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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,220 | Ratings: 3,058
Photo of jrallen34
3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I drank this from a 22oz bottle into a Rochefort glass.

The beer is a medium oily orange, showing light brown in the light. The head is a very light tan that doesn't rise even a finger and is gone quickly. The lacing is also light.

The aroma is light for a dipa with a light citrus on the front with some alcoholy/soapy/hops on the back end.

The taste is light on the front with sweetness but then you are hit strongly with lots of alcohol and hops. The alcohol is too strong and distracting with too much pine, alcohol and soap.

The mouthfeel heavy but not a crisp drink.

The drinkability is limited by the alcohol.

Overall this is a pretty weak dipa. The appearance is boring, the aroma is light, and the taste is distracting.

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Photo of tewaris
3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter. No dates on it so can't say how fresh or not it is. Looks decent, if thick. And thick it is. I spilled a drop or two, my hand were sticky :-/

Aroma is malty, somewhat hoppy and just heavy. It's not bad but doesn't appeal much to me. Taste is similar... very sweet and quite bitter. Thick, cloying, boozy. It's big, not meant in a good way.

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Photo of slicknuss
3.01/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - This beer has a dark copper color and pours with almost no head at all.

S - Smells of malt, honey and pine.

T - I wasn't completely impressed with the taste. When I poured the beer, it looked delicious, but the taste is kind of bland. I taste more alcohol than hop flavor. If this beer tasted like it smelled, we would be in business.

M - Nice carbonation, but the beer consistency is a little syrupy, especially after it warms a bit.

O - Not a bad beer by any means, but I don't think I would purchase it again. I prefer my DIPA to have more hops and less syrupy sweetness. There are a lot better DIPA's out there.

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Photo of Lerxst
3.02/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a golden/amber color with a one finger off white head that fades quickly and leaves little lacing.

S-Pine and citrus hops with a stronger than expected malt presence.

T-Sweet malt seems to override the hops. Pine and citrus hops are evident but overwhelmed by the sweet maltiness. Way to sweet and malty for the style, and not hoppy enough.

M-Medium body with a strong carb bite, a bit sticky.

D-I had trouble finishing the bomber. Not very drinkable.

Love everything I had tried so far from Southern Tier, but this one was a miss. I won't be having this one again.

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Photo of GJ40
3.08/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Sampled from a 22oz bottle in a standard pint glass.

A - Copper with great clarity and a small beige head. Very attractive.

S - Very piney with notes of grass, peat and oak.

T - Very piney with intense hop oils and a firm kick of alcohol. This beer is very rich; too rich in fact. I love IPAs & DIPAs but this one seems too focused on packing a punch and not enough on delivering good flavor.

M - Oily and thick with a nice low carbonation.

D - Not one for me. After struggling through the first half, I poured it. This one's proof that bigger isn't always better.

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Photo of largadeer
3.09/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Copper in color, bright and perfectly clear. Head retention is great for an 11% beer, leaving plenty of lace sticking to the glass.

Smell: Citrusy, floral hops over a substantial malt backbone. You can tell from the first whiff that this is going to be heavy stuff.

Taste & mouthfeel: And heavy it is. Oily hops, an enormous malt backbone and stratospheric ABV make for an extremely heavy DIPA - this stuff is downright syrupy. There's quite a bit of fresh hop flavor here, but the malt base is right up there with it, creating a pleasant bittersweet flavor that leans toward the bitter in the finish. Not my preferred style of DIPA, but not bad.

Notes: Received from Dyan in a recent trade; thanks!

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Photo of mnstorm99
3.1/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was really excited about this one, but I should have known at 11% it would be a little too much for me.
Nice copper amber pour with a nice white smooth head that sticks well.
Beatiful aroma of pine and floral hops, nice aromatics coming from the malt also.
Taste at first is alchohol (sorry just an offputting flavor for me when it comes to beer). This is more of a barleywine than a IIPA, but I do detect some of the citrus notes from the hops as well as a decent malt sweetness.
Mouthfeel is alchohol burn, but smooth once that is gone. For the price (same as Hoppe) there are better options IMO.

On to the ÜberSun

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Photo of marvin213
3.11/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A lightly tanned, heady beer awaits my embrace. It's a light brown, copper color--like a penny from the 80s dulled from years of regular circulation. A solid surface of lacing marks the path of the foam's descent. This beverage certainly looks appealing.

