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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)
BA SCORE
4.07/5
Exceptional
3,077 Ratings
Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States
southerntierbrewing.com

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
Ranking:
#2,422
Reviews:
1,225
Ratings:
3,077
pDev:
11.55%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
148
Gots:
473
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,077 |  Reviews: 1,225
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!!

 745 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber/golden color with a massive head that leaves quite a few patches

Smell: Grapefruit pith, pine and a minty character

Taste: Biscuity, for a sec, and then the hop parade begins, with a floral, citrusy, tropical fruit mix that joins with pine by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a wallop of sticky caramel and, though the finish is rather sweet, there is still plenty of hop bitterness in the residual

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: Overall, a bit too sticky and sweet to be my ideal DIPA; a rather good example for those who prefer that style of beer, however

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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.

 360 characters

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 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 SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -1.7%

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 Boone757
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of largadeer
3.09/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Copper in color, bright and perfectly clear. Head retention is great for an 11% beer, leaving plenty of lace sticking to the glass.

Smell: Citrusy, floral hops over a substantial malt backbone. You can tell from the first whiff that this is going to be heavy stuff.

Taste & mouthfeel: And heavy it is. Oily hops, an enormous malt backbone and stratospheric ABV make for an extremely heavy DIPA - this stuff is downright syrupy. There's quite a bit of fresh hop flavor here, but the malt base is right up there with it, creating a pleasant bittersweet flavor that leans toward the bitter in the finish. Not my preferred style of DIPA, but not bad.

Notes: Received from Dyan in a recent trade; thanks!

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Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -1.7%

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!

 3,379 characters

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.

 1,077 characters

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 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 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 olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -1.7%

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.

 1,504 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4/5  rDev -1.7%

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.

 432 characters

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 vfgccp
3.51/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

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Photo of billab914
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a perfect pint glass. Pours a havy bright orange color with a white foam that quickly disappears.

Aroma is citrusy and floral with some sweetness. Taste is citrusy but also very sweet and caramely.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good.

I've had this beer many times and I really enjoy it. This is one of my favorite East Coast DIPA's that I get whenever I see it released. Probably not as good as the best of the west coast ones but still very good.

 521 characters

Photo of smithj4
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 3,077 ratings
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