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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Reviews: 568 | Ratings: 1,122
Photo of hsway
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into three small goblets.

a: A nice reddish amber with lingering off-white head.

t: The oakiness really comes through, adding a sweetness to an otherwise very hoppy beer. Piney and resiny.

d: Despite a high ABV, this was very easy to sip.

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Photo of kmeves
3.74/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a medium off-white head that quickly disappears. Aroma is moderately sweet with grapefruit, caramel, juniper berries, light oak and pineapple. Flavor is caramel, citrus, pineapple, grapefruit and light oak. Sticky texture, medium to full body. Finishes dry with a slight alcohol burn.

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Photo of erosier
4.67/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a nice amber-orange color with a tall and thick white colored head that laces the glass very nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet malts, a nice big earthy/floral/piney aroma, and then a hint of something sweet and oaky.
T: Tastes like the nose with a nice big malt backbone and then a huge piney/earthy/floral hop aroma but finishes very smooth with some oak at then end. WOW is all I can say.
M: Very smooth, warming, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable, especially for an 11%abv beer. All the flavors mixed really well and the oak was the perfect cherry on top. I finished the bomber in no time that's for sure.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was thrilled to see these on the shelf at whole foods yesterday, so you just know I had to pick one up. Served out of the fridge and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/07/2009.

The pour was very nice. Rich amber in color with a nice clarity to it. Head of white foam rose up to about three inches and then sttled down with lots of sticky lace. Rich aroma of piney hops and sweet oak like notes. Really well done here with a very nice balance. Nice notes of vanilla as it warms. The first taste sealed the deal for me. Lots of orange and pine, nice balance with hints of vanilla and woody essence coming through loud and clear. Smooth, medium body with a mellow carbonation and a all but hidden huge ABV profile. I could have drank this one all night, though i started to catch up with me by the end of the bottle.

Overall I was really impressed with this one, One of the best beers I have had from ST and something I will be going back for again and again

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

A: 22 oz. bomber served into a Duvel tulip. Beer is clear and a deep copper orange color with a fluffy 2 finger head of nearly white foam. Average head retention that recedes to a thin cap with some fine lacing around the meniscus and on the sides of the glass.

S: Wow. The oak is definitely heavy on the nose. Smells of sharp fresh cut timbers and sawdust. Underlying notes of hops and a buttery-sweet malt base make for a combination that is at once inviting, intriguing, and vaguely reminiscent of spray propellant and woodworking solvent. As strange as that may sound, it's actually quite pleasant.

T: Perfect balance of sweet caramel malts and citrus & bittering hops. Oak aging becomes more prevalent as beer warms, adding a vanilla bourbon-like layer of complexity to an already terrific beer. The oak reveals a fruity character from the malt, a strong, rich, concentrated citrus flavor. Alcohol is definitely present, but more so as a supporting player than an in-your-face booziness. Qualities imparted by the wood definitely peak as the beer warms. A ton of flavor in here to explore if you take the time to drink it slowly.

M: Mouthfeel is on the medium-bodied side. A bit on the syrupy side due to a lack of a super tight crisp carbonation, but this doesn't really detract from my enjoyment at all.

D/O: By the end of my second glass, the ABV is certainly catching up with me, so this is probably a one-and-done beer. Regardless, this is a phenomenally balanced DIPA that in my opinion borders on a barleywine due to the huge malt bill and high ABV. The oak aging adds a wonderful complement of flavors to a beer that IMO tastes great on its own, too. Definitely one to seek out if you like some vanilla malty sweetness with your bitterness. I'll be laying a bottle down to see what the wood does to this with some age.

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Photo of bamadog
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a bottle a bomber of this with Kels. Overall, I thought it was good, but the oak aging didn't have that much of an overall impression on me. A very nice DIPA in the end with some very nice attributes. Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: light coppery orange in color with a modest 1 finger off-white head that quickly fades to a thin skim that is sticky; very oily residue and lacing on the swirl from all of the hop oils; very mild carbonation and a very clear beer as well with no cloudiness whatsoever.

Smell: Hoppy citrus goodness abounds - a kind of sweeter citrus presence is in there as well (orange or orange peel) and the more ubiquitous bitter grapefruit essence is there, but I would also dare say that there is also a hint of lemon in the scent. I detect a slightly woody scent as well, and a sweet malty backbone is definitely present as well. Very nice.

Taste: Well-balanced between the bitterness from the hops and toasty and sweet maltiness; there is a slight bit of alcohol in the far back of the tasting but overall this goes down very smoothly -- a solid DIPA in the taste department, but I guess I expected something a little different due to the oak aging.

Mouthfeel: Nice, viscous and oily and sticky and it leaves a nice thick coating all over the mouth, especially the roof. God, I love that about a nice D/IPA.

