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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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1,201 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,201
Hads: 2,935
Avg: 4.07
pDev: 18.18%
Wants: 138
Gots: 371 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,201 | Hads: 2,935
Photo of Foxman
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a crystal clear orange amber, carbonated with bubbles that rise viscously. A finger of off-white head dips soon to a frothy lunarscape. Beaded curtains of lacing drape the inside of the glass.

The aroma drives the sudden impact of a hop onslaught, breeding grapefruit, mandarin orange, and lemon, along with lightly floral pine and even something vaguely noble. Underneath is a network of toasted malt escorting caramel and a fair berry fruitiness. Present but subdued is a strain of alcohol, and the overall result is nothing short of mouthwatering.

Upon tasting, the malt actually impresses first, staging caramel and earthy berry, both sticky sweet. It's then that the hops slam into the palate, bombing with the citrus melange present in the aroma, wrapped around a still well-disguised ingot of warming alcohol. The grain revisits with a tart, wheaty feel before lemon and pine trade into a very potent but proportionate bitter finish. While complex, it's a balanced, blended, blissful hop-bomb bonanza.

Full bodied, it's syrupy, which combines with the oily hop resins to come across as tangible and chewy.

Sweet Jesus, the hops! And yet, the fact that there's a real balance speaks volumes to the arful crafting of this hoppy lupulin landslide. It's simply a gem of an enamel-eater. The ABV is plenty big, but slyly incorporated, so beware, my friends! So yes, it is drinkable, but make this the last beer you drink for the evening, because it lays happy waste to the 'buds. That's okay, because whatever world this one's from, I can finish on it quite contentedly. In fact, there's only a handful I'd choose over this fine offering.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.57/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Brown bottle with a green screen printed label listing ingredients and drinking instructions. Pours a light copper with quite a nice foamy off white head. Slow tiny bubbles, nice chunky lacing. Aroma is absolutely mouth watering, great blend of English and American hop varieties. Bitter sweet fresh hop oil aroma, citrus, floral, pine and a bit of spice, behind that complex hop aroma is a big hit of caramel, really smells wonderful. Full bodied with a syrupy texture. Very thick and caramel sweet, the hop bitterness is present until midway it is very complex, citrus, floral, pine, a little grassy, and really rides nicely into the finish which is a bit herbal and spicy. This beer is incredibly complex yet really very drinkable also despite it's incredibly high ABV. The alcohol volume can be felt as it warms my belly and my cheeks. About halfway through this bottle and I could feel it. The large English hop presence and high ABV makes this seem more like a barley wine that a IIPA, but does it really matter? It's delicious.


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Photo of cbl2
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11/2/2006 $4.99 22 oz. 11.00% No best by date.


Pours a hazy medium brown highlighted with orange, and topped by an inch of tight white head that settles slowly lacing the glass nicely.


Bursting with jammy grapefruit aroma, intensely focused and potent with a mildly sweet malt backbone.


153 IBU's according to the bottle, this is surprisingly well balanced, and not as hoppy as I was expecting. Nicely sweet with bitter grapefruit overtones. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, and somehow the 11% ABV is entirely masked. This goes down easy, which is frightening, considering how potent this beer is.

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

Poured from a big bomber and felt the buzz before I was half done. This beer straddles the line between double IPA and barley wine, but stays more firmly attached to the DIPA side of the fence. Lots of grapefruit-like hops and a nice thick mouthfeel. Very good flavor which sticks in your mouth, it even burned out the flavor of onions from dinner. Recommended.

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

Pours a bright burnt orange to copper color with a bright, white, whispy, one fingered head.

Aromas are overwhelmingly hoppy! Citrusy, piney, grassy, earthy.

Flavors are hoptastic as well. Citrusy, piney, grassy, earthy and slight alcohol tastes with a very subtle taste of sweet malt.

153 IBU's with Chinook, cascade, styrian golding and continental hops. This beer is a hopheads dream come true!

Also a sweet, subtle taste of sweet, crisp cara pils malt and red wheat.

Crisp, bitter and incredibly smooth drinkability for a beer of 11% abv. Slight alcohol warmth, crisp carbonic bite and hopalicious hopnacity!

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

Pours a semi-clear, reddish/amber color with a magnificent, off-white, creamy head that retains wonderfully. Great lacing leaves my glassware beautifully decorated as well. Nice!!!

Aroma is of huge citrusy hops, with a strong sweet malty backbone. Lots of grassy notes are present as well, including hop spiciness, candy, and wonderful floral hoppy notes. No alcohol detected in the nose at all, even though this brew clocks in at 11.0% abv. Outstanding.