The aroma from my glass isn't overly impressive. I was expecting a hop slam of sorts--not Hop Slam, but you know what I mean. I smell a balanced malt beverage. Hops are undoubtedly present, but absent is the distinct aroma of amarillo or simcoe. Instead, this particular hop combo just sort of blends the malts and wheat that comprise the beverage. It's odd because it's interesting without offering much character.

Southern Tier does a great job labeling specific ingredients, and I'd certainly be shy about calling out a caramel-type malt, but that's the taste that strikes me first. I similarly taste the red wheat. Where most (hoppy) beers have a malt backbone to counter the bittering hops, this one's got hops to counter the caramelized malts and the red wheat influences. I don't really want that from an IPA.

The hops taking a relative backseat hurts the mouthfeel. I fail to appreciate any textures the pale malt or wheat bring to the table. The caramalt sweetness is just okay, and--again--not really what I'm looking for from an IPA. My take on drinkability aligns with basically every other reaction to this beer--it's okay at best. For an $8.50 bomber, it simply doesn't cut it.

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Photo of Vendetta
3.12/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Original Rating Date:
September 6, 2008

Super heavy hops in the aroma. Small fizzy head, super hoppy, a little flat carbonation wise. Tastes of soap as well. Enjoyable but it seems that 2IPAs are either hit or miss with me, this isn't one of the better ones that I've had.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.12/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bomber at 52 degrees into goblet.
Aroma of flowery hops
Head small (1.5 cm), white, rocky, mostly quickly diminishing to narrow ring with a lump of bubbles floating the center
Lacing poor, just small clumps here and there
Body light orange, clear, slightly sparkling
Flavor begins moderately bitter with no malt or diacetyl
Flavor ends astringent with slight alcohol afterburn
Medium body, slightly oily, carbonation soft.

The lack of sustainable head and poor lacing lower the appearance for me, while the long hangtime for the astringency lowers the repeat drinking appeal.
First tried this DIPA back in 2009, retried now at my brother in law’s insistence (his current favorite beer).
Don’t really notice that it’s any better; not a drain pour, still just eh to ok.

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Photo of grover37
3.14/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber from D'Vines for $8. Poured into a DFH snifter.

Appearance (4): A very clear, dark copper with a fat finger of light cream head. The foam reduces to an uneven, medium thick layer with lacing all the way around the glass. Not much lacing besides at the top.

Aroma (2.5): Not a huge aroma but it's still pretty cold. Faint notes of grapefruit mix with pine and a dark caramel. Once it warms up, it's a sweet mango and a strong, oily and resinous caramel. You can really tell it's going to be extremely bitter.

Taste (3.5): Very strong resinous hops and thick caramel right off the bat. Intense flavor compared to the less than impressive aroma. A strong bitterness hits in the middle and works well to cover up a lot of residual sweetness. The bitterness mingles with the sweet caramel in the finish. This is a good example of a big East Coast DIPA, but I like the style much more when it's dry and less balanced.

Mouthfeel (3): A bit slick, cloying, and bitter. Full bodied and low carbonation which is appropriate. The finish really lingers, especially the sweetness, and is a bit coating.

Overall (3): A bit too sweet - borderline cloying - as well as bitter. They even each other out, but the hops aren't really showcased here; it's mostly an interplay between the bitterness and sweetness. I'd like to try this a bit fresher on tap.

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Photo of rmolledo
3.15/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clear Amber with a white head.

S: Malty sweet. Earthy hops.

T: Malty sweet with a grassy earthy hop character and a decent hop bitterness that didn't overwhelm.

MF: on the lighter side. moderate carbonation.

D: although the ABV is masked very well in the beer, I give it a low rating because this beer gave me a hangover for whatever reason. The night before I drank this beer I drank Stone's Old Guardian and was perfectly fine. It may just be me though. I bought this beer for $3 a 22oz. not a bad price.

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

Poured from a 22ounce bomber into a St. Bernardus large wine glass/goblet.? Read 11.0 abv on the back, not 9.5. No freshness date.

A- Dark orange amber in color, very thin white head with little retention on the glass.

S- Smelled mostly like a very strong malt bomb with hops in the background.

T- This was very sweet. Very malty, lots of caramel, hoppy and a little bitter but the sweetness was overpowering. Alcohol is well hidden. It was a little spicy.

M- Very thick, a bit syrupy with little carbonation.

O- Not great. I have been wanted to try this for a while. It's not a bad beer but the sweetness was just too much for me. Old bottle maybe?

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Photo of bnes09
3.18/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orangish-brown and hazy brew with thick, light tan head. Plenty of lacing with this one.

Smell is sweet with spicy hops and a tad musty.

