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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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1,107 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,107
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: 1,107 | Reviews: 565
Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing tap at Cole's, as the oak ageing mellows and smooths out the aggressive hoppiness. Hop aroma, closer to a juicy West Coast IPA. Colour is creamy yellow golden, akin to a Belgian. Understated carbonation and malt bulks up mouthfeel. Dangerously drinkable, creamy citrus orange flavour, the oak is there its secondary.
Bottle other than the colour, was nowhere as interesting.

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tieman for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, alcohol, herbal hops, and a slight wood aroma. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and a mild hop bitterness with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

G: Poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Pours a bright orange-amber color with a decent off-white head. Plenty of carbonation on the surface of the head, but not much in the beer itself, which is nearly transparent.

S: Absolutely delightful. The oak definitely comes through alongside an overpowering hop presence--fruits are definitely present, with the biggest one being perhaps apricot.

T: An overpowering bitterness--the 100+ IBU's definitely make themselves known. A light touch of the oak is available underneath. Relatively sweet.

M: Medium-bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Goes down smooth without much alcohol presence given the high ABV.

D: Drinkable, but a little too unbalanced to warrant having this one very often. While there's nothing I like better than a good hop bomb, I'd prefer to have one that's a little more balanced than this.

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear orange in color and poured with a thin off-white head.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of grapefruit in the nose.
T: The hops lend flavors of grapefruit to the taste, although these are well balanced by the underlying malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is relatively easy to drink because the hops are not overpowering and the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: two finger thick head on a clear amber with crimson hues body.

S: oak, vanilla, earthy/citrus hops and a little booze.

T: the addition of the oak makes the malts in this one stand out even more verging on the candied fruit and breadiness of a barleywine. The hops are down played more in this one due to the woody presence but still contribute nicely.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation. smoother than I expected.

Overall: The oak/wood is fairly strong and this one takes a few sips to get used too. The barleywine-like flavors also make the booze stronger affecting drinkability but it is still a nice one to try.

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Boy is this beer a whollop to the senses. Agressive on all fronts.

Big aromas of citrusy, piney hops dominate the nose. The malts struggle to give a sugary sweetness with caramel and worty aromas. Esters of pineapple, cherries, peaches, and pears come out of the candied hop scents. Light woodsy, nutty aromas- too light for a beer that brags on oak aging.

The appearance is a straight-up golden, amber hue with light carbonation, firm but light on head formation. Reduces to a froathy film ontop of the beer. Light lacing. Low rates of foam is partially due to high alcohols and oak aging.

Flavors are sugary and caramelly- very high sweetness to combat the on-slaught of hop puree. Pine and citrus give a huge juicy burst of flavors that run the gammot: grapefruit, pineapple, orange zest, pine, lemon zest, and fresh cut grass. Esters give even more complexity with fresh tropical fruits: appricots, mangos, pineapples, oranges, cherries, and apples. Light on phenols, but the high alcohols give an ethanol taste that I could live without. Again, the wood flavors and nutty notes pale up against the strong malts and hops.

With such boldness in flavor, the mouthfeel suffers. Initially sticky-sweet, mouth-coating sugary malts begin to warm with the fusal alcohols and eventually rise to caugh-syrup proportions. Hop bitterness never crispen the beer like good IPA's do because of the confectionate cloyness. Though very full, rich, and appetizing, the maltiness result in oily, hot, and abrasive textures. The oak aging seems to take the rough edges off the beer, but not enough.

With most other beers that try to match intense hop flavors with a presumed balance of malts, the result is not balance, but conflict. When everything stands out, then nothing stands out. Still a pleasure to drink. But with so many opportunities missed, it's quite a shame.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep cloudy orangey color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention and not much lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with some floral and citrus hops also thrown in the mix. Taste is much similar to a barleywine then an imperial IPA with dominating sweet malt with a very light oak and a floral bitter finish. Body is quite full with limited filtration and no much carbonation. I honestly think the regular version is better.

Photo of Knapp85
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not much a huge difference here between this brew and the non-barrel aged actually. This beer pours out of the bottle with the same beautiful copper color with just about the same amount of head. The lacing is a little bit less on this one. The smell is still hoppy but has just a slighty earthy note to it now. The taste isn't much different, the hoppy citrus flavors still dominate the brew and in the faint aftertaste there is a wooden flavor that comes through. The mouthfeel is a little softer now, the tingle has been muted a bit. Overall, I'll take the orginal over this one. However, this is still a pretty good brew.

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

"Every oak tree started out as a couple of nuts who decided to stand their ground."


Pristine persimmon with a gorgeous glow when backlit with bright morning sunshine. The creamy crown of sandstone colored foam is big beer beautiful. It has tremendous texture and looks to be melting in super-slow motion. A thick sheet of BB-shot lace is the cherry on top of this extraordinary looking DIPA.

As far as I know, Oak Aged Unearthly is simply Unearthly that has been oak aged. What better way to end up with great beer than to start with great beer? The aroma is exactly as expected given the ingredients list. There's plenty of tropical fruity hops, with just the right amount of background oakiness. This should be some treat.

Even though I slightly prefer the unadulterated Unearthly, this version is still top-notch. When it comes to IPAs/DIPAs, it's best when nothing gets in the way of the hops. Things like caramel malt and oak are fine in small doses. Even when they're present in moderate doses (as is the case here) it can still work. The reason this brew is so good is that it's a minor departure from the original rather than a major departure.

The malt structure is as rock-ribbed as they come, providing flavors of caramel-iced sugar cookies and well-toasted wheat bread. The hops are still able to punch through the malt sugars with ease, delivering plenty of bitterness, as well as generous shavings of orange peel and grapefruit pith. A glimmer of unmasked alcohol is to be expected given the ABV.

