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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.

1,060 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,060
Reviews: 564
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 13.02%
Wants: 50
Gots: 57 | 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
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Ratings: 1,060 | Reviews: 564 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2009 15:00:07 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

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

Light copper pour with a couple of fingers of off white head that soon diminished to a slight film, but does give a touch of lace. I didn't really expect much due to the aging and high alcohol content, so it met my expectations. Aroma is an interesting mix of vanilla, spicy oakiness and the expected double IPA notes of grapefruit and caramel. Its a decent little package, but not one that blows me away.

This beer goes long on the oak, which adds a wonderful infusion of vanilla, coconut, cream and woodiness to the initial hit, before reappearing in the long drawn out finish. The middle is everything I love about the base brew - huge grapefruit and pine balanced by a large caramel malt presence. The alcohol is well-concealed, but becomes more apparent as the beer warms (as it always seems to with the bigger ST beers). The body is well matched, with a full mouthfeel and moderate carbonation.

Its another winner from Southern Tier, who seem to be developing a knack for incorporating woody flavours into their beers. I still wish they did their high alcohol lineup in smaller bottles, but what are you to do?

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2009 13:58:47 | More by bobsy
Photo of froghop


3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a clear orange with a tint of red, small light beige head, and good lacing.

smell of light grapefruit, toffee, and roasted nuts.

taste is creamy, grapefruit, slight pine, hops, few malts, some caramel, some white pepper, and burnt wood, ends on the bitter side and a little dry.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2009 02:01:59 | More by froghop
Photo of GbVDave


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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into two imperial pints. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a chill hazed, tawny honey color with a nice little dallop of off-white foam that leaves a bunch of lace behind.

S: Interesting aromas of vanilla, cream, and freshly sawn oak staves. Different.

T: Very similar to the smell. Earthy and spicy oak flavors. Vanilla, honey, and coconut. Hops take on a piney vibe. Malt is oozing caramel.

M: Slick, sweet, and smooth with the oak adding an interestingly dry and spicy facet to this. Finish is prickly and peppery on the tongue.

D: Quite interesting. Don't know if I could put this in regular rotation, but we're really glad we tried this.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2009 00:53:39 | More by GbVDave
Photo of PrinceDarren


3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I love oak and I love hops so this should be a dream combo.

Pours orange/copper with a short-lived 1-finger head.

Smells... odd. I don't know what that aroma is I smell. My olfactories are confused. It's hard to describe. I guess it's wood, but not dead-on. Maybe a chemical treated wood, like I imagine one might encounter when installing hard-wood floors.

Tastes... odd. This too is hard to nail. I taste the oak, but then there is something else... There is definitely citrus, but still something else.

The closest thing I can think of is, perhaps, a sliced red grapefruit served up on sheet of wet-cardboard.

The alcohol is well concealed and the bitterness is manageable.

In all, this mixture of flavors doesn't work as well as I hoped. For example, I like mint and I like peanut-butter, but mint/peanut-butter do not make a dream combo either.

I'm glad I tried this beer, but now I understand why there aren't more barrel-aged imperial IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2009 02:04:40 | More by PrinceDarren
Photo of ommegoose


3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An orangey gold color with a hint of haze. Not much head formation or retention. But I really like the color

Smells very malty. Lots of spicy oak. Honey. Flowery and citric. Takes a turn towards fruitiness later on.

This is pretty oaky, actually. Reminds me a lot of DFH Burton Baton. Lots of spicy oak flavor and vanilla. Hops seem under huge malt and oak flavor. The IBUs are probably high, but not perceived that much. Mint leaf, tangerine/orange, herbal bitterness. It's fruity. By the 2nd glass, I'm really tasting the fruity flavors, and the oak is more in the background.

Thick and syrupy. Relatively low carbonation, maybe even too low. Noticeable alcohol, but it could be worse.

This is pretty heavy and hard to get through. It's just so sticky, and it really lacks any crispness. The oak flavor is all there though, so it delivers in that aspect. Doesn't really seem all that much like a IIPA, almost more like a barleywine. Kind of like with the regular Unearthly, this one doesn't quite come together for me. It almost isn't fair to think of it as a IIPA. The 11% is steep as well. I don't regret a try, but I think I'll stick to some of the other beers in their lineup.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 06:43:44 | More by ommegoose
Photo of Martin2D

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Amber red with a smal white head with lacing

S - Oak, alcohol and sweetness

T - Oaky alcohol on the forefront with a slight hop bite. Grapefruit zest with a slight aftertaste of sweetness.

