Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

568 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 568 | Ratings: 1,122
Photo of barczar
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with a half inch dense cream head that leaves a thick ring of foam on the glass.

Oak and grapefruit lead the aroma with caramel and bready malt supporting a hint of pine and mint.

Mellow citrus opens the flavor profile and becomes more dominant throughout the sip, with grapefruit pith emerging and overtaking a somewhat light sweet caramel malt backbone. The finish is fairly bitter, with pepper and mint kicking in. The oak contributes a bit more complexity at the finish as it warms, but is overwhelmed by the bitterness.

Body is fairly syrupy, with moderately light carbonation. There is a significant alcohol warmth and a hint of harsh astringency.

Overall, a decent dipa, but not my favorite by far. A bigger malt backbone would help the complexity of flavors shine and ease the bitter dominance.

 833 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange amber, thin head and some lacing. Aroma of caramel hops, light citrus, earthy wood. Oak up front in the taste, followed by sweet caramel malt and hops; oaky hop finish. Nice flavor and different than other oaked IPAs. Hops are not dominant and could be a bit more aromatic. Despite that subdued hops, a pleasant, fun to drink oaked ale. Medium bodied.

 372 characters

Photo of syrupjoe
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber into snifter. Abv says 11%. Pours a medium honey-amber with a one finger almost white head.

Nose: Sweet, strawberry, toffee, golden graham, fig, slight hints of tropical fruit. Light hop zing.

Taste: Caramel, toffee, super fruity with notes of browned apple, overripe mango, orange citrus, slight pineyness.

Moderate to low carbonation. Sweet but clean finish. Lingering fruit flavors. The most unique IIPA I've ever had, and one of the more unique bottled beers I've ever had. Would drink again.

 511 characters

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

Beer is caramel in colour. A vigorous pour results in a good-sized off-white head. Head slowly dissipates leaving a fair bit of lacing.

Oak scents are strong and dominant. They are accompanied by caramel malt and tropical fruit- pineapple, orange.

Surprise, surprise, the taste is like regular unearthly with added oak flavours. It is a combination that I think works well. Oak and vanilla mix with citrus and tropical fruit, all over a caramel malt base.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Slightly oily.

Overall, a very nice beer and, in my view, slightly superior to the regular unearthly, which I also like. Yum!

 624 characters

Photo of cyclonece09
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter. Pours a dark copper color with a one finger white head that dissipates semi-quickly but leaves nice lacing. Smells of a heavy syrupy hops and a little bit of a woody smell, probably from the oak aging. Tastes of hops and a little bit of a heavy almost syrupy malt, but not offensive, but it is actually quite good. Beer is on the heavy side, but for a beer this big, it is pretty good. Carbonation is good and beer goes down really easy for one with over 9% ABV. Overall, an excellent beer. One that I wish was available in 12 oz bottles for a more general consumption.

 612 characters

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured unto a wellington beer glass (my favorite beer glass).

Appearance: Amber, comes off clear with very slight bubbles through out the body. White head is maybe 1/3" off the body and turn to nada after the first taste.

Smell: Listen the smell is rich but comes off bland if that makes sense, vanilla, caramel and a feel of slight rum aroma. Smells real good but not that rich.

Taste: Two beers with almost the same name, taste is f'n great. Sometimes "oak-aged" and "barrell-aged" beers sometimes distort taste buds this beer is rich in caramel and malty at the same time.

Mouth: Medium carbonation, feels light at times but take it for what it is....Smooth!

Overall: This is the "Unearthly Remix", and a extremely good one at that. Do not hesitate to buy this if you're an IPA or looking to stimulate your taste buds. Salud!

 836 characters

Photo of DCon
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-tap @ The Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar in St. Louis, MO for $6.50. Tapped from the Stainless Steel Tap Handle w/ a Green Face stating "Oak Aged Unearthly" into a 12oz Pint Glass.

Aroma- Tons of mango, citrus, and fruit hit the nose hard. Then has a strong musty and oak aroma. Nice! Everything VERY strong like I've experienced before.

Appearance- Received with a 1 finger head that dies quickly. Has a reddish/copper colored body and is semi-clear. Leaves good lacing behind.

Flavor- Tons of American hops start this one off and a kettle corn type of taste. This has to be due to the malt flavor. Very nice! Light Bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, Smooth, and hops pucker the mouth. Tons of fruit stay on the palate afterwards.

Overall Impression- Just like the unearthly but experienced a big time Kettle Corn taste the whole time. Would definitely recommend this one! I do like the original Unearthly better but still enjoyed the character and appreciate how different these two are. See for yourself!

