The Unified Theory Oak-Aged Imperial Wit Ale from River North Brewery in Denver, Colorado pours out a pale gold in color with good clarity and is topped with a fluffy, finger tall, white head that slowly dissipates. On the nose, oak, butter, apples, Belgian yeast and a perfumed floral aspect. In the mouth, the oak comes through quite strongly. I'm not sure which oak River North uses for this craft beer (they have a whiskey and a chardonnay barrel aged version of their saison) but from the taste I'm thinking chardonnay barrels. I could be wrong though. Flavors of apple, pear, slightly yeasty, vanilla and toast with just a hint of honeyed sweetness. Medium bodied. Fine carbonation. Little lacing on the glass. Clean mouthfeel with a lot of vinous qualities. The finish is very long and slightly dry with the toasted, oaky vanilla flavors enduring all the way through.
A different take on a wit beer that works. The flavors are phenomenal. The oaky flavors are a delight to savor. If you're a wine drink that loves a big, buttery, Napa Chardonnay you will like this beer. If you're a craft beer drinker that likes a well crafted beer you'll like this beer. The only caveat I'll give is, throw out any conception of a particular beer style prior to drinking this and judge the beer on its flavor and harmonious balance. Highly recommended.
22 ounce bottle, 8.5% ABV
Beer 182 of 366 for 2012