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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 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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,122 |  Reviews: 568
Photo of Gehrig
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a bit maltier than the original, with an ample dose of caramel, with the requisite citrus, hoppy flavor--tangerine, orange peel. Smoother than the original but still with ample resiny grit, delicious, with a strong cask flavor to boot, Oak Aged Unearthly is the kind of great, bold, Imperial bomber that Southern Tier does about as well as any other US brewer. More and more, Southern Tier proves they belong in any conversation of the very best brewers around.


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

Hazy orange body, topped by two fingers of white, very fine micro-micro bubbles. Good lacing.

Nose is a roller coaster of fleeting citrus - grapefruitr, orange, mango - and then vanilla oak takes over to finish.

Big sweet beginning, both malt and super juicy hops splattering everywhere. Bitterness takes over shortly before the swallow, and oaky vanilla dominates the aftertaste. Belly warming.

Nice thick chewy mouthfeel. Drinkable, though definitely a "take your time" beer.

Not something I'd load up on, but definitely a beer to try,

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4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear Orange Copper with Golden Highlights. Creamy offwhite foamy head that becomes a chunky collar around a lake of oils. Nice organic splotchy waves of lace.

Pine and herbal up front, backed with juicy citrus fruit. Toasty caramel, sweet vanilla, woody oak, and a waft of booze.

Toasty caramel, sweet cookie dough, vanilla, earthy oak, hint of chocolate. Piney, herbal, medicinal, a hint of aspirin, juicy grapefruit and orange. Alcohol packs a big punch in flavor, complemented by the oak aging and loads of hops. Big bitter resinous grapefruit peel and piney herbal aftertaste that marries happily into the oak and booze.

Smooth as fuck, sticky, oily, dry, mellow, great silky body

Big bitter beast that has mellowed and smoothed awesomely. Oak and alcohol are highly enjoyable, very bitter, but highly drinkable and delicious. Complex, great use of oak on this brew. It will kick your ass, but in a good way!

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Photo of RedBrewer83
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip...

A: Golden yellow amber hue, nice three finger creamy head forms and falls ever so slowly, very thick leaving behind excellent lacing. Very sticky...and leaves nice pillows that hang on throughout the duration.

S: Piney, citrusy, sticky wet hops come forth with a huge presence backed up nicely by wood, vanilla and a little caramel malt. Very nice, well rounded and big!

T: Wow! This is hop nirvana....follows the nose, but so balanced for being so big, the malt isn't too heavy and just hints of wood and vanilla. The hops really come through, both floral and bitter making it a complete hop experience. This is very nice...especially for being so huge!

M: Heavy but with nice carbonation that only dances on the tongue rather than dominates the palate. Very smooth...no idea that it is 11%, this is kind of scary.

D: For an 11% imperial ipa this is dangerously drinkable. Careful folks.

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Photo of billab914
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Portsmouth snifter glass. Pours a orange amber color with a small white covering on top. Nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma has Oak and vanilla with a decent amount of sweetness as well. The hops are there in the background but overshadowed by the flavors from the oak. The aroma the oak aging gave it though is very good.

The taste gets a lot of the oaky vanilla flavor from the wood as well, which is very good. The hops are more pronounced in the taste giving it a citrusy flavor. There is also a pretty strong sweet caramely malt backbone to it that is very good.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is very good for 11%, I was surprised when I read the abv on it.

Overall I really enjoyed this one, I'm not sure how old this was but I don't think they have made it lately so I presume the hops could be slightly faded. The flavors the oak gave it though were great, the fact that it was an IPA took a back seat to the oak aging.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.73/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a clear orange amber color that looks just like apple juice. Produced a good white colored head, but dissipated immediately.

(S)- A very sweet yet boozy caramel & butterscotch

(T)- Sweet caramel & butterscotch with a bit of vanilla oakiness. Very boozy. Where are the hops? This reminds me more of an old ale at this point. Is this too old?

(M)- A good carbonation level, but way too hot & boozy. This feels like a huge 18%abv monster, but its only 11%. Rather sweet as well; almost candy-like.

(D)- Not a winner in my opinion. Way too boozy and sweet for what it should be like. Could this probably just be too old or a bad bottle? I see that everyone else who has rated this has given it rave reviews, but I just dont see it at least in the bottle I just tried. I will definitely try to find another one that is hopefully fresh. More breweries need bottled dates!

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Photo of TerryW
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an interesting beer for its combination of flavours and aromas. Not for the faint of heart, though because its pretty in your face on the taste side.

Reall good looking beer that is a hazy apricot amber colour. Substantial head that settles to a heavy film and leaves behind lots of pretty lacing as you drink.

Nose is dominated by oaky vanilla over top of hops. Somewhat sweet as well.

