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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2,784 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 2,784
Reviews: 1,181
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 123
Gots: 261 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: John on 02-24-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,784 | Reviews: 1,181 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of techdiver
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber with a two finger head that dissipates slowly leaving a solid cap. Shows a lot of initial carbonation.

Great hops/grapefruit nose. Not overpowering, well balanced.

Ah yes the hops, great taste, again well balanced for this style. Not bitter, not overpowering. Alcohol is well hidden.

Smooth and relatively light in the mouth compared to some other DIPA's.

Very drinkable stuff, despite the ABV; or should I say in spite of?

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

22oz bottle poured into traditional pint glass

A - Pours a remarkably clear pumpkin orange with a tint of straw yellow. Head starts nice at over an inch of eggshell white foam that leaves excellent lacing as it fades.

S - Loads of pine with an oily texture and just a touch of citrus flavor. Lightly caramel to combat the onslaught of immense hop flavor.

T - Grapefruity, pine flavor courtesy of the hops that stands out beyond all else. Nice balance for the style, with strong malt presence in the way of a caramel, breaded flavor. Bitter, but not quite as much as the style would suggest.

M - Oily, medium bodied mouthfeel and light carbonation. Drying aftertaste but not nearly as dry/bitter as you might expect with a DIPA.

D - High alcohol content of this beer doesn't become much of a factor, and the flavor never cloys or becomes unpalatable. A very drinkable version of the style that offers great flavor.

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

A-Pours a glowing orange/yellow color....minimal head.

S-Mild aroma of pinneaple, mango, papaya, and mandarin oranges...a veritable fruit cocktail...

T-Very mild flavor for a beer of this substance....the fruits mentioned above are all there on the taste but very light....virtually no hop bitterness....more of a hop sweetness...153 IBU's are hard to detect...must have done a great job with the malt load....enjoyable flavor just not over-the-top great.

M-Medium to full bodied...but 11%??? I'd never guess that....a slighty syrupy feel....not much carbonation...

D-A nice enough beer that I was glad to try but certainly doesn't rate near the top on my top DIPA list

Photo of auxiliary
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

appearance – Light amber color, nice head, with some good lace on left on the glass.

smell – Malts, hops, and citrus smells here.

taste – Sweet and bitter hops taste here.

mouthfeel – Medium body.

drinkability – Has a grapefruit taste to it, I'm not a hop head, so i need to stop drinking these LOL.

Photo of cokes
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smoky copper-orange hued with a trim eggy lacework.
A vague caramel doughy vapor quickly cedes the nose to the more forceful whiffs of pineapple, lime leaves, mangoes, pine pitch, and ferns. There's a fairly evident- but congruent and non-obnoxious- alcohol flair of juniper-heavy gin.
It unfolds similarly in the mouth. A quick and generally nondescript caramel breadiness. Then it lolls for a moment in dough and yeast. The hops hit with a forward lime zest and pineapple-mango-papaya smoothie effect. There are elements of acrid burnt conifers and resin, but on the whole it is more tropical than intense bitter. But even the tropical notes don't have all that much gumption, as the subside to a grassier, stemmy pulpiness. Alcohol adds as much dryness and flavor as anything, with that same Gin quality from the nose.
Moderately heavy through the mouth, but levitated with a minor, ever-trickling CO2. There's an illusory hollow feel, even in this thickness but it's a drinker for sure in spite of it all.
I'm sort of torn on this. For 11% and god knows how many IBUs, it's drinkable and almost balanced. And that is the problem. IIPAs are "experience" beers, and this lacks standout qualities. It's not loud, it's not intricate or complex. It's strong (though it doesn't really taste it), and that's about it.
I feel similarly about their regular IPA, both are without glaring flaws and without shining assets. Both are simply and decently middle-of-the-road.
The price-point is attractive and it's friendly enough that I'll likely buy this again, but So. Tier does much better things.

Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

given the scores, i thought i'd enjoy this more than i did. it looked great in the glass, copper in color with a very slight haze and no visible sediment. aroma was resiny citrus , honeyed sweet malt and tropical fruit. taste was big sweet malt with a lingering hop bitterness. some alcohol was evident in the nose and taste, which is a ding for me. mouthfeel was big-bodied and viscous with the carbonation struggling through this big beer. drinkability suffers a bit due to the heaviness of this one and the high abv.

