1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,802 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,802
Reviews: 1,186
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 126
Gots: 275 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,802 | Reviews: 1,186 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sideshowrob
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of BMoney575
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of merlin48
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of nortmand
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of jwc215
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of IronDjinn
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

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

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).

Photo of jjayjaye
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of ccrida
4.78/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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*

Photo of TuckerCarlson
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Rudgers73
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of Madmax99
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Westsidethreat
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Bright amber color that’s entirely clear of sediment. There is good bubble activity, but it starts mid-glass rather than coming up from the bottom like many beers. A butter cream head sits on top with small fluffy bubbles, pocketed with larger bubbles.

S: Creamsicle and tangerine swirl together, and are layered with vanilla and caramel. A slight apricot odor hits the nose with crushed pine needles.

T: Smooth and sultry, the flavors are complex and well blended. There is no harsh bite that you get with some DIPAs, yet the presence of hops is apparent. Honey-drenched toast flavors hit first, followed by grapefruit peel, mandarin and lime-aid. Oddly there is a dab of peanut butter with sunflower seeds in there as well.

M: Medium bodied, with smooth tight bubbles.

D: Thoroughly enjoyable, a nice change of pace for a DIPA. The more I sip, the better I feel.

Photo of awall422
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper with a one inch creamy, off-white head. Good duration, leading to nice lacing. Initial aroma is what I expected, lots of grapefruit with some pine resins floating in the background. Initial taste is sweet, and the resiny hops seem to take over for the fruit. leaves a thick, heavy bitterness in the back of my throat. A little alcohol heat, but not bad for an 11%ABV. Nice double, but not a beer I'd try to drink more than a pint of at a time.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an amber body with a medium-sized, off-white head.

Smell: Beyond a bit of toasty caramel is a prominently hoppy aroma of pine, grapefruit, and fresh mint leaves.

Taste: Toffee sweetness struggles to support some heavy-handed hop flavors of resiny pine, lush grapefruit, and, as with the scent, more mint, along with other herbaceous hints. You can almost hear the toffee's knees buckling from carrying the weight of the hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Oily, sticky mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: While not a beer to cause my brain to explode from its greatness, its still pretty decent.

Photo of slagle9480
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper-colored appearance, with a decent amount of head that lasted for a while.

S: This had a citrus-y and piney type aroma that smelled amazing as I approached my first sip. In fact, I even pulled the glass away hoping to experience it again (it worked!).

T: I can see how this beer has received such great reviews. It's flavorful and not too strong. (Especially for an 11.00%ABV.) The hops are awesome. Gotta love Cascade hops.

M: This beer jumps right out at you. Kind of gave me a prickle on my tongue until its bitterness settled in. All in all, no unpleasant surprises here.

D: With its stronger ABV, and at-times-overwhelmingly piney/citrusy taste, I could only drink a couple. The suggestion of serving it at 42F was dead-on though. Great ice-cold brew.

My brother-in-law picked it up at a local store in Jamestown, NY.

Photo of Cresant
2.93/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into an IPA glass. No date. The body was a clear golden amber color with two fingers of camel colored head. The bottle suggests serving at 42F, I had it a little warmer (48-50F) and I wish I hadn't. I believe the alcohol overwhelmed the other aromas and flavors as it warmed.

Smell was malt and citrus. Sweet. Alcohol ramps up as it warmed.

Taste was also sweet, but bright in the beginning. The alcohol was well hidden at the beginning but blossomed as it warmed. Not a West Coast type of DIPA, more malty and sweet.

Mouthfeel was prickly on the tongue. The body was medium to full. I would like to try this one again, only served colder (I don't say that often!).

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

Im reviewing a cellar temp bottle poured into a large snifter. The bottle is about 8-10 months old. The beer pours a bright clear copper hue with a soft fluffy off white head of 3 cm foaming up easily and receding slowly.
The aroma is hop dominant with grassy notes, some herbal hits, and a bit of citrusy grapefruit as well nicely balanced mix hops and not overwhelming on super pungent either. I get some hints of grainy malt buried in the background.
The first sip reveals an average body with smooth soft texture. Very fine spacious casklike carbonation.
Flavor is breifly caramel that rolls to a mix of floral and citrus hops, not very bitter, more sweet and airy flavors, orange more than grapefruit here. I also do get some lingering pine sap bitterness on the finish. Also some syrupy texture on my lips after each swallow.
I dont really detect any alcohol flavors or temps so that makes this a deceptive drinker.
Quite a nice beer that I would expect will have snuck up on me a bit by the time I finish the bottle.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber, poured in a goblet.

A - clear, light copper color with a off-white head that thinned to a coating, leaving spotty lacing.

S - great aromas, piney hops, malt, and some alcohol, sweet smelling brew.

T - excellent taste, hops are there but not overpowering, instead the hops are balanced out with the sweetness of malt(s). Hint of alcohol taste as the brew warms up but hey, it is 11% abv.

M - light/medium bodied, mild carbonation, smooth, sweet, very nice.

D - 11% abv is pretty much hidden in taste, this brew goes down way too easy, so be careful with it.

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

It came from another planet with this one on 7/5/2006. 10.5 oz. goblet pour at Redones.

1/4-inch thick, level head dies to some light coating with a nice bead on it. Milky amber hue, maybe due to chill, verging on rose; can see some nice action going on. Fruity melon on the nose, honeydew, with a little hop astringency and just a touch of cliantro and white pepper. On the mouth, quick hop bite is washed away by a well balanced hop to malt bill, still heavier in the hop column, but welcomely balanced nonehteless. Fantasically drinkable with a not-too-heavy body.

Haven't had many Southern Tier offeings; will need to try more.

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

A 22oz bomber poured into a tulip glass. It was a clear amber color with a small head. Wonderful aroma: hop resin, pine, something sweet like honey. Flavor's great too. Hops up front, a subtle pine taste. The sweetness in the taste seemed to be more fruity. A substantial beer, one to sip and savor.

Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,802 ratings.