Drinkability: I could easily have drank the bomber on my own. I love a great DIPA and this is certainly a solid choice. The ABV is a bit high, clocking in at 11%, but as long as I'm not driving, I feel I could take a couple of these as it's not especially heavy.


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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.

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

22 ounce bomber bottle purchased at Abe's in Bethlehem for $7. Split with psycohops. Poured into my shaker glass. Appears a mildly hazy deep apricot color with about a finger of tight bone colored head. Minimal lacing sticks to the inside of my glass with each sip. Smells and tastes very strongly of nectarines. Notes of sweet caramelized malt, resinous pine, oak, orange, and grapefruit are also noticeable. Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation. Definitely at my ABV threshold for a DIPA, so it took me a while to sip my way to the bottom of the glass. Made me enjoy the complexities of this beer. Glad I had the chance to try it.

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Photo of deereless
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Thin wispy head, golden copper color - 4.00, S: Strong oak aromas that actually dominate the nose, some subtle hops in the background, lots of tropical fruits, papaya, somewhat buttery - 4.50, T: The hops come through on the tongue, lots of pine with a solid balance of malt, the oak imparts some interesting flavors none the least being a woodiness, the butter smells I picked up on the nose also make an appearance on the palate, alcohol is evident - 4.25, M: Nice silkiness to the beer - 4.25, D: This is one beer where the oak in the name really plays the title role, it is a powerhouse beer but remarkable drinkable even with the high alcohol content, lots of layers to this beer - 4.50

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

22oz bottle at 55 degrees.

Pours dark copper with an orangy hue. Perfect clarity in the body with a quarter inch head of off-white. Retention is shortish and the thin head fell to a mostly placid surface within a couple of minutes. A few dots of lacework but nothing spectacular.

Aromatics lead off with sappy resins, pine dew, ripe malt, boozy citrus, and a hint of oak. The wood aging had rounded out the nose compared to the regular Unearthly, and while this has more finesse, I'm missing the pungent blast I was anticipating.

On the full side of medium bodied, with a sticky, sappy mouthfeel. A bump up in the carbonation level would keep this one from leaning in a syrupy direction.

Ripe citrus, pine resin, boozy undertones, and tacky malt start the palate. Bitterness is firm but not really drying or packing much of a punch. A building warmth follows through with a hint of oaky bourbon-like alcohol.

Finishes with lingering resiny hops and pine, and rounded boozy malt.

Great beer, but I miss the pungent, snappy crispness of a fresh Unearthly.

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Photo of Damian
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from 650 ml./1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bottle
Purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
Drank from a snifter

The beer poured a gorgeous, bright, luminescent, orangey-amber color with absolutely no head.

The aroma was super hoppy, smooth and sweet. Fruity. Tons of tropical fruit (mango and pineapple) and citrus (orange peel) notes. Brown sugar was also noticeable.

The taste was similar to the aroma except perhaps a bit punchier. Lots of semi-sweet caramel malts up front. Citrus notes also came through strong. Bitter orange peel and grapefruit were quite noticeable. Spicy in the center. The finish was dominated by grapefruit. A touch of pine appeared as well. Crisp, dry and semi-bitter.

The mouthfeel was lush, creamy and ultra smooth with a fine, moderate effervescense. Medium-full bodied for the style. After every sip, the liquid left a slightly sticky coating on my lips.

Drinkability was terrific. This beer was incredibly balanced for the style. Additionally, the 11% ABV was remarkably well masked.

Like the original Unearthly, this version is packed with a ton of flavor. My only gripe with this oak-aged brew is that the oak was not at all noticeable. Maybe I need to try this side-by-side with the original to pick up the subtle differences. In any case, fans of balanced (aka "sweeter") DIPA's should most definitely seek out this gem.

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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 NonServiam
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

From a 22oz bottle purchased at Binny's.

The first thing I usually do after I crack a bottle of beer open is to sniff it directly from the bottle. Sometimes the aroma you get is a concentrated preview of what's to come after you pour, and other times the "bottled" aroma is quite distinct from the "poured" aroma. This imperial IPA is an example of the latter case.

The bottled aroma is powerfully spicy and earthy, in a hoppy way, with a sappy sweet and resinous background. It is very reminiscent of the aroma that results from refrigerating marijuana buds in an air-tight container together with a piece of lemon rind.

Once poured, though, the aroma is much less resinous and more dry. The profile of the aroma becomes more complex and less overwhelming. A spicy maltiness, sweet and slightly soily or earthern, is present alongside the vanilla woodiness of oak. There is an occasional "twang" or "sweet-and-sour" to it. The aroma becomes hoppier and more balanced as the beer sits for a while in the glass.