 1,056 characters

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.

 708 characters

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

Deep glowing orange with creme brulee head that fades to a rim and rings. Vanilla almond oak nose over orange honey blossoms with boozy whiskey notes.
Orange mango jam with with naked oak chip, lots of vanilla, then big orange oil and tropical fruit mash with only slight hum from the dry hopping.
Whiskey and fruit hit (more mango) to finish and oily sandalwood linger. Medium, chewy, some stick, smooth.

Oak over hops - where are the IBUs? Lovely mellow wood tones, but hops are so conspicuously absent that I hesitate to call it an IPA. Didn't know about ST now dating on the bottom, so I don't know how old this was, but for all the hopback and dry hops, they shouldn't ever fade to leave a beer like this, nice though it is.

 732 characters

Photo of TTAmod
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into chalice. Had regular Unearthly last night, so figure it'd be a good comparison.

9.9% ABV....it's no longer 11%.

A: Same color as regular Unearthly. Medium amber and hazy. There is less head, though. I just have an island of white in the middle and a crown on the outside edges.

S: Smell is pretty sweet. I pick up primarily pineapple and mango. I sense a bit of alcohol, as well.

T: Uhh....what happened to the malt? I don't know how long they age this for, but the malt profile is significantly different than the regular Unearthly. I don't really pick up any of the cloying sweet caramel malt base that I did with the Unearthly. There is an underplayed wood and toffee taste going throughout the drink. The taste is a lot more tropical than the regular, as well. The mangoes and pineapples shine through really nicely. I pick up a bit of floral hops and bitterness at the end.

M: About the same as regular, but the less cloying malt base makes this a LOT easier to drink.

O: Oak aging this beer really transformed it. I like the taste a LOT more. It doesn't feel like there's a war going on in my mouth between colossal hops and gigantic malt. It's a couple bucks more expensive and more difficult to find than the regular Unearthly, but it's definitely worth it.

 1,298 characters

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

Never seen an oaked IPA before. Curiosity caught my tongue, so here I is.

Dingy amber-to-brown fills the mug, head is roughly an inch and white, last couple mm are practically permanent. Citrus primarily suggestive of orange and pineapple tosses off immediately -- as in, before I even finish pouring. Normally aging mellows things, but this is the closest the citrusy tones of typical IPA hops have come to reaching out to smack me in the face, especially the fruity cascade.

Lift up and somehow I smell the bitterness. That usually isn't a nose thing, so I'm intrigued. Now, where was I? Oh yeah, actually drinking this...

Additional characteristic reminiscent of pear joins the prior notes hinted at by smell upon taste. Also, here's where the aging apparently comes in: despite the scent suggesting a bitterness arms race, this isn't remotely close to puckering, even to single-IPA standard. It comes off as if a double IPA went to a Halloween party dressed as a Tripel: the juiciness typical among the hop character gone for is there, but bitter this ain't. Mouth is akin to lightly carbonated orange juice, and the lacing is rings-of-saturn prominent as I drink it.

This is probably the only beer people who love hop-bomb IPAs and people who hate bitterness arms races can agree on. Like how long cooking times mellow out chile peppers, the aging mellows out the hops, revealing the bouquet normally not noticed in such big beers. Were it not for the fact that doing so would result in getting absolutely hammered, I would gladly have another one.

 1,558 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Budweiser pint glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a copper color with a full inch of white head that stays a bit and eventually rests at 1/4 inch. Excellent webs of lacing are left as the glass empties.

S- The signature ST malt sweetness is apparent as well as a grassy, citrusy hop aroma. Grapefruit notes.

T- Sharp hop bite upfront that mellows with the sweet malt follow-up. The bitterness outlasts the malts and lingers on the palate a good while but retains balance enough to keep the alcohol beautifully well-hidden.

M- Moist initially with a drying finish. Medium-high carbonation. A bit of an alcohol snap when I swish.

O- Although it could use more oak flavor, it's a very nice variation on Unearthly

 729 characters

Photo of tdm168
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

 600 characters

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Gorgeous clear honey.
Smell: more honey goodness. Malt floral honey Oaked decadence.
Taste: As good as it smells. Nice mix of sweet start with the bitterness following finally balanced in the finish.
Mouthfeel is nice, a tad bit on the thin side for such a bold dips.
Overall: wonderful. Tasty, complex goodness.

