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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)

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by John on 02-24-2006

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,215 | Ratings: 3,026
Photo of allengarvin
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass, this is a pleasant amber colored beer with a modest head. The aroma offers a nice candied grass scent. Flavor is really nicely balanced between sweet, sticky malt and grassy, resinous bitterness. Yeast flavor is fairly neutral.

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Photo of RickS95
3.32/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color of peach skin, maybe a bit more orange. It's very clear, surprisingly so. A white head forms, but it lacks the look of most IPA in that it's mostly uniform size bubbles, it's not thick, and it doesn't retain well. It's not off to a good start. However, each swirl brings some life into it with a second wind of white, a thin spotty lace, yet still little retention.

Classic pine, with a the citrus element being orange rind. Cut grass and something else fruity that I can't put my finger on...strawberry?

Lots of malt in the taste, moreso than any hops. It's not a bad taste, just not at all what I expected out of an IIPA. Crackery crust flavor with some orange hiding in the background. A bit of white pepper rounds it out.

Not much bite. More like a pale ale than an IPA, and certainly not an IIPA. Light bodied for an Imperial??? Some bitterness, but nothing approaching what I'd call bitter. Sweet and citrusy. Almost no heat from the alcohol.

An ok beer overall, but honestly, pretty mediocre for an Imperial IPA. Not bad, but disappointing and a bit of false advertising.

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Photo of vitALEity
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 2/13/14

A- Clear, light copper. Medium head that settles quickly. Mild lacing.

S- Sweet bread, pine, lemon, pepper

T- as it smells but way too much alcohol.

M- Med/Oily

I guess I'd say I'm a little disappointed, only b/c I was looking forward to trying this one. The alcohol comes through too much.

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.59/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This one pours an amber to golden tan color with a rich and creamy off white head that is super thick, very long lived and settles so slow I can wait any longer to see if it is going to lace or not. I wouldn't call what it is doing lacing as much as a time-lapse collapsing of the foam that completely coats the glass on the way down.

The nose is superb spiced hops with strong citrus and pine notes. Like an east Texas forest in the spring after a light rain.

The taste is surprisingly fruity malt that is equally dominant in what I would a binary IPA. The fruitiness is powerful but so is the bitterness of the hops. Both are powerful and well balanced for the extremes.There are subtler notes of bread, pine and I agree with the caramel and peppery notes as well that are printed on the bottle. Those are very subtle when compared to the other extremes but are definitely there

The mouthfeel is like wet silk and coats the palate nicely without being cloying. In fact this one makes me have a unnaturally intense craving for spicy boiled crawfish. I think this one would be perfect with extremely spicy food like BW3's Blazin' wings or some crawfish boiled with "Slap Ya Mama" crawfish boil.

OK, I am drooling now, have to get some heat to go with this beer.

I just had to cave and get some Slap Ya Mama and eat the boil straight. And I was right, this is a perfect beer for super spicy food. I also tried some straight BW3's Blazin' sauce and I have to admit it is awesome with either.

overall THIS IS awesome BEER. About to become a staple in my house. I can't even taste the 9.5% alcohol, but I can feel it on an empty stomach.

Damn! This is Fuckin-A great beer!

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 11/19/13

Pours a light amber/golden color, not too much head but there seems to be many spots of lacing on the glass regardless.

Smell is mostly caramel malt, could be that the 4.5 months since it was bottled that the hops have fades quite a bit, there still is a bit of earthiness in there in the form of a dank hops.

Taste is leaning on the caramel malt side of things over the earthy piney hops, if the flavors were bigger, specially the malt backing, I'd almost say this could have been an aged American Barleywine, carbonation is quite active but balances between crisp and soft, body has a bit of a resiny aspect, the alcohol content is hidden pretty well.

