1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,081 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,081
Reviews: 564
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.78%
Wants: 53
Gots: 65 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 01-09-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,081 | Reviews: 564 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of morebeergood
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Roadhouse in Brookline. Served in an 8 oz stemmed glass. Sunset yellow gold color. Very thin looking though. No head, and no carbonation showing. Smelled like a nice combo of hops and oak. Taste was surprising in a good way. While I am not a huge fan of IPAs, this one was quite good. The oakiness really helped to tame the hop profile, which made the flavor quite smooth and enjoyable. Alcohol was a bit noticeable, but not too much. Tad on the thin side for a big IPA. But, I must say that I like the beer they came up with here. An unusual combo for me to enjoy, but I did.

morebeergood, Mar 22, 2009
Photo of homebrewhawk
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber served in a Duvel Tulip. Poured a brilliant clear gold with two fingers of white head. Plenty of carbonation. Big piney, citrus hop aroma. The oak comes out in the aroma as it warms. Hop bitterness jumps right out at you. There is plenty of oak character as well, mostly woody vanilla type flavors. Lemony citrus from the hops. Very drying long hop finish. Alcohol is well hidden. There is some malt there, but this is mostly a hop-centric beer. A little on the pricey side at $12.95 for a bomber.

homebrewhawk, Mar 22, 2009
Photo of KBoudreau66
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber poured in to a snifter.

Pours a very carbonated light amber color with one finger of bubbly white head.

Nose is piney, earthy and citrusy, mostly grapefruit, but maybe a little bit of lemon in there. No hints of oak which is really disappointing.

The taste is a lot sweeter then I was expecting with a hint of vanilla. Piney and citrusy like I had smelled. Definitely strong grapefruit undertones. I was hoping that the oak aged flavor was just hiding from my nose, but it wasn't, there really isn't much of an oak flavor to this brew at all.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit syrupy. It also carbonated and has a crisp finish.

I was expecting more out of this brew. It wasn't a bad one, but I'm disappointed that there was no oak aged flavor to speak of. This is a new beer by Southern Tier, and my hope is that it will be better the next time around.

KBoudreau66, Mar 22, 2009
Photo of Gavage
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Gavage, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of caminiti
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another outstanding ST product. I was a bit hesitant, since usually the Oak in a name turns me off, but thanks to the guy at Westmere Bev for recommending this.
Poured into my usual stolen pint glass while watching Siena beat Ohio state, a light copper color, you hardly notice the oak in the smell, its more a floral and hoppy nose. Other reviewers noted some vanilla, and I did not get that, but I understand the reference to cake batter. A very drinkable beer, even at 11%, highly recommended, but not until I go out and buy one or two more.
By the way, did I mention Siena beat Ohio State?

caminiti, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of drseamus
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice copper amber body with a decent white head. It stays slightly longer than on most oaked beers or DIPAs. I don't actually notice that much of the oak in the aroma or the flavor. There is a touch of vanilla but mostly this is good old Unearthly. As always, I wish it was a bit more on the citrusy side and less on the piney side. That said, it's still a good beer.

drseamus, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of SFLpunk
3.15/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz brown glass pry-top. No date.

Appearance: Pours a very clear, pale amber with yellow tones (looks like a light ale/darker lager). Thick sudsy white head that stays for a long while.

Nose: Hops - vanilla - hops - vanilla - hops - etc. It smells like my local homebrew supply store. Lots of white chocolate, lemon, white cake batter, a little musty note. Smells thick and sweet.

Palate: Immensely sweet up-front with vanilla and cake batter dominating the flavors. Some bitter orange/grapefruit sneak in towards the middle and the hops claw their way back and try to stop the beer from being sweet, but alas. Body is medium to light.

Notes: Can't really get behind this offering. The oak seems to only mute the hop flavors while adding some really unpleasantly sweet notes. I keep coming back to white cake batter, and that's not really a flavor I like in my IPA's. Maybe in a wheat beer, or an old ale, but it's off-putting here. Going to stick with the regular Un*Earthly for now.

SFLpunk, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of jim102864
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from its colorfully labeled bomber bottle into my Scheider and Son 2007 anniversary pilsner glass. Very hoppy herbal and floral nose. Copper color with a single finger head. Smooth very dipa-ish in its mildness at 11 per no less. Caramel flavor. A little bit of sweetness. Nice mouthfeel. Worth the price.

jim102864, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of WesWes
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
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!

