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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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2,827 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,827
Reviews: 1,190
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 129
Gots: 286 | 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: 2,827 | Reviews: 1,190 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerthulhu
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a beautiful burnt orange with a slight white head that fade quickly. Rated at 153 IBU's and 11%abv.

S: a big grassy aroma, some fresh citrus, and caramel sweetness. There was some sticky pine resin hopping as well.

T: The bitterness was strong yet very refined and smooth. The finish was dry with some piney alcohol hints. Sweet hop nectar adds a spicy finish. Alcohol is fairly well hidden.

M: Medium body, good viscosity with a sweet and oily texture on the tongue lending to a dry hop fade.

D: Very hoppy but very drinkable as well. A big drinking 2x with loads of hops and flavor and you would never guess its 11%abv.

Photo of UA8
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Amber to copperish color with a medium thick head and medium lacing

S- Wow talk about hops I set this on my desk before typing the review and could smell it from 5 ft away. wonder citrus hop along with a bit of bread yeast smell

T- A huge serving of hops. Pure piney and resinous form start to finish. Very light on the malts. Could be a bit more balanced.

M- Medium to high carbonation with hops that jsut stick to your tongue.

D- At 22 oz. with 11% alcohol and the sheer amount of hops in this beer i would say this a one and done deal. Anymore than one of these in a day and it would be bed time for me. On sheer taste it needs more balance the hops are a bit on the dominate side for me.

Photo of hippk9
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Lee for having bottles of this on hand during my trip to VA. I cannot get Southern Tier down here in H-E-double-L so was very excited to try. So it was after a couple long days at the VA brewfest that this brew turned out to be my favorite I tried. Delicious balanced Dipa. So delicious. so so delicious. I can't say anymore because I was not up to writing down beer notes while drinking, but I will say ending a night on this beer is a sure way to wake up contorted in an armchair while your friends are making fun of your displays of sleep apnea.

Photo of bloberglawp
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Demcorhip sent me this one for CanBIF4, thanks man!

At 11% avb, its only problem (or solution) is that 3 pints will most likely send me to the land of slurring oblivion...

Pour a medium orange with a frothy white head, laces wonderfully and head retention is unbeleivable for a high avb ale.

Aroma of hops, citrus, floral and fruity. Very much like hop wallop and alfa king. Also some malt sweetness as well.

A very DIPA flavor of raw hops, wet fresh stiky hops and a solid malt backbone. Very little hop astringency, a pure hop nectar.

Sickning good, I think I'll have 4 pints.

Photo of jDoubleU
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared this with a guy I just met at a bar (beer unites us all!). Poured into a 12 oz. goblet.

I was in a dimly lit bar so I'm not 100% sure on the appearance. Looked golden-yellow with assertive carbonation. Nice thin but full head. Beautiful lacing that chased the drink down the goblet.

One definitely gets hit hard by 153 IBUs. But instantly balanced by the malts. Not too piney. Grapefruit citrus in the front. Mouthfeel was a little thinner than I expected. I don't know if I'm crazy but tasted a ton of diacetyl in the finish. I've never encountered this in any IPA/DIPA I've drank before.

Dangerously smooth for it's 11% ABV. So far I've liked what I've had from Southern Tier. I actually started out the night with their IPA. But that's another review...

Photo of kcillini77
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep reddish gold with a small head. Good lacing as it goes down.

Smell is spicy hops, with a little grapefruit and lemon. Aroma is very strong. I could sniff this all night, but I must move on to tasting the beer.

Sweet ruby red grapefruit, maybe a little lemon zest up front, but finishes with wonderful spicy hops. What flavor. A little alcohol burn. The 11% is not overpowering, but definitely noticeable.

Glad to have Southern Tier on board in Missouri. A very good example of the DIPA style.

Photo of hobbes2112
4.61/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'll admit, I tried this one only because it listed exactly what went into making the beer on the label and I figured if they went to the trouble to spell it all out it is probably good.

Luckily I was right, this is a fantastic beer, one of the very best IPAs I've ever tasted.

The beer pours our a light copper color with a two finger head in a the hotel highball glass. I know, wrong glass ... I'm traveling give me a break ;) Nothing that blows me away about the way it looks but nothing that puts me off either. Decent lacing.

The smell is where this beer grabbed my attention. The hops are right there up front, but surprisingly so was the malt. It was like a chorus instead of the solo. For 11% there isn't much alcohol smell. This is a good/bad thing depending on your point of view, good to me. I did drink this quite a bit warmer than most would, so I might have had an especially big aroma hit.

