Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)

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1,113 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,113
Reviews: 566
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 64
Gots: 74 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 01-09-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,113 | Reviews: 566
Reviews by JohnnyHopps:
Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed regular Unearthly Hops, so I have been looking forward to the Oak Aged version. Poured into a sampler goblet, the ale was a copper color with a modest white head. The aroma was immediate, giving an impression of fruity hops with a some notes of vanilla. The initial taste was a moderate hop explosion, with notes of peach, mild grapefruit, and a degree of Earthiness. The vanilla smooths one the hops nicely. Sometimes vanilla and hops create a dreamsicle-like taste. In this case, the citric hops are allowed to shine above the vanilla without overwheming. The vanilla adds a pleasant dimension to the malt backbone. Nothing about this beer is overly sweet. Instead, it is actually well measured. The vanilla is smooth in the finish, ironing out the wrinkles in the tongue left by the hops.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with great clarity into a imperial nonic a deep burnt orange color with a frothy two finger slight off white head atop,a mix of vanilla/oak and big citric hop with the hops given the slight edge,a tinge of alcohol comes thru as well.The oak isnt to big wich is a good thing for me leaving the great complex hop profile that I love about the standard version to be the main component of the beer.Big citric piney hop with some herbalness,the oak flavors come in the finish.Everything seems to be getting oaked these days not sure if a DIPA should be oaked,this was still pretty damn good.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split a bomber with my dad after sealcoating the driveway. Pours a deep red/orange that's nice and bright with a quarter inch of foam on top. Aromas of juicy hops off the top with lots of citrus, grapefruit and resinous accents. Sweet malts along with some oak in there as well. Sweet hop candy.

First sip brings a melting pot of sweet malts, caramel and big hop flavors with lots of citrus and herbal resiny goodness. The woody oak tones work in and add a wonderful dimension to the brew. Flows down with a good bit of sweetness and lingering blasts of hop bitterness. Alcohol shows up on the tail end, this one will warm ya up!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit slick. The big combo of malt, alcohol and sweetness makes it a bit hard to drink too much of it, but overall it's damn good. The oak really works well and I enjoy the fact that it is just oak and not a used spirits barrel.

Photo of nickadams2
1.99/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

A_Pours hazy orange with a fluffy bone white head. Thick lacing.

S_Oak,vanilla,overbearing sweet malt.

T_Way too sweet.Extreme sweetness, oak, caramel, vanilla. This is a dumper for sure.

M_Thick and full bodied but flat. Very flat which is contradicting to the appearance.

D_If there was a lower score than one this would be a candidate.

Just a flat overly sweet mess.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a swell beer. I liked Unearthly, but this oak aged one was even better. In a tulip it was an amber color with a good-sized tan off-white head.
A mostly floral aroma, some citrus. The oak was noticeable, as compared to Unearthly, but subtle.
Pine taste, some lemon, fairly strong malt presence.
Really smooth. You would never guess that this was 11% ABV.

Photo of warnerry
3.19/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 3/1/12, poured into a tulip

A - Pours a beautiful clear copper with one and a half fingers of tan head. Head doesn't last that long. Only small spots of lacing left behind.

S - Oak is very prominent in the aroma. Otherwise big sweet malty aroma with some piney hops.

T - Initially sticky sweet (seems to be a common theme with Southern Tier) and malt heavy. Eventually, some hop bitterness comes through and the oak really starts to ramp up. The bitterness is no match for the sweetness. There seems to be some IPAs that have a smell/taste that reminds me of bolonga, and this is one of them (granted, I've been vegetarian for almost 20 years, but I ate a lot of the stuff as a kid, so take that with a grain of salt). Not necessarily good or bad, but a bit distracting. Stays sweet throughout. The hops and oak are no match for the sweetness. Decent, but not really what I look for in a DIPA.

M - Full, sticky sweet mouthfeel with some bitterness on the finish.

O - Can't help but wonder how I would review this if were listed as an American Strong Ale. As a DIPA, it is too thick and sweet, with a less than assertive hop presence. Doesn't taste too bad though.

Photo of generallee
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 650ml bottle into a tulip glass. The bottle has a nice description of the beer along with a list of ingredients and its abv (11%). There is however no freshness date listed on the bottle.

Appearance: The body has a deep amber color which has good clarity and visible carbonation. On top sits an average off white colored head that slowly fades and makes some cool lace rings on the glass after each sip.

Smell: In the nose I pick up an intensely rich mix of malt and hops. There are deep golden raisin and caramel notes from the malt and deep resiny pine like hops back by some citrus notes and hints of oak wood.