WesWes, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of DefenCorps
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's

OA Unearthly pours a deep orange with a solid white head with great retention and lacing. The head lasts until I drain my glass. On the nose, OAU is how a good, fresh, DIPA should be - pine sap, mild sweetness, and plenty of hops to go around. Some citrus, pleasant bitterness. Up front, though, the oak comes through, with some tannic astringency that seems rather out of place. On the palate, it's similar - lighter in body than out of the bottle, plenty of outrageous hops with some malty sweetness (not too much) that goes towards balancing this beer. Oak appears mid palate before a long, hoppy finish takes over.

At 11%, I can't see myself drinking this too often, but it was surprisingly enjoyable.

DefenCorps, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of Bighuge
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice glowing orange body. Small bubbly ivory white head. Lacing is spotty in both nature and quantity. Nice blend of IPA smells and oak on the nose. It's like spilling a bigass IPA onto a freshly cut oak 2X4, letting it soak in for a few minutes and then taking a whiff. Good stuff. First sip tells me this is damn good. DAMN good. Bold flavors is an understatement. I haven't had many (if any?) oak aged DIPAs. This is a marriage that works very well, at least in this sample. The hop attributes are greasy and thick and resiny. Hop oils come to mind and to a lesser degree, pine oils. The oak is subtle, but definitely distinguishable. It adds depth. Malt base seems biscuity in nature. The alcohol is hidden very nicely in the context of this beer. In looking at the big picture here, this one has been designed and constructed very well.

Bighuge, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear, amber/apricottish hue, lovley white head, if small. Poured into a Maredsous tulip glass.

Aroma: bittersweet, lightly malty, pine and fresh citrus fruit...ripe orange & tangerine, splash of pineapple.

Taste: here's where the oak comes in, from the first sip...Big, wet, & woody. Lean body, long, oaky finish. Blankets the hops a bit, smothers them, even, and lets the malt stand guard. The regular Unearthly is a bitch-slap of bitterness. Oak-aging masks the spanks of the hops, tenderly covers it, and all is smooth and mellow.
Alcohol shows eventually, as it does with all of these ST Imperials.

There's no mistaking the oak in this, but I wouldn't have recognized it as Unearthly. A uniquely beautiful ale.

feloniousmonk, Mar 18, 2009
Photo of Gtreid
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to reginaldo for a great brew. Poured the bomber into an imperial pint glass.

A: Deep orangish, caramel color with one and a half fingers of off white head that retained well and left just tons of sticky lace.

A: Citrus explosion of orange, tangerine, mango, and papya. The citrus hops are huge, but the sweet malt gives the nose a great balance.

T: Great! Again citrus hops dominate, but you also get some honey and sugar cane. The balance is really quite outstanding for this style of brew.

M: The oak aging gives this a very smooth mouthfeel. It is medium to full bodied, with just the right amount of carbonation.

D: This will be my only jab on this one. The high ABV and the caramelly nature of the beer limit the drinkability. One of these was plenty, but that being said, still a supurb offering from Southern Tier. Skal.

Gtreid, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of tavernjef
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A solidly clear ambery golden hue of perfect tone with a puffy large and in charge slighty yellowed foam that lasts only briefly before setting its hold on top in a slight skim and lots of fluff left around the edge. Big and tiny blobby things and spots of lace are flung across the glass and stick well.

Aroma is straight up mango juice with a nice twist of paled orange, tangerine, and strawberry. Highly tropical and lofty with a fresh juicyness.

Taste is immaculately driven in a firm balance of tropical juiceyness and whiskey sweetness. Full on mango juice marked with touches mixed in of manderine orange, tangerine, and sweet red grape. The oaky balance is super nice to behold and is well balanced with slight vanilla-esk whiskey warmth and sweetness playing off the juicy mango stuff. Its got enough beeryness to its juicy character to give it an impeccable dominion of pleasure and warmth, like somekind of super spiked tropical drink only found in the far reaching foggy foothills of Costa Rica.

Feel is fairly beefy, smoothly warm, and bold with a firm stint of a heavier mediumish body. Long, healthy, and tropically set in warmth and tender, juicy, hoppy tone and balance the whole way through.

Insanely drinkable and wholesomely yummalishious with a tropically set tone and warmth thats sure to quickly make you weary and slurry with its very well hidden 11%! Another keeper by Southern Tier! Yum!

tavernjef, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of shroompod
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a small head , no lacing. Clear amber honey colored.

