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)
1,122 Ratings
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 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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,122 |  Reviews: 568
Photo of HeyItsChili
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. Pours clear amber/golden with a creamy, thin white head.

S - Piny, oaky, complex hoppy punch.

T - Hoppy, oaky, vanilla and bourbony. Spicy, raw pine finish that fades out to a tart aftertaste.

M - Silky, decent carbonation. Medium bodied.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of WeymouthMike
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beer pours a gorgeous amber with a good inch plus solid white head.

Smell is reminiscent of Seagrams 7 whiskey.

Taste again is headed by the whiskey, followed by a smokey vanilla.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a slight alcohol bitterness on the finish

Drinkability, well I drank one over a 4 hour period. I much prefer the original un-oaked version.

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Photo of skrib09
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
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 alexgash
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle with glittery label.

Mostly clear golden peach with lighter edges. Tall, thick, foamy, light beige head. Great lacing. Nose is a nice mix of hops, oak, and sugary malt. Big, juicy pineapple, tangerine, grapefruit, and pine resin. Light bourbon-y oak with a whiff of vanilla. Sugar-dusted malts.

Tannin-like bitterness up front. Slightly boozy, sweet fruity malts come in strong. Definite oaky foundation. Big pineapple and tropical fruit swell as the hop bitterness takes over the second half. Lots of orange marmalade, grapefruit, and pine resin in the finish. Warming, with a nice lingering citrus hop taste, with oak in the background. Full-bodied with a very creamy smooth, cask-y carbonation. Very nice!

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Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle served in my Southern Tier Tulip. Poured a translucent orange-gold with a half inch tight off-white cap. Copious tiny bubbles evident effervescing in solution. Thick swaths of heavy lacing coated the glass during the tasting. Big nose - oak, vanilla and sweet grapefruit. Taste follows nose; however, the oak character really pronounces itself as it smooths out the finish. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a pleasant and consistent level of carbonation from sip to swallow. This is one interesting DIPA. I have to say that my preference is for the standard Unearthly, but this is so complex and interesting that it is well worth your time.

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Photo of raverjames
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just purchased this gem from the Charleston Beer Exchange (my favorite store).

Pours into my Maudite glass with a 1" head. This subsides to a light white lacing. This oaked DIPA is free from any haze and light copper in color.
The smell is of light earthy hops, vanilla, and caramel.
Taste is wonderful. More earthy hop flavor and light vanilla with a hint of charred oak.
Every sip is full of smooth bitterness. This beer goes down easily and does not give you a heavy feeling.

I think this is a delightful beverage that definitely ranks up there with oaked arrogant bastard.

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Photo of TheMistler
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light, clear copper brown with a white head displaying good retention. Very sticky lacing.

A seemingly mellowed DIPA aroma. Citrusy. Hints of vanilla. Sharp end. A good amount of sweetness, too. Biscuit dough malt. Ethanol undercurrent throughout, but only after the beer has warmed a little bit.

Nice creamy vanilla, with pine for the initial hop presence, re-asserting itself in the resin-y aftertaste. Some wood tannins play with the vanilla. Citrus - orange, building to grapefruit. Seemingly a bit of honey.

A smoother an very creamy brew, becoming more chewy as it warms. it's a meal. Pretty thick, with rather subdued carbonation. A very nice, tasty sipper - but an investment of tasting resources, if you will.

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Photo of brushtachio
3.16/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Wow. I'm really surprised by this ale. I love regular Unearthly but this version seems forced. The oak aging dilutes the hoppy goodness, replaces it with a woody, vanilla, oak profile. In the process, the whole beer suffers.

Nose bears very little resemblance to a IIPA. Instead of hops there is wood, vanilla, pepper, cinnamon. All of these elements carry over to the taste along with the expected Unearthly sweetness. But with the diminished hops, it ends up being a little one sided. I wonder if this beer is suffering (ratingwise) because I am judging it to style or comparing it mentally to the regular Unearthly. If I approached it as a hopped up Barlywine a la SN Bigfoot, would I appreciate it more?

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Photo of adamdotson
4.64/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. This is delicious.