Taste is just phenomenal. Spicy and huge piney hops up front with an amazing malty flavored backbone. Grassy, earthy, and ending semi-dry but not astringent. From the smell, you would think this beer would be a bit on the sweet side even though it isn't. Ridiculously smooth and balanced. Alcohol @ 11.0 is hardly detected!!

Mouthfeel is rich and velvety with moderate carbonation. Great feel for an Impy IPA.

Judging based solely on flavor, I could drink this baby all damn day. It is that good...no, GREAT. Throw in the alcohol factor, and I would have to say one bomber is enough. Tolerance allowing though, this is just smooth as silk and ultra-balanced. A magnificent Imperial IPA, Triple IPA even, that is probably my second favorite, right behind Yulesmith. Which is a feat in itself. Hats off to Southern Tier for brewing one of the best beers in the entire world.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.97/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: It has a very intense hops & citrus aroma. There’s really much else to say about the smell except that it was excellent.

T: Very well-balanced blend of hops, citrus and caramelized malt. The hops flavor is certainly the most prevalent as you would expect, but it allows the fruit and malt in as a compliment rather than competing for dominance. The hops remain in a pleasant after-taste.

M: Very crisp, very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, excellent finish.

D: This one is very tasty and light for a 2IPA. This is now one of my favorites. Once you start drinking it, you’ll find it hard to switch to anything else.

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

22 oz bomber -> imperial pint
no date

Pours rich shiney copper with a big thick head that fades to a fluffy light tan pillow. Sporadic spotted lace hangs down the glass. The initial extreme carbonation settles down to a slowly rising promenade of tiny bubbles.

Nose: Grapefruit and pineapple dominate, with malted caramel tones.

Taste: Balanced and strong, smooth and full, sweet and bitter. The sweet fruity hop intro is subdued by a strong malt back which reluctantely gives way to a completely full and dominate hop aftertaste blast. Bitterness last in the mouth and leaves one gasping for some water. Wow. Not far from a barleywine.

Mouthfeel: Smooth silky and full. Impressive.

Only the brave would session this bad boy. One bomber usually can do the job. A smooth beer, but don't forget about the 11%.

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

Okay, I just reviewed the bottled version. I swung by Fat Head's on my way out of town a couple of weeks back and it was available on tap. I had to try it again; I''m glad I did.

Poured into a fluted glass, the head was minimal so as to maximize the serving size but was still impressively thick and sticky. The smell was somewhat subdued as compared to the bottled variety, but still extremely floral and piney.

The Flavor was superior to the bottled version, showing more balance: while the hops were still massive, the malt was actually present. Mouthfeel was thinner and much more pleasant. The 12oz serving was just about a perfect size, as well. Very drinkable.

A very good beer in bottles became a great beer on tap. If you ever have a chance, do yourself a favor and get a glass. You'll be glad you did.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber courtesy of Tyrawlings.

Appearance: Poured into an August Schell tulip. Body is bronze and clear, thick streams of bubbles.

Smell: Sticky and sweet herbal hops, rich, hoppy and some biscuity malt, very good.

Taste: Not as hoppy as I was expecting. The alcohol is almost as integral to the taste as the hops are. The hops do have a good flavor, very sweet and herbal, but I need more strength in bitterness in this style.

Drinkability: I will have no problem sipping this bomber, it is a tasty beer, I just want bigger hops. The name is clever, as this beer definitely of this world.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep orange slightly copper with a thin off white head.

S - Sweet caramel and bready malt with a big juicy grapefruit hoppiness mixed in with a slightly earthy hoppiness.

T - Big sweet caramel malt balanced out with a juicy grapefruit hoppiness. It reminds me of Hercules by Great Divide without the piney hops. Very well balanced.

M - Full body due to lack of carbonation and a the syrupy coating of the mouth. Not a real bitter finish so it doesn't leave the dryness on the tongue that most DIPA's do. Alcohol has a warming presence but it not noticed in taste.

D - The alcohol is well hidden making this one very drinkable. The ABV will sneak up on you with this one.

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Photo of Gavage
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear orange in color with a long lasting 2" head. The head also has some huge bubbles in it. Few slow rising carbonation bubbles are spotted. Nice lacing.

Smell: pine, grapefruit, and honey are easily picked up by the nose.

Taste: nice strong malt profile with a balanced piney bitterness. Tart grapefruit and sweet oranges are noticeable on the citrus front, and alcohol is definitely noticeable but not intrusive to the flavor.

