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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 UA8
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear copper with off white head.

S- Leads with, you guessed it OAK! Semi-sweet malts and floral hops round out the nose.

T- Leads with caramel malts and OAK, finishes with citrus and floral hops.

M- Medium low carbonation, nice and round.

D- The oak adds nice accents to an already solid beer. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of NonServiam
3.46/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

From a 22oz bottle purchased at Binny's.

The first thing I usually do after I crack a bottle of beer open is to sniff it directly from the bottle. Sometimes the aroma you get is a concentrated preview of what's to come after you pour, and other times the "bottled" aroma is quite distinct from the "poured" aroma. This imperial IPA is an example of the latter case.

The bottled aroma is powerfully spicy and earthy, in a hoppy way, with a sappy sweet and resinous background. It is very reminiscent of the aroma that results from refrigerating marijuana buds in an air-tight container together with a piece of lemon rind.

Once poured, though, the aroma is much less resinous and more dry. The profile of the aroma becomes more complex and less overwhelming. A spicy maltiness, sweet and slightly soily or earthern, is present alongside the vanilla woodiness of oak. There is an occasional "twang" or "sweet-and-sour" to it. The aroma becomes hoppier and more balanced as the beer sits for a while in the glass.

The appearance of the poured beer is fair, but not exceptional. It is a medium honey or orange-ish copper in color, with relatively few jets of carbonation. It is as bright and clear as any filtered beer. It pours with a rather anemic head (despite my best efforts to the contrary) -- about one finger of hoary foam, short lived and thin. The ring that forms around the edge of the glass laces well at first, but after about 15 minutes, it dissipates entirely and laces not at all.

Upon entering the mouth, the flavor is exceptionally malty and big, with a slightly acrid twang and sweetness at first, followed by a hop-spicy, then smooth, oakishness, which recedes to a bitter, dry finish. The mouthfeel is heavenly... silky, creamy, and very gently carbonated. I would say that the overall picture is decently balanced, but a bit too malty, then too hoppy, then too dry as you taste it -- never quite all balanced at once. It is sure to be a skullscrusher... you'll start feeling it less than a quarter of the way through the bottle.

Photo of pinotboy007
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Bright, clear copper with a rich white cap that descends slowly with a touch of lace.

S - Intriguing. Buttered rum with leather, tea, and hops.

T/M - Oaky hopped goodness. Has a slight bourbon accent with a decent alcohol finish that doesn't burn. Very creamy with soft carbonation.

D - 11%ABV? C'mon! That said, this is a rich ale that would make for a nice after dinner swirl w/cigars or on its own.

Photo of hooliganlife
3.04/5  rDev -25.3%
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.

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

This is my first post. I enjoyed this beer with thepeskydingo.

This beer is a light amber orange color.

It has a light color head about one finger thick.

It has a sweet flower smell to it.

It has a sweet hops flavor with hints of citrus. You can taste a little of the oak aging.

It has a very smooth mouth feel, with light carbonation.

Very drinkable for the abv. I recommend this beer.

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

Second review of the night, is also with my buddy DerrickBerg.

Poured a 2 finger off white head with my aggressive pour, which dissipated slowly, and stays throughout the tasting. Very slightly hazy amber-orange color with medium carbonation. Lacing is splotchy.

A piney-hoppy-buttery smell (if that makes sense) comes with this beer.

Taste is Malty with the bitterness coming through at the end. some subtle citrus flavors come in after the initial drink. I can taste the effects of the oak aging in the beer, it adds a nice touch to it.

Mouthfeel is nice, goes down very smooth, but you can taste/feel the 11% alcohol within it, which isnt a bad thing whatsoever. The beer finishes pretty clean, the back of the palate is left a tad sticky.

Drinks easy for the ABV. Very tasty. Recommended.

Photo of paco1029384756
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice bright orange color with a short white head.

Scent of oak, vanilla, soapy hops, and citrus. Balanced well with oak character shining though nicely.