A tasty brew with very pronounced flavours. Definitely not for anyone used to drinking factory beer. Woody and hoppy and lots of vanilla character. Quite sweet without being difficult about it. Soft mouthfeel. A very sensual beer, has an nice handcrafted feel to it. Lingering bitterness from hops with a nice oak edge.

If you're a drinker of Innis and Gunn you'll like this one and recognize that this is the IPA that i&G shoulda made.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by slasher007.

Pours an orange color with a white head. The smell is somewhat resiny with some hop bitterness and some flavors that I associate with barrel aging. The oaked aroma gets stronger as the beer warms. There is definitely some piney and citrus hop flavors but the oak aging takes the edge off of them, mellowing them out. You also get some oak character in the flavor. The beer has a medium mouthfeel and the oak aging makes it very drinkable. We tried this after drinking some other big IPAs and DIPAs and I would like to try it again when my palate was fresher.

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Photo of radshoesbro
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Matt for splitting one of these! Poured into a pint glass.

Smells of hops with evidence of barrel aging. Very earthy and slightly musty.

Tastes of big bitter hops and wood. Faint hints of malt, but mostly a strong hop presence. Very nice!

A slightly creamy mouth leaves you craving more, but this is most certainly a sipper.

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Photo of stewart124
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hazy orange in color with a small off-white head.

Very nice floral aroma with subtle grapefruit notes..

Mellow and smooth. The oak adds a complex character and takes quite the edge off of the hops. Some pine and quite a bit of fruitiness from esters and what seems like amarillo hops.

This has a huge body and leaves and earthy feel on the tongue. Pine and vanilla linger.

This goes down so easily that it is almost scary. The alcohol is so well hidden and the sharp finish adds in drinkability.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.94/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pulled from a rather chilly cellar and not given any more chill either. That's how I roll. Pours into the glass a darkened rusty orange without much head, although at this ABV level, nothing more was expected. Leaves only a few dots of lace. Bubbles move up through the liquid real patient like. Hmm...could be a thick mutha?

The aroma is entrancing; hypnotic; transcendent. It's not bad either. Serious, this thing awakes the nostrils in the best way. Ample tones of fresh-cut oak wood mingle with prickly rind tartness and citrus-sweet hops. Surprisingly the 11% alcohol only comes in as a supportive spicy warmth. Super earthy, these sensations (wood, hop, alcohol) blend in such a way they defy the more facile comparisons and take on a life of their own -- likely something many of us have never smelled, like seeing a new color or something. Am I getting too wacky here? Maybe, but when beer is this good, it's easy to get carried away. And I'm only reacting to the SMELL here...

While unexpected, a healthy gooey maltiness comes into the flavor and absolutely knocks this one over the edge into "legendary" territory. The balance of ultra-creamy caramel goo, controlled but colorful and resiny pine-laden hops, hits of orange and peach, vibrancy of clean fresh oak, soothing fresh-cream sweetness and expertly-balanced high alcohol makes this one bottle I never, ever want to see emptied. But that's the only way to keep experiencing the flavors of this thing over and over. This is amazing, and it doesn't even conk you over the head screaming "extreme!!" or "bitter!!" (it's not really bitter)...it is what it is, which is perfection.

Perfection is also present in the texture. A round, creamy, full body with light but caressing carbonation, it's hard to imagine a bitter and more appropriate mouthfeel for the main center stage of the flavor.

As with their Jahva (another transcendent work of art), Southern Tier are recommending drinking this at too low a temperature, in my opinion (they recommend 42 degrees). All a matter of personal taste, but I'm positive the flavors are going to impress deeper when this is a bit warmer, or less cold. Regardless, this is a masterpiece of a beer. Period.

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Photo of jgasparine
4.44/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- An aggressive pour from the bottle yielded a 1/4" cream colored head, which quickly evaporated to just faint edge lacing. The body was a clear orange-brown color with some sluggish bubble trains chugging up the sides of the glass.

S- Sticky, resinous, earthy, piney and citrus hop aroma combines with some fruity oak notes in the nose. There is some restrained vinous and malty notes somewhere deep in the background there...

T- This comes across much more balanced than anticipated... the hops are more earthy than anything else, and the pale/crystal malt backbone comes to life on the palate. Some faint oakiness is present throughout the taste and into the finish, which is a lingering echo of all flavor components. Some orange pith flavor also begins to emerge in the finish as the beer warms.

M- A beautifully big creamy body, packed with unattenuated sugar, and complimented by a silky soft carbonation. Just wonderful.

D- This stuff goes down dangerously smooth, despite the high alcohol content (which remains well-hidden throughout the drink). Very easy to down this bomber on my own.

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Photo of NCSUdo
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle

A: Medium to dark copper under a small white head. Good lace and OK retention.

S: Big hops, blend of a soft citrus and pine. Toasted malt, bit of grapefruit. Not overpowering.

