malt shining through in the middle. Complex hop profile makes this a bit more interesting than other IIPA's that seem one sided in their hop usage. Finish is firmly bitter, but very smooth overall, without being harshly or metallic in any way. Excellent balance where the hops definitely take front stage, but don't destroy the palate. The label lists what is used in the kettle, hop back, and dry hop, which is always appreciated. I'd venture a guess that the majority of those kettle hops are added towards the end. I'm not a professional by any means, in fact I'd consider myself a sub-par homebrewer although I have turned out some great beers. That being said, if I had to make a guess at this one, I'd say that it is mostly a late hopped beer, due to the incredible smooth bitterness and hop profile. Very nice overall.

M- Creamy and smooth, with slightly below average carbonation, leading to a lingering hop flavor well after your last sip.

D- Dangerously high. This hides the whopping 11% quite well. If you don't pay attention, this bomber can disappear very quickly.

Overall, this is one outrageously good and well balanced IIPA. Quite possibly one of the best I've ever had. Any fan of the style should definitely seek this one out. I'd happily buy this again for the $6.80 that I paid for it. I had a very hard time not giving this a five on more than a single category. This is damn near perfect, and I think it would be absolutely amazing on cask. Either way, this makes me very happy that Southern Tier is now available in Virginia. I will be buying more of their stuff. Very highly recommended!!!

phisig137, May 14, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a clear amber with 1-2 fingers of creamy off-white head that retains superbly and leaves big, sticky lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is big floral hops, a ton of citrus character, and the smell of beefy oats.

The taste is thick mix of tingling hop bitterness, fresh citrus notes, and a chewy malt backbone that evens things out. The finish is definitely more sweet than bitter and ends sticky and warm. The mouthfeel is large and in charge with a touch of alcohol heft to the body that combines with the sweetness to give things a slightly medicinal feel towards the end.

This is a good effort from Southern Tier but I can't help but wonder what this would be like with the heat turned down a little more? I dug the aroma and flavor profile but medicinal tasting DIPAs just aren't my thing and it definitely hurt the drinkibility some what for me.

Kegatron, May 12, 2008
Photo of brewdoc75
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours a lovely tangerine/orange color into my glass. A strong, creamy white head rests atop this monster brew. It doesn't really look like a double IPA as it appears so light and inviting. The aroma is furthermore inviting w/ a blast of fruity hops. Tangerine, lemon, orange, pine, and mango come to mind with my first smell. There is a great sweetness that follows. The flavor is exactly what the aroma advertised...a hop orgy. Beautiful fruitiness and citrusy tang. There is a strong malt presence as well. The hops and malts are both strong, but I think the malts won the battle in this taste test. The mouthfeel is thick and full, just the way it should be with a beer this big.

Overall a very nice IIPA. Not the best in the world, but definitely memorable. I'd pick it up again.

brewdoc75, May 10, 2008
Photo of errantnight
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Joe1510... thank you!

A very pretty rich golden color with a single finger, creamy head with attractive and lasting lacing. Purdy.

Citrus forward hop bomb aroma... bring it on. A bit of banana and balsamic onions.

Taste is a rolling wallop of sweetness, with a distinctly aspirine bitterness. Balance is nice, and it finishes dry enough. A bit boozy with some fusels sneaking through.

Mouth is pretty spot on, medium-full and rich, with a lifting carbonation.

Pretty to look at, and despite some notes, lacking in offensiveness... I prefer the Hoppe to this, and in a way, it reminds me of the Back Burner. A nice start, and perfectly adequate (probably better local and fresh), but in need of refinement.

errantnight, May 09, 2008
Photo of Pencible
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a clear, dark amber with off-white head. It smelled like a mix of potent floral and pine hops, with no noticeable malt. It tasted somewhat similar to Hoppe but with more powerful orange hops, still with the same caramel malt, well balanced but not very complex. It was thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this was a very tasty and full flavored beer, but was fairly basic (certainly not as unique as Hoppe).

Pencible, May 08, 2008
Photo of jmacdaddy2008
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Mad Mex. Poured in a snifter because of the high alcohol. Really enjoyed this palate killer.

Appearance was copper w/ eg shell head lot of lacing left around the glass I drank this big beer slowly.