Mouthfeel: crisp and very dry from start to finish. Long bitter aftertaste that feels like it is glued to your tongue. Heavy bodied.

Drinkability: a superb DIPA that is easy drinking and flavorful. The high alcohol levels knock this down a notch, but this is one great beer.

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Photo of EStreet20
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber poured into a snifter glass that flares in a little at the top.

A - Pours out a nice deep copper color with a good sized white head on top. Head has staying power and decent lacing

S - Lots of hops. Pine and grassy intitially with beautiful citrus tones underneath. Oranges and grapefruits both definitely present,

T - A very raw flavor with a lot of hop bitterness followed by an alcohol flavor. A good Tasting DIPA overall. Not balanced but a good hop fix.

M - A medium to full bodied brew has a nice amount of carbonation rolling around

D - A hop bomb for lovers of hop bombs. A little malt sweetness for balance might be nice, but might also not be what the brewers were going for.

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Photo of jaluria
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A clear, orange/copper color with a frothy, thick head that left behind considerable lacing. Heavy carbonation. Aromas of hops, citrus, toasted grains, fresh bread, oil, and flowers. The taste follows the nose with hops clearly dominating. Crisp and refreshing with citrus flavors adding a nice aftertaste. Slightly creamy in my mouth with a pronounced bitter finish.

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Photo of Hautacam
4.34/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep orange-amber...almost no head..looks viscous.
Smells of floral and citrusy hops.
Taste is sweet malt with a ton of citrus hop bitter. There is a dryness in there that I didn't notice when I had this on tap. Not overly dry, though....probably the alcohol ; but the alcohol flavor was hidden in the massive hop attack.
Heavy mouthfeel....low carbonation.
I really enjoyed savoring this bomber for 2 hrs...enjoying every sip.

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

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

Appearance: Vivid mahogany body with a very thin white head of foam. Slight lacing around the circumference of the glass.

Aroma: Pine cones and sweet citrus.

Taste: Dry hopped with Chinooks?! You can definitely taste that earthy bitterness all the way through. Some grapefruit and light caramel in there.

Mouthfeel. Not too harsh on the palate, despite the 153 IBUs. However, feel a pucker in the finish that reminds you the alpha acids are there.

Drinkablity: It’s a hefty one. A little too bitter for mass appeal, I would guess. However, hop heads will enjoy it very much.

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

Nice clear red-orange color. Very solid head, even after a few months of sitting in the fridge.

Strong, inviting hoppy aroma. This is one that if I caught a whiff of someone drinking it, I would float right to it like Toucan Sam. Tantalizing aroma.

Strong, heavy hop flavor. "Imperial" about sums it up. Very heavy hop presence, but a surprisingly mild and pleasant aftertaste. Doesn't sit on the palate.

This is a very thick and heavy ale, and though it's 11.00% ABV, there is not an overwhelming alcoholic characteristic to it. Doesn't have any of that sour vinegary flavor I was worried about. It's smoothness is surprising given how heavy the hops are.

I could drink several of these assuming I had nowhere to go. Like tonight. These Southern Tier guys really know how to get it done. Excellent brew.

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Photo of jsbrendle
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a chance to try a split off a big bottle of this last evening. Wow! Good color, nice head, inviting. Impressive hop aroma, substantial hop flavors (perhaps more Cascade in the aroma and flavor than I'd like, but that's ok) but so beautifully balanced with the dryness of the alcohol (high at 11%) and the chewy caramely malt that it sure shocked me when I heard how many IBUs it had in it. A very nice example of the style. By the name alone I had expected a bigger dose of hops, the balance thrown badly askew, so I was quite happy. I think this would hold up well against similar product from other makers (Victory, Stone, Stoudt, DFH Burton?), but I think the true hop-head would probably be better off with Weyerbacher Hops Infusion or Three Floyds' Dreadnaught or maybe even the (lighter single IPA) Legacy HHH because of this deceptive balance. Hmmm. I am likely to add this to my regular rotation of big bitter beers as long as we can get it.

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Photo of aaronh
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich copper body with golden highlights. This beer almost glows. It's topped by a thick long-lasting head that has a nice yellow-cream color. Aroma is great, with nice hop florals and a hint of citrus and pine touched by malty alcohol sweetness. The flavor is also fabulous, with a restrained bitterness. The flavor focuses more on actual hop flavor than just over-the-top smack you in the kisser IBUs. Great tangerine, pineapple, and pine rosin flavors that are very well balanced with the malt profile. This beer also does not seem to be 11% ABV; it's very well crafted. Mouthfeel is solid, without the thickness of most big beers. Drinkability is fantastic. I've gotta get some more of this beer.