 324 characters

Photo of divineaudio
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bomber split with my gf. 9.9% on bottle.
tulip glass.

a - pours copper in color, slightly hazy. only a thin cap of sudsy head that calms to a film. spotty lacing.

s - vanilla, toffee, citrus, pine.

t - more of the nose. honey like sweetness over a toasted malt base. notes of vanilla, berry, citrus, pine. bitterness lingers, but not for very long. very well put together flavor wise.

m - firmly medium with the right amount of co2. very smooth.

o - a pretty damn good beer, but honestly fell short of regular unearthly. very drinkable for a big beer. really wish southern tier put dates on their bottles so i could ascertain a fresh batch.

 645 characters

Photo of cooler4life
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a two finger fluffy head that settles to a thin white cap. Little to no lacing around the glass. Retention is strong. Color is a really deep, vibrant hazy orange. One of the most appealing colors I have seen in an DIPA.

S: Wow. I uncapped the bottle on this one and the caramel, vanilla, oaky sweetness assaulted me from across the room. Underneath the sweetness, I can smell the hops clawing their way out. Boozy and volatile.

T: Trifecta. Citrus and lemon grass in the first wave. Vanilla and oak in the second, and piney hops in the third. I don't detect the ABV.

M: Very crisp and clean. The smoothness is fantastic, soft carbonation. Leaves you with a twinge of bitterness from the hops. Still not picking up on the 9.9% ABV...

O: I really like the dimension the oak aging gave this DIPA. Smooth sippin' is the name of the game for this one.

 862 characters

Photo of KAP1356
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. 22 oz bottle poured into a DFH signature glass. I remember falling in love with this one the first time I had it waaaay back before I knew about craft beer. Lets see what I think now...

A - Pours a slightly hazy, golden-amberish color that reminds me of sweet tea. A small half a finger, frothy, eggshell white head forms and recedes to a collar.

S - Oak wood and vanilla out front with a punch of earthy and citrusy hops. Caramel and toasted malts come through as well. Really earthy character to this aroma that I like.

T - Oak really seems to dominate the flavor profile here. Lots of toasted wood, vanilla, and a cake like flavor. The hops are earthy and citrusy with some orange and pine coming through the most. The malts come through as caramel and toffe like. Nice mix, although the oak really does stand out the most.

M - Medium-heavy bodied beer with a slightly sticky and dry finish to it. Carbonation is on the moderate to low end.

O - I still really enjoy this one, although not quite as much as I did when had it for the first time. Definitely one that I will go back to again.

 1,117 characters

Photo of UnderPressure
3.41/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An orangey copper color (really nice color). Pretty hazy. Barely any head (maybe a 1/2 inch). But this beer is pretty cold.

It has that double IPA malt smell (which I'm not absolutely crazy about). Some hops with some funky woodyness from the oak.

I'm getting a lot of the oak in the flavor. A lot of hops, too, but I'm used to the hops. The oak thing is kind of new to me. The oak thing pairs pretty well with the hop bitterness. They remain two separate flavor components, but they linger together. It brings a flavor (not surprisingly) like wet wood. Pretty interesting. Of course, I'm tasting significant malty flavors, too, but nothing out of the ordinary with this style.

The thick mouthfeel hit me right away. A really heavy bodied brew.

It seems like all the imperial IPAs I've had lately all have the same basic flavor with some subtle variations. This one is no different. But, it's one of the more interesting of the bunch.

 938 characters

Photo of jegross2
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage bottle served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark sunset orange with two and a half fingers of foamy head that settles into a quarter finger. Excellent lacing. 4.5/5

Smell: Lots of floral citrus aromas. Lemony fresh tart and orange-sweet citrus. A little oak and vanilla. Some rich soil (not in a bad way) too. 4.5/5

Taste: Very complex floral and citrus flavors. Some zesty orange and lemon, grapefruit...maybe a little apple. A very smooth vanilla twist. A tad bit sour, some maltiness. Touche of caramel-sugariness. Very earthy hop bitterness too. The malty and earthy characteristics also really builds up on the midpalate and finish as the flavor layers. Not detecting a lot of oak in the front or midpalate, but it is subtle in the finish. Slight alcohol warmth, but nothing distracting. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, light carbonation. Finish is bitter and too crisp. 3.5/5

Overall: A very solid brew, but the oak aged version lacks some of the bitter hop kick of the original brew. The added complexities from oak aging are nice, but too subtle to compensate for the lost hops-elements. Turns a little too boozy as it warms up.

