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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 craftaholic
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from a bomber into a dogfish snifter. Has a hazy golden orange honey hue with a finger length head that leaves a nice soap scum lacing on the glass.

Smell: Has a sweet caramelized malt scent with touches of vanilla sweetness and some grapefruit citrus hops. There are some earthy notes that combine with a slight hint of herbaceous pine resin.

Taste: Quite a sweet brew and somewhat surprising for an imperial ipa. Its quite boozy as the abv would hint at, and also it is very citrusy which is surprising being oak aged. There is quite a vanilla and toffee sweetness here that is very delightful but is counterbalanced by the tart apple fruityness and the touches of grapefruit hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and so syrupy that its chewy. It lingers for quite a while but in a favorable way. Some warmth from the alcohol but the presence of the vanilla really mellows it out. Bittersweet finish that really has no harshness in sight.

Drinkability: I wouldn't call this a sessioner only because of the abv but other than that it is quite enjoyable. The carbonation gives it a bite but nothing over the top.

Overall: I've never had the original stuff but this was quite enjoyable. I feel like the oak aged subtlties mellow out what should be and keep it from being too viscous. Drinks more like a barleywine than a DIPA and the taste and aroma hint at it.

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

Medium-dark hazy copper body. Very small head and spots of lacing.

Vanilla and hops abound in the aroma Boozy and sweet caramel notes as well.

Wonderful. Nutty and sweet with a great hop balance. The oak mellows every bit of it out wonderfully.

Sticky, low carbonation.

An excellent oak-aged example. Highly recommended.

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Photo of BeerPhan86
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this one a few times before and remember being really blown away each time. Southern Tier makes absolutely fantastic big beers and they make really special imperial/double IPAs in my opinion.

A - Pours a clear golden orange with a one finger off-white head that quickly dissipates. No sediment that I can tell, as I seem to get with many oak aged beers I have tried.

S - Not as hoppy in the nose as you might think. Sweet, syrupy smell from toasted malts. Hints of oak and vanilla. Has a nice citrus aroma as well and reminds me of how orange juice smells.

T - Bitter and earthy hops quickly overtaken by oak, caramel malts, and vanilla. This is very sweet and not as hoppy as you might expect. The oak aging process really "tames" Unearthly in a way, but it is still absolutely excellent. The play between the woody oak and sweet vanilla taste with the earthy citrus hops is delightful. Slight alcohol in the aftertaste but it certainly is a potent brew after all.

M - Thick, slick, and a bit oily. Moderate carbonation.

D - This is a real treat and I get one only every once in a while. Definitely a sipper due to the intensely sweet tastes and alcohol content.

Overall, this is one of my favorite DIPAs. I love Unearthly as it is but the oak aging really adds a new dimension to this beer. Between ST's Hoppe, Gemini, and Unearthly DIPAs, this is my absolute favorite although they are all excellent. I'd love it if they tried oaking some of their other beers, especially my favorite pumpkin ale - Pumking. If you like this, you should try Dogfish Head's Burton Baton oaked DIPA.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright, yet dark copper color with a very very quick head. No foam or bubbles, but a light syrupy look to it. The aroma is a sharp lemony hop, some carameled biscuits, with some toasted oak brandy aromas. Complex and bittersweet aromas. The taste starts with sweet toasted malts with some oakey, earthy hops. The middle is a little syrupy on the palate with a warm alcohol that thins out the oaken IPAS barrell flavoring a little. But also adds som depth with the heat as well. Bitter is underlying the sweetness of his IPA. Very nice and sippable.

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Photo of mtbbaboon
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this before and love it. I picked up another bottle today. I poured some into a Duvel tulip glass (my go-to glass). The color is a dark, hazy orange. Not a huge head, but big enough and leaves a nice layer of suds after settling down. Decent lacing on the glass. The smell is nicely balanced. Plenty of hoppiness in the nose, and the hops are complemented well by sweet malt, pine and citrus. A nice complex aroma. The taste follows the nose, though the oakiness definitely comes through right away with the first sip. All sorts of nice musty oak character in the taste...I love it. The oak really goes well with the hops and citrus, and malty sweetness comes through as well. Not much bitterness to speak of. A beautifully balanced flavor. It's got a medium mouthfeel that leaves all sorts of stick behind. It goes down way too easy for an 11% beer.

