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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1,195 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,195
Hads: 2,904
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.29%
Wants: 134
Gots: 350 | 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

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,195 | Hads: 2,904
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)
Southern Tier Brewing Company
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
ABV: 9.50 %

LOOK: 12 oz bottle. Clear copper in color with a soapy white head that has decent retention. Leaves behind webbed lacing down the pint glass.

SMELL: Pungent hops, sweet toffee malts and alcohol. A bit tropical, earthy, woodsy like note emerges later. A blend of hops is throwing all the senses for a loop.

TASTE: Big time citrus and semi tropical hops glancing across a sweet malt body. Grapefruit, orange, pineapple, lemon and herb all play along. Alcohol is pretty well disguised and just drifts in the background. Resinous and hoppy, finishing somewhat earthy. As expected, has enough bitterness to more or less balance the huge malt bill.

FEEL: Medium bodied, well carbonated, clean, and smooth. Drinks easily and effortlessly, deceptive for a beer boasting nearly 10% abv.

OVERALL: A really good brew in its own right, unearthly also has an oak aged counterpart. This version drinks much easier and has cleaner flavors. A great, readily available American Double IPA. (1,096 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't know where those 153 IBUs are hidding, but this is still a pretty awesome big beer. Overall the taste and aroma were surprisingly sweet. Smelled almost medicinal with a bit of spicey hops coming through. Candy-like malt flavor mixed with citrus hops made up a flavor that came off a little creamy, probably from the red wheat. Maybe the most drinkable DIPA I've had, no hint of the 11% as the beer warms. (412 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.72/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

Pours amber with a short head that fades to a very thin cap. Some slight lacing. I'm not too worried about thin heads in an 11% double IPA, though. Smells of honeyed malt with a good dose of citrusy and floral hops- delicate and flower-like. Well balanced with the ample malt there in a supporting role for the very fresh smelling hops. The taste is absolutely beautiful. A very slightly floral sweetness begins the flavor parade, which then gently merges into a complex citrusy and floral hop bitterness with a nice touch of pine on the finish. These hop flavors become more herbal as the beer warms and opens up. This is one fresh tasting beer!. The mouthfeel is incredibly creamy and quite soft. Amazingly integrated and drinks well below the 11% abv. Deliciously drinkable despite the high alcohol. Like many great beers, this is complex and changes a good bit in the glass. The substantial malt balances the complex hop flavors well while preserving the purity of the hops. Beautifully clean and vibrant. (1,259 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.87/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice cloudy golden orange color with a thick foamy white head that settles into a lasting lacng. Aroma is dominated by earthy and citrus hops with hints of malt, pine and citus fruit. Very smooth drinking with a strong hoppy presence that lasts throughout. Hints of grapefruit and alcohol with a nice malty backbone. Excellent!. (336 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hopdog for this...
Appears a glowing golden orange with a small off-white head. Tiny bubbles pump up to the top of the glass. Spotty lacing is left around the sides.
Smell is of orange blasted hops with suagary candy, caramel, mild biscuit notes...actually somewhat of an addictive aroma.
Taste is of the same aromatics swirling around the palate nicely.
Mouthfeel is slightly chewy with orange candy sweetness. (425 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Southern Tier now export (or get sent by some roundabout way) to Australia, but I'm loathe to try/review IPAs that aren't fresh. Call me a wanker if you will. Anyway, a trip to NY seemed like a good opportunity to check this out.

Pours a heavy burnished golden-bronze colour, with a head that forms slowly and languidly, but which is suitably fine and solid when it arrives. Lacing is minimal, but splodges stay around when the glass is tilted. The body is probably its most impressive feature, being as though it is thick, syrupy and heavy.

Nose is lovely and fresh, with big green hoppy characters coming off like crushed vegetation and savoury fruits. There's a big sweetness to it as well, obviously from the massive amounts of malts, but it complements the hop characters. Nice.

Taste is a bit more brash and unvarnished. Here, the hops form a biting centrepiece which the smooth running malt cushions violently. Lovely peppery vegetative characters throughout, that would be obscene if not for the softening effect of the body and the malt sweetness. It's like being punched by a marshmallow.

Very nicely balanced throughout, as a result, and the extra body and booze is well-placed, and is used to excellent effect.