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Photo of Emnmarko
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 11/19/13 enjoyed 3/24/14

Another brew from the beer swap program with Ben. Thanks

A- Pours a caramel color and clear. Ample carbonation feeds a huge off white two finger head. This is a creamy long lasting head with nice structure that leaves considerable lacing.

S- Bitter danky and sweet. Pine resin, lemon, sweet fruit. Floral hops. Sweet bready malts. Complex.

T- A sweetness hits first. Caramel notes, sweet malts. The bitter dank pine from the nose is subdued but present. A bitterness creeps in in the middle and joins in with the sweetness to balance the flavor a bit. The alcohol is well hidden in this brew until the end with a warm, slightly spicy aftertaste that lingers long time. There is a distinct flow with this brew from sweet to bitter to spicy and the stages being precise and defined.

M- Med to heavy bodied brew. Sits a little in the back of the throught and is a little waxy.

O- Overall a decent brew. A little too sweet for a imperial IPA in my humble opinion. But its got class. I prefer 2x IPA to this beer but this is good in its own right. Purdy damn good.

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Photo of dbell23
4.59/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one big beer. I really like it but I would classify it as an American Strong Ale. It is hoppy but very balanced. It's a big beer with a strong malt back bone. Smooth mouth feel makes this a pleasure to drink. Whatever it is, it's good.

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Photo of lochef81
4.01/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I loved the oaked version of this ale so I thought I'd try its originator. This one pours a beautiful hazy copper color with a thick off white head that gives way to a nice film and lacing. The nose is malty with a slight hoppy bitterness. This bottle was born more than a year ago so the hop notes have subsided and left a rich malty beer almost reminiscent of a scotch ale more than an ipa. The flavor further confirms this opinion. Id love to try a fresh bottle of this ale because even an older one is impressive.

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

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 1/17/2014. Pours crystal clear bright orange amber color with a 2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of huge tangerine, pineapple, mango, grapefruit, lemon zest, orange zest/rind, floral, grass, pine, caramel, bread, and floral/grass earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt balance; with great strength. Taste of big tangerine, pineapple, grapefruit, orange zest/rind, lemon zest, light mango, floral, grass, pine, caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fair amount of floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, orange zest/rind, lemon zest, light mango, floral, grass, light pine, caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity of citrus/tropical hops with moderate malt flavors; and a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth and fairly slick/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent DIPA! All around great complexity of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.71/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this one on-tap at Boat Works in St. Clair Shores, Michigan.

The pour is a really nice light orange sort of color with a decent amount of lacing. The smell is decidedly malty, actually, with a good hop prescence, but it's not a DIPA that's bursting from the seams with hops. The flavor is similar -- a crystal/pale malt flavor is pretty high, but alright, just not what I expected. A nice sweet hoppiness that's more fruity than piney. Kind of pale ale-esque, actually. Pretty good mouthfeel.

91 overall...? Eh. I think it's the malts used, but there's a flavor that I'm not huge on. A very nice, easy drinking beer that I'd surely have again, but it's not a GREAT brew. Alcohol is hidden flawlessly though, and it's quite drinkable. Nice one, but far from Southern Tier's finest.

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Photo of mnrider
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

22 oz. Brown Bottle. Tulip Glass

A: Pours a light copper with large light tan head. Good retention with above average sticky lacing.

S: Caramel. Malts. Sweet. Piney. Hops. Slight alcohol aroma.

T/M: Sweet malts. Peppery. Caramel. Sugar. Piney. Hop bitterness is low. Medium bodied. The aftertaste is somewhat bitter but mostly clean. As the beer warms a more prominent alcohol taste comes out.

O: This Imperial IPA is very good, but different than others of this style. If you are looking for a hop bomb this beer will not be what you are looking for. The hops are there but less bitter which lets the sweet, sugary, peppery flavors dominate.


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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Clear golden copper, with a light tan head. Very full head, and great lacing.

S - A big, beautiful smell of hops. Grapefruit and other citrus, with a bit of pine.