Taste/Palate: On the tongue there is a mixing of sweet caramel notes, raisin bread, resiny hops, pine, citrus, orange peel and in hint of oak. Hop bitterness slowly builds more and more towards the finish but still brings some sweetness to keep things juicy. It's full bodied, bold and heavy or chewy on palate. Carbonation is soft and just keeps things from getting too sticky.

Notes: Excellent.

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$8.99 for the bomber from Deciccio's Ardsley, NY. No freshness info to be had. Pours pretty clear, medium apricot infused amber, slight and off white head and not leaving fine, splattered lacing upon a medium swirl. I get some wood and citrussy hops in the nose. Love the style, typically love the ST offering, so this one was a cinch to please my palate. Big, hoppy and bold. Hops, oak and a malty underblanket to smooth things out. Simply lovely stuff and well worth seeking out and enjoying.

Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by slasher007.

Pours an orange color with a white head. The smell is somewhat resiny with some hop bitterness and some flavors that I associate with barrel aging. The oaked aroma gets stronger as the beer warms. There is definitely some piney and citrus hop flavors but the oak aging takes the edge off of them, mellowing them out. You also get some oak character in the flavor. The beer has a medium mouthfeel and the oak aging makes it very drinkable. We tried this after drinking some other big IPAs and DIPAs and I would like to try it again when my palate was fresher.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.01/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into an 8oz Rock Art snifter.

Pours a nice deep dark amber with tons of beautiful bubbles constantly coming up to a small one finger slightly yellow creamy head. Nose isn't super pungent and hoppy, but there's a nice light malty sweetness to it with some lice floral notes.

First off the mouthfeel is a bit light, very high attenuation on this beer, it makes it really crisp and smooth though. Carbonation is a bit sharp, but it'll fade as it warms a bit. The hops are subtle in this - for an IIPA anyways. The oak adds a nice balance to it without dominating the flavor, it's a bit of a nutty caramel to it. Nice finish that leaves a bready taste on your tongue.

Photo of WeymouthMike
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beer pours a gorgeous amber with a good inch plus solid white head.

Smell is reminiscent of Seagrams 7 whiskey.

Taste again is headed by the whiskey, followed by a smokey vanilla.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a slight alcohol bitterness on the finish

Drinkability, well I drank one over a 4 hour period. I much prefer the original un-oaked version.

Photo of dellert2332
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Awesome beer to enjoy on Lake Chatauqua! Purchased a 1/4 Keg for the weekend at the lake and several to take back to PSU! If you are looking to get hammered and play a rough game of pond hockey this is the beer for you. The keg was killed in a few hours and kept me loose for the game. Hoppy, citrus-filled deliciousness in a bottle, growler, or keg.


Photo of MattyG85
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep copper golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid two fingers of off white head that recede into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A dank hoppy aroma with big hints from the barrel aging. Barrel characteristics upfront with big hints of oak and wood as well as a little vanilla. Big earthy hop aroma with lots of dank and spicy pine resin and grass. Herbal and floral hints. Also hints of citrus grapefruit, orange peel, mango, and lemon. Bready malt background with hints of biscuit, sweet caramel, grain, and yeast. Pine and oak stand out the most. A very solid smell .

Taste: Like the smell, a grassy and spicy hop driven taste with a big oak barrel profile. Big notes of oak and wood along with a little vanilla. Big taste of hops leaning to the dank and spicy side. Notes of pine resin and grass as well as some floral notes. Citrus notes of orange, grapefruit, lemon, tangerine, and mango. Solid bready malt backing with notes of biscuit, caramel, toffee, yeast, and grain. The oak notes play off well with the piney hops. A pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the heavier side of medium. Carbonation is moderate. Juicy and fairly oily. Drying finish. Alcohol is masked by the hops.

Overall: A very good aged IPA. The oak adds a good and interesting kick.

Photo of far333
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear orangey copper colored with streams of small bubbles rising up quickly to a frothy off-white half inch head that lingers long.

Aroma of tangerine and fresh flowers.

Flavor of sharp citrus hops right upfront, followed by chewy fruity honey malt, moving quickly to marshmallow and woody notes, and finishing with a grapefruit pith bitterness. A toasted maple woodiness lingers.

Full mouthfeel, rich and creamy, finishes tingly, crisp and tannic. Slight ABV warmth rises up.

Tasty beer, but the lingering sweetish woody flavor detracts for me. Would like the hops to be more center stage.

Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.72/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear copper with orange highlights and a slightly off-white head that starts two fingers thick but dissipates to a thin ring.

The smell has everything from pine and citrus to toasty caramel maltiness and vanilla oak.

Taste has a heavy presence of caramel malts, a bit toasty, with citrus (grapefruit, tangerines) and pine. A very mellow bitter hop rounds this one out with slight alcohol warmth. The high ABV is well hidden.

The mouthfeel is full, a bit sticky with decent carbonation.

This is a "one at a timer" for me, a nice beer but with the 11% ABV, I wouldn't go back for another in the same session.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another damn good beer from Southern Tier.

Looks almost perfect. A subdued orange. Aroma, no alcohol, how they do that at 11% I dunno. Pleasant abundance of flowery hops, both in the nose and on the tongue. So many hop varieties at different stages, almost makes you feel you got a good deal @ $7 a 22oz. Massive amount of different varieties of hops make a great beer. Drink fresh though.

Mouthfeel, even better as it warms up at a tailgate party. Drinkable, but its pricey. Highly recommended.

Photo of whoneeds8
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to corey0212 for the bottle.

Poured into tulip glass yellow-red with a thick white head. Great lacing. There is a interesting nose to this beer. Very complex, lots of wood smell but then there is a smell like brandy on it. Very sweet smelling. The taste is just as unique. The hop bite up front is rather slight for a IIPA, but not in a bad way because it's accompanied by warming of sweet malted grapefruity flavors. The taste mellows out to a rather slight alcohol feel. The mouthfeel is rather warm, the carbonation tickles the inner cheeks of my mouth. This is a very strong IIPA, drinkablilty is great, but it's definatly a sipper.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear copper body with a tight bubbled light off white tan khaki head forming thick into my Unibrouse La Fin du Monde chalice. Fine even lacing spread thin but intricately around the edges of my glass. This one in particular is aged on some oak, it really comes off in the nose with a typically big hoppy barrage of hops this one is more concentrated in a nice earthy/oak wood aged caramel malt mixture. Also an air of sharp citrus/possibly grapefruit notes coming off strong amongst the rest of the nose. Flavor is actually quite balanced with a big rush of oak barrel aging hints of vanilla/caramel/charred oak with one of my favorite DIPAs standing up against the barrage of other flavors with citrus/grapefruit/herbal hops peaking through. The flavor is probably best enjoyed with a big woody cedar toned cigar, it just seems like they would get along. Mouthfeel is medium bodied slightly oily with hop resins standing strong alcohol robustness that doesn't overwhelm the palate but makes it's presence known with each soothing sip. Carbonation is quite mellow with a big sugary beast of a DIPA aged on oak flexing it's muscles take your diabetes meds kids this is super sweet with backing hops, alcohol, and oak barrel aging effects to create quite the experience.

Photo of OStrungT
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear orangish gold color with a thick fluffy off white head with a slight yellow tint. The head fades slowly, leaving a nice lace.

This beer has a dominate floral aroma. I can detect some subtle vanilla. Unlike the regular Unearthly, this beer is mild and quite pleasent. The alcohol is hidden in the aroma. A slight sweet caramel aroma is also present.

This beer tastes like it smells. Floral hops with some oaky vanilla. No alcohol flavor is present.

The alcohol content in this beer becomes noticable on the way down. It warms the throat. It leaves a mild oaky aftertaste.

This beer wouldnt make a great session eber because of the high alcohol content.

Overall: Thanks to inlimbo77 for this beer. I liked it much better than its brother. A few months on oak has mellowed it out, and made for a much better final product.

Photo of hagbergl
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance (3.5/5): Thin, one-finger head of white foam, clear copper body, lots of alcohol legs on side of the glass

Smell (4/5): Peach and pine smell, herbal, perhaps a little green tea-like quality to it, sweet and mellow, does not have a pronounced or biting citrus quality that you'd find in a West Coast IPA. No alcohol to speak of. And this is a huge beer–at about 10%. Very floral, I detect a bit of lilac in the smell as well. Interesting.

Taste (3.5/5): At first, lots of barrel qualities shine through and sweet, sticky white peach from the malt flex. Then, it gives way to a quite bitter and drying finish that's tropical and lightly herbal. Woody. Some light cherrywood and oak. A very loooong finish. The problem with all this is that I get tired of the flavors, which are overwhelming. The booziness is quite evident, and the sticky sweetness is just a bit too pronounced for my liking. This isn't a bad tasting beer by any means. But what was initially pleasant becomes cloying. Hence, the 3.5/5.

