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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,122 |  Reviews: 568
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a swell beer. I liked Unearthly, but this oak aged one was even better. In a tulip it was an amber color with a good-sized tan off-white head.
A mostly floral aroma, some citrus. The oak was noticeable, as compared to Unearthly, but subtle.
Pine taste, some lemon, fairly strong malt presence.
Really smooth. You would never guess that this was 11% ABV.

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

Nice beer, and the oak touch is a bit subtler than I was expecting- sometimes this brewery can hit you over the head in the flavor department, but this is nicely restrained, and the oak balances the sweet malt and hops and forms a nice triumvirate of flavors. The smell is equally balanced, but perhaps all a bit too restrained if still very nice. Fairly chewy mouthfeel with a touch of tannins from the oak, and a bit of sweetness from the malt. A fairly brooding beer, but a pleasurable one. Still, I think I prefer the brightness of the unoaked variety.

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Photo of stimulus
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber.

A: Pours a deep amber hue with a beige head, leaving quite a bit of lacing along the sides of the glass.
S: Strong hints of floral hops followed by vanilla.
T: A bit of citrus at the beginning, with ensuing heavy oak and vanilla flavors with a bit of alcohol on the aftertaste.
M: Light enough for an imperial IPA with good carbonation.
D: Surprisingly refreshing for an imperial, very smooth and worth drinking the whole bottle.

Additional notes: perhaps this isn't that well balanced - the oak aging is very prominent, but i can't wait to try the original and compare.

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

Review from notes taken on 4/21/10.

On tap at Al's of Hampden served in a stemmed tulip. Pours a clear amber color with a creamy tanned head about a finger strong. Constant bubbles of carbonation rise to the surface in support of the head which retains quite well with lace sticking about the glass in an almost solid curtain. Nose is full of spicey hops that are a bit herbal with a backing of malt aroma and subtle oaky notes. Taste is hoppy upfront but not as bitter as expected. The hops present themselves in a more flavorful way than just bitter. Hop flavors remind me of pine and herbs. Mild vanilla and oakiness comes through as it warms. Decent amount of malt sweetness is evident. Finishes with an herbal hop flavor that lingers with a bit of bitterness. Medium to heavy body with a moderate amount of carbonation. I think this is one of the first examples of any style that I prefer the plain version over the oak aged version.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had an amber color and a slightly hazy texture. There was a quarter inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A decently strong aroma of citrus, hops, malt and an earthy quality.

T: Tasted of hops (though not as much as you might think), citrus, that same earthiness, malt, and a woody quality (presumably the oak). A nicely done flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat thick and oily finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Drinkable.

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

Pristine clear copper color. White head pours thin and stays thin. Not the foamy miasma I would expect from a DIPA.

Aroma gushes with fruity hop bouquet and sweet flower nectar. Underlying Mandarin orange malt character smoothed over with an oaky reservation. Decorated with little alcoholic curtains.

Even Southern Tier's non-dessert beers are sweet. Sweet sugar glaze malt is the vessel that carries forth a juicy, freshly squeezed hop character. An interesting choice of Styrian Goldings in the hopback gives the soft pine hop character a prickly Xmas tree leaning. Lush and silky mouthfeel borders on syrupy and stops just before crossing the line. Fortified with plenty of alcohol.

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

Aroma is richly hoppy, almost evergreen, with a firm grapefruit undertone. It pours a nice orange amber with a fluffy and fairly persistent off-white head. Flavor is quite hoppy and slightly but pleasantly bitter, with a definite oak tone and more than a hint of grapefruit. Texture is rough and lively, leaving a nice tingle. Recommended to all "hop heads."