 1,174 characters

Photo of patrickcmcd
3.07/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I asked a friend to purchase me an IPA bomber. He came back with this. Friend is now best friend. JUST KIDDING. Anyway, i wasn't expecting a DIPA so i let this thing rattle around in my car for about a week.

After a long jog, decided to forgo water and crack this thing open instead. Poured nicely, sorta a caramel/grapefruit color. No head, which left me scratching MY head. I guess "balance" is what Southern Tier was going for.

It literally smelled like a hot candied apple. Sweet, mostly. Malts (OAK?) at the forefront. Hops in the back. Wish it tickled my nose more. I prefer the floral scent.

The taste was pleasant but syrupy. Balanced and consistent from the front of my tongue to the rear. You can tell its oak aged at the very "end". Gives it a cedar taste, not oak. The alcohol taste was disappointing but at 11% I know what I'm getting into.

For the DIPA style, it was solid. Craving an DIPA and don't already have a favorite? Don't be afraid to pluck this from the shelf. If you haven't dabbled in the genre, its a decent gateway. Would have preferred more HOPS and less oak, though.

 1,103 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oak-aged Unearthly, on tap at Pony during a Southern Tier tap takeover. I also had regular Unearthly, Javah, Mokah and Brulee. Sick!

Appearance: Served in the classic Pony eight-ounce glass. A bit over one finger of snow-capped head that lasts and lasts. Soapy bubbles, thick lacing. Color is a beautiful shiny copper, translucent and attractive.

Smell: Soapy, pine, orange, citrus. It's like Tropicana on acid. No trace of wood, though. Microplaned lemon zest, pine trees by the beach on the Eastern Seaboard.

Taste: More orange, cooked and boiled. Oily resin and finally some oak, muddled and wet. A tad of sweetness, vanilla, and dessert cake.

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-low body. Alright, but not great, carbonation. Sticky dry finish. Much less exciting than the bomber version.

Overall: Nice and superbly drinkable, but not the amazing beer I have had on a bottle. The wood notes and the complexity are lost. I think this brew varies widely and it can go from "wow" to "alright".

 986 characters

Photo of azdback
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Stone Imperial glass. Burnt orange in color and just a bit hazy or unfiltered looking. Carbonation is very minimal and leads to a very small or almost nonexistent head. What is there is of white and leaves no lace.

Smell is mostly of a Barley Wine. Tons of sweet, candied barley aromas. Some citrus notes and quite a bit of alcohol. No oak or barrel at all in the nose.

Taste is very sweet (hmm... Southern Tier sweet?) and syrupy. There is some oak barrel there also. Some citrus orange and a bit of holiday spice.

Mouth is smooth, carbonation is light. Body is heavy and the finish is long.

Overall I really enjoyed this. It drinks a lot more like a Barley Wine then a DIPA. Quite enjoyable either way. Thank to McNuts for this one.

 752 characters

Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden amber/orange color with a thin, frothy off-white head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Earthy aroma that's dominated by the toasted oak character. Lots of vanilla and wood along with some earthy and citrus hops, caramel malt and sweet alcohol.

Medium bodied but on the fuller end with a very prominent oak character that dominates the flavor a bit. Slight creamy texture adds to the palate. Lots of toasted oak and vanilla notes followed by piny and sweet hop notes. Prominent malt backbone with hints of caramel and toffee. Well balanced and the high ABV is extremely well masked resulting in a beer that is deceptively drinkable.

 706 characters

Photo of REDAMI
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Slightly cloudy amber pour, no carbonation, no head.

S - Honey, malt, citrusy hops, very light nose overall.

T - Heavy oak, followed by malty sweetness, slight alcohol heat, very mellow hop finish.

M - Thinner mouthfeel than original Unearthly. A little disappointing.

O - Excellent oak flavor and well rounded maltiness not usually experienced in a DIPA. The hop-forward flavor typical of this style has been lost to the aging. It's a good beer but the original Unearthly is better, but I'm glad I tried it.

 516 characters

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

Served from a bottle into a tulip glass

Appearance - Golden honey, head dissipates quickly after pouring. Cloudy

Smell - champagne-like. sweet green grape aroma

Taste - Assertive, bitter taste up front - definitely different from the regular unearthly. Slight honey taste, tannin notes. not as malty as unearthly. Dry finish that lingers on the back of the tongue.

Mouth feel - Creamy and slightly astringent

Overall - This is a good beer, but I prefer the un-oaked unearthly. The oak flavor in this version detracts from the malty flavor that I enjoy. I'm happy that I have tried this one, but I wouldn't go out of my way to buy it again.

 644 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.