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 cindiwindi1025
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

another great southern tier beer...affordable and just downright good

a- clear light copper, produced no head, has a tiny, sticky lacing that lingers

s- hops and citrus

t- hops are not as forward as they are on the nose. there is a sweet citrus and creamy sweet vanilla tastes that linger in the aftertaste. very well balanced. not sure where the alcohol is in this because i do not taste it at all. very refreshing tasting.

m - exceptional. light carbonation and the pleasant aftertaste make this very creamy and smooth mouthfeel. very high drinkability.

o - not as hop forward as typical imperial ipas, the hops are present but subtle which works very well. very drinkable and with the affordable pricing overall this is an excellent beer. will most definitely be enjoying this one as often as possible.

 810 characters

Photo of WildTurkey
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber to snifter.

A: Amber, dark honey. Small thin head.

S: Hops. Piney, grassy, earthy smell. Malts are bit bready.

T: Big hop bitterness. A bit of citrus with some grapefruit, and other light fruit. Very earthy characteristics that I'm guessing are coming from the Oak. Lots of pine and grass. Nice maltiness. Also, alcohol flavor is coming through.

M: Medium to full body IPA. A bit tart with some dryness.

D: Lots of flavor. Big alcohol. I didn't slug this one back but it was good.

 492 characters

Photo of WalterSobchak
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby amber with a light one finger head, quickly dissipates, no lacing, no cap.
Big pine and floral/citrus notes, a licorice and alcohol
Spicy on the palate with a steady hops and big bitter punch on the back end. Sweet oak notes come through strong as a following flavor.
Complex and balanced, a bit too bitter but the sweet oak makes it worth it. I'm really liking this; complex flavors with a pleasant MF, nice alcohol kick....good stuff.

 450 characters

Photo of Seeker41184
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Date Drunk: 12/25/10

Bomber into pint glass

Grapefruit and candy smell on this beer. Velvety smooth taste with slight hops present. Needs some more hops,but this beer is closer to 120 Min then 90 Min on the texture and overall taste. Overall, I recommend buying this anytime you see it.

 288 characters

Photo of drewd0g
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite Oak Aged beers. Purchased at Ramsey Liquor's in NJ. $6.99/22oz

The appearance is a dark orange color. almost like copper. smells like sweet hops and oakiness. the taste is really hoppy and resinous, pretty sweet and oaky. the oak and the hops play off of each other really really well. if anyone has doubts about barrel aged IPA's this one will certainly change your mind. the mouth feel is medium-thick, very sticky and sweet. This one is a slow sipper for me. for sure.

 491 characters

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

On draft at Olives at the Ludlow Garage.

Color is a slightly hazy orange copper with very little foam. The nose is big on citrusy Pacific northwest hops with only a bit of alcohol sweetness. It's medium heavy bodied with a pretty thick chewy mouthfeel. Furthermore, the beer is very pleasantly effervescent despite the lack of foam (which I believe is primarily attributable to the pour). The taste is wonderfully dry with tons of hops to balance all the alcohol. There's also just enough caramel to keep the whole thing balanced. I didn't really perceive the oak at first, but the more I drink, the more it comes through and really becomes a nice part of the beer. This is a wonderful double IPA and I'm so glad that I was able to have a pint on draft at one of my favorite establishments! (for $6!!!)

 803 characters

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

Served from a bottle into a tulip glass

Appearance - Golden honey, head dissipates quickly after pouring. Cloudy

Smell - champagne-like. sweet green grape aroma

Taste - Assertive, bitter taste up front - definitely different from the regular unearthly. Slight honey taste, tannin notes. not as malty as unearthly. Dry finish that lingers on the back of the tongue.

Mouth feel - Creamy and slightly astringent

Overall - This is a good beer, but I prefer the un-oaked unearthly. The oak flavor in this version detracts from the malty flavor that I enjoy. I'm happy that I have tried this one, but I wouldn't go out of my way to buy it again.

 644 characters

Photo of BigAl723
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from my local market. Poured into my Founders KBS snifter while watching the Tigers.

A: Golden and cloudy! Beautiful looking though. Outstanding character just by looking at it. Quarter inch head that is thick and creamy looking.

S: Very earthy and floral smelling. Hops, grapefruits, apples, and wood. This is a very down to earth smelling DIPA. I can't wait to take a sip.

