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

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Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 01-09-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews
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Reviews: 567 | Ratings: 1,120
Photo of John_M
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Max's today.

The OA Unearthly pours a goldish orange color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose, this beer smells pretty much like the non-oaked version. There is some pretty sweet malt, but it blends very nicely with the citrus, grapefruity hop aroma. The flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose. I don't really pick up much from the oak, except that the beer is a bit rounder and smoother, and it seems to have toned down the hoppiness a bit. Not really sure that's such a good thing. Like the regular unearthly, the alcohol is pretty noticeable and it's on the sweet side. The beer is medium bodied with a good, smooth mouthfeel, but once again the beer is a bit heavy and tiring on the palate.

While a good beer, the alcohol is too noticeable on the finish, and I found myself having an increasingly difficult time drinking it, the more I went along. Just like the regular unearthly.

This beer is so similar to the regular unearthly, I just don't see the point to it. Again, just not my cup of tea I guess.

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Photo of weeare138
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appears a transparent light amber with an orange hue and a small white cap. Scattered bits of pacing are left round the glass.
Smell is of huge vanilla, citrus, pine, herbs, and flowers.
Taste is a bit of a let down... Lots of clashing between the hopsnand oak tannins.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, syrupy, chewy, with an almost artificial vanilla flavor lingering.
I love Southern Tier but this fell a bit short.

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Photo of PEIhop
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a copper, earthy orange that leaves a nice foamy head. There is very little carbonation.

S - The smell is dominated by two characteristics: caramel maltiness and piney, citrusy hops.

T - Although not present in the aroma, vanilla and oak woodiness is interwoven with an extreme maltiness. The hop character is weak creating an unbalanced, boozy finish.

M - Medium-bodied chewiness, which was quite pleasant.

D - With extremely high ABV and an unbalanced finished, I don't think I will pick this up again. However, if you are into imperial IPA's, for the price alone, it is definitely worth checking out.

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Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden amber/orange color with a thin, frothy off-white head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Earthy aroma that's dominated by the toasted oak character. Lots of vanilla and wood along with some earthy and citrus hops, caramel malt and sweet alcohol.

Medium bodied but on the fuller end with a very prominent oak character that dominates the flavor a bit. Slight creamy texture adds to the palate. Lots of toasted oak and vanilla notes followed by piny and sweet hop notes. Prominent malt backbone with hints of caramel and toffee. Well balanced and the high ABV is extremely well masked resulting in a beer that is deceptively drinkable.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a burnt orange with a nice white head and good carbonation.

S: Very good. Light oak, caramel, big citrus hops

T: Taste is lighter on the oak and vanilla as I expected, the citrus ancaramel still dominates this beer pretty malty too. Plenty of booze.

M: Mouthfeel is big and this is where the beer comes alive.

O: Good

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Photo of Derek
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Copper-bronze, off-white head, very little retention, some lacing.

S: Pine, citrus, rind, toffee, cotton-candy. Awesome aroma, though the hops have faded, so they're a little tame for a DIPA.

T: Pine, citrus rind, toffee, slight fruitiness, good bitterness, warming alcohol.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body has plenty of hop acidity. Carbonation on the low-side of moderate.

D: Great for its strength.

It's good, but I prefer the usual, fresh, un-aged version.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a clear orange body with an antique white head that sticks to the glass with each sip. There is a strong carbonation of big bubbles racing to the surface.

S- The caramel sweet malt that fills the glass has a note of cream and a light oak butterscotch note.

T- The nice full green hop flavor is a bit mild and is followed by a big caramel sweetness. There is a soft green bitter bite in the finish that has a nice pungent hint that becomes more dandelion bitter as the beer warms. As the beer warms there is also more of an oak sweetness and a buttery note to the caramel malt.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with an alcohol heat that bites just a bit at the finish but it softens over time as more finish flavors come through.

D- This beer is big and sweet with a softer wood note but the hops taste a bit like they are gone. The freshness has really left the beer and the oak didn't really make up for the hops that are missing.

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Photo of akorsak
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 650 mL bottle picked up at Al's of Hampden.

A: The IPA has a brilliant orange glow, the result of a bright amber color that is almost a shiny penny. A two finger head has left patches of thin lace all around the glass.

S: The strength of the hops mixed with the oak has given the ale a clementine aroma, thick and citrusy. Damn! Smells just like my hands after peeling one (a clementine that is, not an oak tree). This surpasses even Scurvy in the intense orange department.

T: The Unearthly's ungodly hop profile has been taken up a notch as a result of the oak. The vanilla sweetness has transformed the bitterly sharp hops into the aforementioned clementine-infused masterpiece. Oak is still evident on the back-end, lending a vanilla, mint, and a booze-intensified flavor.

