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 kk73
3.41/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into my glass. Thanks to dmunroe for this one.

A - Poured an almost clear rich amber/orange color with a smallish off white head. Head slowly settled into a ring of foam with lots of sticky lace.

S - Unlike some reviews Ive read not real hoppy. More malty, with some subtle grapefruit, and woodsy oak.

T - Real malty almost barleywine like taste. Tons of oak with a slightly alcohol astringency. Followed by some grapefruit, not much bitterness but really crisp.

M - Medium to heavy bodied for a DIPA in my IMO. Creamy and smooth on the tongue with a little alcohol bite.

D - Overall not my favortie DIPA. The hop presence was a bit lacking and would have preferred a more robust hop profile. But overall drinkability is good.

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Photo of PerzentRizen
3.42/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Duvel glass this beer is a mahoganey to deep burnished copper in color with soap bubble head that reduces quickly.

The aromas are muted floral hops and massively oaked malt. The citrus in the regular unearthly was much more pronounced and that was one of the best things about that beer. I'm not sure how well I care for oaked IPA's.

The taste is hot hot hot! There is a massive alcohol bite up front that kills the experience for me. I think 11% was a bit agressive for this one. The hops and hidden behind the oak (which doesn't taste bad just differnet). I much prefer oak with a scottish ale or a rich imperial stout.

The mouthfeel is buttery with lots of residual hop oils and plenty of alcohol viscosity.

Drinkability is low for me. I hate to slam a beer in any category especially a southern tier but this one was way to alcoholic and overly oaked. I think this was a mistake - I much prefer the unoaked version.

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Photo of claminat420
3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
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 BZero007
3.45/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into my DFH Snifter with a minimal head forming that sticks around for abit. The smell was there but I felt that it was very faint. Smell was mainly of Oak and a hops background. I have to say this was a great oak aged beer for me. I really enjoyed the amount of Oak that hits you up front and that is followed by malt then hops. I would have to pick this beer over the unearthly for it's unique flavor and balance. Medium body and was able to drink and enjoy. Will be picking up more of these in the future.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Yet another tasting courtesy of a trade with mdfb79. Muchas Gracias bro!
*Poured into a goblet

A: Color is of a deep murky amber that really lightens when held up to the light. I had just a thin fizzy alka-seltzer layer of head and the smallest inclination of some lace.

S: Spicy pine paired with sweet honey caramel malts and that fresh clean water aroma. Just a slight faintness of oak. More of an earthiness. Opens up more as the beer sits. Alcohol detectable.

T: Good spicy hopiness with some floral and earthy notes. Burnt caramel sugars really come through and give the brew a slight nutty sweetness. Oak is barely even detectable. Woodsy flavors do come through more as the beer settles out. Nice dry finish but overall on the sweet side of things. Definite warming.

M: A medium body knocking on the thick side of things with an overall sticky coating mouthfeel and a slight dry in the finish.

D: A big brew no doubt about it. Big chewy caramel flavors with a nice hoppy spice and ABV's in full effect.

I actually enjoyed this brew more than the regular Unearthly which surprised me a bit. This seemed to have just a bit more character to it. Very reminiscent of a Lagunitas Maximus or some Moylan's offerings. Glad to have experienced but probably wont be hunting down by any means.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
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 NonServiam
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

From a 22oz bottle purchased at Binny's.

The first thing I usually do after I crack a bottle of beer open is to sniff it directly from the bottle. Sometimes the aroma you get is a concentrated preview of what's to come after you pour, and other times the "bottled" aroma is quite distinct from the "poured" aroma. This imperial IPA is an example of the latter case.

The bottled aroma is powerfully spicy and earthy, in a hoppy way, with a sappy sweet and resinous background. It is very reminiscent of the aroma that results from refrigerating marijuana buds in an air-tight container together with a piece of lemon rind.

Once poured, though, the aroma is much less resinous and more dry. The profile of the aroma becomes more complex and less overwhelming. A spicy maltiness, sweet and slightly soily or earthern, is present alongside the vanilla woodiness of oak. There is an occasional "twang" or "sweet-and-sour" to it. The aroma becomes hoppier and more balanced as the beer sits for a while in the glass.

The appearance of the poured beer is fair, but not exceptional. It is a medium honey or orange-ish copper in color, with relatively few jets of carbonation. It is as bright and clear as any filtered beer. It pours with a rather anemic head (despite my best efforts to the contrary) -- about one finger of hoary foam, short lived and thin. The ring that forms around the edge of the glass laces well at first, but after about 15 minutes, it dissipates entirely and laces not at all.

