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

Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)
Liked This Beer
4.07 w/ 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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,122 |  Reviews: 568
Photo of mhatters
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip, on-tap at Ron's Schoolhouse in Exton

Pours a hazy, golden-honey color with a nice head and some serious lacing in the glass

The nose has a lot going on, vanilla, floral hops, malt, beautiful

The oak and earthiness comes through in a well-balanced flavor. The vanilla and pinefloral hoppiness is strong but not overpowering. Honey and malt are nicely balanced.

Spicy, clean and almost peppery, a nice dry finish, superb beer, drink a bunch when you find it

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Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had the regular Unearthly yesterday, so it is pretty fresh in my mind. Lets see which one is better:

A: Pours a nice amber color. Very clear. Nice fluffy, white head. About the same as regular Unearthly.

S: Okay, this beer is very different when cold and when chilled. When cold, there is alot of hops. Pine, citrus, grass, and light caramel notes. When warmer, I get alot of oak and caramel sweetness. Hardly any hops on the nose when it warms up.

T: Same story for the taste, it is alot different when it warms. When cold, I get a massive variety of hops. Pine, citrus, lemon, grassy, and earthy. There is also a hint of minty hops in the finish. When it warms, it seems all I get is oak flavors. Hops die out and I get sweet caramel malt with lots of oak and wood flavors. Kind of like Yin and Yang once the beer warms up.

M: Medium bodied and very smooth. Almost no alcohol warmth, which was very prevelant in the regular Unearthly.

D: Very good overall. Smooth and very complex. Although I enjoyed this beer colder, it still goes down quick when it warms.

I can't really say I enjoyed this one more than regular Unearthly. This one is, without a doubt, more complex in flavor. I really loved the hop flavors in this beer when it was colder, but once it warms, too much oak and malt flavors come through. It kind of defeats the purpose of an IPA if you lose the hoppiness halfway through the bomber. Less cloying and boozy than regular Unearthly, but the flavor just doesn't hold up as well. Overall, I like both about the same. Worth a shot.

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Photo of HairOfTh3Dog
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up at bottleworks as they are they only place I can find southern tier at in the NW(I know I should try harder). This beer pours a light copper, more yellow, very opaque. Looks a bit watery. Nearly no head forms when it is poured, just a ring around the outside of the glass. No fizzle but bubbles are visibly rising. Is this beer a bit flat?

Smells malty sweet, oaky. Not getting alot of smell off this beer. Was expecting a big whiff of hops but didn't get it.

The first taste was heavy on the hops. Tastes like a good west coast ipa, heavy IBUs with piney floral notes. The hops fades into the malty sweet and at last oak. I get a bit of booze in the taste but its fairly subdued.

I am a little thrown off by the carbonation in this beer. It definately has that tingle, but not quite as much as I like in an ipa. It makes the beer a bit syrupy feeling in the mouth. Maybe I had a bad cap. Or maybe it's just brewed this way.

I could probably drink a couple bombers of this before I slowed down, the taste is great, but the mouthfeel is a bit off.

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Photo of akorsak
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 650 mL bottle picked up at Al's of Hampden.

A: The IPA has a brilliant orange glow, the result of a bright amber color that is almost a shiny penny. A two finger head has left patches of thin lace all around the glass.

S: The strength of the hops mixed with the oak has given the ale a clementine aroma, thick and citrusy. Damn! Smells just like my hands after peeling one (a clementine that is, not an oak tree). This surpasses even Scurvy in the intense orange department.

T: The Unearthly's ungodly hop profile has been taken up a notch as a result of the oak. The vanilla sweetness has transformed the bitterly sharp hops into the aforementioned clementine-infused masterpiece. Oak is still evident on the back-end, lending a vanilla, mint, and a booze-intensified flavor.

M: The mouthfeel is intense, moving beyond the realm of any IPA, imperial or otherwise, that I've ever had. Never expected this much citrus flavor from a DIPA aged on oak.

D: At 11%, this is not your run of the mill IPA. One bottle will see me to sleep tonight.

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Photo of gford217
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle shared by the Emory boys at the Brick Store.

Pours a clear light amber with a small soapy white head that clings to the glass on its way down.

The aroma is big, with tons of stuff going on. There's the underlying hops that really dominate the nose in the regular version, but the oak is really intrusive with tons of wood and vanilla as it warms. No room for the malts to get through in the nose.

The taste is an assault on the senses as well, with plenty of hops up front, grapefruit, oranges, pine, etc. But as it warms up the oak really turns it on and the finish is nothing but vanilla and oak. The bready malts are actually detectable in the taste, unlike the nose.

The mouthfeel is on the fuller side of medium with soft carbonation and very smooth.

If ever a DIPA could be considered a sipper, this is the one. It's big in every way and this limits the drinkability to some degree. I prefer the non-oaked version slightly but they're both great beers.

