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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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2,834 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 2,834
Reviews: 1,192
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 130
Gots: 299 | 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:
Beer added by: John on 02-24-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,834 | Reviews: 1,192
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer, and my favorite beer from Southern Tier so far. I really wish this brewery success. Their beers are all quite good, readily available in the markets they serve, and a good value. Somebody there knows what they are doing. On to the beer.

Pours amber with a short head that fades to a very thin cap. Some slight lacing. I'm not too worried about thin heads in an 11% double IPA, though. Smells of honeyed malt with a good dose of citrusy and floral hops- delicate and flower-like. Well balanced with the ample malt there in a supporting role for the very fresh smelling hops. The taste is absolutely beautiful. A very slightly floral sweetness begins the flavor parade, which then gently merges into a complex citrusy and floral hop bitterness with a nice touch of pine on the finish. These hop flavors become more herbal as the beer warms and opens up. This is one fresh tasting beer!. The mouthfeel is incredibly creamy and quite soft. Amazingly integrated and drinks well below the 11% abv. Deliciously drinkable despite the high alcohol. Like many great beers, this is complex and changes a good bit in the glass. The substantial malt balances the complex hop flavors well while preserving the purity of the hops. Beautifully clean and vibrant.

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

A- Pours a clear golden orange hue with a nice head and lots of carbonation present.

S- Smell is surprisingly sweet and malty with hops lying in the background waiting to attack.

T- Very Sweet and malty with a big hop presence but very little hop bitterness.

M- Medium viscosity with quite a bit of carbonation.

D- Very drinkable for 11 percent, I would have thought the alcohol was somewhere around 7.

Photo of shamrock7
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an excellent double IPA from Southern Tier. It pours a shinny copper color and its aroma is a mix of pine and citrus. The taste isn’t diffidently different. There is a bit of malt with a mix of bitterness and sweetness, but not the big hoppy bite that I was expecting. The feel of the beer going down is different as well. It’s very creamy and thick. The taste sticks to your tongue after you drink it down. You can taste alcohol, but it’s not overwhelming. Overall a very balanced beer with a very different taste and feel.

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

On tap at Zeno's in State College, PA on 1/18/08. Served in a small goblet.

A - Hazy golden/amber body with one-finger white head that diminished into a thin white film. Very light carbonation. Thick, ornate lacing around the glass.

S - Huge citrus hop nose with juicy grapefruit aroma. Some sweetness in the background, but quite a lot of spiciness in its place. A tinge of alcohol as the liquid warmed up.

T - Packs a lot of bitterness with a predominantly sticky citrus bite. Some bready and caramel malts, but this is all about the hops! Just a big punch in the face of grapefruit.

M - Full-bodied, creamy texture with some spiciness on the palate and heat from the alcohol. Carbonation is spot-on for an IPA. Nice long, bitter finish and warm, sticky feeling.

D - Definitely drinks like a DIPA. Big, bold and hoppy with a considerable ABV% and good amount of heat. Very drinkable, even for a DIPA.

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

Yeah, it looks good, but is it all that? Well maybe. Depends on what you like.

Nice copper pour in a pint glass with fair lace. The hop to malt balance is surprisingly good for such a strong brew. This beer strikes me as a cross between an Oskar Blues Gordon and a DFH 120 Minute. That's a good thing, since DFH 120 is just too strong, and Oskar Blues Gordon has too much smoke and burnt caramel. But put these two together and you have Southern Tier Unearthly. And it's very good and pretty strong. But not too strong and that makes it still very drinkable. Personally, I like more florals and citrus in DIPA, but this didn't disappoint.

Read the other reviews. They all pretty much nail the possible taste thresholds here.

Bottom line: This is a great beer if you like a relatively strong DIPA with balance on both extremes. You, of course, are the ultimate judge, but I wouldn't hesitate to order this in a bar or pub if I saw it on the menu.

Still, it doesn't quite take down DFH 90 or Heavy Seas Loose Cannon Hop3, and both of those are lower alcohol brews. But I am going to keep an eye on Southern Tier and try some of their other offerings because this beer was so good.

Happy drinking!

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a fogged copper with a creme head. Resin nose with firm pine tones. Flavor is definitely for the hop heads. Thick and well balanced piney hops. Feel is balanced and good. Very drinkable. But keep in mind that you better love the hops if you are going to dance with this one.

