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

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Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)

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

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

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Reviews: 1,222 | Ratings: 3,066
Photo of PlaywrightSam
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber/gold, head that goes down fairly quick. S: Right from opening the bottle the hops are prevalent, and when poured into the glass it also has a rich smell of lemon squares, pine trees, biscuits, tropical fruit. T: I'm really impressed, for all the hops and the 11% abv I was expecting something much less subtle. Don't get me wrong, it's aggressively saturated with hops, but beyond that the flavors are nice and gentle. Nicely sweet, a bitter finish with some fruitiness remaining. M: Thick and chewy, moderate carbonation. D: The high alcohol content is very hard to detect, and there's a great balance in flavor. Nothing to go nuts over, but a nice, clean double IPA.

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Photo of dbatch
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A deuce deuce poured into my Flying Fish tulip glass. Pours a beautiful amber color, leaving about 3/4 inch head which slowly dissipated. Leaves two fingers lacing at the top.

The first inhale gets you a wonderful floral hop aroma, which is followed by a lovely malt, citrus and pine aromas.

The taste...well, the hops come out and bite you in a very good way. The hop flavor is bold but not overbearing, with a very sweet follow up. The sweetness reminds me of a caramel, or butterscotch, that is phenomenal.

Mouthfeel is smooth. It starts out strong, but finishes gently and smooth, it just doesnt seem like this beer is 11% abv.

For as strong as this beer is, it's very easy to drink, in a 11% kind of way.

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Photo of madmanjf
4.77/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I initially had this on tap down in NYC, but now have it regularly in bottles.

This beer packs a whallop. Coming in at 11%, you'd be surprised how smooth and deceiving it can be.

Clear, hops and malts well-balanced, this imperial IPA is a gem.

I find it similar to English style IPAs.

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Photo of kkipple
4.54/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a magnificent polished copper-amber, with a good inch of white foam that falls to coat the surface of the beer, while leaving some lacing. The head sticks around forever, while the smell overflows from my glass….

…and socks my nose with a one-two punch of fresh pine and citrus hops! The aroma in this beer is nothing short of sublime, a perfect blend of juicy grapefruit and rich toasted grains dripping with sugar and spruce notes. Even at 11%, the alcohol is subdued (somehow) and the luscious hops spring out of the glass, lively and vibrant. This is one of the best smelling DIPAs I’ve ever had the pleasure to drink. I can’t adequately describe it; you’ve just got to drink it for yourself.

The flavor doesn’t disappoint either, Unearthly is a superb example of the double IPA style. It’s bitter and strong, and the hops are certainly the star of the show, but it’s extremely well balanced with lots of sweet malt that is neither cloying nor syrupy. The sweetness isn’t enough to stop you from drinking a lot of this, nor does it leave much of a calling card via aftertaste. One gets the impression that this beer was crafted over many batches, till the brewers were perfectly happy with the result.

The carbonation is flawless, and the mouthfeel is smooth without being syrupy or sticky. Unearthly is warming, it really hits my throat on the way down. Finishes damp and juicy with lots of grapefruit / citrus notes and a toasty brown sugar flavor that teases. The hop-sweet honey aftertaste finish is long and warm and comforting. I want some more!

It’s been a while since I’ve had an Unearthly, but thanks to Khiasmus. I’ve been able to try this again. I’d forgotten just how good this beer is. Massive respect to Southern Tier, achieving something like this isn’t simple, nor is it common. If you like trying Double IPAs, this should be near the top of your list. Unearthly is fantastic.

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

the thick, bushy, sudsy head subsides, leaving evidence of its empire on the side of the glass. the color of the beer is a nice copper

the hop aroma is complex and lush. some of the malts do shine through, but the hops have the spotlight.

bitterness is high (of course it is) and so is the big amarillo flavor. the malts provide a good backbone and even contribute some complexity despite rampant hoppage

it's tough to give something like this full credit since balance is not even on the horizon. however, i suppose balance isn't really in this style's definition

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Photo of hero27
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber.

11% abv & 153 ibus....uhm, yikes.

Burnt, clear amber color...sticky lace sitting on top. Carbonation seems to struggle to get to the surface.