M - Medium in carbonation and medium in body, lasting oak finish

D - This is definitely a sipper. Potent in alcohol flavor and super oaky. While I enjoy oak, I don't know if I buy into oak aged IIPA. Not enough hop character and lacking complexity.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 01:11:33 | More by Martin2D
Photo of far333


3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear orangey copper colored with streams of small bubbles rising up quickly to a frothy off-white half inch head that lingers long.

Aroma of tangerine and fresh flowers.

Flavor of sharp citrus hops right upfront, followed by chewy fruity honey malt, moving quickly to marshmallow and woody notes, and finishing with a grapefruit pith bitterness. A toasted maple woodiness lingers.

Full mouthfeel, rich and creamy, finishes tingly, crisp and tannic. Slight ABV warmth rises up.

Tasty beer, but the lingering sweetish woody flavor detracts for me. Would like the hops to be more center stage.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 00:09:45 | More by far333
Photo of srandycarter


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

Big thanks to Masterski for this unexpected treat. My 500th.

A - Clear copper, .5 inch near white head leaves to disk. Some clingy sudsy lacing.

S - Floral, perfume like, with malt under tow.

T - Loving the malt base. Sweet and pronounced, accompanied by the floral, perfume hops. I guess some wood there, but not the main deal, for sure.

M - Low carb, but ok for the beer, medium bodied, lots of coating.

D - Killer beer, would drink till it hurt me.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2009 03:32:24 | More by srandycarter
Photo of Florida9


2.98/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Thin copper in color. About and inch or so of nice foamy head which dissipates relatively quickly, but does leave some lacing in the process.

S: Malt, piney hops, maybe a little bit of citrus, followed by boozy smell of bourbon.

T: oh god, what is this? Liquified wood? Sure there are some malts and hops there, but they appear to have been beaten into submission by the unique flavor of furniture. please, someone give me a chaser.

M: Full bodied. Syrupy and medicinal. There was decent carbonation when I first popped the bottle, but the CO2 appears to have made a run for it as soon as the opportunity presented itself. Leaves a funky sawdust residue on the tongue.

D: No. Never again. My 22oz bomber was way too much. The only reason I'm even giving it a couple points here is because the folks at ST decided to put a lot of alcohol in this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 01:26:53 | More by Florida9
Photo of Gyle41386

South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip.

Pours a clear amber color. Small white head. Bubbles rising throughout.

Very nice aroma. The woody oak character and big hop bill play off each other quite nicely. Loads of citrus, and some sweet vanilla from the oak.

Very, very nice balance here. Unearthly was hugely bitter, a true hop bomb. The oak has mellowed it out nicely. I think I still like regular Unearthly better, but I can definitely appreciate the balance here. The oak and malt shine, but the hops still give a nice kick, and leave a nice bittering finish.

Full bodied, appropriate carbonation. Really nice texture. Super smooth drinker.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 07:39:31 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of BeerTruth


3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally found this for a "decent" price at Brilbeck's for $7.99. Much better than the $10.99 at Party Source...are you serious?

Pours a crystal clear light copper hue with a one finger white head that falls to a thin layer of foam. A fair amount of chunky lacing holds on to the sides throughout. Smell is spicy, musty, and dirty. Nothing like the Un*Earthly so many of us have come to love. The citrus is in the nose, but it definitely isn't as juicy and ripe as the original. Grapefruit and tangerine to begin with followed by some honey and cream. For some reason I get a dash of paprika midway with a bit of evergreen. Aftertaste is bitter with some oak flavors and orange peel. The body is medium to full with a pretty smooth and creamy feel which I'm guessing comes from the "oak aging". I'll take the original Un*Earthly over this version in a heartbeat, but I must say the 11% is almost non-existant in this beer. Good, but not sure the $8 is exactly justified.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2009 01:18:07 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of patmcd

New York

4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear golden amber, wasn't overly cloudy with an average sized tan head, that left some nice lacing.

Smelled of pine, some citrus, hops, with a hint of mild vanilla.

I really enjoyed the crisp flavors in this brew, the oak was a great soothing, mellowing compliment to the high level of hops. Instead of over-powering and giving a tremendous burn. Tastes consisted of pine, orange peel, a sweet alcohol tinge, with a clean hop finish.

