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

3,074 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 3,074 |  Reviews: 1,224
Photo of Brent
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This ranks among the best examples of an Imperial IPA - big, bold with (obviously) a boatload of hops and a sturdy malt platform on which to sally forth. Hops profile is both citric and called to mind Bell's Two Hearted Ale, with a touch of Founder's Centennial. ABV is well integrated in the profile, and the lively hopping keeps the flavor interesting throughout.

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

Bomber poured into a tulip.

A - bronze and just transparent enough to make me think I could drink 10 of them.

S - Sweet, hoppy, oranges when I gave it a good whiff, that was surprising.

T - Hops dominate with a decent amount of sweetness that turns to a lingering and pleasurable bitterness. It's a fresh tasting beer with a slight taste of alcohol.

M - Crisp, slightly carbonated, appropriately bodied.

O - Great beer, I could stand to have a few of these around regularly.

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Photo of alk3kenny
3.16/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried this and maybe I expected too much or too much hops but this was way sweeter then I expected and no hop bitterness... Good drinkable beer tasty sweet but not at all what I was expecting when I bought this... Love IPA's and bitterness was really hoping for something that punched me in the mouth bitter and just didn't happen

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Photo of BeerCon5
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly cloudy orange hue with about one finger of fluffy white head that dissappeared rather quickly.

The scent was of citrus, notes of floral hops, some notes of sweet sugar.

The taste was of citrus, orange peel, mildly bitter floral hops, and notes of alcohol at the end.

Medium body, very smooth feel, low carbonation.

I thought this was a pretty good beer, very easy to drink. Maybe a little more sweet than I would like, but still something I would drink again.

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

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A: Clear reddish amber body with a tan 1 finger head.

S: Heavy on the hops, very fresh smelling. Some other hints, but hops takes the cake.

T: Hops and alcohol cover the palate here, though it's very smooth. Slightly piney tastes, but the hops erupt brilliantly here.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Goes down easy.

O: An excellent IPA. Very well balanced despite being very high in hops.

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Photo of bogus564
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 fl oz, poured into a pint glass.

I am in a good mood, watching Penn State clobber Eastern Michigan (no surprise - my nephew's high school team could probably give EMU a run for their money), so why not grab some kettle chips and knock down a new beer? Away we go...

Ooh, it's certainly IPA-colored. Reddish amber, you can see through it, 3 cm orange rind colored head that holds up as long as it takes me to type this (I'm not an expert, so it holds a good while).

I smell hops. Well, duh, you're supposed to smell hops with an IPA, aren't you? Grapefruit, orange, pine, then prunes from the malt. Could be molasses at the very end, but something sweet and sticky nonetheless.

It tastes sweet. The first pickup is raisins, then grapefruit, then pine, then orange, then the unmistakeable flavor of alcohol. I'd have hoped for something more citrus hoppy, but I don't mind this at all. In fact, it's quite tasty.

Mouthfeel is good, not great. It's mediium-bodied, well-carbonated, decent on the palate, with a bit of a piny finish.

Overall, a really good beer. Not in the proportions I prefer, but consistent with its style, so I can't complain. Also, it goes perfectly with kettle chips, so my taste buds are enjoying the party. Enjoy.

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

A: Poured a bright orange color, but with some diluted Alka Seltzer that gave it a cloudy appearance. The 1/4 finger or so head died down after a couple of minutes and never came back.

S: Dry hopping was most evident: cascade, centenial, and chinook. However, the candy sugar was intensely in that mix as well... maybe even more so than the hops.

T: Nice and bitter on the back end, but cloyingly sweet on the front part. This kindof reminded me of diluted rock candy, orange and grapefruit juice, combined with whole leaf hops.

M: I actually dug the bitter part of the taste profile, but the sugar was just too a tad too overbearing. The carbonation was nice and low and the lacing was mildly splotchy at best.

