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

3,068 Ratings
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,068 |  Reviews: 1,222
Photo of Ralphus
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

EDIT: We've since discovered this shipment was actually 6.5%. No wonder the extra alcohol content wasn't detectable!

Southern Tier Unearthly, despite the considerably higher alcohol, isn't that much different than their IPA. And that's a considerable achievement given that it kicks things up another 5%. My 11 bottles came on a private order (the 12th being given as a thank you to my amazing in laws that gave them to me as a gift).

The appearance is pleasing in color, a medium golden brown with with some reddish highlights. There's little head and no lacing to speak of. The smell is of sweet orange fruit mostly but you can pick up the hops as well. Taste-wise things are cranked up a notch. Lots of fruity sweetness initially and a burst of pine like hops towards the end balances things out nicely. The alcohol is there but you would never ever guess it was 11%. Southern Tier has done a great job hiding it.

Mouthfeel is pleasing.. silky smooth with a tiny prick of carbonation. Drinkability rates average for it's style.. no one in their right mind is going to be packing away many of these in a session!

 1,117 characters

Photo of midaszero
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Slightly hazy golden orange with a little bit of white head and good lacing

S - Mellow floral hops and some orange

T - Lots of hop flavor but not to bitter. Very noticeable alcohol presence with decent balance.

M - Medium body with medium-high carbonation

D - Pretty good but also pretty strong. Not to session but mostly enjoyable.

 340 characters

Photo of Ralelen
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought a bomber for $5.99 tonight and so far so good. Great aroma, the floral/citrus smell of the hops hit me right off the bat. The alcohol content was not overpowering as I thought it might be. There does seem to be something missing, maybe a bit more body would help?

 272 characters

Photo of bebopkola
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm not a hophead my any means but the aroma and taste of this beer definatley opened up my palate. Aromas of citrus and rich hops follow through upon tastign with flavors of mango, pineapple, and an earthy bitterness that reminds me of a belgium saison. The best part of this beer is that it is incredibly drinkable. Overall, an amazing DIPA that is complex and delectable at the same time.

 391 characters

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

this is the stuff! - i bought this on the blind when a turco's supermarket started carrying craft beers - they've (turco's) since expanded their space but apparently haven't re-upped the southern tier line , except for the seasonals - i got another distributor to add it to their already existing st line -
i really like the hop kick from this brew - at first it was overpowering hop-bitterness - now it's mind-blowing hop bitterness! incredible stuff!

 452 characters

Photo of bum732
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear amber orange. Great fluffy head with very nice lacing. Smells of sweet bread, lots of earthy hops, a little pine, grassy, citrus notes like orange and lemon. Tastes of sweet bready malt up front followed close behind by citrusy and earthy hopness. Finishes quite sweet with a very earthy taste. Alcohol is very well hidden, scary well hidden.

A very nice beer, truly represents the east coast DIPA. Malty and rich with that earthy and citrusy hoppiness. Not really my cup of tea, but fantastic example of the style.

 535 characters

Photo of GilGarp
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a trip to Minnesota. I'm excited to try one of the great beers from this renown brewery.

Pours from the 650ml bottle into a globe shaped glass. It's hazy golden orange in color with almost no head. What little bit of white head is there at first quickly wanes to a skim layer.

Aroma is sweet and dominantly hoppy. I enjoy how the bottle details the different hops used in the brewing process. The smell is really nice with showing grapefruit and other citrusy hops.

Taste is really impressive for being so well balanced. The hops are certainly the star of the show but malts don't hide in the shadows of this beer. I get a lot of sweetness up front with citrus and pine towards the middle. It finishes bitter like many in this style but it never gives a lethal punch.

Mouthfeel is smooth and almost creamy. Not too sharp or bitter and the alcohol hides itself very well. Drinkability is good for the same reasons but I feel that 11% sneaking up.

A great beer overall and I can see why this brewery is so well respected. It's not easy to make a big double IPA feel both balanced and drinkable and they achieved both with Unearthly.

 1,153 characters

Photo of cleeze
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Talk about a hop bomb! I think this is a great example of an "eastt" coast DIPA. The appearance is almost a amber with a nice two finger frothy head. Not much in the lacing departmant though. Smells of straight up hops from the minute I cracked it open. Deffinatly cascade. Same with the taste. Cascade hops shine right through. Might be a little too much for me, but still a great brew

 386 characters

Photo of ibbjamin
2.25/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Paid $5.99 for a bomber from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. Poured into a large snifter.