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber. Colour is bronze/orange, with a thin head. Nice piney nose, hoppy, grapefruit, sugary and alcoholic. I was expecting a hop monster, but this is a very drinkable DIPA. It's got a strong malt character. Overall, the taste is pretty intense. It's an assault on your tongue. After the alcohol kicks in, you're just having a good time drinking this beer.. awesome stuff

Photo of younger35
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this beauty in a trade with BeerTruth. This will be my first brew from Southern Tier but I only hear good things. Drank from my generic snifter.

Appearance- Pours a nice yellowish red with a perfect one finger white head. Leaves lots or random foam on top of the beer with a thick collar. Also left behind a bit of spidery lacing.
Smell- Lots of pine and sap in the nose of this beauty. A bit of brown sugar is infused with lots of citrus. Grapefruit, peach and a bit of watermelon give this a fantastically fruity nose.
Taste- Lots of oily piney hops that are pungent and fruity. Grapefruit and watermelon are at the forefront of mouth before it slowly balances with the brown sugar like sweetness. Leaves a lingering grapefruit bitterness that basically numbs the shit out of your mouth! The alcohol shows through a bit but not to the point of obtrusion.
Mouthfeel- Very full rich with a bit of an oily feel. Light to medium carbonation.
Drinkability- This thing is a monster! It’s quite tasty and somewhere between a DIPA and Barley Wine. I really like the fruitiness of the whole thing and quite honestly the balance is superb. Big thanks to BeerTruth!

Photo of TexIndy
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got in a trade with johnnnniee - many thanks!. Poured from a 650ml bottle with no dating info into a pint glass. It was a slightly hazy orange color. It had a good head that settled into a thin, broken film. Decent carb and good lacing. The aroma was hoppy, piney and grapefruit - the usual ADIPA smell but slightly muted compared to others in the class which worked in this case. The taste was really good. It starts off strong with a good hop bite and finishes with just the right amount of hop bitter aftertaste. Not sure of the age of this one so it may be older and more mellow than normal but I really enjoyed it. It gives the great hop taste without shredding your tongue to oblivion. Great mouthfeel. Overall, a great ADIPA that I highly recommend. Worth the top 100 ranking. (4.5, RR, T, Y)

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

From Notes: On tap at everybodys favorite Boston bar. This is a light orange/brown tinged liquid with a semi-fluffy white/off-whtie head of foam. The aromas are fresh floral hops, with some nice citrusy resins in the mix as well. Lots of pine, and citrus witha bready malt backbone as well. The taste is quite similar to the aroma. This is a big double IPA but it hides its strength well. The hops are abrasive and oily but the malt backbone is big enough to keep this one together. The mouthfeel is medium bodied>thick and the aftertaste of the hop resin oils lingers on the tongue. Very drinkable and quite nice. A solid 4 all the way around and definately one that I will drink again when back eastie.

Photo of pershan
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

A: Light amber color with thin white foam head.

S: I detected a slight hop and sweet malt aroma, but it was fairly subdued.

T: Wow! A big hop flavor (very noticable hop resins), without being too bitter, which was surprising in a beer with this much ABV.

M: Not too fizzy with a nice, hoppy after-taste and a noticable, but not over-the-top alcoholic warmness.

D: For the amount of alcohol in this beer, a surprising drinkable and very enjoyable ale. Well done.

Photo of callmemickey
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: orange-brown with a relatively thin head

S: bold pine hops that fade into a more delicate floral-citrus hop presentation

T: a little more citrusy than the aroma would lead... pine first and foremost... but a grapefruit-citrus-floral hop taste takes over halfway through ... some caramel-sweet malts pop up

M: nice and thick without being too mealy ..

O: enjoyable.. especially when you factor in the abv

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

Pale light orange with smallish head, decent lace for size of foam.

Definitely some alcohol in the nose. Orange peel and earthy hop smells.

Slightly sweet bitter orange with earthy and woodsy hop bittering; surprisingly the alcohol that was so prevalent in the nose doesn't show itself much in the taste.

This one is pretty bitter and hoppy, but very well balanced and almost delicate. Great job in hiding the alcohol in the taste. If you like your DIPAs to be equally malty and hoppy this one's for you.

