Southern Tier Oak Aged UnearthlyApril 10th, 2009 beckel
Though I have consumed a number of pints of this beer I am only now getting to my very own bottle of Southern Tier’s ever so delicious Oak Aging experiment with Unearthly. This beer pours a very attractive orangish amber hue that is quite translucent producing just over two fingers of pure white head that lasts for a few minutes leaving a good amount of lacing. Aroma is deliciously full of hops, strong smells of apricot, grapefruit and orange as well as some nice bitterness that is slightly subdued by the scent of oak and the other citrus and floral flavors. Along with the hops there is some serious malty sweetness but it is easy to forget about that with all of the other aromas. Flavor is quite intense as you can expect if you have ever sampled their regular Unearthly [review]. As soon as you sip this beer you can tell that the oak aging had a very large influence on this brew as oak is the first flavor I get. Followed by some serious citrus and herbal hop flavors and a bit of bitterness. It then transitions into sweet maltiness wrapping up with a further dose of bitterness. Some of the flavors in this beer are almost bread like though not in the traditional yeasty way and a bit more sweet like a pound cake. Two things strike me about this beer, first that Chinook is one interesting hop variety that creates almost smokey flavors in this brew and further and perhaps more importantly this beer does a wonderful job showing what barrel aging can do to a beer. The somewhat overly alcoholic notes that I noticed when originally drinking Unearthly are completely subdued in this brew though it still rocks the same hardcore 11% ABV additionally some of the intense bitterness is toned down. Mouthfeel is smooth and the body is reasonably light for the style. This tasty brew encompasses myriad of hop flavors and probably isn’t for those who aren’t fond of those flavors but will unquestionably be appreciated by people who enjoy serious hops and unique beers. Give it a shot and ride your bike.