Photo of cthulu81
4.26/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

These guys just got distribution in Virginia, and oh boy, thank the booze gods for our opportunity to quaff Southern Tiers masterful brews. Unearthly is a hella good IIPA. Let's start with that. Why? Let's continue. Out of bomber (nice silkscreen label, by the way) and into an awaiting glass of proper proportions. Marvelous honeyed hue with bountiful puffy head. Mmmmm, resinous lacing soon follows. Aroma is a little muted, but definitely leans on the "sticky" side as far as bouquet goes. Flavor is where it is at. Certainly this is a sweeter interpretation, but that is not a fault. Amazingly smooth with rich, plump malt just swirling beneath a foil of juniper, grapefruit, tree sap alpha acids. And drinkablility? Whooo-eeee! This sucka's not unlike a Lay's potato chip. Unfortunately, at 11%, more than a bomber or two (honestly I could do three) and words get a little gummy in your mouth. End result- thank you Southern Tier for giving me one more thing to blame for doing stupid things at a party.

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.77/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Not a lot of difference between the bottled and draft versions. Nice amount of head and good lacing. Aroma is typical of a DIPA. But he taste is out of this world. If you love DIPA’s like I do and haven’t tried this one do yourself a favor and get this. You WILL NOT be disappointed. This beer lives up to its hype.

Photo of Atlas1
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this a while back and took notes, but lost track of the notepad until tonight. So hey, there you go.

Poured from the bomber into a barrel pint glass, the Unearthly is good looking. It possesses a big fat two-finger head on top of a beer that is a clear amber color, and it leaves very serious lace in its wake. It is really a nice looking beer. The nose is tart, with lemon and maybe some star fruit rising up from the head. Hoppy pine scents, but also bready. Maybe caraway seed? At times it strangely reminds of household cleaner. The taste is a bit boozy, with a very strange malt/hop balance providing an oddly sweet flavor. It finishes hoppy as well, but gives off a funky, smoky aftertaste. The mouthfeel is kind of syrupy, but firm and smooth.

I'm not sure which side of the fence I stand on with this beer. At 11% ABV, the high alcohol is there, pronouncing its "imperial" status. But the booziness of it doesn't really detract too much from the overall experience. Ultimately, however, for me this is just too sweet for an IPA of any kind. For fans of the style, I would recommend giving it a try. But in my opinion there are better representatives on the shelf.

Photo of chefboy812
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I opened the 22 oz bottle and poured it into a wide goblet. This is the first beer I am drinking after being ill for a week. so I imagine the flavors will show more intensly for me.

The color wa quite light honey gold and clear for the style. the head was short lived but left white lacey sip marks.

The aroma was nice and fruity; peach, bubblegum and tropical. quite nice not super intence

On first sip I knew I was in trouble it was definately big; The flavor is intencely hoppy with the fruit section highlighted, no pine! the malt does a good job of hiding the alcohol but it makes itself heard when the temp rises.

over all the mouthfeel is good but runs thin in higher temps twards the end of the glass.

outstandingout of a bottle but if you can get it on tap then you are brewin wit gas!!

Photo of Kadonny
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber bottle into my European style glass.

A: A dark amber gold color with a thin one finger off white head. I don't see a lot of carbonation either. It looks good.

S: Wow, you can tell this is a DIPA right off the bat. Lots of citrus hops and earthly hops like pine and wood coupled with a malty sweetness. A hint of what is to come.

T: Again, wow. So much is going on with this beer, so complex. Hops start you off with strong flavors of citrus and pine with an almost oakey wood flavor followed immediately by the heavy malty flavors of bread and caramel and sweetness. Finish is a lengthy bitterness with undertones of malt. Everything about the taste of this beer is huge.

M: Full bodied absolutely with an oily feel. To me the 11% abv is there. Some say this beer isn't bitter, I will respectfully disagree.

D: For me, low. Again, to respectfully disagree with others the drinkability of this beer is puzzling. The first 8-10 ounces of this beer are heaven but from there it declines rapidly. I could never ever session this beer.

Overall this beer has me torn. I respect how complex this thing is and no doubt it's one of if not the biggest DIPA I have ever tasted, as I said earlier everything in this beer is huge. The thing that holds me back is the drinkability. The first few ounces are sheer heaven, but then the last few (of the bomber) are hell. It's like taste bud overload. By the end of the 22 ounces my mouth has had enough. I still have another 4 bottles or so and I'm going to see how age treats this monster.

Southern Tier is making some great beers though, and even though this one puzzles my taste buds, I still respect them for making it.


I had this from tap last night at Capones, and this beer is infinitely more drinkable from tap. Some of the harsh strong alcohol flavors I was getting in the bottle seemed to be much smoother on tap. I easily put down a pint of this and chould have easily had more. I upped the drinkability ranking for an overall better score. So in summation, this beer is growing on me and is totally kick ass.

****Update Again****

Everytime I drink this beer, I appreciate it more, there are few DIPAs that can live up to this excellent beer. Upping both drinkability and appearance, this beer is a solid 4.5-4.7 beer.

