Monday, February 23, 2009

Southern Tier Unearthly IIPA

Picked up a bomber of this a few weeks ago for a project I'm working on. Did that earlier tonight -- a mixing thing -- and now I'm drinking the rest of the bottle straight. When I first poured it -- and again, if I swirl it up for a fresh airing -- there's a crisp, clean dairy smell; not milk, or cream, but that clean smell of scrubbed concrete and rock of the collection room. That fades into a smell of fruit, pine, and resiny plastic.

The beer itself seems underattenuated, thick and sweet, and the bitterness, surprisingly, isn't enough to clean up the end, which is a bit sticky. There's not that much bitterness here, really, a hot flash of it up front, and some stringing through the middle, but not that lingering bitterness you get from some much smaller IPAs. Plenty of hop flavor, but it's struggling to punch through that clog of sweetness.

I like some IIPA/DIPAs (don't tell the Session Beer Project). I don't like them all. This one ranges too high on the ABV scale and doesn't pull it off. If you're going to go this big, you've got to get a yeast that's big enough to eat it. This is reminding me of 120 Minute IPA, and not in a good way. If I want this kind of big malty sweetness, I'd rather have it without the half-hearted hopping: what we used to call barleywine.

14 comments:

First Stater said...

I think your opinion on this beer pretty much sums up my feelings on Southern Tier. I'm surprised everytime I hear someone raving about how wonderful these sticky creations are.

Dan Berger said...

But its the bestest dopest IIPA every man. :)

---Guy said...

IIPA killed the barleywine, remember?

Steven said...

"there's a crisp, clean dairy smell; not milk, or cream, but that clean smell of scrubbed concrete and rock of the collection room."

I often get that with some beers, usually lighter lagers that aren't as strong in the nose, but I always chalked it up to the cleanliness of my glass.

Dan Bengel said...

I thought video killed the radio star?

sam k said...

I've not had this particular product, but I recently got hold of a sixer of Southern Tier's Raspberry Porter, which was way over on the raspberry and way under on the porter. Disappointed, to say the least!

EvilchurchdOc said...

To each their own... I enjoy the Unearthly and the Hoppe immensely, Gemini is a real treat as well which is the blend of both.

Lew Bryson said...

No question: to each his own. I'm not saying "Anyone who likes this is an idiot!!!" Just saying how it hit me.

Bill in Harrisburg said...

Speaking of that region of NYS, I had a growler of Ithaca's CascaZilla this past weekend. Really enjoyed it. I wish I had another :)

Anonymous said...

Now....Cascazilla is pretty tasty. Never had this Uneathly, but agree with First Stater from up at the top, most of ST's beers, that I have had, and it's only been a handful, struck me as kind of too sweet for my taste. I wondered if it was just the one's I had tried or if they're all that way, guess at least one guy thinks they are?

Lew Bryson said...

I really like ST's 'normal' beers, the Porter and IPA, the Phin & Matt's (do they still make that?). But I've never been nuts about their big beers. I do like small amounts of the Creme Brulee Stout.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have had the Phin and Matt's and that's not bad, forgot about that one.... And, yes again, they're still making it, I saw it at the Wilkes-barre Wegmans just the other day....

Lew Bryson said...

I saw it at the Wilkes-barre Wegmans just the other day....

And isn't that a wonderful thing to be able to say?

Anonymous said...

Lew, it is a truly marvelous thing to be able to say.... Now if we can just take out more than two sixers at a time!!