This is actually one of my favorite IIPAs, the oak compliments it so well, and was extremely enjoyable in 90-degree heat, a great brew from Southern Tier! and for such a high ABV beer, it went down easy, dangerous stuff!

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 22:46:24 | More by patmcd
Photo of Pencible


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

This poured a slightly hazy dark gold with white head. It smelled like oranges and cream and pineapple, with bready yeast and mellow french oak and honey. It tasted like peach and orange and honey, with some pineapple and french oak and vanilla, and a bit of bourbony alcohol. It was slightly thick with mild carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this had a very nice flavor and was super clean, with nice body too. It hid the alcohol pretty well and was easy to drink. It was a good sipping beer, interesting to contemplate. But I didn't end up enjoying it as much as the standard Unearthly (or Iniquity).

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 15:37:42 | More by Pencible
Photo of bonbini26

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ the Rattle 'n' Hum 04-23-09

Poured into a tulip glass, a bright orange/amber color, with an offwhite head, and thick lacing. Smell is a sweet, spicy, hoppy, citrus, with oak notes and some maltiness. The taste is hoppy, herbal, some pine, and citrus, but not as bitter due to the oak finish, which gives the taste a woody, vanilla finish. The mouthfeel is thick, and syrupy, low carbonation level. The alochol is actually pretty well hidden for the 11%, still a sipper. I was trying to compare it to Unearthly, and i actually like the balance of this one better, I'm still not really sold on oak-aged DIPAs due to a lost of bitterness. I prefer Dogfish Burton Baton to this brew

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2009 13:44:52 | More by bonbini26
Photo of animal69


4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a clear light golden amber color w/ a thin eggshell head which dissapates quickly leaving a moderate lacing in my goblet
S- a strong piney/grapefruit smell with a faint aroma that can only be descibed as cedar-like, a slightly vinous note in the finish with a touch of alcohol as well
T- surprisingly not that bitter, sweet and slightly tart with more piney/citrusy hop flavor, nutty and a def. woody and earthy presence midway, more bitter in the finish with more wood asserting itself, a bit of mineral and alcohol in there as well
M- a full bodied brew with moderate carbonation, sticky, yet pleasing
D- def. not a sessionable one here, a good drinker on a surprisingly cool spring night, however, a pretty good DIPA overall

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2009 04:37:41 | More by animal69
Photo of boralyl


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

A - Pours 1 1/2 fingers of white head that has a good retention and leaves lots of lacing. The beer is clear and dark amber in color.

S - Interesting aroma, you get some floral hops, grapefruit and hints of oak in the nose.

M - Medium in body with a smooth creamy feel and good carbonation.

T - A pretty good amount of oak flavor up front, followed by a good helping of hops. A little bit of sweet malt shows up towards the end and then there is a slightly bitter finish with a bit of oak present here too. I couldn't really detect the alcohol presence at all, which is pretty impressive.

I am a big fan of Unearthly, and this incarnation doesn't disappoint. Compared to the regular version the hops are more mellowed out and obviously the oak comes into play. It's dangerously drinkable, so watch out! If you tried Unearthly, you owe it to yourself to try this one too.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2009 03:50:45 | More by boralyl
Photo of Celt44

New York

4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - A light golden clear amber. Head is nice but thin. Lacing lasts throughout but very thin.

Aroma - Incredibly unique. Very oakey and hoppy upfront - a touch of malt at the end.

Taste - Absolutely unique and delicious. Piney upfront with a citrusy/spice kick. Hints of Oak. Perfect.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a touch of alcohol burn. Very light for 11% !

Overall another EXCEPTIONAL beer from ST. Possibly the most flavorful selection from them if not my all time favorite. This seems to happen often when I review a new ST product!

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2009 01:06:04 | More by Celt44
Photo of Kendo

New York

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: From the bomber into an oversized Duvel tulip. Body is clear, light orangey-amber, with a 1/2-finger ivory-colored head that settles pretty quickly. No lace.

S: Very pleasant nose, with "very" underscored in my review notes. Hops are there in force. think juicy fruit gum, tropical fruits and some brown sugar. Hint of alcohol and vanilla at first, with the vanilla becoming more prominent as it warms.

