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
90
outstanding

566 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 566
Hads: 1,113
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 8.19%
Wants: 65
Gots: 75 | 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: 566 | Hads: 1,113
Photo of drabmuh
2.42/5  rDev -40%
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. (897 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours copper amber with a thin head that leaves dotted lacing.

The smell is of pine, citrus (lemon/orange) and peppery spicing. There is some (musty) oak.

The taste is of pine, resin and orange. Sweet with alcohol on the agressive side. It has a perfumy/herbal touch, as well. A nice, interesting hop touch (as was the case with the un-oaked version, with a firm sweet maltiness. The oak lends even more sweetness, with a vanilla character.

The feel is thick and syrupy sweet sticky, though there is some carbonation to help it along.

I have to say, that this was interesting, but found it less drinkable as it progressed. I did enjoy the Unearthly more. The thickness is almost too much, and the oak gives even more sweetness, throwing off the balance of the hops a bit too much. Something "different" for sure, and enjoyable to a degree, but I, personally, prefer the original, as I said. (895 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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. (1,437 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a beautiful amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a wonderful medley of hops and oak that really compliments one another. The vanilla character reacts well with the heavy malt bill. The taste is good. It has quite the complex array of flavors here. The malt and hops hit you up front with a nice bitter explosion. It goes down easy with some warmth and then the oak really finishes it off. It's powerful, almost to the point of extinguishing the hop finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. The oak character is a nice touch, although the original is fine without it. These guys just keep putting out the good stuff. Cheers! (773 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass.

Pours a 1 finger thin head that fizzles down quickly leaving splattered lace. The thin layer did have some good retention however. Pours an orange peach sunset color.

The aroma is mainly pine hops. There is also some honey. The oak-aged part of this beer shows a little here.

Taste: Here the oak comes out a lot more. Very piney and some citrus notes are present. Grapefruit sticks out the most. After the mouth dries, there is an orange aftertaste that is present.

Mouthfeel is very bitter and a tad crisp. After a while it gets smooth on the palate. Ends with a touch of alcohol in the mouth. Very dry aftertaste.

Overall, I thought this a neat beer and I am glad I got to try it. I don't know if I could have another one of these, but it was a neat creation. I am glad ST made this one. (832 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (590 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes taken on 4/21/10.

On tap at Al's of Hampden served in a stemmed tulip. Pours a clear amber color with a creamy tanned head about a finger strong. Constant bubbles of carbonation rise to the surface in support of the head which retains quite well with lace sticking about the glass in an almost solid curtain. Nose is full of spicey hops that are a bit herbal with a backing of malt aroma and subtle oaky notes. Taste is hoppy upfront but not as bitter as expected. The hops present themselves in a more flavorful way than just bitter. Hop flavors remind me of pine and herbs. Mild vanilla and oakiness comes through as it warms. Decent amount of malt sweetness is evident. Finishes with an herbal hop flavor that lingers with a bit of bitterness. Medium to heavy body with a moderate amount of carbonation. I think this is one of the first examples of any style that I prefer the plain version over the oak aged version. (939 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (626 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.11/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A solid pour into my New Belgium globe glass produces a fat-three-finger thick, nicely tan looking head. The beer is a concentrated amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, copper-amber color when held up to the light. Up front the beer smells of pungent hops with notes of pine, herbaceous hemp oil (with a certain dankness to it), candied citrus fruit (grapefruit, tangelo and bergamot) as well as some bright tropical fruit notes that remind me of lychee, kumquat and a sort of floral, super-peach note. The oak integrates very well with the hop character; it naturally accentuates the herbal notes with a spicy, buttery, woody oak aroma. As the beer warms the alcohol becomes a touch hot.

The beer feels a touch lighter than I was expecting from the viscous looking pour, but it is still fairly full bodied. The hop flavor is a bit reduced from what one would expect from the expressive aroma. The oak character might actually be a little more present, or at least more on par with the hop flavors. The oak and green hops combine to contribute a sort of raw, menthol-like, spicy, dank-buttery-almost-cheesy herbaceous quality that is the dominant note here. Supporting flavors of ruby-red-grapefruit, tangelo and lychee are noticeable in the middle, while the finish has a pronounced green, peppery note that lingers on the palate for quite some time. Speaking of the finish there is an oak derived astringency that couples with the hop-bitterness, as well as the previously mentioned peppery note, to produce an almost harsh finish to this beer. The malt character plays a definite supporting role, but is a bit too crystal malt focused with some intrusive hints of sweet-tea and caramelized, toasted grain that clashes with the hop / oak combination instead of smoothing them out. The sharp / harsh finish is exacerbated as it warms by a hot-alcohol presence.