O: I think the reason I dig the Oaked version of this brew is because the bitter, West Coast-esque elements stayed intact, while the sweetness was tamed. Still, this one was tasty.

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Photo of harrymel
2.85/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

No bottle date.

A: pours a hazy amber ale with under a single finger of tan foam which falls slowly to a broken sheet of the same with tortuous billows. Ringed lace.

S: This smells like sweet malts and some piny hops. Not much else. I fear this beer sat on the shelves for quite some time. That being said, the base malts smells of caramel and caramelized sugar.

T: Tastes like a sweet American style Barley Wine. Not impressed as an IPA goes. The malts are sweet and toffee like with hints of oxidation which has developed the malt nicely.

M: A hare thin on the body and low on the carb with a small slickness on the finish.

O: Well, I wish I knew the bottle date on this beer. I know it's not particularly new (as I've heard they've gone through a label change), but nonetheless, I know their beers to be generally sweet. As a result, I'm stuck believing this is relatively along the lines they intended. As an IIPA, this is far from hopped enough.

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

bomber shared with my girlfriend.
tulip glass.

a - pours a translucent amber color with a rocky finger of light yellow head. after calming, i get a thin film that leaves thick rings of lace in the glass.

s - grassy sweet malt, fresh baked bread, notes of honey, citrus, cherry.

t - wow. so much going on here. starts off sweet, almost carmelly, then moves into massive hop character. notes of orange, grapefruit, berry, honey and pine all crop up before fading into a lightly bitter finish. barely any trace of the alcohol content.

m - firmly medium with lighter carbonation. exceptionally smooth.

o - honestly i was pretty blown away. it certainly is appropriately titled. this beer just vaulted into my top 3 favorites for the style (rounded out by dfh 90 and hopslam). worth seeking out.

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Photo of Swim424
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bomber poured into terrapin cask glass.

A-almost a glowing orange/red with a nice head

S-smells like a beautiful pine forrest. makes me want to drink one of these in a pine forrest.

t-again some pine. upfront some sweet pine/floral malt finishing with a decent hop balance

mf-light residue that leaves a good feeling.

o-very good. not the best but a very good enjoyable IPA.

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Photo of stercomm
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber.

A - Honey colored with a very slight haze. Very small head minimal lacing.

S - Lots going on here, citrus, pine and sweet carmel malts, little mango.

T - Medium hops, nice balance with good carmel taste, some citrus and pine notes, medium finish.

M - light to medium bodied, medium carbonation.

D - Very nice, good blend of carmel sweetness and hoppiness.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a rich hazy copper-red color with a finger of frothy slightly off-white head. The head fades down slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is bursting with citrus hop aroma. There is a nice mix of grapefruit and mango. There is also a bit of pine and earthy hops with some sweet caramel malt and some booze as well.

T - Starts off with big citrus hops and strong bitterness. Nice kicks of mango, orange, and pineapple. Through the middle, the sweet caramel malts come, a touch of bready malts, and some more earthy hops come through. The finish is still big on the hops and bitterness with some sweetness and booze that all linger.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels fairly smooth with some syrup and resiny feelings.

D - Very drinkable. For an 11% abv beer, this still feels nice and balanced and drinkable. Sure, it is a bit more of a hoppy strong ale than a DIPA, but it still works quite well overall.

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Photo of antlerwrestler19
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very vibrant amber/orange with a 2 finger whitish/cream colored head that sits on top of the beer not wanting to leave - very thick and pillowy and looks like it's going to leave a lot of lacing once it recedes. Smell is sweet, tropical fruity hops as well as a resinous twang with a nice caramel malt undertone. The taste is intense and punches me in the mouth with sweet, bitter, malty caramel, fruity (mango, orange, etc.) - there's a lot going on here and the hops and malt seem to battle it out for the main flavor. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a nice amount of carbonation and no real burn from the alcohol. This beer is a definite sipper for me, very enjoyable.


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Photo of arizcards
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from the Cork n Ale in Saginaw, MI in late July for $7.49.

