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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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2,637 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,637
Reviews: 1,172
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 108
Gots: 206 | 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: 2,637 | Reviews: 1,172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of maximum12


4.15/5  rDev +1.7%

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.

04-08-2008 02:12:48 | More by maximum12
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +2.9%

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.

04-07-2008 14:12:40 | More by bobsy
Photo of shaebs99

New York

4.22/5  rDev +3.4%

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.

04-07-2008 03:02:33 | More by shaebs99
Photo of Jerzdevil1116

New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev -4.9%

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.

04-05-2008 03:46:59 | More by Jerzdevil1116
Photo of TheodorHerzl


3.35/5  rDev -17.9%

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.

04-04-2008 03:54:41 | More by TheodorHerzl
Photo of joeskirkie

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev -7.4%

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.

04-03-2008 00:49:38 | More by joeskirkie
Photo of asabreed

New York

4.55/5  rDev +11.5%

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.

04-02-2008 07:44:23 | More by asabreed
Photo of BeerSox


4/5  rDev -2%

22oz bomber into nonic.

A two finger off white head that slowly settles to a thin cap, leaving behind a solid wal of lacing. Crystal clear honey hue.

Citrusy and spicy hops of course. A bit of alcohol makes its way through. The malts make a bready base.

Sweet malts and bitter hops. What else can I say? It's citrusy and has some sweet malts in the background. Full bodied with good carbonation. The finish is lingering malts.

I'd stay this one is on the lighter side of a DIPA. Some of the heavier ones usually mirror a barley wine. I'd say the %ABV puts it in the DIPA category though. It's enjoyable, and still drinkable, so drink this one out of a pint glass rather than a snifter. Recommended.

03-30-2008 03:06:09 | More by BeerSox
Photo of SurlyDuff


4.55/5  rDev +11.5%

22oz bottle w/cool silkscreened label.

A dark orange with the slighest haze. Thin bubbly head that faded away pretty quickly.

One of the more tropical and light fruity/floral ipa's as far as aroma goes.

Again, pineapple and some tropical floral hoppiness. Not getting much piney citrus.

The ABV is hidden fairly well. I would guess this were 9% in a blind tasting. Drinkability is tremendous, a really good sipper, and an even better (or worse) at bigger swigs, which is how my mouth wanted it to be. It was a battle trying to pace myself. It did last the whole night in the end!

Thanks to Tony (WVBeerGeek) for the trade. Only downside to this brew was that I had Avery's Maharaja the night before. This Unearthy is the hard-luck loser...sorry, it's the tropical notes that lost it for me. The crazy pine, grapefruit and cannabis of the maharaja is just sooo good.

Anyway... this a world class beer across the boards. Loved it! Thanks again Tony!

03-30-2008 02:22:35 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of joezak5

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +8.6%

A: Dark and just a little cloudy brownish orange. Fairly average off white head, good lacing.

S: Honey sweet, oily hops. Beautiful... not just a hop rush, very well balanced.

M: Medium body and carbonation, puckeringly bitter.

T: Caramel and honey soaked hops, spicy at first on the lips but really smooth after.

D: Well balanced and almost non-detectable alcohol level. Easily enjoyed 22oz bomber.

03-29-2008 03:46:42 | More by joezak5
Photo of srandycarter


4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Been looking forward to this one. My second review for this ST offering. I upgraded it.

A - Pours an farily clear amber orange, 1.5 inch nearly white head, stays for awhile. Nice sticky lacing.

S - Lots of pine, citrus supplemental, and sweet bread thread.

T- Oh, yeah. Solid caramel center married really well with the bitter hops. That sweet bread thing comes in at the very end.

M - Medium body, coats well, perfect carb.

D - For the style, deceptively drinkable.

Hee Hee.

03-28-2008 05:12:59 | More by srandycarter
Photo of JDV


4/5  rDev -2%

Bottle courtesy of Miketd. Thanks!
Pours a slightly transluscent orange color with a bit of haze. Smell is a citrusy hops mainly. Taste is sweet citrus and orange for a second before drying out, leaving a dry lingering clean grapefruity flavory. Mildly bitter. Very nice clean DIPA, and probably my favorite Southern Tier beer. Well hidden alcohol as well for 11%.

