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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.

1,088 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,088
Reviews: 565
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.78%
Wants: 55
Gots: 64 | 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: 1,088 | Reviews: 565 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Cakanator, Apr 22, 2009
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

stonequarrywest, Apr 21, 2009
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.

number1bum, Apr 20, 2009
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.

CrellMoset, Apr 19, 2009
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.


truknon, Apr 19, 2009
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.

Murchmac, Apr 18, 2009
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.

BMoney575, Apr 18, 2009
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.

rrheisler, Apr 17, 2009
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.

IBUnit63, Apr 15, 2009
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.

kels, Apr 15, 2009
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.

rugerj, Apr 14, 2009
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.

GJ40, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of SpecialK088
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Tulip

A-Pours an off cloudy copper, good head that dissapates quickly, no real laceing.

S-Very floral hops, little bit of sweet malt and alchol notes. Very small oak undertone

T-Good oaky vinilla flavor, nice hop quality. Little boozy but overall very solid

M-Little oily, nice medium body.

D-Sipper to be sure but something I would like to have again

SpecialK088, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of naterock
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

color is deep copper with a creamy two finger head, minimal lacing but overall a very good looking ipa.

smell is strong hops and a sweet malt character with a touch of oak in the background.

Tastes very complex bittering hops upfront with a bready malt backbone. a complex vanilla characteristic from the oak aging. The deep flavor really impresses me and I am suprised with this one.

mouth is a little dry and bitter in the finish. drinks slowly but is suprisingly easy to drink considering the %11 ABV. overall this one is a beer for the ages.

naterock, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, paired with some smoked ribs, finally saw this one around at barriques today

cellphone notes

appearance: copper-tangerine body, nice white froth, decent retention

smell: subtle, oak, citrus, piney hops

taste: fantastic beer...the oak plays wonderfully in this one, bright citrus hops battling vanilla infused oak chips for the center stage, subtle alcohol, green hops. another absolute winner from southern tier

mouthfeel: great complexity

drinkability: good

dirtylou, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of Proteus93
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Beer Run... been looking forward to this one for a little while, so it's nice to see there.

A: Clear and rich, somewhere between a deep golden and a bright copper. Head is a little short on the bar pour, but it does leave a nice little collar.

S: Pine, resin, and a big oak woodiness... more than I expected with a beer that is naturally so aromatic, but then again, I'm not that surprised, knowing Southern Tier.

T: It's the same big hop bomb that I remember. Piney, herbal, and spicy, with a hefty oak presence again.

M + D: Carbonation is moderate, body is quite thick and almost syrupy. A great drinking beer, but I could only see myself doing one or maybe two 10 oz servings at any time... any more would be pushing it a bit, so I don't think I'd be one to take on a bomber alone. .

Proteus93, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of JoeBloe
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from it's 22oz bomber into a unibroe tulip - puts up a 2 finger head and shows a clear golden-orange color - lacing sticks to the top third of the glass - smells of pine and citrus -
first sip shows the woody oakey roasty character up front followed by grassy,piney, citrus-ey , tastiness - mild oaken finish, like you have to look for it - mouthfeel is slick -- drinks nice and easy, without the initial hop-bite of the regular unearthly - good stuff.

JoeBloe, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of saintwarrick
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew is orangey, very pale amber with a foamy white IPA head, just like its non-aged brother. Aroma is pretty much identical, I don't really not any "oak" or "smokey" characteristics in the nose ... just straight up IPA, lots of citrus and grapefruit, a kiss of pine. On to the taste, where the oak shows up. Taste is woody, a little smoky, like something fresh off the grill, all of which mixes with the citrusy resins of the hoppiness of this big brew. The wood adds a little more body and heft to the brew (the original is very light for the style, but still tasty) and this one has more meat, so to speak. That said, the original is still superior, as it hides the alcohol very well and is not overwhelmed by one flavor.

