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)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States
southerntierbrewing.com

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,122
Reviews:
568
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
12.59%
 
 
Wants:
67
Gots:
76
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,122 |  Reviews: 568
Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

 382 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: two finger thick head on a clear amber with crimson hues body.

S: oak, vanilla, earthy/citrus hops and a little booze.

T: the addition of the oak makes the malts in this one stand out even more verging on the candied fruit and breadiness of a barleywine. The hops are down played more in this one due to the woody presence but still contribute nicely.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation. smoother than I expected.

Overall: The oak/wood is fairly strong and this one takes a few sips to get used too. The barleywine-like flavors also make the booze stronger affecting drinkability but it is still a nice one to try.

 626 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tieman for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, alcohol, herbal hops, and a slight wood aroma. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and a mild hop bitterness with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Knapp85
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not much a huge difference here between this brew and the non-barrel aged actually. This beer pours out of the bottle with the same beautiful copper color with just about the same amount of head. The lacing is a little bit less on this one. The smell is still hoppy but has just a slighty earthy note to it now. The taste isn't much different, the hoppy citrus flavors still dominate the brew and in the faint aftertaste there is a wooden flavor that comes through. The mouthfeel is a little softer now, the tingle has been muted a bit. Overall, I'll take the orginal over this one. However, this is still a pretty good brew.

 625 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear orange in color and poured with a thin off-white head.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of grapefruit in the nose.
T: The hops lend flavors of grapefruit to the taste, although these are well balanced by the underlying malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is relatively easy to drink because the hops are not overpowering and the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

 465 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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

Boy is this beer a whollop to the senses. Agressive on all fronts.

Big aromas of citrusy, piney hops dominate the nose. The malts struggle to give a sugary sweetness with caramel and worty aromas. Esters of pineapple, cherries, peaches, and pears come out of the candied hop scents. Light woodsy, nutty aromas- too light for a beer that brags on oak aging.

The appearance is a straight-up golden, amber hue with light carbonation, firm but light on head formation. Reduces to a froathy film ontop of the beer. Light lacing. Low rates of foam is partially due to high alcohols and oak aging.

Flavors are sugary and caramelly- very high sweetness to combat the on-slaught of hop puree. Pine and citrus give a huge juicy burst of flavors that run the gammot: grapefruit, pineapple, orange zest, pine, lemon zest, and fresh cut grass. Esters give even more complexity with fresh tropical fruits: appricots, mangos, pineapples, oranges, cherries, and apples. Light on phenols, but the high alcohols give an ethanol taste that I could live without. Again, the wood flavors and nutty notes pale up against the strong malts and hops.

With such boldness in flavor, the mouthfeel suffers. Initially sticky-sweet, mouth-coating sugary malts begin to warm with the fusal alcohols and eventually rise to caugh-syrup proportions. Hop bitterness never crispen the beer like good IPA's do because of the confectionate cloyness. Though very full, rich, and appetizing, the maltiness result in oily, hot, and abrasive textures. The oak aging seems to take the rough edges off the beer, but not enough.

With most other beers that try to match intense hop flavors with a presumed balance of malts, the result is not balance, but conflict. When everything stands out, then nothing stands out. Still a pleasure to drink. But with so many opportunities missed, it's quite a shame.

 1,862 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unearthly is a great IPA, and i've enjoyed the few oaked IPAs i've had in the past...

This pours a bright jeweled amber, with a short foam cap. Lacing is pretty good, and it retains a slightly broken skim on the surface.

Amazing nose...melon, cantaloupe, rhubarb, ripe banana sweetness, orange zest, skunky hops, buttery oak. Like a wooden barrel full of some ungodly melange of turbo-charged fruit cocktail. Not in the alcoholic sense, more just in it's unique pungency. You can get lost in it easily, which is no small feat.

More cantaloupe and ripe banana in the flavor, some light bitterness, but with the buttery sweet finish, it feels more like an English strong ale or something. Leafy hops in the aftertaste, sort of steamrolled by the sugar and oak. Mildly drying, oak is noticeable in the finish. Low carbonation, sort of syrupy. A sipper for sure, and a really interesting experiment that could use a tiny bit of tweaking.

 937 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep cloudy orangey color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention and not much lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with some floral and citrus hops also thrown in the mix. Taste is much similar to a barleywine then an imperial IPA with dominating sweet malt with a very light oak and a floral bitter finish. Body is quite full with limited filtration and no much carbonation. I honestly think the regular version is better.

 443 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with almost no head. There were some white bubbles but no lacing to speak of.

S - Aromas of bourbon, vanilla, roasted malt and some citrus hops.

T - Probably one of the most balanced oak aged IPAs that I've had to date. Nothing overpowers you - bourbon, oak, vanilla, sweet malt, caramel, citrusy hops and a touch of bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and very smooth. A medium bodied ale with a potent alcohol warmth.

D - This is a really well done oak aged brew. It delivers big flavors without being overbearing or over-the-top.

