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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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1,106 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,106
Reviews: 565
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 67
Gots: 72 | 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: 1,106 | Reviews: 565
Photo of jera1350
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours into an oversized wine glass a golden orange with half finger light cream colored head. Minimal lacing. Sweet caramel malt and citrusy hops on the nose. Taste is big sweet roasted malt by oaky citrus hops. Complex and leaves an oaky, slightly bitter aftertaste. Medium bodied, creamy, silk mouthfeel. Good drinkability for a beer with this ABV.

Much like regular unearthly with the addition of some oak. Worth a try, another solid beer from ST.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber. no date. poured into tulip. tasted in mid/late april 2009

clear, deep copper amber. 2-finger light beige head doesn't fade easily, eventually a wispy, foamy thin layer and ring. decent lacing.

aroma: fresh citrus rind, hint of fresh pine, and a nice oaky vanilla sweetness into caramel and subtler apple tones. more hint of citrus, but light.

taste: ever so slightly less hoppy than the regular. not a perfect melding, but the oak and vanilla really are mixing with the fruit and caramel sweetness, and "do battle" with the hops. moderate to bold bitterness, with the oak, vanilla and caramel also revealing a faint diacetyl and phenols in the finish.

medium body, smooth, lightly syrupy upfront, then lots of resins and astringency later. moderate carbonation has moments of tingle, and actually gives structure.

sweetness of malt, citrusy hops and oaky vanilla can become almost cloying and cut down on drinkability. otherwise, an interesting experiment.

Photo of skrib09
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a burnt orange color, pretty hazy, with a head of something you would normally see with ipas.

smell is woody pine and citrus.

taste up front is hop and the oak flavors come up with it. a mild balance comes through and i can hint at some malt backbone. plenty of pine and wood from the oak aging.

really smooth mouthfeel that attributes to good drinkability even though it's imperial.

Photo of CrellMoset
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Beer Run, served in a 10 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Arrives a nearly clear, bright orange amber body, capped by a dusting of offwhite head and a thick ring of bubbly, soapy lace. The head looks to have been about a good finger high, but the retention was likely only average (given that it was practically gone by its arrival). Carbonation was some of the slowest I've ever seen in beer - near nil to begin with, but what is visible crept, crawled, dragged itself to the surface. Lacing is nice, though, sheet-like, delicate looking, bright and shiny. A good looking beer.

Aroma: Sweet, slightly spicy hop notes, candied oranges and grapefruit, freshly picked mint, and a subtle but definitely noticeable oaky undertone that compliments the roasted, caramel, slightly buttery malt tones well.

Taste: Very similar to the Unearthly, not surprisingly so - that is, very hoppy, moderately to highly bitter (though perhaps less so than the original), with a sweet, moderately roasted backbone boasting an array of leafy, herbal, slightly piney, and citrusy hop notes. What's instructive is where the differences are. First of all, the earthiness of the hop notes is a little more enhanced here than in the original, a consequence of (I assume) a woody contribution. The caramel is also enhanced significantly - it's a much sweeter, chewier beer, stickier and roastier. Part of that may be faded hops, and part of that may be wood additions - I'd be willing to say it's both. Finally, there is a kiss of vanillin present, adding almost a creme brulee like quality to the whole thing, given the other lighter malt notes. Interesting.

Mouthfeel: A thick but not quite syrupy brew, with subtle, small, fine, even carbonation that leaves it at a nice, low hanging level over the tongue. Agitation puffs it up even more, so there is plenty of carbonation here - it's just well-buried, and I think it works reasonably well with the the flavor profile.

Drinkability: Interesting beer. Not sure if I like it as much as the original Unearthly, which (despite my review of it - I need to re-review) I really enjoyed, and still do, regularly. This one gains certain components in the aging that do it justice and others that don't so much, and I think perhaps some of the hop juiciness and oiliness that makes Unearthly such a good beer may be lost in the barrel aging. Also, nothing at 11% can be too terribly drinkable. Those negatives aside, it's still a great beer, a very good offering from Southern Tier, and enjoyable. Give it a shot.

