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Barrel-Aged Unobtanium Old Ale - Straight To Ale

Barrel-Aged Unobtanium Old AleBarrel-Aged Unobtanium Old Ale

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

84 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 84
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.58%


Brewed by:
Straight To Ale visit their website
Alabama, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: t0rin0 on 06-18-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 19 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Rbroccoli
Rbroccoli

Alabama

4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Served out of a chilled bomber poured into a nonic pub glass.

A: Very dark brown with decent 1/2 finger head, low retention. Looks like the ideal old ale.

S: Slightly boozy with sweet confectionary undertones.

T: Starting out cold I picked up on a lot of the sweetness. The flavors of this old ale are perfect for an Alabamian like myself. Sweet syrup flavors such as sorghum molasses and clover honey, balanced with a subtle nuttiness that tastes like a southern pecan pie and an oak like woodiness. As it warms, the sweeter flavors hide underneath the woodiness and a nice bourbon flavor begins to move in. Not too boozy, but some booziness. Very good.

M: This is where it gets tricky. It is good when it is cold: a nice slight viscosity with light carbonation. However, as it warms up, the mouthfeel seems to thin out and almost takes on the texture of diet cola. This is my only complaint about the beer-- it doesn't seem to warm well.

O: It's a great beer! I would definitely buy it again, and drink it cold. It may age well, and that may give the mouthfeel that extra boost.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 04:42:56 | More by Rbroccoli
Photo of BeerKangaroo
BeerKangaroo

Alaska

4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got this from RocketCityVol, wowza, thanx a ton man!

I see its labeled as barrel aged on BA, but I don't see anything on the actual label, ok well uh... here goes, fair enough:

A: dark brown close to black colored body with a slim half fingered white foamy head that dies within twenty seconds (yeah pretty quickly), not much lacing but what there is tries to coat the glass but slides fairly quickly

S: dark rich malts, toffee and coffee with a large amount of barrel aged bourbon-ness (yeah, that's really there, trust me), once it warms a bit I do start to get some woodiness

T: kinda sweet to woody almost a rich sort of maltiness that tries to add a bitterness but doesn't really cut it, the aftertaste is a pretty rich woody/maltiness with a dry lingering woody finish

M: it sits about a medium to heavy with a fairly low carbonation, there's a decent sweet wet finish, sessionability - well, ok, not bad, I could see having several pints in a session

O: well, this is an old ale and you know what - though old ales aren't my go to style, this one was very good. It might not be any Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog ale, but hey, I'd take this one definitely again, for now I'd probably say this is probably all time favorite "second" old ale. Good job Straight to Ale!

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2014 06:34:48 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of cvm4
cvm4

Mississippi

3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

They should really update the label here. There's no mention of being barrel aged on the label. I wasn't sure if this was the base beer (which there isn't one) or the barrel aged beer.

A - Pours a murky deep with with tinges of red to it. Has a one finger tan head.

S - Malts, toffee, caramel and banana esters. For a barrel aged beer, not much barrel on the nose.

T - Ahh, there's that bourbon and oak kick. It's present, but doesn't take over. Also has vanilla, sweet malts and dark fruits.

M - Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Has a wet finish and low abv burn.

O - The barrel nose is weak. It's a solid beer though and the base beer does shine through as well.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 02:21:40 | More by cvm4
Photo of zookerman182
zookerman182

Alabama

4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky red/brown color with almost no head at all.
Aroma is dark fruit, vanilla, oak, with a little Booze.
Flavor is the same as the aroma times two.
Strong vanilla with bready, dark fruit notes.
Warming alcohol throughout but not as boozy as Laika.
Fantastic beer that becomes more complex as it warms.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2013 16:51:38 | More by zookerman182
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.69/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a clear brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, and banana aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but doesn't really give off any barrel aged aromas or flavors.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2013 23:20:46 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of richj1970
richj1970

Alabama

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22 oz bomber into snifter glass.