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

Pours a clear, pale, amber/orange with a short, white head.
Smells nicely fruity and earthy. The oak shows up more for me as it warms. I seem to get the vanilla that others report.
Tastes of citrus hops, a bit of bitterness and the earthy malt sweetness.
Mouthfeel is medium & carbonation is light.
Drinkability: It's a slow drinker of a beer. It's a beer that requires you to pay a little attention to it with each mouthfull. Alcohol is mostly hidden, not an easy task for 11%.

Yep, aged IIPAs seem to be an oxymoron but this works pretty well. What I'd like to try is this on tap and sent through a Randall. That way I'd have the extra hops along with the oaked aging. More hops for this one.

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Photo of GatorBeerNerd
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle purchased at Green's in Greenville while on a recent trip Asheville, NC. Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A: Pours a beautiful clear golden orange color with a finger and a half thick off-white head. It leaves excellent lacing on the side of the glass. The head does recede down to a small covering of bubbles but never completely goes away (possibly due to the nucleation etching).

S: The oak definitely comes through in the aroma. It mixes along with citrus hop aroma. Not a lot else going on here.

T: Even with the oak aroma being very prevalent, the oak flavor is way more overpowering than I expected it to be. It is extremely strong in the finish. There is a bit of caramel malt sweetness but its not really as noticeable in its little brother. I have never had another beer with this much oak flavor. It gets points for uniqueness, but it tastes nothing like an Imp IPA to me. Its an oak bomb instead of a hop bomb.

M: It really exceeds here for me. It is unbelievably smooth and creamy in the mouth. It is fun to roll around on the tongue.

D: The overpowering oakiness of this one makes me take it a bit slow. The ABV doesn't make it any easier either.

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Photo of ken2cart1
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- amber, messy, sticky head

S-alcohol, sweet like caramel, oaky, piny hops

T- upfront a sweet malty caramel taste, followed by bourbon,oak, piny hops, with a lingering bitterness and sweet oak taste, at first i couldn't put my figure on it but there is definitely a subtle vanilla taste that I quite enjoyed...alcohol almost completely masked

M-creamy, malty

overall: very complex, highly recommended, i do not really consider it an ipa though...more malty than hoppy...delicious

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost clear orange amber. Nose is perfume and floral tones. Flavor is real tangy. Way too much so IMO. Seems like overkill. Cotton like and stuffed full of too much something. Besides that there is a nice hoppy and citrus tone with firm resin in there as well. Feel is thick and soft. Carbonation is lower. This doesn't do it for me. The imperial has gotten too much so. I don't think this oak aging has had any positive benefit on the original Unearthly. It seems to have clogged it up in trying to be even more than it already is.

Wondering if I had a poor sample. I am willing to try again and adjust my opinion if needed.

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Photo of Redwood21
4.01/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: the beer has a medium amber color to it that you can see through and isn't hazy. it also has a perfectly white head thats foamy and delicious.

S: almost vanilla ice cream in the nose so to me that's a bit unpleasant or artificial smelling.

T: the main knock is that the oak aging gives it a semi artificial vanilla taste to it, like some one dropped their ice cream into my beer. that said it is a tasty brew or i would not have dropped a four on it, i just think it tries to do too many things. i will say i think the label on the bottle is awesome looking.

this is a good beer and it does a lot of interesting things. if you want to try something different, almost a milk stout except iipa not stoudt... god times are to be had here

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

Decent, above normal, head. Good lace. Neutral amber color with a slight amount of haze.

Fresh, aromatic hop nose.

More malt than expected; of course, there is a strong bittering hop component. Still, this is a well balanced beer. Light alcohol in the background, which given its ABV would mean trouble in the drinkability department. It's too easy to finish off. If anything, it is under-hopped for the style.

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Photo of Yesac
3.77/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Clear golden, small layer of head. Decent lacing.

S- Smells like tree bark to me. Very "earthy" tones.

T- Unique. It tastes just like a DIPA with oak, ha. There are some vanilla and caramel notes. More of a sipper or just something to try once.. this isn't something I'd buy again. .

M- Thick bodied, sticky mouthfeel.

D- Not the easiest drinker.. this is an odd combo that shouldn't be mixed.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

"Every oak tree started out as a couple of nuts who decided to stand their ground."


Pristine persimmon with a gorgeous glow when backlit with bright morning sunshine. The creamy crown of sandstone colored foam is big beer beautiful. It has tremendous texture and looks to be melting in super-slow motion. A thick sheet of BB-shot lace is the cherry on top of this extraordinary looking DIPA.

As far as I know, Oak Aged Unearthly is simply Unearthly that has been oak aged. What better way to end up with great beer than to start with great beer? The aroma is exactly as expected given the ingredients list. There's plenty of tropical fruity hops, with just the right amount of background oakiness. This should be some treat.