I really like this beer. Well done, Southern Tier!

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Photo of Anthony1
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A medium amber orange color with a thin half finger white head. I got minimal glass lacing.

S: Sweet caramel malt with oak and vanilla, a touch of citrus hops.

T: First taste is of hops, but it quickly is overtaken by the massive caramel malt sweetness coupled with the oak and vanilla. A slight hops bitterness stays with some citrus hops flavor but the huge oaky vanilla flavor wins out. Much less hops than I anticipated and much more sweetness. Alcohol is faintly tasted.

M: Full, coating, sweet, and a slight hint of alcohol.

D: Medium at best, the sweetness starts to wear on you.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.06/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Nice amber pour with a little over a finger of head that leaves a small amount of lacing. Smell has a good amount of caramel maltiness and wood notes, almost overpowering the hop character underneath which has banana/flower/crayon wax qualities.

The taste is somewhat odd, almost barleywine-esque but a little too light for that distinction. As a DIPA I think this fails, as an Oak Aged DIPA it fails, and as an American Barleywine it is OK. An alcohol solvent taste overshadows what is underneath, and truthfully I believe that the regular Unearthly is a subpar DIPA so aging it in barrels can only do so much. This definitely is better, but I would hardly call it "good"

Medium bodied, this one just doesn't satisfy my palate at all really. It would be fine in 2 oz. samples but as far as being able to sit back and have a pint and enjoy it, I just don't get that kind of pleasure out of this.

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Photo of ledemie
2.48/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Clear reddish-orange with a light brown foamy head. Head quickly fades to a thin cap on top of the beer. Moderately active carbonation bubbles rising to the top.

S - Earthy and citrus hops mixed with a little wood. Some grapefruit and a little biter orange peel. Also some piney notes as the beer warms. Alcohol is also noticeable.

T - like orange peel, mixed with vanilla.

M - Medium to full bodied and very sticky. The sweetness lingers with you. Moderate carbonation. thick, a slit coat after swallowing .

I do not why but this beer made me nausea, there that bitter orange peel in the mouthfeel and smell, did not care for this one.

edited: I have tried there Pale ale sample pack and cannot believe this beer was this bad... I really do not know what happened, i cannot change my D+ grade, but overall a awesome brewery.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a pint; split with a friend

Pours an almost crystal clear amber with a huge, fluffy yellow infused head. Loads of sticky lace and mild carbonation.

Pine resin, oranges and tangerines fill the nostrils along with a hefty aroma of vanilla and oak. Some sweet, sticky caramel is also evident.

The body is sticky and chewy. The oak and vanilla really work hard to try and smooth this guy out, but lose out to the citrus and booze. Oak and vanilla make their presence known up front with hops quickly in tow. Pine resin, oranges, tangerines, and even some pineapple lend a prickly tone. The bitterness is not nearly as prevalent as regular unearthly, much more sweet. A touch of sweet caramel and vanilla are left in the finish.

I found this to be pretty drinkable. The booze is pretty hearty and you know its there for sure, but the oak and vanilla add a nice element to this DIPA.

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

A: Nice caramel color with an inviting luscious head that soon becomes cascading white lace.

S: Hop sweetness, plenty of malt, orange Listerine.

T: Initially reaction was wooo...this this is sweet. The citrus of the hops really shines through with grapefruit bitterness and an almost fresh orange peel taste. In addition to the citrus flavors there is a big malt profile with subtle oak notes. Alcohol can be had, but pleasant, not as bad as some of the other Imperial ST beers I've had.

M: Yummm..silk smooth and borderline syrupy.