A: Pours a ruby tinted brown with smallish head that settles quickly to a thin ring around the edge. A bit of lacing but not much.

S: Bready malts, caramel, and a bit of spice. Reminds me a bit of toffee.

T: Sweet malts mixed with bourbon and oak. Dark fruits and a bit of spiciness in the back.

M: Medium body and nicely carbonated. Coats the tongue nicely. Perfect after dinner drink.

O: One of my all time favorite Straight to Ale offerings. When I find it, I buy it all.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2013 00:07:53 | More by richj1970
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

3.99/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chip for sending this my way. Shared at Todd's place; served in a snifter.

A - White foam settles to a collar, wisps, and a few splotches of lace. Transparent ruby body that's quite attractive.

S - Very English, with sharp and fruity notes, treacle, red fruits, toffee, and bready malts. Oak is mild, and there's some alcohol present, although not excessively so for 11.5%.

T - I like the taste better, as the alcohol is better contained and there's less of the 'sharp' English character. Nice mix of caramel, vanilla, fruity ale yeast, and only faint bourbon character; not sure what barrels were used, but they don't contribute a ton of flavor.

M - Medium-full body, pleasant carbonation, chewy texture, lightly toasty and dry in the finish. Alcohol is better concealed here as well.

D - I wish there was more bourbon character, as it might cut some of the sweetness. Might appeal to lovers of English ales, as the oak is more in line with something like Fuller's Brewer's Reserve. Solid, but not digging it as much as some of the other reviewers.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2013 03:43:06 | More by MasterSki
Photo of MacQ32
MacQ32

South Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - pours deep deep mahogany with less than a finger of light toffee head. ok retention and lacing

S - Tons of brown sugar and heavy dark fruits. Slight warming alcohol

T - Dark fruits (rasins, prunes, etc) and Chocolate, brown sugar and sweet malts

M - medium bodied or less fairly easy drinking

O - Huge dark fruits sweet chocolatey malt taste, really nice belgianesque brew

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2013 01:24:18 | More by MacQ32
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky

California

4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

A: Pours matte nut-brown with light head. Fades fast. Opaque.

S: Sweet raisins. Loads of malt and brown sugar.

T/M: Phenomenal! Lots of flavours -- spice, fruit, brown sugar, strong yeast. This is excellent. Powerful and Belgian-esque, perhaps due to whatever yeast strain made it old. Sweet, but not too much so. The barrel ageing really shine through The aftertaste is dryish, lingering, alcoholic, and pleasant.

O: This beer was unexpectedly excellent! It only improved with drinking. Highly recommended; I can't wait to get my hands on another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2013 07:06:39 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of sommersb
sommersb

Tennessee

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tasted On: 05-10-2013
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle, swing-top
Glassware: Signature glass
Purchased: Single from The Bottle Shop, Franklin

Appearance has a cloudy dark brown beer with a small tan-colored head. Retention is low and the lacing is minimal, but I think that's to be expected on a beer with this ABV.

Smells start with sweet, dark fruits and then include malty caramel notes, some wood, vanilla and then alcohol spirit aromas.

The taste is strong and rich, with vanilla, bourbon alcohol, sweet malts, and dark fruits such as dates, raisins and figs. No bitterness is evident, although it's not super sweet so I think the hops are there for some balance.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, with a strong alcohol warming effect. Finishes sweet and full of malty and dark fruit flavors.

Overall a real treat of an English stock/old ale I highly enjoyed and would recommend!

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2013 02:21:42 | More by sommersb
Photo of bcostner1
bcostner1

Tennessee

4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: deep, rich mahogany brown. Moderate khaki head. Viscous pour.

S: Vanilla, bourbon, baked bread, dark fruit

T: Awesome. Melange of: vanilla, caramel, caramelized brown sugar, bourbon, wood, molasses, and a little maple syrup. No real hops present to speak of.

M: A little on the sugary sweet side. Viscous and thick; sticky. Satisfying but a sipper for sure. Still a little hot; some age would probably do this one great.

