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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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125 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 125
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 12.09%
Wants: 57
Gots: 30 | FT: 2
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: 125 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerman240
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
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!

beerman240, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of ReeseMax3
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

ReeseMax3, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of JustinMatthew
3/5  rDev -28.9%

JustinMatthew, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of raffy313
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

raffy313, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of Riverared
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Riverared, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of docnose
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

docnose, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of thegerm87
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

thegerm87, Feb 06, 2013
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

ygtbsm94, Feb 03, 2013
Photo of grumpygerman
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

grumpygerman, Jan 22, 2013
Photo of mattsdenney
4.39/5  rDev +4%
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.

mattsdenney, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of Spiderpig
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Spiderpig, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of bonSreeB
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

bonSreeB, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of LBM1A
5/5  rDev +18.5%

LBM1A, Oct 12, 2012
Photo of Maegodfrey14
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Maegodfrey14, Aug 02, 2012
Photo of CombatChuck
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

CombatChuck, Jun 16, 2012
Photo of Reaper16
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

Reaper16, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of alanpolson
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

alanpolson, May 23, 2012
Photo of guinb
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

guinb, May 22, 2012
Photo of evilkalla
4.43/5  rDev +5%
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.

evilkalla, May 04, 2012
Photo of Zachb4au
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Zachb4au, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of plumlmr
4/5  rDev -5.2%

plumlmr, Feb 29, 2012
Photo of freduardo
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

freduardo, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4.43/5  rDev +5%
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.

emerge077, May 24, 2011
Photo of nickthegun12
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
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

nickthegun12, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of ncfranklin
4.05/5  rDev -4%
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.

ncfranklin, Mar 09, 2011
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Unobtanium Barrel-Aged Old Ale from Straight To Ale
93 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.