Nice amber color. Very clear. Smells most strong of clementines and wood. A very sweet smelling double ipa. Also very christmas treeish.(pine)

Spicy hop flavor. Also taste the orange flavor. Strong, pleasurable bitterness. kind of reminds me of gin.

COats your tounge with yummy viscous bittersweet syrup. Lingers on the pallate nicely. I love this one.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally Albany gets a Southern Tier release on time!

A: Really great looking beer. A nice looking amber color. A shade or two darker than normal unearthly.Decent lacing. Not as good as the normal version.

S: Really great nose. Very pungent hop nose right up front. The oak is there and they really work well together. No hint of the malt at all that is totally drowned out by the oak.

T: Really a well balanced beer. The hops are there and are strong but are tempered by the oak. A little bit of sweetness is there. Sometimes unearthly can have a little bit of a boozy taste which I enjoy. This version cuts that out entirely.

M: Much creamier a mouthfeel. Regular version is a little thick and syrupy. This is a dream on your tongue.

D: I liked this beer quite a bit. I would not suggest aging this one as the hops are so enjoyable right now. Drinks way easier than it should at 11%. Another winner from Southern Tier.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a bright clear amber orange with a thin off-white head.

Aroma of grapefruit, pineapple, pine, plenty of oak, and some booze.

A big blast of orange and lemon up front, with caramel malts, candy sugar, honey, and oak right behind. The 11% alcohol definitely shows it's teeth in this one.

Medium bodied, quite sticky, and moderately carbonated.

A big beer - kind of reminds me of a barleywine in look and taste. I like it but a bomber is really more than I care to handle in a sitting.

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Photo of ATPete
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle
my 400th review!

Pours a pretty transparent amber orange color with a medium sized peachy tinted head. Im surprised how much hop comes through in the nose, good malt sweetness and a hint of oak as well. Big flavor, sweet malt, lots of hops, notes of grapefruit, peach and apricot. The centenial dry hopping really shines through nicely. The aftertaste is still lingering with me and its been about 10 minutes since my last sip. Full bodied with light carbonation and the 11% ABV is no where to be found, this one is a killer, one of the best from Southern Tier i've ever had. Keep this one coming!

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Photo of StrangeBrewer76
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured crystal clear copper into a tulip glass, nice white ring of foam with solid sticky lacing.

For being un-earthly I get a rich earthy smell in the nose. Slightly spicy but a lot like carrot if you can believe that.

Tastes a bit like carrot too. This is not a bad thing. There is a vegetable sweetness that is new in beers to me. It must be from the red wheat. Very interesting, very enjoyable. The hops are mellowed out by the oak aging process.

I really like the mouthfeel. Carbonation is light, medium body and the hop bitterness is a little prickly toward the end.

As with most imperial offerings, drinkability suffers a bit with the higher density and ABV. I can easily finish this one but a second one is entirely out of the question, even if this was my first beer and I was planning on drinking more. I would get something lighter.

I plan to go grab a few more of these to share with others and keep for myself. I'm wondering if it will age well. Perhaps we'll see.

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This is my first oak aged Double IPA. Shared with my buddy Dave today and reviewed on the fly. New shiny label with a hops cone wearing a crown.

Pours into my cab glass a clear amber with brassy edges. White creamy head which dissipates quickly leaving a chunky, bubbly halo and fine mist of surface foam.

Smells of big, piney hops and wood (ie, oak!) and light vanilla. The nose is big and potent on this one. Very interesting...

Medium bodied and medium to full flavored. Compared to their regular Unearthly, the hops are muted, but still there. The woodiness definitely places a role in this one. The woody aroma carries over into the mouth. Kinda reminds me of a hoppier version of their ST Cuvee #1 (which sadly, I wasn't a big fan of).

Ordinarily, I enjoy this beer for it's hops presence, and I'm not a big fan of this interpretation. Sorry!

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Photo of John_M
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
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 Bierguy5
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle, 11% ABV. Pours a clear amber color, with a nice white fluffy head. Head retention is very good, especially when considering the size of this beer. A few patches of lace remain in the end.

Lots of oak in the nose. Citrusy and piney hop aroma, with a whif of vanilla. A bit of alcohol in the nose as well, but it all ties in very nicely.

Lots of oak up front, but not overwhelming. Some caramel, but the tannins dry things up a bit. Good blast of hops in piney form, but subdued slightly from the oak.