The appearance of the poured beer is fair, but not exceptional. It is a medium honey or orange-ish copper in color, with relatively few jets of carbonation. It is as bright and clear as any filtered beer. It pours with a rather anemic head (despite my best efforts to the contrary) -- about one finger of hoary foam, short lived and thin. The ring that forms around the edge of the glass laces well at first, but after about 15 minutes, it dissipates entirely and laces not at all.

Upon entering the mouth, the flavor is exceptionally malty and big, with a slightly acrid twang and sweetness at first, followed by a hop-spicy, then smooth, oakishness, which recedes to a bitter, dry finish. The mouthfeel is heavenly... silky, creamy, and very gently carbonated. I would say that the overall picture is decently balanced, but a bit too malty, then too hoppy, then too dry as you taste it -- never quite all balanced at once. It is sure to be a skullscrusher... you'll start feeling it less than a quarter of the way through the bottle.

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Photo of pinotboy007
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Bright, clear copper with a rich white cap that descends slowly with a touch of lace.

S - Intriguing. Buttered rum with leather, tea, and hops.

T/M - Oaky hopped goodness. Has a slight bourbon accent with a decent alcohol finish that doesn't burn. Very creamy with soft carbonation.

D - 11%ABV? C'mon! That said, this is a rich ale that would make for a nice after dinner swirl w/cigars or on its own.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.04/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

poured from a bottle into tulip pint. very little head that was light and frothy. very nice retention.

the smell threw me off, waaaay too much vanilla and i hate vanilla. do not care for

taste is out there. kind of reminds of the oak flavor from an oaked arrogant bastard but with tons of vanilla. slight IPA flavor hidden in the background. i find the oak flavor too dominant. i also find it a smidge too sweet. if this were more balanced with bigger hop flavor, it could be far better.

carbonation was near perfect. very full bodied and smooth.

i am not feeling this at all. a one time thing and thats it. i applaud ST for their effort as i like seeing new varieties of IPAs coming out.

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Photo of DerrickBerg
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my first post. I enjoyed this beer with thepeskydingo.

This beer is a light amber orange color.

It has a light color head about one finger thick.

It has a sweet flower smell to it.

It has a sweet hops flavor with hints of citrus. You can taste a little of the oak aging.

It has a very smooth mouth feel, with light carbonation.

Very drinkable for the abv. I recommend this beer.

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Photo of ThePeskyDingo
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Second review of the night, is also with my buddy DerrickBerg.

Poured a 2 finger off white head with my aggressive pour, which dissipated slowly, and stays throughout the tasting. Very slightly hazy amber-orange color with medium carbonation. Lacing is splotchy.

A piney-hoppy-buttery smell (if that makes sense) comes with this beer.

Taste is Malty with the bitterness coming through at the end. some subtle citrus flavors come in after the initial drink. I can taste the effects of the oak aging in the beer, it adds a nice touch to it.

Mouthfeel is nice, goes down very smooth, but you can taste/feel the 11% alcohol within it, which isnt a bad thing whatsoever. The beer finishes pretty clean, the back of the palate is left a tad sticky.

Drinks easy for the ABV. Very tasty. Recommended.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice bright orange color with a short white head.

Scent of oak, vanilla, soapy hops, and citrus. Balanced well with oak character shining though nicely.

Taste of oak, maple, vanilla, citrus, some soapy hops, and caramel. Again, the oak character is very nice, but it has diminished the strong flavor of the hops substantially.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

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Photo of Ranbot
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I had this on tap at Sunset in Boston last weekend and this review is being done from memory.

A: Moderate to dark amber body with slight haze. Good head and lacing.

S: Moderate hop smell with hints earthy wood [probably oak]. For such an intense beer I was surprised at how subdued the smell was.

T: Sweet bread-like malts with a light touch of bourbon hit the taste buds initially and are followed up quickly by a bouquet of hops. Very slight alcohol flavor, that is well covered by the malts and hops. Upon swallowing, the hops fade very quickly and the oak flavors dominate.

M: Chewy and somewhat syrupy, but not overly so for the style.

D: For such a heavy-hitter it's a well-rounded, very drinkable beer. I'm sure some people will even try to session it, but that would ill-advised considering the ABV.