T: Wow! Very interesting taste. Not what I was expecting. Or was it? I'm loving the oak taste. Quite different from the way it smells. Instead of the grapefruit and apples I smelled, the aging in oak really brings out a very delightful vanilla taste. A sweet bitter combination that I really seem to like.

M: Medium to medium heavy mouthfeel. A decent amount of carbonation. Quite heavy in the mouth but it's what I expected out of an oak aged DIPA.

D: This is fairly drinkable but not nearly what I expected. It's a pretty beastly/heavy beer but honestly the taste makes up for it.

Overall, another BIG beer from Southern Tier. That seems to be their thing. A good beer that I would like to try again.

 1,094 characters

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

Golden copper pour into my Long Trail "Plant a Tree" pint glass. Smell of slightly burnt sugar, with deep citrus notes.

Drinks smooth, faint booze. Lot's of vanilla...maybe sugar cookie. Thick and rich....really excellent. Much more mellow than the non-aged Unearthly - which remains one of my favs. I don't remember liking this as much the last time I had it - maybe a year ago. Highly recommend it if available...I'll be picking up more!

 441 characters

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

Poured into a pint glass from 22 oz. bottle. Nice golden color, hints of orange or bronze, some bubbles rising to the top. Good head with the pour, starts to diminish some but looks like its going to last... just off white, goldish.

Smells nice and hoppy... a little bit of bitterness and earthier hops, but also a fair amount of fruity hop sweetness. Maybe a little bit of a pine smell in there too for good measure.

The piney hops come through first, almost a little disappointing as I was hoping for more of that fruitiness. Lots of carbonation on the tongue, not overly harsh but could be a little less. Fruity hops do come through in the finish. To me, that's where the real enjoyment of this beer lies... about two seconds after each sip, you really get that wonderfully fruity hop flavor. It only lingers for a few more seconds so you have to go back for another sip if you want some more.

Incredibly drinkable, not getting any of the 11% ABV in the flavor, unless it is contributing to that slight carbonation roughness.

I'm a little bit disappointed as it isn't as good this time around as it was when I got a free 2 oz. sample last week, but maybe it will improve as it warms a bit. I only let it sit out of the fridge about 10 minutes before pouring.

* Yes, as it warmed, it was a little less piney up front, must have been getting more of the malt. Also a little less carbonated, but I think I could ALMOST begin to sense the alcohol. Still not off-putting. Very, very good, but just short of great.

** Also, I should note I have not tried the non-oak aged version and therefore can't make a comparison.

 1,621 characters

Photo of amneziak
3.4/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Interestingly enough, there's not a huge amount of head from this one- maybe only one or two fingers at most. It is, however, extremely clear with a traditional off-white foamy head. Color is a beautiful warm burnt orange. Lacing is also very nice.

Smell: Smells pretty good, but almost puts off a "varnish" sort of character which would be indicative of strong pellet hops. There is a decent amount of bright citrus in this one paired with some over-ripe peaches. I'm also pulling out some extremely pungent hoppy aromas of grapefruit and pine. At very least it smells like it's a really well-rounded beer. We'll see once I've tasted it.

Taste: Not as tasty as the nose would lead you to believe. All the traditional IPA components are here, but they are weirdly arranged on the nose and tongue. Perhaps the oak component doesn't allow the citrus components to really shine the way they should.

Mouthfeel: This is a very well-balanced brew. The bitterness from the hops is matched with a solid malt backbone that helps it stand up through the whole bottle. This is probably one of the better elements of the beer as it turns it into more of a sipper than a session beer. The big 11% ABV probably adds something to this, too.

Overall: I'm not losing my mind over this one, but I can see why it's received such good reviews. It's a really intriguing beer. It's been a real pleasure drinking it, but I'm a little perplexed overall by the addition of the oak. I've yet to try the un-oaked version, but I am highly curious to know what it will taste like without this component. If it allows the hop aromas to stand out more, then I believe it will be a beauty.

 1,677 characters

Photo of guitarsnbeer
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A long-awaited pour of this ST Oak Aged Unearthly yeilded around .5 to inch of white froth with good retention on top of a brilliant copper hue. Nice sheets of lace stick to the glass.

Wow I have never experienced an Oak Aged beer before, and boy can I really smell that Vanilla and oak. It mixes with some hops and a slight sting of alcohal on the nose.