Taste of oak, maple, vanilla, citrus, some soapy hops, and caramel. Again, the oak character is very nice, but it has diminished the strong flavor of the hops substantially.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Photo of Ranbot
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I had this on tap at Sunset in Boston last weekend and this review is being done from memory.

A: Moderate to dark amber body with slight haze. Good head and lacing.

S: Moderate hop smell with hints earthy wood [probably oak]. For such an intense beer I was surprised at how subdued the smell was.

T: Sweet bread-like malts with a light touch of bourbon hit the taste buds initially and are followed up quickly by a bouquet of hops. Very slight alcohol flavor, that is well covered by the malts and hops. Upon swallowing, the hops fade very quickly and the oak flavors dominate.

M: Chewy and somewhat syrupy, but not overly so for the style.

D: For such a heavy-hitter it's a well-rounded, very drinkable beer. I'm sure some people will even try to session it, but that would ill-advised considering the ABV.

I had some friends with me who "didn't like bitter beers" who took a few sips from my beer with some trepidation. They were pleasantly surprised by it. My hunch is that they liked it because the bitter hops aftertaste typical of IPAs/DIPAs is greatly dimished by the oak aging. If you're not a fan of bitter beers I would still recommend giving this a try. Don't be turned off by the 150+ IBUs...it's really not as intense as it may seem. If you like the Oaked Arrogant Bastard definitely give the Oaked Unearthly a taste.

Photo of jjanega08
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A= Pours a deep translucent amber color pushing orange. A small head rises from it and stays around throughout the entire drink. Decent lacing is here.
S= You get the hops up front which I did not expect due to the oak aging I thought they would die off but they are there in the smell. There is a sweet smell coming from it that I think is a little bit from the hops and maybe some vanilla from the wood.
T= A hop bitterness bites my tongue first and as it moves toward the back of my tongue it washes the oak smoothness over me. Vanilla is very prominent and I feel like it's a lot more than just the wood vanilla flavor. This beer tastes very very unique. The after taste is almost fruity like sherbet ice cream or something. It tastes like an over ripe orange I guess. Very very interesting
M= Lower carbonation washes over the pallet very nicely
D= Ok. I dunno if I would drink a lot of this at once. Due to the high ABV and also just because it's so different. A truely unique brew in my opinion and I would recommend it any day but be prepared for some extreme oak flavor.

Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: Reddish amber in color, fast dissipating head and no lacing. Some nice residue on the top gives off a nice visual while looking up at the glass into the light. Its psychedelic to say the least.

S: Hints of the oak are in toe, some crazy hops and well the incense thats burning is ruining this whole experience! (Note to self)

T: Woody hop presents on the intake. Smokey bitter on the withdraw, a very unique blend of whiskey flavor and hops.

M: Semi to medium bodied, nicely carbonated, little sticky on the palate. ABV noticeable, but is in no way intimidating.

D: Its very drinkable indeed. I do prefer the regular version better, but thats just me. Leave the oak to the dark beers is my theory. I do recommend for the pure satisfaction that this is one cool concept and a nice twist to the style.

Photo of LauraAlberts
4.95/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Amber/Burnt Orange
Smell: Smells characteristic of an IPA. This one has a lingering Peach & Citrus aroma.

Taste: WOW! A lot of taste crammed in this one. It starts our bitter and evolves into a malty flavor. Toasty, Orange Zest, Peach. Kind of sweet finish - with bitter undertones of pine and citrus. For 11.00% Alcohol - no alcohol slap in the face. Very balanced and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Balanced with the malt throughout. Enjoy by the glass or growler.

Overall: I'm very intrigued by what the oak has done for this beer. I had the un-oaked several days before tasting this and found it to be much more typical of the style. The oak has lifted the curtain of "unpenitrable" citrus/bitterness and invited my tastebuds in for the "oak party" where peach and malt refresh my mouth asking for another sip.

Enjoy by the glass or growler. A sure crowd pleaser.

Serving type: On-Tap

Photo of mothman
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of amneziak
3.4/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Interestingly enough, there's not a huge amount of head from this one- maybe only one or two fingers at most. It is, however, extremely clear with a traditional off-white foamy head. Color is a beautiful warm burnt orange. Lacing is also very nice.

