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Unobtanium Barrel-Aged Old Ale - Straight To Ale

Not Rated.
Unobtanium Barrel-Aged Old AleUnobtanium Barrel-Aged Old Ale

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41 Reviews
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Reviews: 41
Hads: 194
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 27.91%
Wants: 80
Gots: 49 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Straight To Ale visit their website
Alabama, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: t0rin0 on 06-18-2010

Unobtanium is a barrel-aged English-style Old Ale that ages for six months in a bourbon barrel, soaking up all sorts of amazing whiskey character as well as hints of oak and vanilla. The name was taken from an old aerospace/engineering term for a specific material or object (often imaginary, impossible or highly improbable to obtain) needed to complete any given project.

And, before you ask, we did not take the name from the elusive metal in Avatar. James Cameron reportedly named the substance as an inside joke to his fellow techie/gear-heads. Our version is much tastier, though.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 41 | Hads: 194
Reviews by Reaper16:
Photo of Reaper16
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tempest
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great balance here. I don't know if you'd want to drink an 11.5% old ale without the barrel cutting down the sweetness. This pairs big fruity dark malts — lots of jammy berries and caramel — with dry, almost crisp vanilla oak notes. There's a hint of heat to remind you you're dealing with whiskey. Overall, a wonderfully executed beer.

 340 characters

Photo of iheartmyTHO
2.75/5  rDev -33.3%

Yeah, I'm not a fan of this particular beer. You definitely can taste the bourbon. But as I've experienced before with these high alcohol content beers, they just taste like fancy malt liquor, and it's just not something I'm a fan of.

To be fair, I primarily only bought this beer because of the label. I'm a chemist and I just can't resist science-y inspired booze.

 372 characters

Photo of cjgiant
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (no known date):
Beer pours a deep auburn brown, with a moderate amount of deep tan head. The head does last, though, thickly at the edges. The alcohol may prevent lacing. The nose is strong, dark to burnt sugar, and spice: biting like cinnamon or licorice or ginger.

The taste is more raisin and grape, plum even. The sugar notes are there, adding a cola-like flavor to the beer. The alcohol is present, but far from dominant. Carbonation is a tad strong, body is nicely medium-heavy. The beer changes a bit as it warms, a cherry or berry tartness comes out.

A very enjoyable beer, but one to be sipped and savored.

 632 characters

Photo of SanFranJake
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Enjoying what my trading partner has labeled as a 2012 release, poured into a snifter.
A: Pours a deep dark mahogany color, very minimal cream head.
S: Very delightful. Some sweetness and a nice, lightly detectable hint of bourbon.
T: Very enjoyable. Like the smell, a light sweetness, a hint of bourbon and maltiness.
M: First sip was so rich and creamy. As I'm finishing this bomber, it's still nice and thick.
O: Very glad I was able to get try this beer. Wasn't even on my radar but my trading bud offered it up, I read the reviews and said hell yeah and I have no reservations what so ever. I'd gladly buy and consume this were it available for me. I think it was less than $15 for a BA Old Ale bomber...I'd buy this all damn day!

 738 characters

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Franziskaner
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color with a fingernail of khaki colored head that doesn't last. Nearly impenetrable to light. Strong aroma of bourbon greets my nose along with loads of dark malt. The taste is packed with sweet bourbon and dark malt. The mouth is thick and chewy.

 266 characters

Photo of Golden32
3/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of beerman240
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
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!

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Photo of Zonian1
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Zachb4au
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of nickthegun12
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
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

 512 characters

Photo of Riverared
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of Dracarys
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of Krausucks
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of sourman
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of Doppelbockulus
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.13/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

650 mL bottle poured into a wine glass. Deep amber body with a medium khaki head. Nose is dark fruits and booze. Bourbon. Tastes really sweet. Brighter fruits, but still fruity. Bourbon in the back end. Heavy sugars in this one. Well carbonated and very sweet. Way too sweet for me.

 291 characters

Photo of tiamat8086
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MontereyBay831
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of rworkman
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of GraceMD
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of Nicknackpaddywack
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I go between non-barrel aged Laika & 6-12 month aged Unobtainium for all occasions. Unobtanium Old English Ale takes Laika "gruel" to another level. But, don't spill either. Like molasses, if it dries on your clothes it will make your clothes STIFF ;-)

These beers make Goose Island's bourbon barrel [heroin addict Black Friday marketing] beers seem like Lite beer.

 369 characters

Photo of atlbravsrno1
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Unobtanium Barrel-Aged Old Ale from Straight To Ale
90 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.