M: The mouthfeel is intense, moving beyond the realm of any IPA, imperial or otherwise, that I've ever had. Never expected this much citrus flavor from a DIPA aged on oak.

D: At 11%, this is not your run of the mill IPA. One bottle will see me to sleep tonight.

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Photo of beertunes
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in tulip. Poured a great clean,clear coppery amber color with about an inch of white head that very good retention and lacing.

The aroma was mostly citrusy hops, with some floral notes, and a malt of sweet malts in the back. There was just a hint of the wood hanging around the edges. The flavors started out the same way, a big blast of hops, then some malts. But as the worked it's way across the tongue, the beer seemed more balanced and better melded. The added a nice flavor at the back.

The body was good, a bit fuller than most of the style, but not sticky or clingy. Drinkability was good, especially for such a big beer. Overall, a pretty nice take on the style. Worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

A-Poured into a snifter. Pours a hazy amber color with a nice off-white head.

S- The aroma is fantastic. A lot of fresh hops in the nose with some malt and some oak notes as well. Some people don't like oak in their IPAs, I happen to love it. Smells great.

T- The taste like the aroma is very tasty. The taste starts out with a high sweetness from the malt with the hops coming creating a lingering bitterness well into the finish. The taste also has a good dose of oak and quite a bit of warmth from the alcohol in the finish. As the beer warms in the glass I feel that the alcohol can be a little overwhelming and takes away from the beer a little bit.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, I love oak aged IPAs so I did enjoy this one. Worth a try for any hop heads.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle purchased from Wegmans.

Poured into a pint glass. A dark, murky orange pours leads to a 1 inch head that drops down into a very oily film on top of the beer. Decent lacing.

Smells very sweet, some caramel and vanilla, with herbal hops, almost smells like marijuana.

Tastes incredible. Lots of those dank, herbal hops- grass, marijuana, grapefruit juice, pine, with additional tastes of oak, vanilla, and caramel most likely from the oak aging.

Full, syrupy body. Medium carbonation.

A great experiment in aging IPAs by Southern Tier. Unearthly is an incredibly sweet beer, and oak-aging it calms it down a bit.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Brilliant amber pour crowned by a lacy white foam collar that recedes moderately fast. S: Alcohol and hop aromas backed by rich malt. T: Big malt and big alcohol meet big hops with fruit, melon, citrus balancing malty caramel. F: Creamy smooth, full bodied, soft palate. O: This is really an excellent Imperial IPA.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright, yet dark copper color with a very very quick head. No foam or bubbles, but a light syrupy look to it. The aroma is a sharp lemony hop, some carameled biscuits, with some toasted oak brandy aromas. Complex and bittersweet aromas. The taste starts with sweet toasted malts with some oakey, earthy hops. The middle is a little syrupy on the palate with a warm alcohol that thins out the oaken IPAS barrell flavoring a little. But also adds som depth with the heat as well. Bitter is underlying the sweetness of his IPA. Very nice and sippable.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Dull orange in color. Fluffy head. Looks the part.

S-Malts and hops are in balance, neither are overpowering. I smell the oak.

T-More malty than hoppy. There are definately some hop flavors but the oak seems to tame the hops. Very smooth.

M-Full bodied. Again, very smooth. Thick. Chewy.

D-11% is masked quite well. Happy to try it but won't go looking for this one again.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours an amber/orange color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention is average, lacing is pretty good. Aroma is citrusy (grapefruit, orange peel) and pine hops, along with some oak. Taste is similar to the aroma. There's citrusy hops, caramel, oak, and some earthy/spicy hops noticable in the taste. Also has a nice lingering bitter hoppy finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating and a bit syrupy with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it's very smooth and enjoyable to drink. However, the 11% ABV does catch up to you after a while. Overall I think it's another solid offering from Southern Tier.

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Photo of barczar
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with a half inch dense cream head that leaves a thick ring of foam on the glass.

Oak and grapefruit lead the aroma with caramel and bready malt supporting a hint of pine and mint.

Mellow citrus opens the flavor profile and becomes more dominant throughout the sip, with grapefruit pith emerging and overtaking a somewhat light sweet caramel malt backbone. The finish is fairly bitter, with pepper and mint kicking in. The oak contributes a bit more complexity at the finish as it warms, but is overwhelmed by the bitterness.

Body is fairly syrupy, with moderately light carbonation. There is a significant alcohol warmth and a hint of harsh astringency.

Overall, a decent dipa, but not my favorite by far. A bigger malt backbone would help the complexity of flavors shine and ease the bitter dominance.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Walked into my local Carnivores today going to mix a sixer and found this lovely brew on tap for 4.75! And it wasn't even happy hour!

