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

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1,217 Reviews
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Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,217
Ratings:
3,039
Avg:
4.07
pDev:
18.18%
 
 
Wants:
148
Gots:
445
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,217 | Ratings: 3,039
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a golden amber color ale with a medium foamy head with slightly below average retention. Aroma of bitter and citrus is dominating as expected but is well balance with some sweet caramel malt. Taste is also a nice mix between citrusy bitter malt with a nice backing of caramel malt. Body had an oily texture and was about medium full with some low carbonation. Very good take on the style but probably still notch down from my personal favourite such as Dreadnaught and Smuttynose Big A IPA.

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

This beer pours a clear medium orange amber, with a huge dense, creamy white head, which leaves spotty lace as it melts away. Big grapefruit and pine hops aroma up front, followed by a seemingly subdued caramel maltiness. The taste is caramel malt, orange and pine hops, and some warming alcohol. The bubbles are mild, the body is slick, filmy, and sticky, and it finishes totally in line - off-dry, malty and hoppy.

A typically big Yankee DIPA, both in volume, and in flavour.

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Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served cold at 42º as the bottle suggests.

Pours a deep amber jewel tone into a fluted Ommegang glass. Skim of foam across the liquid, spotty lacing. A second pour has better results, two fingers of foam and sheets of lacing.

Fresh hop aroma, with pale malt in there too. Slightly herbal and sweet. Clean and inviting.

First impression is big juicy hops, countered by a deep earthy quality that is intertwined with maltiness toward the end. Grassy, herbal, resiny finish. It feels big, but the alcohol doesn't interfere.

Mildly viscous on the palate, saturated with hop oils. It is really super smooth.
Have one bottle yourself, or share with a friend. This one deserves the praise it gets...On a final note, please send JAH-VA to IL!!

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice copper color with a good white head and a bit of staying power. Some nice white lacing. Nose is strong pine, citrus, and earthy hops with a bit of caramel in the back. The flavor is a bit less hoppy but adds a strong amount of bitterness along with a bit of caramel and bread. Nice feel with good carbonation and hop bitterness levels. Much better than the oak-aged version and a really nice DIPA.

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Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark amber/copper color with a bubbly, tan, one-finger head. It left behind sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled very floral and hoppy. Also, some good citrus aroma and had a grassy smell.

T - It tasted of a smooth, subtle hop blend. A nice roasted malt flavor with a citrus kick.

M - It was fairly crisp and very smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good Imperial IPA. I expected better, but it was still good.

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Photo of oline73
3.64/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear red amber with hardly any head. The nose is really sweet and malty with some fruit and hop notes. Smell isn't super impressive. There is more bitterness in the taste, but the sweetness overwhelms a bit. The bitterness just pops up in the finish. Notes of pine and mild citrus peel. The carbonation is sharp and tingly. Flavors could blend better.

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Photo of oberon
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a great rich clear bronze witha very well retained 1/2 finger head with a fine bead just a pleasure to look at I have to say.The aromas are quite citric alot grapefruit in there maybe a note of apricot over top of caramel malt a whif of alcohol shows thru more so as it warms.This is not an in your face DIPA although the hops do pack a good punch not to mention alot of complexities citrus and piney cascades and chinooks really show themselves I even get a little earthiness as it warms saying all that there is a big enough of juicy lightly sweet caramel malt backbone to almost hold up against the hop onslaught.Wow amazed at this beer the alcohol is so well hidden you would have no idea how big it was and the hops take the show,"an unhibited infusion of hops" per bottle that sums it up,kick ass!

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

A - One finger of off-white head resting on top of a slightly hazy, amber-brown body. The foam settles relatively quickly but leaves nice lace.

S - Pine hops with lots of sweet malt. Bready notes as well as light caramel and big toffee notes that darken the hop character and bring out rummy spic-cake notes.