T - What you'd expect - a huge hop explosion of pine and citrus, balancing with honeyed malt notes, as well as caramel. Hop close is strong, and there is no denying the bitterness, but given the hop flavors delivered, the bite is reasonable and the bitterness is not out of alignment. This is a delicious IIPA.

M - Moderate carbonation, peppery on the tongue, with a dry finish that builds, but stays within reason.

O - If you are looking for a hop bomb, this is it. A well executed, tasty drink that makes the super hop experience a treat. I'd happily pick one of these up again.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Hazy pale straw glass holds a good finger of white foam which sticks to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Hop juice, with a sweet base of sugary crystal malt.

Taste: Hops, but almost brought back to center with a sugar cookie dough base. Package ends up being sweet, with a syrupy sugar ribbon and a hop extract perfume. Like all Southern Tier, it's good, but just seems like they cheat with flavor extract additions at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium heavy body, moderate carbonation, oily finish.

Overall: Tasty, but a bit too sweet for my liking. It's like hops for people who don't like bitter. Beers like this make me with I could get nutritional information, I feel like I'm eating sugar cubes.

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Photo of rdilauro
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

In this situation, the pour was better than the beer. The color was a deeper rich amber orange hue, what I've expected from most IPAs and Imperial IPA. In fact maybe a shade darker. Not sure where it fits on the SRM scale.

The nose was so very typical of a hoppy IPA. All the grapefruit, citrus came flying towards my nose as well as some lemon and melon. I could have just sniffed this one for a couple of hours, a real treat.

The first sip, big big and bigger and soft, filling my entire mouth. But it was somewhat unbalanced. The hops were there but no malt to offset some of the bitterness. So, the finish was just a strong bitter flavor.

A bit too malty for my taste with an IPA

Again, I am glad I tried this, its always fun to experiment, but this is one I will not be asking for again.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Type: 22-oz. bottle
Glass: 16-oz. glass
From: Eddy’s Beverage Inc. in Saratoga, N.Y.
Price: $7.99 (I think)
Purchased: Jan. 15, 2014
Consumed: Jan. 20, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured an orange copper clear color with 1-to-2 fingers of khaki white head. Below average lacing on the sides of the glass. Above average retention on the top.

Smelled sweet floral notes, pine, citrus hops, grapefruit, caramel malts, and bitter peppery spices.

Tasted sweet sugary floral hops, caramel malts, pine, citrus hops, peppery notes, fruity notes, amber notes and peppery spices. Not quite as bitter as the nose.

Medium-to-light body. Oily texture. Average-to-above average carbonation. Long, slightly bitter finish.

A very good beer. Would love to get my hands on some more.

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Photo of brureview
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Update: I found that on the second night of drinking this DIPA, that the 42F is the better serving temp: more pine, grapefruit, vanilla, and smoother. It's the lowest temp I have served a DIPA.

First review
The recommended serving temp is 42F, but a warmer serving temp, 50-55 is better- it brings out the pine, vanilla, and a smoother finish. There is a recommendation for a "fluted glass", but there is a suggestion on the label to serve in a tulip. A fluted glass= a tulip? Not sure about this.

The bottle date is 12/13. The beer pours a nice looking copper-tea color in a tulip with a 1 F head.
The color is clear, and there are carbonation bubbles from the bottom of the glass.

The aroma is pine, and light vanilla. Unlike other DIPAs, it is not very strong- just enough, but on the lighter side for aroma compared to other beers in the style.

The mouth feel is carbonated- perhaps a bit too much for this DIPA which is on the smooth side- less bitterness and mellower.

The taste is predominantly pine. There is some citrus undertone with grapefruit rind.
This taste is similar to other DIPAs, but lighter and mellower especially in the finish. There seems to be less hoppiness and bitterness compared to other beers in the style.

