Beer Review: Southern Tier Brewing Company Unearthly Imperial IPA

Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer: Unearthly Imperial IPA
Style: Imperial India Pale Ale
ABV: 9.5%
Character: Aggressively hopped beer
Metal Connection: UNEARTHLY TRANCE – Permanent Ice

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Southern Tier Brewing Company loves to do Imperials! It seems like most beers I come across from them has the world “Imperial” in the title. Not a bad thing, by any means, though. This just means that these guys do their beers big, and that’s A-OK with me! Now, I loved their regular year round IPA (read review), so seeing this Imperial, bigger IPA with a 9.5% ABV, I was really excited to try this. According to the Southern Tier website, this is their most aggressively hopped beer to date. I’m sure these guys will do one bigger in no time, but for now, here is Unearthly.

Using a recommended glassware, a tulip style glass for this drinking session. Unearthly pours a clear copper color with a bubbly, finger wide white head. There was good head retention, and great looking lacing down the glass. As the chill haze on the glassware disappeared the copper color and clarity of this beer really popped out. There was good amount of rising carbonation bubbles. Very nice looking beer, but this is just an added benefit, as we now need to move on to the aroma and taste of the liquid awesomeness that is beer.

The aroma of this monstrous Imperial IPA is exactly what I expected, and hoped it would be. Tons of hop aroma. Initially, my nose gets hit by bright, crisp tropical fruit, piney, wet grass notes. Very inviting! I love my IPA’s to have this quality. There is a malty sweetness that peaks through the barrage of hops, and there is an ending, lingering slight alcohol/boozy burn in my nose. This needs to be made into a candle or scented wax so I could smell this all the time.

Flavors are on the same lane as the aroma, for sure. Bitter citrus fruity flavors shine so brightly with this beast! There is a good amount of a piney, grassy flavor that hits the back of the throat right before the sweetness of the caramel malts come through. There is a slight bite that is best described as a peppery style flavor. There is also a slight boozy burn in the tail end, but considering the 9.5% ABV, this isn’t very overpowering. This is a fine example of a Double/Imperial IPA flavor profile.

Unearthly has a medium body with a light syrupy mouthfeel. This beer was actually an easy drinker for me, despite the crisp bitter bite from the hops, and the right amount of carbonation. The alcohol/boozy burn was present but not too high, so be careful, this one’s a creeper!

Overall, I give this beer my highest honor, as I said before, this is a perfect example of a Double/Imperial IPA. The appearance, aroma, flavor, mouthfeel, and body were all perfect, in my opinion! Don’t just take my word for it though, go out and try to find this beer to give it your own opinion. I do believe that you will agree with me though. Cheers to Southern Tier for creating this great beer!

Metal Connection: I had a few choices to go with on this one as there are a few bands that use the word Unearthly in their name, and there are even some songs I know of from Metal bands that use this word in a title. I ended up using a band called Unearthly Trance, a Sludge/Doom Metal band from New York City. They have a good amount of releases since their inception in 2000 which includes demos, EPs, splits, and five full length albums. Their last three full lengths were released through Relapse Records, a staple in the Metal community. Here is the official music video for the song “Permanent Ice” from the band’s 2006 full length, The Trident. Crank it up, Sludge out and enjoy an excellent DIPA by Southern Tier Brewing.

High hops & loud Sludge,
BeerMetalDude!

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