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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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,113 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
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
Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a golden orange amber body that almost glows when held to light. It hosts a full two inches of off white head that has excellent retention and leaves pillars of lace as it slowly fades. Oak is soft and silky but very attractive on the nose. Resiny vanilla and back ground citrus based hops come through nicely. With first sip the hops have turned a bit caramelized by the oak, kind of what happens to an onion when cooked in a pan. The oak is rich and almost buttery. The citrus and oak work very well together with out either one being to dominate. 11% alcohol is very well hidden. Mouthfeel is full but not thick and cloying. Exceptional drinkability.

Photo of tomwilliams134
3.26/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured froma 22 oz bomber to a fluted tulip glass. Smells like oak barrels, similar in smell to White Oak Jai Alai.

The oak definitely dominates the beer. It over shadows the hops, but there is still plenty of malt backbone. Solid body, with just the right amount of carbonation. Not as hot as I expected at 9.5 ABV. I expected more hops in an IIPA. Good, but not my favorite from ST. I'm glad I tried it, but I won't drink it again.

Photo of tkdchampxi
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Holy oak taste, Batman!

Forget aged in oak. This tastes like I'm just drinking right out of the barrel. Oak, brown, tannins. That's what this beer tastes like. Also some hops and malt... but mostly just oak.

No real good aromas to speak of.

What am I drinking? Sigh. Drinkable and unique, but wouldn't have it again

Photo of lochef81
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This ale pours a deep copper color with a thick off white head which leads to a thin cream lacing throughout the pour. The aromas are sweet and malty; not what I'd expect from an imperial ipa. There are notes of hops but they are subtle. Lots of caramel and a little vanilla on the nose. The flavor is deep and rich, with hops up front followed by a sweet malty taste. Alot of oak and vanilla on the finish. The taste is rich and satisfying but subtle for an ipa. This is a pretty awesome beer just hard to view as an imperial ipa due to its sweetness and lack of hops. Not what I expected but damn good none the less. Can't wait to try the unaged version of this one.

Photo of mrfrancis
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear golden amber with a thick, creamy white head that leaves a considerable amount of lacing as it slowly settles.

S: Soft, muted aromas of caramel, biscuit, grass, herbs, oak, lemon, lime, and orange are present on the nose.

T: Notes of caramel, biscuit, cream, oak, herbs, grass, lemon, lime, kumquat, bitter orange, and pine coat the palate. The finish is bitter and sappy with grass, herb, lemon, and pine notes underscored by faint traces of oak, caramel, and peppery, prickly alcohol.

M: Medium-to-full in body and relatively sappy, but the oak does dry it out a bit. Carbonation is firm and intense. Alcohol is a bit prickly, but is mostly mellow. Easy to sip.

O: Awesome DIPA. One has to wonder why more brewers have not tried oak-aging this style because this beer proves that it works. Though this ale presents a mostly clean bitterness, there is a lot going on here in terms of texture and flavor.

Photo of rmargeson
2.72/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This poured well and looked great. I was enhanced by the description and stated ABV but I did not expect a sickenly sweet taste that both of us noted. At first I thought it was great but with each sip it seemed to be sweeter - not what I usually want from a beer.. I won't try it again - but I won't give up on Southern Tier Brewing...

Photo of delta490
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Maybe the bottle I had was in need of further aging but the oak overwhelmed every thing about this beer for me. I really like the Unearthly IPA but the woody notes just dominated everything to the point of being unpleasant.

Photo of Kuaff
4.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is the only oak-aged IPA I've heard of, and probably the only one I'll come across for a long time. I'm always excited to experience new twists on standard styles... Drinking at cellar temperature and in my tulip glass.

A full and fluffly three-finger, creamy-looking off-white head formed no matter how slowly I poured. The body's a fairly dark, golden amber-orange with radiant transluscence. A pleasing appearance.

It smells juicy in a tropical fruit kinda way. Hoppy, too. The interesting and unique thing I'm getting is a blend of wood and sweet vanilla. I can really TELL that it's oak-aged, and I really like it.

This beauty hit me with a magnifiscent flavor profile. It has the juicy-sweet hops of regular Unearthly, but the finish has the distinctive combination of woodiness, vanilla, and caramel that I've found in other oak-aged brews. But the thing is, up till now I've only experienced this character in oak-aged stouts and barleywines. To me, this beer has a little bit of Arctic Devil's caramelly vanilla oakiness and untamed bourbon, but not as intense, and balanced with the already well-balanced flavors of the already fantastic standard Unearthly. Sublime.

