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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

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 far333


4.05/5  rDev -0.7%

Crystal clear and shiny copper colored with thin streams of bubbles rising from bottom to top. A lumpy head of fine off-white bubbles sits atop and about a half inch of foam stubbornly remains.

Big aroma of sweet malt, luscious brown sugar, and ripe fruit. Not overly hoppy, but scents of citrus rise up.

Flavors of sweet and mouth-filling malt, chewy and full of body, cinnamon and toffee, soft ripe fruits, just a light hint of the powerful octane that lies beneath. Grainy brown sugar, light caramel and butterscotch. More malty than hoppy. Actually surprisingly low hop profile, but some citrus rind does emerge in the finish. Expected more, but I am enjoying this beer because the malty flavors are fantastic.

Rich and full mouthfeel, not too tingly, moderate carbonation. Pretty drinkable for the level of alcohol that this one delivers.

09-02-2007 19:01:49 | More by far333
Photo of geexploitation


3.65/5  rDev -10.5%

Pours a very clear, dark amber with incredibly bright higlights of gold. Very little head -- just a collar. The nose is very minty, but the hops are joined by a barleywine-esque graham crackery, sweet malt note. The nose reminds me of Anchor Old Foghorn. On the palate, brisk carbonation and fruity, juicy sweetness crop up first, before being matched by minty hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is marked by big carbonation, big alcoholic burn and an almost cloying maltiness. Overall, this is a good double IPA. Not my favorite style, but good considering the competition.

08-31-2007 04:23:13 | More by geexploitation
Photo of cooncat


4.28/5  rDev +4.9%

Serving from an undated 22 oz. bomber. Review date of 8-29-07

On the pour, you get a copper colored brew, with an off-white creamy head that is huge. The head slowly shrinks, but leaves a covering all the way to the bottom. Sheets of lacing cover the side of the glass.

The nose isn't as huge as the advertised 153 IBUs would lead you to expect. Nevertheless, a piney/grassy hop presence is in the forefront and impressive.

The taste is well balanced. Pine/grassy hops blend almost perfectly with a caramel malt flavor. By swirling the liquid in your mouth, you can fully appreciate the complexity of the brew. The 11% ABV is noticeable in the taste, and with a bit of a warming effect. Enjoy responsibly! Mouthfeel is very full, almost chewy.

The finish is as balanced as the beginning, with caramel malts standing up to the hop onslaught. This is a massive brew, which could be a meal in itself. I think that if you have one bomber, you will be content to lie back in your favorite easy chair and enjoy the hop euphoria! Recommended!


08-30-2007 01:42:10 | More by cooncat
Photo of PittBeerGirl


4.1/5  rDev +0.5%

A- Completely transparent medium amber colored body. Pours with a beautiful thick creamy off-white head. Head slowly tames to 1/2 finger and plenty of lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Nose is a bouquet of different hop scents. I pick up a decent amount of floral, earthy, and herbal hops. Very subtle sweet caramel malt smell is noted.

T- Much like the smell. Herbal and earthy hops upfront with a solid but very subtle malt backbone. Finish is a very strong and refreshing mix of herbal and floral hops. Big herbal hop flavor lingers, along with a slight residual hop bitterness, an even more subtle sweet caramel malt flavor and alcohol burn. Surprised at the low bitterness and the lack of citrus hop flavor.

M- Medium to high carbonation with light oily body.

D- This DIPA is all about the hop flavor and has little hop bitterness. Its pretty ballsy of Southern Tier to release a DIPA that is 153 IBUs with such little bitterness (Its a good thing). The 11.00% ABV is almost undetectable by this brew. The taste suggests 6-7% tops. This is a good, drinkable DIPA that I will have again.

08-29-2007 04:49:36 | More by PittBeerGirl
Photo of jackorain


4.08/5  rDev 0%

I purchased this beer in a botttle shop in Syracuse, NY last April and got to it this summer in August. I didn't see any date on the silked screened bottle so I don't know the age. More on this later.

