Unobtanium Barrel-Aged Old Ale - Straight To Ale

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

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

147 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 147
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 12.23%
Wants: 68
Gots: 33 | 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:
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 added by: t0rin0 on 06-18-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 147 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.69/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.25/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Slips out a dark brown, opaque body, with a slim, scant head the color of yellowed beige.

Smell: Darkened aggressive toastiness, charred nuts, caramel and molasses. Already, there's a bit of sting from the alcohol, like getting caught by a spritz of hairspray. Fruity yeast esters throwing off notes of cherry, grilled plums.

Taste: Darkened bread crusts ground by a pestle and mortar. The dark caramel sweetness is robust. Earthy, nutty tone throughout. Touch of molasses. Maybe some oak qualities, but very little in the way of tastes I would have expected (or even half-expected) from the barrel aging. Moderate fruity esters. Sharp pop of alcohol, a little solventy. The finish is smooth, sweet and presents more of the belly-warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Fairly smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: Big deal.

Photo of emerge077
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Photo of MasterSki
3.99/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of rolltide8425
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of harpus
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of drummermattie02
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of Lare453
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of AlexFields
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of thatoneguymike
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of BMart
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of thegerm87
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of AgentMunky
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Dope
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No bottling date that I can find. I assume to be the most recent batch.

A: Pours a very dark brown but not quite black. Dense but small medium brown head. Head fades quickly with no lacing. Appears almost still with no head retention at all.

S: Huh. Big and fruity maltiness. Smells more like a sherry barrel or maybe brandy. Sweet dark fruits abound. Cocoa and maybe even marshmallow? Layer of caramel over everything. Smooth, sweet and inviting.

T: More of the same. Big, ultra-heavy and sweet caramel up front. Lots of dark fruits, raisins, berries and maybe even cherries? Caramel and heavy breadiness in the finish, all with a dusting of cocoa. Little bit of alcohol bite in the finish with a hint of oak and more dusty cocoa.

M: Heavy, thick, sweet. Alcohol bite helps cut it substantially.

O: Hell of an Old Ale. Super malty with nice layers of complexity only furthered by adding bourbon barrel aging. Very sweet and smooth but cuts nicely with the sharp alcohol content.

Photo of Daniellobo
4/5  rDev -4.1%

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Unobtanium Barrel-Aged Old Ale from Straight To Ale
92 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.