Malt flavor is way overdone for the style. Hits the palate with an intensely sweet caramel flavor that carries well into the aftertaste. Hops make an appearance with an old herbal character and are overpowered by the syrupy malt. Finishes dry and makes me thirsty like I just ate some melted caramel.

Feel is viscous and syrupy with low carbonation. Not my thing.

To be fair, I do not think this is a bad beer. It is just not what I was expecting out of a DIPA. It did not taste fresh and was lacking in hop flavor. I wonder if I got an old bottle.

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Photo of billshmeinke
3.18/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a "fluted" glass as the bottle recommends (in this case a white wine glass).

One finger white head. Amber with some honey in color. Spotty foam resides to a ring of foam around the glass with a patch in the middle. Head tightness and retention are good.

Smells of honey and toffee. Floral hops, mint and zesty citrus.

Taste is of honey, toffee, bitter resin, dank, and zest. Hops come through as mostly floral, there is spearmint in there as well. Nice bitterness, but pretty malt forward.

Fairly thick and full bodied. Tight aggressive carbonation. Big hop bite on the end.

A solid east coast DIPA. Hard to get through a bottle.

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Photo of alysmith4
3.18/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried this beer on-tap at The Black Squirrel in Adams Morgan last night. It was a good-looking beer.. nice 2" cream head atop a reddish caramel body. The smell was of grain, hops, sugar, and spice - black pepper perhaps, with a touch of honey and grapefruit. The taste was a lot more bitter than I would have expected. I found it too bitter for my taste, although I consider myself a bit of a hop head. It was similar to Stone's IPA, but less balanced. I'd have it again, but it wasn't my favorite for this style.

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Photo of mjl21
3.18/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Acquired via trade...thanks Tom. 22 ounce bomber poured into a snifter. No bottling info is given. Comes in at 11%.

A-Pours a clear amber with some pinkish tones that are reminiscent of a rose. There are lots of bubbles that cling to the side and rise from the bottom. There is not that much of a head; it is more like a foamy ring with some slick, but the constant carbonation keeps it afloat throughout. Leaves some nice lace.

S-There is some definite caramel malt that gives it a pretty strong level of sweetness. I also get bubblegum, tropical fruit, and mint. As it warms it becomes a little more floral and earthy.

T-It is very thick and reminds me of a mango flavored cough syrup. The caramel malt that was apparent on the nose is also apparent in each sip, resulting in a sugary taste. The booze is evident in the back of the mouth. I wrote in my notes that it was like alcohol soaked hops. I do get some bitter grapefruit in between sips and some pine comes through after it has been in the glass for awhile.

M-Thick, syrupy, sugary, and sticky. The everlasting head does give it some smoothness.

D-Way too thick for my palate.

This one was too thick and boozy for me. There are just so many good WC IPAs that I would have to give this one a pass. I would give it another shot fresh from the tap.

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Photo of babaracas
3.18/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear, deep orange, with two finger cream colored head, fades to a half inch, leaving decent clumps of lace. Smell: well the first thing that jumps out is the gobs of caramel, backed by some light melon and tropical fruit. Malt-forward eh? Taste: sweet caramel and sweeter caramel. Herbal and slight citrus bitterness. Definitely not balanced, and it's leaning the opposite way that I'd like it to. Smooth and syrupy feel, but this is way too sweet to enjoy a full bomber.

So far, ST has been striking out on DIPAs. Hoppe and Unearthly are both massive malt bombs. Not particularly excited about trying Gemini now.

Interesting that the abv has apparently been creeping up on this one. ST website lists 9.8, BA 10.0, and the bottle 11.0%. Making this beer bigger in the wrong way... more hops please.

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Photo of OStrungT
3.19/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a golden color, with a thick and fluffy white head. The head fades slowly, leaving a nice lacing.

This beer has a very intense aroma. Alcohol up front. Some strong citrus notes. Very sweet also. Maybe some spicy aroma as well, kind of like what I would get from a Belgain Stong Pale.

This beer tastes like it smells. Very intense with the alcohol present upfront. Citrus grapefruit flavor with a very sweet finish. Spicy too.

This beer is very full bodied. It leaves a sweet aftertaste. It is almost too sweet. The alcohol warms on the way down.

This beer wouldnt make a good session beer. It is high in alcohol, and the aggressive flavor is a bit much.

Overall: Thanks to inlimbo77 for this beer. Although it isnt my favorite, I was glad to have tried it.

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Photo of joeseppy
3.2/5  rDev -21.4%

Darker Amber in color with a generous bulbous head.