The feel is just as incredibly smooth and inconspicuous as the original Unearthly's. Somehow syrupy without being "thick." I don't know how that's possible, but that's how I would describe it. It's beyond my power to sensibly describe.

This is a special DIPA. Why aren't there more oak-aged ones out there...? After trying this, I'd say it's a treatment that could enhance DIPAs just as much or more than it does the maltier stuff. The vanilla and oak are AWESOME counterpoints to intense, bitter hops. I recommend this to all who love to have their beer horizons gloriously expanded.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: golden amber, perhaps slightly less than clear; ivory head a few fingers high; crept down to a floating coaster; some lacing left behind

S: sweet apple orchard, bitter, piney hops; caramel and resin

T: rich and sweet wheat bread dough, caramel and honey-sweet malts; orchard fruit and citrus; bitter hop resinous bite; back to sweet wet close... chewy malt.

M: medium-to-full bodied, ample carbonation brisk above a dense palate crunching hop and sugar barrage; lighter, airy wood notes dry the finish.

O: look, it's a barrel-aged DIPA - exactly what you're expecting - sweet and dense malt and abv, but "regal-ized" through the use of oak-barrel-aging.

Photo of NewGlarusFan
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass

A) Dark amber color, clear and had a two finger head that dissipated almost immediately and left a nice lacing.

S)Earthy hop character, grapefruit and then the oak. Didn't smell any alcohol. Maple too

T) Sweet malt, definitely taste cara-pilsner in this guy, again earthy pine hops then grapefruit, but oak takes over the flavor profile.

M) medium carbonation, thick almost syrup like going down the pipe.

O) Very good oak aged IPA, not a bad price for a bomber. Nice change up from Two Bro's heavier Handed or Resistance.

Photo of jmdrpi
3.69/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, has a stamped "DOB 04/09/13" below the label.

looks dark golden in color, with decent white colored head, that fades. smell is earthy, herbal, spicy hop aroma. maybe some oak. taste has just a touch of malt, but pale malt. finishes hoppy, but not aggressively so. fairly complex. medium body, moderate, slightly fizzy carbonation.

overall - good, but not really worth the pricetag for me.

Photo of beertunes
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in tulip. Poured a great clean,clear coppery amber color with about an inch of white head that very good retention and lacing.

The aroma was mostly citrusy hops, with some floral notes, and a malt of sweet malts in the back. There was just a hint of the wood hanging around the edges. The flavors started out the same way, a big blast of hops, then some malts. But as the worked it's way across the tongue, the beer seemed more balanced and better melded. The added a nice flavor at the back.

The body was good, a bit fuller than most of the style, but not sticky or clingy. Drinkability was good, especially for such a big beer. Overall, a pretty nice take on the style. Worth trying if you see it.

Photo of fitrock2112
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured the Oak Aged Unearthly into a Belgian Tulip.

A - Pours a amber color crystal clear beer with two fingers of off white head.

S - Wow, smells some kinda fantastic here. Pina colada, pineapple, some light hop bitterness, vanilla, very slight grapefruit, mango. The real deal here.

T - Almost getting some maple candied flavor, some more hop bitterness, with grapefruit. Some light alcohol mid palate. It has some pine freshness, some more pineapple on the finish.

M - Mouthfeel is medium with medium carbonation. It has some syrup qualities here as well.

O - A really good beer. Yes its highly recommended, but the alcohol on the taste makes it a just miss on a great one. Still enjoy it ! Cheers!

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

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 4/8/2013. Pours fairly clear orange amber color with a 2 finger dense off white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange zest, orange rind, lemon zest, floral, pine, caramel, toast, toffee, bread, grass, oak, light clove, and floral earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of malt and hop notes; with moderate oak presence and great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, orange rind, caramel, pine, toffee, toast, floral, grass, oak, light clove, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, pine, floral, grass, caramel, toffee, toast, oak, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance and complexity of malt and hop flavors with moderate oak presence; with a sizable malt backbone that does not over take the hops; and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very creamy, sticky, and fairly crisp mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic oak aged DIPA. Great balance and complexity of hop and malt flavors with moderate oak presence; and dangerously smooth to sip on for 9.5%. A highly enjoyable offering.

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

Tap

Pours a clear amber with a sugar white lacing.

Light fruity sweet smell, berries and some citrus. Piney undertones.

Flavor of apples, berries, grapefruit, pine, maple, and a bit of caramel. Hop bitterness in the aftertaste.

