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

Not Rated.
Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

567 Reviews
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Reviews: 567
Hads: 1,117
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 17.78%
Wants: 66
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 567 | Hads: 1,117
Photo of kevinv
1.93/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. I really wish Southern Tier would place a freshness date on their bottles... With that said, I'm assuming this is fairly fresh since it just started hitting shelves in the area.

A - Pours a thick, clear, dark orange with a small off-white head. Decent lacing remains on the glass. Not much in the way of a visible carbonation.

S - Very malt forward - mostly caramel. I don't smell ANY hops, no matter how many times I smell the beer at any temperature. Alcohol is fairly prevalent. A light woodiness comes through.

T - Spicy, woody, oakiness. That's about where this one stops. Again, I'm not detecting any hops at all in the taste. There's no way I would guess this was a DIPA if I didn't know going into it. Light vanilla undertones in the finish. Slight bitterness, strong alcohol presence, and very sweet. Aging this one on/in oak did nothing to help the beer. Terrible. I greatly prefer the regular Unearthly.

M - Think and syrupy. Full bodied. Extremely light carbonation.

D - Undrinkable. Am I drinking the same beer as everyone else here??? I managed to get through my glass, but drain-poured the beer remaining in the bottle. The oakiness and maltiness greatly overpower the hops here. Needs a much better balance.

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Photo of nickadams2
1.99/5  rDev -50.9%
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.

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
2.28/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

22 oz. bottle at the suggested temp of 42* poured into my Stone IRS tulip.

A: This beast pours red-orange with some haze and a bubbly collar barely hangin on. This has very low carbonation.

S: The oakiness really comes through in the nose along with apricots, maple, piney almost astringent hops, and a definite alcohol presence.

T: It really bears more resemblance to a wheatwine than anything else. The taste is sweet maple, caramel malts, some hoppy bitterness, and a strong boozy backround.

M: Hot, sticky, and some other innuendos I'll leave out.

D: This begins way too sweet and ends way too warm in your stomach.

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Photo of smakawhat
2.29/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. No visible bottling date is present from what I can see.

A very even solid amber if cloudy body, with an extremely off yellow and creamy looking head. Head has lots of staying power and retention.

Nose is buttery mostly, but not total diacetyl, but no particularly hop forward.

Maple syrup sugar. Ridiculously sweet. Granular white sugar texture I feel like there should be granuals in my teeth I could pick them out. I can't even talk about any of the other supposed flavors here cause its a syrupy sugar overpowering sensation.

Overall a sugar bomb mess. I would want to say something about the malt presence or god forbid..maybe HOPS?? but this is just like drinking maple syrup. What's the point unless you are diabetic...

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.36/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Got this bomber in the Disc Golf 2 BIF.
Served in a nonic pint.
DOB- 03/24/12

Dark orange body, almost wanna call it "burnt orange."
Two fingers of sticky, creamy, beige head has pretty good retention and lacing.
Smells syrupy-- like malty and piney combined in such a way I can only describe as syrupy. Malts are roasted and sweet while the hops provide a bitterness and a piney, slightly citrus/floral backdrop. The oaking helps to dry it out at the finish, but not enough.
Feels syrupy... Something about this beer-- the first word I think of, and the one that keeps recurring is "syrupy." Residual sugary and oily feel. Coats my teeth and makes me feel like brushing.

Overall-- meh. I've had this beer before and I seem to remember deciding not to review it because at the time I didn't want to score beers too far below average due to my newness at the time... Now, 4 years later, I know I wasn't wrong with my first impressions... Very unimpressed.

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Photo of drabmuh
2.42/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

No date on bottle, poured into a snifter. Beer appears thick. Clear, orange and forms a thin diffuse head of small white bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is criminally low. Seriously low.

Boozy aroma, hops and lots of sweet malt. There is some hint of woods, not much though.

Big body, spicy, lots of hop flavor and malt sweetness, lots. Its kind of like drinking syrup with this undercurrent of woodiness. Its not as good as the unearthly, I'm not sure what the wood aging did to it. I guess its making it close to undrinkable. I hate this beer.

There is a tendency to age a portion of a beer in barrels or on wood and tell everyone that its a new beer and people's general reaction is that its better, but especially with a hoppy beer there are reasons not to do it. Not all beer benefits from contact with wood, air, and time. Its just a waste of hops. Never again.

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Photo of ledemie
2.48/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Clear reddish-orange with a light brown foamy head. Head quickly fades to a thin cap on top of the beer. Moderately active carbonation bubbles rising to the top.

S - Earthy and citrus hops mixed with a little wood. Some grapefruit and a little biter orange peel. Also some piney notes as the beer warms. Alcohol is also noticeable.