I had some friends with me who "didn't like bitter beers" who took a few sips from my beer with some trepidation. They were pleasantly surprised by it. My hunch is that they liked it because the bitter hops aftertaste typical of IPAs/DIPAs is greatly dimished by the oak aging. If you're not a fan of bitter beers I would still recommend giving this a try. Don't be turned off by the 150+ IBUs...it's really not as intense as it may seem. If you like the Oaked Arrogant Bastard definitely give the Oaked Unearthly a taste.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A= Pours a deep translucent amber color pushing orange. A small head rises from it and stays around throughout the entire drink. Decent lacing is here.
S= You get the hops up front which I did not expect due to the oak aging I thought they would die off but they are there in the smell. There is a sweet smell coming from it that I think is a little bit from the hops and maybe some vanilla from the wood.
T= A hop bitterness bites my tongue first and as it moves toward the back of my tongue it washes the oak smoothness over me. Vanilla is very prominent and I feel like it's a lot more than just the wood vanilla flavor. This beer tastes very very unique. The after taste is almost fruity like sherbet ice cream or something. It tastes like an over ripe orange I guess. Very very interesting
M= Lower carbonation washes over the pallet very nicely
D= Ok. I dunno if I would drink a lot of this at once. Due to the high ABV and also just because it's so different. A truely unique brew in my opinion and I would recommend it any day but be prepared for some extreme oak flavor.

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Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: Reddish amber in color, fast dissipating head and no lacing. Some nice residue on the top gives off a nice visual while looking up at the glass into the light. Its psychedelic to say the least.

S: Hints of the oak are in toe, some crazy hops and well the incense thats burning is ruining this whole experience! (Note to self)

T: Woody hop presents on the intake. Smokey bitter on the withdraw, a very unique blend of whiskey flavor and hops.

M: Semi to medium bodied, nicely carbonated, little sticky on the palate. ABV noticeable, but is in no way intimidating.

D: Its very drinkable indeed. I do prefer the regular version better, but thats just me. Leave the oak to the dark beers is my theory. I do recommend for the pure satisfaction that this is one cool concept and a nice twist to the style.

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Photo of LauraAlberts
4.95/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Amber/Burnt Orange
Smell: Smells characteristic of an IPA. This one has a lingering Peach & Citrus aroma.

Taste: WOW! A lot of taste crammed in this one. It starts our bitter and evolves into a malty flavor. Toasty, Orange Zest, Peach. Kind of sweet finish - with bitter undertones of pine and citrus. For 11.00% Alcohol - no alcohol slap in the face. Very balanced and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Balanced with the malt throughout. Enjoy by the glass or growler.

Overall: I'm very intrigued by what the oak has done for this beer. I had the un-oaked several days before tasting this and found it to be much more typical of the style. The oak has lifted the curtain of "unpenitrable" citrus/bitterness and invited my tastebuds in for the "oak party" where peach and malt refresh my mouth asking for another sip.

Enjoy by the glass or growler. A sure crowd pleaser.

Serving type: On-Tap

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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.

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Photo of amneziak
3.4/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Interestingly enough, there's not a huge amount of head from this one- maybe only one or two fingers at most. It is, however, extremely clear with a traditional off-white foamy head. Color is a beautiful warm burnt orange. Lacing is also very nice.

Smell: Smells pretty good, but almost puts off a "varnish" sort of character which would be indicative of strong pellet hops. There is a decent amount of bright citrus in this one paired with some over-ripe peaches. I'm also pulling out some extremely pungent hoppy aromas of grapefruit and pine. At very least it smells like it's a really well-rounded beer. We'll see once I've tasted it.

Taste: Not as tasty as the nose would lead you to believe. All the traditional IPA components are here, but they are weirdly arranged on the nose and tongue. Perhaps the oak component doesn't allow the citrus components to really shine the way they should.

Mouthfeel: This is a very well-balanced brew. The bitterness from the hops is matched with a solid malt backbone that helps it stand up through the whole bottle. This is probably one of the better elements of the beer as it turns it into more of a sipper than a session beer. The big 11% ABV probably adds something to this, too.

Overall: I'm not losing my mind over this one, but I can see why it's received such good reviews. It's a really intriguing beer. It's been a real pleasure drinking it, but I'm a little perplexed overall by the addition of the oak. I've yet to try the un-oaked version, but I am highly curious to know what it will taste like without this component. If it allows the hop aromas to stand out more, then I believe it will be a beauty.

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Photo of blackie
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: gorgeous fire-orange beer topped with a rocky head, lasting retention and heavy lacing

s: initial aromas of a tropical fruit punch lead into sweet, lightly caramelized barley, sugary tropical hops, appropriate booze, spicy oak, passionfruit, stone fruits, red grapefruit, pineapple, kiwi

m: low-moderate, delicately smooth carbonation and an almost creamy body that's not overbearing given its level of fullness

t: big body of pale and lightly caramelized malt, the hops and oak meld together, effectively tempering the others influence, delicious flavors with a complex fruit profile of peach, pineapple, and mango, fresh oak carries through the finish alongside sugary malt and a mild bitterness

d: great for an 11 percent dipa

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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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