IPA’s have been some of my favorite types of beer for quite a long time. I don’t know if I can really explain why I love them so much. I think enough people hate them, so I always have to be difficult. Therefore, when I saw this bottle of Southern Tier – Unearthly I knew I wanted to give it a shot. (Just to be clear, this is not the Oak-aged bottle that they also carry) I have been looking into getting quite a few of the Southern Tier beers lately. I started with getting their bottle of Iniquity. That was a fantastic black ale, which really set me off on wanting to try the rest of the beers they have in their large catalog of libations. The other thing that drove me to get this beer was the fact that it is an Imperial IPA. All that says to me is that it is going to kick me in the head with even more hops than usual. According to the label there are Kettle hops (Chinook & Cascade), Hop Back (Styrian golding) and Dry Hops (Cascade, Centenial, and Chinook). I have no idea that what means, but once again, it drew me to picking this beer up and giving it a try.
I definitely started to notice that I was going to enjoy this beer before even taking a sip of it. Two things really stood out to me before diving into the taste. First was the color. Some IPA’s tend to have a lighter color; however, this one came out a much darker copper color. To me that is always a good start. I tend to think beers are going to be more delicious if I can’t tell time through them. I love to make assumptions. However, the other great thing was the immediate aroma that I could tell was coming from it. Even before pouring it out, I decided to smell the cap. Don’t ask me why I did this. It really isn’t something that I normally do (that is unless there is a cork, which this one doesn’t have). But, there was some very herbal and hoppy aromas even on the cap. As someone who looks to get the hoppiest beers I can find, this was very exciting to me. Of course, this was only confirmed as I began to pour it out.
I personally think this beer has the right amount of carbonation to it. I read a few people who said it needs more, but I thought it was definitely adequate. Taste wise there is some real citrus notes that come through at the beginning; however, those really start to fade out and the hops come in full force near the back. The hops never really hit a big bite for me. I can’t help but wonder if I have dulled my taste buds for hops. Being that it is an Imperial IPA, I really thought I would get a much bigger kick near the end. It still was a great experience, but I thought I just thought it was a little tame in the Imperial department.
Overall this is a fantastic beer. It only makes me want to continue to look even more at the Southern Tier catalog. They offer quite a bit more in the way of IPA’s and also have a few other very interesting concoctions I am looking forward to trying out. A great beer, and it is definitely one I would look forward to getting again.
Teacher Grade: A-
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