03-26-2008 04:51:04 | More by JDV
Photo of lightindarkness


4.63/5  rDev +13.5%

Thanks to pieper for sending this my way. An excellent recommendation. 22oz poured into a beer tasting snifter.

Pours a clear deep golden color with a short eggshell head that fades quickly but leaves a little nice lacing.

Smell is very enticing with plenty of fresh pine needles, resin, and cereal. Some citrus kind of hangs back with a light sweetness.

Taste very closely follows the nose, with full piny resiny hops up front and a solid grainy base. I'm really impressed with the delicate balance of this beer despite all it's imperial strength. Almost light and crisp, even deceivingly so right up to the finish as the resin coats the mouth with an unassertive bitterness that lingers gently on the palate, fading to a yeasty bready softness.

Feel is nice, medium bodied with a moderate mouth coating. Sticky without being heavy at all. Carbonation is very submissive, adding a lightness to the feel.

The more I drink, the more I want this beer. A very well moderated hop showcase, this beer is a great version of the style, with everything to love about an imperial IPA and very little of the overbearing intensity in some other IIPAs. Only drawback is the extremely well hidden 11%abv.

03-26-2008 02:32:16 | More by lightindarkness
Photo of dancinwillie


3.28/5  rDev -19.6%

Poured from a bomber, into a chalice, slightly cooler than room temperature.

Pours a light amber color. Topped with a large, impressive 2 finger head, which hangs around for awhile, then drops to a respectable half finger.
Grapefruit dominates the aroma, with some pine and floral notes.
Pine and grapefruit right away on the tongue, followed by a mild honey sweetness. Very smooth, considering it's an imperial. The ingredients are listed on the bottle, and I wonder if it's the red wheat that tones it down a little? Pretty balanced for the style, which might be contrary to the style itself. I was expecting more hop flavor, and aroma. Very tasty, nevertheless.
A smooth creamy mouthfeel, a little chewy, and a dry finish.

Overall, A very good beer, my sample seems more like an IPA than it's Imperial relative, but still quite enjoyable. Couldn't drink too many with 11% ABV, especially out of a bomber, but I will surely try this one again sometime.

03-24-2008 03:55:27 | More by dancinwillie
Photo of abcsofbeer


4.4/5  rDev +7.8%

Poured from a 22oz bomber with the painted label. The color is a crisp, clear amber that is topped by a thin off-white head. There is a good amount of thick, sticky lace rings. The head falls to a thin crown after a while.

The aroma is very flowery from the hops infusion. It also has many other earth tones of outdoors, as well as continued leafiness.

The taste has a slight bite of alcohol accompanied by pine and citrus notes. There is a slight bit of caramel sweetness too. The mouthfeel is a crisp and light one, but, with a full bodied flavor. Excellent brew.

03-23-2008 01:38:27 | More by abcsofbeer
Photo of cookin420


4.05/5  rDev -0.7%

Bottle poured into a large tulip.

Crystal clear brew. Surprising becuase of the wheat. Nicely done. Amber with hints of red and yellow. Majestic looking shit. Small head with a thin but coating and lasting head.

Wow. Cascadealisious. Heavily malted nose and plenty of alcohol smells. Tart hop aromas prevail but the malt is a shovel in the face as well.
Not the most bitter stuff but I'll reiterate; Wow. Huge and satisfying hop flavors. Only a shred of that 11% alc. is evident. This is very well balanced ale. Not my favorite style of Double but balanced is obviously what they were aiming for. Bulls Eye.

Feel is right on spot.

This is a sipper because of the obscene malt presence. Like I said; very well balanced, and to balance the hop here, much malt is needed.

This is good stuff if you like a super sturdy malt backbone in a double. I bought several having never tasted it and I don't regret it.

This is a sipper

03-22-2008 17:52:47 | More by cookin420
Photo of jim102864


4.47/5  rDev +9.6%

Poured from a bomber, this 11%, 153 IBU beauty looks the part of a double IPA. Minimal carbonation. A thin sticky head that gloms to my Leffe snifter. Very clean, transparent copper color. Nice start.

The nose is herbal, floral, somewhat fruity with a kiss of cherry and apricot sweetness and yet piney. Complex and fasinating.

Sweet and floral but Double IPA-like muted hop bitterness. Piney and herbal. Nicely balanced and complex. The 153 IBU's are no where to be found.