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Photo of wedgie9
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted from a 650mL bottle. Pours a cloudy light orange with the only remnants of white head clinging around the glass. The oak is the strongest aroma with the malt and hops taking a back seat. The cinnamon and vanilla of the oak are the strongest flavors as well. The hops provide a bitterness, but not much citrus, and stick around on the aftertaste. The carbonation is minimal with an oily palate. The high alcohol is integrated very well. Overall, this is a very good beer, and it is very cool to taste next to the unoaked version. They are both solid but very different.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

My man down at Whole Foods in...I think they consider it the Tyson's Corner location, though it may or may not actually be in Falls Church. I dunno, the geography out here is still something of a mystery to me. Things are much simpler back home in the IL... Wow, I think my thoughts cut into that sentence there. As I was saying, my man at Whole Foods recommended this to me, and, though I haven't historically been that into IPAs and whatnot, I figured "What the hell" and took the shot. From the bottle, this thing figures to be anything but simple (see how I looped back around there?), so expectations are running frighteningly high. Here goes:
A clear, rosy amber replaces the empty clarity of the snifter. The head is not very pronounced, and whatever is there dies off faster than public interest in lasting governmental reform (zing!). For whatever reason, I was expecting to snort hops as though they were arranged in lines with my diamond-encrusted razorblade (don't ask how I was able to purchase such an extravagance), but this was contrary to reality. Instead, a charge of toffee, especially sweet, flanked by a healthy dose of background floral radiation. Kinda like a tac-nuke, there's a relatively minimal amount of immediate physical damage but a resounding level of malingering effects (at least within the blast radius)...or such is my understanding of current nuclear weapons technology...I could be wrong. The hops make their first real appearance on the tongue, though they are still not as powerful as in my expectations. A sharp twang of citrus, a lingering soft pummeling of bitterness, but nothing really painful. What does stand out is the oak, which stands steadfastly in the background like a massive forest, wood, greenery, and all. Some caramel is there as well, not as sweet as the toffee in the nose, but rather a tad nuttier, bordering on a bland peanut brittle. The resulting olio does not overdo on any level, but maintains great strength at each one. The only thing precluding perfection here is a metallic bite slicing through the rearguard; a bitter Roland ensures that the rest of the troops do not become engulfed by the Saratin horde. (...Damn, that went from intellectually inspired to obviously forced...) Because the flavors are not intense, the medium body does minimal damage on its way down, allowing for deeper sips than would be possible elsewhere. I gotta say, my man did right by me again. Now, though, I feel as though I should try the non-aged version...

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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 kingcrowing
4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into an 8oz Rock Art snifter.

Pours a nice deep dark amber with tons of beautiful bubbles constantly coming up to a small one finger slightly yellow creamy head. Nose isn't super pungent and hoppy, but there's a nice light malty sweetness to it with some lice floral notes.

First off the mouthfeel is a bit light, very high attenuation on this beer, it makes it really crisp and smooth though. Carbonation is a bit sharp, but it'll fade as it warms a bit. The hops are subtle in this - for an IIPA anyways. The oak adds a nice balance to it without dominating the flavor, it's a bit of a nutty caramel to it. Nice finish that leaves a bready taste on your tongue.

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Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy deep copper color with a half-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of bright citrus and pine hops with good amounts of sticky caramel malts. As the beer warms hints of vanilla and oak waft out, the vanilla more so than the oak.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by citrus, pine-y, and slightly herbal hop flavors. Midway through the sip hints of vanilla come into play. Right before the ending very mild amounts of oak come into play. The ending is mildly bitter, leaving sweet caramel malts and citrus hop flavors lingering on the palate.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I thought the hops weren't quite as robust as the normal Unearthly but the addition of vanilla flavors and more robust caramel malts make up for it. Well worth a shot to see for yourself.

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

Nice beer!

I drank this a day after drinking (and reading) a bottle of Pliny the Elder, so in my head I was thinking, how can an aged DIPA be good if arguably the best DIPA in the world promotes freshness?? Boy does this beer work!

Pours a golden, slightly amber color with a nice light frothy head. I didnt notice any cloudiness to it.

If I didnt know this was oak aged, I would have thought there was something a tad off about the smell of this beer. The hops are more mellow and the oak gives it a hint of chardonnay to it. It smells good, but just not like your common fresh IPA.

