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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Reviews: 568 | Ratings: 1,122
Photo of Frosty80
4.69/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color: sits a slightly burnt orange

Smell: lots of piny, citrus hops, but the oak and heavy sweetness lend great balance

Taste: great piny hops with rich sweetness to balance and the oak adds great character. bitter finish with touch of sweetness and a hint of yeast

Mouthfeel: low-full body. moderate carbonation

Notes: reminds me a lot of Hopslam. has a ton of hops but a solid, rich sweetness to give it balance and nice mouthfeel. love the oak character. awesome beer!

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Photo of Kuaff
4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is the only oak-aged IPA I've heard of, and probably the only one I'll come across for a long time. I'm always excited to experience new twists on standard styles... Drinking at cellar temperature and in my tulip glass.

A full and fluffly three-finger, creamy-looking off-white head formed no matter how slowly I poured. The body's a fairly dark, golden amber-orange with radiant transluscence. A pleasing appearance.

It smells juicy in a tropical fruit kinda way. Hoppy, too. The interesting and unique thing I'm getting is a blend of wood and sweet vanilla. I can really TELL that it's oak-aged, and I really like it.

This beauty hit me with a magnifiscent flavor profile. It has the juicy-sweet hops of regular Unearthly, but the finish has the distinctive combination of woodiness, vanilla, and caramel that I've found in other oak-aged brews. But the thing is, up till now I've only experienced this character in oak-aged stouts and barleywines. To me, this beer has a little bit of Arctic Devil's caramelly vanilla oakiness and untamed bourbon, but not as intense, and balanced with the already well-balanced flavors of the already fantastic standard Unearthly. Sublime.

The feel is just as incredibly smooth and inconspicuous as the original Unearthly's. Somehow syrupy without being "thick." I don't know how that's possible, but that's how I would describe it. It's beyond my power to sensibly describe.

This is a special DIPA. Why aren't there more oak-aged ones out there...? After trying this, I'd say it's a treatment that could enhance DIPAs just as much or more than it does the maltier stuff. The vanilla and oak are AWESOME counterpoints to intense, bitter hops. I recommend this to all who love to have their beer horizons gloriously expanded.

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Photo of erosier
4.67/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a nice amber-orange color with a tall and thick white colored head that laces the glass very nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet malts, a nice big earthy/floral/piney aroma, and then a hint of something sweet and oaky.
T: Tastes like the nose with a nice big malt backbone and then a huge piney/earthy/floral hop aroma but finishes very smooth with some oak at then end. WOW is all I can say.
M: Very smooth, warming, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable, especially for an 11%abv beer. All the flavors mixed really well and the oak was the perfect cherry on top. I finished the bomber in no time that's for sure.

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Photo of beer2day
4.67/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a basic gold with a thin, well retained head. Decent lacing. Thin carbonation. Standard looking ipa.

The nose is nothing about standard - and very earthy. Hops leave a nice piney citrus smell. The oak is there, too, providing the earth tones. The beer smells like it will be thick.

The mouthfeel does not disappoint, coming across nice and chewy. The beer hits the mouth suprisingly calm, but explodes with a sweet, dry, bitter finish. Excellent! Notes of pineapple, tart esters, alcohol assuaged by the oak. All very, very good.

The beer hides its 11% well and is very drinkable.

Seek this one out.

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Photo of apbarwood
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dusty-orange color with an epic head of sandy colored foam that lingers for ages. Beautifully carbonated and leaves sheets of lace stuck all over the glass. Slight bitterness in the aroma that's not as present as I expected. Rather, there are loads of sweet fruity flavors like pineapple and orange with a bit of grapefruit for good measure. The flavor is bursting with sugar-coated fruit flavors, particularly tropical types with pineapple dominating. A heavy dose of oak-derived vanilla flavor is present and seems to cut through some of the bitterness and mellow out the hops. Also, a nice amount of caramel and sugar cookie coming through from the malt help to balance this one nicely between massive hops and massive malt/oak sweetness. Absolutely delicious. Medium to full bodied with a nice crisp carbonation that cleanses the palate. Maybe a bit sticky on the finish but it's marginal and that's the only real flaw that I can spot. This beer is absolutely phenomenal. I did this for a beer tasting and out of about 40-50 people who tried it, not one person didn't like it. It's truly amazing and I think the key is in the fact that it seems so perfectly balanced. If you're looking for intense bitterness this isn't the beer for you. Nor if you're looking for tons of malt or oak. It's just an extremely complex, perfectly balanced beer. Very highly recommended.