Brewed poured orange with smallish head that is leaving no lacing.

Nose is quite nice, orange and mango dominate.

Taste is very well balanced, big malt backbone balanced by citrus and tropical hops. A bit on the sweet side but delicious nonetheless.

Mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth, full body, adequate carbonation.

Overall this is a solid tasty brew. Not sure of the age but given the aromatic hopping going on i would say it was reasonably fresh. Glad i tried, i recommend this to 2ipa fans!

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

Pours a hazy copper gold color with a massive 2 finger creamy tan head that faded slowly and left great foamy lacing sticking to the sides and rings as it went down; after the head settles there is a small tan layer left on top that’s a sixteenth of an inch and leaves a mustache after each sip; a really fine looking DIPA.

Smells of huge hops up front, with an almost menacing hop heat in the initial whiff. The nose is full of citrus hops, grapefruit, orange peel, mango or guava, piney hops, floral hops, flowers, herbs, brown sugar, strong hop spices like coriander, pepper and cinnamon, sweet malt, light toasted grains and pretty noticeable alcohol, like a rum or dark liquor like scotch or bourbon; the 9.5% ABV is quite apparent in the aroma, and the citrus hops and sweetness are dominant. The malt sweetness calms the hops a little, but this beer is in your face and extremely hoppy and fragrant. I found this nose very enjoyable and appreciate the fact that the warning is built into the smell.

Tastes of citrus hops, grapefruit, orange peel, mango, guava, sweet malt, brown sugar, piney hops, cinnamon, floral hops, flowers, herbs, caramel, coriander, pepper and other hop spices, toasted grains, wet wheat bread, syrup, fruit like apple and pear, tea leaf like hop cones are floating in the beer and alcohol like a rum. This is a very sweet IPA and the hops are dominant, but there are enough malt and spices to add a little balance and not let this beer burn your taste buds too bad. There is no avoiding the burn, as this beer smells hot, drinks hot and then settles sweet, coating the tongue and mouth with a cotton candy like sweetness from the hop oil. It’s actually a really neat sensation, as this beer starts off like it’s going to singe your nostrils and then settles into a Skittles like flavor. The Sour Patch Kid candy of beers if you will. Over the past few years I’ve had this beer at least once and I always have enjoyed the extreme hoppy taste and oily feel.

Mouthfeel is very creamy and oily slick, like a lubricant almost, as this slides across the tongue leaving a sweet sugary hop coating and an oily resin that tastes like butter smeared across my tongue; the carbonation is pretty light, with a chewy feel and a medium body that makes this beer feel dense and almost like a tomato soup. The finish is sweet and tart, with a slight sour pucker that likely stems from the citrus hop presence and then fades off dry.

Medium drinkability, as this is a once a year bomber for me that I will always seek out and savor alone. This is not a session beer, and not a beer that I’d split with someone, but it is a very tasty DIPA that I will come back to year after year because it always tastes so damn good and flavorful, and always is an experience to drink. This is a slow sipper that is meant to tingle your mind the same way it tingles your taste buds. This is pretty sweet for an IPA, but that sweetness helps to hide the alcohol and really allows this beer to slide down smooth. I highly recommend trying this beer,

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Photo of Retail1LO
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I must say, I like this more than the oak aged rendition. Much smoother although, this STILL tastes oaky. Poured with a minimal head. Very sweet, malty taste. Lots of caramel. Finishes a bit sweet. Decent enough beer, but won't likely revisit. Give it a try.

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Photo of sdmvd6
2.51/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Deep orange with almost no head. What little there is disappears instantly and leaves behind no lacing.

S - Malt-forward. Caramel malt and that's mostly it. Some searching yields some tropical fruit hop presence but not much. Where's the hop-forward nose on this imperial IPA?

T - Same as the smell. Mostly malt from the beginning with some fruitiness from the hops. Hardly any bitterness is present. This beer doesn't taste bad, but I expect an imperial IPA to be a heck of a lot more bitter and hop-dominant.

M - Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation and a slight alcohol tinge in the finish. A little too much sweetness from the malt.

O - This is not a bad-tasting beer, but it is a poor representation of an imperial IPA IMO. The bitterness is very subtle for the style, and the hops are in way too good of balance with the malt. I don't drink an imperial IPA for perfect balance between malt and hops, I drink it for a pronounced hop character.

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

Growler from the brewery poured into a tulip.

Appearance. Deep amber in color with a very nice 2 fingers of head which slowly dissipates to about a half a finger of head. This remains through the rest of the drinking experience.

Smell. Full of both malt and hop. The malt is very carmely and sweet. Citric and tropical fruits dominate the nose, though.

Taste. Much like in the nose, there is a nice balance of malt and hop. Overall, though, the beer is very sweet. Despite this sweetness there is a high level of bitterness. The sweetness comes in the form of carmel and sweet tropical fruits like mango and pineapple. In addition there are flavors of grapefruit which come along with a building bitterness which balances out the sweetness quite well. The finish continues this bitterness with some of the hop flavor also sticking around.

Mouthfeel. Full bodied with a nice syrupy, slightly creamy feel. The carbonation is pleasant on the palate and complement the full body very well. This is what makes this beer unique from other Imperial IPAs for me.

Unfortunately this is a beer with two stories: it is amazing fresh, but definitely looses a lot with age. This review is about as fresh as you can get (on tap from the brewery). A review of this beer in a bottle is coming soon...

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

Poured into a snifter. Pours a clear, medium copper with a two fingered light tan head. Head drops quickly, leaving a nice collar of foam and some lacing.

Aromas of big piney, citrusy hops. Oranges, pink grapefruit, smells like a Starburst orange candy. Some malty sweetness hangs out in the background.

Flavors of explosive hop bitterness, citrusy, orange, grapefruit, some pine and mint. Big caramel maltiness backs up the bitter punch. Finish is very long, with orange hop bitterness lingering long into what can only barely be called a fade. Begs for another sip.

Mouthfeel is big, chewy malt, mouthcoating hop bitterness. Carbonation is spot on. Some alcohol burn as it warms. Bitterness turns drying about halfway through the first glass.

Overall, this is an outstanding DIPA. Nothing too harsh or grassy. Very nice balance.

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Photo of aficionado
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Duvel tulip.

DOB ~ 6/30/11

9.5% abv, 2-row pale, cara-pils, red wheat. kettle hops: chinook & cascade. hop back: styrian golding. dry hopped: cascade, centennial, & chinook.

Hazy deep orange body with hints of yellow near the surface. Inch tall head with superb lacing that sticks to the glass AND creates soapy bubble inside of the bottle.

Piney, catty, grapefruit, & rich caramel. Smells intense and mean... like it's going to do some damage. Extremely fruity, hoppy, and fierce.

Taste is sweet!! The caramel overtakes everything else. But there are definite blasts of intense catty grapefruit, Spring flower petals, and fresh pine cones. I remember this beer tasting much better when I was a beer newb vs. today now that I strongly prefer the drier hoppy beers.

Mouthfeel is heavy and thick. Light carbonation and a sticky feel. This is a dessert Imperial IPA. A must try and a quality beer, but a little too thick and sweet to be top notch.

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Photo of abgba121
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a light amber color with slightly less than an inch of head that leaves a strong lace behind.

S: very sweet for a DIPA, fruity and caramel tones, very slight/tiny hop presence

T: sweet for a DIPA as well, caramel maltiness and a slight citrus/piney feel towards the middle and and fruity/bitter finish, pretty tasty

M: medium body, slightly thick and good carbonation

O: A very good IPA though slightly sweet for my taste.

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Photo of matttttYCE
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thank you very much trxxpaxxs/Tom for this beer, the Southern Tier flute/goblet glass, and all of the other wonderful goodies he sent to me in the NOOB BIF 5!

