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 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.

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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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Photo of Derek
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Copper-bronze, off-white head, very little retention, some lacing.

S: Pine, citrus, rind, toffee, cotton-candy. Awesome aroma, though the hops have faded, so they're a little tame for a DIPA.

T: Pine, citrus rind, toffee, slight fruitiness, good bitterness, warming alcohol.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body has plenty of hop acidity. Carbonation on the low-side of moderate.

D: Great for its strength.

It's good, but I prefer the usual, fresh, un-aged version.

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Photo of weeare138
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appears a transparent light amber with an orange hue and a small white cap. Scattered bits of pacing are left round the glass.
Smell is of huge vanilla, citrus, pine, herbs, and flowers.
Taste is a bit of a let down... Lots of clashing between the hopsnand oak tannins.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, syrupy, chewy, with an almost artificial vanilla flavor lingering.
I love Southern Tier but this fell a bit short.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

A-Poured into a snifter. Pours a hazy amber color with a nice off-white head.

S- The aroma is fantastic. A lot of fresh hops in the nose with some malt and some oak notes as well. Some people don't like oak in their IPAs, I happen to love it. Smells great.

T- The taste like the aroma is very tasty. The taste starts out with a high sweetness from the malt with the hops coming creating a lingering bitterness well into the finish. The taste also has a good dose of oak and quite a bit of warmth from the alcohol in the finish. As the beer warms in the glass I feel that the alcohol can be a little overwhelming and takes away from the beer a little bit.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, I love oak aged IPAs so I did enjoy this one. Worth a try for any hop heads.

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Photo of PEIhop
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a copper, earthy orange that leaves a nice foamy head. There is very little carbonation.

S - The smell is dominated by two characteristics: caramel maltiness and piney, citrusy hops.

T - Although not present in the aroma, vanilla and oak woodiness is interwoven with an extreme maltiness. The hop character is weak creating an unbalanced, boozy finish.

M - Medium-bodied chewiness, which was quite pleasant.

D - With extremely high ABV and an unbalanced finished, I don't think I will pick this up again. However, if you are into imperial IPA's, for the price alone, it is definitely worth checking out.

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Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden amber/orange color with a thin, frothy off-white head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Earthy aroma that's dominated by the toasted oak character. Lots of vanilla and wood along with some earthy and citrus hops, caramel malt and sweet alcohol.

Medium bodied but on the fuller end with a very prominent oak character that dominates the flavor a bit. Slight creamy texture adds to the palate. Lots of toasted oak and vanilla notes followed by piny and sweet hop notes. Prominent malt backbone with hints of caramel and toffee. Well balanced and the high ABV is extremely well masked resulting in a beer that is deceptively drinkable.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.73/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a clear orange amber color that looks just like apple juice. Produced a good white colored head, but dissipated immediately.

(S)- A very sweet yet boozy caramel & butterscotch

(T)- Sweet caramel & butterscotch with a bit of vanilla oakiness. Very boozy. Where are the hops? This reminds me more of an old ale at this point. Is this too old?

(M)- A good carbonation level, but way too hot & boozy. This feels like a huge 18%abv monster, but its only 11%. Rather sweet as well; almost candy-like.

(D)- Not a winner in my opinion. Way too boozy and sweet for what it should be like. Could this probably just be too old or a bad bottle? I see that everyone else who has rated this has given it rave reviews, but I just dont see it at least in the bottle I just tried. I will definitely try to find another one that is hopefully fresh. More breweries need bottled dates!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a burnt orange with a nice white head and good carbonation.

S: Very good. Light oak, caramel, big citrus hops

T: Taste is lighter on the oak and vanilla as I expected, the citrus ancaramel still dominates this beer pretty malty too. Plenty of booze.

M: Mouthfeel is big and this is where the beer comes alive.

O: Good

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Those orange color liquids, they always clean up well in the appearance category, this one is no different. Aroma was very nice, a good mix of both oak and hops, this was the first beer I came across able to accomplish the feat.

Taste and aroma did well hiding the 11%abv. This has loads of hops in all different stages, many different varieties. You get almost all the hop flavors except for tropical. Pine, floral, green, bitter, citrus, fruity. I'm not a fan of the bomber format, but this was a decently priced option at an abv that made sense to have a share kind of format.

Probably my favorite hoppy ST offering. Where I'm gonna be, ST, where I wanna be, ST.

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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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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 rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a clear orange body with an antique white head that sticks to the glass with each sip. There is a strong carbonation of big bubbles racing to the surface.

S- The caramel sweet malt that fills the glass has a note of cream and a light oak butterscotch note.

T- The nice full green hop flavor is a bit mild and is followed by a big caramel sweetness. There is a soft green bitter bite in the finish that has a nice pungent hint that becomes more dandelion bitter as the beer warms. As the beer warms there is also more of an oak sweetness and a buttery note to the caramel malt.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with an alcohol heat that bites just a bit at the finish but it softens over time as more finish flavors come through.

D- This beer is big and sweet with a softer wood note but the hops taste a bit like they are gone. The freshness has really left the beer and the oak didn't really make up for the hops that are missing.

 985 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Immortale25
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Budweiser pint glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a copper color with a full inch of white head that stays a bit and eventually rests at 1/4 inch. Excellent webs of lacing are left as the glass empties.

S- The signature ST malt sweetness is apparent as well as a grassy, citrusy hop aroma. Grapefruit notes.

T- Sharp hop bite upfront that mellows with the sweet malt follow-up. The bitterness outlasts the malts and lingers on the palate a good while but retains balance enough to keep the alcohol beautifully well-hidden.

M- Moist initially with a drying finish. Medium-high carbonation. A bit of an alcohol snap when I swish.

O- Although it could use more oak flavor, it's a very nice variation on Unearthly

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Dull orange in color. Fluffy head. Looks the part.