Even though I slightly prefer the unadulterated Unearthly, this version is still top-notch. When it comes to IPAs/DIPAs, it's best when nothing gets in the way of the hops. Things like caramel malt and oak are fine in small doses. Even when they're present in moderate doses (as is the case here) it can still work. The reason this brew is so good is that it's a minor departure from the original rather than a major departure.

The malt structure is as rock-ribbed as they come, providing flavors of caramel-iced sugar cookies and well-toasted wheat bread. The hops are still able to punch through the malt sugars with ease, delivering plenty of bitterness, as well as generous shavings of orange peel and grapefruit pith. A glimmer of unmasked alcohol is to be expected given the ABV.

The original brew earned the highest mouthfeel score available and I see no reason why this ale shouldn't as well. It's impressively lush and silky... becoming even more so as it gains a few degrees. I can't imagine how it could be improved.

Southern Tier does big beer the way big beer should be done. Oak Aged Unearthly is yet one more example. Even though the standard Unearthly is slightly better, this is a more than worthy addition to the brewery's lineup. Thanks a million to prototypic for his incredible generosity.

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Photo of bobsy
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light copper pour with a couple of fingers of off white head that soon diminished to a slight film, but does give a touch of lace. I didn't really expect much due to the aging and high alcohol content, so it met my expectations. Aroma is an interesting mix of vanilla, spicy oakiness and the expected double IPA notes of grapefruit and caramel. Its a decent little package, but not one that blows me away.

This beer goes long on the oak, which adds a wonderful infusion of vanilla, coconut, cream and woodiness to the initial hit, before reappearing in the long drawn out finish. The middle is everything I love about the base brew - huge grapefruit and pine balanced by a large caramel malt presence. The alcohol is well-concealed, but becomes more apparent as the beer warms (as it always seems to with the bigger ST beers). The body is well matched, with a full mouthfeel and moderate carbonation.

Its another winner from Southern Tier, who seem to be developing a knack for incorporating woody flavours into their beers. I still wish they did their high alcohol lineup in smaller bottles, but what are you to do?

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Photo of froghop
3.94/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a clear orange with a tint of red, small light beige head, and good lacing.

smell of light grapefruit, toffee, and roasted nuts.

taste is creamy, grapefruit, slight pine, hops, few malts, some caramel, some white pepper, and burnt wood, ends on the bitter side and a little dry.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into two imperial pints. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a chill hazed, tawny honey color with a nice little dallop of off-white foam that leaves a bunch of lace behind.

S: Interesting aromas of vanilla, cream, and freshly sawn oak staves. Different.

T: Very similar to the smell. Earthy and spicy oak flavors. Vanilla, honey, and coconut. Hops take on a piney vibe. Malt is oozing caramel.

M: Slick, sweet, and smooth with the oak adding an interestingly dry and spicy facet to this. Finish is prickly and peppery on the tongue.

D: Quite interesting. Don't know if I could put this in regular rotation, but we're really glad we tried this.

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Photo of PrinceDarren
3.66/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I love oak and I love hops so this should be a dream combo.

Pours orange/copper with a short-lived 1-finger head.

Smells... odd. I don't know what that aroma is I smell. My olfactories are confused. It's hard to describe. I guess it's wood, but not dead-on. Maybe a chemical treated wood, like I imagine one might encounter when installing hard-wood floors.

Tastes... odd. This too is hard to nail. I taste the oak, but then there is something else... There is definitely citrus, but still something else.

The closest thing I can think of is, perhaps, a sliced red grapefruit served up on sheet of wet-cardboard.

The alcohol is well concealed and the bitterness is manageable.

In all, this mixture of flavors doesn't work as well as I hoped. For example, I like mint and I like peanut-butter, but mint/peanut-butter do not make a dream combo either.

I'm glad I tried this beer, but now I understand why there aren't more barrel-aged imperial IPAs.

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Photo of ommegoose
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An orangey gold color with a hint of haze. Not much head formation or retention. But I really like the color

Smells very malty. Lots of spicy oak. Honey. Flowery and citric. Takes a turn towards fruitiness later on.

This is pretty oaky, actually. Reminds me a lot of DFH Burton Baton. Lots of spicy oak flavor and vanilla. Hops seem under huge malt and oak flavor. The IBUs are probably high, but not perceived that much. Mint leaf, tangerine/orange, herbal bitterness. It's fruity. By the 2nd glass, I'm really tasting the fruity flavors, and the oak is more in the background.

Thick and syrupy. Relatively low carbonation, maybe even too low. Noticeable alcohol, but it could be worse.

