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

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90
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567 Reviews
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Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States | website

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.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
567
Ratings:
1,120
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
12.59%
 
 
Wants:
67
Gots:
76
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 567 | Ratings: 1,120
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.

 636 characters

Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes taken on 4/21/10.

On tap at Al's of Hampden served in a stemmed tulip. Pours a clear amber color with a creamy tanned head about a finger strong. Constant bubbles of carbonation rise to the surface in support of the head which retains quite well with lace sticking about the glass in an almost solid curtain. Nose is full of spicey hops that are a bit herbal with a backing of malt aroma and subtle oaky notes. Taste is hoppy upfront but not as bitter as expected. The hops present themselves in a more flavorful way than just bitter. Hop flavors remind me of pine and herbs. Mild vanilla and oakiness comes through as it warms. Decent amount of malt sweetness is evident. Finishes with an herbal hop flavor that lingers with a bit of bitterness. Medium to heavy body with a moderate amount of carbonation. I think this is one of the first examples of any style that I prefer the plain version over the oak aged version.

 939 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours copper amber with a thin head that leaves dotted lacing.

The smell is of pine, citrus (lemon/orange) and peppery spicing. There is some (musty) oak.

The taste is of pine, resin and orange. Sweet with alcohol on the agressive side. It has a perfumy/herbal touch, as well. A nice, interesting hop touch (as was the case with the un-oaked version, with a firm sweet maltiness. The oak lends even more sweetness, with a vanilla character.

The feel is thick and syrupy sweet sticky, though there is some carbonation to help it along.

I have to say, that this was interesting, but found it less drinkable as it progressed. I did enjoy the Unearthly more. The thickness is almost too much, and the oak gives even more sweetness, throwing off the balance of the hops a bit too much. Something "different" for sure, and enjoyable to a degree, but I, personally, prefer the original, as I said.

 895 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of my local drinking buddies invited me over for an afternoon of tippling with him and his wife this past summer since she and I were both off work as teachers and he had a free afternoon. These are the results.

Jeff poured a beautiful one-and-a-half finger cap of medium-tan head that evidenced great retention. Nose was VERY caramel with an underlay of oakiness. Color was a deep-amber with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was medium with notes of black pepper, caramel, wood, and charcoal. No hops?!? Zounds! Finish started with as much caramel flavor as a Sugar Daddy before giving 'way to an oaky-vanilla flavor. Whew.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear, amber/apricottish hue, lovley white head, if small. Poured into a Maredsous tulip glass.

Aroma: bittersweet, lightly malty, pine and fresh citrus fruit...ripe orange & tangerine, splash of pineapple.

Taste: here's where the oak comes in, from the first sip...Big, wet, & woody. Lean body, long, oaky finish. Blankets the hops a bit, smothers them, even, and lets the malt stand guard. The regular Unearthly is a bitch-slap of bitterness. Oak-aging masks the spanks of the hops, tenderly covers it, and all is smooth and mellow.
Alcohol shows eventually, as it does with all of these ST Imperials.

There's no mistaking the oak in this, but I wouldn't have recognized it as Unearthly. A uniquely beautiful ale.

 720 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle in Michigan while at the KBS release. Served in a Hopleaf tulip glass for New Beer Sunday : The Return!

A - Two and a half fingers of off-white foam that has solid retention and leaves nice rings of lacing. Transparent copper orange color that is a little more yellow at the edges of the glass.

S - Lots of balance to this one. There's the obligatory hoppiness, but also a fair bit of malt and woodiness to it. There's some skunky weed flavor to the hops - amarillo? - as well as some citrus. Not super strong in the nose.

T - Surprisingly high malt character - lots of caramel and breadiness to this one, with a fair bit of woodiness. The hops are more understated in the taste. The wood contributes a slight sourness that builds as I go through the glass.

M - Solid residual stickiness, medium body, and fairly moderate carbonation that causes a nice tingle at the top of the mouth.

D - While the wood flavors are interesting it gets a little tiring, and the high ABV definitely sneaks up on you. I don't think I'd want much more than a 12oz pour of this, but it's a solid brew nonetheless.

I haven't had regular Unearthly in a while, but I don't think this is a huge improvement.

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Photo of tdm168
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright hazy orangish amber with half an inch of dense, thick, off white head that has great retention. The nose is sweet, bready, biscuity with faint citrusy hop aromas. The flavor is heavy malt up front with notes of birthday cake and bread followed by some pineapple notes and finishes with a mildly citrusy, bitter hop character. It has a medium to full body that is very smooth and well carbonated.