T - Equal parts sweet malt and resinous hops up front. Lots of toffee and caramel with a hint of molasses. The hop character is primarily grapefruit with notes of pine and orange that blend well with the malt. Finishes with big, sweet notes of malt as well as strong hop bitterness. Lingering toffee and brown sugar notes that combine with the hops to produce a plum and brandy/tobacco note that lingers on the palate.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - This is quite a nice beer with a good balance of thick, velvety malt and resinous hops, the only flaw I see is that it isn't a DIPA. Someone should really point out to Southern Tier that they have clearly created an American Barleywine in this beer; and a good one at that, The rich, sweet brown malt characteristics blend magnificently with the moderately powerful hop character and each aspect changes and enhances the other. This juxtaposition and mutual transformation is quite pleasant, though it clearly gives the beer more commonalities with great Barleywines than it has with high quality DIPAs. Seek it out, just be prepared to get something a bit different than what the name implies.

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Photo of jlindros
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A light fluffy 1 finger head forms over hazy orange honey colored beer.

N: Lots of chewy hops with sweet chewy malts. A little citrus and tangerine, somewhat heavy on the hops and sweet malts, but not over the top yet.

T: Lots of sweet chewy malts here, with more chewy citrus hops. Semi bitter with some spicy hops as well. Very sweet with a nougat like taste even. Way too sweet for me, as usual from Southern Tier. A slight floral hop flavor too.

M: Medium to light body with lower carbonation.

F: Bitter with a long astringent flavor that's not as pleasant as it was on the initial taste. Lots of lingering sweet malts, some nougat, citrus hops and a little pine, orange peel too. Long sweetness and astringent hops. A touch of warming booze on the finish as well.

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

Polished bronze-like orange. Not quite brown enough to be titian, nor red enough to be terra cotta. Whatever color it is, this is a beautiful shade for a DIPA. The large head is a masterpiece, as expected. Heavily creamy to start, it melts into a milkshake-like puddle atop the beer and deposits a respectable amount of soon-to-be-crusty lace.

The nose isn't quite as hop resin explosive as I had hoped, but it's still damn good. UIIPA has a classic DIPA aroma of brown sugared grapefruit, thanks to a hop bill that includes Chinook, Cascade, Centennial and Styrian Goldings. Great hops, each and every one.

Believe it or not, this sucker is balanced for the style. Since the impressive silk-screened label states that the beer contains 'an uninhibited infusion of hops' and has a stratospheric 153 IBUs, I can only conclude that the brewers include a few fields worth of barley in each batch. The malt is dark honey sweet and lays down a rock-ribbed foundation that any amount of hops would have a hard time overwhelming.

The flavor is akin to liquified brown sugar and caramel-coated white grapefruit and orange sections. This is delicious beer that I'll try not to penalize for falling a fraction short of my preferred DIPA profile of dazzlingly bright citric top notes that threaten to scrub the top few layers off the tongue. Unearthly is one of those versions that edges into the gray zone between DIPA and barleywine, while staying firmly on the side of the former.

As a rule, I don't drink DIPAs out of a fluted glass, as the label recommends, but this is one case where that might not be such a bad idea. This is a supremely civilized, sippable beer that would look and taste great out of such a vessel. Even though I've never had the pleasure of meeting them, I like the folks at Southern Tier because they brew some of the best beer on the planet. That won't stop me from calling them out on the stated ABV. All kidding aside, this is one of the most perfectly masked 11%'ers in the history of beer.

When I take the time to reflect on the mouthfeel, which I've been doing off and on since the very first sip, the words that enter my mind are plush, lush, crushed velvety, buttery and heavily silky smooth. If this beer was a car, it'd be a Rolls Royce (and if it was a liquor, it'd be a well-aged, single barrel bourbon). I don't remember a DIPA with a mouthfeel any more full or any more impressive than this.

Unearthly (adj.): concerned with or affecting the spirit or soul. Southern Tier's foray into the world of DIPAs with Unearthly Imperial IPA is an unqualified success. Although it may not 'wow' me the way some versions do, it's definitely a beer that is long on spirit and soul. It's worth getting to know over the course of a slowly sipped bomber. A big thank you to Calico for the bottle.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a clear amber with 1-2 fingers of creamy off-white head that retains superbly and leaves big, sticky lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is big floral hops, a ton of citrus character, and the smell of beefy oats.

The taste is thick mix of tingling hop bitterness, fresh citrus notes, and a chewy malt backbone that evens things out. The finish is definitely more sweet than bitter and ends sticky and warm. The mouthfeel is large and in charge with a touch of alcohol heft to the body that combines with the sweetness to give things a slightly medicinal feel towards the end.

