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: 3,067
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright shiny copper, crystal clear body, with scattered carbonation streams. Topped by a thick slab of levle white froth. Good lacing.

The aroma hits the nose from a foot-and-a-half away, and holds up when sampled up close. Pine trees abound, and somewhere within lurks several fruit groves, including grapefruits and oranges.

Taste kicks off with a rich deep caramel/toffee with hints of dark chocolate foundation. Fruity juicy hops rise on the foundation with bits of orange, mango, tangerine, and grapefruit, and construct a skyscraper on the tongue, with is then cleaned with a sandblasting burst of a hop bite at the swallow. Gentle blanket of warming (but not biting) alcohol in the aftertaste.

Medium, maybe medium-plus mouthfeel. Not one to chug the bomber in one pull, but don't baby it either.

A very well composed IIPA, well integrated, tasty, drinkable. Highly recommended. Southern Tier is not second tier.

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Photo of tempest
3.86/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't know where those 153 IBUs are hidding, but this is still a pretty awesome big beer. Overall the taste and aroma were surprisingly sweet. Smelled almost medicinal with a bit of spicey hops coming through. Candy-like malt flavor mixed with citrus hops made up a flavor that came off a little creamy, probably from the red wheat. Maybe the most drinkable DIPA I've had, no hint of the 11% as the beer warms.

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Photo of soup35
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle

Luminous copper color with a pretty normal looking head.

Strong hop aroma with a bit of spicy-peppery hints.

This aggressive DIPA has a musky floral intense hop taste. It has small hints of dried flowers at the back of tongue. A complex, strong, powerful beer with a strong hoppy finish.

Southern Tier did a great job on this DIPA…probably my favorite Southern Tier beer.

If you are into your IPAs and DIPAs, you will definitely like this beer.

The bottle lists the ABV, platos, IBUs, and malts and hops…AND even the temperature and glass type to serve this delicious liquid. It’s the beer that keeps on giving!

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

Darlk orange, dusky, husky, unfiltered look in this, with a solid creamy off-white cap to it...much carbonation, many bubbles.

Aroma is a delirious mess, a mix of tropical fruits, citrus, pineapple, mango, orange, lime, ...in the coconut, call the doctor, wake him up, he say, DOC-Tor, ain't there nothing I can make, to relieve this bellyache...
Taste: strip the palate clean and make ready for this hop avalanche...or volcanic explosion, or whatever fits your geographical preference, it's a landslide of hoppiness on the palate, a blitz of fruity, citric flavors, blistering pine and pineapple, with greater grapefruit and pithy lemon zest...
Full bodied, with a immense presence on the palate which grabs the tongue and begs it to stay, and this overbearing eminence implores us to consider other aspects, such as...
11% abv???
153 IBUS???
a bunch of other crazy statistics???
what an incredible brew!!! really tests the water for the depths of hops and bitterness, yet staying utterly delicious! Yum meets yum, and then again, yum!
Nie job, So.Tier, very nice job. Just goes to show how many superiorly talented brewers there are, all over the U.S., waiting to show off their amazing abilities.
I always liked Southern Tier, now I have a greater respect...

thanks to Ed from Philly, the DArkOne, for securing my sample.

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Packaged in a 22 oz silk-screened amber bomber, states it should be served at 42F into a fluted glass
Served just above fridge temp about 36F into a Nonick pint
Aroma at the bottletop is 100% hops, like I opened up a jar of Cascades and took a whiff.
Pours with a good body, producing a nice 3/4" off white head with some coarse bubbles and oily look. Head persists for a while and leaves great lacing.
Color is rusty amber with a hint of red, and slightly hazy.
Aroma at the glass is more balanced, with rich maltiness, some piney and resinous hops in addition the the citrus.
Taste is very well balanced when cold. Plenty of maltiness, carbonation, hop flavor and aroma and bitterness. Don't be scared away by the huge IBU claim on the bottle--this is not a palate destroyer--more like 80 IBU is my guess.
As it warms, maltiness gets more pronounced. But, tastes a little more raw grainy and grassy. The malt bill of pale, wheat, and carapils becomes evident, having no caramel or toasty backbone to moderate. It gains an acidic bite in the finish.
Drinkability is excellent. Despite the 11% ABV, it's very quaffable, and thus possibly dangerously quaffable. Glad it was a bomber, pleased to have a second pour. It's a good beer that could be improved but still already stands on its own.