Photo of zjungleist
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Redish orange in color, quite clear, with a pale white-orange head. The smell has a peculiar fruit aroma along with the blast of hops, on top of the malty sweetness. Sour pineapple/mango in the hops, with bitterness and resinous notes. The sweetness and the booziness were nicely in check, most likely drowned out by hops. Mouthfeel was fairly crisp and bubbly, despite its size. Drinkability has to be low, given it's size and commanding hop profile.

Photo of GbVDave
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into two pint glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a hazy golden brown. Small 1/2 finger head slowly recedes to a faint skim. Subtle lace left on the glass.

S: Oily, piney, resinous hops that soon give way to a juicy, floral, hop aroma. Incredible.

T: Same as above with the addition of pineapple and mango. Noted a tiny caramel malt flavor as it warms.

M: Big and bitter. Beautiful!

D: It's pretty big in all aspects but it's so easy to drink. The alcohol is extremely well hidden!

Photo of drseamus
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This has been aging for around 6 months. It was really blasting with hops fresh so I'm excited to see how this slightly aged version is.

I love when Imperial IPA's have a nice red body like this one. It was topped with a thin white head initially but it fell leaving only a single layer of bubbles on the surface. There is visible carbonation rising off the DFH snifter.

I barely even need to get my nose near the glass to smell the aroma coming off of this one. It is sweet and caramelly with piney and with a bit of citrus. I was expecting more citrus but this is slightly aged.

This is an interesting taste all around. It has a good malty base and decent bitterness from the hops but the flavor is almost totally missing. This is a lot different than the fresh version.

This beer is nice and thick just like a DIPA should be.

The aged version is good but the fresh version is better.

Photo of letsgopens
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Vintage, this imperial pours a mostly translucent orange amber with a pearl white head and sparse rising carbonation. Very nice walls of lace are left on the glass.

Hoppy and distinct, but still relatively mild on the nose for an imperial. That is not to say that it doesn't rate well in the aroma department, it’s just a bit more subtle than expected. Not too boisterous. Fruity citrus and fresh smelling hops.

Malty, sweet, and nicely hopped. Mouthwatering bitterness. Fruity as well: citrus and pine, a bit of apple. Leafy and refreshing. Retains a nice balance despite a large dose of hops. Very flavorful throughout.

Fairly heavy and just a bit syrupy to the palate. Moderate carbonation and a clean bitterness lighten up the finish. Very clean. I still can't believe this is 11% abv. There is a bit of warmth, but any harsh booze character is totally hidden. Very well crafted. Exactly what I've come to expect from Southern Tier.

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

Light amber/copper appearance. Slightly hazed. Thin yet bubbly ivory white head. Lacing comes in sporadice rings. Nice hop nose. Resiny and fruity. Pineapple juice, mango and other tropical hop nuances. Also some sweet caramel malt and a little EtOH. The flavor brings more of the same, but it's more subdued on the palate than on the nose. I would've guessed 153 IBUs would've brought me more bitterness. The bitterness is there, don't get me wrong, but it's not over-the-top. The alcohol actually lingers more than the bitternss. And the hop tones are there, but as I said, more subdued compared to the nose. Some of that pineapple and spiked fruit punch is there. It tastes good. Not great. All around, I find this a solid beer. Good. But it doesn't really stand out from the pack.

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

From the label...

Alc. 11.0% by vol.
23 plato
7.5 L
2-row pale malt
cara-pils malt
red wheat
kettle hops: chinook & cascade
hop back: styrian golding
dry hopped: cascade, centennial and chinook

Appearance – clear amber body with sparse, rising carbonation; poured to a rocky 1-inch white head with reasonable retention; solid lace

Smell – the most lacking segment but a slightly blocked nose could be blamed; not quite as potent as I’d desire; a belly of malts with a woven mound of hops (pine and a foretell of the citrusy hops)

Taste – considering the advertised IBU, there’s quality, adventurous balance; grapefruit and grapefruit rind blend with table sugar and light caramel; well-composed close has a big hop presence but its not tongue-breaking since the sugary malts still swirl; alcohol well-concealed until it rises a bit at the end

Mouthfeel – tongue-prickling hop and light carbonation is carried by subtle oil; carbonation brushes the palate a bit; the closing muted hop zing holds afterwards

Drinkability – the flavor and mouthfeel intrigues and makes me want to come back for more; this one packs a punch; for the style this is a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway through San Juan Capistrano

Southern Tier’s Imperial IPA is an upper-tier big IPA. Unearthly is recommended to hopheads and those willing to explore a ‘double black diamond’ in the IPA range. Top notch.