A-Bright red, orange, near clear, really great color, it almost glows. 2 inch off-white head from semi aggressive pour into my duvel glass. Very good retention, the head took about 5 minutes to recede as I contemplated this and admnired the beauty of this one. The lacing was also nice with a splotchy swiss cheese and spiderweb combo all over the glass after the head receded. lace did remain as nice after each swallow. At this stage the lace was washed away and only left fleeting sheets of lacing on the drinking side of the glass.

S-Beautiful green and citrus hops. Tanbgerine and blood orange notes abounb in the nose of this one. Carmel and biscuit malts, some raisans are here as well. This beer is has a very complex aroma that increases in complexity as it warms. A more fruity aroma began to come out and the malts began to take over. While the citrus notes remained, it began to smell like a citrus salad sweetened with caramel. Very interesting nose I must say.

T-while the 1st hit was of citrus and green hops with slap of bitteness, it quicly subsided and was pushed back even further by a big sweet caramel malt center, with dried fruits here and there and some toffee. The citrus and hops retrurned for the finish but the bitterness did not linger as long as I would have expected given the bottle's pronouncement of 113 IBU's. As this baby warmed up it started to taste more like a barleywine. Maybe, I let this one sit for too long after purchase and the hops have subsided some.

M-creamy, oily medium to fill body for the style. Carboantion is present but does not overpower.

D-Well my 1st inclination was to give this a 4.0 on drinkability but as it warmed up and I'm sitting on my deck on a hot summer evening, it began to taste like a barleywine, and that was not what I was looking for. So I had to drop it down some. Also, at 11.00% ABV, how drinkable can it be?

08-25-2007 20:16:01 | More by jackorain
Photo of bennetj17


4.08/5  rDev 0%

Clear copper appearance, half-inch head of off-white foam supported by medium paced streams of carbonation below. The foam holds nicely. Bright citrus hop nose, light sense of alcohol, with some caramel malt mostly staying in the background.

The toasty caramel sweetness comes out stronger in the taste, and the hops are milder now. The alcohol does get a bit drying, but it's well hidden otherwise. The finish leaves a pleasant bitterness. Medium thickness, lightly foamy on the palate creating a "full" mouthfeel, not thin.

I thought this beer had good balanced flavor, and it was pretty drinkable although it didn't blow me away. This one could age pretty well I bet. I usually like when a beer strikes a nice balance but for some reason I was hoping this one would have been more of a hop bomb. Recommended...

08-25-2007 17:01:35 | More by bennetj17
Photo of joe1510


4.08/5  rDev 0%

22oz Bomber

Recieved in trade via AdamB84. Thanks Adam. Southern Tiers Unearthly pours a glowing polished copper that is absolutely crystal clear. Streams of carbonation bubbles rise slowly to the two finger dense off-white eggshell head. Leaves sticky drink lines after each swig. Really good looking brew.

Big caramel malt backbone keeps Unearthly somewhat balanced but the hops still manage to grab the spotlight. There's layers of hoppiness. A solid dose of pine needles kick things off followed by sweetened grapefruit and even a hint of pineapple. From what I remember the only other beer I can remember having any pineapple aroma is Brian Boru. Very welcomed sugary sweetness to the aroma.

There's not much I can say about the flavor that hasn't already been said about the aroma. Every flavor melds together flawlessly. Smooth with a tremendous malt-to-hop balance letting the hops show through just a little more. Excellent!

Medium bodied with a heavenly lush, velvety mouthfeel. Just enough carbonation to ease this beer along. Gives a nice hop wash making the tongue slightly numb. Very nicely done.

For such a huge beer the drinkability is unbelievable. No trace of alcohol besides the warm cheeks. I could definately see me getting in trouble if this was sold locally.

My first offering and no matter wht I have to do wont be my last from Southern Tier. This is an incredibly tasty well balanced IIPA. I need to find somewhere to deliver a case of this to me. This beer is simply not of this Earth.