Bold hop aromas of grapefruit, oranges, and fresh pine needles. The citrus comes through as well as any DIPA out there, and really makes this beer stand out from the crowd.

and the taste...ok, now i see what all the hype is about...this is fantastic. Grapefruit & citrus lead the charge, with a heavy caramel malt backing them up. Dry hopped with Cascade, Centennial, and Chinhook...God bless them. You can taste the fresh hops, but the bitterness manages to come across without making the beer too rough to handle. Slightly syrupy, but very creamy and smooth all the way down.

Mouthfeel is perfect. It somehow carries this beastly brew to each tastebud while staying crisp & ultra smooth.

Almost a perfectly constructed Imperial IPA in my book, and a new favorite of mine. Right up there with Dreadnaught.

Got one bottle from wcudwight & one from MrBURTON55 (and I'm not sure which one I'm drinking, I'm just damn glad I've got another one left!) Thanks to you both!

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Photo of khiasmus
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark amber with a beautiful white head that is dense but has large bubbles as well. leaves a bit of lacing.

S- mmm. Deep malt and hops balanced, with some pine, some caramel, some fruit, banana esters, sugar, alcohol.

T- Malty and sweet, with a strong amount of hops to balance... almost perfectly balanced for an imperial IPA- both very malty and very hoppy. Like listening to music with all of the midrange frequency dropped to 0... and the bass and treble turned up to max. And since imperial means metal in beerspeak, this works perfectly.

M- Silky, smooth, long finish that eventually fades to dry.

D- Sigh. I could have a couple of bottles... but then would need a cab home and someone to cover my mouth so i didn't yell enough idiocy to get arrested.

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Photo of wyllder
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, deep amber, with a frothy white head that quickly dissipates. Leaves lots of lacing as you go.

Nose is piney with some floral undertones.

First hit on the palate is moderately balanced, with piney hops edging out the malt. As you move towards aftertaste the malt backs off and leaves you with a mouth full of pine needles and just a hint of caramel malt.

Mouthfeel is somewhat slick and resinous.

Not bad, but not as complex as I had hoped. I'll definitely revisit and see if perhaps it was just my palate today.


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

22 oz bottle split with a friend and poured into pint glasses. The color was a nice orange with a small white head. The aroma was very reminiscent of tropical fruits. The taste was also heavy on tropical fruit like pineapple. This tasted a lot like Stone 10th. My friend also remarked that it was similar to Talon barleywine. This was a good DIPA but a little too sweet and sticky. I also understand it is not cheap so this would not be a daily drinker (especially given the ABV). I was glad to have the opportunity and thanks go out to Clockworkorange for the trade.

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Photo of
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle.

Clear, amber color. Small, very small, ivory head. Lots of lacing and legs. The bottle tells me that it contains chinook, cascade, styrian golding, and centennial hops. 153 IBUs -- are ya kidding??

Lots of fruit in the smell, I mainly get peach and pineapple. Some pine and earthiness. Biscuit drenched in honey.

Upon tasting, DIPA - barleywine confusion results ! Sweet, kind of like artificial bananas, but gobs of hop action going on - seems like grapefruit predominates. Big malt backbone - caramel like. Grassy finish. Reminds me a bit of Stone 10 with some age on it.

Medium + body. Low carbonation - could be increased a bit IMO, just not sure if possible given ABV. Very "wet" for a DIPA. Alcohol, while not very noticeable in the taste, is less than subtle in the mouthfeel.

Pretty incredible - Gordon on steroids, Stone 10 with some age! A very malty DIPA. I like it, but prefer my DIPAs less sweet. Pretty easy to drink, but not going to be mistaken for a session beer.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great Imperial IPA, I started to realize that alot of brewerys are going for the high octane IPA, but the Unearthly is balanced and would never guess that it is 11.7%. A great beer for the hop lover (153 IBU's). It does get a bit pricey for a pint, but having more than one of these might be a bad idea. Although, it is that good where 2 or three would be tasty, just a bad idea though.

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

Beautiful IIPA. Vibrant amber with fiery scarlet orange hues. Head is thick and full with exceptional retention. A sticky spotty lacing thickly coats the flute glass.

Piney thickly resinated hops first and foremost in the aroma. Then a slight spicy quality with floral aspects and a hidden citrus lie beneath. A bit of caramel malty ness helps tame the hop aromas somewhat.

Very nicely balanced and quite delicous. Again hops are the name of the game. Pine driven and supercharged. Prickly feel and a nice burn in the chest. However alcohol does not interfere at all. Lemon zest, pink grapefruit, and floral aspects help add complexity while a hint of malt helps keep the hops at bay. Mouth is full, prickly, refreshing and invigorating. Considering the alcohol this bad boy is easily drinkable until it catches up with you.