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Photo of adamdotson
4.64/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. This is delicious.

Nice amber color. Very clear. Smells most strong of clementines and wood. A very sweet smelling double ipa. Also very christmas treeish.(pine)

Spicy hop flavor. Also taste the orange flavor. Strong, pleasurable bitterness. kind of reminds me of gin.

COats your tounge with yummy viscous bittersweet syrup. Lingers on the pallate nicely. I love this one.

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Photo of whoneeds8
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to corey0212 for the bottle.

Poured into tulip glass yellow-red with a thick white head. Great lacing. There is a interesting nose to this beer. Very complex, lots of wood smell but then there is a smell like brandy on it. Very sweet smelling. The taste is just as unique. The hop bite up front is rather slight for a IIPA, but not in a bad way because it's accompanied by warming of sweet malted grapefruity flavors. The taste mellows out to a rather slight alcohol feel. The mouthfeel is rather warm, the carbonation tickles the inner cheeks of my mouth. This is a very strong IIPA, drinkablilty is great, but it's definatly a sipper.

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

22 ounce bomber poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a hazy dark amber color with a half finger head and some lacing.

S: Citrus hops, sweet malts, bread, vanilla, and oak.

T: Bready, caramel malts along with vanilla, oak, faint hops, and a touch of alcohol.

M: Medium bodied with mild to moderate carbonation.

O: This is a great example of what an Oak Aged IPA can be. The hops are subdued, but that's because of the amazing balance with the rest of the ingredients. They mesh very well together. Super smooth, easy to drink, and extremely tasty. I love it!

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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 drpimento
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fabulous beer; the very esscence of an IIPA. Served at a good temperature with a thick, cream-colored, foamy head that slowly settles and lots of coating lace. Color is a clear orange copper amber with some bubble trails. Aroma is a great blend of volatile malt, hop, caramel, toffee, nougat, vanilla, nutmeats. Flavor is similar to nose with great bitter -sweet - carbonic tang that are all forward and yet balanced. Body is full but slight occassional slight clashes between bitter and tang. Good carbonation. Finish is like flavor, tapers slow, almost no alcohol character. Truely great beer!

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - great looking orange amber, a touch of haze but displays clarity despite. A thin off-white head paints a mess of lace on the glass.

Aroma - syrupy pineapple, caramel, and a touch of oak. Very nice.

Taste - brief malts up front, good citrus following. Orangey, a little pine, the oak and bitterness hitting about the same time on the swallow. A nice twist on an IPA. A hint of the 11% but not much.

Mouthfeel - hoppy oiliness, IPA crispness, pretty good sized body. Right on track.

Drinkability - excellent beer for enjoying now or down the road.

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Photo of Damian
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from 650 ml./1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bottle
Purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
Drank from a snifter

The beer poured a gorgeous, bright, luminescent, orangey-amber color with absolutely no head.

The aroma was super hoppy, smooth and sweet. Fruity. Tons of tropical fruit (mango and pineapple) and citrus (orange peel) notes. Brown sugar was also noticeable.

The taste was similar to the aroma except perhaps a bit punchier. Lots of semi-sweet caramel malts up front. Citrus notes also came through strong. Bitter orange peel and grapefruit were quite noticeable. Spicy in the center. The finish was dominated by grapefruit. A touch of pine appeared as well. Crisp, dry and semi-bitter.

The mouthfeel was lush, creamy and ultra smooth with a fine, moderate effervescense. Medium-full bodied for the style. After every sip, the liquid left a slightly sticky coating on my lips.

Drinkability was terrific. This beer was incredibly balanced for the style. Additionally, the 11% ABV was remarkably well masked.

Like the original Unearthly, this version is packed with a ton of flavor. My only gripe with this oak-aged brew is that the oak was not at all noticeable. Maybe I need to try this side-by-side with the original to pick up the subtle differences. In any case, fans of balanced (aka "sweeter") DIPA's should most definitely seek out this gem.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A solidly clear ambery golden hue of perfect tone with a puffy large and in charge slighty yellowed foam that lasts only briefly before setting its hold on top in a slight skim and lots of fluff left around the edge. Big and tiny blobby things and spots of lace are flung across the glass and stick well.

