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

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.

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Ratings: 1,122 |  Reviews: 568
Photo of WalterSobchak
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby amber with a light one finger head, quickly dissipates, no lacing, no cap.
Big pine and floral/citrus notes, a licorice and alcohol
Spicy on the palate with a steady hops and big bitter punch on the back end. Sweet oak notes come through strong as a following flavor.
Complex and balanced, a bit too bitter but the sweet oak makes it worth it. I'm really liking this; complex flavors with a pleasant MF, nice alcohol kick....good stuff.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.05/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of BigAl723
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from my local market. Poured into my Founders KBS snifter while watching the Tigers.

A: Golden and cloudy! Beautiful looking though. Outstanding character just by looking at it. Quarter inch head that is thick and creamy looking.

S: Very earthy and floral smelling. Hops, grapefruits, apples, and wood. This is a very down to earth smelling DIPA. I can't wait to take a sip.

T: Wow! Very interesting taste. Not what I was expecting. Or was it? I'm loving the oak taste. Quite different from the way it smells. Instead of the grapefruit and apples I smelled, the aging in oak really brings out a very delightful vanilla taste. A sweet bitter combination that I really seem to like.

M: Medium to medium heavy mouthfeel. A decent amount of carbonation. Quite heavy in the mouth but it's what I expected out of an oak aged DIPA.

D: This is fairly drinkable but not nearly what I expected. It's a pretty beastly/heavy beer but honestly the taste makes up for it.

Overall, another BIG beer from Southern Tier. That seems to be their thing. A good beer that I would like to try again.

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Photo of UA8
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear copper with off white head.

S- Leads with, you guessed it OAK! Semi-sweet malts and floral hops round out the nose.

T- Leads with caramel malts and OAK, finishes with citrus and floral hops.

M- Medium low carbonation, nice and round.

D- The oak adds nice accents to an already solid beer. Definitely worth a try.

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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 tryemdad
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Golden copper pour into my Long Trail "Plant a Tree" pint glass. Smell of slightly burnt sugar, with deep citrus notes.

Drinks smooth, faint booze. Lot's of vanilla...maybe sugar cookie. Thick and rich....really excellent. Much more mellow than the non-aged Unearthly - which remains one of my favs. I don't remember liking this as much the last time I had it - maybe a year ago. Highly recommend it if available...I'll be picking up more!

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Photo of kiddynamite920
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: 22 oz bottle into a tulip. Love the head retention that Southern Tier creates in all of their beers. Pours a dark copper, nearing red. Hints of brown. Sure looks oak aged.

S: Has a nice fruity, malty aroma. Begins to resemble a barleywine. Oak is very nice and smooth and the hops are on the back end. No alcohol aroma, which is very nice. Smells like a big malty DIPA with a smooth character of oak throughout.

T: Outstanding. Has a malty, barleywine flavor just as the nose had the aroma. Also has good crispness and bite from the hops. Again, no bite from the alcohol. Great yeasty flavor though, I could see this one aging nicely. Similar to Burton Baton in a way.

M: Kind of reverse of what a DIPA should be as far as mouthfeel. Has the feel of an English Barleywine, too malty and not enough bite from the hops. Certainly a different take on the style but it lacks that punch that an imperial IPA should have as far as hops go.

D: Drinks very smooth, as most ST beers do in my opinion. They all tend to have a great creaminess. Drinks like a barleywine, and I know this style is often considered as such but...way too malty.

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Photo of jera1350
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours into an oversized wine glass a golden orange with half finger light cream colored head. Minimal lacing. Sweet caramel malt and citrusy hops on the nose. Taste is big sweet roasted malt by oaky citrus hops. Complex and leaves an oaky, slightly bitter aftertaste. Medium bodied, creamy, silk mouthfeel. Good drinkability for a beer with this ABV.