Photo of SLeffler27
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears dark, almost orange amber, with a light haze and lots of carbonation under a light beige frothy head that turns creamy, never actually dissipating as it coats a IIPA pint glass with lacing.
A mix of orange and grapefruit with some mint up front. There is caramel as it warms, possibly even the oak as advertised.

Strong flavorful hops are combined with bitterness. However, this is balanced for an IIPA. Oak is present as is black tea. There is some honey in a lingering finish.

The alcohol is well controlled in this full bodied beer with a velvety texture, lively carbonation, and drying finish.

This is a thirst quenching compliment to almost any occasion and is probably best with mild foods.

Photo of larryi86
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured snifter

A- A clear light amber/orange color with a 2 finger head that fades quickly.

S- Mainly just a sweet oak smell with an earthy citrus note. A little on the weak side.

T- Very earthy, the fact that it is oak aged stands out. Under the earthy/bitter flavors are hints of citrus and sweet caramel notes.

M- Smooth and a little on the heavy side.

D- For an oak aged beer it is surprisingly refreshing, and the 11% ABV is well hidden. This is not something I would want to drink all the time, but I will grab a bomber when I am in the craving for it.

Photo of nickthetick
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: a nice neutral cedar/golden color but not a lot of head. Not even enough to get a good color description or leave a bit of lacing. Poured into duvel tulip.

S: wood and pine right away with a hint of citrus backing. A slight malt hint that gives it a biscuit note in the end.

T: a lot of pine and resin flavor from the hops, a nice citrus note. There is a biscuit sweet malt quality that is not there as much in the nose. The alcohol is present but not overly so.

MF: thick body and extremely oily and viscous. The alcohol warms a bit and its only slightly effervescent.

D: its a good beer and a wonderful hop bomb with a lot of character but an unpleasant mouth feel cuts down on the drink ability as does the rareness and price. I would pick it up again if I saw it but I'm not going to be in any rush to go way out of my way in search of it.

Photo of Kromes
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A hazy copper color with a thin off-white head and lacing down the glass.

S: Oak, vanilla, toasted malt and citrus hops.

T: The oak and vanilla flavors are very strong up front. They add an almost butterscotch flavor to the beer when mixed with the toasted caramel malt. The finish is oak, caramel, alcohol, and mellow citrus hop.

M: A bit on the heavy side, oily and syrupy. Carbonation is light.

O: A good oak aged IPA. The oak gives it a unique flavor, but I would much rather have the hop overpower the oak.

Photo of Phelps
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my Bruery tulip. Thanks go out to CooperEllis for sending this one my way.

Looks: a beautiful bright copper, slightly chill-hazed, with a negligible half-finger head of light khaki that fizzes out quickly to a tiny ring plus film.

Smells: sugary. Belgian candy sugar, caramel, overripe oranges, limes, orange blossoms, lilac, grass and a tiny bit of fresh oak. It's almost barleywine-like. Very, very nice.

Tastes: unexpected. Lime, orange peel, honey, and a heavy quality of wooden, vanilla oakiness. A clean finish with a slight lingering bitterness.

Feels: very, very low carbonation. Medium-light-bodied, velvety and nice. A warming alcohol rides down into the stomach.

Drinks: like a very flavorful and different IPA. The wood-aging adds an interesting aspect. I can dig it.

Photo of Seeker41184
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Date Drunk: 12/25/10

Bomber into pint glass

Grapefruit and candy smell on this beer. Velvety smooth taste with slight hops present. Needs some more hops,but this beer is closer to 120 Min then 90 Min on the texture and overall taste. Overall, I recommend buying this anytime you see it.

Photo of JimmieFrisbee
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from 22 oz. bottle. Nice golden color, hints of orange or bronze, some bubbles rising to the top. Good head with the pour, starts to diminish some but looks like its going to last... just off white, goldish.

Smells nice and hoppy... a little bit of bitterness and earthier hops, but also a fair amount of fruity hop sweetness. Maybe a little bit of a pine smell in there too for good measure.