A - Pours a deep mahogany color with an inch of fluffy golden head. So far great.

S - Really couldn't pick up the sent of any oak from the nose. Just really smooth hops and malt base. Doesn't smell to offend.

T - Well if you wanted a really hoppy beer your pretty much out of luck. The oak barrel technique really rounded out the aggressiveness of the hops but leaves some bitterness that is appreciated. The oak flavor is not overbearing but does balance it well leaving the finish only slightly bitter. The alcohol is noticed as it is 11 percent and gives you a slight warming sensation.

M - On the heavy side the ABV is very well noted but not overbearing

D - Well I really love the dessert beers that ST has and as for hoppy and affordability I would reach for a 2xIPA over this beer any day. It was good to try and see how a hoppy beer can have oak undertones. Good beer.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.73/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a clear orange amber color that looks just like apple juice. Produced a good white colored head, but dissipated immediately.

(S)- A very sweet yet boozy caramel & butterscotch

(T)- Sweet caramel & butterscotch with a bit of vanilla oakiness. Very boozy. Where are the hops? This reminds me more of an old ale at this point. Is this too old?

(M)- A good carbonation level, but way too hot & boozy. This feels like a huge 18%abv monster, but its only 11%. Rather sweet as well; almost candy-like.

(D)- Not a winner in my opinion. Way too boozy and sweet for what it should be like. Could this probably just be too old or a bad bottle? I see that everyone else who has rated this has given it rave reviews, but I just dont see it at least in the bottle I just tried. I will definitely try to find another one that is hopefully fresh. More breweries need bottled dates!

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Photo of Viggo
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, on private order from R+R! Thanks guys.

Pours a clear dark coppery orange, some red highlights, very thick and creamy slightly off white head forms, slowly settles to a very thick ring around the glass, nice big sheets of lace stick everywhere, looks good. Smell is neat, quite a bit of oak in the nose, some vanilla, caramel and biscuit, lots of good Unearthly hoppiness, grapefruit and floral, some pine, but muted somewhat by the wood and the extra age, but still melds together pretty well for me. Taste is similar, very oaky up front, somewhat raw, vanilla and caramel creme, pine and floral, grapefruit, orange peel, alcohol comes through, very big malty base, still the wicked balance of original unearthly but with the pungent aroma/flavour hops replaced by oak. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, close to syrupy, some warmth going down but still pretty deadly for the ABV. They must use some real raw American oak, but I dig it! Wonder how this one ages!

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Photo of Bighuge
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

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Photo of Brad007
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a mild amber color witha one-finger head into my glass. Nice color and presentation.

Aroma is full of citrusy hops with a slight hint of oak and mint. Certainly is oak-aged.

Taste is full of oak, which dominates the front of the palate with grassy, citrusy hops on the back of the palate. Hops feel kind of weak when compared to the oak. Just a tad hint of alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is just right as it is not too carbonated. Goes down easy with nary a hint of alcohol warmth or overkill on the oak.

Deceptively drinkable but for me, the hops could be stronger. Best drank fresh in order to appreciate the hops that are in it. Very well done beer.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another damn good beer from Southern Tier.

Looks almost perfect. A subdued orange. Aroma, no alcohol, how they do that at 11% I dunno. Pleasant abundance of flowery hops, both in the nose and on the tongue. So many hop varieties at different stages, almost makes you feel you got a good deal @ $7 a 22oz. Massive amount of different varieties of hops make a great beer. Drink fresh though.

Mouthfeel, even better as it warms up at a tailgate party. Drinkable, but its pricey. Highly recommended.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had an amber color and a slightly hazy texture. There was a quarter inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A decently strong aroma of citrus, hops, malt and an earthy quality.

T: Tasted of hops (though not as much as you might think), citrus, that same earthiness, malt, and a woody quality (presumably the oak). A nicely done flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat thick and oily finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Drinkable.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Budweiser pint glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a copper color with a full inch of white head that stays a bit and eventually rests at 1/4 inch. Excellent webs of lacing are left as the glass empties.

S- The signature ST malt sweetness is apparent as well as a grassy, citrusy hop aroma. Grapefruit notes.

T- Sharp hop bite upfront that mellows with the sweet malt follow-up. The bitterness outlasts the malts and lingers on the palate a good while but retains balance enough to keep the alcohol beautifully well-hidden.

M- Moist initially with a drying finish. Medium-high carbonation. A bit of an alcohol snap when I swish.

O- Although it could use more oak flavor, it's a very nice variation on Unearthly

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Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 567 ratings.