Much like regular unearthly with the addition of some oak. Worth a try, another solid beer from ST.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber. no date. poured into tulip. tasted in mid/late april 2009

clear, deep copper amber. 2-finger light beige head doesn't fade easily, eventually a wispy, foamy thin layer and ring. decent lacing.

aroma: fresh citrus rind, hint of fresh pine, and a nice oaky vanilla sweetness into caramel and subtler apple tones. more hint of citrus, but light.

taste: ever so slightly less hoppy than the regular. not a perfect melding, but the oak and vanilla really are mixing with the fruit and caramel sweetness, and "do battle" with the hops. moderate to bold bitterness, with the oak, vanilla and caramel also revealing a faint diacetyl and phenols in the finish.

medium body, smooth, lightly syrupy upfront, then lots of resins and astringency later. moderate carbonation has moments of tingle, and actually gives structure.

sweetness of malt, citrusy hops and oaky vanilla can become almost cloying and cut down on drinkability. otherwise, an interesting experiment.

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Photo of skrib09
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a burnt orange color, pretty hazy, with a head of something you would normally see with ipas.

smell is woody pine and citrus.

taste up front is hop and the oak flavors come up with it. a mild balance comes through and i can hint at some malt backbone. plenty of pine and wood from the oak aging.

really smooth mouthfeel that attributes to good drinkability even though it's imperial.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.05/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears dark, almost orange amber, with a light haze and lots of carbonation under a light beige frothy head that turns creamy, never actually dissipating as it coats a IIPA pint glass with lacing.
A mix of orange and grapefruit with some mint up front. There is caramel as it warms, possibly even the oak as advertised.

Strong flavorful hops are combined with bitterness. However, this is balanced for an IIPA. Oak is present as is black tea. There is some honey in a lingering finish.

The alcohol is well controlled in this full bodied beer with a velvety texture, lively carbonation, and drying finish.

This is a thirst quenching compliment to almost any occasion and is probably best with mild foods.

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Photo of larryi86
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured snifter

A- A clear light amber/orange color with a 2 finger head that fades quickly.

S- Mainly just a sweet oak smell with an earthy citrus note. A little on the weak side.

T- Very earthy, the fact that it is oak aged stands out. Under the earthy/bitter flavors are hints of citrus and sweet caramel notes.

M- Smooth and a little on the heavy side.

D- For an oak aged beer it is surprisingly refreshing, and the 11% ABV is well hidden. This is not something I would want to drink all the time, but I will grab a bomber when I am in the craving for it.

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Photo of nickthetick
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: a nice neutral cedar/golden color but not a lot of head. Not even enough to get a good color description or leave a bit of lacing. Poured into duvel tulip.

S: wood and pine right away with a hint of citrus backing. A slight malt hint that gives it a biscuit note in the end.

T: a lot of pine and resin flavor from the hops, a nice citrus note. There is a biscuit sweet malt quality that is not there as much in the nose. The alcohol is present but not overly so.

MF: thick body and extremely oily and viscous. The alcohol warms a bit and its only slightly effervescent.

D: its a good beer and a wonderful hop bomb with a lot of character but an unpleasant mouth feel cuts down on the drink ability as does the rareness and price. I would pick it up again if I saw it but I'm not going to be in any rush to go way out of my way in search of it.

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Photo of Kromes
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A hazy copper color with a thin off-white head and lacing down the glass.

S: Oak, vanilla, toasted malt and citrus hops.

T: The oak and vanilla flavors are very strong up front. They add an almost butterscotch flavor to the beer when mixed with the toasted caramel malt. The finish is oak, caramel, alcohol, and mellow citrus hop.

M: A bit on the heavy side, oily and syrupy. Carbonation is light.

O: A good oak aged IPA. The oak gives it a unique flavor, but I would much rather have the hop overpower the oak.

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Photo of Phelps
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my Bruery tulip. Thanks go out to CooperEllis for sending this one my way.

