Southern Tier’s Unearthly Review
Brewery: Southern Tier
Style: Imperial India Pale Ale
ABV: 9.5% (Varies from year to year)
When it comes to craft beer in Ontario the options are fairly limited. We have a lot of Ontario craft beer but our choices for American craft beer are rather limited so when I saw a new bottle of Southern Tier I had to pick it up.
Coming in at 9.5% ABV Southern Tier’s Unearthly Imperial IPA is definitely not for the feint of heart, especially when it also costs $9. It has a strong earthy, citrusy aromas to it with a lot of malty sweetness to back it up.
Appearance: Unearthly pours a nice deep amber colour with just the tiniest amount of haze. With a rather aggressive pour I got a decent off-white head which dissipated quickly (probably due to the alcohol strength).
Smell: The aroma of this beer is absolutely amazing. Pine and citrus notes come through as well as burn caramel.
Taste: This is where the beer falls apart for me. It starts off great with the citrus and pine flavours from the hops but it quickly transforms into a very sweet beer. To me the malt dominates this beer and the hops only get to shine in the aroma. The malts are very sweet and sticky with big notes of caramel and toast. The finish has some spicy alcohol and a lingering sweetness.
Mouthfeel: I found this beer medium bodied with a little carbonation. It’s pretty smooth considering the high alcohol content and it finishes dry and a little sticky.
Drinkability: Definitely drinkable if you prefer your beers on the sweet side. Due to its high alcohol content you probably wouldn’t want to drink more than one.
Southern Tier has so many great beers that I was rather disappointed with this one. At $9/22oz I was expecting a more balanced beer with a lot more hop presence and less malty sweetness. I would definitely drink it again if I could find it for under $6. I can see why a lot of people like this beer but it’s just not for me.