D: This dogger is sweet and malty, enjoyed the taste but too sweet to keep on drinkin'.

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Photo of BigAl723
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from my local market. Poured into my Founders KBS snifter while watching the Tigers.

A: Golden and cloudy! Beautiful looking though. Outstanding character just by looking at it. Quarter inch head that is thick and creamy looking.

S: Very earthy and floral smelling. Hops, grapefruits, apples, and wood. This is a very down to earth smelling DIPA. I can't wait to take a sip.

T: Wow! Very interesting taste. Not what I was expecting. Or was it? I'm loving the oak taste. Quite different from the way it smells. Instead of the grapefruit and apples I smelled, the aging in oak really brings out a very delightful vanilla taste. A sweet bitter combination that I really seem to like.

M: Medium to medium heavy mouthfeel. A decent amount of carbonation. Quite heavy in the mouth but it's what I expected out of an oak aged DIPA.

D: This is fairly drinkable but not nearly what I expected. It's a pretty beastly/heavy beer but honestly the taste makes up for it.

Overall, another BIG beer from Southern Tier. That seems to be their thing. A good beer that I would like to try again.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split a bomber with my dad after sealcoating the driveway. Pours a deep red/orange that's nice and bright with a quarter inch of foam on top. Aromas of juicy hops off the top with lots of citrus, grapefruit and resinous accents. Sweet malts along with some oak in there as well. Sweet hop candy.

First sip brings a melting pot of sweet malts, caramel and big hop flavors with lots of citrus and herbal resiny goodness. The woody oak tones work in and add a wonderful dimension to the brew. Flows down with a good bit of sweetness and lingering blasts of hop bitterness. Alcohol shows up on the tail end, this one will warm ya up!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit slick. The big combo of malt, alcohol and sweetness makes it a bit hard to drink too much of it, but overall it's damn good. The oak really works well and I enjoy the fact that it is just oak and not a used spirits barrel.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bomber into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a nice, deep, slightly hazy orange body, topped with barely a quarter inch of pale tan foam that dissipates almost instantly, leaving some fine lacing; almost no carbonation rising through the body. Great color, but not as much effervescence as I'd like (and yes, I realize that a beer this high in ABV is expected to be a little flatter - but this goes too far).

S: No real surprises here: an oaked DIPA smells like hops (mainly citrus, with some floral undertones) and wood (almost sawdust). There's a certain attribute to the oak aroma that I'm having trouble pinning down...tannin? I'm definitely getting some reminders of dark fortified wine. Interesting.

T: Some hops up front, followed by lots of chewy oak. The vanilla from the wood goes nicely with the tiny bit of malt sweetness that shows through, and everything teams up for a rich bitter finish. The vinous character is still there, but more subdued than it was in the nose. A surprising (and welcome) balance is struck among all the major flavors, with the substantial ABV only making itself known at the finish. Quite complex and enjoyable.

M: Medium-bodied and, due to the low carbonation, a bit on the syrupy side. This could definitely use a little more life. I suppose an 11% DIPA isn't exactly supposed to explode into a huge head, but this is dangerously close to flat.

D: While this is obviously worlds away from a session beer, it's actually quite drinkable for its style. Any brewer who can make beer that combines huge, disparate flavors; an insane ABV; and this much balance and drinkability is to be commended.

Notes: I'm a huge fan of Unearthly, and was very excited to try its big brother. Overall, I wasn't disappointed, but in the future I'll probably stick with the original. Since both are balanced, I don't really need the assertive oak further distracting from the hop profile. Much like the Great Divide 15th, I felt that this beer let the oak play a bit to dominant of a role, taking away from the real heart and soul of the style. For oak complexity that doesn't distract from a beer, give me Burton Baton any day.


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Photo of ZorPrime
4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Received from a recent trade with Bobsy. Tasted on August 28, 2009.

A: The beer is copper looking with a very thin head. Expected since high ABV. The little foam I get however sticks to the glass quite well. The beer is slightly veiled.