Taste was just as balance and harmonious as the smell. Plenty of the malty sweet goodness tempered out by the bitter, oily hops.

I hate to rate drinkability at only a 4, but realistically this beer kicks your butt in a hurry. More than one of these and this review would have been a whole lot harder to type ;)

It is a little pricey, but I don't regret the purchase one bit. I will likely buy again.

Photo of clayrock81
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a copperesque body with a rocky foam head that died quickly. Intense hop smell that was expected hit me, along with some husky malts that are tucked in there. An intense hop taste but also a tad sweet from some caramel/honey and not just citric fruit from the hops but some sweet fruits as well (pineapple?). Without a doubt one of the smoothest and full-bodied DIPA's I've ever had, this went past the tongue without drying it out or killing my tastebuds. Only the ABV stops this from being a session beer (and I must note they hid that well).

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. Bomber $6.49

A-Deep burnished copper body with wonderful clarity. Nice steady carbonation with a pillowy white head. Head doesn't last all that long, but a solid film and ring maintains the entire glass.

S-Big shot of raw hops and explosive malt presence. A nice vienna malt aroma is a nice welcome to compliment the hops. What I really love is that you can tell that there is a balance as opposed to other IIPAs that focus soley on hop presence.

T-Much like the aroma, the hops come out big in the beginning, but make way for the malt. A wonderful sweet citric and raw honey flavor make this extremely refreshing. Great flavor all around with an extrodinary balance that is not hidden by the hops. This could easily step into the Barleywine category.

M-The hops give it nice gritty raw beginning, but smooths out in the finish as the caramel malts come through. Thick and full body with depths of flavor. The 11% abv is an absolute mystery as it is no where to be found.

D-As most hop bombs focus on frying your taste buds, this is a marvelously crafted brew with attention paid to both the hops and the malt. Clearly with 11% abv it isn't your every night beer, but it is a fine example of the, often overdone, style.

Photo of Absumaster
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clear, red brown beer with a coarse bubbly head that is stabile like whipped cream.

Smell is strong malty and sweet, with notes of wood, cherries, leather and citric hops. The yeast is the American Ale yeast, which is clean but has some red fuit in it.

Taste is sweet and heavy on the malt. A strong caramel malt taste that balances the strong bitterness supplied by the American hops, Chinook, Cascade and Centennial. The yeast adds a red fruity taste of cherries and blackberries. Also some cinnamon association. My mouth is starting to numb of the strong bitterness (153 IBU). A nice balance between malt and hops, although bitterness is a little too much for me.

Photo of Biggness
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a beautiful amber with a white head. The smell of this beer got be VERY excited. I poured the beer and was suprised by the amount of carbonation in it. The taste was delicious.... borderline 5 if not for the over carbonation imo. The mouth feel is not the greatest with the high carbonation but the taste certainly makes it worthwhile to drink. BTW it is a very easy 11% beer. This would be a nice started for an evening doubt its something that could be drank all night

Photo of supercolter
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This was a very good beer in my opinion.
The appearance is not as thick and oily as I expected, but nice head and lacing.
Smell and taste are very similar, very hoppy, the alcohol is hidden very well. Not really any malt backbone is my only complaint.
Mouthfeel is a bit light for my taste.
Drinkability is excellent, especially given the style.

Photo of pinotboy007
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased chilled at Whole Foods in Fair Oaks/Chantilly area; first exposure to Southern Tier beers and my first "imperial" IPA.

A - Very nice copper/bronze look with a firm cap and splendid lacing. Almost no bubbles.

S - Vibrant hops. Alcohol probably overwhelming everything else.

T/M - Dense, creamy and tasty; very nice. Alcohol is present and the hops dominate.

D - "Danger, Will Robinson!" At 11% ABV, one will do so the drinkability suffers. I WILL (no pun intended) buy this again and share with sober friends. Probably a better drink for the fall and winter.

Photo of jdubjacket
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into two pint glasses that were split between me and my dad on the holiest of holy days; Father's Day. Pours a light orange with minimal lacing. Has a very earthy, hoppy aroma. Taste is similar to smell, hoppy, earthy, with some citrus. This is pretty well-balanced between the hops and the malt. A very drinkable IPA from Southern Tier.

Photo of CrellMoset
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at the Innsbrook Capital Ale House in Richmond, VA.

Appearance: A pale amber body - lighter than one would expect from a DIPA, although with the malt bill it makes sense - and a good one-finger head with fantastic retention that leaves wonderful semi-sheets of lacing all over the glass. Light carbonation. Purdy.