Looks: a beautiful bright copper, slightly chill-hazed, with a negligible half-finger head of light khaki that fizzes out quickly to a tiny ring plus film.

Smells: sugary. Belgian candy sugar, caramel, overripe oranges, limes, orange blossoms, lilac, grass and a tiny bit of fresh oak. It's almost barleywine-like. Very, very nice.

Tastes: unexpected. Lime, orange peel, honey, and a heavy quality of wooden, vanilla oakiness. A clean finish with a slight lingering bitterness.

Feels: very, very low carbonation. Medium-light-bodied, velvety and nice. A warming alcohol rides down into the stomach.

Drinks: like a very flavorful and different IPA. The wood-aging adds an interesting aspect. I can dig it.

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Photo of Seeker41184
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Date Drunk: 12/25/10

Bomber into pint glass

Grapefruit and candy smell on this beer. Velvety smooth taste with slight hops present. Needs some more hops,but this beer is closer to 120 Min then 90 Min on the texture and overall taste. Overall, I recommend buying this anytime you see it.

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Photo of JimmieFrisbee
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from 22 oz. bottle. Nice golden color, hints of orange or bronze, some bubbles rising to the top. Good head with the pour, starts to diminish some but looks like its going to last... just off white, goldish.

Smells nice and hoppy... a little bit of bitterness and earthier hops, but also a fair amount of fruity hop sweetness. Maybe a little bit of a pine smell in there too for good measure.

The piney hops come through first, almost a little disappointing as I was hoping for more of that fruitiness. Lots of carbonation on the tongue, not overly harsh but could be a little less. Fruity hops do come through in the finish. To me, that's where the real enjoyment of this beer lies... about two seconds after each sip, you really get that wonderfully fruity hop flavor. It only lingers for a few more seconds so you have to go back for another sip if you want some more.

Incredibly drinkable, not getting any of the 11% ABV in the flavor, unless it is contributing to that slight carbonation roughness.

I'm a little bit disappointed as it isn't as good this time around as it was when I got a free 2 oz. sample last week, but maybe it will improve as it warms a bit. I only let it sit out of the fridge about 10 minutes before pouring.

* Yes, as it warmed, it was a little less piney up front, must have been getting more of the malt. Also a little less carbonated, but I think I could ALMOST begin to sense the alcohol. Still not off-putting. Very, very good, but just short of great.

** Also, I should note I have not tried the non-oak aged version and therefore can't make a comparison.

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Photo of jamescain
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a sniffer, thanks to StoneBrewFanatic for shipping this one back from NY and for texasclimber for sharing it.

Appearance: Clear orange-copper with a white head about a finger thick that slowly recedes into a thin lacing over the top of the beer.

Aroma: Pungent piney and citrus hops with a nice malt backbone peaking through offset by a subtle oaky-vanilla aroma.

Taste: Pine, grapefruit, citrus with a touch of vanilla and a nice bready malt body.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and boozy. Medium body with medium carbonation and pretty hot.

Overall: At first this beer is pretty drinkable, albit hoppy, but then it transforms into a boozy mess as it warms up.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bomber into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a nice, deep, slightly hazy orange body, topped with barely a quarter inch of pale tan foam that dissipates almost instantly, leaving some fine lacing; almost no carbonation rising through the body. Great color, but not as much effervescence as I'd like (and yes, I realize that a beer this high in ABV is expected to be a little flatter - but this goes too far).

S: No real surprises here: an oaked DIPA smells like hops (mainly citrus, with some floral undertones) and wood (almost sawdust). There's a certain attribute to the oak aroma that I'm having trouble pinning down...tannin? I'm definitely getting some reminders of dark fortified wine. Interesting.

T: Some hops up front, followed by lots of chewy oak. The vanilla from the wood goes nicely with the tiny bit of malt sweetness that shows through, and everything teams up for a rich bitter finish. The vinous character is still there, but more subdued than it was in the nose. A surprising (and welcome) balance is struck among all the major flavors, with the substantial ABV only making itself known at the finish. Quite complex and enjoyable.