****Updated again****

Had another fresh bottle. I have come to realize that this beer is much more enjoyable from tap. In bottle form the sweetness really seems to pop more than tap, making the drinkability suffer a bit. As I said in the first part of my review, the end of the bomber the sweetness starts to wear. Still a great beer, just not a super guzzler. I think I need to move my tap review to be separate.

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

Sort of an deeper honey color with a white fluffy head. Aromas of grapefruit tempered by earthy malt. The flavor is much the same, with the addition of a super sweet malt+alcohol taste that also provides a rich and somewhat sticky body. I went in kinda fast, but wound up sipping and savoring modestly at the end. Very strong brew that masks itself well, though this is in the neutral zone of American DIPA and Barley Wine.

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

fairly clear coppery orangish with a white head that held pretty well and left really georgeous lace. nose was sweet citrus (orange and grapefruit) with a hint of apple flavored bubblegum and a very faint caramelish malt backbone. i could swear i detect a hint of ginger as well even though i know there's none in there. i thought that this was actually pretty well balanced, as the grapefruit and orange rind taste, which definitely played the main attraction, were smoothed out by a nice, caramelly sweetness that wasn't overstated. very silky medium full body with a finish that warms my throat and stomach kind of like a really sweet ginger honey candy. yummy. nice change of pace. i wonder what dedrinker thinks...

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.84/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I found this beer a bit odd for a DIPA in that it was very hoppy without being very bitter. Its hop seemed to express itself as a non-citrus-y fruitiness...maybe apple-like (ethyl hexanoate?). Still, it was pretty good, although not a real mouthfeel of hop bitterness and citrus that I've come to expect from a really good DIPA (like say a FFF Dreadnought).

Its pour was a bit different than other Southern Tier beers that I've had. This was the first one that I've tried that didn't have an abundant head and lacked a clear and brilliant body. This beer was a bit hazy with a fairly weak head and dull color. Smelled good though...very hoppy and a bit fruity. Flavor was similar to aroma, and as I described above. Mouthfeel was definitely not watery, but wasn't astringent and drying either...pretty typical for a not-too-bitter DIPA.

Pretty good, but it didn't really strike me as exceptional either. Nonetheless, I'd have again and recommend. I split a bottle of this with SurlySober at Comet Cafe in Milwaukee.

Photo of ts183
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This light coppery straw colored brew pours into my glass with a finger of head that dissipates to very little but leaves little lacing down the glass. Smells like citric hops. Taste is more of the same with some good lingering bitterness at the end. The 11% alcohol is very surprising. Mouthfeel is great.

Overall a solid double IPA. The Dogfish 90 minute will remain my go-to for this style.

Photo of NoLiberty
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the 22 oz bottle into my Saison Dupont glass a golden, copper, orange color with a low but lasting off white creamy head. High lacing and very clear. Aroma is sweet-malt-hop. Full nose but not overpowering. Freshness and crispness dominate the smell with sweet citrus and an earthy pine. The taste starts out mild but full hops with full bodied malty sweetness come in. Very well balanced and finishes clean with a hint of alcohol. The sweetness is quenching and refreshing not syrupy or thick. Mature. Not bitter but with a consistent hop presence. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and the flavors are carried by a light to low carbonation. For the strength this is surprisingly drinkable.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.99/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

No the expected look from a double IPA. Very little, to eventually no head. Some lack luster bubbling and a pretty clear amber. The aroma though, is a complex hop blast. Syrupy and nostril coatinggrapefruit and orange zest, mixed with some flowery hops mixed with light caramel grains. Smells so bitter, its sweet. The taste is definetly bitter. For se reason, I think of a really bitter ranny smith aple with a shot of mandarin zest. All on a very small whole grain cracker. Pretty easy for such a bitter beer. But you ca feel the alcohol on your tongue and in the back of your throat. Its some warm bitterness.

Haven't had a good Double IPA in awhile.

Photo of Risser09
3.74/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into an oversized wine glass - 2007 bottling - Cellar temp.

Appearance: Transparent golden color with a 1.5 inch head. No carbonation is coming up from the bottom. Head is off white. lots of bubble sizes and lace is large in quantity.

Smell: Grapefruity hops. Somewhat mineral. Smells similar to a chardonnay. Oak. Wood. Nutty.

Taste: Aggressive hop bite that lingers on and on. The taste is almost menthol-like. Floral and plantlike flavors are abound.

Mouthfeel: Quite juicy and thick. This one is bitter and creamy. Booze is there and in charge.

Drinkability: Pretty good. I don't think this is the greatest DIPA, but it is one to be respected.