This is an interesting and good brew, but there's not enough for me here to keep coming back to this brew over the original.

saintwarrick, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - very carbonated, with a thin pale tan head, a dark amber in color

S - rich, earthy hops with a delectable sweetness, the hop notes (floral, citrine and pine) are deeper and richer than most DIPA's

T - wow, it really starts like a typical DIPA, hops rich with some malt support, then im tsunmai-ed by oak, woody, resiny, sweetness, one of the most oak-affected brews i can remember, this oakiness lasts until long after the sip has disappeared

M&D - Well Done Southern Tier! this beer is near perfect for its style, hops bitterness, malt support, and an amazing flavor lent from its oak aging, the mouthfeel is as smooth as could be wanted, with a more than decent hop kick, you dont need to be a hophead to enjoy this, i will pick some of this up and keep it for some time, if you cant get this beer, trade for it

sinstaineddemon, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of BZero007
3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into my DFH Snifter with a minimal head forming that sticks around for abit. The smell was there but I felt that it was very faint. Smell was mainly of Oak and a hops background. I have to say this was a great oak aged beer for me. I really enjoyed the amount of Oak that hits you up front and that is followed by malt then hops. I would have to pick this beer over the unearthly for it's unique flavor and balance. Medium body and was able to drink and enjoy. Will be picking up more of these in the future.

BZero007, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of hsway
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into three small goblets.

a: A nice reddish amber with lingering off-white head.

t: The oakiness really comes through, adding a sweetness to an otherwise very hoppy beer. Piney and resiny.

d: Despite a high ABV, this was very easy to sip.

hsway, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of kmeves
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a medium off-white head that quickly disappears. Aroma is moderately sweet with grapefruit, caramel, juniper berries, light oak and pineapple. Flavor is caramel, citrus, pineapple, grapefruit and light oak. Sticky texture, medium to full body. Finishes dry with a slight alcohol burn.

kmeves, Apr 08, 2009
Photo of erosier
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a nice amber-orange color with a tall and thick white colored head that laces the glass very nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet malts, a nice big earthy/floral/piney aroma, and then a hint of something sweet and oaky.
T: Tastes like the nose with a nice big malt backbone and then a huge piney/earthy/floral hop aroma but finishes very smooth with some oak at then end. WOW is all I can say.
M: Very smooth, warming, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable, especially for an 11%abv beer. All the flavors mixed really well and the oak was the perfect cherry on top. I finished the bomber in no time that's for sure.

erosier, Apr 08, 2009
Photo of mikesgroove
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was thrilled to see these on the shelf at whole foods yesterday, so you just know I had to pick one up. Served out of the fridge and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/07/2009.

The pour was very nice. Rich amber in color with a nice clarity to it. Head of white foam rose up to about three inches and then sttled down with lots of sticky lace. Rich aroma of piney hops and sweet oak like notes. Really well done here with a very nice balance. Nice notes of vanilla as it warms. The first taste sealed the deal for me. Lots of orange and pine, nice balance with hints of vanilla and woody essence coming through loud and clear. Smooth, medium body with a mellow carbonation and a all but hidden huge ABV profile. I could have drank this one all night, though i started to catch up with me by the end of the bottle.

Overall I was really impressed with this one, One of the best beers I have had from ST and something I will be going back for again and again

mikesgroove, Apr 08, 2009
Photo of Phillyduke
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 22 oz. bomber served into a Duvel tulip. Beer is clear and a deep copper orange color with a fluffy 2 finger head of nearly white foam. Average head retention that recedes to a thin cap with some fine lacing around the meniscus and on the sides of the glass.

S: Wow. The oak is definitely heavy on the nose. Smells of sharp fresh cut timbers and sawdust. Underlying notes of hops and a buttery-sweet malt base make for a combination that is at once inviting, intriguing, and vaguely reminiscent of spray propellant and woodworking solvent. As strange as that may sound, it's actually quite pleasant.

T: Perfect balance of sweet caramel malts and citrus & bittering hops. Oak aging becomes more prevalent as beer warms, adding a vanilla bourbon-like layer of complexity to an already terrific beer. The oak reveals a fruity character from the malt, a strong, rich, concentrated citrus flavor. Alcohol is definitely present, but more so as a supporting player than an in-your-face booziness. Qualities imparted by the wood definitely peak as the beer warms. A ton of flavor in here to explore if you take the time to drink it slowly.

M: Mouthfeel is on the medium-bodied side. A bit on the syrupy side due to a lack of a super tight crisp carbonation, but this doesn't really detract from my enjoyment at all.

D/O: By the end of my second glass, the ABV is certainly catching up with me, so this is probably a one-and-done beer. Regardless, this is a phenomenally balanced DIPA that in my opinion borders on a barleywine due to the huge malt bill and high ABV. The oak aging adds a wonderful complement of flavors to a beer that IMO tastes great on its own, too. Definitely one to seek out if you like some vanilla malty sweetness with your bitterness. I'll be laying a bottle down to see what the wood does to this with some age.

Phillyduke, Apr 07, 2009
Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,088 ratings.