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

568 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 568 | Ratings: 1,122
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!

 919 characters

Photo of CHickman
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy copper orange color with a 2 finger light off white head that faded slowly, leaving very good spotty lacing clinging to the sides.

Smells of sweet hops and oaky up front, with toffee, caramel, grapefruit, orange peel, citrus hops, sweet malt, light grains, flowers, vanilla and booze like a very rich merlot or brandy; no real spices, but the earthy oak notes that resemble alcohol or wine add nice balance to the citrus hops, but I expected more hops from a DIPA so this is lacking in that regard.

Tastes as smooth as it smells, with dark fruit, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, toffee, grapefruit, orange peel, citrus hops, graham cracker, butter, herbs, piney hops, vanilla, grass and dark fruit like plum or a sour apple; a boozy flavor kicks in about halfway with oaky merlot or even bourbon notes, followed by floral hops, peat moss, cinnamon and coriander. This seems more like a strong ale than a DIPA, as the hops are juicy and sweet, but somewhat tamed by the earthy/oaky flavors. This is more barrel aged ale than hoppy DIPA. The ABV is not well hidden, but there is still a complex enough flavor that is very enjoyable if you can handle the sweet boozy essence.

Mouthfeel is creamy and oily slick, with a pretty heavy body, very mild carbonation, some mild bitterness and lots of booze; relatively smooth for an 11% ABV beer, and overall enjoyable but it just seems off base a little bit as the hops, oak and malts don’t combine for an IPA experience. With that being said, it was tasty and a good strong ale, especially if you like oaky or smoked notes.

A beer that got better and more potent as it warmed, this was not what I expected and not what a DIPA is or should be since the hops were just complimentary to the oak and vanilla, but it was a very tasty oak aged beer – just not sure where this went off course as a DIPA, as this does not represent a DIPA well and misses the mark in that category, but scores well as an oak aged DIPA. A good beer, but I’d take a regular Un-Earthly over it any day; this is just a little too sweet and not hoppy enough to seem like the regular Un-Earthly Imperial IPA’s sibling; it’s worth a try, but I suggest splitting the bomber with someone.

 2,228 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Arrives a clear, bright red color, not what I expected. Just a faint ring sitting on top.
Smell is sweet, hops, oak and a hint of citrus.
Taste is hops first with oak, light malt and a faint Froot Loops note. Interesting.
Alcohol is quite noticeable but not harsh. Full bodied and smoother than expected. Rich. Medium effervescence, lightly warming. A very good beer and I'm not a fan normally of IPAs. Imperial IPAs on the other hand are very good.

 449 characters

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!

 595 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great looking, coppery to light brown, mostly clear, rising bubbles, good head and lace.

Smell: Hoppy as hell. Oaky. Some malt character.

A complex array of vanilla, fruits, hop oils, and perhaps bourbon comes through on the taste. There's plenty of malts but there is also a lot going on here, so they're a bit more subtle than you'd think.

A relatively full bodied beer with an oily hoppy, woody finish, and some alcohol warming.

This beer really is amazing. I picked it up not realizing it was oak aged, and boy was I surprised! Awesome job on a great beer from a great brewery!

 586 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: two finger thick head on a clear amber with crimson hues body.

S: oak, vanilla, earthy/citrus hops and a little booze.

T: the addition of the oak makes the malts in this one stand out even more verging on the candied fruit and breadiness of a barleywine. The hops are down played more in this one due to the woody presence but still contribute nicely.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation. smoother than I expected.

Overall: The oak/wood is fairly strong and this one takes a few sips to get used too. The barleywine-like flavors also make the booze stronger affecting drinkability but it is still a nice one to try.

 626 characters

Photo of CloudStrife
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pumking goblet. Bottled 2/24/12.

A: Pours a slightly hazy light brownish copper. 1 finger head is quickly settled leaving a little lacing. Small amount of visible carbonation.

S: With the obvious hops up front the oak really gets through. Dark fruits, vanilla and hints of bourbon. Almost more malt than hop as it warms up.

T: Fairly well balanced for in imperial IPA. Doesn't slap you in the face with hops but still has the flavor. Oak really evens it out and almost hides the alcohol. The dark fruity malts really compliment the earthy hop. Bourbon-esque alcohol asserts itself at the end.