The original brew earned the highest mouthfeel score available and I see no reason why this ale shouldn't as well. It's impressively lush and silky... becoming even more so as it gains a few degrees. I can't imagine how it could be improved.

Southern Tier does big beer the way big beer should be done. Oak Aged Unearthly is yet one more example. Even though the standard Unearthly is slightly better, this is a more than worthy addition to the brewery's lineup. Thanks a million to prototypic for his incredible generosity.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was thrilled to see these on the shelf at whole foods yesterday, so you just know I had to pick one up. Served out of the fridge and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/07/2009.

The pour was very nice. Rich amber in color with a nice clarity to it. Head of white foam rose up to about three inches and then sttled down with lots of sticky lace. Rich aroma of piney hops and sweet oak like notes. Really well done here with a very nice balance. Nice notes of vanilla as it warms. The first taste sealed the deal for me. Lots of orange and pine, nice balance with hints of vanilla and woody essence coming through loud and clear. Smooth, medium body with a mellow carbonation and a all but hidden huge ABV profile. I could have drank this one all night, though i started to catch up with me by the end of the bottle.

Overall I was really impressed with this one, One of the best beers I have had from ST and something I will be going back for again and again

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

22 ounce bottle - $6.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber-hued body with an initially lively, but fastly dissipating, white head.

Smell: Floral, fruity, citrusy and notably oaky with a dry inclusion of caramel, and some drops of nostril-clearing spruce oil and alcohol.

Taste: Sweet malty doses upfront tasting of caramel candy and honey, sugary guardians forever countering an everpresent, but not quite grading tannic oak astringency and a noted (though not overwhelming) alcohol presence. Grapefruits and oh-so juicy clementines leisurely soaked in SoCo follow. Robustly bitter. Handful of spruce tips. Fruity, oaken finish with a lingering tannic astringency and touch of booze.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-low carbonation, leaving the mouthfeel somewhat soft.

Overall: How does it compare to the non-oaked version? No clue, to be honest with you! I haven't had that in ages and I am far, far too much of a lazybones to click on over to that review. Let's just enjoy what we have here, a lightly carbonated, oaken ale.

Photo of emerge077
4.19/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unearthly is a great IPA, and i've enjoyed the few oaked IPAs i've had in the past...

This pours a bright jeweled amber, with a short foam cap. Lacing is pretty good, and it retains a slightly broken skim on the surface.

Amazing nose...melon, cantaloupe, rhubarb, ripe banana sweetness, orange zest, skunky hops, buttery oak. Like a wooden barrel full of some ungodly melange of turbo-charged fruit cocktail. Not in the alcoholic sense, more just in it's unique pungency. You can get lost in it easily, which is no small feat.

More cantaloupe and ripe banana in the flavor, some light bitterness, but with the buttery sweet finish, it feels more like an English strong ale or something. Leafy hops in the aftertaste, sort of steamrolled by the sugar and oak. Mildly drying, oak is noticeable in the finish. Low carbonation, sort of syrupy. A sipper for sure, and a really interesting experiment that could use a tiny bit of tweaking.

Photo of zeff80
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with almost no head. There were some white bubbles but no lacing to speak of.

S - Aromas of bourbon, vanilla, roasted malt and some citrus hops.

T - Probably one of the most balanced oak aged IPAs that I've had to date. Nothing overpowers you - bourbon, oak, vanilla, sweet malt, caramel, citrusy hops and a touch of bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and very smooth. A medium bodied ale with a potent alcohol warmth.

D - This is a really well done oak aged brew. It delivers big flavors without being overbearing or over-the-top.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

My man down at Whole Foods in...I think they consider it the Tyson's Corner location, though it may or may not actually be in Falls Church. I dunno, the geography out here is still something of a mystery to me. Things are much simpler back home in the IL... Wow, I think my thoughts cut into that sentence there. As I was saying, my man at Whole Foods recommended this to me, and, though I haven't historically been that into IPAs and whatnot, I figured "What the hell" and took the shot. From the bottle, this thing figures to be anything but simple (see how I looped back around there?), so expectations are running frighteningly high. Here goes:
A clear, rosy amber replaces the empty clarity of the snifter. The head is not very pronounced, and whatever is there dies off faster than public interest in lasting governmental reform (zing!). For whatever reason, I was expecting to snort hops as though they were arranged in lines with my diamond-encrusted razorblade (don't ask how I was able to purchase such an extravagance), but this was contrary to reality. Instead, a charge of toffee, especially sweet, flanked by a healthy dose of background floral radiation. Kinda like a tac-nuke, there's a relatively minimal amount of immediate physical damage but a resounding level of malingering effects (at least within the blast radius)...or such is my understanding of current nuclear weapons technology...I could be wrong. The hops make their first real appearance on the tongue, though they are still not as powerful as in my expectations. A sharp twang of citrus, a lingering soft pummeling of bitterness, but nothing really painful. What does stand out is the oak, which stands steadfastly in the background like a massive forest, wood, greenery, and all. Some caramel is there as well, not as sweet as the toffee in the nose, but rather a tad nuttier, bordering on a bland peanut brittle. The resulting olio does not overdo on any level, but maintains great strength at each one. The only thing precluding perfection here is a metallic bite slicing through the rearguard; a bitter Roland ensures that the rest of the troops do not become engulfed by the Saratin horde. (...Damn, that went from intellectually inspired to obviously forced...) Because the flavors are not intense, the medium body does minimal damage on its way down, allowing for deeper sips than would be possible elsewhere. I gotta say, my man did right by me again. Now, though, I feel as though I should try the non-aged version...

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -1.7%

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Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,107 ratings.