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

1,221 Reviews
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 Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,221 | Ratings: 3,061
Photo of Doomcifer
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a semi-clear, reddish/amber color with a magnificent, off-white, creamy head that retains wonderfully. Great lacing leaves my glassware beautifully decorated as well. Nice!!!

Aroma is of huge citrusy hops, with a strong sweet malty backbone. Lots of grassy notes are present as well, including hop spiciness, candy, and wonderful floral hoppy notes. No alcohol detected in the nose at all, even though this brew clocks in at 11.0% abv. Outstanding.

Taste is just phenomenal. Spicy and huge piney hops up front with an amazing malty flavored backbone. Grassy, earthy, and ending semi-dry but not astringent. From the smell, you would think this beer would be a bit on the sweet side even though it isn't. Ridiculously smooth and balanced. Alcohol @ 11.0 is hardly detected!!

Mouthfeel is rich and velvety with moderate carbonation. Great feel for an Impy IPA.

Judging based solely on flavor, I could drink this baby all damn day. It is that good...no, GREAT. Throw in the alcohol factor, and I would have to say one bomber is enough. Tolerance allowing though, this is just smooth as silk and ultra-balanced. A magnificent Imperial IPA, Triple IPA even, that is probably my second favorite, right behind Yulesmith. Which is a feat in itself. Hats off to Southern Tier for brewing one of the best beers in the entire world.

 1,331 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.97/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: It has a very intense hops & citrus aroma. There’s really much else to say about the smell except that it was excellent.

T: Very well-balanced blend of hops, citrus and caramelized malt. The hops flavor is certainly the most prevalent as you would expect, but it allows the fruit and malt in as a compliment rather than competing for dominance. The hops remain in a pleasant after-taste.

M: Very crisp, very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, excellent finish.

D: This one is very tasty and light for a 2IPA. This is now one of my favorites. Once you start drinking it, you’ll find it hard to switch to anything else.

 819 characters

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

22 oz bomber -> imperial pint
no date

Pours rich shiney copper with a big thick head that fades to a fluffy light tan pillow. Sporadic spotted lace hangs down the glass. The initial extreme carbonation settles down to a slowly rising promenade of tiny bubbles.

Nose: Grapefruit and pineapple dominate, with malted caramel tones.

Taste: Balanced and strong, smooth and full, sweet and bitter. The sweet fruity hop intro is subdued by a strong malt back which reluctantely gives way to a completely full and dominate hop aftertaste blast. Bitterness last in the mouth and leaves one gasping for some water. Wow. Not far from a barleywine.

Mouthfeel: Smooth silky and full. Impressive.

Only the brave would session this bad boy. One bomber usually can do the job. A smooth beer, but don't forget about the 11%.

 826 characters

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

Okay, I just reviewed the bottled version. I swung by Fat Head's on my way out of town a couple of weeks back and it was available on tap. I had to try it again; I''m glad I did.

Poured into a fluted glass, the head was minimal so as to maximize the serving size but was still impressively thick and sticky. The smell was somewhat subdued as compared to the bottled variety, but still extremely floral and piney.

The Flavor was superior to the bottled version, showing more balance: while the hops were still massive, the malt was actually present. Mouthfeel was thinner and much more pleasant. The 12oz serving was just about a perfect size, as well. Very drinkable.

A very good beer in bottles became a great beer on tap. If you ever have a chance, do yourself a favor and get a glass. You'll be glad you did.

 823 characters

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

22 oz. bomber courtesy of Tyrawlings.

Appearance: Poured into an August Schell tulip. Body is bronze and clear, thick streams of bubbles.

Smell: Sticky and sweet herbal hops, rich, hoppy and some biscuity malt, very good.

Taste: Not as hoppy as I was expecting. The alcohol is almost as integral to the taste as the hops are. The hops do have a good flavor, very sweet and herbal, but I need more strength in bitterness in this style.

Drinkability: I will have no problem sipping this bomber, it is a tasty beer, I just want bigger hops. The name is clever, as this beer definitely of this world.

 608 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep orange slightly copper with a thin off white head.

S - Sweet caramel and bready malt with a big juicy grapefruit hoppiness mixed in with a slightly earthy hoppiness.

