Friday, December 9, 2011

Beer Review: Unearthly

Reviewing the infamous Unearthly hop bomb from Southern Tier Brewing Company. Last week, I review the Oak Aged version of this beer.
Score: 83

2011 bomber bottle, slightly chilled, poured in a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a transparent-translucent amber-mahogany color with one and a half finger of cream-colored head that settles into a thin foamy ring around the glass and clump in the middle. Pretty good lacing. 4/5

Smell: Heavy notes of alcohol and dirt hit first. Swirling the beer releases notes of vanilla, toffee and raisin. Very pungent apples and orange citrus. Lots of sweet malts too. Even detecting hints of milk chocolate malts. My roommate concurs on the chocolate notes -- a very interesting twist on the aroma. 4/5

Taste: Very unbalanced, with a heavy emphasis on alcohol fire and earthy bitterness. Dirt and figs hit upfront. Increasing caramel-malty sweetness and sweet vanilla on the mid-palate as the beer layers. I am definitely detecting citrus in the beer, but the alcohol fire kills my tongue's ability to nuance. The finish is like bitter caramel vodka. The alcohol presence in the beer becomes an aggressively fiery palate killer as the beer approaches room. 3/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a low amount of carbonation that makes the bitter alcohol finish sit heavy on the tongue and linger. The finish is bittersweet. 3.5/5

Overall: I am a big hop head, but this beer has too much unbalanced alcohol fire to wallow in the beer's aggressive hoppiness. The alcohol really overwhelms the palate and gets worse as the beer warms. I remember this one being much better than it was. Unearthly is a definite sipper.

Recommendation: Casual beer drinkers should steer clear. Beer geeks and hop heads might find this one interesting. I'd highly recommend drinking this one as a colder temperature than slightly chilled.

Pairings: Spicy Thai food. The alcohol and hops would really accentuate the spices.

Cost: $7.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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