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

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

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

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Reviews: 1,217 | Ratings: 3,039
Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BAs ampzilla and NutBrown.

Pours a nice clean/clear dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, a nice creamy one-finger tan head, lots of sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is malty, hoppy, citrusy, and a nice touch of pines and caramel. The taste is malty/hoppy, with a nice touch of sweetness, a nice touch of grapefruit, slight piney flavor. There's a nice bitter/dry finish. Medium body. Very drinkable, the sight of this brew is very encouraging when poured, awesome color. Highly recommended. Glad I have a extra bottle (ampzilla).

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A growler serving minutes from the tap.

Pours clear, an interesting ruby orange color with a loose off white head that fades fairly quickly. Little observable effervescence. A good amount of lacing.

The smell is quite aggressive. A big sweet malty nose of orange pineapple citrus hops.

Full bodied, the mouth feel is primarily very sweet and creamy also. The hop texture is balanced and the carbonation complements the character.

The flavor is as sweet as the smell. A huge sweet malty experience with a unique and significant pine-orange citrus flavor. The entire thing lingers appropriately.

An 11%-Sleeper that i find very easy to drink. Find this and consume mass quantities!

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Photo of ccrida
4.73/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Per the label on the 22oz bomber, I poured this into a flute glass - actually, Michael Jackson's Summer tasting glass, which is a tulip shaped flute. Unearthly is a clear copper orange, with a thick, 2 finger light khaki head, with a nice texture and leaving lots of clingy lace.

The nose, ironically, is very earthy hops, grassy, a touch piny, with a nice sweet malt background, that hints at alcohol without being boozy. As it warms, the hops get musty, almost b.o. like, but not as off-putting as that might sound. Worlds apart from the big pungent fruity west coast IPAs I've been drinking of late, but not bad, just different. I give it bonus points for it's subtly, being that this is such a big beer.

The taste is more malt dominant, semi-sweet, and while there's no question this is incredibly hoppy, it's just so incredibly smooth and balanced. There is like a watered down bourbon quality to this beer, tasty without the bite, and a while it is bitter towards the end, it finishes rather cleanly. This is defiantly my favorite big IPA, which is ironic because all my others favs are more west coast style. But I just love the subtlety of it, so incredibly well done. Like most IPAs, I agree with the label that it's better served cold, in this case cited 42F.

The mouthfeel is very nice, neither thin nor syrupy, perfect for any IPA, let alone a huge one.

This is just so good, I can't think of a more drinkable DIPA, or possibly big beer period. This is the first time I've had it in a bottle, which is quite nice. While I prefer a fresh keg, I don't have the luxury here in OR, so I'll take the bottle smuggled back in the suit case!
I'll never forgot the first time I had this beer, at the Sharp Edge in Pittsburgh, it was the manager Brett's recommendation. As I waited for it, I saw the price on the menu and thought jeeze, manager's choice I'll bet! Then I got it and was just floored, so fucking good! I only had it on draft a couple times after, and now I finally get it again, in the bottle, after a trip back east. Seek this one out, it's a phenomenal.

*Irony note, I just saw I gave it the exact same score on draft and bottle*

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Photo of TuckerCarlson
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Aggressive pour from a bomber into a tulip glass.

Clear honey color with a fluffy, sticky, pale orange head that doesn't dissipate and leaves a noticeable ring. Very nice lacing down the glass.

Assertive and complex mix of herbal, floral, and citrus with some sweet, biscuity malt thrown in.

Very strong on the citrus and herbal flavors, with noticeable warming from the alcohol. Surprisingly high residual sugars that become overwhelming (along with the alcohol) if it warms up too much.

Nice balance of thick creaminess with moderate carbonation that satisfies without overwhelming for the style.

The bottle recommends 42 F, which sounds cold, but I wouldn't recommend drinking it any warmer. DIPAs seem to each have a unique balance point, and this one is definitely a bit better on the cooler side. Regardless, this beer demands food accompaniment. Not for the faint of heart of the empty-stomached.

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Photo of Rudgers73
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served to me at a bar in a big crystal-looking chalice. Deep reddish-brown, thin whispy head, very little carbonation. The smell is very sweet and mellow. American hops fill your nose in the last few seconds of the smell. Starts out thick, chewy and sweet with a buttery undertone. The finish is crispy and dry from the pungent hops. Floral, but sweet hops. Very nice, but one was enough for the sake of making it home after dinner.