Smell: Smells pretty good, but almost puts off a "varnish" sort of character which would be indicative of strong pellet hops. There is a decent amount of bright citrus in this one paired with some over-ripe peaches. I'm also pulling out some extremely pungent hoppy aromas of grapefruit and pine. At very least it smells like it's a really well-rounded beer. We'll see once I've tasted it.

Taste: Not as tasty as the nose would lead you to believe. All the traditional IPA components are here, but they are weirdly arranged on the nose and tongue. Perhaps the oak component doesn't allow the citrus components to really shine the way they should.

Mouthfeel: This is a very well-balanced brew. The bitterness from the hops is matched with a solid malt backbone that helps it stand up through the whole bottle. This is probably one of the better elements of the beer as it turns it into more of a sipper than a session beer. The big 11% ABV probably adds something to this, too.

Overall: I'm not losing my mind over this one, but I can see why it's received such good reviews. It's a really intriguing beer. It's been a real pleasure drinking it, but I'm a little perplexed overall by the addition of the oak. I've yet to try the un-oaked version, but I am highly curious to know what it will taste like without this component. If it allows the hop aromas to stand out more, then I believe it will be a beauty.

Photo of blackie
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: gorgeous fire-orange beer topped with a rocky head, lasting retention and heavy lacing

s: initial aromas of a tropical fruit punch lead into sweet, lightly caramelized barley, sugary tropical hops, appropriate booze, spicy oak, passionfruit, stone fruits, red grapefruit, pineapple, kiwi

m: low-moderate, delicately smooth carbonation and an almost creamy body that's not overbearing given its level of fullness

t: big body of pale and lightly caramelized malt, the hops and oak meld together, effectively tempering the others influence, delicious flavors with a complex fruit profile of peach, pineapple, and mango, fresh oak carries through the finish alongside sugary malt and a mild bitterness

d: great for an 11 percent dipa

Photo of hophead247
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass..Pours deep caramel with a minimal tan head that quickly dissapates into lacing. Looks delicious. Aroma has heavy oak, with additional notes of caramel, pine and grapefruit. Oak is pretty dominant. It's pretty dominant in the taste too. Initial taste of oak is followeed by earthy hops and sweet malts. The finish is oak and bitter. Very thick mouthfeel and fairly decent carbonation. Very drinkable for 11%. After the first few sips, it tasted like Hopslam to me, but with oak flavor. Very nicely done IIPA

Photo of jwinship83
2.95/5  rDev -27.5%
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.

Photo of nrbw23
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Pours a bright golden orange color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S- Strong hops both citrus and piney with a good caramel malts and oak.

T- Taste is sweet and malty up front and becomes pretty oaky at the finish. Hops are there but lacking the punch due to the sweetness and oak.

M- Feels pretty much right on. Good carbonation and feels about medium to full in body.

D- I would much rather have regular unearthly or gemini. To me the oak flavours drown out the hops just too much for my taste.

Photo of dsa7783
3.4/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle copped from Gary's in Madison...
I loved the original Unearthly so had high hopes for this oak-aged version...
Appearance: Dark-copper, amber hue... Impressive head and lacing...
Smell: Raw, wet, sticky hops... Slight oak as I was expecting... Honey and caramel thrown into the mix as well...
Taste: Unbalanced... Waaaay too much oak... Spoils the hop presence and overall flavor of a great beer. Sometimes it's better to leave well enough alone... Not a fan... Way too sweet...
Medium- to full bodied stuff...
Not particularly drinkable... Average at best for a double ipa...

Photo of gibby
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stopped by TJ's for a pint of double trouble and scott the bartender was nice enough to crack open a bomber of the oaked unearthly. Poured amber with no head. Smelled ok, mildly hoppy, woody. I could really taste the oak, had a very smooth mouthfeel to it, seemed like very little carbonation. I expected the regular unearthly to be a hop bomb but it was not at all, the oaked is even less. I liked this beer but a bomber would be all I could handle. I think I will stick to the "unoaked" unearthly if I plan on picking up a bomber of this. I would recommend if you like the flavoring of the oak aged brews.