T - like orange peel, mixed with vanilla.

M - Medium to full bodied and very sticky. The sweetness lingers with you. Moderate carbonation. thick, a slit coat after swallowing .

I do not why but this beer made me nausea, there that bitter orange peel in the mouthfeel and smell, did not care for this one.

edited: I have tried there Pale ale sample pack and cannot believe this beer was this bad... I really do not know what happened, i cannot change my D+ grade, but overall a awesome brewery.

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Photo of jtierney89
2.5/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Aging this big ol hop bomb on some oak? Let's do it

Beautiful copper orange glow with good clarity and a big sticky off white head. Great lacing on the glass. Noticeable smoky oak character on the nose, touch of mint, citric and piney hops underneath it all, touches of vanilla. Lots of oak though, smells like a pine forest.

Lots of oak from start to finish. The oak is really the show here with the other flavors kind of complimenting it. Big mouthfeel from start to finish. Touches of caramel. Undertones of tropical fruit, alot of same flavors from the nose. All extremely well blended into once concise sip with the flavors all melding. The oak is a bit overpowering though. You really have to dig for the other flavors. Maybe this could benefit from a bit more aging at home. Good but eh.

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Photo of boogyman
2.53/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a golden amber color with very little head that goes away very fast and leaves a very small amount of bubbles on the edges. Lacing is decent.

S- Smells of grapefruit and lemon. On the back end there is some vanilla probably from the oak.

T- Taste seems to be almost unnaturally sweet with vanilla oak flavors that take over the great piney hoppy flavor. The grapefruit is not nearly as strong as it should be.

M- Goes down fairly creamy smooth, almost too much so.

D- Overall, I think this is almost too strong on the vanilla sweetness and is kinda harsh on the stomach. I am not sure what it is with Southern Tier beers, they seem to be either really sweet or overpowered in the flavor that they advertise.

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Photo of garuda
2.53/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a mostly clear deep amber with a sudsy tan head that has little retention against the edge of the glass and little lacing.

S - Big sweet caramel malts up front, with some grassy, pine hops in the background and some warming alcohol as well.

T - Again with the big sweet caramel malts predominant up front. This is a DIPA? Big notes of dried dark fruits, raisins, and dates. What's this, oak aged too? I don't taste and of it.

M - Full body, a little low on the carbonation, but still finishes clean with some dryness from the abv and oak aging. Lingering, ambiguous bitterness from the hops.

D - The abv is hidden well for it being 11%. Much too malt forward for what I want in a DIPA.

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Photo of sevenarts
2.56/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Slightly reddish orange, modest carbonation, small off-white head and just a little lacing.

S: Really distinctive and unexpected. Strong caramel, some wood, a little spicy. Some pine and earthy smells and a whisper of citrus from the hops. There's something odd and almost medicinal about it though, with so many different aromas competing it feels slightly off.

T/M: As with the smell, this is a pile-up of all sorts of jarring flavors. Lots and lots of caramel and vanilla sweetness over everything, mixing with some woody flavors, a bit of spiciness, and in the aftertaste the hops finally make their presence known a little bit with just a touch of bitterness going down. Hides the alcohol well.

O: This beer is kind of a mess and I can't really decide if I hate it or if I appreciate its distinctiveness. It's definitely original, but in the end it's too syrupy sweet and the flavors never really blend well, with the caramel being very overpowering and everything else fighting against that dominant flavor.

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Photo of n2185
2.65/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Got about 4 fingers of off-white foam on top of a dark orange, muddy brown body. Good retention and lacing

S: Some caramel malt on the nose followed by some citrusy hop aromas.

T: Almost completely opposite of the aroma, this beer is a malt bomb. Caramel malt up front followed by a little bitterness from the hops. Very sweet aftertaste with a nice alcohol, bourbon-like burn.

M: Medium-thick body with fairly light carbonation. Fairly creamy.

D: With a very present alcohol burn and huge malt presence, this isn't a very drinkable beer.

Overall, this beer is much more like an old ale than a DIPA. As an old ale, I'd say it's at least in the B range. As a DIPA, it fails pretty miserably with so few hops to balance out the malt. I've had some big 10+% DIPAs with age on them and they turn into nice, hoppy barleywines. Not this beer, though. The hops are almost entirely gone except for the nose.

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Photo of rmargeson
2.72/5  rDev -32.8%
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...

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Photo of sweemzander
2.73/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a clear orange amber color that looks just like apple juice. Produced a good white colored head, but dissipated immediately.

(S)- A very sweet yet boozy caramel & butterscotch

(T)- Sweet caramel & butterscotch with a bit of vanilla oakiness. Very boozy. Where are the hops? This reminds me more of an old ale at this point. Is this too old?