M: Pretty full bodied, nice creamy mouthfeel. Very warming and certainly a sipper.

Overall a nice twist on the original unearthly. Oak keeps the beer mellow and more of an after dinner drink. Would recommend to anyone who enjoys oak aged beers.

 869 characters

Photo of thedoubler55
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish pint glass

A: Nice simple amber color, with almost no head at all at the top, and barely leaves any lacing around the glass as you drink.

S: Smell of honey, caramel, some strong hops and some oak comes through the nose as well as this one but nothing to potent.

T: This beer taste great, lots of oak notes, with caramel and sweet malts and hops, greating tasting.

M: Medium carbonation, medium bodied, perfect balance

O: Great brew, warms the bones on the first sip, thoroughly enjoyed this beer, Southern Tier never dissappoints!

 557 characters

Photo of warnerry
3.19/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 3/1/12, poured into a tulip

A - Pours a beautiful clear copper with one and a half fingers of tan head. Head doesn't last that long. Only small spots of lacing left behind.

S - Oak is very prominent in the aroma. Otherwise big sweet malty aroma with some piney hops.

T - Initially sticky sweet (seems to be a common theme with Southern Tier) and malt heavy. Eventually, some hop bitterness comes through and the oak really starts to ramp up. The bitterness is no match for the sweetness. There seems to be some IPAs that have a smell/taste that reminds me of bolonga, and this is one of them (granted, I've been vegetarian for almost 20 years, but I ate a lot of the stuff as a kid, so take that with a grain of salt). Not necessarily good or bad, but a bit distracting. Stays sweet throughout. The hops and oak are no match for the sweetness. Decent, but not really what I look for in a DIPA.

M - Full, sticky sweet mouthfeel with some bitterness on the finish.

O - Can't help but wonder how I would review this if were listed as an American Strong Ale. As a DIPA, it is too thick and sweet, with a less than assertive hop presence. Doesn't taste too bad though.

 1,176 characters

Photo of AleWatcher
2.36/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Got this bomber in the Disc Golf 2 BIF.
Served in a nonic pint.
DOB- 03/24/12

Dark orange body, almost wanna call it "burnt orange."
Two fingers of sticky, creamy, beige head has pretty good retention and lacing.
Smells syrupy-- like malty and piney combined in such a way I can only describe as syrupy. Malts are roasted and sweet while the hops provide a bitterness and a piney, slightly citrus/floral backdrop. The oaking helps to dry it out at the finish, but not enough.
Feels syrupy... Something about this beer-- the first word I think of, and the one that keeps recurring is "syrupy." Residual sugary and oily feel. Coats my teeth and makes me feel like brushing.

Overall-- meh. I've had this beer before and I seem to remember deciding not to review it because at the time I didn't want to score beers too far below average due to my newness at the time... Now, 4 years later, I know I wasn't wrong with my first impressions... Very unimpressed.

 960 characters

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...

 463 characters

Photo of rlee1390
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Translucent orange, some carbonation, two finger head that leaves behind some lacing.

S-Good deal of citrus, some grass and pine notes, not much oak

T-Mix of malt and citrus hops, grassy notes as well. As it warms more oak and vanilla come though. Decent bitterness.

M-Medium bodied, creamy for a DIPA, some carbonation.

O-The oak and vanilla come though making this a great beer. Although it is once a year it would be great to try both versions as once, blind.

 468 characters

Photo of Jimmys
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber into my hardywood park chalice. bottled on date: 03/01/2012.

A: crystal clear dark amber colored brew. head is a dark off-white color and foamy. retention is more of a rim and the lacing isnt much more impressive.

S: initial notes of oak, vanilla, and alcohol. a quick sniff after the pour showcases some tropical fruit hop aromas as well. just as detectable is the malt sweetness as it combines with the oak to provide a very inviting nose.

T: wow, right off the bat you can really taste the oaky flavors. vanilla is definitely in there from the wood. the bitterness from the Unearthly is on the palate throughout w/ the maltiness/body giving enough backbone to stand up to the powerful oak flavors.