Excellent example of the style, but I prefer the 2xIPA. This DIPA is lighter- and a beer geek may prefer this approach to the style on occasion.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.12/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bomber at 52 degrees into goblet.
Aroma of flowery hops
Head small (1.5 cm), white, rocky, mostly quickly diminishing to narrow ring with a lump of bubbles floating the center
Lacing poor, just small clumps here and there
Body light orange, clear, slightly sparkling
Flavor begins moderately bitter with no malt or diacetyl
Flavor ends astringent with slight alcohol afterburn
Medium body, slightly oily, carbonation soft.

The lack of sustainable head and poor lacing lower the appearance for me, while the long hangtime for the astringency lowers the repeat drinking appeal.
First tried this DIPA back in 2009, retried now at my brother in law’s insistence (his current favorite beer).
Don’t really notice that it’s any better; not a drain pour, still just eh to ok.

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Photo of Niceroad77
3.74/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thick but thin foam that dissipates quite rapidly. Great smell of orange even though somewhat on the sweet side. Tastes very sweet for an IPA or at least for my liking. Lots of caramel, some citrus. Very thick on the palate, reminds me of some brown Belgians. Interesting and certainly different, but not what I am looking for in an IPA. Some say it's well balanced, I understand that it has a very high IBU and ABV but to me, the sweetness is a bit overwhelming.

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Photo of LampertLand
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Southern Tier Brewing 'Unearthly Imp IPA' @ 9.5% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $9

A-pour is gold from the bottle to glass with a big white head leaving a spotty lace along the pint

S-pine on the intial open and pour

T-smooth and somewhat sweet fruit tasting Imp IPA

MF-good decent carbonation , big full body

Ov-ok/good beer , decent IPA , not in the 'class' of the great PNW IPA's , butt I'm glad we get to try them here in BC Canada

prost LampertLand

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.72/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear copper color. The head is a fluffy one-finger off-white shade. It has the typical look I expect from the head of an IPA - good texture, decent retention (not the best among the style, though), and nice lacing left behind.

S: First, I get bittersweet grapefruit with piny hints. The hops also bring some herbal hints. However, it's as malty as I expected - that's not really a bad thing, though. There is a ton of caramel, toffee, and sugar cookie, also. It might be a bit sweet for me, otherwise the aroma really works well.

T: Just like I expected, it's a sweet IPA. If there's any proof that a shitload of IBU's (this has 150 supposedly) doesn't equal a bitter beer, this is it. A slight opening of sweet grapefruit and orange gives way to a finish of peach, caramel, toffee; maybe some black pepper, too. It's faintly boozy, but all that sweetness does a good job of concealing it. There is no bitterness to this at all...I really feel like just a touch more would take this one over the top.

M: While it has an initial crisp bite that (along with decent carbonation) helps it go down easily, the sweetness accumulates on the palate. It's a bit too heavy on the palate, as well. The general feel is a bit sloppy in all aspects.

O: This is so close to being a great DIPA, so close. The malt is handled well, the bitterness is nicely restrained, and the hops have a nice flavor to them. But at the end of the day, it's just too sweet. 22 oz is way too much for this one. I'll absolutely drink this again, and hopefully, I'll have someone to split it with.

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Photo of Ankur
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle, pours clear copper color with a little head which disappears quickly. Floral aromatic hops on nose. Alcohol is more loud and overwhelms the taste. But after taste is spicy and typical of imperial IPA. Only flaw I find in this beer is its a little dry and probably that's why alcohol overpowers.

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Photo of Scrapss
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bomber into a Turbinator.

A: Golden ruddy hue with a slightly offwhite on and a half finger head, which dissipated to a thin disk in a few sips. Clean and clear with no haze. Activity level is non-turgid. Carbonation is slow and sluggish if at all.

S: Tropical fruit and piney, some bitter orange notes. Malt shines through the citrus, with medium caramel roasted malt notes. Yeast is taking a distant back seat, but I am getting a very faint clove.

