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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)

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,081 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,081
Reviews: 564
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.78%
Wants: 53
Gots: 65 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 01-09-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,081 | Reviews: 564 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

Nice beer, and the oak touch is a bit subtler than I was expecting- sometimes this brewery can hit you over the head in the flavor department, but this is nicely restrained, and the oak balances the sweet malt and hops and forms a nice triumvirate of flavors. The smell is equally balanced, but perhaps all a bit too restrained if still very nice. Fairly chewy mouthfeel with a touch of tannins from the oak, and a bit of sweetness from the malt. A fairly brooding beer, but a pleasurable one. Still, I think I prefer the brightness of the unoaked variety.

Georgiabeer, Jun 08, 2010
Photo of akorsak
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%

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.

akorsak, May 18, 2009
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

(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.

rhoadsrage, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

duceswild, Sep 04, 2012
Photo of mothman
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass.

Pours a 1 finger thin head that fizzles down quickly leaving splattered lace. The thin layer did have some good retention however. Pours an orange peach sunset color.

The aroma is mainly pine hops. There is also some honey. The oak-aged part of this beer shows a little here.

Taste: Here the oak comes out a lot more. Very piney and some citrus notes are present. Grapefruit sticks out the most. After the mouth dries, there is an orange aftertaste that is present.

Mouthfeel is very bitter and a tad crisp. After a while it gets smooth on the palate. Ends with a touch of alcohol in the mouth. Very dry aftertaste.

Overall, I thought this a neat beer and I am glad I got to try it. I don't know if I could have another one of these, but it was a neat creation. I am glad ST made this one.

mothman, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev -1.7%

ejimhof, Jun 06, 2013
Photo of superspak
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 4/8/2013. Pours fairly clear orange amber color with a 2 finger dense off white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange zest, orange rind, lemon zest, floral, pine, caramel, toast, toffee, bread, grass, oak, light clove, and floral earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of malt and hop notes; with moderate oak presence and great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, orange rind, caramel, pine, toffee, toast, floral, grass, oak, light clove, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, pine, floral, grass, caramel, toffee, toast, oak, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance and complexity of malt and hop flavors with moderate oak presence; with a sizable malt backbone that does not over take the hops; and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very creamy, sticky, and fairly crisp mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic oak aged DIPA. Great balance and complexity of hop and malt flavors with moderate oak presence; and dangerously smooth to sip on for 9.5%. A highly enjoyable offering.

superspak, Jun 26, 2013
Photo of Wasatch
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%

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.

Wasatch, Apr 23, 2009
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%

Pours a clear copper color, with a white foam and some lacing. More than a little lacing, leaves a whole sheet of lace. Smells of grapefruit and tropical hops. Tastes like grapefruit and a small dry oak. Piney, resinous bitterness. Full bodied, well carbonated, fairly dry from the oak. Citrusy, oaky, boozy, what you would expect. A seasoned beer for seasoned beer drinker. I like this beer, and if you like IPAs you will like this too.

Stinkypuss, May 16, 2013
Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

BillRoth, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

brandoman63, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of biegaman
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

The beer's soft-hued complexion and peaches-and-cream colour make for certain eye-candy. Right from the very first pour a delicate haze persists, much like the egg-shell meringue that was whipped up as well. The lacing it leaves, on the other hand, washes away easily. If I wasn't all that thirsty going into this I sure as hell am now.

It smells like the liquid equivalent of my eighth grade shop class and the produce section of the local supermarket amalgamated into one profuse and uniquely fragrant bouquet. I find normal Un*Earthly more resiny than fruity, although there's no shortage of the exotic and the tropical here. It's equal parts coconut and cedar shavings.

Wood aging and excess hops make for a beer that tastes like it was brewed deep in the jungle primeval by the inmates of a Guatemalan insane asylum. It is bursting at the seams with ripe cantaloupe, lush honeydew, the juice of fresh lemons, Gran Marnier macerated tangerine wedges and streams of lychee liqueur. This thing is hemorrhaging hops.