This is pretty heavy and hard to get through. It's just so sticky, and it really lacks any crispness. The oak flavor is all there though, so it delivers in that aspect. Doesn't really seem all that much like a IIPA, almost more like a barleywine. Kind of like with the regular Unearthly, this one doesn't quite come together for me. It almost isn't fair to think of it as a IIPA. The 11% is steep as well. I don't regret a try, but I think I'll stick to some of the other beers in their lineup.

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Photo of Martin2D
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Amber red with a smal white head with lacing

S - Oak, alcohol and sweetness

T - Oaky alcohol on the forefront with a slight hop bite. Grapefruit zest with a slight aftertaste of sweetness.

M - Medium in carbonation and medium in body, lasting oak finish

D - This is definitely a sipper. Potent in alcohol flavor and super oaky. While I enjoy oak, I don't know if I buy into oak aged IIPA. Not enough hop character and lacking complexity.

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Photo of far333
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear orangey copper colored with streams of small bubbles rising up quickly to a frothy off-white half inch head that lingers long.

Aroma of tangerine and fresh flowers.

Flavor of sharp citrus hops right upfront, followed by chewy fruity honey malt, moving quickly to marshmallow and woody notes, and finishing with a grapefruit pith bitterness. A toasted maple woodiness lingers.

Full mouthfeel, rich and creamy, finishes tingly, crisp and tannic. Slight ABV warmth rises up.

Tasty beer, but the lingering sweetish woody flavor detracts for me. Would like the hops to be more center stage.

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

Big thanks to Masterski for this unexpected treat. My 500th.

A - Clear copper, .5 inch near white head leaves to disk. Some clingy sudsy lacing.

S - Floral, perfume like, with malt under tow.

T - Loving the malt base. Sweet and pronounced, accompanied by the floral, perfume hops. I guess some wood there, but not the main deal, for sure.

M - Low carb, but ok for the beer, medium bodied, lots of coating.

D - Killer beer, would drink till it hurt me.

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Photo of Florida9
3.05/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Thin copper in color. About and inch or so of nice foamy head which dissipates relatively quickly, but does leave some lacing in the process.

S: Malt, piney hops, maybe a little bit of citrus, followed by boozy smell of bourbon.

T: oh god, what is this? Liquified wood? Sure there are some malts and hops there, but they appear to have been beaten into submission by the unique flavor of furniture. please, someone give me a chaser.

M: Full bodied. Syrupy and medicinal. There was decent carbonation when I first popped the bottle, but the CO2 appears to have made a run for it as soon as the opportunity presented itself. Leaves a funky sawdust residue on the tongue.

D: No. Never again. My 22oz bomber was way too much. The only reason I'm even giving it a couple points here is because the folks at ST decided to put a lot of alcohol in this beer.

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Photo of Gyle41386
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip.

Pours a clear amber color. Small white head. Bubbles rising throughout.

Very nice aroma. The woody oak character and big hop bill play off each other quite nicely. Loads of citrus, and some sweet vanilla from the oak.

Very, very nice balance here. Unearthly was hugely bitter, a true hop bomb. The oak has mellowed it out nicely. I think I still like regular Unearthly better, but I can definitely appreciate the balance here. The oak and malt shine, but the hops still give a nice kick, and leave a nice bittering finish.

Full bodied, appropriate carbonation. Really nice texture. Super smooth drinker.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally found this for a "decent" price at Brilbeck's for $7.99. Much better than the $10.99 at Party Source...are you serious?

Pours a crystal clear light copper hue with a one finger white head that falls to a thin layer of foam. A fair amount of chunky lacing holds on to the sides throughout. Smell is spicy, musty, and dirty. Nothing like the Un*Earthly so many of us have come to love. The citrus is in the nose, but it definitely isn't as juicy and ripe as the original. Grapefruit and tangerine to begin with followed by some honey and cream. For some reason I get a dash of paprika midway with a bit of evergreen. Aftertaste is bitter with some oak flavors and orange peel. The body is medium to full with a pretty smooth and creamy feel which I'm guessing comes from the "oak aging". I'll take the original Un*Earthly over this version in a heartbeat, but I must say the 11% is almost non-existant in this beer. Good, but not sure the $8 is exactly justified.

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Photo of patmcd
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear golden amber, wasn't overly cloudy with an average sized tan head, that left some nice lacing.

Smelled of pine, some citrus, hops, with a hint of mild vanilla.

I really enjoyed the crisp flavors in this brew, the oak was a great soothing, mellowing compliment to the high level of hops. Instead of over-powering and giving a tremendous burn. Tastes consisted of pine, orange peel, a sweet alcohol tinge, with a clean hop finish.

This is actually one of my favorite IIPAs, the oak compliments it so well, and was extremely enjoyable in 90-degree heat, a great brew from Southern Tier! and for such a high ABV beer, it went down easy, dangerous stuff!

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Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83.2% out of 100 with 1,122 ratings
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