Photo of bheilman
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I like southern tier. This one makes me like the brewery even more. Unearthly is a good name for this one. It smells a bit oakey and has more of a barley wine flavor in that the hops doesn't bite so hard and has more of a malty smoothness. It might be the oak coming through. It definitely is evident in the smell. Caramelish aftertaste with citrus hints. It hits every part of the tongue. Doesn't have an overwhelming alcohol taste, but it is evident with a bit of a burn at the end. Probably wouldn't want to drink more than a bomber or so because of the strength. Delicious!

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

I poured this one from a 22oz brown bomber bottle into my Fuller's pint glass.

A= This ale poured an extremely clear copper orange color, with a 1/2" bone colored head and very active carbonation release. The head quickly settled to a solid, creamy cap and left huge sheets of lacing down the glass.

S= The aromas of this beer were as you might expect. Some definite oak wood scent mingled with sweet biscuity malts and pine/citrus hops. It was surprising how little alcohol I could detect in the smell.

T= Lots of pale and caramel malty sweetness up front followed closely by a citrus/pine burst of hop resins. Then the wood kicks in with a dry oakiness, some vanilla, and a surprising spiciness. Though the oak stayed in the forefront and carried all the way through to the end, the hops and malts continued to wrestle in the background, bringing bursts of rich honey-like sweetness and solid base bitterness. The finish was extremely, full of a pleasant oakiness, and pretty dry.

MF= Just on the heavy side of medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and fairly crisp feel.

D= Wow. I am thrilled another brewer is discovering the beauty of oak that never had bourbon in it! This is how I have always imagined the IPAs back in the day would taste after making the long sea voyage from England to India. Very good balance of flavors, with the oak complimenting the hops very nicely. The ABV stays dangerously well hidden. A most outstanding ale that I will seek out again for sure.

Photo of mazdarx
4.87/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer was first brought to my attention at a party for which i was already a tad drunk. It made such an impression on me that i went out the next day and picked up a bomber of this fine ale so I could see if it was as good as it was the night before...and it was even better!!

A: Nice clean amber/honey tone with a 1/2 in head and beautiful lace.

S: This is one of my favorite smelling beers. The pine and oak mixed with the citrus from the hops was beautiful. For me, this is a perfect smell to accompany the taste to follow.

T: I love the way this beer tastes. I really enjoy the woody and piney tones that accompany the citrus on the pallet.

M: Nice dry sticky feeling leaving me wanting more.

D: MORE MORE MORE. I wish this wasn't a limited run beer. Is it?

I will probably run up and get another bottle to enjoy before they run out from my local spot.

Photo of Frosty80
4.69/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color: sits a slightly burnt orange

Smell: lots of piny, citrus hops, but the oak and heavy sweetness lend great balance

Taste: great piny hops with rich sweetness to balance and the oak adds great character. bitter finish with touch of sweetness and a hint of yeast

Mouthfeel: low-full body. moderate carbonation

Notes: reminds me a lot of Hopslam. has a ton of hops but a solid, rich sweetness to give it balance and nice mouthfeel. love the oak character. awesome beer!

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright orange/amber color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of floral hops and complimented nicely by fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts with a very strong burst of grassy hops. Then sweet flavors of caramel and citrus come in along with the notable flavor effect of the oak aging which brings a little bit of a bite to it. The malt character is hearty and the high ABV is well-masked. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Very tasty and flavorful, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, strong kick, excellent representation of style, while I think this is an excellent beer that is good to drink for an entire evening, the original Unearthly is one of the Top 5 beers that I've ever had and there wasn't much room for improvement. I don't think the oak aging made the beer better, but it did add a twist to it.

Photo of hopdog
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle.

Poured a medium amberish color with a large sized off white head. Some lacing left on the glass. Aromas of pine, citrus, floral hops, some oaky/woodiness, caramle, and vanilla. Fresh plump oranges. Tastes of caramel, citrus, wood, pine, and some lighter earthiness. The oak was subtle. Light alcohol in the finish.

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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.