A bit of warming alcohol. Medium body, with a good amount of carbonation. Well done with the oak aging on this one. Very nice.

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Photo of jdoncbus
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up yesterday at Kenny Rd. Market. Poured into La Fin Du Monde fluted tulip, color is a darker burnt orange, sparse carbonation, finger sized head that reduces quickly and leves some polka dots on the glass.

Aroma is a nice whiff of oak, not overpowering, with pine and mild citrus. Sweet toasted grain accompanied by some peppery spice, quite balanced and surprisingly, I smell little alcohol (11% - yow!).

Velvety smooth as the beer hits the palate; so nice. The caramel malt appears with a touch of honey and oaked goodness. The pine takes over along with some citrus hop flavors, a definite hop explosion. My throat is left a bit numb from the hop presence and the espophagus stands at attention with a boozy warmth. I am not left as dry as many DIPAs but with a slight, filmy glaze.

Another reason to have a man-crush on Southern Tier, this beer is fantastic. The more oak aged (sans the bourbon) brews I have, the more I like. The bomber ran $8.99, I guess I better grab a couple before they disappear. Hopheads, grab this one and at 11%...be careful!

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Photo of Yetiman420
4.39/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased and opened days after arriving at my local beer purveyor.

Against ST's recommendation, I poured this one into a 20 oz., 562 Queen's seal imperial pint glass.

Clear copper color and a stable 3/4 finger head that remains consistent.

Aroma smacks you. Good and hard. Hops and oak would be an obvious statement. My notes indicate an amazing floral and woody perfume aroma.

Initial flavor is upfront pine and sweetness. Picking up some nutty and almost coconut flavor in the first couple of sips.

Halfway through the aroma is still delivering.

Silky mouthfeel and some sweetness which I would attribute to vigorous hopping.

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Photo of kirok1999
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slight dark copper with a nice slightly off white head. Lots of lace.
Smells much like Unearthly with just a hint of wood. This bodes well for a beer that hasn't had the living hell beaten out of it with an oak baseball bat.
Wow! This is exactly what oak should do to a beer. Tastes massively sweet with just a hint of oak chips. Just enough to make it a more interesting beer than the regular. It gets much better as it warms and it was served pretty warm to begin with.
Feels smooth and creamy. Very drinkable as the taste is just friggin delicious. The alcohol is barely noticable so be careful, it can sneak up on you.

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Photo of mcallister
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Copper colored very deep hues with a thick slightly off white head that has spectacular length especially for the ABV. A damn thick rocky lace bubbly as hell as well. Nice!!

Nic aromas of oak coming through showing hints of vanilla. Very well balanced with piney hops still showing through nicely and the malt character un-earthly is known for. Oddly a hint of mint in there.

Southern tier definitely did right with the oak aging on this one. I'm sure it's chips but this bad boy is spot on on length of time the beer and wood meant. Soft wood tannins and great hop bitterness. Really round in the middle with a refreshing essence similar to when eating a cucumber. (Tastes nothing like cucumber). Alcohol is nowhere to be found. Creamy and long lived. To refreshing for the ABV really and hard to not pound. Hopefully this will sell out before summe arrives or I may be drunk until it's gone.

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Photo of Morey
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 22oz bomber this stellar brownish-orange brew produced an impressive head of about three fingers or so (I did pour it fairly aggressive though).

Like most other Southern Tier beers the head has some impressive clinging action. Smells of oak make the aroma of this different from your standard unearthly (similar to some liquors) and it may be a touch darker in color too.

The flavors that you get from the oak are pleasent, but it does tend to hide the hops a bit more than the original.

As far as the mouthfeel goes, I'm always impressed with Southen Tier (especially their imperial offerings). Very silky smooth followed by flavors from the aging process, and finally the hops finish thing off.

Drinkability is very impressive for 11%, but still, it's 11% and the oak flavor is good, but I probably couldn't drink more than one bomber.

Morey's Bottom Line: Another impressive beer from Southern Tier. They have more quality beer than any other brewery that I know of...Unearthly, Gemini, Hoppe, Old Man, Big Red, Choklat, and now Oak Aged Unearthly!

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Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 1,122 ratings