M: mouth is mild to average carbonation on a full bodied beer.

D: interesting take on their double ipa that is oh-so-good. it certainly works fine, but i must say that i am more of a fan of the un-oak aged unearthly. or even more of a fan of their blended gemini. both worth seeking over this example in my opinion.

 1,030 characters

Photo of Bendurgin
2.9/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip. This one pours a deep copper color with about an inch of creamy white head. A little bit of thin lace is left behind.

The aroma has bit of a malty backbone to it with hints of vanilla and some citrus hops. A little more hops in the aroma would be nice but this is pleasant. The pallet has a mellow hop flavor with hints of caramel and vanilla in the background. Very soft citrus hop flavor.

A little heavy on the body and sticky. Soft carbonation on this. Overall this one is a bit of a letdown. The hops don't show up like I would want them to.

 570 characters

Photo of jtierney89
2.5/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Aging this big ol hop bomb on some oak? Let's do it

Beautiful copper orange glow with good clarity and a big sticky off white head. Great lacing on the glass. Noticeable smoky oak character on the nose, touch of mint, citric and piney hops underneath it all, touches of vanilla. Lots of oak though, smells like a pine forest.

Lots of oak from start to finish. The oak is really the show here with the other flavors kind of complimenting it. Big mouthfeel from start to finish. Touches of caramel. Undertones of tropical fruit, alot of same flavors from the nose. All extremely well blended into once concise sip with the flavors all melding. The oak is a bit overpowering though. You really have to dig for the other flavors. Maybe this could benefit from a bit more aging at home. Good but eh.

 796 characters

Photo of One2Remeber
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Copper/amber body, crystal clear. Slightly off white head, thin film stays around.

S: Oak with vanilla notes, tropical fruit, sugary sweet malts. Smells like the sea, salty, clean.

T/M: Yummy:) Fluffy vanilla frosting on a graham cracker made of oak. Hint of tropical nature, like coconut. No boozy alcohol presence at all. Warm and inviting mouth feel with a great balance of full frontal flavor with a smooth oak backbone.

O: Not many oak IPAs compare to this beast. One to experience and savor. A must try for any avid IPA fan.

 538 characters

Photo of ixodus
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a brilliantly clear amber in color with a small off-white head that fizzes out quickly into a small ring. Small legs on the sides of the glass.

S: Orange nectar, pine resin, caramel, honey, with a touch of vanilla, and alcohol.

T: Big sweet caramel malt hits the palate first quickly taken by biting citrus hops and pine resin, all while being complemented vanilla-esque oak. Finish dry and slightly oily. After taste of citrus and caramel lingers for a short while.

M: Full bodied, moderate carbonation, oily with a dry finish. Alcohol is beautifully hidden.

O: Overall a very delicious oak aged IPA. I look forward to this beer every year. Super impressed on how they hide the alcohol on this one, it's definitely dangerous.

 739 characters

Photo of bstave
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into New Belgium snifter.

A- Burnt orange with a one finger head after aggressive pour leaving slight lacing.

S- Muted hops and malt with big vanilla-oak.

T- Taste is big vanilla-oak up front with some citrus hops in the middle. Leaves a slight pine bitterness on the back end.

M- Mouthfeel is very nice. Smooth creamy carbonation. The oak gives it a slight bourbon note that is a bit hot near the end.

O- I like this beer a lot. I am getting a lot of oak on this. Not as hoppy as many DIPAs. You could call this a barleywine and I would believe it. Very smooth and very enjoyable. Seek it out.

 614 characters

Photo of HalfFull
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a large wine glass from a 22 oz. bomber. Pours a clear orange copper with a half inch of whitish foam. Average retention but does offer decent lace and keeps a light cap.

Nose of muted hops and a bit of sweet malt pretty well melded with oaken aromas. Oak and rich muddled citrus is prevalent and slowly segues as the pour warms to offer more of the hops from the base beer. Notably different than the unoaked version but quite intriguing in its own way.