A lovely Imperial IPA. It makes everything bigger, but doesn't forget the balance and subtlety that is required as well. Great work. (1,360 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled through the efforts of Secret Halloween '07 BIF and jaxon53.

Chill hazed deep amber colored ale the color of tarnished copper. Good off-white colored head with a distinct yellowish tinge.

The smell is mostly strong pine and woody hops. Quite sweet smelling with one of the strongest pineapple aroma I have ever smelled in a beer. Lots of hops and aromas of pine and pineapple, orange, limoncello, tea, oak and menthol.

The taste starts out sweet and fruity with a pineapple and tea flavor. Interesting this tastes more fruity than hoppy and compares very well with top of the line IIPAs. Pine and grapefruit hop flavors are very much tamed to allow the fruit and tea flavors to come out fully in this beer. Peach and pineapple are the strongest fruit flavors but not the only ones.

Mouthfeel is quite thick.

Incredibly easy to drink and dangerous too at 11%. A beer you would love to drink all day it is that good. This beer compares favorably with Dreadnaught and the two Pliny's and is right up there with those three beers. Highly recommended for all hopheads. (1,076 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a clear copper with good carbonation leaving a nice white cap

S: Nose is well balanced but not very aramoatic, more aroma hops could have helped out but I did get some booze and citrus

T: Caramel upfront, citrus, good amount of bittering and pretty good hop presense, finish with a booze kick

M: Slick, sweet, medium body and boozy

D: A step above average but at 10 ABV it kept me from going the extra step to Good. (429 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bought a bottle of this at Capone's the other day. My first chance to try a beer from this brewery.

The beer pours an orange, gold color, without much head, but very decent lacing. What head there is sticks around and coats the inside of the glass. On the nose one gets a goodly amount of citrus from the hops, but also considerable malty sweetness. No DIPA from the NW would ever smell like this (which of course it isn't). On the palate one can sense immediately that this is a very big beer. There is an initial blast of hops, but that is quickly overtaken by an even bigger blast of sweet malt. In addition to the citrus flavors from the hops, I get cherry cough drop, amaretto and sweet melon. The beer has an impressive mouthfeel and is quite warming from the high abv. The beer finishes with a hint of harsh bitterness at the end, something I get all too frequently from DIPA's with this amount of sweetness and abv.

This is a good DIPA, but I can't say it's anything special. In fact, it reminds me very much of the Stoudt DIPA, but is even sweeter and less drinkable. With so much sweetness and so much alcohol, I'm not sure I'll be able to drink an entire bomber of this stuff. Just not my style I guess. (1,216 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has two clear stand-out features: a toasty, glossy coppered shine and a fuzzy, pulpous head. The beer's colourful body may distort clarity but it does not disallow it; the complexion, seemingly light's best friend, bounces and shimmers. The foam, which is plastered to the glass as much as the beer, is tremendously broad in its scope.

With Double IPAs, you might as well just throw things like "balance" and "easy drinkability" right out the window. The name of the game is hops and Southern Tier plays it arguably better than anyone. The aroma is piquant, it's a booze and resin soaked fire ball of fresh green lupullin, toast and honey, citrus rinds, tree sap and festered tropical fruits.

The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth for a beer calculated out to be a palate-shattering 153 bittering units and a whooping 11% alcohol by volume. It is so smooth, in fact, that these bombers, their herculean stats notwithstanding, disappear at the pace of a bottle half their size, a beer half their strength. And it's one offering I can never tired of.

The flavour doubles as both an endurance test and a game for the palate: can you handle a whole bottle of such an intense, flavourful beer and, if so, how many flavours can you name? I've had plenty of training and practice at this and to date I can list caramel dipped pine needles, toasted biscuits, exotic fruits and their rinds and shots of lychee liqueur.

The pineapple, peach, mango and grapefruit flavours are all greatly appreciated, but it's that taste (and smell) of lychee liqueur that really stands out to my palate. There isn't so much flavour that the alcohol can't be noticed, but there is enough to ignore it. The malts are both sugary-sweet and crisply toasted; the mouthfeel, as result, is firm and chewy.