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Photo of Madmax99
4.44/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am a huge fan of IPA's and when I was at the bar the other night I was in wonder of this beer, not because it was an IPA (I had no Idea at the time), but by the tap head. When I tasted the beer, it was mildly hoppy. I was expecting more bitterness. I thought this beer was exceptionaly smooth for a higher alcohol beer.

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

A: Bright amber color that’s entirely clear of sediment. There is good bubble activity, but it starts mid-glass rather than coming up from the bottom like many beers. A butter cream head sits on top with small fluffy bubbles, pocketed with larger bubbles.

S: Creamsicle and tangerine swirl together, and are layered with vanilla and caramel. A slight apricot odor hits the nose with crushed pine needles.

T: Smooth and sultry, the flavors are complex and well blended. There is no harsh bite that you get with some DIPAs, yet the presence of hops is apparent. Honey-drenched toast flavors hit first, followed by grapefruit peel, mandarin and lime-aid. Oddly there is a dab of peanut butter with sunflower seeds in there as well.

M: Medium bodied, with smooth tight bubbles.

D: Thoroughly enjoyable, a nice change of pace for a DIPA. The more I sip, the better I feel.

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Photo of awall422
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper with a one inch creamy, off-white head. Good duration, leading to nice lacing. Initial aroma is what I expected, lots of grapefruit with some pine resins floating in the background. Initial taste is sweet, and the resiny hops seem to take over for the fruit. leaves a thick, heavy bitterness in the back of my throat. A little alcohol heat, but not bad for an 11%ABV. Nice double, but not a beer I'd try to drink more than a pint of at a time.

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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 slagle9480
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper-colored appearance, with a decent amount of head that lasted for a while.

S: This had a citrus-y and piney type aroma that smelled amazing as I approached my first sip. In fact, I even pulled the glass away hoping to experience it again (it worked!).

T: I can see how this beer has received such great reviews. It's flavorful and not too strong. (Especially for an 11.00%ABV.) The hops are awesome. Gotta love Cascade hops.

M: This beer jumps right out at you. Kind of gave me a prickle on my tongue until its bitterness settled in. All in all, no unpleasant surprises here.

D: With its stronger ABV, and at-times-overwhelmingly piney/citrusy taste, I could only drink a couple. The suggestion of serving it at 42F was dead-on though. Great ice-cold brew.

My brother-in-law picked it up at a local store in Jamestown, NY.

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Photo of Cresant
2.93/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into an IPA glass. No date. The body was a clear golden amber color with two fingers of camel colored head. The bottle suggests serving at 42F, I had it a little warmer (48-50F) and I wish I hadn't. I believe the alcohol overwhelmed the other aromas and flavors as it warmed.

Smell was malt and citrus. Sweet. Alcohol ramps up as it warmed.

Taste was also sweet, but bright in the beginning. The alcohol was well hidden at the beginning but blossomed as it warmed. Not a West Coast type of DIPA, more malty and sweet.

Mouthfeel was prickly on the tongue. The body was medium to full. I would like to try this one again, only served colder (I don't say that often!).

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

Im reviewing a cellar temp bottle poured into a large snifter. The bottle is about 8-10 months old. The beer pours a bright clear copper hue with a soft fluffy off white head of 3 cm foaming up easily and receding slowly.
The aroma is hop dominant with grassy notes, some herbal hits, and a bit of citrusy grapefruit as well nicely balanced mix hops and not overwhelming on super pungent either. I get some hints of grainy malt buried in the background.
The first sip reveals an average body with smooth soft texture. Very fine spacious casklike carbonation.
Flavor is breifly caramel that rolls to a mix of floral and citrus hops, not very bitter, more sweet and airy flavors, orange more than grapefruit here. I also do get some lingering pine sap bitterness on the finish. Also some syrupy texture on my lips after each swallow.
I dont really detect any alcohol flavors or temps so that makes this a deceptive drinker.
Quite a nice beer that I would expect will have snuck up on me a bit by the time I finish the bottle.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber, poured in a goblet.

A - clear, light copper color with a off-white head that thinned to a coating, leaving spotty lacing.

S - great aromas, piney hops, malt, and some alcohol, sweet smelling brew.

T - excellent taste, hops are there but not overpowering, instead the hops are balanced out with the sweetness of malt(s). Hint of alcohol taste as the brew warms up but hey, it is 11% abv.