Pours moderately thick for a DIPA leaving a rather fizzy half inch white head that dissipates quite quickly leaving minimal retention. Rather transparent light amber color with some carbonation visually present. Almost no lacing.

A well balanced DIPA. The hoppiness is balanced well with a grainy malt aroma. Rather mild on the nose.

Again, the goal with this one must have been to make a well balanced DIPA.

The mouth is somewhat creamy but has a somewhat watery, crisp finish. Aftertaste does not last much. Good carbonation.

Not what I'm looking for in a DIPA and even for what it's worth, I'm not really sure this brew was a success. Quite overrated. So much so, it makes me wonder if this is a bad batch or something?

 819 characters

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

This behemoth IPA pours out a hazy amber murky golden tone. It actually looks very rendolent of a Flemish Red. Supreme head that is suprisingly light and fluffy despite the weight of the beast. Lots of lacing, hop resins everyhere. Very nice. IS there Belgian yeast here?
The aromomatic bomb contained in this bottle detonates as soon as it hits the glass, filling the room with its citric piney aftershock. The aroma alone rockets this "unearthy" beverage into orbit. A supremely complex spectrum of honeyed lemons,fresh malty bread,candied orange,grapefruit,a nice wiff of phenols to bind it all together. The utter freshness of the hops and just-kilned barley is remarkable. Unfiltered apple cider also comes to mind not only on the appearance,but in the aromatics as well. Im already extremly satified.
Wow. Thats really all I can say upon trying this brew. Extremly velvety and opulent mouthfeel. The "fresh" flavors comes immediatley. The malts come through immediately, follwed by delicate citrus fruits,barleywine-like concentration of fruity malts,vanilla-oaky burbon intensity.
Where is the ABV? This is a showcase of brewing Mastery. This is increadibly balanced, the ABV is buried, the hops an utilized,not over-exerted.
Drinkablity is perfection in my book, so easy to drink, yet so delicious its sippable lest all the beer is gone!
Ive never said that any IPA gives Dogfish 120 a run for its money in terms of true balance of such extreme proportions of ingredient used,but Unearthly steps up to the challenge and delivers.

 1,538 characters

Photo of Reaper16
3.77/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served from a 650mL bottle into a new 2009 Boulevard Smokestack Series goblet

Pours a pleasing shade of darkened tangerine. The head, on this pour anyway, was pretty low. (Was my glass not clean enough?)

Grassy hops, lemongrass, caramel malt, some biscuit. It is hard to distinguish specific aromas as they all blend in together quite seamlessly.

Wow, the malt hits the tongue first and stays. This is very malty, which surprises me. Not nearly as much grapefruit as I thought there was going to be given the hops used. Faint bitterness on the tongue. It's hoppy, sure, but not overly so. Actually, its not hoppy enough for my tastes. Unearthly manages to be restrained somewhow; it must the the huge, sweet malts. Some lemon and honey come out of the hops and round out the flavors. The alcohol does make itself noticed, too.

Not much carbonation, which leads to this beer being almost syrupy. Any more chewiness and this beer would have been too sweet; as is, the feel is still good. Its 11% ABV, and I'm starting to feel it as finish the bomber.

This is another Imperial IPA that I find to be too balanced for my liking. Its a very good beer,and my ratings reflect that. I just want a double IPA that is more bitter, drying, hoppy and less malty/sweet. Can I get some CA DIPAs, please?

 1,293 characters

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

At long last, I am finally able to buy Southern Tier here in Illinois. Hallelujah! Clear bronze body with two and one-half fingers of off-white head atop. Rich aromas of hops, plenty of citrus with a hint of pine and mint leaf. Not a big blast on the nose but a steady whiff of malt and citrus hops. However, so far, I'm quite impressed.

The taste is terrific--grapefruit, a bit of lemon, lots of caramel. Very smooth and malty but also with that chewy, almost gritty hopped texture that I love so much, Unearthly strikes a fine balance as a good DIPA must, making the mouthfeel ideal.

Unearthly has quickly vaulted into my top-10 IPAs. An excellent beer, this makes me all the more thankful that Southern Tier is finally available here. Many thanks to all the good BAs who recommended this and other Southern Tier wares in the forum.


 851 characters

Photo of ryrust5301
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Deep orange with a golden yellow tint. Looks about like i'd like my DIPA's too. Head was a pillow of creamy whiteness, which settled into a fair amount of lacing. Tough to find fault with anything.