Flavor also holds a well muddled and moderate citric sweetness accompanied by a lightly oily and oaky finish. Bit of piney bitterness on the finish yet lacking the big bitterness present in the standard version, and offering a bit more citric caramel as the hops are less evident. Carbonation also seems a bit lighter but this works quite well with the oak character, remaining spritzy nonetheless. Further warming makes the underlying hop character even more evident. Better than the original I would say, as it is really both. Solid.

 1,004 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Iron Abbey, Horsham, PA

Clear amber liquid with a small, bubbly, white head; moderate retention and lacing. Aroma is almost straight-up oak, probably the most pronounced wood scent I've ever gotten from a beer, with grassy hops also detectable. Taste followed the aroma, lots of oak astringency, grassy and floral hops, lesser hints of citrus and pine, and a bready caramel malt base peeking through from the background. Light-medium body, pretty crisp and drinkable though it might through the unexpecting off a bit.

 539 characters

Photo of Rizalini
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recieved in a trade from StlThrash. Thanks Todd for sending some Southern Tier love west! Poured from a bomber into my Stone tulip.

A - Pours a clear ruby/mahogany color with a minimal 1/2 finger light tan head. Leaving a ring as the head fades.

S - Oakey and bready. Has a very prodominant yeasty bread aroma, followed by a light vanilla oakey smell. Smells really good, but where's the hops?

T/M - The oak is definately in the forefront on this one, and I do get a mild hop flavor on the back end. The hop profile is more peppery and earthy than citrusy. Does warm you up as the alcohol is very present in this one. Mouthfeel is medium almost syrupy. Slightly tongue coating.

O - A really good oak aged IPA. My only complaint is that I think the hops do get a little lost with the over abundance of the oak in this one. Not that it's not there, but it does kinda take a back seat. Still a good brew tho. Thanks Todd!

 922 characters

Photo of Kromes
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A hazy copper color with a thin off-white head and lacing down the glass.

S: Oak, vanilla, toasted malt and citrus hops.

T: The oak and vanilla flavors are very strong up front. They add an almost butterscotch flavor to the beer when mixed with the toasted caramel malt. The finish is oak, caramel, alcohol, and mellow citrus hop.

M: A bit on the heavy side, oily and syrupy. Carbonation is light.

O: A good oak aged IPA. The oak gives it a unique flavor, but I would much rather have the hop overpower the oak.

 518 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from Michael's Package (Marietta, GA). 7.99. Bottled 3/1/12. Served in a Southern Tier snifter. 

Pours clear copper with 2 fingers dense off white head that leaves a nice consistant lacing all the way down. 

Big citrus hop aromas with biscuit and wood undertones. 

Taste is a nice combination of sticky citrus hops and woody oak/ vanilla. Drinks smooth with the 9.5% booze only occasionally peeking through. 

Medium, lightly carbonated feel. Slightly hop-oily sticky. 

A well made oaked imperial IPA. The wood is present but allows the hops to maintain the dominant role. I think I still prefer the original Unearthly but this is definately worth a go. 

 677 characters

Photo of sevenarts
2.56/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Slightly reddish orange, modest carbonation, small off-white head and just a little lacing.

S: Really distinctive and unexpected. Strong caramel, some wood, a little spicy. Some pine and earthy smells and a whisper of citrus from the hops. There's something odd and almost medicinal about it though, with so many different aromas competing it feels slightly off.

T/M: As with the smell, this is a pile-up of all sorts of jarring flavors. Lots and lots of caramel and vanilla sweetness over everything, mixing with some woody flavors, a bit of spiciness, and in the aftertaste the hops finally make their presence known a little bit with just a touch of bitterness going down. Hides the alcohol well.

O: This beer is kind of a mess and I can't really decide if I hate it or if I appreciate its distinctiveness. It's definitely original, but in the end it's too syrupy sweet and the flavors never really blend well, with the caramel being very overpowering and everything else fighting against that dominant flavor.

 1,019 characters

Photo of BeerLover99
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dirty orange body, trace white head,
good lacing

S: grassy, pine, oak, malt

T: lemon/lem. grass, big malt, huge OAK,
boozy, sticky/oily long bitter finish

M: med/heavy body, big oily/sticky mouth

O: Well done. Southern Tier continues
to deliver fine bombers. Will get again
and recommend.


 326 characters

Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.05 out of 5 based on 1,122 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.