An interesting beer, despite really being in the mood for something hoppy, this didn't really quite work for me. The oak provides a certain astringency, as well as accentuating a bit more of the herbaceous hop qualities that I would prefer. This is certainly not a bad beer though, and I can see some really enjoying it, but it really just isn't quite for me. My final assessment is that the oak and hops combine to create a flavor that reminds me of raw, herbaceous, citrus infused, dank, slightly ripe cheese and menthol, crystal malt laden tea. (2,418 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a clear orange color with a 1" head that falls apart quickly. Some mild lacing develops.

Smell: some pine, grapefruit, vanilla, and earthiness comes through easily to the nose.

Taste: caramel, pine, grapefruit, golden apples, and a hearty bitterness is wrapped in a earthy woodiness. Some vanilla arrives late. Alcohol is warming.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start and a bit smoother late. Aftertaste is warrming and long.

Drinkability: smooth drinking beer here with a big flavor profile. The bomber bottle is enough in one session. Pick this interesting beer up if you see it. (615 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright hazy orangish amber with half an inch of dense, thick, off white head that has great retention. The nose is sweet, bready, biscuity with faint citrusy hop aromas. The flavor is heavy malt up front with notes of birthday cake and bread followed by some pineapple notes and finishes with a mildly citrusy, bitter hop character. It has a medium to full body that is very smooth and well carbonated.

This is an awesome beer. For an IPA it's definitely on the malty side but the hops are there and their solid. This is good but there is, in my opinion, little difference from the original. (600 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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. (494 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Portsmouth snifter glass. Pours a orange amber color with a small white covering on top. Nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma has Oak and vanilla with a decent amount of sweetness as well. The hops are there in the background but overshadowed by the flavors from the oak. The aroma the oak aging gave it though is very good.

The taste gets a lot of the oaky vanilla flavor from the wood as well, which is very good. The hops are more pronounced in the taste giving it a citrusy flavor. There is also a pretty strong sweet caramely malt backbone to it that is very good.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is very good for 11%, I was surprised when I read the abv on it.

Overall I really enjoyed this one, I'm not sure how old this was but I don't think they have made it lately so I presume the hops could be slightly faded. The flavors the oak gave it though were great, the fact that it was an IPA took a back seat to the oak aging. (999 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
2.29/5  rDev -43.2%
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... (774 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (437 characters)

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

Nice beer, and the oak touch is a bit subtler than I was expecting- sometimes this brewery can hit you over the head in the flavor department, but this is nicely restrained, and the oak balances the sweet malt and hops and forms a nice triumvirate of flavors. The smell is equally balanced, but perhaps all a bit too restrained if still very nice. Fairly chewy mouthfeel with a touch of tannins from the oak, and a bit of sweetness from the malt. A fairly brooding beer, but a pleasurable one. Still, I think I prefer the brightness of the unoaked variety. (556 characters)

Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden amber/orange color with a thin, frothy off-white head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Earthy aroma that's dominated by the toasted oak character. Lots of vanilla and wood along with some earthy and citrus hops, caramel malt and sweet alcohol.

Medium bodied but on the fuller end with a very prominent oak character that dominates the flavor a bit. Slight creamy texture adds to the palate. Lots of toasted oak and vanilla notes followed by piny and sweet hop notes. Prominent malt backbone with hints of caramel and toffee. Well balanced and the high ABV is extremely well masked resulting in a beer that is deceptively drinkable. (706 characters)

Photo of weeare138
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appears a transparent light amber with an orange hue and a small white cap. Scattered bits of pacing are left round the glass.
Smell is of huge vanilla, citrus, pine, herbs, and flowers.
Taste is a bit of a let down... Lots of clashing between the hopsnand oak tannins.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, syrupy, chewy, with an almost artificial vanilla flavor lingering.
I love Southern Tier but this fell a bit short. (413 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy orange/amber with a good sized fluffy white head that dissipates quickly but leaves some nice lace on the way down. Smells of citrus hops, grapefruit and a hint of lemon. Oak is very subtle as is the touch of alcohol in the nose. Taste is less bitter than I expected. Vanilla and caramel fight it out with the citrus and almost pull it off. Smoother and sweeter than I remember the un-oaked version, I am really digging this one! Slight alcohol in the finish, but mostly muted by the lingering almost sweet citrus in the finish. Medium body, syrupy mouth, medium carbonation. I loved this beer. A bit heavy for a 90 degree summer day, but the AC is on and life is good. Keep em coming ST! (712 characters)

Photo of PEIhop
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a copper, earthy orange that leaves a nice foamy head. There is very little carbonation.