Weird off flavor that I can't put my finger on...very strong like a resin but not necessiarly bad. Besides that the I taste some weird hops that I'm not used to and lots of Oak and Vanilla. Slightly sweet and syrupy, but not nearly as much as I was expecting for an %11 brew.

Creamy/Smooth not a lot of carbonation. Medium-Bodied.

Overall I think like a lot of beer sometimes it takes an aquired taste to truely enjoy the beverage. I have a feeling as I sip through this 22oz. tonight I will enjoy the oak and vanilla a little bit more. I should note I served this beer probally around 50-55 degrees so the aromas/flavors came on strong. I certainly appreciate it right now but next time I may serve it at the recommened temp (42 degrees) so the oak and vanilla ease on a little more instead of slapping me in the face.

 1,178 characters

Photo of huhl23
4.82/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark amber color with a two-finger head that quickly dissipates. Very little lacing. Nose you can smell the oak from the barrels. Taste was sweet. Little taken aback by this. Not what I expected from this but with it being aged I guess I should know it would taste different than the regular unearthly. Overall a very good beer.

 337 characters

Photo of mash4077
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark orange color, getting lighter towards the bottom. A tad cloudy. Quater-finger white head that disipates quickly.

S- Pretty obvious, nice hops and oak smells. Alcohol is present just a bit too much. A crisp piney overtone.

T- Wow. So smooth. Hops are intense but far from overpowering. Oak flavors mingle nicely with a restrained molassas taste. The aftertaste has a feel of caramel and chocolate to it. Malts become cleaner and sweeter as it warms, providing a great balance. Suprisingly smooth for the style.

M- Decent carbonation, a tad on the creamy side.

D- So smooth for the style and the alcohol content. It deserves a high drinkability rating despite the high hop level. Suprising and fantastic.

The regular Unearthly has been one of my favorites for a long time now, and I was excited to try this. Not at all disappointed.

 843 characters

Photo of jcompton
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from a bomber into an over-sized red wine glass

appearance: transparent golden-red. a nice frothy head disappears with light lacing to the glass.

smell: citrus hops, mostly grapefruit, with a fair amount of pine and caramel

taste: the oak gives this an immediate vanilla flavor. the oak also seems to mellow the hops just a bit. the more i drink the more the oak shows up

mouthfeel: a bit sticky, but not syrupy. nicely carbonated

drinkability: i like this brew, but due to the complexity i'm not sure how much i could have in one sitting. i will, however, revisit this brew. it's been a few months since i've had the regular unearthly, but these are definitely 2 completely different brews

 703 characters

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

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into three small goblets.

a: A nice reddish amber with lingering off-white head.

t: The oakiness really comes through, adding a sweetness to an otherwise very hoppy beer. Piney and resiny.

d: Despite a high ABV, this was very easy to sip.

 269 characters

Photo of billzav
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As great as the original Unearthly is, this DIPA takes it to the next level. It pours a deep amber color and the nose has big notes of piny hops and oakiness. Both are reflected in the taste as well, balanced by sweet caramel and a woody bourbon backbone. Oak Aged Unearthly is silky smooth for a beer of its potency, and you’ll want to savor it slowly to truly appreciate this ale.

 384 characters

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

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

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

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

 447 characters

Photo of alyankus
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Great color deep copper. Great head good lacing.

Nose: Vanilla tinged citrus notes and fresh cut grass

Mouth: Very smooth tiny bubbles. I get the same champagne mango, grapefruit and tangerine flavors I find in it's un-oaked version but without the heat and slight astringency at appear in the regular Unearthly. A fantastic offering from a great brewery. If you have found that most of their beers have been too hot for you in the past I strongly suggest you try this one as it is a great example of ST at their best.

 532 characters

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

Wow. This is delicious.

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

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

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

 382 characters

Photo of ctfixer
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured from a fresh filled growler into a pint glass, right between a pale and medium amber, almost orange. Not a ton of carbonation at this ABV, but a decent one finger off white head prevailed.

S - Definite sweet aroma with complex oak and hop undertones. The sweet malt backbone smell comes through prominent for me and keeps me coming back for another sensory explosion

T - Again, a very complex beer with the malts, oak aging, and high hops balancing very nicely! Sweet on the front, but with enough hop balance that you know you have a great Double IPA, but oh so smooth, no bitterness at the end, amazing.