(M)- A good carbonation level, but way too hot & boozy. This feels like a huge 18%abv monster, but its only 11%. Rather sweet as well; almost candy-like.

(D)- Not a winner in my opinion. Way too boozy and sweet for what it should be like. Could this probably just be too old or a bad bottle? I see that everyone else who has rated this has given it rave reviews, but I just dont see it at least in the bottle I just tried. I will definitely try to find another one that is hopefully fresh. More breweries need bottled dates!

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.84/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bomber poured into a tulip.

4.5 A: Ultra clear medium orange color. Two fingers of frothy head with excellent retention and good lacing.

3.0 S: Woodiness sticks out, but is a little weird. Kinda like pinesol with a lemony tinge. Floral hops supplement.

2.5 T: Strange woody flavor sticks around into the flavor. Lemony wood flavor, like pine-Sol. Plenty of hop flavor and even more maltiness.

3.5 M: Mouthfeel average overall. Good creaminess, carbonation, etc...

2.5 D: I like the original better. The oak aging adds a flavor I don't like. (But I do like wood aging.)

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Photo of Docer
2.86/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bomber acquired in a trade..

- Dark copper amber color, somewhat clear, thin foam head.. white in color.. a slew of lacing....

- Smell is of the typical S. Tier malt profile which I can't say that I like much... and is a bit sweet and thick... bit of citrus and bitter hop.. some pine as well... great hop blend, but sweet...

- I hate to say it, but after a glass... I drain poured the bomber... my favorite style, and I just couldn't do this one, and thought the regular Unearthly was better... just a sweet caramel malt bomb with a bunch of different hop notes... not very well balanced at all...

- Sweet, dry... and chewy.. not a bad feel but the sweetness... sigh

- For me this wasn't drinkable at all, and I can't fore the life of me see why this is such a popular IIPA... way too sweet and rich... if I even tried to drink the bottle.. I would have puked...

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Photo of JackieTH
2.88/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a copper-amber with a thinnish off-white head that leaves lacing.

There was a hint of grapefruit/orange citric hop however the nose was predominantly malty.

It tastes rich and malty, moderately sweet, oak is quite noticable, and there is a hint of vanilla and spice. It's basically very similar to an classic oaked chardonnay, yet it's labeled IPA, a DIPA at that. I get no hops. Certainly not what I would expect from an IPA.

It's lightly carbonated and heavier bodied. Being sweet, malty and heavy it wasn't very easy to drink. I bought this one as fresh as they come, the clerk indicating it had arrived at the store that very day.

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Photo of BarrelO
2.88/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into a snifter.

A: Amber body with a not too vigorous head that leaves little lacing.

S: Between the hops and the wood, it smells pretty much exactly like a pine tree.

T: Pretty big disappointment. I can't really detect any vanilla or caramel from the wood or grassiness or citrus from the hops. It's almost as if the two cancel each other out. All that's left is generic bitterness. On the plus side, alcohol is hardly detectable.

M: Heavy and syrupy.

D: After being blown away by Great Divide 15th Anniversary and liking the original Unearthly, I was expecting big things from this beer. But this didn't do anything for me. Back to the drawing board, ST.

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Photo of Bendurgin
2.9/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip. This one pours a deep copper color with about an inch of creamy white head. A little bit of thin lace is left behind.

The aroma has bit of a malty backbone to it with hints of vanilla and some citrus hops. A little more hops in the aroma would be nice but this is pleasant. The pallet has a mellow hop flavor with hints of caramel and vanilla in the background. Very soft citrus hop flavor.

A little heavy on the body and sticky. Soft carbonation on this. Overall this one is a bit of a letdown. The hops don't show up like I would want them to.

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Photo of notchucknorris
2.91/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Looks-wise, this was fine. Copper color with a thin white head.

S: Here's where it started to go wrong for me. The label said IPA, but all I smelled was a ton of oak and a lot of sweet malts. No hops.

T: Again, no hops. Something tells me that I shouldn't have waited so long to drink this. It had been sitting in storage for about a month, which I didn't think was too long. The hops weren't faded though, they were completely nonexistent. The taste was almost more like a sweet chardonnay than a beer. I really want to try this fresh and see how much better it is.

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Photo of jwinship83
2.95/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle that just hit the shelf today.

A- somewhat dark amber colored body under a lasting, sticky, finger of an off white colored head.

S- this one smells strongly in general. tons of hops, but lots of malt to back it up. pine and citrus hops are the most pronounced. the malt is all caramel smelling.