Having to chose a favourite DIPA is hard; having to chose my favourite Southern Tier hop-bomb is even harder! Un*Earthly, fantastic as it is, has stiff competition with Hoppe, 2XIPA, Big Red, Backburner, Iniquity, Pumking to name just the heavy hitters (nevermind the IPA, Hop Sun or Harvest Ale!) Ya, this brewery knows hops, they do hops well. (2,135 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass)

A- This beer pours a crystal clear golden-caramel color with a bubbly white head and a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles. The head last as a thin foam for the full beer.

S- This beer has a sweet malty smell with a light toasted note and a big green spicy hop nose.

T- This beer has big bitty green hops with a pineapple weed pungency and a slight earthyness. There is a spicy flavor to the hops at the finish. The smooth green bitterness lingers for a moment after each finish.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with no alcohol heat and a smooth finish.

D- This beer is a nice big IPA with some nice, no citrus, hops flavors and some good support from the sweet malt. (729 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a three finger off-white head that fades quickly leaving a very good lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Light sweet piney nose. Flavor follows the nose - sweet piney hops with mild bitter aftertaste. High ABV totally hidden. $5.99 for a 22oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT. (327 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pint glass served on-tap at Al's of Hampden. If you haven't been, get there.

A: The DIPA is golden, clear with a radiant glow. The head neared one half of a finger on pour and lingered gamely for most of the glass.

S: The ale's hop aroma is oily and boozy. Very strong with a near blinding bitterness. Alcohol is present, near the forefront of each smell.

T: Unearthly is the proper descriptor for this ale. It's hop profile is big and bold, throwing off both pine and citrus aromas. Caramel malts don't really do much to the flavor. The hops are a little to muddled for my liking.

M: The hop bitterness is all that you'll notice, coating the tastebuds with an oily bite.

D: I was planning to have two pints with dinner but couldn't choke all of this down. The hops and booze conspired against me. (805 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
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). (551 characters)

Photo of liamt07
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Curious that I hadn't reviewed this yet, but this reappeared in the LCBO system so I thought I'd revisit. 650ml bottle lacking a bottling date, poured into a tulip.

Darker orange body that is perfectly clear, offwhite head of great density and lacing that's sticky and webbed as heck. Nose has some flesh citrus notes with a good dose of pine and resinous hop notes. Really sweet and sugary malt notes - perhaps 'over'-balanced in terms of malt character, a tad much for what I'd prefer in a DIPA, but not bad by any stretch. Taste has more flesh citrus, pine, honeydew melon and some sweet sugary cookie/biscuity malts with a lot of sweetness to it. Alcohol is meshed in with this. Full bodied for the style, and carbonation remains low and smooth; harder to finish as it warms due to the sweetness however. Filling and easily destructive of sobriety, but I don't think I enjoyed this much as I have previously. Perhaps bottle freshness was the culprit. (956 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle obtained via trade with shippos. Thanks for the opportunity... Elaborate ingredient list on the bottle, along with tons of silk-screened art and words and what-have-you. Ink quality could be better (some running), but the effort is very nice.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head over the clear deep copper brew. Head lasts well for the style, and lacing is prevalent. Aroma is fruity hops, with some pine underneath, not as intense as I had expected. Flavor makes up for the any lack in the nose, hops are front and center. Lupalin slam in the teeth, then mellows down a bit and you can feel the malt and alcohol warming everything it touches. Mouthfeel is impressive for something so hoppy, and drinkability works as well. Nice job with one. (782 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.47/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Amber with a finger of fluffy cream coloured head.

S - Bitter hops up front - grapefruit, tangerine and some pine. A nice sweet caramel malt nose in the background balances it out. A superb nose!

T - Very bitter up front with grapefruit and pine. Some sweet malts in the background, but not enough to balance out the extreme bitterness that completely dominated the palate and lingers in the finish. I normally love hop bombs but there was something missing with this one. The bitterness was too pronounced without the flavour profile to mellow it out. A letdown after the excellent nose.

M - Medium body, light to medium carbonation.

D - A decent DIPA but not a memorable one. Would not buy this again. (713 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.64/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into bubble pint glass. Poured the typical orangeish-amber IPA color with about a 1/8 inch of of white head. The head semi-quickly dissipated leaving a lot of sticky lacing. A very floral-hop forward aroma with citrus notes. The taste is what the aroma led me to believe what it would be. Mostly hop flavors but some malt foundation for the hops to cling to. Body is average for an ImpIPA, as is drinkability. A solid, but not outstanding, version of the style. This beer very much reminds me of Stone IPA, but obviously with more of a kick. Since that is one of my favorite IPAs, this is a good thing. This beer is worth trying and I will certainly buy it again. (670 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a beautiful burnt orange with a slight white head that fade quickly. Rated at 153 IBU's and 11%abv.