This beer tastes like candy with a bitter finish... wow. I like it. Very smooth, definitely mouth-coating factor. I taste hints of caramel/toffee with the piney hops. Not sure how much citrus I catch in it but Im not a beer tasting pro. I feel like this beer could be reduced and mixed with sugar to make a dessert sauce!

Quite drinkable and enjoyable and I enjoyed how the longer it sat, the more profound the flavors became and the stickiness of the hop oils in my mouth increased.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was really impressed with this one. I like the original Unearthly, but this one is great. Appearance is a very pretty rose-orange color with nice white head. Decent retention too. Smell is a barrage of hops--orange peel, candied fruit, a bit of pine, just a hint of oak there. Taste follows in it's hoppy goodness, but there's a bunch of malt to back it up. It's almost a barleywine, and I like it. The red wheat malt and the oak seem to give it a nice spiciness, masking the alcohol very well. This is a deeper, richer Unearthly--very good from ST. MF is medium to full, creamy. Drinkability is slowed by the intensity and the ABV, but all-around a great drink. I'm happy that the oak is a bit more balanced and the hops hadn't dropped out of it (like some other OA DIPAs I've had). Great stuff from ST.

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Photo of firkinhophead
3.4/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

pours a glowing crystal-clear orange. Not much head or lacing to speak of, but not surprising given the 11% ABV.

the nose is loaded with dank hop earthiness, strong esthers of fermented tropical fruit and citrus rind, and unmistakable alcohol. challenging but inviting.

apple brandy-like alcohol is hot on the tongue right off the bat, and the body seems thin and solvent-like, despite a fairly noticeable cotton candy sweetness that sticks to the tongue. drying alcohol and a dull wood taste seems to wash away the hops until the finish, where they re-emerge as resiny pine and orange rind.

this one just doesn't come together for me. the oak is there, but not in a good way, and the hotness detracts from the hops. I'd like to try one with some age on it, but I don't see it improving that much. I guess I'm in the minority on this one.

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

bday bomber gift. Very excited to try this

A- pours an enchanting, hazy orange with a foamey head that engulfs the glass. Thick lacing remains on the glass. The colors splash along the glass to make one of the more inviting DIPAS I have ever seen

S- a slap of hops comes right at you! Pine and citrus all at once. The alcohol is hidden at the end. The overall scent that emerges is not very common. I'm impressed

T- the taste represents some sweet malt combined with some cirtus and hops. The bitter fruit flavor produces a delicious DIPA experience. The alcohol does warm at the end

M-full bodied brew with flavor

D- this is a tasty brew. While it is strong, it still is tasty. The oak aging brings out great flavor. My friend said it best ..."this is one of the best IPA styles I've ever had." ... Agreed to that. The alcohol is very aggressive on this brew so one bomber is more than enough

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Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.72/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear copper with orange highlights and a slightly off-white head that starts two fingers thick but dissipates to a thin ring.

The smell has everything from pine and citrus to toasty caramel maltiness and vanilla oak.

Taste has a heavy presence of caramel malts, a bit toasty, with citrus (grapefruit, tangerines) and pine. A very mellow bitter hop rounds this one out with slight alcohol warmth. The high ABV is well hidden.

The mouthfeel is full, a bit sticky with decent carbonation.

This is a "one at a timer" for me, a nice beer but with the 11% ABV, I wouldn't go back for another in the same session.

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

Holy cow. This beer is amazing. It reminds me of Hopslam but with maybe a little more sweet characters on the finish.

A: Golden color, bubbly.

S: typical pine and citrus, sweet honey

T: Amazing flavors of pine, citrus, grapefruit, sweet honey

M: sharp, sweet and slight creaminess

D: I love it. Need to find more, could drink this often.

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Photo of ZeroSignal
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle

A - Pours a light amber color with a thick, two-finger off white head and good retention. Head clings to the sides of the glass as it settles.

S - Floral and herbal hops, some grapefruit, caramel and toasted malts. No "woodiness" detected in the nose.