T - Big sweet caramel malt balanced out with a juicy grapefruit hoppiness. It reminds me of Hercules by Great Divide without the piney hops. Very well balanced.

M - Full body due to lack of carbonation and a the syrupy coating of the mouth. Not a real bitter finish so it doesn't leave the dryness on the tongue that most DIPA's do. Alcohol has a warming presence but it not noticed in taste.

D - The alcohol is well hidden making this one very drinkable. The ABV will sneak up on you with this one.

 694 characters

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

Appearance: clear orange in color with a long lasting 2" head. The head also has some huge bubbles in it. Few slow rising carbonation bubbles are spotted. Nice lacing.

Smell: pine, grapefruit, and honey are easily picked up by the nose.

Taste: nice strong malt profile with a balanced piney bitterness. Tart grapefruit and sweet oranges are noticeable on the citrus front, and alcohol is definitely noticeable but not intrusive to the flavor.

Mouthfeel: crisp and very dry from start to finish. Long bitter aftertaste that feels like it is glued to your tongue. Heavy bodied.

Drinkability: a superb DIPA that is easy drinking and flavorful. The high alcohol levels knock this down a notch, but this is one great beer.

 729 characters

Photo of EStreet20
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber poured into a snifter glass that flares in a little at the top.

A - Pours out a nice deep copper color with a good sized white head on top. Head has staying power and decent lacing

S - Lots of hops. Pine and grassy intitially with beautiful citrus tones underneath. Oranges and grapefruits both definitely present,

T - A very raw flavor with a lot of hop bitterness followed by an alcohol flavor. A good Tasting DIPA overall. Not balanced but a good hop fix.

M - A medium to full bodied brew has a nice amount of carbonation rolling around

D - A hop bomb for lovers of hop bombs. A little malt sweetness for balance might be nice, but might also not be what the brewers were going for.

 716 characters

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

A clear, orange/copper color with a frothy, thick head that left behind considerable lacing. Heavy carbonation. Aromas of hops, citrus, toasted grains, fresh bread, oil, and flowers. The taste follows the nose with hops clearly dominating. Crisp and refreshing with citrus flavors adding a nice aftertaste. Slightly creamy in my mouth with a pronounced bitter finish.

 367 characters

Photo of Hautacam
4.34/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep orange-amber...almost no head..looks viscous.
Smells of floral and citrusy hops.
Taste is sweet malt with a ton of citrus hop bitter. There is a dryness in there that I didn't notice when I had this on tap. Not overly dry, though....probably the alcohol ; but the alcohol flavor was hidden in the massive hop attack.
Heavy mouthfeel....low carbonation.
I really enjoyed savoring this bomber for 2 hrs...enjoying every sip.

 431 characters

Photo of bwyker
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

Appearance: Vivid mahogany body with a very thin white head of foam. Slight lacing around the circumference of the glass.

Aroma: Pine cones and sweet citrus.

Taste: Dry hopped with Chinooks?! You can definitely taste that earthy bitterness all the way through. Some grapefruit and light caramel in there.

Mouthfeel. Not too harsh on the palate, despite the 153 IBUs. However, feel a pucker in the finish that reminds you the alpha acids are there.

Drinkablity: It’s a hefty one. A little too bitter for mass appeal, I would guess. However, hop heads will enjoy it very much.

 630 characters

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

Nice clear red-orange color. Very solid head, even after a few months of sitting in the fridge.

Strong, inviting hoppy aroma. This is one that if I caught a whiff of someone drinking it, I would float right to it like Toucan Sam. Tantalizing aroma.

Strong, heavy hop flavor. "Imperial" about sums it up. Very heavy hop presence, but a surprisingly mild and pleasant aftertaste. Doesn't sit on the palate.

This is a very thick and heavy ale, and though it's 11.00% ABV, there is not an overwhelming alcoholic characteristic to it. Doesn't have any of that sour vinegary flavor I was worried about. It's smoothness is surprising given how heavy the hops are.

I could drink several of these assuming I had nowhere to go. Like tonight. These Southern Tier guys really know how to get it done. Excellent brew.