S: a big grassy aroma, some fresh citrus, and caramel sweetness. There was some sticky pine resin hopping as well.

T: The bitterness was strong yet very refined and smooth. The finish was dry with some piney alcohol hints. Sweet hop nectar adds a spicy finish. Alcohol is fairly well hidden.

M: Medium body, good viscosity with a sweet and oily texture on the tongue lending to a dry hop fade.

D: Very hoppy but very drinkable as well. A big drinking 2x with loads of hops and flavor and you would never guess its 11%abv. (638 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
3.51/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Beautiful bright orange. Nice clarity. Lightly off-white head with excellent retention and nice lace.

S - Sweet, with an unexpected heaviness to the nose. Woodsy hop, cookie dough, wet vegetation, and an edge of cilantro. Hint of booze.

T - Thick and malty. Honey, green wood, herbal bitterness, over brewed black tea, orange rind, and molasses.

M - Heavy and semi-syrupy, with low carbonation.

O - The dense profile feels heavy and a shade syrupy, and cuts down on the drinkability. Nice backend. (505 characters)

Photo of Tone
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear and inviting pale amber color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of strong hops, some sweet malt, and faint notes of earthy malt as well. This brew smelled amazing from the moment I popped the cap and only seems to get better. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and slightly thick with a high carbonation level. Tastes of a couple types of hop very nicely blended up front, then some earthy malt comes through strongly, there's a general sweetness (brown sugar?) that comes through, there's also a slight pine kick, and the finish is more hop flavor. A slight dryness is associated but not to a bad degree. The finish is very smooth and the overall flavor character is well blended. I highly recommend this brew. (807 characters)

Photo of Derek
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper-bronze with an off-white head, good retention, great lace.

S: Huge piny hop aroma with some citrus rind, grass & spice; toffee, cotton-candy and hints of tropical fruit and bubblegum fruity esters.

T: Very piny hops, citrus rind, toffee, biscuity malt, grassy spice, assertive bitterness, alcohol is warming (but doesn't seem anywhere near 11%). There's some residual sugar, but it's blown away by the bitterness.

M: Moderate to full body is smooth with plenty of hop acidity & a dry, alcohol finish.

D: For a hop lover, it's incredibly drinkable for its strength. (579 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: nice orange hue with a bit of haze and several fingers of frothy, orange-tan foam. Quite nice.

Smell: rich aroma of lightly citrusy and earthy hops, with a malty sweetness to back them up. I like it.

Taste: rich and sweetish caramel malt flavor provides the canvas for a delicious composition of hops. Citrusy, smooth, a little bit earthy and a tiny bit funky, but overall just a luscious, fresh hop flavor. Great!

Mouthfeel: medium-thick body with a decent carbonation. I feel like it is not as creamy as it could be, though.

Overall: this is a damn fine DIPA which I would gladly have again. (653 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
3.56/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bomber courtesy of malthegal thanx again mallory

A: poured a nice caramel hue into my tulip with a half finger of head which had some good sticky lacing.

S: nice sweet malts up front with candy notes and slight faint hops. after a couple whiffs I also get a little caramel in it as well.

T: nice piney caramel flavor but it seems to me that it's more malty than it is hoppy, I got slight bitterness at the back end of a sip. As it sits it starts to get more bitter.

M: meduim body with very little carbonation.

D: I think if it was fresh it would probably have more of a hoppy punch. I was hoping for a hop bomb but I guess we only have them on the west coast. (670 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep orange and clear, this was topped by a thick eggshell coloured head. Superb retention and clumpy lacing was left behind right down to the bottom of the glass. Intense pine aroma with orange and grapefruit taking a bit of a back seat. Alcohol was very faint. Solid sweetness up front that became milder later on, with a solid, balanced bitterness. Some caramel and mostly piney hops. Alcohol appeared in the end and lingered in the finish (along with hops and bitterness). Full body, low carbonation and slightly sticky. A well-balanced combination of hops, malt and alcohol. (579 characters)

Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,195 ratings.