08-25-2007 02:46:08 | More by joe1510
Photo of franksnbeans


4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Poures a great golden copper with a nice head that carries great retention. Looks delicious. Smells of citrus, grapefruit, large hops, some floral and a tiny bit of sweetness. Tastes like grapefruit with a big hop finish. A lot of flavors in here but the hops are predominant as expected, and delicious. Not too bitter nor dry. Feels full in the mouth with great carbonation. Cant even detect alcohol. This is a classic and well balance DPA. A must try.

08-23-2007 05:49:57 | More by franksnbeans
Photo of DrinkinBuddy

New York

4.6/5  rDev +12.7%

Pours a rich honey golden brown with a sturdy 2 finger head that leaves plenty of lacing throughout. Smell of this DIPA is phenomenal! Pleasant floral, citrus nose. Taste is great as well, very well balanced with sweet malt and floral hops, nice piney finish leaves palate begging for more. Slight citrus and hidden toffee linger throughout. A most impressive DIPA. Mouthfeel is very smooth and inviting. Drinkability is very good, but the 11.00 ABV should be a warning to anyone. Hats off to Southern Tier for this fantastic brew!

08-22-2007 03:38:23 | More by DrinkinBuddy
Photo of sideshowrob


4.45/5  rDev +9.1%

What a nice brew this is! Southern Tier (weird name for a New York Brewery!) came from nowhere here in Maryland, and are now on tap and in stores all over the place. I've tried a few of their brews, this one is by far my favorite.

A - No head, dangerously close in color to the beer that can't be named. Completely filtered as well. I was fearing a generic IPA with all the life sucked out of it...

S - A hope of salvation. A sweet, sticky hop smell, just a bit of pine, and backed by a full-on nose of caramel. Unexpected!

T - Superbly balanced. The Carmel maltiness and hoppy flavors just melt together in this beer. Really well built! Just a hit of zip to it...

M - This beer is it's own pallet cleanser. I mean that in a good way. You can actually taste each sip, your tounge isn't beaten into submission after the first wave.

D - This sucker almost drinks like a pale ale! The hops, malt and alcohol are all there if you look for them, but if you ignore them they don't bludgeon you for attention.

08-18-2007 23:54:11 | More by sideshowrob
Photo of smcolw


4.35/5  rDev +6.6%

Nice rocky, cream-colored head. Great sticky lace on the glass sides. Orange amber in color with moderate cloudiness.

Rich, oily alcohol warmth in the smell. Strong fresh hop. Light malt presence.

This is stunningly well- balanced Double IPA. I am used to the hop completely dominating the flavor profile. Not here--there's a solid malt base without the typical high-alcohol oil. Still, the hop is potent making for a powerfully flavorful brew. The body is rich like light cream and the carbonation is slightly low.

This is one of my favorite styles. And now this is one of my favorites within that style.

08-12-2007 20:12:59 | More by smcolw
Photo of msubulldog25


4.28/5  rDev +4.9%

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to my East End Brewing pint glass.

A: Soft amber/honey colored, with a burst from the bottle of steady carbonation that slows to a crawl. Generally clear, with a delicate haziness. Creamy light tan head that doesn't retain well, dwindling quickly to a thin half-cover of film. Lace sticks sporadically in loose-knit rings.

S: Sticky sweet caramel malt is pronounced in those first couple minutes, rising in waves. Once the maltiness subsides, a subdued orange/citrus rind hoppiness rises. Surprisingly mild, but very pleasant.

T: About as balanced as a big DIPA could ever hope to be. This one holds a sweet grainy/toasted quality for a while before developing into a more bitter and lightly spiced hop bitterness. Filled with juicy fruits and so thick it has an almost oak-y/vinous quality. In fact, this reminds me of an aged and mellowed barleywine.

M: Beautifully thick, somewhat syrupy and very smooth. Though the alcohol burn is well-concealed, there still is a warmth that indicates what a big beer this is. Hardly in carbonation and long-lasting coating of caramel and hop bittering throughout the mouth.