S: Hops and alcohol... very intense. Wow, I would say very aggressive. Grrr! I like it. The hops is piny. I get some caramel too. Complex I would say.

T: Slightly woody on the taste, which would be from the Oak... Very bitter from the hops... Nice warm feeling due to the ABV.

M: Medium body and very sirupy. The taste stays quite long in the mouth... awesome!

D: A little bit heavy to drink more than one bomber per session!

This version is stronger and more intense than the original version. I think I like them both.

Had to pour myself two glasses... the second one was way better than the first one... sediment at the bottom is required to fully appreciate this beer in my opinion. My ratings were done on my second glass. As the beer warms up a little bit, I get some orange in the taste. Awesome.

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

22oz. bomber into tulip on 8/27/09.

A - Poured a clear orange body with reddish and light copper hues and one-finger creamy off-white head that reduced to a patchy film and bubbly ring, depositing spotty lace around the glass. Nice body clarity with moderate effervescence.

S - Citrusy and floral hops with a subtle oaky presence and slight waft of alcohol in the nose. Some mild tea-like hops also emerge in the background.

T - Citrus and light tea-like, herbal hops blend with strong floral notes situated around a sweet caramel malt backbone. Subtle bourbon notes emerge in the middle, followed by a sweet, cooling vanilla character with hints of oak and wood. Finishes with lots of caramel malt and another round of bourbon flavor.

M - Medium bodied with a smooth, oily texture and moderate carbonation. Subtle alcohol warmth on the palate, but cooled by the vanilla presence. Finish is bittersweet and not harsh at all.

D - Good stuff, albeit quite different than the standard Unearthly IPA. Lots of vanilla really opened up, especially after the liquid warmed up a bit.

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

Pours a hazy, golden/copper color. 1/4 inch head of a pale tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of hops, sweet malt, alcohol, citrus (apricot), and an earthy aroma. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and thick with a low carbonation level. Tastes of hops, sweet malt, alcohol, citrus, earthy sweetness, and oak/liquor flavor. Overall, a strong brew that is very good.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.46/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

UPDATE 10-09-2011: this beer is distributed to CA. I bought it for $12. Since that's a pretty silly price for the quality, I have downgraded my scores a bit.

Chilled bottle into a glass. From a trade with onix1agr (I think???). I've gotten so much Southern Tier from various people that I can't remember who sent them. Thanks to the guy that hooked me up with this one.

A: Pours a coppery amber body with a slight haze to it. A vigorous pour results in two fingers of cream-colored head that sticks around for several minutes, leaving trails of lacing down the glass. What a fantastic look, especially for an 11% barleywine.

S: Yes, I hold that it's a barleywine because of the smell and taste. Caramel, toffee, oak, vanilla, pine and grapefruit hops.

T: Nice balance of caramel, toffee, pine, and some grapefruit. I guess it was dry-hopped after the oak aging. In the finish, tannins and vanilla start to become prominent.

M: Medium-full, syrupy body with a little bite from the carbonation that helps make each swig enjoyable. Don't really feel the ABV at all.

D: This was one of the better Southern Tier beers I've had.

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Photo of jackorain
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear, amber, coppery colored liquid topped with an lightly off-white colored head that hung around for quite a while. When it did fall it left a nice tall color with no lace.

Smells of pine hops and candy apple sugar cooking on the stove. Some grapefruit comes in in the end.

There is an immediate hit of grapefruit and pine hops on the tongue. This is followed by sweet candy sugar. The middle brings some wood character and a touch of vanilla. Bitterness comes in late and linger after the swallow. There is definitely some alcohol here as well.

Medium body with a nice creamy carbonation.

The drinkability is not that high, the alcohol is not well hidden and kind of gets to me.

Thanks For Reading

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

Poured with great clarity into a imperial nonic a deep burnt orange color with a frothy two finger slight off white head atop,a mix of vanilla/oak and big citric hop with the hops given the slight edge,a tinge of alcohol comes thru as well.The oak isnt to big wich is a good thing for me leaving the great complex hop profile that I love about the standard version to be the main component of the beer.Big citric piney hop with some herbalness,the oak flavors come in the finish.Everything seems to be getting oaked these days not sure if a DIPA should be oaked,this was still pretty damn good.