The piney hops come through first, almost a little disappointing as I was hoping for more of that fruitiness. Lots of carbonation on the tongue, not overly harsh but could be a little less. Fruity hops do come through in the finish. To me, that's where the real enjoyment of this beer lies... about two seconds after each sip, you really get that wonderfully fruity hop flavor. It only lingers for a few more seconds so you have to go back for another sip if you want some more.

Incredibly drinkable, not getting any of the 11% ABV in the flavor, unless it is contributing to that slight carbonation roughness.

I'm a little bit disappointed as it isn't as good this time around as it was when I got a free 2 oz. sample last week, but maybe it will improve as it warms a bit. I only let it sit out of the fridge about 10 minutes before pouring.

* Yes, as it warmed, it was a little less piney up front, must have been getting more of the malt. Also a little less carbonated, but I think I could ALMOST begin to sense the alcohol. Still not off-putting. Very, very good, but just short of great.

** Also, I should note I have not tried the non-oak aged version and therefore can't make a comparison.

Photo of jamescain
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a sniffer, thanks to StoneBrewFanatic for shipping this one back from NY and for texasclimber for sharing it.

Appearance: Clear orange-copper with a white head about a finger thick that slowly recedes into a thin lacing over the top of the beer.

Aroma: Pungent piney and citrus hops with a nice malt backbone peaking through offset by a subtle oaky-vanilla aroma.

Taste: Pine, grapefruit, citrus with a touch of vanilla and a nice bready malt body.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and boozy. Medium body with medium carbonation and pretty hot.

Overall: At first this beer is pretty drinkable, albit hoppy, but then it transforms into a boozy mess as it warms up.

Photo of woosterbill
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bomber into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a nice, deep, slightly hazy orange body, topped with barely a quarter inch of pale tan foam that dissipates almost instantly, leaving some fine lacing; almost no carbonation rising through the body. Great color, but not as much effervescence as I'd like (and yes, I realize that a beer this high in ABV is expected to be a little flatter - but this goes too far).

S: No real surprises here: an oaked DIPA smells like hops (mainly citrus, with some floral undertones) and wood (almost sawdust). There's a certain attribute to the oak aroma that I'm having trouble pinning down...tannin? I'm definitely getting some reminders of dark fortified wine. Interesting.

T: Some hops up front, followed by lots of chewy oak. The vanilla from the wood goes nicely with the tiny bit of malt sweetness that shows through, and everything teams up for a rich bitter finish. The vinous character is still there, but more subdued than it was in the nose. A surprising (and welcome) balance is struck among all the major flavors, with the substantial ABV only making itself known at the finish. Quite complex and enjoyable.

M: Medium-bodied and, due to the low carbonation, a bit on the syrupy side. This could definitely use a little more life. I suppose an 11% DIPA isn't exactly supposed to explode into a huge head, but this is dangerously close to flat.

D: While this is obviously worlds away from a session beer, it's actually quite drinkable for its style. Any brewer who can make beer that combines huge, disparate flavors; an insane ABV; and this much balance and drinkability is to be commended.

Notes: I'm a huge fan of Unearthly, and was very excited to try its big brother. Overall, I wasn't disappointed, but in the future I'll probably stick with the original. Since both are balanced, I don't really need the assertive oak further distracting from the hop profile. Much like the Great Divide 15th, I felt that this beer let the oak play a bit to dominant of a role, taking away from the real heart and soul of the style. For oak complexity that doesn't distract from a beer, give me Burton Baton any day.


Photo of scootny
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An interesting counterpart to the regular version. Slightly lighter in color than Unearthly with some faint cloudiness. That would make it a pale copper. A nice head with good retention and pretty lacing. No visible carbonation.

Smell is just great. Not better but different. Rich caramel sweetness and deep piney hops. A deep yeasty breadiness and tropical fruitiness. Faint oak dryness that tightens up what is otherwise a broad and expansive nose in its unoaked brother.

Taste is an extension of the oak driven dryness in the nose. The wonderful balance that is a hallmark of the Unearthly is still there but it is more west coasty in the reigning in of the huge caramel malt backbone. The oak is a subtle and wonderfully delicious component. The tropical mango and pineapple blend is still there. The hops are showcased a bit more in the grapefruit and bitterness which is a nice change. Feel is somewhat heavier. A very full weight to it that leads you to keep it on your tongue like a single malt scotch. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability is not quite like its brother. The heavier feel makes this one a candidate for smaller pours and savoring sips from the suggested fluted glass instead if the tulip tumbler I usually use for IPA/DIPAs.