Strong hoppy smell reminded me of fresh cut grass. Alcohol smell present but not over whelming. Some fruits and spices are brought out as it warms.

Has a bold taste of hops and fruit. Raw hop flavor really stands out in a good way.

Overall, Let this one sit in the glass and warm up to bring out the aromas. Big beer with big taste, drink this one at the end of the night.

jmacdaddy2008, May 06, 2008
Photo of mnstorm99
3.05/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was really excited about this one, but I should have known at 11% it would be a little too much for me.
Nice copper amber pour with a nice white smooth head that sticks well.
Beatiful aroma of pine and floral hops, nice aromatics coming from the malt also.
Taste at first is alchohol (sorry just an offputting flavor for me when it comes to beer). This is more of a barleywine than a IIPA, but I do detect some of the citrus notes from the hops as well as a decent malt sweetness.
Mouthfeel is alchohol burn, but smooth once that is gone. For the price (same as Hoppe) there are better options IMO.

On to the ÜberSun

mnstorm99, May 05, 2008
Photo of morimech
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a chalice. The color is copper or bronze with minimal head. Not much retention but lacing was good.

The smell is understated. Typical pine and citrus hop aroma with a little malt and alcohol in the background.

This is a more balanced DIPA than West Coast DIPAs. This has a bigger malt profile than most. Unfortunately the alcohol makes it presence known from the very beginning.

Medium body with low carbonation. The alcohol leaves a burning sensation on the tongue and down the throat.

A different take on the DIPA than the West Coast versions I am use to. The alcohol makes it a sipper and after I finished the bomber I was feeling the effects.

morimech, May 04, 2008
Photo of Durge
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This nice IPA pours a clear amber and displays a big fluffy off-white head with chunky lacing throughout. The nose picks up pleanty of malt and pine hops, very enticing. The tongue enjoys plenty of sweet pine hops, an oily thick mouthfeel with oat malt flavor swimming all around. It brings a decent alcohol presence. It's smooth and reasonably strong but makes itself easy to drink none the less. Another Southern Tier success!

Durge, May 04, 2008
Photo of hckyfn9999
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with a nice white head, fair retention, some nice lace clings to the glass. Aroma is strong of citrus and piney hops. Taste has a nice malty sweetness upfront eventually giving way to to some sharp citrusy hop bitterness. Medium to full mouthfeel, a touch lighter than some IIPAs. Definitely an easy drinker for 11% ABV. Very good IIPA. Glad to see Southern TGier in St. Louis. If all of there beers are this good I cant wait to try them.

hckyfn9999, May 01, 2008
Photo of paco1029384756
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden Wheat appearance, quick fizzling head. Scent of hops, strong citrus, orange peel. Smooth citrus flavor, orange and lemon with a great balance of hops. Crisp mouth feel, bitterness rolls through the mouth and over the tongue.

Very good beer, very well balanced.

paco1029384756, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of bort11
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale tulip. Nice two finger off white head. Plenty of lacing is sticking to the glass. Color is a very pretty dark golden copper. Clear with plenty of carbonation streamers.

Smell is a sweeter hops profile than many DIPAs. Still very citric and herbal. The malt creates a solid backbone and keeps everything balanced. As it warms, the alcohol becomes more present.

Mouthfeel has a solid medium body. Mildly sticky on the palate and juicy in texture. A very nice sipper indeed!

bort11, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of Proteus93
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: A warm, almost bronze pour, sporting an offwhite, foamy and sticky head.

S: Grapefruit and herbal hop aromas. A soft, malty backbone manages to peek through a little.

T: More malt presence on this one, with a touch of a caramel flavour on the front, followed by the herbal and citrus rind hops flavours paired with a slightly bready/biscuity note. A dash of spiciness on the finish is the only real hint of the ABV here.

M: A full, thick and rich body, finishing with a bit of a drying feel. Carbonation is pretty much perfect, and adds just the right element to the brew.

D: This one is a little 'stiffer' the Hoppe brand from the brewery, but it's still quite an easy drinker. The ABV starts to make itself known towards the end of the glass (esp. following the Hoppe). Sip the night away with it... quite a great way to spend the evening.