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Photo of Lexluthor33
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber color with a good sized head and lace.
The aroma of hops,grapefruit,citrus and some malt.
The taste starts sweet with oak and grapefruit. A malt base with some alcohol hints.
The feel is medium body,syrupy and well carbonated. Some bitterness,but really balanced. Smooth and easy to drink. Oak notes abound.

Notes: This was a treat. Well balanced and smooth. Sticky yet not too sweet. A favorite.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange amber color with a white head that retains fairly well and leaves ok lacing.

Nose is definitely indicative of barrel aging. Kind of smells like a malt bomb, old IPAish, but this is not uncommon in OAIPA.

Taste is pretty good. The hops have faded significantly, but there is still a nice bitterness in there. Oak and slight vanilla make their presence known. The malt profile is big and bold, and the alcohol heat is pretty apparent, but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel is nice and thick, just what i want in an OA beer, but throws it off a bit with the base style.

Drinkability is good, but it is slightly hot. The slightly cloying malt profile doesn't help either, but for a bigass beer, it goes down easy enough.

Overall I'd have to say this is yet another mediocre offering from ST. Not undrinkable, but not anything i will purchase again. Its tough to pull off an Oak Aged IPA, and this is certainly a decent attempt. Give it a shot.

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Photo of tmitch75
4.57/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Haven't reviewed in a while and this seemed like as good a time as any to get back into it...

Pours a nice bright orange color with thick but soft white head. Smells like an IIPA should, with solid citrus and pine aromas and a touch of booze.

Tastes great, an unusual (to me anyway) combination of powerful citric hops and woodiness. The oaky notes remind me of some of the bourbon barrel stouts I have had, but they mesh quite well with the hoppiness here. There is a nice soft maltiness in the background too.

Mouthfeel is about what you'd expect for the style, full and smooth. Drinkability is excellent, especially considering all the things going on here. The 11% ABV is very well-hidden. Overall a damn fine beer at a pretty damn good price (22oz bottle).

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours an amber/orange color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention is average, lacing is pretty good. Aroma is citrusy (grapefruit, orange peel) and pine hops, along with some oak. Taste is similar to the aroma. There's citrusy hops, caramel, oak, and some earthy/spicy hops noticable in the taste. Also has a nice lingering bitter hoppy finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating and a bit syrupy with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it's very smooth and enjoyable to drink. However, the 11% ABV does catch up to you after a while. Overall I think it's another solid offering from Southern Tier.

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

A: pours a slightly cloudy orange with a small white head that fades to a decent lacing

S: pine and citrus hops, caramel sweetness, peaches, i don't get much oak, but if i remember correctly it's sweeter and caramel comes out more here than the regular unearthly

T: starts sweet but has a nice bitter finish, goes a long with the smell, still not much oak, but the age alone treats the beer well

M: slightly syrupy with a welcome tinge from carbonation, coats the mouth nicely

D: very little hindering the drinkability, still a sipper, but not overly sweet and the bitterness has been tamed down from the regular unearthly...but i should probably compare them side by side

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.52/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint. Nice, active head, good DIPA color.

S- grapefruit, lemons, oranges... fruity awesomeness.

T- The oak is here, adding a bit of depth to the nose. Works well with the caramel malts. Decent hop profile, not my favorite, but solid. Sweet, but I think the oak cuts down on it compared to the OG Unearthly.

M- Pretty good considering the ABV. Crisp... a bit too sweet but prob. just personal preference.

D- Moderate. A bit pricey, and not my favorite... a bit too hot and not as refined as I'd like, but a well-crafted brew that is to be respected. There's a bunch of other DIPAs I'll reach to before this, although I like it more than the non-oaked Unearthly for sure.

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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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