Oak Aged Unearthly
Southern Tier Oak Aged Unearthly is a beer that is reminiscent of the first India pale ales. The first IPAs had to withhold the long, arduous journey from Britan to India. These beers were heavily hopped during the brewing process, put in wood barrels, packed onto ships, and sent to the British troops stationed in India. Southern Tier Oak Aged Unearthly is probably much higher in alcohol (11% ABV) and more heavily hopped than any of the inaugural IPAs, but it is aged in oak barrels, and this factor makes one remember the heritage of this world famous style.
A marvelous light copper orange color, Southern Tier Oak Aged Unearthly is a lighter shade than most double IPAs. It smells of citrus hops, a hint of vanilla, and a touch of oak. The first thing I noticed when sipping this beer is that it is “hot” or has an alcohol burn on the taste. The alcohol taste coincides with the big and bitter earthy hops that compose the body of this brew. The name Unearthly fits wonderfully with this double IPA. Some bitterness is detectable, but for the most part the finish is all about the oak. While everything else faded, I was left with an oak taste in my mouth.
It is slim pickings when it comes to finding an IPA aged in anything, and Oak Aged Unearthly is a good beer to try if you are looking for something with an authentic nature. It will also satisfy the hop- head looking for a delicious IPA. I highly doubt this one will be around for any period of time either. I couldnt find Oak Aged Unearthly on Southern Tiers website, which is sign that it is probably a very limited beer. I highly recommend this beer, it is palate pleasing, and is reminiscent of something historic.
Southern Tier Iniquity is a double IBA. Notice the “B” for black instead of the “P” for pale. Beeradvocate.com has this beer listed as a double IPA, but this is not the case. Iniquity rides a fine line between a double IPA and a stout, hence the name imperial black ale. This is a cutting edge beer from a cutting edge brewery, and may belong to a category of it’s own.
I knew this beer was going to be unique from the first glance. It is dark as night, but it smells like it is going to be a citrusy double IPA with a shot of espresso in it. Upon reading the side bottle, I noticed that Iniquity is supposed to be “The Antithesis of Unearthly.” It is reminescent of Unearthly, but has a prominent coffee flavor and a hint of chocolate to go along with it. Iniquity is almost like Southern Tier Unearthly blended with Founders Breakfast Stout. The body of Iniquity is all about the hops and bitterness, while the finish consists of a citrusy coffee flavor. As the beer winds down, it leaves a nice amount of lacing on the glass. I know my description sounds a bit funky, but this beer is delicious. It is also a very good value at 9% ABV and $6.49 for a 22oz bottle. Again, just like Oak Aged Unearthly, Iniquity is non-existant on Southern Tier’s website. This leads one to believe that it is either a very limited beer, or Southern Tier doesn’t update their website. Iniquity is a unique, must try for the beer lover. Has anyone ever had a beer like this before?