Proteus93, Apr 19, 2008
Photo of Kudashov
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into my Rapscallion snifter , where a nice white head appears .Beautiful tawny , rusty amber colored liquid . Head has reduced to loads of lacing on the glass . Aromas are pine and lemon . A wonderful smells , and as it warms a honey-like flavor comes through on the finish . Mouthfeel is sweet and this is a very drinkable tasty brew . At 11% this is not a boozy hop bomb . most of the time anything over 10% is a boozy , hot fire bomb which I do not enjoy . Powerful double IPA here which will be bought again during these warm summer months .

Let Go Red Sox .

Kudashov, Apr 19, 2008
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a clear and bright orange-amber with a very thin white head.

Aroma of citrusy hops, sweet malts, a touch of earthiness, and tropical fruit.

Taste is fruiter than expected with orange, lemon, and kiwi. Also note hints of tobacco and biscuit, especially in the finish. The alcohol is present but fits in quite well.

Medium mouthfeel, sticky, and lightly carbonated.

Drinkable? Hell yes! If you haven't had one, I recommend you go out and find one.

Monkeyknife, Apr 11, 2008
Photo of Derek
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper-bronze with an off-white head, good retention, great lace.

S: Huge piny hop aroma with some citrus rind, grass & spice; toffee, cotton-candy and hints of tropical fruit and bubblegum fruity esters.

T: Very piny hops, citrus rind, toffee, biscuity malt, grassy spice, assertive bitterness, alcohol is warming (but doesn't seem anywhere near 11%). There's some residual sugar, but it's blown away by the bitterness.

M: Moderate to full body is smooth with plenty of hop acidity & a dry, alcohol finish.

D: For a hop lover, it's incredibly drinkable for its strength.

Derek, Apr 10, 2008
Photo of sloejams
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as part of Top 100 BIF - thanks PEBKAC

After being all about them for the past couple years, I've kinda been away from DIPAs for a bit now. It's always nice to try a new one that makes me smile again. This did that.

Unearthly can hold its own with the West Coast hop bombs I love so dear. The color was remarkable thin looking for a beer so high in ABV. And the ABV is VERY well masked. I drank the whole bomber in about an hour and definitely knew it.

sloejams, Apr 09, 2008
Photo of maximum12
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a bomber of this brew at Casanova's in Hudson a couple of weeks ago in celebration that Southern Tier is (reportedly) going to be distributing in Minnesota soon.

After I drank this, I hope, very soon.

Pours yellow as a Bud Light with very thin head. Smell is immediately funky, then turns more pleasant. I'm not sure where the funk arrived from, but it's gone within ten seconds or so. Now just faint hops & citrus.

Tastes very good. Smooth, hoppy, not burning my taste buds or scorching my palate.

Holy &^*(^% 11% ABV, are you kidding me? I'm glad my wife is sharing this with me on a school night. Mouthfeel is full & balanced, nice back, nice front, nice everywhere. 11%? I'm not sure I've ever had a beer with this ABV that I felt I could down a glass of in ten minutes. Slow down. Type more. Type more. Drink less. Hands leaving keyboard...

Unearthly is very good. My first encounter with Southern Tier & if this is an example of the goods, I'm going to be stocking up when they arrive in the Twin Cities.

maximum12, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of bobsy
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright orange with an initially huge, then compact white head that leaves a sheets of lacing. The aroma just leaps at you, and is wonderfully complex. Grapefruit, bread, caramel, grain...its all in there. The initial taste is a bit sweeter than I expected, with a slight honey aspect. Floral and citrus hops appear in the middle, but seem more no more abundant than in the standard IPA - perhaps they are subdued by the malt. The mix of flavours makes the aftertaste pleasant, with the alcohol only peeking out from behind a curtain of resin and malt. The mouthfeel is medium-thick, and almost oily, with medium-light carbonation. The high alcohol content precludes this from being a beer you could drink two of in an evening, but its definitely one that you would want to revisit.

bobsy, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of shaebs99
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler bought at Big Z and served upon returning home

Pours a nice deep copper topped with a good sized white head that leaves pleasant lacing

The aroma is probably my favorite thing about this beer. Not the hoppiest aroma I have experienced recently (that belongs to the over the top Hosickle), but big, hoppy and pleasant. Big aroma of grapefruit and other citrusy hops with a hint of sweet malts.