Smell - A few different kinds of hops were used in the one, and they mesh nicely in the nose. Hops are very subtle and whispy, not overpowering. Almost a buttery like smell from the malt, blended in with some grapefruit.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Remarkable balance! The bitterness of the hops makes it a perfect sipper. Not too much as was the case in the nose, but the perfect amount to make the mouth pucker a bit, before gliding into a sweet honey malt. Very smooth, buttery, and fullbodied feel to it. It almost wants to go the barleywine route, but stays right in the middle which is a damn fine achievement.

Drinkability - A heavenly sipper to quaff for an hour or so. Beautifully blended, and balanced so shockingly well that even the alcohol is hardly noticeable

 979 characters

Photo of ShrLSU
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle from Sam's in Chicago. Appearence was a deep copper with a bubbly white head that disappated after pouring. The nose bready yeast, sweet malt and citrus hops. The taste is sweet and malty with hop bitterness. I was expecting a hop overload at first. It was more balanced which is the characteristic of an imperial ipa. It was kind of buttery and slick with a slight boozy taste. Not much carbonation and pretty easy to drink. Know what you are drinking before you open it. It fits the style well and is very enjoyable.

 531 characters

Photo of brunop
2.6/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

i really wanted to like this. everyone was always going on about it and all. so i was stoked when i got a bottle and chilled it good and got out my favorite glass and poured it.

what a let down. maybe i was too stoked. i don't know.

i was all set for a hop blast. wasn't happenin' at all. maybe i got a bad bottle, i don't know.

a great disappointment. hardly any hop flavor at all. and there was even a sweet undercurrent.

i may try their other beers, but i am skeptical.

 476 characters

Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very nice deep golden color, very clear not cloudy at all with a nice little head on top.

Smells of strong hops with traces of pine scent.

Very strong hops and malt flavor as expected with a nice sweet balance of caramel and a small pine kick at the end all masking the alcohol well. Very impressive.

Very thick and creamy with moderate carbonation making for a very smooth drink.

Overall a uniquely tasty DIPA that's very smooth. Will buy again!

 450 characters

Photo of PerzentRizen
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was my first Southern Tier beer but I have many more to try from my latest beer run.

I poured this one into a Duvel glass. The head developed a little slow as the beer was chilled to the prescribed 42 degrees. I let it warm a bit. I think with 11 percent ABV this beer is better at 50 or so. This beer as amazing clarity and looks great.

The aroma is of sweet hops but it's hard to determine one hop from another since this has 4 varieties to serve as aroma, taste, and bitterness. The smell unlike most IPA's makes the beer seem extremely approachable for even the non-Hophead (although I am one).

The first taste proves the above statement to be misleading as an all out war is waged with Hops being the only weapons. The flavors of this one are special. This beer has the ability to seem extremely unbalanced up front but the malt then takes over and the hops linger as a pleasant memory in the back of the throat. The deep roastiness of the malt soothes the hop-burnt tastebuds.

The mouthfeel is like velvet. This beer has the texture of an RIS. Very Very Viscous! I almost had to chew this one. That through me off a bit. I would imagine that is due to the 11% ABV. I loved the flavor but texturally it was a bit much.

Drinkability suffered for me because I knew I was not in any position to drink another one of these. I will say this beer was extremely smooth and extremely easy to move through. I would not however seek another in my beer stash to put down tonight. Great brew!

 1,495 characters

Photo of claytri
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a light copper with a white head. The aroma was pretty much straightforward malt and hops. The taste started with malt and a bit of berry, which was then enveloped by the hops. The feel is medium and dry. Pretty impressive, a good deal of hops, but it is blended in well and gives you more than just bitter, count me in as a new fan.

 349 characters

Photo of mrandolph
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer smells of citrus and malt, is surprisingly sweet for an IIPA/Double IPA/ Imperial IPA. The middle is sweet and smooth, medium body and a nice layer of tiny bubbles to carbonate. The beer has a nice golden/amber color, especially visible in the recommended tulip wine glass. The body and head retention are medium-low. The finish was good, somewhat dry with lingering hops. Overall an excellent beer, though it was less hoppy than I remembered. It paired nicely with some homemade pesto.

 495 characters

Photo of AMoceri7
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pleasant surprise.

A: Golden, not Golden Pissner color. GOLD. Looks great, minimal head as the lacing adds great texture throughout.