 573 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

 1,437 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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

 832 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

G: Poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Pours a bright orange-amber color with a decent off-white head. Plenty of carbonation on the surface of the head, but not much in the beer itself, which is nearly transparent.

S: Absolutely delightful. The oak definitely comes through alongside an overpowering hop presence--fruits are definitely present, with the biggest one being perhaps apricot.

T: An overpowering bitterness--the 100+ IBU's definitely make themselves known. A light touch of the oak is available underneath. Relatively sweet.

M: Medium-bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Goes down smooth without much alcohol presence given the high ABV.

D: Drinkable, but a little too unbalanced to warrant having this one very often. While there's nothing I like better than a good hop bomb, I'd prefer to have one that's a little more balanced than this.

 867 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured with a small head of white foam on a perfectly clear, dark-copper colored body. The foam settles quickly and leaves light lace on the glass.

S - Strong floral hops with a but of pepper and citrus in the background. The hops are complimented by sweet toffee malt and lots of oaky vanilla.

T - Sharp, some what sour pine hop flavors up front with lots of soft vanilla and toast from the oak. Some sweet malt peeks out from behind the intense vanilla in the middle, along with a spicy pepper note composed of both hops and alcohol. The beer finishes with more peppery hop flavor and a wave of vanilla and toffee that is balanced by strong, blunt bitterness.

M - A thick body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - This beer smells phenomenal, but the flavor just isn't on the same level. The hops and oak work together wonderfully in the noise, but both are harsher in the flavor profile and seem to be muddied by the thick malt. It is a but more drinkable than regular Unearthly, but I still prefer 2xIPA, which is both lighter in color and alcohol which allows the hops to shine in a way that they simply can't here.

 1,147 characters

Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with great clarity into a imperial nonic a deep burnt orange color with a frothy two finger slight off white head atop,a mix of vanilla/oak and big citric hop with the hops given the slight edge,a tinge of alcohol comes thru as well.The oak isnt to big wich is a good thing for me leaving the great complex hop profile that I love about the standard version to be the main component of the beer.Big citric piney hop with some herbalness,the oak flavors come in the finish.Everything seems to be getting oaked these days not sure if a DIPA should be oaked,this was still pretty damn good.

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

Well here's a treat, to review Unearthly and Oak-Aged Unearthly side by side; and all 44 ounces are mine!

Both appear pretty much the same, except that the oak-aged version is clearer, and thus appears to the eye to be just a slight touch darker (there's no yeast in it to reflect light back at you). Other than that, they deliver a deep amber body that has an orange cast to it, and glimmering golden highlights at the base of the glass. The finger-thick, off-white head is creamy and holds pretty well. The original leaves short, creamy mountains of lace rising up above the surface. The oak-aged leaves sheets of thinner, craggy lace that sticks to the glass and stays, where as the original version tends to slide down to near to the level of the head as it goes. Overall I'd guess I'd have to say that the original version has a bit of a better head, but that the clarity of the oak-aged version is generally more enticing.

In the nose, the original Unearthly is decidedly caramelish and malty with notes of pine/spruce and citrusy, and a bit of grassiness and leafiness as well. It's bold and bright, and somewhat sweetish.

The oak-aged version displays some subtle oak (which I kind of didn't expect), along with fruity and citrusy notes; and it's dryer with much less maltiness. I also get a little more grapefruit out of the oak-aged, and some lemon and what I think of as something like a tomato plant - it's vegetal, but in a good way... grassy I guess. And I get more spruce than pine.

As expected, in the flavor the standard version wraps piney, grassy, floral and citrusy hops in a rich blanket of bready and gently caramelish and honey-like malt. The oak-aged version also follows what its aroma suggests, and it's dryer and more fruity, although some raspy pine does appear in the finish. The woody touch is nice. I should also note, however, that even though the original is a bit sweetish, it still finishes fairly dry, with just a hint of doughy malt lingering, and it doesn't build on the palate.

Interesting! They're really like two different beers. The original version is very wide in its flavor profile, whereas the oak-aged is more focused, but with perhaps a touch more depth. Hmmmm....

The mouthfeel for each beer is a little bit different as well, with the original Unearthly displaying a more dextrinous body.

Oddly, both beers display the same bitterness to me, despite the fact that I find the fuller maltiness of the original to be sweeter, and the oak-aged to be drier. The bitterness somehow remains the same.

Both beers have their own charms in the end, and I again have to reiterate how different they really are. I like the fuller mouthfeel of the original, and its bready malt and bolder hop flavors. But I also like the fruitiness and dryness of the oak-aged version, and because of that I think I'd find it a little more drinkable in the long-run (although it seems to have just a little bit more alcohol to it as well). And on that note, perhaps the extra aging time, and surface contact with the oak allowed it to ferment out a bit more. Just a theory.

Conclusion: both versions are really good beers that don't overstep their bounds with too much maltiness, too much bitterness, or too much hop flavor - and yet all of those are present in abundance. Nicely balanced. Nicely rounded. Nicely drinkable. Certainly worth trying!

 3,377 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -25.9%

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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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