This is a good effort from Southern Tier but I can't help but wonder what this would be like with the heat turned down a little more? I dug the aroma and flavor profile but medicinal tasting DIPAs just aren't my thing and it definitely hurt the drinkibility some what for me.

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Photo of mactrail
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Honey amber color in the tall tulip with some pleasant sudsiness. Sharp on the tongue and moderately carbonated. Flowery and spicy aroma.

Really sweet, with nonstop butterscotch and Sugar Daddy malty intensity. Very malty with a perfumey flavor and an intense nose of flowery hops. Not all that bitter, considering the category.Tastes more like a Tripel mated with a Barleywine. In a way, it's the ideal DIPA for people like me who don't think more hops are always better. Rich and spicy, strong and sweet.

More than a little hot with alcohol, but the liqueur-like flavors go right along with the ABV. From the 22 oz bottle.

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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.

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

Well here's a treat, to review Unearthly and Oak-Aged Unearthly side by side; and all 44 ounces are mine!

Both appear pretty much the same, except that the oak-aged version is clearer, and thus appears to the eye to be just a slight touch darker (there's no yeast in it to reflect light back at you). Other than that, they deliver a deep amber body that has an orange cast to it, and glimmering golden highlights at the base of the glass. The finger-thick, off-white head is creamy and holds pretty well. The original leaves short, creamy mountains of lace rising up above the surface. The oak-aged leaves sheets of thinner, craggy lace that sticks to the glass and stays, where as the original version tends to slide down to near to the level of the head as it goes. Overall I'd guess I'd have to say that the original version has a bit of a better head, but that the clarity of the oak-aged version is generally more enticing.

In the nose, the original Unearthly is decidedly caramelish and malty with notes of pine/spruce and citrusy, and a bit of grassiness and leafiness as well. It's bold and bright, and somewhat sweetish.

The oak-aged version displays some subtle oak (which I kind of didn't expect), along with fruity and citrusy notes; and it's dryer with much less maltiness. I also get a little more grapefruit out of the oak-aged, and some lemon and what I think of as something like a tomato plant - it's vegetal, but in a good way... grassy I guess. And I get more spruce than pine.

As expected, in the flavor the standard version wraps piney, grassy, floral and citrusy hops in a rich blanket of bready and gently caramelish and honey-like malt. The oak-aged version also follows what its aroma suggests, and it's dryer and more fruity, although some raspy pine does appear in the finish. The woody touch is nice. I should also note, however, that even though the original is a bit sweetish, it still finishes fairly dry, with just a hint of doughy malt lingering, and it doesn't build on the palate.

Interesting! They're really like two different beers. The original version is very wide in its flavor profile, whereas the oak-aged is more focused, but with perhaps a touch more depth. Hmmmm....

The mouthfeel for each beer is a little bit different as well, with the original Unearthly displaying a more dextrinous body.

Oddly, both beers display the same bitterness to me, despite the fact that I find the fuller maltiness of the original to be sweeter, and the oak-aged to be drier. The bitterness somehow remains the same.

Both beers have their own charms in the end, and I again have to reiterate how different they really are. I like the fuller mouthfeel of the original, and its bready malt and bolder hop flavors. But I also like the fruitiness and dryness of the oak-aged version, and because of that I think I'd find it a little more drinkable in the long-run (although it seems to have just a little bit more alcohol to it as well). And on that note, perhaps the extra aging time, and surface contact with the oak allowed it to ferment out a bit more. Just a theory.

Conclusion: both versions are really good beers that don't overstep their bounds with too much maltiness, too much bitterness, or too much hop flavor - and yet all of those are present in abundance. Nicely balanced. Nicely rounded. Nicely drinkable. Certainly worth trying!

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

A - Poired a deep dark orange amber with a nice average size white head, Very quick fade left behind adecent film ontop and a really awesome lace. Very gooey and thick on the sides of the glass.

S - Nice clean smell and hop character here, Not too much of a citrus profile, more of a piney tone..Nice slightly grain back trying to poke out and balances it very nicely not letting the hop character overtake it. Very lean and sweet.

M & T - First impression was whoa. Very very sweet, logs of sugar in here. Extremely smooth, but with a slight tingling from the alcohol, and a tiny burn on the lips, but it faded away nicely as it warmed up. Bigtime hop bomb kool aid with sugar type of taste. This was a damn strong brew!