2010 edit: They've cleaned up their fermentation at Southern Tier This 2006 review above was a fair one on a fresh bottle, and Unearthly is simply more Unearthly now. All the hits it took in my original view are gone. Flavor is great until the last swallow. I gave it a 4.0 before, and it's earned a promotion.

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Photo of yinzer
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle. Not aged.

appearance - Light for a Double IPA. Cooper. Normal head.

smell - Sweel carmel with pine late addition hops. Very nice.

taste - Starts malty with pine flavors. The malt holds in there and stays sweet with a mild bitter finish. Not a big IPA when it comes to bitterness but the flavor and aroma hops are there.

mouthfeel - Full with a hint of carbonation.

drinkability - I've always found Southern Tier's beers while not a great example of the style to be very drinkable. East Coast for sure, hides the alcohol very well at 11%. Another clean solid beer.

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

The body was a very light coppery red color. A frothy white inch and a quarter head took a few minutes to dissolve. An average looking carbonation rising. Big thick lacing clumps.

A very nice hops aroma. A strong blend of citrus briefly gives way to a flash of pine aroma before ending with a clearly lemon zest note. These great flavors area little weak, but perfectly balanced.

Nicely balanced taste. A bitter hops blend of pine taste and light citric acids. A lemony finish isn't overpowering but helps the other flavors to mellow on the tongue.

A nice carbonation burst as it hits the front of the tongue moves the tastes to the side of the mouth. Above average thickness clinks to cheeks.

The total is greater then the sum of the parts. Great beer with a sharp chedder cheese and crackers as a relaxing snack. A very fine offering that I plan on stocking up on every time it gets released.

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

This beer pours a crystal clear amber with the slightest touch of red rose. There’s not much head after a while, but he slightly yellow film left some nice lace at first.

Smells of apricots, peaches and doughnuts. There’s also some fresh baked pastry, honey and rolled oats. A little pine pops in and out bringing with it some touches of alcohol that become more prevalent when it warms.

The flavor starts with a hop sting that shocked me at first but my palate got used to it as I drank my way through the first pint. There’s a base of boozy sweet maple syrup and oatmeal. The wicked hops leave traces of cedar and pineapple. Mostly, I’m just getting a beautiful sting out of this. Finishes, well, dry and bitter with a little “just took a shot of vodka” residual alcohol.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a tiny, easy going carbonation that is both thickening and playful. that was a nice surprise for an 11%’er.

This one’s not bad at all. It’s quite aggressive, a little bit boozy, but the bottom line is that it’s really quite good.

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

Picked up at Consumer Beverage in NY for $4.79 or something ridiculous.

Pours a clear copper, huge thick white head forms, some of the prettiest and most massive lace I've ever seen, great retention, this shit really sticks. Smell is huge, big hops and malt, sweet toffer, grains, pine and floral, big citrus, unbalanced in the greatest way. Taste is sweet up front, then attacks with crazy pine and floral hops, citrus grapefruit assault, , excellent balance between the hops, crazy but not crazy, clean bitterness in the finish, 153 IBU? Mouthfeel is medium to thick bodied, low carbonation, sticky, 11%? This beer looks massive on paper, but the balance is so incredible, you could sip this all day. Sorry Michigan Brewing, this is what a DIPA should be like.

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Photo of LarryV
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Redbone's in Somerville MA. Lovely deep amber color with a 1/2 inch fine textured head. Incredibly fragrant, the hops just jump out at you. Taste is big citrusy hops with a slightly sweet malt backbone that never becomes cloying, Really a nicely balanced beer. The alcohol manages to hide pretty well behind the hoppy facade. I think my friend summed it up when he ordered one and took his first taste - wow!!

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

Pours a bright orange red, with a silky head and a lot of lace.

Smell is up front and aggressive. Peppery at first, with a lot of fruitiness and citrus.

Taste is bittersweet at first, much more bitter and the hops are pronounced. Smooth, rich, and creamy is how I would characterize the malts. Juiciness towards the end with not much carbonation. Bitter all the way through but there's a sweetness at the end. Alcohol is present and warm, a bit spicy, but blends well. A fine brew.