M - I love the smooth medium bodied mouth feel of this beer. every sip is smooth and at 11% ABV (seriously?) it has no alcohol warming going on. Complex, complex, can you say complex?

O - I will say it again. Complex. This is a fantastic beer folks, right on the edge, but so well balanced you are trying to find something wrong with it, but can not! The growler will not last too long and I will be getting a refill on this one!

 1,050 characters

Photo of rrheisler
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

IPAs are my forte, and I've been getting into Southern Tier. So, well, when faced with the option of an Oak Aged bottle...it all hit home.

Off the pour, it comes out a wondrous deep bronze. Minimal carbonation, and no head to speak of. Lacing of the glass, though, as you drink it down. Excellent appearance.

The smell out of the gate is instantly piney, with a hint of grapefruit. Really don't get the vanilla/oak feel as advertised out of the bottle. Not a problem, though, with an IPA. Love me some hops.

Taste is where you get the oak, and it's really only as the beer starts to warm. Definitely want to serve this one on the closer side of 45 degrees. Really muted out of the fridge, but as it comes out you really get this thing to come alive and balance out. Scarily 11% ABV in that you really don't notice it...till you burp. Starts out with a kick in the face of hops, followed by a mellower note (vanilla and caramel, perhaps?) before getting to the oak character, finished with a hint of hops and perhaps a little trace of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: A lower score if only because it's 11% ABV.

Otherwise, a well-balanced example of an aged IPA. I'd only ask for maybe a little more of that oak character through the earlier stages in the beer. Seemed like it only came towards the end.

 1,329 characters

Photo of patrickcmcd
3.07/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I asked a friend to purchase me an IPA bomber. He came back with this. Friend is now best friend. JUST KIDDING. Anyway, i wasn't expecting a DIPA so i let this thing rattle around in my car for about a week.

After a long jog, decided to forgo water and crack this thing open instead. Poured nicely, sorta a caramel/grapefruit color. No head, which left me scratching MY head. I guess "balance" is what Southern Tier was going for.

It literally smelled like a hot candied apple. Sweet, mostly. Malts (OAK?) at the forefront. Hops in the back. Wish it tickled my nose more. I prefer the floral scent.

The taste was pleasant but syrupy. Balanced and consistent from the front of my tongue to the rear. You can tell its oak aged at the very "end". Gives it a cedar taste, not oak. The alcohol taste was disappointing but at 11% I know what I'm getting into.

For the DIPA style, it was solid. Craving an DIPA and don't already have a favorite? Don't be afraid to pluck this from the shelf. If you haven't dabbled in the genre, its a decent gateway. Would have preferred more HOPS and less oak, though.

 1,103 characters

Photo of truknon
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Light smell on opening.

Nice pour with a small head and a orangey gold color. Nice and clear!!

Not too heavy on first taste and a great vanilla flavor on the backend, probably due to the oak aging.

A great smooth DIPA in my opinion and very Drinkable....although the 11% ABV makes it quick to sneak up on you leading to a nice warm and fuzzy feeling!!

I would definitely buy this again...and again...and again.

I look forward to trying the regular Unearthly to compare it with this Oak Aged.


 508 characters

Photo of HairOfTh3Dog
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up at bottleworks as they are they only place I can find southern tier at in the NW(I know I should try harder). This beer pours a light copper, more yellow, very opaque. Looks a bit watery. Nearly no head forms when it is poured, just a ring around the outside of the glass. No fizzle but bubbles are visibly rising. Is this beer a bit flat?

Smells malty sweet, oaky. Not getting alot of smell off this beer. Was expecting a big whiff of hops but didn't get it.

The first taste was heavy on the hops. Tastes like a good west coast ipa, heavy IBUs with piney floral notes. The hops fades into the malty sweet and at last oak. I get a bit of booze in the taste but its fairly subdued.

I am a little thrown off by the carbonation in this beer. It definately has that tingle, but not quite as much as I like in an ipa. It makes the beer a bit syrupy feeling in the mouth. Maybe I had a bad cap. Or maybe it's just brewed this way.

I could probably drink a couple bombers of this before I slowed down, the taste is great, but the mouthfeel is a bit off.

 1,071 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.