T: Smooth piney resin, dark nuggets and lemongrassy hop goodness. bitter tropical fruit.

M: Creamy, despite what carbonation indicates. Medium-full mouthfeel is punched to malty sweetness then minor bitter dryness at finish. Spritely ultimate finish with malty/piney outbreath.

O: Yes, this is the refined little sister to ST 2X IPA...this brew is the girl you bring home to meet the parents, whereby ST 2X IPA is the girl you hang out with, party with and get platonically twerked by...then punched in the mouth by her the next day for letting her do that to you.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.77/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up good amount of head which has okay retention. The head is off-white with hints of yellow while the body is a pale to medium amber which appears as a pale amber when held up to the light. Spots of lacing then a sliver of sheeting around the surface of the beer. Lots of lacing after a while.

Nose- Nice but doesn't have much complexity or presence. Citrus (mostly orange) with some pine hanging around the edges. The glass shows a good amount of caramel which fades and shows more of the orange from the bottle. Swirling shows more of the caramel.

Taste- Starts off with citrus while pine, resin, and matchstick flirt around the edges. Slight note of lollipop or lemon or both- kind of like a Jolly Rancher. This fades quickly to show a huge amount of woody bitterness- the pine, resin, and matchstick show up big here. This, however, is contained by a large amount of pepper on the finish. I don't think I've ever tasted this much pepper in any beer before- even beers brewed with pepper. Very spicy hop finish. Some caramel on the front which is quickly overtaken by the wood and gives it taste of burnt caramel. A good IIPA just not the type that I like. I do appreciate that the hop bitterness is manageable and has no real linger.
Caramel (mixed with the lollipop, almost lemon drop flavor) starts to show up on the back end and give this beer more complexity. Above average to good beer. I'm leaning more toward good because the citrus, caramel, and pepper really give a lot of depth to what could just be another bitter IPA.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied with a bit of syrup to the texture. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability- Pretty easygoing for what I thought, at first, was going to be a pretty hoppy beer. No sign of the 9.5% and at a little over 6 bucks for a bomber at Grocery Outlet, a pretty good price as well. However, I'd rather pay for Sucks this time of year.

Overall- Above average to good but mostly good. A very serviceable IIPA- there's nothing special about it but I would give it a try.

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Photo of JAFoley
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - crystal clear pale yellow body with three fingers of white head. Great retention and lacing.

S - big citrus and some malty sweetness

T - Solidly bitter citrus hops with a nice earthy malt underneath. Good bit of alcohol but not overly strong considering the abv.

M - Medium/light with moderate carbonation. A bit thin and watery as I find tends to be the case with Southern Tier.

O - This hits all my favorite features of a strong American IPA. It's very citrus and bitter, malts are low and earthy, and it has a high abv. However, I find everything from Southern Tier to be watery. The only reason I like this is that the flavors are strong enough to compensate for the weak body. The 2XIPA for example just doesn't have enough flavor to get passed the wateriness.
So I may buy this again, but it's a tough sell when I can pick up a Ruination or the Green Flash Imperial IPA, or even better, that Green Flash Green Bullet (and I have no idea why people are knocking the Green Bullet. Massively underrated IMO!)

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Photo of JMScowcroft
3.84/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Southern Tier Brewing Company - Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale), poured into a DFH Spiegelau IPA glass.

Look - Pours a clear filtered amber with a huge soapy head that retains well. Tons of lacing.

Smell - Piney and resiny hops over a slight malt body with a touch of alcohol.

Taste - Malt intro pushed out of the way by spice and pine. Interesting flavor, I give it good marks for flavor.

Mouthfeel - Warm, spicy, and boozy. Medium body with moderate carbonation. Decent drinkability. The brew falls flat a bit here but not horrible.

Overall - Unique spice in this DIPA (more of a TIPA if you ask me) but not an outstanding brew overall. Not really my bag, baby.

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Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,215 ratings.