The mouthfeel is flavorful and full but passes down the hatch like quicksilver.

Its high abv makes this a sipper. Still, assuming you're not driving, one you could enjoy for a good three rounds. Personally, it is one of the top 3-4 IPA's of any interpretation I've every had and one I will actively revisit.

03-21-2008 12:49:32 | More by jim102864
Photo of shivtim


3.83/5  rDev -6.1%

Good name, good reputation... gotta try it.
Came in a nice chalice. Nice looking golden hazy copper hue with a small but thick off-white head that faded to a persistent halo. Nose is chock full 'o hops. Intense layers of hops. Taste is piney hops with sweet citrus kicks and more hops. I like the hop intensity in the nose, but the flavor is a tad bit overdone, although balanced nicely with sweetness and a bitter ending. Couldn't feel or taste the alcohol at all through that hop attack. Great mouthfeel. Thick IPA goodness. Overall a very nice IPA.

03-21-2008 04:04:43 | More by shivtim
Photo of AltBock


4.53/5  rDev +11%

I was able to get this Southern Tier brew on-tap at High Street Grill on 3/17/2008. They served it to me in a standard Heavy Seas pint glass.

Unearthly poured a clear honey amber that had a 1 inch head of creamy white foam. This creamy foam had really good retention that left behind a small white film and quite a few thick streaks of creamy white lace. It had a big time powerful aroma of sour grapefruit, fresh pine, citrus hops, citrus fruits, more pine, and then it ended with more sour grapefruit. The taste was just as powerful as the aroma. That means the taste was just filled with pine, sour grapefruit, citrus fruits, a pinch of earth, and then the taste ends with powerful citrus hops that tasted like the hops unleashed a wolverine sized aggresiveness of hops on your tongue. If you couldn't tell already, it was a full bodied beer that had a long lasting aftertaste of pine, grapefruit, citrus hops, and citus fruits. Where was the strong ABV of 11%? If it was in there, I couldn't feel it and it was probably covered up by all the citrus flavors and pine that were in here. Overall, Unearthly was noting short of a great hoppy beer. I was happy that I got to try this hoppy winner on tap. Just be a litte careful with this one because it will sneak up on you.

03-18-2008 22:41:48 | More by AltBock
Photo of mmmbeer


4.15/5  rDev +1.7%

22 oz. bomber brewed with 2-row, carapils, and red wheat. It's boiled with Chinook and Cascade, sent through the hopback with Styrian Goldings, then dry-hopped with Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook. The hop bill listed on my bottle doesn't match the one online, so either mine is an old version, or they haven't updated the site yet; the recipe on the internet lists this brew as 153 IBUs, and the bottle suggests it be served at 42 degrees, but I sampled it warmer than that. The beer is a nice, lightly-hazed orangey/amber, with low carbonation and three fingers of tan head that leaves some nice lace. Lots of hop oils in the nose, with juicy citrus (candied orange, grapefruit), sea salt, pale malt and just a hint of wheat. It has a very malty, thick, lightly sweet body with strong citric grapefruit, a medium/high bitterness and a suggestion of tartness. Smooth, dry, and lightly numbing on the palate, with low carbonation and a lingering finish. Overall, this is a nice, big-ass IPA, but the outlandish IBU claim isn't perceived as such, and it's just a touch too sweet for the style.

03-18-2008 18:07:11 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of Experimentacious


4.18/5  rDev +2.5%

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tall beer glass.

A: Crystal clear copper amber hue. Very clean looking. Medium head fades as this one goes down, some head retention, lacing remains on the sides of the glass.

S: Abundant floral Hops, definately some Cascade. There is a sweetness to the aroma, as well as citrus, pine, lemon peel.

T: Hops, nice bittering effect. I cannot detect an alcohol burn but I am a smoker. (Figure there should be some there given the 11% ABV) Finish is a nice balance of Hops and light malt, bitter wins over sweet in this one. Something reminds of me fresh cut grass as well. Nice.

M: Clean, refreshing, well balanced. This is not an aggressive IPA. This one will not punch you in the face with a pair of Goldings knuckles.

D: Nice. Again, not overpowering, pleasant crisp and clean. This beer would be great with a buffalo chicken sandwich. I don't know why I just said that.