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

Thanks a bunch to iamthird36 for this one!

Yellow-orange-amber color with decent carbonation and head.

Amazing hop aroma of pine, citrus, resin and spicy hop notes. I was really impressed when I popped this open and took a whiff!

Taste is a nice, sweet malt followed by fruitiness, hop flavor and then a bitter, hoppy finish. Dry, but not harsh or sour.

Medium body. Very drinkable for the strength.

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Photo of rayjay
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very floral IPA, with a ton of citrusy, tangerine and dried apricot hops on the nose. Fairly thick and noticable malt body; probably a bit of carmel malts in here. Dark sediment lingers at the bottom of the bottle. Recommended a bit cool; as it warms the viscosity becomes more apparent and the carbonation fades from lively to non-existant. Huge, sticky hoppy kick, and a big chewy malt base. 153 IBUs don't really dominate or overpower as one might expect, but do provide a great hoppy contrast to the malts, and do a great job in the process. Bitterness is somehow restrained. Mildly bitter aftertaste. East coast yeast and malt profile. Recommended, but not the best in its class. Cheers.

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Photo of prototypic
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It's a clear, dark copper color. One and a half finger, foamy head had rather short retention and left light lacing.

Smell: Very strong piney hops and citrusy grapefruit are the main features. Orange and mango scents are also noticeable. Decent malt presence, but nothing compared to the hops.

Taste: This is one sweet beer. Citrus and grapefruit flavors make a nice combo of sweetness and bitterness. Hops are strong and provide a very bitter kick. There are some malty notes that are noticeable, but they don't really balance it out much. It's very bitter. Alcohol is mildy noticeable as well.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and goes down rather easily for such a big beer. At 11%, drinkability is limited. As far as taste goes, I'd like two or three. But, I'd be in bad shape if that were the case. It's a litlle limited due to its strength. Overall, this is an impressive beer. Definitely recommended.

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

Pours a dark red, ruby with some orange hues. Very interesting color for a DIPA. 1/2" white head with moderate retention.
Smells kind of barleywinish. Very sweet with many fruity aromas. More tropical than citrus or piney. Think mango.
WOWWWW!!! This is one hellva beer. Huge hoppiness. piney,citrus,tropical. Huge sweetness. Brown sugar, caramel. The most deceptive 11% beer I've ever had. Man this is fantastic. This beer has it all. Nice hop profile, big malty sweetness, hidden booze.
For such a big beer in complexity, flavor and alcohol, the mouthfeel is silky smooth. It is mind boggling how this beer so big in flavor and go down so easy.
It's a sipping beer that's hard to sip.
Thank you Florida Gators for the beer.
Thank you jasonm and TheManiacalOne for sending it.

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Photo of davec004
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As far as I can remember this was my intro to the DIPA style. And, I was impressed.

A: A deep golden brown color with a touch of red tint to it I think. A thick head (about three fingers) with a good amount of bubbles slowly rising to the foamy head.

S: HOPS!! That's all I have to say about the smell.

T: The hops right away of course, but there was also a sweet flavor that tried to sneak in there that was quickly overcome by the bitterness of the hops again on the back of my tongue and roof of my mouth.

M: Tingles throughout the mouth and even sneaking up into the nostrils. Thicker than I would have thought, but not in a negative way. Each sip definitely packs a mouthful.

D: Definitely drinkable. The hops are not too overwhelming and the thickness is a nice surprise followed up with a general warming of the belly.

Overall a good beer. I wasn't sure at first, but with each sip it honestly got better. I have to say that I am a fan of the DIPA.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An 11.00ABV DIPA, hello moto! Pure orange in hue with a rocky off-white head that maintains massive patchy lacing; huge head retention going on here. The nose is sweet caramelized sugar, juicy hops and then some. An avalanche of hops from the first sips--pick em--I detect at the least Chinook, Cascade and fresh Centennial hops! A sweet and tainted palate of bourbon-isk liquor with hops lingering in the throat area, a more than welcome warming affect. Warming reveals one remarkable beverage--tastings of grapefruit, bubble gum and loads of orange juice masked beneath the hops; at 153 IBUs, what do you expect. This is a gem, one worth seeking. Repeat and repeat--sip, sip and sip. Savor and enjoy this mammoth DIPA!