S - The smell is dominated by two characteristics: caramel maltiness and piney, citrusy hops.

T - Although not present in the aroma, vanilla and oak woodiness is interwoven with an extreme maltiness. The hop character is weak creating an unbalanced, boozy finish.

M - Medium-bodied chewiness, which was quite pleasant.

D - With extremely high ABV and an unbalanced finished, I don't think I will pick this up again. However, if you are into imperial IPA's, for the price alone, it is definitely worth checking out. (619 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a burnt orange with a nice white head and good carbonation.

S: Very good. Light oak, caramel, big citrus hops

T: Taste is lighter on the oak and vanilla as I expected, the citrus ancaramel still dominates this beer pretty malty too. Plenty of booze.

M: Mouthfeel is big and this is where the beer comes alive.

O: Good (334 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Max's today.

The OA Unearthly pours a goldish orange color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose, this beer smells pretty much like the non-oaked version. There is some pretty sweet malt, but it blends very nicely with the citrus, grapefruity hop aroma. The flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose. I don't really pick up much from the oak, except that the beer is a bit rounder and smoother, and it seems to have toned down the hoppiness a bit. Not really sure that's such a good thing. Like the regular unearthly, the alcohol is pretty noticeable and it's on the sweet side. The beer is medium bodied with a good, smooth mouthfeel, but once again the beer is a bit heavy and tiring on the palate.

While a good beer, the alcohol is too noticeable on the finish, and I found myself having an increasingly difficult time drinking it, the more I went along. Just like the regular unearthly.

This beer is so similar to the regular unearthly, I just don't see the point to it. Again, just not my cup of tea I guess. (1,047 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bomber into a pint glass, the beer pours a deep auburn-copper coloring with no head. Good amount of carbonation throughout. The smell is rich, sweet molasses, with woody notes and a slight dry hoppiness. Leaves a good lacing on the glass while you drink. Bittersweet toffee and caramel, with hints of pineapple and creamy vanilla at the end. The body is supersmooth and creamy. Slight bite on the finish, with a fruity sweet aftertaste. (450 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer's soft-hued complexion and peaches-and-cream colour make for certain eye-candy. Right from the very first pour a delicate haze persists, much like the egg-shell meringue that was whipped up as well. The lacing it leaves, on the other hand, washes away easily. If I wasn't all that thirsty going into this I sure as hell am now.

It smells like the liquid equivalent of my eighth grade shop class and the produce section of the local supermarket amalgamated into one profuse and uniquely fragrant bouquet. I find normal Un*Earthly more resiny than fruity, although there's no shortage of the exotic and the tropical here. It's equal parts coconut and cedar shavings.

Wood aging and excess hops make for a beer that tastes like it was brewed deep in the jungle primeval by the inmates of a Guatemalan insane asylum. It is bursting at the seams with ripe cantaloupe, lush honeydew, the juice of fresh lemons, Gran Marnier macerated tangerine wedges and streams of lychee liqueur. This thing is hemorrhaging hops.

And it has about as much maltiness as rice does colour; any presence of biscuity sweet pale malts is tissue thin. That's not normally a good thing but in this case I'm grateful, it allows all the complexities and nuances of the wood aging to really be noticed, a lavish vanilla flavour, sumptuous butter and a mix of spice and sawdust included among them.

The oak also teases out highly distinctive notes of lemon custard, key-lime pie and meringue. The mouthfeel is distinguishably creamy and on the palate resembles a buttery chardonnay more than a beer. The drying, foamy, lightly bubbled texture is accentuated by a fleecy, spry mintyness that intensifies the feel.

It's possible I'll eventually become jaded from overexposure to oaked DIPAs as I have with Imperial Stouts. For now, the concept still strikes me as being quite novel and the end product distinctive. The technique definitely lends itself just as well to pale ales as other styles. This example, like the few others I've tried, was both exceptional and enjoyable. (2,060 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
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. (985 characters)

Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 566 ratings.