M: Medium-bodied and, due to the low carbonation, a bit on the syrupy side. This could definitely use a little more life. I suppose an 11% DIPA isn't exactly supposed to explode into a huge head, but this is dangerously close to flat.

D: While this is obviously worlds away from a session beer, it's actually quite drinkable for its style. Any brewer who can make beer that combines huge, disparate flavors; an insane ABV; and this much balance and drinkability is to be commended.

Notes: I'm a huge fan of Unearthly, and was very excited to try its big brother. Overall, I wasn't disappointed, but in the future I'll probably stick with the original. Since both are balanced, I don't really need the assertive oak further distracting from the hop profile. Much like the Great Divide 15th, I felt that this beer let the oak play a bit to dominant of a role, taking away from the real heart and soul of the style. For oak complexity that doesn't distract from a beer, give me Burton Baton any day.


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Photo of scootny
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An interesting counterpart to the regular version. Slightly lighter in color than Unearthly with some faint cloudiness. That would make it a pale copper. A nice head with good retention and pretty lacing. No visible carbonation.

Smell is just great. Not better but different. Rich caramel sweetness and deep piney hops. A deep yeasty breadiness and tropical fruitiness. Faint oak dryness that tightens up what is otherwise a broad and expansive nose in its unoaked brother.

Taste is an extension of the oak driven dryness in the nose. The wonderful balance that is a hallmark of the Unearthly is still there but it is more west coasty in the reigning in of the huge caramel malt backbone. The oak is a subtle and wonderfully delicious component. The tropical mango and pineapple blend is still there. The hops are showcased a bit more in the grapefruit and bitterness which is a nice change. Feel is somewhat heavier. A very full weight to it that leads you to keep it on your tongue like a single malt scotch. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability is not quite like its brother. The heavier feel makes this one a candidate for smaller pours and savoring sips from the suggested fluted glass instead if the tulip tumbler I usually use for IPA/DIPAs.

A nice change-up. I prefer the more drinkable regular version but this one is nice for sipping with friends after a good meal instead of an RIS.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of my local drinking buddies invited me over for an afternoon of tippling with him and his wife this past summer since she and I were both off work as teachers and he had a free afternoon. These are the results.

Jeff poured a beautiful one-and-a-half finger cap of medium-tan head that evidenced great retention. Nose was VERY caramel with an underlay of oakiness. Color was a deep-amber with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was medium with notes of black pepper, caramel, wood, and charcoal. No hops?!? Zounds! Finish started with as much caramel flavor as a Sugar Daddy before giving 'way to an oaky-vanilla flavor. Whew.

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Photo of PhxHorn
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a beautiful red copper color with one finger of white head. No lacing to speak of. Smells of citrus and candy. Tastes of citrus, mainly orange marmalade with a mild bitter finish. The flavor is a bit one-dimensional, but it's pleasant enough. Mouthfeel is a bit sticky, but it's a good citrusy feel for this style. Not a masterpiece--could have used some more complexity, but still a fine example of the style.

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Photo of saintwarrick
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear reddish-orange with a light brown foamy head. Head quickly fades to a thin cap on top of the beer. Moderately active carbonation bubbles rising to the top.

S - Earthy and citrusy hops mixed with a little wood. Some grpaefruit and a little lemon zest. Also some piney notes as the beer warms. Alcohol is also noticeable in the nose.

T - CItrusy hops with a nice backing of oak are the intitial flavors. A stronger sweetness of sweet bread and vanilla come in mid drink. Remains sweet through the finish with a light bitter backing. The oak aging really comes through on this one with mellowed hoppiness and a big sweetness.

M/D - Medium to full bodied and very sticky. The sweetness lingers with you. Moderate carbonation. Alcohol provides a light warming but is pretty well masked.

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Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.05 out of 5 based on 1,122 ratings.
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