Aromas are faint. Malt and citrus. Graham crackers.

Very malt forward followed by sugary sweet. Citrus more in the orangey way that is barely bitter. I like malt but this is really exasperating.

Very mild carbonation if any and light.

Man, I was hoping to get into a great American double and this has disappointed. Malt heavy, refined white sugar sweet and too much orange for me. The only double here is the malt.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.2/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Originally reviewed in 2008 with a 3.4 overall.

New review from 10/12/2012. Thanks to angrybabboon for sharing the bottle.

Appearance: Deep amber/orange. Head is white, loose and creamy. Tiny collar. Some lacing notches. Clear and clean.

Smell: Malty. Biscuity and sweet caramel. Orange flesh and grapefruit oil. Citrus flesh as a whole. Juicy, super juicy. Some underlying mint. Rind and some pithy bitterness. Big sweetness from the malts. Mildly tropical as in slight hints of tangerine.

Taste: Gritty malts. Earthy and herbal. Some backing floral elements. Super malty. Caramel sweetness. Biscuity. Dry faint spiciness. Densely herbal. Grapefruit rind, oily, pithy bitterness. Lingering sweetness. Mega malty. Fresh, it's big and sweet. As it warms the malts tend to dominate as the hops thin out and just feel spicy and vaguely herbal mixed in to a sweet malt juice.

Mouthfeel: Body pushes full but ultimately ends in the medium range. Carbonation is moderate, but it struggles to pull through the borderline syrupy and smooth mouthfeel. So smooth.

Overall: It's like going to kill a Colossus and realizing it's just a garden statue.

So sweet it's distracting. This is a dessert IPA. So much sweetness with a struggling malt profile. This was a titan of my first year of drinking. Time is a cruel mistress.

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Photo of mjw1200
3.2/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This beer has such a syrupy feel that it was hard to get past. I don't mind thickness at all, but when the flavors that stick around do not have any of the characteristics of good solid DIPA it makes it hard to take seriously. It just was not for me.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.21/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle received as a kickin' extra from calise1122 in a recent trade. Thanks, Brett!

No date on the bottle.

Poured into my goblet. Pours a hazy amber/orange with an inch's worth of off-white head on top. Dissipates to just a ring around the edge. Leaves plenty of gorgeous sticky lace on the glass. The scent is a little underwhelming. Smells sweet, but the big hoppy citrus punch I expect is absent. In its place is a sweet graham cracker, brown sugar, molasses scent. Some light pine on the finish.

The mouth is slightly syrupy. Mild carbonation on the tongue. For the multiple hops used in this beer, and in what forms they were used, I am also a little underwhelmed by the flavor. Some light citrus tones at the onset, but very low bitterness. The sweetness continues here as well. Lots of caramel and toffee in this beer. Mild bitter finish, but it fades quickly.

Huh. I'm going to assume that this bottle had some age on it. Please regard this review as such. All in all, a good beer for sure, but just shadows of what I think it is meant to be. I would love to try a fresh bottle and compare my findings. For all I know this IS a fresh bottle. Still, I'd recommend this beer.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.23/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bottle:

A- Pours a nice clear golden amber almost orange color. Alright 1 finger eggshell white head that dies rather quickly leaving some good lacing on the sides of the glass. This is a pretty good looking beer that I could stare at all day. But to hell with that I would rather drink it.

S- I am hit with a tropical fruit (pineapple mostly) upfront with some citrus (orange and grapefruit) hops along with a very pronounced piney aroma. This gives way to a sweeter carmal malt backbone which balances this beer nicely. Nothing over the top but...well...I almost expected a little more in this beer.

T- This is a good tasting DIPA but drinks more like a IPA. Nothing over the top with the flavors which is almost a shame. Taste upfront is big mango taste along with a sweet malt. IT's super sweet upfront with the middle leaning toward a citrus hops being rammed into a bitter piney taste in the backdrop along with a distinct alcohol taste. Starts off going good but kind of has a trainwreck like mess in the tail end of this beer.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good with this beer and helps push everything quickly through the mouth. Left sweet malts and bitter hops on the palate. Alcohol taste is faint in the aftertaste. Left a small hop resin on the tounge.

D- This is almost a trainwreck of a beer. It's not the right style in my opinion. It's not a terrible beer but it's kind of thrown in together and see what comes out. Would have had a little higher rating if it was well...labeled as just an IPA. Will try again later when I feel up to it.

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Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.07 out of 5 based on 3,058 ratings.
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