Aroma is straight up mango juice with a nice twist of paled orange, tangerine, and strawberry. Highly tropical and lofty with a fresh juicyness.

Taste is immaculately driven in a firm balance of tropical juiceyness and whiskey sweetness. Full on mango juice marked with touches mixed in of manderine orange, tangerine, and sweet red grape. The oaky balance is super nice to behold and is well balanced with slight vanilla-esk whiskey warmth and sweetness playing off the juicy mango stuff. Its got enough beeryness to its juicy character to give it an impeccable dominion of pleasure and warmth, like somekind of super spiked tropical drink only found in the far reaching foggy foothills of Costa Rica.

Feel is fairly beefy, smoothly warm, and bold with a firm stint of a heavier mediumish body. Long, healthy, and tropically set in warmth and tender, juicy, hoppy tone and balance the whole way through.

Insanely drinkable and wholesomely yummalishious with a tropically set tone and warmth thats sure to quickly make you weary and slurry with its very well hidden 11%! Another keeper by Southern Tier! Yum!

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Photo of TommyW
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Almost amber gold body with a medium, off-white head that sticks well.

S- Some caramel malt sweetness with lots of floral and citrus hops and some noticeable oak and wood.

T- Caramel malt backbone with smooth notes of oak jumping in throughout the taste. Floral and citrus hops; sweet citrus turning into a citrusy rind bitterness that lingers for a bit.

M- Medium body with an easy carbonation.

D- Nice blend of a hops and oak; very enjoyable.

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Photo of StrangeBrewer76
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured crystal clear copper into a tulip glass, nice white ring of foam with solid sticky lacing.

For being un-earthly I get a rich earthy smell in the nose. Slightly spicy but a lot like carrot if you can believe that.

Tastes a bit like carrot too. This is not a bad thing. There is a vegetable sweetness that is new in beers to me. It must be from the red wheat. Very interesting, very enjoyable. The hops are mellowed out by the oak aging process.

I really like the mouthfeel. Carbonation is light, medium body and the hop bitterness is a little prickly toward the end.

As with most imperial offerings, drinkability suffers a bit with the higher density and ABV. I can easily finish this one but a second one is entirely out of the question, even if this was my first beer and I was planning on drinking more. I would get something lighter.

I plan to go grab a few more of these to share with others and keep for myself. I'm wondering if it will age well. Perhaps we'll see.

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Photo of Shango42
4.59/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving type-bomber poured into pint glass.

A-Amber/orange body with smaller off-white head.

S-Wonderful Citrusy floral smell of grapefruit peels and oranges. Some woodiness, hoppy sweet.

T-Wow! Starts subtly smooth and just builds from there and crescendos to the tasty hops. There is a fair amount of citrusy seetness all the way through. Very little oak is noticeable but there is some vanilla and caramel. The hops is not overpowering. Very well balanced and, for me, a push with Hopslam.

M-Slightly syrupy mouthfeel which is surprising considering the alcohol. The Alcohol isn't overbearing. Light on the carbonation.

D-So easy going down and the shared bomber is gone too quick. Make no mistake, as tasty and easy to drink as it is, this big beer will creep up on you. Delicious!

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Photo of tmitch75
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
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 DanH83
4.56/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This might be my favorite Oakes imperial. The nose is a little on the softer side, but the rest of this beer is smooth as butter.

It pours a darker amber with a thin, quickly dissipating head. No lacing. Carbonation is smooth and just right. The buttery, caramel flavors are perfect. The hops are balanced with the oak notes just perfectly. The abv make drinking a bomber alone on a work night easy.

This was great, I'll be going back for more.

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Photo of argock
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear 12oz tulip glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.99.

A: Luminescent ruby-orange with thick, meringue, 2-3 finger head with thick cap of lace with more lace formations down the glass.

S: Delicious caramel malts meet their match with bursting earthy and floral hops aromas. Grapefruit and pine are in there too. Oak edges in but is not dominant by any means.

T: Lush and complex flavors of earthy, spicy, and floral hops all horn in on a rock-solid malt backing which stands no chance but tries to all the same. Oak adds some depth to the earhty hops flavor, but only makes a minor difference in this outstanding DIPA.