Aroma: Verrry strong, earthy hop presence. Very obviously dry-hopped with both Centennial (that strong, light grapefruit note) as well as Chinook (spicy, piney). I think there's some bready malt sweetness here but, really, who cares?

Taste: An incredibly strong - but not coarse - and persistent hop bitterness lingers throughout. I think "lingers" is too strong a word - it makes it sound like its loitering. How about "An incredibly strong - but not coarse - and persistent hop bitterness beats the ever-loving crap out of your tongue throughout"? Yeah, that's better. Surprisingly, the malts do come through somewhat, but not enough to counteract all the tasty hop notes - there's a definite spiciness, lots of oily grapefruit, and tons of grassy earthiness from all the hop-backing and dry-hopping. All of this is very nice ... unfortunately, there are also a few harsh astringencies and rough alcohol notes that detract from the flavor, particularly in the finish. Some of these may perhaps be inevitable (or at least, more difficult to control) at these higher abvs, but they do nonetheless detract from the taste.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium-bodied, and even-profiled. Nice, no complaints.

Drinkability: The astringencies begin to wear on you after a while, and the alcohols are a little harsh, large molecular-weight or otherwise. The beer was also rather inexpensive (as are the bombers I've seen around town), so that weighs in its favor. Still though, 153 IBUs and 11% abv is dangerous enough to have me knock this one down a few points.

There's a lot of good stuff going into this beer, and a lot of good things come out as a result - the hop flavors and aromas, for one, are really great. The downside of brewing any beer like this, though, is that there's plenty of stuff that can go wrong, and it seems like there are still a few kinks that need to be worked out before this becomes a truly great DIPA.

Photo of nrbw23
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a nice golden orange color with a nice amount of head that left layered lacing down my glass.

S- A nice bold citrus hop grapefruit and orange jump right at me. I could also pick up some bready malts.

T- Smooth sweet malt taste right up front which gives way to the big citrus hop taste of grapefruits, oranges and a bit of grassy notes.

M- Medium in body and a slightly sticky/chewy very nice.

D- Very drinkable brew great balance.

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

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a nice clear golden orange with a one and a half finger off-white head. Good carbonation level keeps a nice coating on top throughout. A bit of spotty lacing.

Aromas of pine, citrus (grapefruit especially), peach, and a sweet honeylike maltiness.

Flavors of citrusy hops, peach, some pine. Finishes up with a big dose of sweet maltiness which stops just short of being too much. Instead it blends very well with the bitterness of the hops to make for a surprisingly balanced beer. An alcohol presence is noticable, but it is very slight. Besides, that is to be expected to some degree in an 11% brew.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, bursting with hop oils. Perhaps it would be better a tad bit more syrupy, but that's just my preference for DIPAs. Overall, it is very smooth drinking though.

This was a very good beer. I absolutely love the sweet kick after the onslaught of hops. It just makes for a great combination of flavors that leaves me wanting more after each sip. It isn't quite as good as Dreadnaught or the like, but it was also about half the price. If I get the chance again, I would certainly get a couple bombers.

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

22oz bomber poured into a tulip glass.

A: Crystal clear and glowing bourbon in color with a one inch loosely bubbled head that fades into a thickish cap and leaves a good amount of lacing down the glass throughout the session. Nice color nice lacing just wish the head was a bit thicker.

S: Pine pine pine, super fresh hop profile domitated by the aromas of unripe mango and peach with a strong dose of ropy maltiness that keeps things nicely balanced.

T/MF: Tastes a lot like Moylan's Hopsickle which is to say that this IBUs on this beer are incredibly high, so high the beer doesn't so much taste bitter as it does thick and sweet with a decent malt breadiness in there as well. The beer is full bodied, lightly carbonated and rather thick and viscous on the tongue leaving it sticky and sweet after each additional sip. A well built beer to say the least.

D: This is a highly drinkable beer all things considered ABV wise and IBU wise. A good beer but one that I am not going to remember as being mind blowing in the long run.

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

More and more I'm tasting the supremacy of the US recipe for IPA. Unearthly Imperial is no exception. This exceptionally well hopped brew is balanced with a hint of sweetness and a citrus fruit aroma that is quite drinkable until the surreptitious 11% ABV catches up with you. Still, this brew is another positive note in the world of high-hop selections available in our land and, because of it's limited availability, could be the reason why we're at war.

Taste well!