Overall, awesome brew. Worth trying for sure. Can't wait to try some more stuff from these guys!

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2013 22:33:03 | More by bcostner1
Photo of kencarman
kencarman

Tennessee

4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This example was not LISTED on bottle as barrel aged, but it tasted so and a bit oaky. The head was pillow and faded fast. Light barely shines through with deep ruby highlights. Aroma: classic Old Ale. Taste was exactly what an OA shpould be wit carmelized malt, little to no hops and nice, woody, slight tang. Mouthfeel a tad slippery.

Another Straight to Ale hit. 11 plus abv? You'd NEVER know..

I have yet to have a bad, or even mediocre, STA beer;.

Taste is oak and sweet malt with a hint of orange-LIKE fruitiness.

EXCELLENT. BUY IT.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 01:11:34 | More by kencarman
Photo of beerman240
beerman240

Alabama

4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A. Pours dark red and dark caramel..looks like rootbeer without as much head.
Thick and rich with a creamy head, and thin lace.
S. Roasted plums, raisins and ruby red grapefruit...weird...good fizzy tickle in my nose.
Love this smell by the way.
T. The first sip had a sharp bitter..all the fallowing sips did not..boozy...good stuff.
Malts..strong malt, kindof tobacco-ey. This beer slides into a mellow smooth finish.
M. Boozey fix..sits on back of tongue and plays a song.
O. Enjoyed this beer..I'm really glad a "good" beer come out of Alabama. I live in Clay and would definately stop in to drink all of their Onobtanium. Would definitely recommend this beer..I'm drinking this poured rrom a bomber into my OMMEGANG large tulip I got in a gift pack for Christmas..ENJOY!

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2013 04:43:47 | More by beerman240
Photo of mattsdenney
mattsdenney

Tennessee

4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased from the first shipment of bombers to make it to Nashville. I wasn't aware that this is barrel aged but as there is no other option available so I'll rate this one (I did have some actual barrel aged cask unobtanium @ the 12 South Winter Warmer).

Anyways, this one pours dark, oily, looks black but is actually a dark brownish red when held up to the light. Finger thick brown head with no lacing or retention. The pour releases a great smelling beer. Heavy dried fig and fruit, maple syrup, toasted caramel, and smoky malts. The taste of this beer is rich and strong and leads with earthy, malty goodness. Follows with hints of dark cherries and dried fruit and finishes with a nice syrupy, boozy sweetness.

The mouthfeel on this one is thick and heavy bodied. Perfect for an Old Ale as it forces you to drink slowly and savor the taste. Overall a really flavorful and filling beer that is nice and warming on a cold winter evening.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2013 02:38:53 | More by mattsdenney
Photo of Reaper16
Reaper16

Alabama

4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

served on-tap @ Alcove, Tuscaloosa, AL, into a pint glass

Pours a rich, ruddy, muddy red-brown color. Like silt and clay. It's pretty dark, but there's plenty of redness to the overall color. For an 11.5% ABV beer there is a lot of head; slightly greater than one finger of off-white foam. Decent lacing. A fine looking Old Ale.

There's plenty going on in the aroma, most of which is reflected in how the beer tastes. So...

Straight up: this beer is one of the most complex, enjoyable beers I've ever had. The layers of flavor here are numerous. Unobtanium begins by throwing an entire bakery at you: sugar cookies and oatmeal-raisin cookies and Hamantashen cookies and fruitcake and Ho-Hos. So many baked goods! So many combinations of sugar and cooked dough. Brown sugar and barrel, too: oakiness, trace vanilla. There's a very slight bourbon flavor here from the Buffalo Trace barrels, but it mostly blends into the other malty flavors. What takes this beer over the top is its mint component. I don't know what is causing the mint flavor, but that cool, herbal note helps to balance out the richness of the malt bonanza. The mint also plays well with the barrel characteristics. The finish is an amalgam of every flavor that's already been mentioned, as well as some red grapes. This beer is incredible.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side of medium-bodied. It isn't what I'd consider to be "thick," but it carries its weight around enough to suit the heavy flavor profile. It's a very sweet beer, and the mouthfeel reflects that. And it needs to be said: you could never tell that this is an 11.5% ABV beer. It's as smooth as the day is long, with not a single trace of alcohol burn.