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

22 ounce bottle served in my Duvel tulip.
Pours a crystal clear brilliant amber with a dense creamy resinous head. The aroma is a fabulous balance of citrus and earthy hops and sweet malt. The flavor features a dump truck of hops. Damn. Very aggressively bitter. Citrus and earthy notes, just as the aroma. Sweet malts work through, as does the alcohol. At 11% the alcohol is apparent, but not doesn’t come off as hot. Slick over the tongue. A welcome beer in my glass any day.

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Photo of waughbrew
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear mahogany, beautiful head - creamy and thick, stays and laces. Smells fruity and nutty. Tangerine. A bit of alcohol makes its presence known, but not as much as expected for the whopping 11%. Flavor is prickly piney but candyish coaty on tongue to peanut skin vegetal bitter crescendo. Beautiful male, just will not vibe with these hops! I don't get it - how are these malt and hop flavors supposed to work together? Their bright sizzly fruit clashes with the sweet and toasty malt. So many beers try this combo, and it just doesn't work. Smooth feel, easy to drink, but bland yeast.

Overall this is good, or even great in some ways, but the flavor clashes and it is missing any magic. Too clean just like an album that sounds too clear and polished. You need some grime, some pizzazzz, some funk. Pretty badass in malt and bitterness, but it needs at least a hint of yeast character.

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Photo of scooter231
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty beer, a light pinkish ruby, quite clear, with some head and a hint of lacing. Christmasy looking, if that makes any sense. Nose is hoppy, way way hoppy, with some sweet and earthy hops. Grassy, definitely grassy. Pungent. Hoppy, but nothing terribly exciting- not that that's bad... expected, I should say. Expected nose.

Taste is a bit more original, very flavorful, big taste, hoppy and quite earthy. There's a woodsy thing in here that's meaty and bold. It's almost a meal. Mouthfeel is simple and good. This brew is quite tasty. And for 11%- this is a sneaky, evil little bastard. Long live DIPAs.

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Photo of cabsandking
4.82/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark amber color an off white head dies to a moderate bubbly pool. Lots of nose activity with sweet floral hop notes in layers of dryness, citric acidity, and sour and some caramel malts and fruity esters. Right away you notice its wonderful balance. Roasted malts, caramel characters surrounded by extraordinarily tasty dry bitter hop characters. Alcohol is there but at eleven percent it does a great job of not making a dominant force. Fantastic mouthfeel that maintains crisp even carbonation to the end. Notes of toffee and buttery flavors get stronger as it warms. Again a tremendous hop addition and excellent balance makes this one a brew I will have to have again.

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear reddish orange with a giant white foamy head. Nice lacing and head retention. The smell isn't as strong as I hoped,but you can make out some "bisquity" scents along with brown sugar, alcohol,and hops. The taste is very hoppy with a high alcohol content along with bitter hops, and brown sugar. A very good taste with the m/f being well balanced and all flavors mixing well. A very good beer from a brewery that's very underated.

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Photo of grub
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Viggo hooked me up with this one. thanks eric!

pours a nice golden amber colour with a huge tan head. head drops slowly and leaves lots of rocky lace behind.

aroma is great. major hop attack. grapefruit and pine. nice malty sweetness behind the hops. alcohol hidden well.

taste is great. really nice pine and grapefruit hop flavour. resiny bitterness. bitterness is high, but works well. great bready and biscuity malt. caramel, but not overly sweet. wow. if i didn't know this was 11% i'd swear it wasn't above 8%. very well balanced.

mouthfeel is great. nice body, good carbonation level.

drinkability is dangerously good. as i said above, so well balanced you'd never know it is more than 7 or 8%abv. really great beer and a definite treat for the hopheads out there.

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

This is an outstanding beer. I have had it on tap on two occasions and it holds up well in a 22 ounce bomber. The ABV is well hidden with the hop/malt balance of this beer which reminds me a little of Devils Dancer. It has a strong nose of hops. A great brew.

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

I poured this one into my snifter. Clear amber with a redish hue. It left a small head which faded quickly but left some nice lace. The smell is intense. Big fruits and maltiness. Then come the hops, nice pungent piney and floral. This beer smells so good. The taste is also intense. Lots of hops and lots of malts to balance the brew, and a smooth alcohol finish with some bitterness to go home with.