D: This is a really nice DIPA, one I'm really happy to have tried. It's a sipper, and not one that I'd have to drink too often. I'd place this alongside the best winter warmers and barleywines, however, and will keep the remaining bottle for sometime next winter. Also, I enjoyed this nearly an hour after removing from the fridge, so it was cool but warmed significantly. One I definitely recommend. Thanks to Joe (chilzwel) for sending.

08-10-2007 02:50:05 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of BMoney575


4.15/5  rDev +1.7%

Sampled on 8-6-07

Pours nice pale amber with a fizzy head that doesn't last very long but leaves big lacing.

Smell is sweet caramel malt and fruity hops.

Taste is quite sweet at first, with big hop flavors coming in next. Very well balanced and surprisingly tame. Don't get me wrong, it tastes very good, but it lacks what the French call a certain...I don't know what. The alcohol is very well masked though.

Mouthfeel is good, very creamy and resiny.

Drinkability is fantastic, as a result of the balanced flavors.

Overall, a good beer, but not the best. I really can't complain, given the uber-abv and reasonable price. Worth a try.

08-07-2007 00:57:38 | More by BMoney575
Photo of merlin48


4.35/5  rDev +6.6%

22 oz bottle pours a clear apricot body with a large beige head. Retention is excellent and lacing is lavish and sticky. Aroma is luscious, with citrusy hop oils like grapefruit and pineapple. Orange blossom and pine notes add to the nose. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated. A bit resinous. Taste is dominated by a citrusy hop bitterness that is heavy on the grapefruit. Orange and pineapple notes add interest and sweetness. Slight caramel malt presence. Finishes with more grapefruit bitterness. Alcohol is well disguised. Very well balanced, pleasantly complex, and quite tasty.

08-05-2007 19:54:16 | More by merlin48
Photo of nortmand


4.65/5  rDev +14%

Pours orange-red with a big frothy white head.

Huge, juicy sweet grapefruit nose. Simply astoundingly beautiful.

Front end hop loaded, with huge sweet resinous grapefruit flavors. Very nice raisin like caramel maltiness. Soft, balanced bitterness. Perfect, but for a reasonably strong alcohol burn.

Medium bodied with a soft, supple carbonation. Very nicely balanced DIPA, but a bit heavy on the alcohol character.

08-05-2007 17:27:18 | More by nortmand
Photo of DaPeculierDane


4.08/5  rDev 0%

Very pretty IPA color. Bright orange copper with equal amounts of brown and red hues. Head is gigantic, creamy, and just off white. Lacing is sticky and lasting. Aroma is powerful and diverse. Malt is difficult to determine. There may be some caramel but it’s hard to get past the hops. Resinous aroma of pine and juicy aroma of grapefruit, orange, and pineapple. No hint of booze. Is this really 11%? 153 IBUs stated on the lable. Scary. Actually…it’s the taste that is scary. No hint of the ABV and oddly, this is a lot less unbalanced then I would have thought. The body is very full and warming is certainly happening. Flavors of citrus are juicy and rich, velvety and luscious. Seconds of toast and caramel fade in and out but are hard to focus on and are often overwhelemed by grapefruit. Still, they are present. Drinkability is not that great…until one takes into account the fact that this is 11% and 153 IBUs. With those facts taken under consideration, this beer is downright stellar.

Bottle purchased at La Cav du Vin, Cleveland.

07-31-2007 17:36:53 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of jwc215


4.47/5  rDev +9.6%

Poured into fluted glass, as recommended on bottle:

Pours a vibrant amber with a thin head that lasts. Some lacing sticks to glass.

The smell is citric, piney, floral, resiny. Some tobacco leafiness in the back. Caramel, with a touch of honey underneath.

The taste is of chewy hops from the start - citrus/grapefruit with resiny pine. Floral and tobacco leaf notes weave in and out. Resin grows as it warns. This is a hop monster, and yet it has a caramelish malty backing that lends a firm support and gives it quite a bit of balance, while allowing the hops to give a smack-down on the palate. Alcohol amazingly masked, though some warmth shows up in the aftertaste. Resiny finish.