A nice change-up. I prefer the more drinkable regular version but this one is nice for sipping with friends after a good meal instead of an RIS.

Photo of woodychandler
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of my local drinking buddies invited me over for an afternoon of tippling with him and his wife this past summer since she and I were both off work as teachers and he had a free afternoon. These are the results.

Jeff poured a beautiful one-and-a-half finger cap of medium-tan head that evidenced great retention. Nose was VERY caramel with an underlay of oakiness. Color was a deep-amber with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was medium with notes of black pepper, caramel, wood, and charcoal. No hops?!? Zounds! Finish started with as much caramel flavor as a Sugar Daddy before giving 'way to an oaky-vanilla flavor. Whew.

Photo of PhxHorn
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a beautiful red copper color with one finger of white head. No lacing to speak of. Smells of citrus and candy. Tastes of citrus, mainly orange marmalade with a mild bitter finish. The flavor is a bit one-dimensional, but it's pleasant enough. Mouthfeel is a bit sticky, but it's a good citrusy feel for this style. Not a masterpiece--could have used some more complexity, but still a fine example of the style.

Photo of saintwarrick
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew is orangey, very pale amber with a foamy white IPA head, just like its non-aged brother. Aroma is pretty much identical, I don't really not any "oak" or "smokey" characteristics in the nose ... just straight up IPA, lots of citrus and grapefruit, a kiss of pine. On to the taste, where the oak shows up. Taste is woody, a little smoky, like something fresh off the grill, all of which mixes with the citrusy resins of the hoppiness of this big brew. The wood adds a little more body and heft to the brew (the original is very light for the style, but still tasty) and this one has more meat, so to speak. That said, the original is still superior, as it hides the alcohol very well and is not overwhelmed by one flavor.

This is an interesting and good brew, but there's not enough for me here to keep coming back to this brew over the original.

Photo of ckeegan04
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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 citrusy hops mixed with a little wood. Some grpaefruit and a little lemon zest. Also some piney notes as the beer warms. Alcohol is also noticeable in the nose.

T - CItrusy hops with a nice backing of oak are the intitial flavors. A stronger sweetness of sweet bread and vanilla come in mid drink. Remains sweet through the finish with a light bitter backing. The oak aging really comes through on this one with mellowed hoppiness and a big sweetness.

M/D - Medium to full bodied and very sticky. The sweetness lingers with you. Moderate carbonation. Alcohol provides a light warming but is pretty well masked.

Photo of Jmoore50
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a great trade with Sparklepants.

The appearance is good, on the edge of great. It has a really hazy dark golden color that gives it a bit of a mark down. If it was not hazy I would of given it a perfect 5. It has a great head and the lacing on the glass is incredible!

The smell is of sweet fruity hops. Citrus and really sweet sugar, this reminds me a bit of an aged barleywine. It has a fruity pebble smell that I do not like usually.

The taste has the fruity pebble taste that I really do not care for in my IPA's. I like piney, bitter hops. Either way it did improve with some warmth on it. You can taste the oak notes on this one, they are very strong in the middle and end tastes.

The beer is perfectly carbonated, but the sweetness is overwhelming and hurts my teeth. The beer overall is very good but I do not like the combination of hops that produces the fruity pebble character.


Photo of mattsegall
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into standard pint glass.

A - pours a murky dark orange with no head. Minimal lacing.

S- Mainly barely and a bit or caramelized sugar. Not much hops on the nose.

T - Wow. So smooth for the abv. Definitely hops, but not as an extreme as most DIPAs ive had.

M - moderate carbonation. fairly standard

Photo of KYBrewgrass
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- 4.5 Hazy but slightly transparent burnt orange color; attractive. There's a fluffy, 1.5 finger sticky off-white head on the pour. Micro-fine bubbles dance beneath the surface.