T: Sweetness is there before the hop explosion. Citrus dominates, grapefruit, with a bit of pine. Oak is definitely there. Hint of caramel, bitterness is pretty bold and alcohol provides some warmth. Pretty good stuff.

M/D: Medium to full bodied, carbonation is a bit prickly, oily, slick. Drinkability is good, big beer but pretty tastey.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Radiant orange rather murky body. Head is full and creamy, impressive despite being rather short in stature. As the head recedes and seemingly melts away a clustered clingy lacing is left behind.

If one has had the original, the aroma is as expected. Succulent tropical fruit prevails over a smooth oak aroma. The malt while certainly pleasant does not leave a distinguishable aroma, or at least one which I can identify.

Balance seems to be the strong point here. While the hops take the lead a healthy dose of caramel malt and oak tend to keep tremendous balance in the brew. Sweet malt back and a suggestion of slightly grainy wheat. Citrus fruit hop elements provide a balancing bitterness keeping the sweetness in check. Woodiness and vanilla tend to bind the flavors together presenting a solid flavor as the nectar hits the tongue.

More than any other factors, I love the mouthfeel of either of the UnEarthly. Thicker than most DIPA's without being syrupy. Full bodied and rather chewy. Drinks very smoothly.

I freely admit I was skeptical regarding oak aged IPA's in general. This brew was a pleasant surprise. No noticeable booziness help the beer go down almost too easily. Very enjoyable. A tip of the hat to Southern Tier on another fantastic brew.

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Photo of dpnelson1978
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle into champagne flute.

$6.99 / ea.


S: Piney hops over a caramel malt body and just a hint of citrus fruit, perhaps oranges, it is hard to discern. Very pleasant, very smooth, very nice.

A: Deep copper body with a small loose head that quickly dissipates with no lacing and a thin cover.

T: Not a hop bomb as many crave, but a very well balanced taste. Primarily piney hop flavor with just a hint of citrus. Noticeable sweet malt backbone and the slightest booze at the end. Oak and vanilla are subdued throughout, becoming more apparent as it approaches room temperature.

M: Medium body with low carbonation. Oily on the tongue with just a little bitter bite.

D: A bit strong for a night on the town, this beer should be experienced in moderation. That said, this is a supreme example of "extreme" beer capable of every day drinking.

O: This won't impress those looking for the rush of overpowering hops, but this beer is masterfully crafted and perfectly balanced. Great example of East Coast IIPA.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
4.97/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got to try this brew thanks to projectflam86. Can't thank you enough Kyle.

Poured into my New Belgium Snifter it appears as a slightly hazed bronze colored liquid with a decent foam-dome with some sticky-ass lacing. mmmm

Wow! this is one helluva nose! Rich caramel, lusicious toffee, vanilla beans, oak, cherries soaked in brandy and yellow cake with frosting and all.

The tast is every bit as complex and wonderful as the nose would let me to believe. It opens with a boozy and brandy-like flavor paired with a wallop of sweetness . The outstanding malt vertabrae supports the not-to-be outspoken bittering hops that add a tropical/citrus tone. This beer drinks more like an aged American Barleywine than a DIPA. Whatever you call it -a fantastic beer non-the-less.

The mouthfeel is full smooth and silky. perfection one might say.

Excellent drinkability especially for it's size. I easily killed 22 oz. and could go for more. Too bad I can't get this one localy.

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Photo of scootny
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An interesting counterpart to the regular version. Slightly lighter in color than Unearthly with some faint cloudiness. That would make it a pale copper. A nice head with good retention and pretty lacing. No visible carbonation.

Smell is just great. Not better but different. Rich caramel sweetness and deep piney hops. A deep yeasty breadiness and tropical fruitiness. Faint oak dryness that tightens up what is otherwise a broad and expansive nose in its unoaked brother.

Taste is an extension of the oak driven dryness in the nose. The wonderful balance that is a hallmark of the Unearthly is still there but it is more west coasty in the reigning in of the huge caramel malt backbone. The oak is a subtle and wonderfully delicious component. The tropical mango and pineapple blend is still there. The hops are showcased a bit more in the grapefruit and bitterness which is a nice change. Feel is somewhat heavier. A very full weight to it that leads you to keep it on your tongue like a single malt scotch. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability is not quite like its brother. The heavier feel makes this one a candidate for smaller pours and savoring sips from the suggested fluted glass instead if the tulip tumbler I usually use for IPA/DIPAs.

A nice change-up. I prefer the more drinkable regular version but this one is nice for sipping with friends after a good meal instead of an RIS.

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Photo of Jmoore50
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a great trade with Sparklepants.

The appearance is good, on the edge of great. It has a really hazy dark golden color that gives it a bit of a mark down. If it was not hazy I would of given it a perfect 5. It has a great head and the lacing on the glass is incredible!