Medium-to-full bodied, it has a great texture - very coating and smooth.

This is one hell-of-a DIPA! Incredible smoothness and drinkability for the style/abv. 153 IBU's show through with a great hop profile, yet with some balance to it. A must-try for hop fans!

07-31-2007 13:07:21 | More by jwc215
Photo of IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%

Received this from Viggo in my CanBIF 3 package, yet another pleasant surprise.

Came in a brown 22 oz. bomber, the label silk-screened on. Poured out a deep clear rustic copper tone, quite impressive. Thick and creamy sandy head with Viagra-like retention. ....*ahem*, sticky lacing throughout as well (oh boy, did I paint myself into a corner with that metaphor...).

The aroma is a pleasant and complex combination of hops, layered nicely and not fighting with one another for supremacy. Toasted biscuity malt, alaong with caramel, acts as a foundation for them all.

We've also landed in flavour country here. The alcohol does stand out from the beginning, but this is 11% after all. Thick toffee malt tries to maintain its footing amongst the alcohol presence, and the tidal wave of hops, which blend into one another quite nicely. They're not ripping my palate apart, but sure are leaving enough footprints along the way. In the end it tends to remind me of a well-hopped barley wine. Big flavour, but contained, not completely out of control, which is a good sign.

Mouthfeel is big, thick and sticky. This is a sipping IPA, if the abv% hasn't already slowed you down to that approach.

This is a safety first Imperial IPA: we're talking hard hat, safety goggles, respirator, and fire-ban coveralls, along with elbow and knee pads if you got 'em, it might knock you around, if not knock you down if you're not paying attention. Plus either take the afternoon off, or plan ahead, this bottle takes some time to enjoy and finish, and requires a cooling off period before operating any heavy machinery, or household appliances. Please abstain from contacting former ex's while under it's influence as well, as the safety gear will not help absorb the shock of the potential aftermath.

07-23-2007 20:15:04 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of jdoncbus


4.33/5  rDev +6.1%

22 oz bomber - poured an amber-copper in a pint glass. Three-finger head with heavy lacing.

The nose has a biscuit malt with a sweet hop aroma; an apricot and raisin fragrance.

Oily, resin feel hits the mouth where a sour malt punch hits your palette. A musty hop taste sends a bitter wave leaving a pleasant, tart aftertaste on the back of your tongue. A warm trail from the back of the throat to your stomach reminds you what the alcohol content is...

This offering is complex and a tasty heavy-hitter. This is a wonderful beer to sip and savor when you are going to have an early night or just want to relax. I am glad I found it and will certainly purchase in the future.

07-22-2007 01:35:22 | More by jdoncbus
Photo of Wasatch


4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Thanks to BAs ampzilla and NutBrown.

Pours a nice clean/clear dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, a nice creamy one-finger tan head, lots of sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is malty, hoppy, citrusy, and a nice touch of pines and caramel. The taste is malty/hoppy, with a nice touch of sweetness, a nice touch of grapefruit, slight piney flavor. There's a nice bitter/dry finish. Medium body. Very drinkable, the sight of this brew is very encouraging when poured, awesome color. Highly recommended. Glad I have a extra bottle (ampzilla).

07-03-2007 23:12:29 | More by Wasatch
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

4.7/5  rDev +15.2%

A growler serving minutes from the tap.

Pours clear, an interesting ruby orange color with a loose off white head that fades fairly quickly. Little observable effervescence. A good amount of lacing.

The smell is quite aggressive. A big sweet malty nose of orange pineapple citrus hops.

Full bodied, the mouth feel is primarily very sweet and creamy also. The hop texture is balanced and the carbonation complements the character.

The flavor is as sweet as the smell. A huge sweet malty experience with a unique and significant pine-orange citrus flavor. The entire thing lingers appropriately.

An 11%-Sleeper that i find very easy to drink. Find this and consume mass quantities!