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

Entered this into our traditional Sunday evening double-IPA bomber rotation. Overall, we were a little disappointed compared with some of its rivals like Hercules, Hop Juice, Dreadnaught etc, but it is good for all that. Fairly clear orange amber with a minimal head and some lacing. Aroma of pine and citrus oozes out of the glass. Not lacking in taste by any means but not enthralling either, and at 11 % it isn't lacking body. Enjoyable, yes. memorable, no.

Photo of ultralarry2006
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle. Leaves a two finger tan head that has decent retention, and leaves some decent lacing, but both retention and lacing are not quite as much as would be expected for the style. Body is an orange amber with copper highlights.

Smell - the nose is filled with the aromas of pine resin, citrus, and there is a hint of caramel and toasty malt biscuits in the background.

Taste - pine reisn bitterness and citrus flood the tongue with hops flavor. The malt backbone shows up with faint tastes of toasty malt biscuits, caramel, and a small amount of some creamy wheat. This ale finishes out with a flood of pine resin, and some medicinal alcohol.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, with some hop oil slickness. This ale is semi-dry at times, both from the hop oils and the high abv.

Drinkability - this is a very good ale, and I like the subtle wheat taste in an already very subtle malt backbone. Only the high abv limits the sessionability.

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

Appearance: Orange with slight haze, big head.

Smell: Big citrus smell, some green chinook hop notes.

Taste: Nicely balanced between sweetness and grapefruity hops. Hides the alcohol very well.

Mouthfeel: Not overly heavy for a strong beer.

Drinkability: A bit strong to have more than one bomber but one I'd come back to for a treat.

Saw this on a recent beer run to Hudson and it's a DIPA, so I picked it up. Well balanced and tasty. I'll have to try some more of their big beers.

Photo of charlesw
2.96/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Interesting... I love their trip and it's one of their lowest rated beers whereas this one is rated much higher and, well, it just doesn't do it for me. My biggest complaint is the underattenuation - on the order of an English barleywine, you know? Other than that... I guess I'd like to see it a bit more bitter. I do have to say that blended with another beer this was freaking amazing. As it is... Not quite.

Again, months later. Tastes... Just not very interesting. You really don't notice the alcohol, FWIW. But... It's just not there. Way too light in color and flavor for me for a DIPA. It seems a lot like Loose Cannon - maybe I should try these side by side? Of course, if they are, indeed, at all similar I'd much rather have the Loose Cannon, of course. Getting the same flavor and intensity out of a beer for 4% less ABV is a feat, IMO.

Photo of jmalex
3.56/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up by a friend from State Line Liquors. I've only recently started trying Southern Tier's beers, and I'd have to say I've been impressed so far. And now comes their most highly regarded brew.

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Duvel tulip a crystal clear amber with a distinct reddish hue. The head is slightly off-white and one full finger high, and it seems to last thanks to the etching in the bottom of the glass. Giant spider webs of lace track the entire way down the glass.

SMELL: The aroma is stickily sweet of hops with huge amounts of citrus and floral notes. The resinous hops just seem to cut through everything else. A light caramel/vanilla note can be found, but I'm not sure if it's actually from the malt or just a crazy combination of hop resins.

TASTE: The hops aren't really overwhelming but it's more because there's a malty base to match it rather than a lack of hops. It's crazily sticky and resinous (as the smell indicated) with a big time citrus quality. The malt base is somewhat toasty and very sweet. Where are the 100+ IBUs?

MOUTHFEEL: Full bodied and reasonably slick. Carbonation is moderate and appropriate.

DRINKABILITY: It's a bit rough being such a big beer, but the 11% ABV does not show at all. For the style, it's not too bad.

Well, I'm stunningly disappointed. I really hope I didn't get an old bottle, as there's no date markings on the bottle at all. I feel like this one deserves another chance, but frankly as this beer is now, I've had better.

Photo of DIM
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Crystal clear golden copper color. Pours with a HUGE uneven white head. Leaves behind lots of lace.

s: Given the robust flavor, this beer has a surprisingly mild aroma. Some sugary malts, the hops are floral and citric.

t: I find the seetness of many DIPAs off-putting, but its well done here. The hops are dry and floral with citrus notes. Overall its very well balanced.

m: Perhaps a bit thin for the style, but for some reason it works well for this one. The carbonation is excellent.

d: Where is the 11%? I really hope I come across some more of this sometime.

Photo of Celt44
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a clear, light, amber - nice head. Doesn't last long for a DIPA. Not much lacing.
Aroma is delicious. Grapefruit, hops, and malt combo - almost perfect for a DIPA.
Taste - Alcohol is minimal. Malty, hop balance is incredible. Hints of citrus. Very tasty.
Mouthfeel is very smooth. A little alcohol burn but not overwhelming.
Overall an excellent DIPA. Much different than Southern Tier's IPA. More malt and hops character. Definitely one of my favorite DIPA's - especially on-tap.

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Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,834 ratings.