The smell is of sweet fruity hops. Citrus and really sweet sugar, this reminds me a bit of an aged barleywine. It has a fruity pebble smell that I do not like usually.

The taste has the fruity pebble taste that I really do not care for in my IPA's. I like piney, bitter hops. Either way it did improve with some warmth on it. You can taste the oak notes on this one, they are very strong in the middle and end tastes.

The beer is perfectly carbonated, but the sweetness is overwhelming and hurts my teeth. The beer overall is very good but I do not like the combination of hops that produces the fruity pebble character.


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Photo of dasenebler
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful ruby-amber pour. Head was lacking, but then again this brew is 11 percent abv. Aroma was big and beautiful-- a real kick of spicy, piney hops and then tons of vanilla and oak-related aromas.

Flavor is not really that hoppy, which is somewhat disappointing. This almost drinks more like a barleywine or old ale with its sweet, syrupy maltiness. Really rich oaky and alcohol flavors reminiscent of malt-based spirits. Tons of vanilla and a buttery flavor that is kind of nice. It's just nothing like a Double IPA. Carbonation was a little high for me, but the mouthfeel was pretty huge, no problem there. An easy 11 percent abv.

I probably should have had the normal Unearthly before this oak-aged version. I have a feeling that will better satisfy my hop fix. This is a big beer, but that's about it.

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Photo of boogyman
2.53/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a golden amber color with very little head that goes away very fast and leaves a very small amount of bubbles on the edges. Lacing is decent.

S- Smells of grapefruit and lemon. On the back end there is some vanilla probably from the oak.

T- Taste seems to be almost unnaturally sweet with vanilla oak flavors that take over the great piney hoppy flavor. The grapefruit is not nearly as strong as it should be.

M- Goes down fairly creamy smooth, almost too much so.

D- Overall, I think this is almost too strong on the vanilla sweetness and is kinda harsh on the stomach. I am not sure what it is with Southern Tier beers, they seem to be either really sweet or overpowered in the flavor that they advertise.

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Photo of BarrelO
2.88/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into a snifter.

A: Amber body with a not too vigorous head that leaves little lacing.

S: Between the hops and the wood, it smells pretty much exactly like a pine tree.

T: Pretty big disappointment. I can't really detect any vanilla or caramel from the wood or grassiness or citrus from the hops. It's almost as if the two cancel each other out. All that's left is generic bitterness. On the plus side, alcohol is hardly detectable.

M: Heavy and syrupy.

D: After being blown away by Great Divide 15th Anniversary and liking the original Unearthly, I was expecting big things from this beer. But this didn't do anything for me. Back to the drawing board, ST.

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Photo of PartyBear
3.66/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very dense cloudy amber honey colour, with a nice fluffy persistent white head, and light carbonation.

Aroma: Sweet caramel, and brown sugar with a heavy resinous piney hop aroma.

Taste: The taste is quite sweet initially, with lots of toffee malts, and hazy sugars, before taking a slow turn towards bitterness with a clean pine hoppiness, and slight grapefruit, The finish is full on hops with heavy oily resin bitterness clinging to the end.

Mouthfeel: Fairy heavy and oily in the palete, with a slightly chewy texture.

Drinkability: Considering its massive ABV, this is very drinkable, there really isn't a hint of alcohol in it. It's very well balanced and incredibly paleteable.

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Photo of dfillius
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass
A: Moderate pour yields 1/2 finger of white head with okay retention. Chill hazy coral/peach colored liquid is beautiful. More head please
S: Restrained West Coast hoppiness. Semi-dank. Apple, pear, fruity esters.
T: Whoa! An earthy (earthly?) flavor rushes in. Almost caramel, what is it? It's delicious and interesting. Almost nutty. Savory polenta with sweet pepper almost. Hoppiness is definitely there. Some alcohol but not much. This is a great blend of oak and hops - the best I've had.
M: Some warmth, rich and thick. Good, not great.
D: Great. I'd order again and definitely buy again.

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Photo of claminat420
3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

has this one yesterday and took some notes...

A- poured a hazy amber color with a solid two finger white head. nice thick/heavy lacing.

S- sweet malt presence with a orangy scent. NO REAL HOP SCENT.

T- a funky orange ipa taste. lightly woody.

M- medium bodied. nice carbonation.

D- a 22 and you're fine.

Overall- for a special limited release this isn't to crazy.

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Photo of jsh420
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours hazy golden orange with a 2 finger head that leaves spotted lacing

smells of fruity and somewhat piney hops - has a very sweet malt nose and i also pick up on the oak

taste is very sweet and fruity - this beer reminds me of port's panzer pils - just wish there was more bitter bite

mouthfeel is a medium body brew with a very slick and smooth - not sticky like so many other dipa's that are this sweet

drinkability is great - @ 11%abv is beer i think i could drink this beer all day or until i passed out - it does not way you down like most high abv beers do

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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
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