T&M - Light alcohol esters, moderate hop bitterness, a sugary sweetness, citrus notes. Somewhat dry in the aftertaste, medium bodied. This oaked version is less chewy then the original. Still no "wood" flavor, but the aging does seem to have mellowed the hops and brought out a significant malt presence.

D - This oaked version seems better balanced and more drinkable to me. The hops are not as forward and heavy, and the malt character is nice. 11% makes it a one bottle deal.

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Photo of babaracas
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy deep orange with thin white head, couple spots of lace. Smell: loads of caramel, mild orange citrus and leafiness. Mixed in with some bready yeastiness is a suggestion of wood smell, kind of like when you grab that last glass in the back of the kitchen cabinet. Taste: toffee, caramel, spicy, earthy, tangerine. A little boozy in the finish. Mouthfeel: all kinds of syrupy, low carbonation. Some aging definitely helped mellow the off flavors I get in Unearthly, but I'm really not getting a significant contribution from the oak... I could probably just cellar an Unearthly and get something similar... this was actually a few bucks cheaper than regular Unearthly though, hah.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a 22oz bomber from Beverage Warehouse in Winooski VT for $5.99. Served mostly chilled in a standard pint glass.

Deep clear copper color with an inch of off-white head builds slowly before reversing course and settling slowly to a thick wispy layer. Leaves spotty lacing behind throughout. Big nose of resiny pine and citrus hops, cocoanut, some earthy tones, and a hint of toffee on a background of candy sugar and loads of light malt. Taste is smooth light caramel and coconut first, followed by a big dose of mixed resiny hops, a bit of yeast, and intense bready malts. Really intense and well-rounded, they've packed a whole lot of ingredients into this bottle! Mouthfeel is thick and a bit sticky. Finish is lingering citrusy hops, vanilla, coconut, and a touch of alcohol. Goes down very smoothly and, at 11%, will surely be catching up with me in a bit.

Overall a pretty well-balanced brew, albeit very thick and maybe a bit syrupy. Prominence of coconut is unique but not out of place. No doubt there's a ton of hops in here, but the ton of malt also present brings it in check and keeps it from being a hop bomb. Very good, highly recommended.

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Photo of weeare138
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appears a transparent light amber with an orange hue and a small white cap. Scattered bits of pacing are left round the glass.
Smell is of huge vanilla, citrus, pine, herbs, and flowers.
Taste is a bit of a let down... Lots of clashing between the hopsnand oak tannins.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, syrupy, chewy, with an almost artificial vanilla flavor lingering.
I love Southern Tier but this fell a bit short.

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

Poured into a Unibroue tulip.
A- Nice head retention. It never really goes away and only after a while does it fade to a thick film. The beer is a clear, deep reddish amber.

S- Lots of vanilla-y oak, caramel malts, sweet citrus and snappy pine.

T- Lots more oak, vanilla, tons and caramel, with bitter, biting pine at the finish.

M- On the thicker side. It feel how it looks, approaching syrupy. Low carbonation.

D- Decently drinkable. Its a good balance between lots of sweet, caramely malts and biting pine hops.

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

Sipping on this right now...

Poured from the bomber into a tulip. The appearance is a semi-transparent amber with small amount of frothy white head. Very nice lacing from this one. The aroma is like a sweet fruity nectar with just a slight hint of bitterness to balance things out just a tad. The flavor is very similar to the aroma - the thing I'm loving about this is that the oak aging seems to have sapped most of the bitterness out making it supremely drinkable. You would never ever guess that this stuff if 11% ABV. Quite tasty overall and definitely something I'll be purchasing again.


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Photo of Angrygerman
4.79/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours this orange-copper color with a slight haze. Instantly the smell hits you. Of course you get the citrus of the hops but also i detect something else, maybe barrel is the best way to describe it. The taste is awesome! Hops, lemon, grapefruit, and maybe a slight touch of earth all round out with a smoothness that i believe is the barrel. In the finsh there is also a little alcoholic warming but all in good taste. Overall a GREAT beer.

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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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