Aroma of citrusy hops and perhaps the wood aging lend an earthy appeal that can only be described as "weedy".

I get less puckering bitterness than I'd expect , a decent malt backbone keeps this honest.

Mouthfeel is thick , carbonation is good.

A very nice IIPA I'd drink any day.

shroompod, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of klewis
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a brilliant copper color with a small bubbly head. A light halo but no lacing.

S: Malty caramel aromas with a strong vanilla smell. Isn't this missing something?

T: Strong toffee and molasses characteristics with prominent vanilla and oak tones. Sweet with a touch of bitterness in the back. Umm....?

M: Full-bodied and super sticky with light-moderate carbonation.

D: Did someone forget the hops? Not what I expected, but not bad. Not great either as the sweetness is getting a bit cloying.

klewis, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of DavoleBomb
2.8/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bomber poured into a tulip.

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

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

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

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

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

DavoleBomb, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev +2%
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.

emerge077, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of JimmieFrisbee
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

JimmieFrisbee, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of jcompton
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from a bomber into an over-sized red wine glass

appearance: transparent golden-red. a nice frothy head disappears with light lacing to the glass.

smell: citrus hops, mostly grapefruit, with a fair amount of pine and caramel

taste: the oak gives this an immediate vanilla flavor. the oak also seems to mellow the hops just a bit. the more i drink the more the oak shows up

mouthfeel: a bit sticky, but not syrupy. nicely carbonated

drinkability: i like this brew, but due to the complexity i'm not sure how much i could have in one sitting. i will, however, revisit this brew. it's been a few months since i've had the regular unearthly, but these are definitely 2 completely different brews

jcompton, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of MasterSki
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle in Michigan while at the KBS release. Served in a Hopleaf tulip glass for New Beer Sunday : The Return!

A - Two and a half fingers of off-white foam that has solid retention and leaves nice rings of lacing. Transparent copper orange color that is a little more yellow at the edges of the glass.

S - Lots of balance to this one. There's the obligatory hoppiness, but also a fair bit of malt and woodiness to it. There's some skunky weed flavor to the hops - amarillo? - as well as some citrus. Not super strong in the nose.

T - Surprisingly high malt character - lots of caramel and breadiness to this one, with a fair bit of woodiness. The hops are more understated in the taste. The wood contributes a slight sourness that builds as I go through the glass.

M - Solid residual stickiness, medium body, and fairly moderate carbonation that causes a nice tingle at the top of the mouth.

D - While the wood flavors are interesting it gets a little tiring, and the high ABV definitely sneaks up on you. I don't think I'd want much more than a 12oz pour of this, but it's a solid brew nonetheless.

I haven't had regular Unearthly in a while, but I don't think this is a huge improvement.

MasterSki, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of jwc215
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

jwc215, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful copper body that is completely transparent. One-finger off-white head with good retention but little lacing.

S: Strong hops with a good caramel scent along with pine and oak.

T: Nicely mellowed out. Strong hops with pine hit with an oaky overtone turning into caramel malts with a slightly bitter pine finish. Very good.

Overall: Excellent mouthfeel, perfectly carbonated, thick and oily doesn't get better for the style IMO. Very drinkable as well, Wouldn't be a problem to finish a bomber and more.

AdmiralDiaz, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of mbrasi
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted side by side with it's unaged brother. Pours golden amber with a white head. Has a slightly darker hue due to the aging. A definites less hop presence in the aroma for the oak aged version. There is a definite earthy feel to the aroma. The hop presence is more subdued which I know to some hopheads is considered blasphemy. Aged woody presence is definite within this DIPA. I never though oak aging would do anything good to a DIPA until today. I know this is a matter of opinion and if you are a "purist" hophead you would bash this brew for letting the hops fade. IMO this is an improvement on the original, there's definitely a higher level of complexity with the oak aged version. All in all another good top notch brew from ST

mbrasi, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of tmoneyba
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft at the Dily Deli.

Poured clear copper color with a large creamy off-white head that was mostly lasting with excellent lacing. Heavy complex citrus hoppy aroma. Medium body with slick texture and soft carbonation. Heavy smooth bittersweet citrus flavor with a heavy bittersweet finish of long duration with a small alcohol burn as it warms.

This is a standout beer.

tmoneyba, Mar 14, 2009
Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,081 ratings.