This is an awesome beer. For an IPA it's definitely on the malty side but the hops are there and their solid. This is good but there is, in my opinion, little difference from the original.

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

Pours a slightly cloudy orange/amber with a good sized fluffy white head that dissipates quickly but leaves some nice lace on the way down. Smells of citrus hops, grapefruit and a hint of lemon. Oak is very subtle as is the touch of alcohol in the nose. Taste is less bitter than I expected. Vanilla and caramel fight it out with the citrus and almost pull it off. Smoother and sweeter than I remember the un-oaked version, I am really digging this one! Slight alcohol in the finish, but mostly muted by the lingering almost sweet citrus in the finish. Medium body, syrupy mouth, medium carbonation. I loved this beer. A bit heavy for a 90 degree summer day, but the AC is on and life is good. Keep em coming ST!

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Photo of smakawhat
2.29/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. No visible bottling date is present from what I can see.

A very even solid amber if cloudy body, with an extremely off yellow and creamy looking head. Head has lots of staying power and retention.

Nose is buttery mostly, but not total diacetyl, but no particularly hop forward.

Maple syrup sugar. Ridiculously sweet. Granular white sugar texture I feel like there should be granuals in my teeth I could pick them out. I can't even talk about any of the other supposed flavors here cause its a syrupy sugar overpowering sensation.

Overall a sugar bomb mess. I would want to say something about the malt presence or god forbid..maybe HOPS?? but this is just like drinking maple syrup. What's the point unless you are diabetic...

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Photo of drabmuh
2.42/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

No date on bottle, poured into a snifter. Beer appears thick. Clear, orange and forms a thin diffuse head of small white bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is criminally low. Seriously low.

Boozy aroma, hops and lots of sweet malt. There is some hint of woods, not much though.

Big body, spicy, lots of hop flavor and malt sweetness, lots. Its kind of like drinking syrup with this undercurrent of woodiness. Its not as good as the unearthly, I'm not sure what the wood aging did to it. I guess its making it close to undrinkable. I hate this beer.

There is a tendency to age a portion of a beer in barrels or on wood and tell everyone that its a new beer and people's general reaction is that its better, but especially with a hoppy beer there are reasons not to do it. Not all beer benefits from contact with wood, air, and time. Its just a waste of hops. Never again.

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

$8.99 for the bomber from Deciccio's Ardsley, NY. No freshness info to be had. Pours pretty clear, medium apricot infused amber, slight and off white head and not leaving fine, splattered lacing upon a medium swirl. I get some wood and citrussy hops in the nose. Love the style, typically love the ST offering, so this one was a cinch to please my palate. Big, hoppy and bold. Hops, oak and a malty underblanket to smooth things out. Simply lovely stuff and well worth seeking out and enjoying.

 494 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bomber into a pint glass, the beer pours a deep auburn-copper coloring with no head. Good amount of carbonation throughout. The smell is rich, sweet molasses, with woody notes and a slight dry hoppiness. Leaves a good lacing on the glass while you drink. Bittersweet toffee and caramel, with hints of pineapple and creamy vanilla at the end. The body is supersmooth and creamy. Slight bite on the finish, with a fruity sweet aftertaste.

 450 characters

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.

 468 characters

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

The beer pours a beautiful amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a wonderful medley of hops and oak that really compliments one another. The vanilla character reacts well with the heavy malt bill. The taste is good. It has quite the complex array of flavors here. The malt and hops hit you up front with a nice bitter explosion. It goes down easy with some warmth and then the oak really finishes it off. It's powerful, almost to the point of extinguishing the hop finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. The oak character is a nice touch, although the original is fine without it. These guys just keep putting out the good stuff. Cheers!

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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.

 785 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by slasher007.

Pours an orange color with a white head. The smell is somewhat resiny with some hop bitterness and some flavors that I associate with barrel aging. The oaked aroma gets stronger as the beer warms. There is definitely some piney and citrus hop flavors but the oak aging takes the edge off of them, mellowing them out. You also get some oak character in the flavor. The beer has a medium mouthfeel and the oak aging makes it very drinkable. We tried this after drinking some other big IPAs and DIPAs and I would like to try it again when my palate was fresher.

 590 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a clear orange color with a 1" head that falls apart quickly. Some mild lacing develops.

Smell: some pine, grapefruit, vanilla, and earthiness comes through easily to the nose.

Taste: caramel, pine, grapefruit, golden apples, and a hearty bitterness is wrapped in a earthy woodiness. Some vanilla arrives late. Alcohol is warming.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start and a bit smoother late. Aftertaste is warrming and long.