Overall, this is absolutely, bar none, the best Old Ale I've ever had. I first tried it well over a year ago, at a beer festival here in Alabama. It blew me away, but I was too drunk to properly review it. Now that I've tasted it again, I see that I wasn't just remembering a big-fish-story. Unobtanium Old Ale is the very best beer that the state of Alabama brews. It is the best Old Ale that I've ever had, and it is worth the trip into Huntsville or Birmingham in order to drink it.

One last note: a lot of Alabama beers, be they from Good People or Avondale or what have you, are overrated by the local reviewing public. I tend to find that Alabama beers have inflated BA scores relative to their quality. This is NOT the case for Unobtanium Old Ale. I'm not a homer, and I think this beer is absolutely world-class.

Serving type: on-tap

06-03-2012 06:17:13 | More by Reaper16
Photo of evilkalla
evilkalla

Alabama

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving: Pint jug from Liquor Express on University Drive into a snifter.

A: Pours dark brown with a hint of copper. Not a lot of head and it's left very little lacing on the glass.

S: Smells of candy, molasses, tobacco, and whiskey. Quite good.

T: Very malty at first, with just a hint of the "stale" ole ale character, then we get into whiskey and wood. Very complex. Very good. Alcohol is somewhat noticeable but this is expected.

M: On the thicker side which I expected. Not bad.

O: Not something I would pound back but definitely you would sip on all night. Amazing complexity.

Serving type: on-tap

05-04-2012 20:50:57 | More by evilkalla
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jim & Joan for sharing the growler...
Review from notes.

Into a small tulip it pours a tawny caramel copper, surprisingly bright clarity. Initial cluster and ring of bubbles around the edges. Not a whole lot of foam, but a swirl does generate a bit of skim across the top. To be expected for the style, considering the abv.

Rich and sweet aroma of figs, caramel, toasted marshmallow, some wood and vanilla attributable to the barrel-aging.

Sweet and fruity with a mellow feel, slight alcohol prickle and a hint of spirit. Woody cherry pipe tobacco, ripe banana/plantain, caramel, mild bitterness, hints of bourbon in the aftertaste (from the Buffalo Trace barrel). A rich sipper that I had to get seconds of. Very tasty! Thanks again guys.

Serving type: growler

05-23-2011 23:22:18 | More by emerge077
Photo of nickthegun12
nickthegun12

Alabama

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had this beer last night, 4-22-11, at the aprilfest in auburn alabama...

the appearance is great...nice and black....the head holds up nicely

smells like it has been aged....almost a licorice smell to it...dark malts smelled great

the taste is outstanding....dark malts mixed so well with the aged whiskey barrel....the malts character dominates....but hides the alcohol very well

feel is dry....nice lacing...

overall this is outstanding beer...i would love to see this brewery do well in the years to come

Serving type: on-tap

04-23-2011 20:10:14 | More by nickthegun12
Photo of ncfranklin
ncfranklin

Alabama

4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Nook on 03/07/11.

A: A dark dirty brown with a small tan head that dissipates quickly. Looks thick.

S: Feint bourbon, maybe dark fruit. Not very potent.

T: Dark fruit up front, before a big burst of alcohol, sugary sweetness, and a caramel note. The Barrel aging ads just a peek of wood and vanilla, giving this a slight bourbon tang. Very complex, with flavors blending together very quickly.

M: Thick and tacky, sticks to the jaws.

D: Overall, a delicious old ale. But one is enough at this alcohol level.

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2011 14:33:24 | More by ncfranklin
Barrel-Aged Unobtanium Old Ale from Straight To Ale
93 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.