Appearance - Gotta break in my new Southern Tier flute-ish glass right, so that's what I'm using for Unearthly. This beer pours a bright orange in color. The head is white in color, about 1 finger high and it diminishes but never really disappears. The lacing is moderate. Looks very nice in the flute glass!

Smell - Aroma is a nice mix of hops and malt, not just a pure hop or malt bomb. The hops at play here are floral, citrus, some grapefruit, notes that remind me of other sweet fruit (almost candy-like), and maybe a little pine. Other aspects here are malty notes (not quite biscuity), a pronounced sweetness (probably from the malt bill), and caramel. Nice smell. Smells like a very balanced DIPA.

Taste - This is a pretty malty DIPA. When I sip, I get notes of dry malt, some biscuit, and sweet caramel. Next I get some of those citrus and floral hops, along with grapefruit and some lighter bitterness from the hops. This is more malty than hoppy but it finds a nice balance. Not exactly what I prefer in DIPAs, but still a pretty well done beer.

Mouthfeel - Mouthfeel is on the thicker side for a DIPA, but still has a moderate feel to it. There's a dry and almost soapy quality to this one. Not bad, just interesting. Consistency is creamy, carbonation is moderate, body is about medium-high, and the finish is about average length.

Overall - Definitely not a bad DIPA by any means. Not quite my favorite iteration of the style, but still pretty good. I'd say it's worth a try especially if you like maltier/balanced DIPAs. I could see myself drinking this one again, especially when I'm not in the mood for a hop bomb of a DIPA. Can't wait to try Oak Aged Unearthly. Thanks again Tom!

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Photo of tdm168
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color with a quarter inch of head, and little retention. The nose is very malty with a citrus hops aroma and slight alcohol esters. Taste is rich malts with piny, floral hops. The alcohol is noticeable as the beer warms. Medium bodied with nice alcohol warmth and moderate carbonation.

I really liked this one. A little malty, but it helps balance the hops and alcohol. Really enjoyable!

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Photo of doughanson78
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Copper/amber in color with a slight haze. One finger slightly off white head, OK retention and awesome lacing.

S: Citrus and piney hops blending to create a unique aroma I haven't smelled before (good? bad? idk). Caramel malts coming through this different aroma. A very "earthy aroma".

T: Sweet caramel malts up front. Lots of toffee coming through. Again the strange Piney/Citrus blend comes through in the middle and finish, and is a little harsh to the palette. Has a very earthy aftertaste. Almost a tad chocolaty. Weird.

M: A full bodied IPA (for the style). Very creamy. Light carbonation.

O: A different blend of hops leaves me wondering about the taste of this one. Don't know if it is good or not. Definitely a deviation in the style. Probably a must try for most. Don't believe this one is for me though.

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

Picked this one up in a bottle at Giant Eagle on 8/1/2011

Appearance: Very rich golden, amber color. Poured a very subtle head, not too much to write home about. Almost no signs of carbonation besides a few sticky bubbles on side of my glass.

Smell: Very fruity hops. Sort of reminds me of Strawbelly jelly or candy... A bit of alcohol sneaks in after the sweet, caramel malts and fruity hop scent.

Taste: Intense sweet caramel-like taste with a moderate sour, soapy hoppiness shining through. Not as hoppy as I expected or would like to have with a IIPA. The alcohol snaps in quickly towards the end of the sip.

Mouthfeel: A little to thick for an IIPA, I believe. Moderately carbonated and only a bit sticky. I thought this offering was a bit too "thick feeling for a IIPA.

Overall: I was hoping for something a bit more hopped up but I am satisfied with this brew. Not something I will seek out again but I think I can recommend it to a few people who prefer a sweeter offering rather than a bitter hop bomb.

Coming in at 11% this is something you need to sip to enjoy, no downing like the town drunk on this one.

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Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.07 out of 5 based on 3,074 ratings.
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