Drinkability: smooth drinking beer here with a big flavor profile. The bomber bottle is enough in one session. Pick this interesting beer up if you see it.

 615 characters

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

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

 421 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.11/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A solid pour into my New Belgium globe glass produces a fat-three-finger thick, nicely tan looking head. The beer is a concentrated amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, copper-amber color when held up to the light. Up front the beer smells of pungent hops with notes of pine, herbaceous hemp oil (with a certain dankness to it), candied citrus fruit (grapefruit, tangelo and bergamot) as well as some bright tropical fruit notes that remind me of lychee, kumquat and a sort of floral, super-peach note. The oak integrates very well with the hop character; it naturally accentuates the herbal notes with a spicy, buttery, woody oak aroma. As the beer warms the alcohol becomes a touch hot.

The beer feels a touch lighter than I was expecting from the viscous looking pour, but it is still fairly full bodied. The hop flavor is a bit reduced from what one would expect from the expressive aroma. The oak character might actually be a little more present, or at least more on par with the hop flavors. The oak and green hops combine to contribute a sort of raw, menthol-like, spicy, dank-buttery-almost-cheesy herbaceous quality that is the dominant note here. Supporting flavors of ruby-red-grapefruit, tangelo and lychee are noticeable in the middle, while the finish has a pronounced green, peppery note that lingers on the palate for quite some time. Speaking of the finish there is an oak derived astringency that couples with the hop-bitterness, as well as the previously mentioned peppery note, to produce an almost harsh finish to this beer. The malt character plays a definite supporting role, but is a bit too crystal malt focused with some intrusive hints of sweet-tea and caramelized, toasted grain that clashes with the hop / oak combination instead of smoothing them out. The sharp / harsh finish is exacerbated as it warms by a hot-alcohol presence.

An interesting beer, despite really being in the mood for something hoppy, this didn't really quite work for me. The oak provides a certain astringency, as well as accentuating a bit more of the herbaceous hop qualities that I would prefer. This is certainly not a bad beer though, and I can see some really enjoying it, but it really just isn't quite for me. My final assessment is that the oak and hops combine to create a flavor that reminds me of raw, herbaceous, citrus infused, dank, slightly ripe cheese and menthol, crystal malt laden tea.

 2,418 characters

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

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this one.

Pours a nice clean/clear dark golden yellow color, some carbonation, little fizzy off-white head, with some oil slicks left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice hop notes, oak, and some citrus. The taste is hoppy, malty, sweet, with some nice oak notes, and slight citrus. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew.

 364 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange amber, thin head and some lacing. Aroma of caramel hops, light citrus, earthy wood. Oak up front in the taste, followed by sweet caramel malt and hops; oaky hop finish. Nice flavor and different than other oaked IPAs. Hops are not dominant and could be a bit more aromatic. Despite that subdued hops, a pleasant, fun to drink oaked ale. Medium bodied.

 372 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color, with a white foam and some lacing. More than a little lacing, leaves a whole sheet of lace. Smells of grapefruit and tropical hops. Tastes like grapefruit and a small dry oak. Piney, resinous bitterness. Full bodied, well carbonated, fairly dry from the oak. Citrusy, oaky, boozy, what you would expect. A seasoned beer for seasoned beer drinker. I like this beer, and if you like IPAs you will like this too.

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Photo of aasher
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. It poured smoothly and is a rich mahogany in color. There was a slight, dissipating cream colored head that eventually rimmed the glass. It doesn't smell overly strong, hoppy, or oaky. Kind of smells like a watered down IPA, not what I expected. It tastes great. It's a smooth hoppy that actually doesn't have any oak taste present, which surprised me. The mouthfeel is excellent. It's lightly carbonated and very, very smooth. This bottle is almost six months old but drinks like it was well aged. It drinks very well. You'd never know that it's 11.0% abv. I'd recommend this one but it's not quite like the original Unearthly. It doesn't boast as much flavor or boldness as the original, and isn't as crisp.

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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.

 2,060 characters

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

Nice beer, and the oak touch is a bit subtler than I was expecting- sometimes this brewery can hit you over the head in the flavor department, but this is nicely restrained, and the oak balances the sweet malt and hops and forms a nice triumvirate of flavors. The smell is equally balanced, but perhaps all a bit too restrained if still very nice. Fairly chewy mouthfeel with a touch of tannins from the oak, and a bit of sweetness from the malt. A fairly brooding beer, but a pleasurable one. Still, I think I prefer the brightness of the unoaked variety.

 556 characters

Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 567 ratings.
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