Upon entering the mouth, the flavor is exceptionally malty and big, with a slightly acrid twang and sweetness at first, followed by a hop-spicy, then smooth, oakishness, which recedes to a bitter, dry finish. The mouthfeel is heavenly... silky, creamy, and very gently carbonated. I would say that the overall picture is decently balanced, but a bit too malty, then too hoppy, then too dry as you taste it -- never quite all balanced at once. It is sure to be a skullscrusher... you'll start feeling it less than a quarter of the way through the bottle.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.49/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Oak aging can work, but it didn't here. Pours brownish amber with no head. Strong vanilla and oak nose, a little pine and grapefruits. Taste follows with very little hop flavor, a little flat, with some very dry oak and maybe a little vanilla. Oakiness just overpowers everything. A mild almost otherwise flavorless brew. Very sweet and almost no bitterness. Most of these just don't work out for me...unless you talk about CCB's Humidor and White Oak Jai Alai...

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Photo of delta490
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Maybe the bottle I had was in need of further aging but the oak overwhelmed every thing about this beer for me. I really like the Unearthly IPA but the woody notes just dominated everything to the point of being unpleasant.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.52/5  rDev -13.1%
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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Photo of Another6Pack
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light copper pour from the bomber into a pint glass. Bone white one finger head that dissipated rather quickly. First whiff reveals the oak aging this one endured; hops and sweet scents are secondary but prevalent.

Taste is waaay over on the sweet side of the scale. All my palate could really pick up was brown sugar and cloves...couldn't find any of the heat I expected out of an 11% IIPA. Mouthfeel is creamy, with the tongue-coating, syrupy mouthfeel blocking the aspects of big IPA's that I like the most.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh bottle. Poured into a tulip glass.

Body is hazy, orange gold topped by a half inch head of off-white foam. Good retention and lacing.

Smells of sweet biscuity malt, orange peel, vanilla, brown sugar, and a touch of floral shampoo.

Tastes of sweet biscuit malt and a lot of malt sugar. There's some orange peel, toffee, vanilla, and wood tannin in the finish to balance out. This is a very malty DIPA--in the DFH 120 vein. This would be more appealing if there were more fresh citrus hop flavor; seems to me that most of the IBUs are in the bitter dimension and this presents more like a barleywine. The taste comes across more harsh than balanced. Since I have a few bottles, it might lay one or two down in the cellar--maybe some of the harshness will resolve.

Carbonation is light and medium body. Kind of a pasty mouthfeel.

Overall, this is a malty DIPA that seems more like a barleywine. The alcohol is noticeable, but could be more complex and balanced.

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Photo of Lerxst
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Kickbacks

A-Pours a semi hazy golden/amber with a one finger creamy white head that has good retention and leaves sticky lace all the way down.

S-Hops are there, but somewhat subdued. I'm getting some pine and citrus. Smells a little sweet. Bready malts are apparent here, perhaps their presence is more so than the hops (a bit of a disappointment). Hints of oak come through as well.

T-A little sweet and syrupy. Seems to follow the nose with the pine and citrus battling with the sweet bready malt backbone for supremacy and it seems the malt wins out in the end. As with the nose the oak is there, but only hints.

M-Medium body, slightly slick and a bit oily.

O-A nice beer, though not anything that rocked my world and made me want another. One was enough.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
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 beertunes
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in tulip. Poured a great clean,clear coppery amber color with about an inch of white head that very good retention and lacing.

The aroma was mostly citrusy hops, with some floral notes, and a malt of sweet malts in the back. There was just a hint of the wood hanging around the edges. The flavors started out the same way, a big blast of hops, then some malts. But as the worked it's way across the tongue, the beer seemed more balanced and better melded. The added a nice flavor at the back.

The body was good, a bit fuller than most of the style, but not sticky or clingy. Drinkability was good, especially for such a big beer. Overall, a pretty nice take on the style. Worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a clear orange with a small white head. Aroma of oak predominantly as well as sweet citrus and grapefruit. Flavor of sweet fruit and oak. A bit of an odd combination really...I'm not really a fan of it but it wasn't terrible either. I'll stick with the regular IIPAs...

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a clean amber/copper with a tiny amount of head, decent amount of lacing. smells mainly of vanilla, caramel.. getting some very faint floral hop notes in the background.

a very vanilla bourbon taste to this one. a hint of bitterness towards the very end, lots of banana taste... nothing like what i was expecting - it's mainly just very booze flavored.

medium bodied, creamy yet sparkly on the palate thanks to the nice amount of carbonation. has an overall warmth from the alcohol content, yet the barrel aging seems to tone it down to a nice subtle volume.

this is a nice barrel aged ale, just not as hoppy as i was expecting for an imperial ipa (which from reading the bottle, was brewed with 3 hops, then dry hopped with 3 more..). i guess with the aging process, it lost a lot of the hop profile now that i think of it, makes sense. i'll have to try the regular unearthly and see how much i like that one!

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Photo of dfclav
3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

A - pours a pretty nice looking reddish amber color with a 1 finger head that goes away very quickly. This looks more like a red ale then an IPA.

S - a whole lot of caramel here, very pleasant. Also some oak and very sweet malts. It smells extremely rich.

T - the taste is very oaky and malty and sweet bordering American barleywine style. Piney resin and some tropical fruits finish with some alcohol taste, maple syrup, and bubblegum. Not much twang from the hops but a noticeable finish.