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

22oz. bottle

Pours a lightly hazed apricot color with a creamy white head that thins.Nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma is dominated by citrusy hops, and an enjoyable blend at that. Along with the usual suspects from the citrus family, I detect some peacy tones as well as some herbal and grassy notes. A bot of booze shows up as it warms.

Sweet upfront, a boatload of hop flavors strikes right away. Lots of citrus with a peachy tone, some herbal notes, and a slight grassiness. A nicely balancing bitterness sets in midway and I think I may detect a bit of caramel malt. Finishes sweet with a lingering bitterness.

Full body, creamy texture.

Overall, a top notch DIPA with nice drinkability. The perfect scratch to my itch for hops.

Photo of MMansfield
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from tasting 10/25/07.

Appearance: Pale goldish amber colour. Slight haze. Medium white head with plenty of lace.

Aroma: Quite a bit of caramel, earthy, citrus and some florals.

Taste: Fruity. Hops come through more in flavour than nose, however, malt presence is definately known with rich caramel flavours.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, creamy and quite smooth for 11%.

Final Statement: Probably the dark horse of the IPA tasting evening. One that I forgot about completey until these notes reminded me.

Photo of Terp96
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am so happy that Southern Tier has made it to Maryland.

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass. The beer is a clear, bright amber hue. Nice carbonation with decent head retention.

Smell is of bittersweet hops. Big on pine and citrus aromas. Slight boozy aroma as well.

Taste is phenomenal. Malty sweet with a nice bitter finish that won't quit. Bitterness that imparts a prickliness in you mouth long after the beer has been swallowed. Matly sweetness lingers on your lips throughout.

Mouthfeel is exceptional. Very smooth and balanced. No harshness for such a big beer.

Drinkability is only limited by the alcohol level. It is well hidden but this beer is to be savored. I will buy it when I see it.

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

Picked up a bottle at Julio’s Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Copper hue. Visibly effervescent. Capped with a nice moussy thin head and sticky lacing. Glowing clarity.

S: Rich, resiny/pine and grapefruit hop aromas. Sweet caramel malt aroma ligers in the background and provides balance but not particularly strong. A touch of smokiness perhaps from the Chinook hops. No alcohol aromas.

T: A perfectly unharsh bitter lingering aftertaste. Strong grapefruit hop flavor. Malt flavor is sweet and provides decent balance to taste. Complex. Some subtle alcohol flavors.

MF: Medium light body. Light carbonation. No alcohol warming. Smooth.

D, Notes: A very nice imperial IPA. Smooth and well balanced with an excellent aftertaste.

Photo of Zorro
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled through the efforts of Secret Halloween '07 BIF and jaxon53.

Chill hazed deep amber colored ale the color of tarnished copper. Good off-white colored head with a distinct yellowish tinge.

The smell is mostly strong pine and woody hops. Quite sweet smelling with one of the strongest pineapple aroma I have ever smelled in a beer. Lots of hops and aromas of pine and pineapple, orange, limoncello, tea, oak and menthol.

The taste starts out sweet and fruity with a pineapple and tea flavor. Interesting this tastes more fruity than hoppy and compares very well with top of the line IIPAs. Pine and grapefruit hop flavors are very much tamed to allow the fruit and tea flavors to come out fully in this beer. Peach and pineapple are the strongest fruit flavors but not the only ones.

Mouthfeel is quite thick.

Incredibly easy to drink and dangerous too at 11%. A beer you would love to drink all day it is that good. This beer compares favorably with Dreadnaught and the two Pliny's and is right up there with those three beers. Highly recommended for all hopheads.

Photo of ncvbc
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a ruby orange with a nice retaining head and lacing. Steady carbonation. Smell is of nice, fresh hops. Mostly piney with a sweet malt background. Taste is much of the same. It reminded me of a 90 Minute with less candy sweetness and more hop presence. Very good balance. Mouthfeel is almost sticky and resinous. Not overly bitter on the tongue and not too sweet from the malt. Lively carbonation as well. It's probably the most well rounded and drinkable Imperial IPA I've had to date. Nothing stands out too much but it's all about balance with this one. It was truly love at first sip and left me wanting much more.

Thanks to OWSLEY069 for the bomber!

Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,784 ratings.