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Photo of YankChef
4.87/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz.bomber poured into an oversized wine glass

Appearance: hazy amber with peach hues. fluffy white head that just clings to the glass.

Smell: WOW strong pine with a lot of peach, apricot and rose water. You can almost taste the hops with just a quick whiff

Taste: the 150+ IBU's don't come across anywhere as bitter as i thought they would. This beer is still quite hoppy however. Hops clearly dominate the malt although still quite well balanced. A stone fruit sweetness is very prevelant. Flavors of apple, apricot and leche.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation and the alcohol is extremely well masked.

Overall: This is one of the best DIPA's out there, if not the best (that i have had anyway). One of the best American beers in general. Even if you are not much of a hop head seek this one out, drink it and enjoy this is beauty in a bottle.

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

A- About 1 1/2" thick off white head on a crystal clear amber body with orange hues.
S- Huge hops and big backing of malt hit the nose first. A blend of citrus, grapefruit, and pine hops are what really make it through. Hint of alcohol in there also.
T- Huge flavor just slams the tongue. A blast of a bunch of hops, malts, and alcohol. The hops have a citrus and pine flavor to them and leave a nice size bitterness on the afterward. The sweet caramel malt comes through also and adds a nice balance to the brew. Alcohol tickles the tongue and warms back of throat a bit. At 11% though this is expected.
M-Full body with medium carbonation.
D- This is one huge DIPA. When I first cracked it I didn't know it was 11% so that kind of caught me off guard. It is a really good beer but is very sweet. I don't know how people can say the Burton Baton is to sweet but then drink this?

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a flaried tulip glass from a sixtel from my draft system,tapped 3 days ago. Decided to review this one for my disciple status a great beer to get some beer in the mug with.

A hazy glowing reddish/orange color with a tall dense,creamy head with execellent retention leaving cottage cheese like chunks. Rings of sticky lace going down the glass with constiant streams of tiny bubbles tightly knitted together streaming from the center of the glass

A great strong hop aroma very citrusy,lots of grapefruit,pine,minty,perfumy,resiny. Clean,complex and very enticing makes you savor for a taste.

Lots of good grapefruity taste,piney the hop rush is followed by a calm clean feeling followed by a burnt toffee/carmell taste.Some juicy bozziness just enough to make you respect the 11%. Amazing balance finishes with a clean grapefruity/citrus rind bite and some sugary syrupyness.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, sticky,resinious, puckering to say the least.
The drinkability is amazing,hard to belive a beer this strong could go down this easy. This is a must try double or imperial IPA what every you want to call it this beer is the shit! Drink with caution.

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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 mobud
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A- Dark straw color with lite carbonation and not alot of head remaining. Slightly cloudy, but still bright.

S- Not the strong amount of hops that I expected, but still strong enough to catch my attention.

T- This is a big hopbomb out of NY. Boozy underneath with a hoppy top that just keeps giving back. After several sips, I found it more hop than booze, so I rolled thru the rest of the glass.

M- Smooth. Hops character becomes more pronounced as the sampling continues.

D- While I love hopbombs, this one has something different that I missed - the big hops smell. I enjoyed the chance to try this beer and may try it again, but I think there are other out there that give both your taste and smell that hop explosion.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

EDIT - 05/08/08: Incredibly, I rated this one almost exactly the same a year later. Quick notes just being that the nose has some citrus and caramel to go along with the malt, and the flavor is crazy full and dry hoppy as shit. Very mild malt character, but the hops never overwhelm. A really tasty beer, and the price tag isn't too bad either ($7 for a bomber).

Right off the bat, this beer was incredible. Amazing. Now review...poured a 22 oz bottle into pilsener glass. Pours a nice yellow-straw color, not perfectly clear, with a half-finger of head. Smell is fairly mild, surprisingly, good hoppiness but not really out of control. Taste is another story. Fantastic mix of fruits and sweet caramel malts, with a huge blast of unique hops as well. One of the best tasting beers I've ever had. Feel is medium to full bodied, thick, syrupy, and one that definitely coats your mouth. Excellent aftertaste - a good one to end the night. Really a fantastic beer, with an outstanding flavor. Loses a little for drinkability in terms the high alcohol content, but overall absolutely great.

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Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.07 out of 5 based on 3,066 ratings.
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