M: Easily one of the best mouthfeels around, just like its big brother Unearthly. Silky smooth with low carbonation and a spicy, earthy hops aftertaste. Alcohol spiciness is all that is detectable.

D: An incredibly drinkable DIPA that rivals Great Divide Hercules in this category. Hoppy but not contortional with hops punch but excellent crafting that makes this a worthy excursion for any beer lover.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.54/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A – Orange maple with a nice white head. Great retention and lace.

S – Soft orange, pine, cedar, and fresh sap. Soft molasses and hazelnut sweetness. Beautiful balance.

T – Fantastic. Opens with orange maple syrup without being overly sweet. Bright dry oak mid with a soft pine character. Delicious campari and brown sugar backend.

M – Delicious agave, oak and pine finish. Medium body. Nice carbonation

O – A treat of a beer. Complex and well balanced.

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Photo of biegaman
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer's soft-hued complexion and peaches-and-cream colour make for certain eye-candy. Right from the very first pour a delicate haze persists, much like the egg-shell meringue that was whipped up as well. The lacing it leaves, on the other hand, washes away easily. If I wasn't all that thirsty going into this I sure as hell am now.

It smells like the liquid equivalent of my eighth grade shop class and the produce section of the local supermarket amalgamated into one profuse and uniquely fragrant bouquet. I find normal Un*Earthly more resiny than fruity, although there's no shortage of the exotic and the tropical here. It's equal parts coconut and cedar shavings.

Wood aging and excess hops make for a beer that tastes like it was brewed deep in the jungle primeval by the inmates of a Guatemalan insane asylum. It is bursting at the seams with ripe cantaloupe, lush honeydew, the juice of fresh lemons, Gran Marnier macerated tangerine wedges and streams of lychee liqueur. This thing is hemorrhaging hops.

And it has about as much maltiness as rice does colour; any presence of biscuity sweet pale malts is tissue thin. That's not normally a good thing but in this case I'm grateful, it allows all the complexities and nuances of the wood aging to really be noticed, a lavish vanilla flavour, sumptuous butter and a mix of spice and sawdust included among them.

The oak also teases out highly distinctive notes of lemon custard, key-lime pie and meringue. The mouthfeel is distinguishably creamy and on the palate resembles a buttery chardonnay more than a beer. The drying, foamy, lightly bubbled texture is accentuated by a fleecy, spry mintyness that intensifies the feel.

It's possible I'll eventually become jaded from overexposure to oaked DIPAs as I have with Imperial Stouts. For now, the concept still strikes me as being quite novel and the end product distinctive. The technique definitely lends itself just as well to pale ales as other styles. This example, like the few others I've tried, was both exceptional and enjoyable.

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Photo of Zodijackyl
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy orange/amber with a creamy white head and solid retention. Aroma is an overload of citrus hops, reminiscent of pine trees, or perhaps pine sol if it was a DIPA rather than a cleaning product. The smell is really exceptional, though the oaked version is pretty much the same as the regular one.

Taste is an incredibly dense and sweet syrup of hops that taste like pine sap and some citrus hops - it lacks the edge of slight bitterness that the regular version has, though I'm not sure if that is due to the oak aging or the freshness of the bottle. There is a bit of a backbone of light, bready malt with a bit of red wheat that supplements the fullness of the hop flavor nicely. Texture is very creamy for a DIPA, and medium-heavy carbonation that doesn't overwhelm with the hops. Very flavorful, but a bit strong for session drinking. I hardly notice the oak, it tastes pretty much as I recall the regular version, but a little bit less edge.

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Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful copper body that is completely transparent. One-finger off-white head with good retention but little lacing.

S: Strong hops with a good caramel scent along with pine and oak.

T: Nicely mellowed out. Strong hops with pine hit with an oaky overtone turning into caramel malts with a slightly bitter pine finish. Very good.

Overall: Excellent mouthfeel, perfectly carbonated, thick and oily doesn't get better for the style IMO. Very drinkable as well, Wouldn't be a problem to finish a bomber and more.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Brilliant amber pour crowned by a lacy white foam collar that recedes moderately fast. S: Alcohol and hop aromas backed by rich malt. T: Big malt and big alcohol meet big hops with fruit, melon, citrus balancing malty caramel. F: Creamy smooth, full bodied, soft palate. O: This is really an excellent Imperial IPA.

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4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
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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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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