M - medium to heavy - smooth and creamy, no real twang or carbonation though. Suprisingly not a very dry finish either. This is extremely sweet.

D - it goes down easy enough but the sweetness really affects the drinkability. I feel like I am drinking a barleywine where they put maple syrup in just before bottling. 11% extraordinarily well hidden but i'd like this more in a 12oz - this should be shared. Hate to compare but stick with 2xipa if you want a ST beer.

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Photo of DaveHS
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

thanks to trxxpaxxs for this one.

A-Pours copper/amber with 1/4 inch of foamy off white head. Reduces to a slick white foam that coats the glass.

S-Oak,saaz hops, pale malts, earthy, light bitterness.

T/M-Light sticky sweetness fades into earthy German hop bitterness. Oak dominates the flavor profile, lingering into the finish. The longer I spend with this, the more imperial pilsner-esque sweetness pushes through. It verges on cloying, but never quite gets there. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O-This tastes like it's been around for a little while. The hops aren't as prominent as the label would suggest. It's alright.

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Photo of REDAMI
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Slightly cloudy amber pour, no carbonation, no head.

S - Honey, malt, citrusy hops, very light nose overall.

T - Heavy oak, followed by malty sweetness, slight alcohol heat, very mellow hop finish.

M - Thinner mouthfeel than original Unearthly. A little disappointing.

O - Excellent oak flavor and well rounded maltiness not usually experienced in a DIPA. The hop-forward flavor typical of this style has been lost to the aging. It's a good beer but the original Unearthly is better, but I'm glad I tried it.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured an orangish amber in color with yellow highlights and a half finger of head that left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: mostly malty sweetness upfront in the aroma with hints of oakiness, slightly citrusy, bready notes, maybe vanilla but no real hop character though.

T: caramel character was the leading the way on the palate alongside bready malty sweetness, very little citrus notes, some oaky accents, a touch of vanilla but once again almost no hop presence in the flavor either

M: the brew was medium to light in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, semi oaky, citrusy and crisp finish.

O: I was a little dissapointed on the flavor cause I was expecting more of a hop bite, oh well I guess I have to stick to these west coast hop bombs.

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Photo of PileOwnz
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz Bomber into tulip glass.

A - Poured with a two finger off white head which fades to less than a finger. A dark amber, copper color, extremely clear.

S - Piney, citrusy, oak, vanilla, grapefruit, very floral. Reminds me slightly of a barelywine scent mashed with an earthy IPA.

T - An earthy, piney hop mixed with a citrus overtone. Hints of grapefruit combined with vanilla and oak. Hops bitterness is very subtle in this for an IPA. Almost goes down like a barleywine. The alcohol is very warming in this. Subtle tones of caramel.

M - Medium Bodied. Reasonable carbonation. Taste lingers for a while.

D - One bomber and you're good. Goes down nicely for an 11%-er, but, nothing spectacular. Good in it's own right, but I think I'd prefer a regular Unearthly.

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Photo of chicano4craft
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. Amber with a big white head that drops to a crown rather fast. Pretty clear and almost has the look of a red ale.

I smelled the hops as soon as I poured it. But after the head disappeared the oak and malt seemed to take over. Because of the high ABV I was expecting some alcohol, but don't really detect it.

First sip comes across like a barley wine with a little age on it. I don't see a date on the bottle. The hops aren't a hugh part of the flavor. There's a slight bitterness but the oak and sweet malt are dominant. The oak gives of vanilla that mixes nicely with the toffee and caramel from the malt.

Mouthfeel is decent. Drinkability is decent considering the high alcohol.

Overall this beer is nothing like I expected. I wish I could try this really fresh. I need the hops. Despite the lack of aroma and hop flavor I still enjoyed this beer. I was expecting a IIPA and got a solid barley wine.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep cloudy orangey color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention and not much lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with some floral and citrus hops also thrown in the mix. Taste is much similar to a barleywine then an imperial IPA with dominating sweet malt with a very light oak and a floral bitter finish. Body is quite full with limited filtration and no much carbonation. I honestly think the regular version is better.

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Photo of John_M
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Max's today.

The OA Unearthly pours a goldish orange color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose, this beer smells pretty much like the non-oaked version. There is some pretty sweet malt, but it blends very nicely with the citrus, grapefruity hop aroma. The flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose. I don't really pick up much from the oak, except that the beer is a bit rounder and smoother, and it seems to have toned down the hoppiness a bit. Not really sure that's such a good thing. Like the regular unearthly, the alcohol is pretty noticeable and it's on the sweet side. The beer is medium bodied with a good, smooth mouthfeel, but once again the beer is a bit heavy and tiring on the palate.

While a good beer, the alcohol is too noticeable on the finish, and I found myself having an increasingly difficult time drinking it, the more I went along. Just like the regular unearthly.

This beer is so similar to the regular unearthly, I just don't see the point to it. Again, just not my cup of tea I guess.

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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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