 818 characters

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

I had a chance to try a split off a big bottle of this last evening. Wow! Good color, nice head, inviting. Impressive hop aroma, substantial hop flavors (perhaps more Cascade in the aroma and flavor than I'd like, but that's ok) but so beautifully balanced with the dryness of the alcohol (high at 11%) and the chewy caramely malt that it sure shocked me when I heard how many IBUs it had in it. A very nice example of the style. By the name alone I had expected a bigger dose of hops, the balance thrown badly askew, so I was quite happy. I think this would hold up well against similar product from other makers (Victory, Stone, Stoudt, DFH Burton?), but I think the true hop-head would probably be better off with Weyerbacher Hops Infusion or Three Floyds' Dreadnaught or maybe even the (lighter single IPA) Legacy HHH because of this deceptive balance. Hmmm. I am likely to add this to my regular rotation of big bitter beers as long as we can get it.

 955 characters

Photo of aaronh
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich copper body with golden highlights. This beer almost glows. It's topped by a thick long-lasting head that has a nice yellow-cream color. Aroma is great, with nice hop florals and a hint of citrus and pine touched by malty alcohol sweetness. The flavor is also fabulous, with a restrained bitterness. The flavor focuses more on actual hop flavor than just over-the-top smack you in the kisser IBUs. Great tangerine, pineapple, and pine rosin flavors that are very well balanced with the malt profile. This beer also does not seem to be 11% ABV; it's very well crafted. Mouthfeel is solid, without the thickness of most big beers. Drinkability is fantastic. I've gotta get some more of this beer.

 699 characters

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

Poured a copper color with a medium sized, off white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of citrus fruits, pine, caramel malts, fresh cut grass, and some alcohol as well. Taste included much of the same, with some tangerine, and a fair amount of alcohol in the finish.

 279 characters

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

1 pt. 6 fl oz brown bottle.

153 IBUs?...I can't wait!

Clean auburn, light maple in color. Dense, off-white head that attacks the sides of the snifter. Thin and spotted lacing, most of which clings well.

Citric aromas and tropical fruit: pineapple, lime, lemongrass. Oily hop resin, but not overpowering at all. Underlying semi-sweet caramel creaminess.

Semi-sweet, toasted caramel maltiness initially; yeast-filled, creamy biscuit. The hops are aggressive, but well rounded: the alcohol presence boosts up the oiliness of the hop resins. Matured pine, bubblegum, and light citrus notes. A big juicy hop bite makes for an oily, gaseous-like bitterness.

A light, medium in body; gaseously creamy and pretty smooth for the style.

A pleasantly flavored Double IPA with a deceptive alcohol presence. I don't care if this is 11% abv, fill me up a growler!

 867 characters

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

Wasn't sure what to expect from this one. I've come to find that these guys are hit or miss at times with their brews and with one that lists 153 IBU's, I was expecting quite a bit. And boy did it deliver! It pours smoothly into my pint glass with a rich, frothy head and an orange-almost reddish color. The aroma of hops dominates his beer and going in for the first sip, I was worried that it would be too much. On the contrary, it was perfectly balanced. This is a true hop-heads delight. Demand your local shop get this one in immediately.

 543 characters

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

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Before I comment on the appearance, I need to say that from 2 feet away this smells pungent.

Pours a nice amber color with a one-finger off white head. Crystal clear with lazy carbonation. Some lacing but not a ton.

The smell is primarily fresh cut grapefruit and sweeter orange-y citrus. Very pungent.

The taste begins citrusy and hoppy with a smooth thick malt base and then becomes a little astringent in the long finish, but this astringent quality is fading as the beer warms (or is it as the as the beer warms me?).

The mouthfeel is just on the thicker side of medium bodied. I agree with some others that the carbonation is about perfect. Very pleasant. Some stickiness despite not being super sugary sweet.

This isn't as hoppy as the 153 ibu's on the bottle would suggest. The hops don't destroy your palate. Well balanced. Also not as sweet and sugary as some DIPAs, such as the DFH 90 min for example (although that's a quality I do enjoy in DIPAs). Make sure to let it warm because I didn't like this at first taste and I've been scrolling back up to change my review with each taste as it warms. Good stuff.

 1,176 characters

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

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear amber copper with an off-white and frothy head which rose tall and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was malty with a strong citrusy impression and a resinous hop presence. That hops were also piney and the malt was caramel with a subtle sweetness.

