Thursday, December 1, 2011

Beer Review: Oak Aged Unearthly

Reviewing the Oak Aged Unearthly from Southern Tier Brewing Company.
Score: 87

2011 vintage bottle served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark sunset orange with two and a half fingers of foamy head that settles into a quarter finger. Excellent lacing. 4.5/5

Smell: Lots of floral citrus aromas. Lemony fresh tart and orange-sweet citrus. A little oak and vanilla. Some rich soil (not in a bad way) too. Aroma turns to firey booze when it hits room temp. 4/5

Taste: Very complex floral and citrus flavors. Some zesty orange and lemon, grapefruit...maybe a little apple. A very smooth vanilla twist. A tad bit sour, some maltiness. Touche of caramel-sugariness. Very earthy hop bitterness too. The malty and earthy characteristics also really builds up on the mid-palate and finish as the flavor layers. Not detecting a lot of oak in the front or mid-palate, but it is subtle in the finish. Slight alcohol warmth, but nothing distracting. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, light carbonation. Finish is bitter and too crisp. 3.5/5

Overall: A very solid brew, but the oak aged version lacks some of the bitter hop kick of the original brew. The added complexities from oak aging are nice, but too subtle to compensate for the lost hops-elements. Turns a little too boozy as it warms up.

Recommendation: A very solid brew that I would recommend over the original for casual beer drinkers. More experienced beer drinkers will certainly enjoy the nuance of this brew as well, but unless you have not tried it before, you are better served buying the non-aged version -- which is cheaper as well. Still, for $8.99 a bomber, you could do worse, and this is a beer that is absolutely worth trying.

Pairings: Grilled BBQ chicken sandwich.

Cost: $8.99 for 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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