S-Malts and hops are in balance, neither are overpowering. I smell the oak.

T-More malty than hoppy. There are definately some hop flavors but the oak seems to tame the hops. Very smooth.

M-Full bodied. Again, very smooth. Thick. Chewy.

D-11% is masked quite well. Happy to try it but won't go looking for this one again.

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Photo of barczar
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with a half inch dense cream head that leaves a thick ring of foam on the glass.

Oak and grapefruit lead the aroma with caramel and bready malt supporting a hint of pine and mint.

Mellow citrus opens the flavor profile and becomes more dominant throughout the sip, with grapefruit pith emerging and overtaking a somewhat light sweet caramel malt backbone. The finish is fairly bitter, with pepper and mint kicking in. The oak contributes a bit more complexity at the finish as it warms, but is overwhelmed by the bitterness.

Body is fairly syrupy, with moderately light carbonation. There is a significant alcohol warmth and a hint of harsh astringency.

Overall, a decent dipa, but not my favorite by far. A bigger malt backbone would help the complexity of flavors shine and ease the bitter dominance.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had an amber color and a slightly hazy texture. There was a quarter inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A decently strong aroma of citrus, hops, malt and an earthy quality.

T: Tasted of hops (though not as much as you might think), citrus, that same earthiness, malt, and a woody quality (presumably the oak). A nicely done flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat thick and oily finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Drinkable.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours an amber/orange color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention is average, lacing is pretty good. Aroma is citrusy (grapefruit, orange peel) and pine hops, along with some oak. Taste is similar to the aroma. There's citrusy hops, caramel, oak, and some earthy/spicy hops noticable in the taste. Also has a nice lingering bitter hoppy finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating and a bit syrupy with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it's very smooth and enjoyable to drink. However, the 11% ABV does catch up to you after a while. Overall I think it's another solid offering from Southern Tier.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Walked into my local Carnivores today going to mix a sixer and found this lovely brew on tap for 4.75! And it wasn't even happy hour!

A - Pours a deep mahogany color with an inch of fluffy golden head. So far great.

S - Really couldn't pick up the sent of any oak from the nose. Just really smooth hops and malt base. Doesn't smell to offend.

T - Well if you wanted a really hoppy beer your pretty much out of luck. The oak barrel technique really rounded out the aggressiveness of the hops but leaves some bitterness that is appreciated. The oak flavor is not overbearing but does balance it well leaving the finish only slightly bitter. The alcohol is noticed as it is 11 percent and gives you a slight warming sensation.

M - On the heavy side the ABV is very well noted but not overbearing

D - Well I really love the dessert beers that ST has and as for hoppy and affordability I would reach for a 2xIPA over this beer any day. It was good to try and see how a hoppy beer can have oak undertones. Good beer.

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

On tap at Max's

OA Unearthly pours a deep orange with a solid white head with great retention and lacing. The head lasts until I drain my glass. On the nose, OAU is how a good, fresh, DIPA should be - pine sap, mild sweetness, and plenty of hops to go around. Some citrus, pleasant bitterness. Up front, though, the oak comes through, with some tannic astringency that seems rather out of place. On the palate, it's similar - lighter in body than out of the bottle, plenty of outrageous hops with some malty sweetness (not too much) that goes towards balancing this beer. Oak appears mid palate before a long, hoppy finish takes over.

At 11%, I can't see myself drinking this too often, but it was surprisingly enjoyable.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a pint; split with a friend

Pours an almost crystal clear amber with a huge, fluffy yellow infused head. Loads of sticky lace and mild carbonation.

Pine resin, oranges and tangerines fill the nostrils along with a hefty aroma of vanilla and oak. Some sweet, sticky caramel is also evident.

The body is sticky and chewy. The oak and vanilla really work hard to try and smooth this guy out, but lose out to the citrus and booze. Oak and vanilla make their presence known up front with hops quickly in tow. Pine resin, oranges, tangerines, and even some pineapple lend a prickly tone. The bitterness is not nearly as prevalent as regular unearthly, much more sweet. A touch of sweet caramel and vanilla are left in the finish.

I found this to be pretty drinkable. The booze is pretty hearty and you know its there for sure, but the oak and vanilla add a nice element to this DIPA.

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

Pours a bright, yet dark copper color with a very very quick head. No foam or bubbles, but a light syrupy look to it. The aroma is a sharp lemony hop, some carameled biscuits, with some toasted oak brandy aromas. Complex and bittersweet aromas. The taste starts with sweet toasted malts with some oakey, earthy hops. The middle is a little syrupy on the palate with a warm alcohol that thins out the oaken IPAS barrell flavoring a little. But also adds som depth with the heat as well. Bitter is underlying the sweetness of his IPA. Very nice and sippable.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.69/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, has a stamped "DOB 04/09/13" below the label.

looks dark golden in color, with decent white colored head, that fades. smell is earthy, herbal, spicy hop aroma. maybe some oak. taste has just a touch of malt, but pale malt. finishes hoppy, but not aggressively so. fairly complex. medium body, moderate, slightly fizzy carbonation.

overall - good, but not really worth the pricetag for me.

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Photo of Brad007
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a mild amber color witha one-finger head into my glass. Nice color and presentation.

Aroma is full of citrusy hops with a slight hint of oak and mint. Certainly is oak-aged.

Taste is full of oak, which dominates the front of the palate with grassy, citrusy hops on the back of the palate. Hops feel kind of weak when compared to the oak. Just a tad hint of alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is just right as it is not too carbonated. Goes down easy with nary a hint of alcohol warmth or overkill on the oak.

Deceptively drinkable but for me, the hops could be stronger. Best drank fresh in order to appreciate the hops that are in it. Very well done beer.

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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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