Southern Tier Imperial Gemini Review

Southern Tier is a craft brewery out of Lakewood, New York that produces 30,000 barrels of fine craft beer each year. An excellent example of their craftsmanship is one of their special limited availability beers called Imperial Gemini Blended Unfiltered Ale. This beer is not exactly what I expected from the East Coast. It has a strong citrus hop aroma with a strong bitter bite and was made from two of their other brews: Unearthly Imperial IPA and Hoppe Imperial Extra Pale Ale. This is a beer loaded with 6 varieties of hops and four different grains. Imperial Gemini, in particular, was given to me by Josh, a friend who lives in Vermont, so a special thanks goes out to him.

Date Reviewed. July 1, 2010

Where I Found It. A friend who lives in Vermont.

Serving Type. 22 oz. bottle to a glass.

Appearance. Despite its name, Imperial Gemini Blended Unfiltered Ale, this beer has a beautiful crystal clear orange-amber color. The off-white head head has tiny bubbles and a thick frothy texture and lasts quite a long time leaving a few traces on the glass. Update (April 26, 2011): This beer is “normally”not crystal clear. Most of the sediment had “filtered” to the bottom of the bottle and I didn’t bother to stir it up before serving.

Aroma. This beer has a soft  but potent citrus hoppy bouquet combined with a biscuit, amber, or toasted malt aroma. The aroma also has a hint of wildflower or orange blossom honey. There is also a hint of caramel in the smell. It reminds me a bit of butterscotch candy and orange candy at the same time.

Flavor. Imperial Gemini balances the strong malty sweetness of a high gravity ale with an intense flavor and bitterness of hops. The bitterness is smooth with a bite of spiciness and alcohol in the finish. Despite being 10% alcohol by volume, this beer does not have a boozy flavor.

Mouthfeel. As would be expected by such a high alcohol beer, the mouthfeel is viscous. When accompanied with the tiny bubbles or natural carbonation, this beer ends up with a soft creamy texture. This beer nicely combines bitterness, sweetness, and hoppy flavors and aromas to produce a wonderfully crafted beer.

Overall. Since the balance of sweet and bitter was so masterfully achieved with this beer, it is dangerously easy to drink much of this beer even though it is a 10% abv beverage.

Rating. My ratings below are on a five point scale with five being the best score. Ratings are based on the BJCP score sheet. To get the BJCP score equivalent, multiply by 10. Note: I am not a BJCP judge, I just like the scoring system.

  • Appearance (6%): 4.5
  • Smell (24%): 4.5
  • Taste (40%): 4.0
  • Mouthfeel (10%): 4.5
  • Overall (20%): 4.5
  • Total: 4.3

Bottle Label

The Southern Tier website is quite nice and has all of their bottle label on their website. The label for Imperial Gemini can be found here. For posterity, the label reads as follows:

High in the winter sky, two parallel stick figures are visible & known as “the twins,” or the constellation Gemini. The astronauts of the 1960s flew as teams of two in a program named after the celestial pairing. At Southern Tier, we have our own fraternal twins, Hoppe & Unearthly. Blended together & placed in this vessel, the mission of our Gemini is to travel high & take passengers on a journey far into the heavens.


  • Style: Double IPA
  • Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company [more info]
  • Alcohol by volume: 10%
  • Original Gravity: 1.092 specific gravity
  • Final Gravity: 1.012 (calculated)
  • Hops: Kettle: Columbus, Chinook, and Cascade. Aroma: Amarillo. Hop-back: Styrian Golding. Dry-hopped: Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and Columbus.
  • Grains: 2-row pale malt, malted white wheat, cara-pils malt, red wheat,

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About David Jensen

David is a craft beer and photography enthusiast.
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5 Responses to Southern Tier Imperial Gemini Review

  1. I’m a big fan of their whole lineup. A few months ago we shipped from a place in St Louis, and we always bring some back from OR. Their Pumpking is to die for.

  2. Aaron says:

    Good review of my favorite beer. I like your descriptions and that but I disagree on one thing. It may be my eyes but this beer is not “crystal” clear. Granted, it is much more clear than the average unfiltered brew, but I think it’s still cloudy in it’s own way. I’m probably just nit-picking about my favorite beer 🙂 Great review and I’ll be sure to actually keep up with your reviews. And yes, Pumking (not Pumpking) is to die for! Oh, and I live near the brewery. Cheers!

  3. David Jensen says:

    I was surprised as well but look at the photos. When I poured it, it was quite clear. I’ve also poured a Sierra Nevada Kellerwies and it was crystal clear, a beer that is definitely not supposed to be clear. If you wait long enough and chill a beer long enough, almost anything can become crystal clear.

  4. Jim says:

    Nothing like having some high gravity beers be so good that it sneaks up on you fast.

  5. Jeff Powers says:

    It sounds good, I’m going to see if I can find it in our local store.

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