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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1,101 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,101
Reviews: 566
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.78%
Wants: 59
Gots: 70 | 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: 1,101 | Reviews: 566 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of Gyle41386
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.

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.

Photo of patmcd
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!

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).

Photo of bonbini26
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

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

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.

Photo of Celt44
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!

Photo of Kendo
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.

Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of 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.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
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.

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.

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

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.

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

On tap at Beer Run, served in a 10 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Arrives a nearly clear, bright orange amber body, capped by a dusting of offwhite head and a thick ring of bubbly, soapy lace. The head looks to have been about a good finger high, but the retention was likely only average (given that it was practically gone by its arrival). Carbonation was some of the slowest I've ever seen in beer - near nil to begin with, but what is visible crept, crawled, dragged itself to the surface. Lacing is nice, though, sheet-like, delicate looking, bright and shiny. A good looking beer.

Aroma: Sweet, slightly spicy hop notes, candied oranges and grapefruit, freshly picked mint, and a subtle but definitely noticeable oaky undertone that compliments the roasted, caramel, slightly buttery malt tones well.

Taste: Very similar to the Unearthly, not surprisingly so - that is, very hoppy, moderately to highly bitter (though perhaps less so than the original), with a sweet, moderately roasted backbone boasting an array of leafy, herbal, slightly piney, and citrusy hop notes. What's instructive is where the differences are. First of all, the earthiness of the hop notes is a little more enhanced here than in the original, a consequence of (I assume) a woody contribution. The caramel is also enhanced significantly - it's a much sweeter, chewier beer, stickier and roastier. Part of that may be faded hops, and part of that may be wood additions - I'd be willing to say it's both. Finally, there is a kiss of vanillin present, adding almost a creme brulee like quality to the whole thing, given the other lighter malt notes. Interesting.

Mouthfeel: A thick but not quite syrupy brew, with subtle, small, fine, even carbonation that leaves it at a nice, low hanging level over the tongue. Agitation puffs it up even more, so there is plenty of carbonation here - it's just well-buried, and I think it works reasonably well with the the flavor profile.

Drinkability: Interesting beer. Not sure if I like it as much as the original Unearthly, which (despite my review of it - I need to re-review) I really enjoyed, and still do, regularly. This one gains certain components in the aging that do it justice and others that don't so much, and I think perhaps some of the hop juiciness and oiliness that makes Unearthly such a good beer may be lost in the barrel aging. Also, nothing at 11% can be too terribly drinkable. Those negatives aside, it's still a great beer, a very good offering from Southern Tier, and enjoyable. Give it a shot.

Photo of truknon
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Light smell on opening.

Nice pour with a small head and a orangey gold color. Nice and clear!!

Not too heavy on first taste and a great vanilla flavor on the backend, probably due to the oak aging.

A great smooth DIPA in my opinion and very Drinkable....although the 11% ABV makes it quick to sneak up on you leading to a nice warm and fuzzy feeling!!

I would definitely buy this again...and again...and again.

I look forward to trying the regular Unearthly to compare it with this Oak Aged.


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

Younger35 is not a menace to south central while drinking gin and/or juice.

Great pour, minimal head, beautiful sparkling copper, just really good looking, into my newly acquired budweiser goblet glass. I know it says fluted, I don't care, it's the king of beers man.

Smells, sweet, earthy, hoppy, candied, complex. As good as any DIPA i've smelled.

Lives up to it's name more than: "old milwaukee tastes as good as it's name" If your old enough to remember those ads. Alcohol is present, but not as a taste, but as a wave, it hits you....

Great ass beer. Thanks Gin and Juice man. I need to try the regular to compare, because this is fantastic.

Photo of BMoney575
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 4-17-09

Pours slightly hazy golden color, with a thin and reasonably clean white head.

Smell is lots of earthy and citrus hops, the oak and hops combine to form a distinct and very strong lime aroma.

Taste is very good, the citrus and woody flavors make a great combo, very subtle and easy-going. The finish is on the bitter side, with lots of lime.

Mouthfeel is good, thinner but syrupy to complment the hops.

Drinkability is also good, the alcohol adds only a warming at the end, and the flavors are well matched.

Overall, impressive. Oak and IPA are a great combination that isn't utilized by enough breweries.