D - Overall very nice with lots of alcohol, which can hurt the drinkability somewhat, but overall this was very nice and definatly my type of brew. Would love to try one again, as I really thought this was a fine ale.

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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 chinchill
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

From a 12 oz bottle.
Deep amber body topped by an exceptional off-white head.
Mild, balanced and easy drinking for style ... Not quite like an APA, however, as the bitterness and hop flavor builds with tasting.
Medium body and carbonation.

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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 Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at the Farmhouse, Emmaus, PA

Poured a medium amber hue with a small off-white head. Smell of citrus zest and fresh hops. Taste starts out with a caramel coated biscuity-ness, but is soon overtaken by a good dose of fresh hops, lemon zest, and a bit of grapefruit essence, with a subtle minty quality. Decently balanced with neither aspect fully taking complete control for any extended bit of time. Medium mouthfeel, and quite drinkable, though nothing really above average.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Cobblestone's -served chilled in a pils glass.

The color is amber bordering on copper, the clarity is good and the retention is very good with a sheet of lace sticking as the head retains well, the bead is fine. The smell is more like fruit than most imperial Ipa's I have had, sweet and slightly alcoholic in nose, but fruit with a very tropical quality-like Hawaiian punch, I am serious- it has a lot of pineapple odor. The feel is good, but starts bitter and moves into a sweet realm in the middle with resinous quality and finishes spicy with some residual sweetness and light alcohol element, but not off putting.

The flavor is good, but it seems to be bitter enough to shift toward the hops, but the malt presence in the taste gives the impression of balance -a nice fruity flavor from the hops, more citrus as it warms,but also more bitter and the taste of alcohol and spice comes forward too. There is a nice tropical element in this that seems outweighed by the caramel malt slightly which is unfortunate. I prefere a more dry Imperial IPA, but for this style I think this beer is very good. I consider it very drinkable considering the high 9.5% abv which is mostly hidden in the full malt and generous hop dosing in the flavor

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Photo of russpowell
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to JasonA for this one!

Pours an effervescent copper with 2+ fingers of cream colored head. Insane lacing & head retention

S: Resiny hops & breadyness

T: Piney hops, pineapples, & tangerine up front. Leafy hops hit the front of the tongue as this warms, along with a bit of toffee, tropical fruits & biscuitty malt. Finishes with nice pine resin & some caramel & nice fruittyness. Almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Chewy with low carbonation& super balance

Drinks great for the style & ABV, nice DIPA!

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a crystal clear golden orange in color with some very light visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall beige head that reduces to a thin layer over the entire surface of the beer with some thicker patches and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Some light aromas of caramel malts with some stronger presence of both citrus and floral hops. There is some light bitterness in the smell.

T: This beer has a nice sweet caramel malt base that is balanced nicely with the citrus and floral hops. The hops have an almost orange blossom characteristic. Moderate amounts of bitterness that linger slightly but is not too aggressive.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp with a little dryness in the finish.

O: I find this DIPA to be a good example of the style and to be quite approachable with a not too aggressive hoppiness. There is a nice balance in the flavor. This beer is pretty easy to drink and quite enjoyable, might be a little strong to be sessionable but certainly one I would enjoy again.

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Photo of smcolw
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A:Pours an almost clear copper/orange color with a one finger white head that dissipated rather quickly. Very sticky lacing formed around the glass.

S: Not as hoppy as expected, there is some apple and grapefruit as well as some caramel and bready malt.

T: A little bit of citrus fruit upfront, mostly grapefruit, with a bit of apple as well. Heavier malt backbone than I was expecting, some caramel and bread. Slightly bitter finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slight creaminess, and pretty smooth. No harshness at all.

O: Pretty good, but nothing out of this world. Not sure on how old the bottle is, since this one is pre-dating. Glad to see ST popping a date on their bottles now.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 3/13/10 notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

a - Pours an amber/orange color with about an inch of white head.

s - Smells of citrus hops, sweet malts, and maybe some piney hops.

t - First taste that jumped out at me was sweet caramel malts. Also some citrus hops in the taste.

m - Very smooth. Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - I enjoyed this beer a lot. Nice smooth malts and citrus hops combine for a very pleasant mixture. Would definitely try again.

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Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,217 ratings.
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