There's a time and place for a beer like this, sip it slow through the night. This is some exceptional stuff.

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

Excellent beer...one finger of foam never fully disappears. Deep copper color and my-oh-my tons of hops. Especially noticeable floral aroma of cascade hops. Medium to slightly heavy mouthfeel with loads of bittering hops. Amazingly, the 11% ABV is pretty successfully masked, that is, until you take that last sip! I'll definitely want to find another bottle of this!

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Photo of kirok1999
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow, not at all the hop bomb I expected. Pours a very clear amber with a nice white head and sticky lacing. Smell is of mild citrus and caramel malts.
Taste is much the same but amped up. Citrus is the dominant hop note and it's very well done. Not over the top at all. Very nice caramel malt backbone backs up the hops very nicely.
Thick and sticky mouthfeel. Solid.
I could drink lots of this! Easy on the palate, very mild yet very pleasing to drink. I really like this one and will buy many more. Highly recommended.

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

It pours a crystal clear orange amber, carbonated with bubbles that rise viscously. A finger of off-white head dips soon to a frothy lunarscape. Beaded curtains of lacing drape the inside of the glass.

The aroma drives the sudden impact of a hop onslaught, breeding grapefruit, mandarin orange, and lemon, along with lightly floral pine and even something vaguely noble. Underneath is a network of toasted malt escorting caramel and a fair berry fruitiness. Present but subdued is a strain of alcohol, and the overall result is nothing short of mouthwatering.

Upon tasting, the malt actually impresses first, staging caramel and earthy berry, both sticky sweet. It's then that the hops slam into the palate, bombing with the citrus melange present in the aroma, wrapped around a still well-disguised ingot of warming alcohol. The grain revisits with a tart, wheaty feel before lemon and pine trade into a very potent but proportionate bitter finish. While complex, it's a balanced, blended, blissful hop-bomb bonanza.

Full bodied, it's syrupy, which combines with the oily hop resins to come across as tangible and chewy.

Sweet Jesus, the hops! And yet, the fact that there's a real balance speaks volumes to the arful crafting of this hoppy lupulin landslide. It's simply a gem of an enamel-eater. The ABV is plenty big, but slyly incorporated, so beware, my friends! So yes, it is drinkable, but make this the last beer you drink for the evening, because it lays happy waste to the 'buds. That's okay, because whatever world this one's from, I can finish on it quite contentedly. In fact, there's only a handful I'd choose over this fine offering.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.57/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Brown bottle with a green screen printed label listing ingredients and drinking instructions. Pours a light copper with quite a nice foamy off white head. Slow tiny bubbles, nice chunky lacing. Aroma is absolutely mouth watering, great blend of English and American hop varieties. Bitter sweet fresh hop oil aroma, citrus, floral, pine and a bit of spice, behind that complex hop aroma is a big hit of caramel, really smells wonderful. Full bodied with a syrupy texture. Very thick and caramel sweet, the hop bitterness is present until midway it is very complex, citrus, floral, pine, a little grassy, and really rides nicely into the finish which is a bit herbal and spicy. This beer is incredibly complex yet really very drinkable also despite it's incredibly high ABV. The alcohol volume can be felt as it warms my belly and my cheeks. About halfway through this bottle and I could feel it. The large English hop presence and high ABV makes this seem more like a barley wine that a IIPA, but does it really matter? It's delicious.


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Photo of cbl2
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11/2/2006 $4.99 22 oz. 11.00% No best by date.


Pours a hazy medium brown highlighted with orange, and topped by an inch of tight white head that settles slowly lacing the glass nicely.


Bursting with jammy grapefruit aroma, intensely focused and potent with a mildly sweet malt backbone.


153 IBU's according to the bottle, this is surprisingly well balanced, and not as hoppy as I was expecting. Nicely sweet with bitter grapefruit overtones. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, and somehow the 11% ABV is entirely masked. This goes down easy, which is frightening, considering how potent this beer is.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a big bomber and felt the buzz before I was half done. This beer straddles the line between double IPA and barley wine, but stays more firmly attached to the DIPA side of the fence. Lots of grapefruit-like hops and a nice thick mouthfeel. Very good flavor which sticks in your mouth, it even burned out the flavor of onions from dinner. Recommended.

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Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.07 out of 5 based on 3,067 ratings.
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