T: Big on hops -- tropical fruit (pineapple) and citrus fruit (grapefruit). Also sweeter stuff -- caramel malt, brown sugar and even honey. Caramel malt seems stronger as it warms. Heat is felt immediately down the gulley. Some lingering oak tannins and vanilla, with that vanilla becoming more noticeable as it warms. I don't get the oaky influences -- i.e., tannins and vanilla -- until the finish, however.

M: Heavy in weight. Slightly sharp carbonation, but it feels appropriate as it cuts the oaky vanilla and malt sweetness a bit.

D: Very good for a big beer like this.

Notes: Good quick buzz from this one. I liked it, but ultimately I think I like the straight Unearthly better.

Thanks to BA Caminiti for the birthday gift.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2009 17:29:37 | More by Kendo
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-24-2009 03:38:09 | More by Sammy
Photo of Wasatch


3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this one.

Pours a nice clean/clear dark golden yellow color, some carbonation, little fizzy off-white head, with some oil slicks left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice hop notes, oak, and some citrus. The taste is hoppy, malty, sweet, with some nice oak notes, and slight citrus. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2009 00:06:53 | More by Wasatch
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

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

22oz bottle served in a tulip glass, consumed on Earth Day '09.

L - slightly hazed copper color with a fluffy white head that in time thinned out to a very little ring, initial lacing goes away.

S - Aroma is full of hops, apricot, grapefruit and orange as well as a slightly subdued scent of oak.

T - strong oak flavor upfront before the bitter hop and sweet malt tastes comes through, finish is mildly bitter.

F - medium bodied with a smooth feel.

D - savour this one, it's quite enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2009 23:55:48 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of Cakanator


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

tap @ Sierra. Pours a medium golden color, not too dark or light. Decent white head with aromas of citrus and a touch of vanilla. Mouthfeel follows with a thicker fuller bodied version of the regular unearthly. The oak really shows through here almost dominating the hop profile. Needless to say I liked it, but not nearly as good as a fresh unearthly. I just wasn't digging the oak aging, still not bad.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2009 13:51:23 | More by Cakanator
Photo of stonequarrywest


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

Bomber shared with vchmikey...
Yellow gold pour with a cheescake colored head Some sticky lacing...
Clean as a whistle..Not a bit of cloudiness
Smell of hops, apricots, oak
Taste a not so ripe peach maybe pineapple and the usual hops..not as hoppy as Regular Unearthly but I still enjoy it.
Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation and bit of the boozy warmth

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 09:58:04 | More by stonequarrywest
Photo of number1bum


3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Unearthly is a great beer but I'm skeptical of barrel aging hoppy beers...seems to defeat the purpose in my opinion. But what the hell, let's give it a shot.

Pours a clear copper color with about a finger and a half of beige head. Head settles pretty quickly to just a bubbly, very thin lace. Keeps some stick around the rim and leaves a splash of webbing on the sides.

First thing I notice in the smell is some of the citrusy, earthy, resiny hop aromas that I love about Unearthly. Then comes the oak, with aromas of bourbon and vanilla, and those really become the dominant aromas. The hops still poke their nose through, but the balance definitely tips in the oaks favor. It's a bit on the boozy side, as well. I think it's a bit overly bourbony and the hops too weak.

Taste, like the smell, shows some flashes of hop flavor but not nearly to the extent of fresh Unearthly. The oak, instead, is a more dominant flavor. Hops are earthy, in particular, with a bit of citrus, but the earthiness has held up best and does go nicely with the woody, oaky flavor, which has flavors of bourbon and vanilla, as well. There is some caramel sweetness, too. It is a bit on the boozy side, more so than the original, but not totally out of whack like some ST beers. The balance is a bit better than the aroma. It's good, but it's just case in point for why I don't quite get the barrel aging hoppy beers. What makes Unearthly special has been lost.

Mouthfeel is close to full bodied and quite smooth. Somewhat dry in the finish, with appropriate carbonation, on the soft side actually. In terms of drinkability I took awhile to get through this bomber, as the bourbon started to really wear on me.

This is a good beer but as I've said a few times previously I think it's lost what makes Unearthly a great beer. The hoppiness of this brew is a shadow of the original, and that's too bad. This drinks more like a barrel aged barleywine. I just don't get barrel aging hoppy brews...oh well, to each their own.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2009 00:11:07 | More by number1bum
Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,060 ratings.