T- wow...brutal. very intense and in your face. sweet caramel malts seem weak against the massive amounts of hops in here. loads of citrus and pine. slightly fruity. the oak is barely noticeable, and produces an almost medicinal quality. the alcohol is very strong, and almost overpowering. not cool.

M- full bodied and almost syrupy. high level of carbonation makes it feel creamy. lots of warming form the booze.

D- ugh. this one started out so well, and then the wheels fell off this bus as soon as i tasted it. the alcohol is way too strong and the oak made that nasty medicinal taste that sort of reminded me of cough syrup. a good idea that turned a good beer into a train wreck. sorry southern tier, i just really didnt like this one.

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Photo of alleykatking
2.96/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap.

A- Pours a pale yellowish orange color. Two finger white head shows good retention...ends up capping the beer. Web style lacing on the sides of the glass as I drink this one down.

S- Taking a couple sniffs I at first picked up vanilla oak notes. Strong bready caramel malts show up as well long before any hops come through which I thought was weird. Earthy hops do come though next but long after when I thought they should have shown up. Alcohol come through in the very ending making a light burning in the nose itself.

T- Alcohol comes through in the front of the beer to start off with...although with the ABV it didn't surprise me. A light bitterness from hopping coming through next giving a light peppery note as well. The middle of the beer has the oak finally come through with hints of vanilla covering a bready caramel malt base body. Ending shows a little more of the malt in the front before the citrus hops show up in the form of oranges. Alcohol comes back around this time a lot more strong and a little medicinal like.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Bitter hops, caramel malts, and light oak are left on the palate. Aftertaste is medicinal alcohol, light fruity hops, and syrupy caramel malts. Flavors didn't really blend together very well cause a big stop and go feel while drinking. No off flavors were present but the alcohol did kind of make it a annoyance. Heavy alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This beer didn't really do it for me. The aging of it in oak didn't help the overall flavor. I personally didn't like all the alcohol that crept up while I was drinking it. A syrupy sweet mess for most of the beer. Oh well...it always seem to be a hit or miss with me and Southern Tier.

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Photo of irishman646
3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served in a 16 oz. Pilsener style glass (They were super busy and had no other glassware) at Rustico's in Alexandria, Va.

To tell the truth I didn't know this was the oak aged version until halfway through the beer. I saw the tap handle first and didn't read the tap list until later.

The head was thick, off white, and stuck around for awhile. The appearance was of an American Amber. The beer had a strong hop aroma dominated by citrusy grapfruit aromas backed up by strong notes of pine.

Oak Aged Unearthly had a strong malt presence to counteract the hops but they ended up clashing with one another rather than working together. The crisp hop bitterness never came through in the end. Any presence of oak was faint and struggled to make it's presence known through the syrupy malty mess of a mouthfeel.

The mouthfeel on this beer was a real dissapointment, in fact it ruined the beer. As soon as it warmed up it became syrupy and thick and a pain to drink. The thickness really brought out a cloyingly sweet taste. It ruined any chance of drinkability. Granted, 16 oz. of a beer this big is probably too much but then again my mouth waters at the thought of 16 oz. of Bell's Hopslam.

This was my first try of either version of Unearthly. Perhaps the unoaked version is better but I will be wary of trying it.

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Photo of GJ40
3.03/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Sampled from a standard pint glass. Purchased at Nikki's in N Providence, RI.

A - Starts very well. A beautiful golden color with great clarity and a moderate off white head. Great lacing.

S - Surprisingly nice aroma. Starts floral and fruity but then gets more complex with loads of oak and a fair amount of alcohol. More and more tropical fruits as it warms at the end.

T - Initially a balanced flavor of hop oils, alcohol and malt (although the malt plays a lesser role). But this beer wore me down and I enjoyed it less and less as it went on. I just think the oak is too much for the light malts and it seems to clash with the hops rather than enhance them.

M - Very smooth and creamy. The carbonation is there but it doesn't get in the way at all.

D - I like a strong DIPA or Imperial Stout that can make the strong flavors work but this one was too strong and oaky for me. It tastes more like liquor than beer.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.04/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

poured from a bottle into tulip pint. very little head that was light and frothy. very nice retention.

the smell threw me off, waaaay too much vanilla and i hate vanilla. do not care for

taste is out there. kind of reminds of the oak flavor from an oaked arrogant bastard but with tons of vanilla. slight IPA flavor hidden in the background. i find the oak flavor too dominant. i also find it a smidge too sweet. if this were more balanced with bigger hop flavor, it could be far better.

carbonation was near perfect. very full bodied and smooth.

i am not feeling this at all. a one time thing and thats it. i applaud ST for their effort as i like seeing new varieties of IPAs coming out.

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Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 567 ratings.