07-03-2007 20:43:10 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of ccrida


4.78/5  rDev +17.2%

Per the label on the 22oz bomber, I poured this into a flute glass - actually, Michael Jackson's Summer tasting glass, which is a tulip shaped flute. Unearthly is a clear copper orange, with a thick, 2 finger light khaki head, with a nice texture and leaving lots of clingy lace.

The nose, ironically, is very earthy hops, grassy, a touch piny, with a nice sweet malt background, that hints at alcohol without being boozy. As it warms, the hops get musty, almost b.o. like, but not as off-putting as that might sound. Worlds apart from the big pungent fruity west coast IPAs I've been drinking of late, but not bad, just different. I give it bonus points for it's subtly, being that this is such a big beer.

The taste is more malt dominant, semi-sweet, and while there's no question this is incredibly hoppy, it's just so incredibly smooth and balanced. There is like a watered down bourbon quality to this beer, tasty without the bite, and a while it is bitter towards the end, it finishes rather cleanly. This is defiantly my favorite big IPA, which is ironic because all my others favs are more west coast style. But I just love the subtlety of it, so incredibly well done. Like most IPAs, I agree with the label that it's better served cold, in this case cited 42F.

The mouthfeel is very nice, neither thin nor syrupy, perfect for any IPA, let alone a huge one.

This is just so good, I can't think of a more drinkable DIPA, or possibly big beer period. This is the first time I've had it in a bottle, which is quite nice. While I prefer a fresh keg, I don't have the luxury here in OR, so I'll take the bottle smuggled back in the suit case!
I'll never forgot the first time I had this beer, at the Sharp Edge in Pittsburgh, it was the manager Brett's recommendation. As I waited for it, I saw the price on the menu and thought jeeze, manager's choice I'll bet! Then I got it and was just floored, so fucking good! I only had it on draft a couple times after, and now I finally get it again, in the bottle, after a trip back east. Seek this one out, it's a phenomenal.

*Irony note, I just saw I gave it the exact same score on draft and bottle*

06-30-2007 05:51:31 | More by ccrida
Photo of TuckerCarlson


4.08/5  rDev 0%

Aggressive pour from a bomber into a tulip glass.

Clear honey color with a fluffy, sticky, pale orange head that doesn't dissipate and leaves a noticeable ring. Very nice lacing down the glass.

Assertive and complex mix of herbal, floral, and citrus with some sweet, biscuity malt thrown in.

Very strong on the citrus and herbal flavors, with noticeable warming from the alcohol. Surprisingly high residual sugars that become overwhelming (along with the alcohol) if it warms up too much.

Nice balance of thick creaminess with moderate carbonation that satisfies without overwhelming for the style.

The bottle recommends 42 F, which sounds cold, but I wouldn't recommend drinking it any warmer. DIPAs seem to each have a unique balance point, and this one is definitely a bit better on the cooler side. Regardless, this beer demands food accompaniment. Not for the faint of heart of the empty-stomached.

06-29-2007 02:27:02 | More by TuckerCarlson
Photo of Rudgers73

New York

3.7/5  rDev -9.3%

Served to me at a bar in a big crystal-looking chalice. Deep reddish-brown, thin whispy head, very little carbonation. The smell is very sweet and mellow. American hops fill your nose in the last few seconds of the smell. Starts out thick, chewy and sweet with a buttery undertone. The finish is crispy and dry from the pungent hops. Floral, but sweet hops. Very nice, but one was enough for the sake of making it home after dinner.

06-28-2007 23:31:44 | More by Rudgers73
Photo of Madmax99

New York

4.43/5  rDev +8.6%

I am a huge fan of IPA's and when I was at the bar the other night I was in wonder of this beer, not because it was an IPA (I had no Idea at the time), but by the tap head. When I tasted the beer, it was mildly hoppy. I was expecting more bitterness. I thought this beer was exceptionaly smooth for a higher alcohol beer.

06-28-2007 20:17:39 | More by Madmax99
Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,637 ratings.