Mouthfeel (3.5): smooth, slightly sticky in the foretaste and then quite dry in the aftertaste, some alcohol heat in the throat after swallowing, light on the carbonation, as one would expect. Medium body and medium-light carbonation.

Overall (3.5/5): Southern Tier isn't afraid to go big, I'll give them that. But I think their desire to make huge beers can sometimes be a little misplaced. If the alcohol was dialed back on this one, it would certainly be a better drinking ale. This is a beer that starts out well, but it becomes cloying and difficult to handle after a while. ALSO: try to split this with someone. This is a beastly beer. Taking it on alone is not advisable.

Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy deep copper color with a half-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of bright citrus and pine hops with good amounts of sticky caramel malts. As the beer warms hints of vanilla and oak waft out, the vanilla more so than the oak.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by citrus, pine-y, and slightly herbal hop flavors. Midway through the sip hints of vanilla come into play. Right before the ending very mild amounts of oak come into play. The ending is mildly bitter, leaving sweet caramel malts and citrus hop flavors lingering on the palate.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I thought the hops weren't quite as robust as the normal Unearthly but the addition of vanilla flavors and more robust caramel malts make up for it. Well worth a shot to see for yourself.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a clear orange body with an antique white head that sticks to the glass with each sip. There is a strong carbonation of big bubbles racing to the surface.

S- The caramel sweet malt that fills the glass has a note of cream and a light oak butterscotch note.

T- The nice full green hop flavor is a bit mild and is followed by a big caramel sweetness. There is a soft green bitter bite in the finish that has a nice pungent hint that becomes more dandelion bitter as the beer warms. As the beer warms there is also more of an oak sweetness and a buttery note to the caramel malt.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with an alcohol heat that bites just a bit at the finish but it softens over time as more finish flavors come through.

D- This beer is big and sweet with a softer wood note but the hops taste a bit like they are gone. The freshness has really left the beer and the oak didn't really make up for the hops that are missing.

Photo of apbarwood
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dusty-orange color with an epic head of sandy colored foam that lingers for ages. Beautifully carbonated and leaves sheets of lace stuck all over the glass. Slight bitterness in the aroma that's not as present as I expected. Rather, there are loads of sweet fruity flavors like pineapple and orange with a bit of grapefruit for good measure. The flavor is bursting with sugar-coated fruit flavors, particularly tropical types with pineapple dominating. A heavy dose of oak-derived vanilla flavor is present and seems to cut through some of the bitterness and mellow out the hops. Also, a nice amount of caramel and sugar cookie coming through from the malt help to balance this one nicely between massive hops and massive malt/oak sweetness. Absolutely delicious. Medium to full bodied with a nice crisp carbonation that cleanses the palate. Maybe a bit sticky on the finish but it's marginal and that's the only real flaw that I can spot. This beer is absolutely phenomenal. I did this for a beer tasting and out of about 40-50 people who tried it, not one person didn't like it. It's truly amazing and I think the key is in the fact that it seems so perfectly balanced. If you're looking for intense bitterness this isn't the beer for you. Nor if you're looking for tons of malt or oak. It's just an extremely complex, perfectly balanced beer. Very highly recommended.

Photo of CloudStrife
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pumking goblet. Bottled 2/24/12.

A: Pours a slightly hazy light brownish copper. 1 finger head is quickly settled leaving a little lacing. Small amount of visible carbonation.

S: With the obvious hops up front the oak really gets through. Dark fruits, vanilla and hints of bourbon. Almost more malt than hop as it warms up.

T: Fairly well balanced for in imperial IPA. Doesn't slap you in the face with hops but still has the flavor. Oak really evens it out and almost hides the alcohol. The dark fruity malts really compliment the earthy hop. Bourbon-esque alcohol asserts itself at the end.

M: Pretty full bodied, nice creamy mouthfeel. Very warming and certainly a sipper.

Overall a nice twist on the original unearthly. Oak keeps the beer mellow and more of an after dinner drink. Would recommend to anyone who enjoys oak aged beers.

Photo of jdp11284
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A tasty barrel-aged imperial IPA. If you like aged beers, this one will not let you down. Well balanced with lots of oak/vanilla/caramel notes. Lovely viscosity that is often not found in the IPA class. At 9.9%, I can't believe the complexity of flavors, nor can I believe that I can coherently type this review after a personal bottle. For $6.95, you can't beat it!

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Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,113 ratings.