S- 4 Sweet, almost candied tangerine-like citrus hits me first, followed by a little pine similar to the style and a little oak from the barrel it was aged in. Inviting. Just a bit of hoppiness; less than I'd expect from a big IPA.

T- 4 There's a big caramel, malt sweetness right up front that's followed by a citrusy hop that brings it back in. Honey comes to mind... It is different from other IIPAs I've had in taste. I do like it, although it is a tad sweet. I don't really get the oak here.

M- 4.5 Great feel; light medium body that's crisp and smooth, and a good carbonation level to provide a touch of creaminess. A very slight dryness on the finish.

D- 4 This is a nice brew, and a good variation on the style. Its sweetness was a different approach and not my favorite, but it is pretty drinkable regardless. Smooth, good flavor, and not heavy - a bomber is not a problem. Maybe a couple on a good night!

Photo of kzoobrew
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Radiant orange rather murky body. Head is full and creamy, impressive despite being rather short in stature. As the head recedes and seemingly melts away a clustered clingy lacing is left behind.

If one has had the original, the aroma is as expected. Succulent tropical fruit prevails over a smooth oak aroma. The malt while certainly pleasant does not leave a distinguishable aroma, or at least one which I can identify.

Balance seems to be the strong point here. While the hops take the lead a healthy dose of caramel malt and oak tend to keep tremendous balance in the brew. Sweet malt back and a suggestion of slightly grainy wheat. Citrus fruit hop elements provide a balancing bitterness keeping the sweetness in check. Woodiness and vanilla tend to bind the flavors together presenting a solid flavor as the nectar hits the tongue.

More than any other factors, I love the mouthfeel of either of the UnEarthly. Thicker than most DIPA's without being syrupy. Full bodied and rather chewy. Drinks very smoothly.

I freely admit I was skeptical regarding oak aged IPA's in general. This brew was a pleasant surprise. No noticeable booziness help the beer go down almost too easily. Very enjoyable. A tip of the hat to Southern Tier on another fantastic brew.

Photo of rlee1390
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Translucent orange, some carbonation, two finger head that leaves behind some lacing.

S-Good deal of citrus, some grass and pine notes, not much oak

T-Mix of malt and citrus hops, grassy notes as well. As it warms more oak and vanilla come though. Decent bitterness.

M-Medium bodied, creamy for a DIPA, some carbonation.

O-The oak and vanilla come though making this a great beer. Although it is once a year it would be great to try both versions as once, blind.

Photo of kirkpjr
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bomber to myself on my 1 year BA anniversary - poured into an imperial pint glass.

A: Maybe I got too aggressive on the pour here - three full fingers of pillow like head. Copper and mahogany highlights in the predominately clear amber color. Nice rings of lace develop.

S: Grapefruit right off the bat, with some caramel malt sweetness to follow. Also some pine and a hint of tropical hop characteristics. Maybe a very slight woodiness here, although I might be biased with the name.

T: Turns out that woody smell really is from the oak. Strong oak flavors come out in the taste. Layered under the woody flavors comes out a mellowed fruity hop flavor. Grapefruits are not as strong as the smell. A little mango here. Malts are almost syrupy in the taste - kinda like the way maple syrup tastes on top of pancakes. Very well balanced DIPA, but the oak might be a bit too pronounced.

M: Smooth and almost creamy with the oak characteristics. Moderate carbonation and medium body. Resinous hop flavor.

D: The balance of this beer makes it highly drinkable. Watch out with this one's ABV.

Photo of Murchmac
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Younger35 is not a menace to south central while drinking gin and/or juice.

Great pour, minimal head, beautiful sparkling copper, just really good looking, into my newly acquired budweiser goblet glass. I know it says fluted, I don't care, it's the king of beers man.

Smells, sweet, earthy, hoppy, candied, complex. As good as any DIPA i've smelled.

Lives up to it's name more than: "old milwaukee tastes as good as it's name" If your old enough to remember those ads. Alcohol is present, but not as a taste, but as a wave, it hits you....

Great ass beer. Thanks Gin and Juice man. I need to try the regular to compare, because this is fantastic.

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Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,106 ratings.