The flavor was nicely balanced with a resinous but never overpowering hop contribution in both bittering and flavor. The malt was no slouch either with caramel and a lightly toasty character. Hops were citrusy and more earthy that in the aroma but still with a bit of a piney and resinous punctuation.

The finish was dry, but not overly so, with lasting malt impressions and strong hop bittering and flavor components well into the aftertaste and beyond. The body was almost full but had a creamy mouthfeel which was a wonderful touch. A great beer, only light alcohol warming in the beer which was nice in an 11% beer. Tread lightly, this one packs a punch!

22 ounce bottle. Thanks BeerBeing!

 1,006 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 22 oz. bomber bought in Boston (thanks Nick!), brought back home to NJ, then brought to upstate NY to share with friends. About 500 miles later, this beer was finally consumed and it received rave reviews from all that tried it.

Orange colored with a sticky white head. Good head retention. The aroma is full of citrus and floral notes. Very inviting. The taste says it all though. Maybe the best tasting DIPA I've ever had and certainly one of the most balanced as far as hops and malt go. Are the hops over the top? Of course, it's part of the style, but the malts provide the sweet backdrop that ties it all together. Something that I feel is missing from some DIPAs like Stone Ruination or Victory Hop Wallop, but makes DFH 90 Min the great beer that it is. But back to the Unearthly. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both terrific. 11%?!?! I wouldn't have guessed it. The alcohol is slightly noticable but does not burn your mouth in any way as some of the over the top beers in this style can do.

This is a big beer, but with lots of balance that makes it a very enjoyable sipper. Something I will seek out again and maybe even stock up on. A must try if it's available to you.

 1,189 characters

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

A dark mahogany reddish/brown which is clear with a one finger white head. Taste reminds me of a 90 minute, warm and sweet , perfect in my book. Mouthfeel is different than the 90 minute, this is thicker with a little more bitterness to the finish. One thing I love about Southern Tier is the bottle gives you the geeky beer numbers and ingredients, bottle design is also top notch.

 382 characters

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

I would have gave this little beer it if were not for the lack on consistency. I bought a couple bottles of this about a week ago and had one right away. Thought it had a great hoppiness to it, nice amber color and decent head. And believe you and I, the 11% abv does give you a little kick. Had another bottle last night and it was completely different, sever lack of head and a completely different taste, so much so that i thought i was drinking another beer. Lack of the same amount of hops smell from my sample no less than a week before. Will definetly have to try again and see which result i can create.

 611 characters

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - a tea brown color, with a durable off-white/light-tan head, absent of carbonation and sediment

S - hopariffic, hoppy to a piney degree, the hops are overpowering if there are any other aromas

T - a nice background honey type sweetness that is still evident despite the bombing of hopes, that ultra piney deliciousness of tons of quality hops that i have come to love and savor

M - bitter of course, but still well balanced

D - high for hopheads, others who dont particularly enjoy hops may find this brew too bitter

 531 characters

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

Pours a reddish gold with an initial decent head.. Smell is rich..a blend of yeast and hop aromas. The taste is an explosion of hops, but in a smooth presnetation...no harshness. Excellent for the high abv...very little "bite". Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied, which leads into a very good drinkability rating.

 313 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
4.16/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber. Pours a vert deep golden color with a half finger of head that falls to a lightly broken head over top. Clarity is excellent, and there is no apparent carbonation bubbling up in the glass. This is a really good looking brew. It almost has a glow to it. The aroma is very thick. It has huge caramel notes balanced out by big juicy and sweet grapefruity hop. There is a lot of sweetness in the nose here. Its almost a bit too much for me. Flavor is pretty nice. It is definately dominated by big caramel maltyness. It is backed with a moderate grapefruity hop and a very mild and faint piney hop that is mostly flavor. The bitterness on the finish is very mild, and I think this keeps the beer very easy drinking. There is really no hint of the 11% ABV in the flavor at all. Mouthfeel is thick, almost a touch slick and syrupy. The carbonation is pretty much absent, so this one really sits heavy. As far as DIPA's go, this one is working well for me. The nose is a bit strong in sweetness, but this is more balanced in the flavor. Its defintaly letting me know that the alcohol is there as I drink more of it, but its not in the nose or flavor. This is a nice DIPA.

 1,178 characters

Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.07 out of 5 based on 3,061 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.