S: Screaming malt and hops. If I didnt see the labeling on this I would have easily thought it was Averys Hog Heaven Barleywine. Which is...incredible.

T: Hop intensity and malt are obvious. Caramel sweetness seems to be a tad bit more intense than other DIPAs Ive had but none the less great. Almost no alcohol noticeable at all. The hops kick hard. There are at least 4 hop types it says are in it so its hard to pick out much of the flavor the hops administer. Pine hop flavor pushes at the finish, grapefruit and the obvious peach are all accompanied but lightly roasted amber malts. Some spice (ginger/cinnamon bark) maybe but that could just be the hops. Cant say its all that balanced, the sweetness of the malt is far from complimenting. All the flavors sort of jump out.

M: Very very close to being balanced and complimenting but it runs short. Very syrupy and thick, mmmhmm. Carbonation is a tad high.

D: Not bad, the buzz comes quick and slows you down, might make you sick after a while.

Overall: Very impressed, I liked this a lot. Would probably buy again. Not much else to say about it. Wish it was a 4 or a 6.

 1,266 characters

Photo of Globetrotter
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hand-delivered from the U.S. to Vienna (thanks, Jeff and Chris!), the bomber looks just like the picture. It pours a clear deep copper hue under a short-lived light beige one finger head that manages to generate some very impressive lace before fading to film and collar. The nose is a wonderful bouquet of citrus and flower, strong on the grapefruit but not ignoring the carnation, either. The mouth is slightly sticky and quite prickly, evidence of significant carbonation. The taste is all hops, predominantly citrus again. but with a significant espresso bitter hiding underneath. The citrus fades on the swallow, leaving the dry espresso bitter to dominate the finish and aftertaste, achingly urging another swig. There's plenty of alcohol here, which does not try to hide its influence. This is a bold and uncompromising drink, not for the faint of heart. Yum!

 866 characters

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

Bomber from Gary's in Madison, NJ. Burnt orange pour with a small but never ending head. HUGE hop aroma and a wonderful citrus and caramel flavor. One of the top 5 beers I had on my vacation on the east coast, and I am very happy to have learned fairly recently that I can pick up some Southern Tier if I'm willing to venture to Washington.

 340 characters

Photo of psunate
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

Minimal amount of white head that dissipated quickly on a nice, red-orange tinged body. This DIPA, unlike some others, is pretty pure as I can cleary see my hand on the other side of the glass.

Can definitely smell the hops but not nearly as much as some other hop-bomb DIPA's.

Hoppy citrus flavors up front, orange and grapefruit, that quickly turn to a malty sweetness. Almost candy like sweetness at the end.

The drinkability is excellent for a beer listed at 11% ABV. Overall, it seems that this DIPA, in attempt to avoid being unbalanced on the hop side of the equation, leans towards the malt backbone that dominates quickly into tasting. Not my favorite DIPA due to this, but still a delicious beer. Would be a good DIPA to introduce someone new to the style with.

 813 characters

Photo of OlRasputin989
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: 1 finger foam head sits atop a very hazy, mystifying, glowing orange ale. The head gently fades leaving lacing a couple of centimeters above the beer.

S: Sweet delicate aroma that tickles the nose hairs: probably a combo of the high ABV and IBUs. Hard to describe. Is that orange peel?

T: Such a great maltiness. This is a beer that leaves my tastebuds stunned as well. But I'm still getting some orange peel and the bitterness makes me think of grapefruits without the sourness.

M: For 152 IBUs, I was suprised my mouth wasn't left bitter and dry. The heavyness of the malts encourages you too sip what your tastebuds tell you to repeatedly enjoy

Overall, exceptional I2pa. This beer is currently one of my favorites of this style. All around a spectacular beer.

 770 characters

Photo of yesyouam
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Southern Tier Un*Earthly is a mostly clear amber ale with a small, foamy, yellowish head. The lacing is outstanding and the head has good retention. Fresh, herbal hops are in the nose: pine, grapefruit, but also a wooden spiciness and a sharp, fruity note from the malt. It smells very fresh. It's on the heavy side of medium-bodied. It's soft, smooth and a little sludgy. It's a touch sweet and a touch like iced tea. It's insanely bitter but it's not jarring. It has an almost berry quality-- the flavor grows less sweet and more resiny and by the end it's almost soapy. It is, after all, hella bitter. This is a bold and inspiring IPA. A bit stuntish, but pretty reasonable.
(rated Dec 1, 2007)

 697 characters

Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.07 out of 5 based on 3,068 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.