Photo of rrheisler
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

IPAs are my forte, and I've been getting into Southern Tier. So, well, when faced with the option of an Oak Aged bottle...it all hit home.

Off the pour, it comes out a wondrous deep bronze. Minimal carbonation, and no head to speak of. Lacing of the glass, though, as you drink it down. Excellent appearance.

The smell out of the gate is instantly piney, with a hint of grapefruit. Really don't get the vanilla/oak feel as advertised out of the bottle. Not a problem, though, with an IPA. Love me some hops.

Taste is where you get the oak, and it's really only as the beer starts to warm. Definitely want to serve this one on the closer side of 45 degrees. Really muted out of the fridge, but as it comes out you really get this thing to come alive and balance out. Scarily 11% ABV in that you really don't notice it...till you burp. Starts out with a kick in the face of hops, followed by a mellower note (vanilla and caramel, perhaps?) before getting to the oak character, finished with a hint of hops and perhaps a little trace of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: A lower score if only because it's 11% ABV.

Otherwise, a well-balanced example of an aged IPA. I'd only ask for maybe a little more of that oak character through the earlier stages in the beer. Seemed like it only came towards the end.

Photo of IBUnit63
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a trusty 22 oz. bomber into a Portsmouth snifter/tulip...

Pours a gentle copper color. First pour is pretty devoid of any head but this snifter does that to even the spriteliess of beers. Little if no carbonation at first.

There are those wonderful floral/citrusy C hops. Styrian Goldings (hopback) too? I could see it. They meld nicely with the vanilla of the oak and the sweet boozy caramel malt.

I have to say, I like this better than the 2 cuvee series (1 and 2) that I've experienced so far. The vanilla in the oak is a little buttery but it isn't bad and the mild grapefruit on the hops keeps it in check. The slight boozy butterscotch caramel sweetness balances this out as well. Not a worldbeater but not bad. It gets better and more synergized with warmth.

After this warms up a little bit the palate feel really evens out - it's quite decent I'm afraid. Definitely has a little booze and vanilla but that's as advertised. Finish is slightly sweet as expected but the citrus cleans it up very well.

Y'know, at first this reminded me of cuvee #1 and I was afraid, but then the hops took over and it balanced out well. Still a little uneven but it keeps Southern Tier from the "brewdog" zone of imbalance and confusion. Nicely done.

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

Thanks to bamadog for splitting this bomber with me. Reviewed on a pour into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours orange/honey color with a 1 1/2 finger head that holds at a skim. Tons of carbonation runs throughout the clear liquid.

Smell: Bright and sweet citrus like candied lemon or orange rind, slight caramelly sweetness from the malts, notes of pine, honey and oak and distinct alcohol sharpness.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Incredibly and surprisingly viscous feel with a smooth oily thickness. Light fizz follows the swallow. Taste is sweet mandarin oranges, oak earthiness, caramel malts and pine sap. Hot alcohol finish.

Drinkability: Moderate. A lot of alcohol in the taste and finish keeps it a little hot for high drinkability.

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

Beer pours a copper color with a decent 1 finger head that stays with the beer. Great lacing left in glass. Smell is of hops and wood, excellent wood smell, this is definitely aged with/in wood. Taste is of a well balanced hop and oak flavor with a good malt balance. A vanilla/buttery note is left on the tongue after beer is swallowed.

A like the regular Unearthly but I like this one more, the oak adds a complexity to the beer that compliments it very well.

Photo of GJ40
2.95/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Sampled from a standard pint glass. Purchased at Nikki's in N Providence, RI.

A - Starts very well. A beautiful golden color with great clarity and a moderate off white head. Great lacing.

S - Surprisingly nice aroma. Starts floral and fruity but then gets more complex with loads of oak and a fair amount of alcohol. More and more tropical fruits as it warms at the end.

T - Initially a balanced flavor of hop oils, alcohol and malt (although the malt plays a lesser role). But this beer wore me down and I enjoyed it less and less as it went on. I just think the oak is too much for the light malts and it seems to clash with the hops rather than enhance them.

M - Very smooth and creamy. The carbonation is there but it doesn't get in the way at all.

D - I like a strong DIPA or Imperial Stout that can make the strong flavors work but this one was too strong and oaky for me. It tastes more like liquor than beer.

Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,101 ratings.