And it has about as much maltiness as rice does colour; any presence of biscuity sweet pale malts is tissue thin. That's not normally a good thing but in this case I'm grateful, it allows all the complexities and nuances of the wood aging to really be noticed, a lavish vanilla flavour, sumptuous butter and a mix of spice and sawdust included among them.

The oak also teases out highly distinctive notes of lemon custard, key-lime pie and meringue. The mouthfeel is distinguishably creamy and on the palate resembles a buttery chardonnay more than a beer. The drying, foamy, lightly bubbled texture is accentuated by a fleecy, spry mintyness that intensifies the feel.

It's possible I'll eventually become jaded from overexposure to oaked DIPAs as I have with Imperial Stouts. For now, the concept still strikes me as being quite novel and the end product distinctive. The technique definitely lends itself just as well to pale ales as other styles. This example, like the few others I've tried, was both exceptional and enjoyable.

biegaman, Apr 12, 2010
Photo of John_M
3.58/5  rDev -12%

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.

John_M, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of smakawhat
2.25/5  rDev -44.7%

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. No visible bottling date is present from what I can see.

A very even solid amber if cloudy body, with an extremely off yellow and creamy looking head. Head has lots of staying power and retention.

Nose is buttery mostly, but not total diacetyl, but no particularly hop forward.

Maple syrup sugar. Ridiculously sweet. Granular white sugar texture I feel like there should be granuals in my teeth I could pick them out. I can't even talk about any of the other supposed flavors here cause its a syrupy sugar overpowering sensation.

Overall a sugar bomb mess. I would want to say something about the malt presence or god forbid..maybe HOPS?? but this is just like drinking maple syrup. What's the point unless you are diabetic...

smakawhat, Sep 30, 2011
Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +22.9%

rab53, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of tdm168
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

Pours a bright hazy orangish amber with half an inch of dense, thick, off white head that has great retention. The nose is sweet, bready, biscuity with faint citrusy hop aromas. The flavor is heavy malt up front with notes of birthday cake and bread followed by some pineapple notes and finishes with a mildly citrusy, bitter hop character. It has a medium to full body that is very smooth and well carbonated.

This is an awesome beer. For an IPA it's definitely on the malty side but the hops are there and their solid. This is good but there is, in my opinion, little difference from the original.

tdm168, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Kelp, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of Viggo
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

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!

Viggo, Jun 18, 2009
Photo of sendbeer
3.5/5  rDev -14%

sendbeer, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of billab914
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Portsmouth snifter glass. Pours a orange amber color with a small white covering on top. Nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma has Oak and vanilla with a decent amount of sweetness as well. The hops are there in the background but overshadowed by the flavors from the oak. The aroma the oak aging gave it though is very good.

The taste gets a lot of the oaky vanilla flavor from the wood as well, which is very good. The hops are more pronounced in the taste giving it a citrusy flavor. There is also a pretty strong sweet caramely malt backbone to it that is very good.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is very good for 11%, I was surprised when I read the abv on it.

Overall I really enjoyed this one, I'm not sure how old this was but I don't think they have made it lately so I presume the hops could be slightly faded. The flavors the oak gave it though were great, the fact that it was an IPA took a back seat to the oak aging.

billab914, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of Bighuge
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%

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

Bighuge, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%

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.

Beerandraiderfan, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of Zaphog
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Zaphog, Jun 17, 2013
Photo of PEIhop
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

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.

PEIhop, May 29, 2011
Photo of Tone
4.15/5  rDev +2%

Pours a hazy, golden/copper color. 1/4 inch head of a pale tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of hops, sweet malt, alcohol, citrus (apricot), and an earthy aroma. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and thick with a low carbonation level. Tastes of hops, sweet malt, alcohol, citrus, earthy sweetness, and oak/liquor flavor. Overall, a strong brew that is very good.

Tone, Sep 02, 2009
Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,081 ratings.