For anyone is trying to get a friend or girlfriend into IPAs and have been scared away by say...a bittering experience, try sharing one of these. The perfect combination of floral, bittering, aroma, in a showcasing of Hops that is presented beautifully, well balanced and tame but not lame. Cheers!

03-18-2008 00:14:51 | More by Experimentacious
Photo of bassmantin


4.3/5  rDev +5.4%

Pours a fairly transparent orange/yellow with a small white head. I'm a bit unimpressed by the appearance.

Smell is very rich a floral, great hoppy aroma. I'm excited about the smell. Taste is quite complex. Very complicated hoppiness and an interesting sweetness that appears somewhere in the middle of the taste. The finish has a nice slow (and fairly hidden) alcohol burn with a great hoppy aftertaste.

I'm still working on being able to distinguish the different hop varieties, but I definitely recognize this group (chinook, cascade, centenial).

A great beer and an excellent use of hops. Go for it.

03-17-2008 02:24:19 | More by bassmantin
Photo of marcobrau


3.53/5  rDev -13.5%

appearance: looks almost like a pilsner; crystal clear and golden. Pours with a nice bit of foam with good bead once the head falls with lacing on down the sides (no doubt due to the carapils and red wheat mentioned on the label).

smell: crisp burst of pineapple which fades quickly to a light citrua aroma.

flavor: Citric, sticky/resiny hops up front with honey sweetness mixing in leading to a very bitter finish laden with warming alcohol.

mouthfeel: smooth and pleasant; remarkably thin body.

drinkabiltiy: Goes down easy, but quite strong, with the warming alcohol finish a warning that this might go my head quickly if I don't slow down. Low drinkability score here because of the 11 percent alcohol.

overall: I think this bottle is showing some age, as I'm not getting the huge hops I expected, mostly a "sticky" citric sweetness and hot alcohol and bitterness in the finish. Quite two-dimensional and not very complex, just booze and hop bitterness. I'm a little disappointed with this beer.

03-16-2008 02:25:26 | More by marcobrau
Photo of Oxymoron


4.2/5  rDev +2.9%

Ungirthly. Pours a slightly cloudy lighter orangy color that is almost yellow. A decent pour, not much sediment, leaves a pale beige head that has good staying power and decent lacing overall.

The nose is mostly hops with a citric & piney essence. Some light sweeter malt aroma with a almost Belgian or biscuit quality. Some phenolics and solvent alcohol on the backend. Some yeasty notes as well.

The taste is limited overall. Hops mostly sparkle with a more citrus and orange flavors. Some limited piney and Amarillo presence as well. Mostly finishing hops, not much bitterness. The malt is limited with some generic and sugar like flavors. Some sweetness lingers in the finish. Very light alcohol presence with a clean finish.

Good body with a light to mid feel. Surprisingly smooth and a nice feel being at 11%. Really impressive as flavor doesn't have any real off flavors. Overall I am impressed with the brewing but the hops are a bit underbalanced for me.

03-14-2008 20:39:31 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

4.72/5  rDev +15.7%

650 ML bottle purchased for $5.99 from Gary's in Madison...
Heard that this was the ultimate IPA, so I was eager to give this one a shot...
Upon opening the bottle, I was greeted by a strong and sharp presence of powerful hops, so I figured this was going to be one hell of an Indian Pale Ale...
Pours a hazy, cloudy, murky, deep-dark amber, golden hue with an impressive-sized foamy and frothy head which exhibited remarkable staying power before slowly dissipating and leaving an intense amount of lacing around the glass...
As mentioned before, a whirlwind of strong hops is definitely present, bursting to the point where you can actually smell the sweetness of the brew pouring through with rich caramel and vanilla nuances...
Top-notch, excellent taste... this beer certainly lives up to its hype and is one of the best American IPA's I have ever sampled, a rich, creamy, thick, and ultra-sweet sample tempered by a slight touch of hop bitterness and loaded with sugared-caramel flavors along with a hint of vanilla and honey...
Excellent creamy and rich mouthfeel, and one of the best factors of this beer include the fact that the hefty ABV is hardly noticeable behind an ultra-rich conglomeration of deep, thick, creamy flavors that burst through...
One of the best Southern Tier brews I've sampled... A must for all hop-heads and definitely recommended...

03-07-2008 23:44:26 | More by dsa7783
Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,637 ratings.