Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Southern Tier - Un*Earthly

ABV 9.5% (Bottled - 650ml)

The Brewery
I'm sure Southern Tier needs no introduction, but just in case.

"In operation since late 2002, Southern Tier Brewing Company of Lakewood, New York, has grown to produce around 50,000 barrels of beer annually. The hand crafted ales are now available in more than half of the United States, as well as parts of Australia, Denmark, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Ontario, British Columbia, and the United Kingdom."

From the Bottle
“an uninhibited infusion of hops”

At the Southern Tier Brewing Company, vigorously hopped beer is our standard and inspiration. We continue a commitment to innovation with our most aggressive offering yet. Unearthly is a manifestation of the brewer’s craft; skillfully balancing art and the forces of nature to produce a divine liquid. Delicately pour a taste into a fluted glass. Smell the enchanting aromas of the hops waft forward as your first sip divulges this beer’s fervent soul. To underestimate Unearthly is to trifle with the mysteries of the universe, so please consume wisely.

FOOD PAIRINGS:  Particularly tasty when paired with sharp artisan cheeses, curries, smoked brisket, spicy foods.

The Pour

I got no head on my pour and very little lacing.  The beer is golden orange with little to no carbonation.  This brew literally seems to glow from the inside, I've never seen a Imperial IPA quite like it!  Very unique to say the least

Orange juice!  This puts any orange peel ale I've tried to shame, and orange isn't even an ingredient here!  The hops are wonderful and bright with a splash of grapefruit that is not too citrusy or overwhelming.  Overall the nose is very juicy with some mild astringent notes that give it a complex kick.


Wonderfully full bodied and well balanced.  Very hop forward with an emphasis on the citrus fruits found in the nose.  It has almost no carbonation which makes it creamy like an English ale which is very interesting in a beer that is so hop forward.  However the lack of carbonation works as there is no carb burn in the mouth to take away from the beautiful deep layers of hop flavour.  There was no "sticky" hop aftertaste which I enjoyed quite alot after last nights Hop Head from Tree Brewing, which was teeth coatingly resinous.  All the taste is right up front here and is finished with a nice bitter bite on the back end that leaves your palate clean and wanting another sip.  I could drink this all night.  I can't imagine how good it would be on tap!  The 9.5% ABV isn't noticable at all, it is totally masked by the flavour, which I think is quite an accomplishment.

Overall Impressions

This is my first unreserved A+.  If you can bring me a better Imperial IPA, I'd love to try it.  This one really wowed me and proves Southern Tier can not only produce a large and varied line of beers, but maintain a standard of excellence that should make other craft brewers take note.  Buy these while they last as they have already been discontinued at LCBO, hopefully just for the season.  LCBO 265124.  I think I'll pick up a couple to stow away before they're all gone.  This beer truly delivers on its' label's promise.


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