Full viscous body with light tingles of carbonation on the tongue.

Excellent flavor profile, a real treat. Definitely worth trying.

Photo of Trifecta1
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle during finals week to take the edge off.

A: An amazing crystalline golden orange color, pours with a small head. Enticing lacing as the head fizzes away. Looks incredible, world class.

S: Not very hoppy, but full of citrus fruit notes and caramel.

T: Totally off guard. Very sweet caramel flavors with a monstrous oak bite. Citrus flavor stays in the back with mild bitterness and slight alcohol flavors come in last. Was expecting some of the hop flavor to fade due to the aging, but not this much. However, that doesn't mean it's bad, it is actually very tasty, but not the hop bomb one may be looking for.

M- Very sticky, velvety, full bodied, definite sipper.

O: Took me by surprise. Was expecting it to be OK for 6.99, but turned out great. Will definitely be buying one again in the future, but there are other beers to tackle first.

Photo of teromous
3.66/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: It pours a light brown color with an orange hue, and transparent. The head is very thick, eggshell-white, and leaves good lacing on the glass.

S: Clean hop smell with a little bit of pine and some tangerine scent. It smells very nice like fresh fruit.

T: The oak hits first, then some malty flavor. There is some hop to the taste but not very much! After drinking, more of the oak character comes out. There's some bitterness along with a woody flavor. I appreciate how the alcohol flavor is burried in this beer. Aging worked well in that respect. (re-reviewing had the same tasting notes)

M: The mouthfeel is medium bodied and mellow. No alcohol burn and the hop bitterness is very tame. Easy to drink.

O: This is a re-review. The beer looks and smells much better than it used to, but it is still relatively tame on flavor and bitterness. It's a good beer but it needs more punch. It's still an enjoyable beer to drink, and that's the most important thing.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color, with a white foam and some lacing. More than a little lacing, leaves a whole sheet of lace. Smells of grapefruit and tropical hops. Tastes like grapefruit and a small dry oak. Piney, resinous bitterness. Full bodied, well carbonated, fairly dry from the oak. Citrusy, oaky, boozy, what you would expect. A seasoned beer for seasoned beer drinker. I like this beer, and if you like IPAs you will like this too.

Photo of Andrew61923
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22 oz bomber into my Tree House tulip. Bottled April 8, so this is a little less than a month old.

A: What a gorgeous pour. Clear honey color with a small white head that slowly dissipates to a halo along the glass and a thin film on top. The lacing could be a bit better, but this is really inviting.

S: A big hop presence up front that is mellowed out nicely by the barrel. A really balanced aroma.

T: The taste pretty closely follows the nose. I get a lot of American hops that give way to the barrel on the back of the tongue. A tad sweet, but the higher ABV makes this not a surprise.

M: This is pretty drinkable for the ABV. It may border on syrupy a little bit too much, but it drinks really well. Carbonation is just right.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. It was a pleasure to drink and try to break down the different nuances that make it such a solid brew. I'd recommend drinking this soon if you have it.

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 GreesyFizeek
4.41/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle purchased from Wegmans.

Poured into a pint glass. A dark, murky orange pours leads to a 1 inch head that drops down into a very oily film on top of the beer. Decent lacing.

Smells very sweet, some caramel and vanilla, with herbal hops, almost smells like marijuana.

Tastes incredible. Lots of those dank, herbal hops- grass, marijuana, grapefruit juice, pine, with additional tastes of oak, vanilla, and caramel most likely from the oak aging.

Full, syrupy body. Medium carbonation.

A great experiment in aging IPAs by Southern Tier. Unearthly is an incredibly sweet beer, and oak-aging it calms it down a bit.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from tap at tap and mallet in Rochester ny. Nice hazy orange color with some head. Nice piney hop and sweet toffes malt aroma...some woody notes. Taste is sweet vanilla toffee malts with good piney hop balance. Its not over hopped which is nice but it actually makes this more of a strong ale. Eithed way its a great brew.

Photo of mnphish
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber served into a snifter. Bottled on 4/2/13.

It pours a dark gold/amber with a decent sized white head. There is some quality lacing and residuals on the glass.

It smells of light pine hops, caramel malts, and oak.

The taste is most definitely the high point. There is a quality hop profile with very light hints of fruit but it's more pine forward than anything. It's balanced impressively with a sweet malt backbone and creamy vanilla oak flavor. Medium bodied for a DIPA, nicely carbonated, but not overwhelming.

I was caught off guard by this one. Highly recommended.

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.