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

Poured a copper color with a medium sized, off white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of citrus fruits, pine, caramel malts, fresh cut grass, and some alcohol as well. Taste included much of the same, with some tangerine, and a fair amount of alcohol in the finish.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 pt. 6 fl oz brown bottle.

153 IBUs?...I can't wait!

Clean auburn, light maple in color. Dense, off-white head that attacks the sides of the snifter. Thin and spotted lacing, most of which clings well.

Citric aromas and tropical fruit: pineapple, lime, lemongrass. Oily hop resin, but not overpowering at all. Underlying semi-sweet caramel creaminess.

Semi-sweet, toasted caramel maltiness initially; yeast-filled, creamy biscuit. The hops are aggressive, but well rounded: the alcohol presence boosts up the oiliness of the hop resins. Matured pine, bubblegum, and light citrus notes. A big juicy hop bite makes for an oily, gaseous-like bitterness.

A light, medium in body; gaseously creamy and pretty smooth for the style.

A pleasantly flavored Double IPA with a deceptive alcohol presence. I don't care if this is 11% abv, fill me up a growler!

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

Wasn't sure what to expect from this one. I've come to find that these guys are hit or miss at times with their brews and with one that lists 153 IBU's, I was expecting quite a bit. And boy did it deliver! It pours smoothly into my pint glass with a rich, frothy head and an orange-almost reddish color. The aroma of hops dominates his beer and going in for the first sip, I was worried that it would be too much. On the contrary, it was perfectly balanced. This is a true hop-heads delight. Demand your local shop get this one in immediately.

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Photo of johnniemarg
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Before I comment on the appearance, I need to say that from 2 feet away this smells pungent.

Pours a nice amber color with a one-finger off white head. Crystal clear with lazy carbonation. Some lacing but not a ton.

The smell is primarily fresh cut grapefruit and sweeter orange-y citrus. Very pungent.

The taste begins citrusy and hoppy with a smooth thick malt base and then becomes a little astringent in the long finish, but this astringent quality is fading as the beer warms (or is it as the as the beer warms me?).

The mouthfeel is just on the thicker side of medium bodied. I agree with some others that the carbonation is about perfect. Very pleasant. Some stickiness despite not being super sugary sweet.

This isn't as hoppy as the 153 ibu's on the bottle would suggest. The hops don't destroy your palate. Well balanced. Also not as sweet and sugary as some DIPAs, such as the DFH 90 min for example (although that's a quality I do enjoy in DIPAs). Make sure to let it warm because I didn't like this at first taste and I've been scrolling back up to change my review with each taste as it warms. Good stuff.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear amber copper with an off-white and frothy head which rose tall and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was malty with a strong citrusy impression and a resinous hop presence. That hops were also piney and the malt was caramel with a subtle sweetness.

The flavor was nicely balanced with a resinous but never overpowering hop contribution in both bittering and flavor. The malt was no slouch either with caramel and a lightly toasty character. Hops were citrusy and more earthy that in the aroma but still with a bit of a piney and resinous punctuation.

The finish was dry, but not overly so, with lasting malt impressions and strong hop bittering and flavor components well into the aftertaste and beyond. The body was almost full but had a creamy mouthfeel which was a wonderful touch. A great beer, only light alcohol warming in the beer which was nice in an 11% beer. Tread lightly, this one packs a punch!

22 ounce bottle. Thanks BeerBeing!

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 22 oz. bomber bought in Boston (thanks Nick!), brought back home to NJ, then brought to upstate NY to share with friends. About 500 miles later, this beer was finally consumed and it received rave reviews from all that tried it.

Orange colored with a sticky white head. Good head retention. The aroma is full of citrus and floral notes. Very inviting. The taste says it all though. Maybe the best tasting DIPA I've ever had and certainly one of the most balanced as far as hops and malt go. Are the hops over the top? Of course, it's part of the style, but the malts provide the sweet backdrop that ties it all together. Something that I feel is missing from some DIPAs like Stone Ruination or Victory Hop Wallop, but makes DFH 90 Min the great beer that it is. But back to the Unearthly. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both terrific. 11%?!?! I wouldn't have guessed it. The alcohol is slightly noticable but does not burn your mouth in any way as some of the over the top beers in this style can do.

This is a big beer, but with lots of balance that makes it a very enjoyable sipper. Something I will seek out again and maybe even stock up on. A must try if it's available to you.

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Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,201 ratings.