Photo of tavernjef
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Heavily blurred orange cast with a bold and bright glow to its body. Medium paced bubbling sprouts through the middle as it keeps a firm capping of pinky height foam of off-white, starchyness. Very thick cob webbed/ink blotchy lacing sticks across the glass as its consumed.

Aroma is oily and pungently raw, yet mild and ghostly with an alluring cleanness that seeps tropical fruity sweetness. Toasty grapefruit rinds that are raw and crunchy make up most of the nose with notes to pine, dark pineapple, orange marmalade, and some hoppy leafyness.

Aroma merely sets the mood for the taste as this is quite big with hoppy oiled heat and has a lengthy tone of toasty, fruitified hoppyness. Tough and tortured toasty grapefruit front thats oily and heated right from the firt sip. Middle and finish stays dry and piney with semi resinous qualities breathing in and out with a small tug of citric fruits as its oily heat fills every corpuscle of the mouth while toasty little tinges grab more pine and texture as it mellows off like a fine scotch with woody notes and more warmth.

This sucker has some heat to it, all in a good way, very lasting and warming with lots of lengthy tone and oily toastyness. Makes for a nice mix of textured oils and hoppy grit as its fuller medium body is all about filling you up quickly with a hoppyness that makes a home on your palate quicker then you can say Imperial India Pale Ale...

This stuff grabs hold right away and you begin to realize it'll take awhile to get through the bomber. A great sipper and showcase of the style with a toasty side that holds its own.

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

I poured this one from a brown 22oz bomber bottle into my Gulden Draak snifter. Cool screened label bottle which notes all nine ingredients!

A= This brew poured a DEEP orange color, bordering on the color of dark copper. The clarity was very high and carbonation was relatively low. With an aggressive pour I was able to coax out a 3/4 inch of dusty off-white head. The head quickly reduced to just a skim w/decent lacing down the glass.

S= The aromas of this beer were full of alcohol, sweet malts, and piney hops (in that order).

T= This brew tasted of pale and caramel malts, wheat, and slight notes of sour citrus, cloying honey sweetness, and hop resins. For an Imperial IPA, the hops were surprisingly balanced (they're there, but they're not the first thing that bowls you over).

MF= Just on the heavy side of medium bodied. Low carbonation makes this one roll right down, despite the huge abv.

D= For an IPA with barleywine strength, this is a dangerously drinkable beer. I would have liked the alcohol aromas toned down a bit and the hop aromas amped up a bit, but this is still an outstanding beer that I will certainly have again!

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

Enjoying this on a 90 degree day.

It pours a golden orange... beautiful! Nice, fluffy head that reduces to a rim, always present. Lots of sticky lacing.

I smell fresh bread and orange peel and I taste citrus and pine.

The mouthfeel is thin but very smooth. The drinkability is very high for a DIPA. Goes perfect with trip-digit weather!

Southern Tier just never lets up. This is right up there with Ruination for me.

Photo of RixBeer
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber orange with a thin creamy head. slow moving carbonation.

This beer is a deliciously complex in aroma. Grapefruit, Pineapple, Mango, Lime, Lemon, Orange [zest] and a huge smack of Pine.

I expected more from the smell than the taste allows. It's a bit thin for the aroma. Very Very Large (not huge) taste of grapefruit and citrus. Some must pine in the after taste.

Nice mouthfeel. Lots of glue like stickiness from the piny hops on the roof of the mouth. Smooth flavor and a grapefruit and citrus aftertaste.

For such a high ABV this beer is incredibly drinkable. Nuff said! Drink up and enjoy this one on a hot day, on a cold day, on any day!

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

Had on draft at the Frisco Grille, Columbia, MD.

A- Pours a nice gold color , with a little haze, nice off-white head.

S- Somewhat piny and citrusy, plenty of hop aroma.

T- The malt really comes through to balance the hop flavor, a little toasty malt is nice, dry hop finish.

M- Mid to full bodied, not much carbonation, really coats the tongue.

D- A very good beer, just have to watch the alcohol content.

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

22 oz. bottle No dating that I could find.

Pours a clear dark gold, with a nice big dirty white head that slowly melts into a quarter inch foam with some lacing sticking to the glass.

Big hoppy aroma with sweetness present as well.

Very sweet malt taste, honeyish, followed nicely by a strong piney, tingly, grapefruit bitterness. Not much alcohol burn. Super balance!!

Big smooth feel. Can't wait for my next sip.

Excellent beer! Can't beleive it is 11%, but I do enjoy the kick! One of my favs!

Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,827 ratings.