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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)

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2,825 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,825
Reviews: 1,189
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 129
Gots: 285 | 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: 2,825 | Reviews: 1,189 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of techdiver
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%
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
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
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
3.58/5  rDev -12%
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
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
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
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
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
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
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)

Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,825 ratings.