Thursday, December 22, 2011

Southern Tier | Unearthly Imperial IPA

Southern Tier Unearthly IPA...poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass from a 22 oz. bomber.  What differentiates an Imperial IPA/Double IPA from an IPA?  Let's just say hops, hops, higher alcohol content, and oh yeah...more hops!  Imperials/Doubles are much more aggressively hopped and will always have more alcohol than regular IPA's.  This is usually a good thing for us hop lovers considering that these ales usually push the limits of hop flavors and IBU's.  For anyone who doesn't know, the IBU (International Bitterness Unit) is a scientific scale used to rate the bitterness of a given beer.  A beer rated at say 35 IBU's will not be bitter at all, where as a beer rated at 75 will be quite bitter.  Many Imperial IPA's take it a step further and may top the 100 mark.

Ok, enough about that stuff, let's get to the good stuff!  Unearthly is an unfiltered Imperial IPA which pours a very hazy golden hue.  About an inch of head was left behind which quickly begins to disappear.  After a few minutes there is some retention with a thin layer still remaining.  The lacing on the sides of the glass after a sip or two is quite impressive.  The aroma is of sweet hops and alcohol.  Not too much citrus here as it has more of a resinous pine smell.

Before we continue, another point to touch upon is the difference between West Coast and East Coast IPA's.  There are always going to be some exceptions to the rule, but for the most part West coast versions tend to have more of a bitter taste where as East Coast versions tend to have more of a sweet hop taste and are slightly less bitter.  This offering follows along with that rule.  This ale is sweet hops to start with a slightly bitter finish.  Not too much in the way of bitter citrus, just more of a sweet resinous piney taste and sweet malts as well. If you prefer your IPA's to have this style, this one will not let you down.  Just an all-around almost perfect representation of an East Coast style Imperial IPA!  This one is highly recommended!  Personal: 9.5/10, for the style: 9/10.

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