M - light/medium bodied, mild carbonation, smooth, sweet, very nice.

D - 11% abv is pretty much hidden in taste, this brew goes down way too easy, so be careful with it.

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

It came from another planet with this one on 7/5/2006. 10.5 oz. goblet pour at Redones.

1/4-inch thick, level head dies to some light coating with a nice bead on it. Milky amber hue, maybe due to chill, verging on rose; can see some nice action going on. Fruity melon on the nose, honeydew, with a little hop astringency and just a touch of cliantro and white pepper. On the mouth, quick hop bite is washed away by a well balanced hop to malt bill, still heavier in the hop column, but welcomely balanced nonehteless. Fantasically drinkable with a not-too-heavy body.

Haven't had many Southern Tier offeings; will need to try more.

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

A 22oz bomber poured into a tulip glass. It was a clear amber color with a small head. Wonderful aroma: hop resin, pine, something sweet like honey. Flavor's great too. Hops up front, a subtle pine taste. The sweetness in the taste seemed to be more fruity. A substantial beer, one to sip and savor.

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

Thanks to khiasmus for a chance to taste this beer!

It poured out a clear dark amber color with very active looking bubbles - it looks heavily carbonated. It has a small beige head with very large bubbles. The smell is mostly lemon rind and some pine. There is also some noble hop floral smells and a bit of a caramelly scent.

The taste is very well balanced. There is an initial caramel sweetness that quickly fades to a hop bitterness with a lightly dry finish. The mouthfeel is pretty full but exceptionally smooth. This is a very easy to drink double IPA. It's hard to beleive the ABV on this beer.

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

Picked this up the other day, and couldn't wait to try it.

22oz poured into wine glass.

pours a deep amber red color, with a head that sticks around for a long time. Smell is very hoppy and citrus. I smell pine as well. Taste is really where this takes off. I was expecting a hop bomb followed by a bitter mouth feel. I experienced the delicious hops, but the backbone is a malty finish that leaves the feeling in your mouth wanting more. Drank this with spicy cheese and french bread. Sipped on this baby all evening. Highly recommended.

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

Great orange color to this beer. Sizeable head when poured. Spilled a bit and it feels like a sticky mess. Big ole hop aroma-resiny and piney. A huge blast of malt and hops in the flavor. A real tongue stripper of hop bitterness. Syrupy sweet, malt body to it. Just a great balance between the two. Extremely citrus like. Great body. No trace of 11% here. A very agressive, hoppy beer and done damn well. Along the lines of Moylans Hopsickle. A great blast of hops, malt and beer all around.

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

The Unearthly Double IPA pours an expected but nice red, amber orange color into a Stone RIS snifter. With a moderately aggressive pour, the head settles down to a solid creamy top. The smell is all hops - citrus, piney, it really smells like fresh fresh American hops. (The bottle reads that it is brewed with chinook and cascade in the kettle, styrian goldings in the hopback (I guess not all American hops), and the 3 C's for dry hop). The taste is incredible. It's way more balanced than I expected at 11%. Warming ethanol makes way to malt quickly kicked in the mouth by a huge dose of the hops. Delicious. Medium to heavy body, a little viscous. High rating for drinkability. The alcohol is very well hidden. I definitely recommend this brew.

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Photo of John_M
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bought a bottle of this at Capone's the other day. My first chance to try a beer from this brewery.

The beer pours an orange, gold color, without much head, but very decent lacing. What head there is sticks around and coats the inside of the glass. On the nose one gets a goodly amount of citrus from the hops, but also considerable malty sweetness. No DIPA from the NW would ever smell like this (which of course it isn't). On the palate one can sense immediately that this is a very big beer. There is an initial blast of hops, but that is quickly overtaken by an even bigger blast of sweet malt. In addition to the citrus flavors from the hops, I get cherry cough drop, amaretto and sweet melon. The beer has an impressive mouthfeel and is quite warming from the high abv. The beer finishes with a hint of harsh bitterness at the end, something I get all too frequently from DIPA's with this amount of sweetness and abv.

This is a good DIPA, but I can't say it's anything special. In fact, it reminds me very much of the Stoudt DIPA, but is even sweeter and less drinkable. With so much sweetness and so much alcohol, I'm not sure I'll be able to drink an entire bomber of this stuff. Just not my style I guess.

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