Taste is as expected largely citrus hop based, but a good malt presence prevents this beer from being a totally unbalanced hop bomb. The taste is close to that of the nose, but more subdued. Fruity and resiny, with touches of brown sugar.

The full head provides this DIPA a nice creamy mouthfeel. The most surprising thing about this beer is the fact that everyone I drank this with was unable to guess it's high ABV%. The 11% is very well hidden, but makes this beer even more dangerous. A deliciously hoppy beer that goes down so easily and quickly.

shaebs99, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of Jerzdevil1116
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on tap at Firewaters in Atlantic City, NJ.

A- Thin, white, bubbly film of a head. Clear amber color. Some carbonation.

S- Pine and citrusy hops. Spicy. Also has a noticable alcohol presence.

T- Bitter. All hops. Notes of pine, grapefruit, grass, tobacco. Again, the alcohol was highly noticable.

M- Light to medium body. Gave my mouth a dry feel. Some alcohol warmth as the beer warmed.

D- A good beer, but not a regular drinker. It'll put you on your butt.

Jerzdevil1116, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received from CharlesW in Week 2 Powerball. Thank you!

Pours a very clear orange color with a small creamy white head on it. It left patchy lacing on the walls of my pint glass. I get a good whiff of this as I pour it. Dominant scents include sticky pine, ripe citrus fruit, and subtle earthiness. I also get some lesser scents including bready malt and an underlying honey sweetness smell. The taste is of very sweet honey-like malt and bitter hops. There is a bit of a caramel undertone to this beer as well. The hops seem a bit subdued and do not have the quality on the palate as they do in the nose. The mouthfeel is medium and the alcohol is very well hidden. The drinkability did not hold well for me on this beer. It was very sweet and I suspect underattenuation on this beer. That would explain a nice body and mouthfeel and an overall sweet taste.

TheodorHerzl, Apr 04, 2008
Photo of joeskirkie
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Screen printed 22oz. bottle like the other Southern Tiers I've had, theres a grain bill listed on the bottle. Also "Serve in a fluted glass best at 42°F.

I chose my Duvel tulip.

In it, the beer sits bright orange, not much in the way of head, but still refreshing to look at.

The scent is decidedly citursy and husky. Theres some sweet bread in there as well, but the hops dominate.

Once I taste it theres an immediate bitter bite followed by a strong citrus and an almost medicinal alcohol. Theres an underlying note of sweet malts in there as well. It's a nice complexity.

There's a sweet ,sticky, creamy mouthfeel, not really heavy.

I've never had a Southern Tier that I didn't like, and I do like this one, it definitely has it's own distinguishing qualities.

joeskirkie, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of asabreed
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Golden copper-colored body with lots of bubbles, spotty and soapy and scant lacing, and little head retention, even as it warms. I wonder what's going on here.

Smell: A beautiful meld of big wet sticky hop aromas -- with everything from flowers, earthines, citrus, tomacco, pine, ripe fruit, sour cherries, strawberry -- along with some sweetness, from caramel malt, semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, honey, and molasses. Tons of stuff going on, without either element taking over, letting everything through to wonderful aromas popping up all over the places.

Taste: A very nice mix of what comes through in the nose mostly, with ripe fruit, floral and grassy hops, earthy bitterness, mild tobacco, citrus sweetness -- more lemon and orange than grapefruit here, a bit of diacetyl and biscuit flavors, and a lingering finish that wants to stay forever, one that I keep going back to. It's nice that the sweetness and floral hops are at the forefront, still making it easy-going, with little discernible alcohol, and some of the bitter and pungent hop flavors coming out with the long finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, creamy, and pleasantly coating without any residual stickiness at all.

Drinkability: An exceptional version of the style, in a more graceful and nuanced way than a lot of them turn out to be (one of my favorites recently being Moylan's Hopsickle, with has a less ABV% but has much more of a visceral nature for the hophead), and it seems like that's their purpose. These ST bombers can get expensive, but this one's certainly worth it, and I'd undoubtedly try it again, and if you have to choose either the Hoppe or this, choose the latter. Still, this beer has let me know that Southern Tier can do their thing, and I'll be trying more when I get the chance, hoping that they can match my experience with this.

asabreed, Apr 02, 2008
Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,655 ratings.