Unified Theory | River North Brewery

very good
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Unified TheoryUnified Theory

Brewed by:
River North Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by StonedTrippin on 05-27-2012

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Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 64
Photo of brentk56
3.86/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy goldenstraw with a two inch head; plenty of lacing hangs around

Smell: Honey spiced pound cake, sugary sweet; vanilla, coconut and orange zest

Taste: Pound cake sweetness with honey, coconut, nutmeg and allspice building; hints of orange peel and white wine grape, in the middle, with vanilla and oak dominating the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A very interesting beer but the sweetness factor is a bit much for my palate

Thanks, eawolff99, for the opportunity

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Photo of NSXAG
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

River North Brewery - Unified Theory [Oak-Aged Imperial Wit Ale] (22oz ---> Stemless wine glass : 8.5% ABV)

When choosing a bomber, aesthetics play a certain role even though it's the contents that are what's truly important... When I came across River North's selection, the bottles left much to the imagination, but when labeled "Oak-Aged Imperial Wit Ale," it's not something I'm quick to pass up... It pours light, with a hazy goldenrod color, with a 2 inch rocky head that dissipates somewhat quickly, leaving minimal lacing but a nice retentive little cap... A wheaty malt aroma shows up overlaying a little funk, and a touch of orange zest sweetness here and there, but it does seem a little bit aromatically challenged... Upon tasting, it's moderately light on the palate, similar to what one would expect out of saison, just with less carbonation... The oaky taste takes over midway through, bringing with it a spicy floral bouquet with cinnamon a prominent, but extremely pleasant note... A clean, crisp finish, with lingering spice notes and just a hint of bitterness to balance it out, every sip is a refreshing one... This brew has many fine components all harmonizing nicely to play a solid role, completing this well crafted ale as a whole... The sweetness is well balanced by the oak, and no one element overpowers another in its' quest for perfect unison... Definitely not what I expected, but I'm very pleased with the ale quickly diminishing from my glass!! Another good brew - Cheers!!

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Photo of StoneTSR
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

APPEARANCE: A finger and a half of stark white foam sits gently on top of a crystal clear, pale, bright, yellow beer. A few champagne bubbles slowly work their way from the bottom of the glass to the bottom of the foam as the head slowly recedes. This is a very good looking beer.

SMELL: Quite a unique, complex smell here; grass, some fruit aromas (lemon is big), plenty of spice and just a very faint hint of barnyard funk lurking beneath it all.

TASTE: Like the nose, there is a LOT going on in here. A ton of sweet fruit flavors attack the palate right off the bat, but a strong black pepper spiciness tames that sweetness a touch. A little oak and vanilla flirt with the palate as well before a slight grassy and citrusy hop flavor washes the sip down.

MOUTHFEEL: Light to medium bodies, the carbonation in Unified Theory is very lively with an excellent, champagne-like sparkle. While it is sweet to start, the finish dries out quite nicely, paving the way for the next sip.

OVERALL: This is a far more interesting beer than any other Wit I’ve had. Big enough to hold up during these winter months, but will be a nice summer sipper as well.

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Photo of mactrail
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Aroma is my favorite feature-- passion fruit, hints of honey, and tangerine. Instead of the typical cloudy pale yellow, this is clear yellow gold. The first sip is shocking, it's just so sweet as to make me woozy. Even Pink Champale is dry compared to this.

I can see why TheBrewo noted every fruit flavor known to man in his review. Maybe there really is a hint of parsnips here. And is that lemon verbena? It is truly swarming with strange and mainly fruity flavors. And the wood. I guess this is faintly like a Witbier, but mostly it's a mad scientist's version of a Belgian strong golden ale. A little bit of pencil shavings is the only spice I taste.

This is not something to drink more than a short glass of, but it's quite fascinating. I was hoping for less sugar and a cleaner taste, but I keep sipping and being amazed by the sheer craziness. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Wilbur's Total Beverage in Fort Collins.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.55/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle. Pours clear straw yellow with a small white head that quickly goes to a thin collar.

The aroma is bready malt, lots of spices (floral, corriander, and pepper) with some lemon zest.

The flavor is sweet bready malts, some tropical fruit and a lot of spice with a medium bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, interesting, but too over the top with spices and sweetness.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Big, big thanks to StonedTrippin for supplying this wildly unique offering. We crack the top and pour a brew of glowing pale straw coloring into our Founders snifters, per the bottle’s suggestion. It holds a one and half finger tall head of foamy off white bubbles, showing decent retention. Specks of lacing are left around the glass as it goes. A mild haze is noted, with no sediment to be found. Both come out fully with the dregs of the bottle. Carbonation appears to be light. The nose is very much to style, with big wheaty malts, bright coriander and black pepper spiciness, orange rind bitterness, and light plastic and medicinal phenols. Mixing in are notes of white wine grape, chardonnay woodiness, coconut husk, lemon juiciness, golden delicious apples, licorice, drying muskiness, and sweaty saltiness. With warmth comes a light smoky ham quality, with wood more like chicory rather than oak. Our first impression is that the flavoring is much more hearty than would be suggested by the nose, great depth to the aging, and welcomed balancing sweetness. As we sip, the taste opens with surprisingly warm woodiness, biting soapy hoppiness, spicy booze, fresh orange and lemon flesh, soured lactics, white grape, red apple sugars, and sweet vegetal and mossy greens. Pushing to the peak is bittered wheat, spicy clove, coriander, parsnip rind, lemon zest, light toasty pales, strawberry fruitiness, and straight orange fruitiness. The finishing wash comes with bright vanilla woodiness, warming ethanol, light grassy hoppiness, black peppercorn spiciness, dirty wheat, clay-heavy water, white grape sugars, chalked walnut, faint soapy hops, and continued citric juiciness. The aftertaste breathes of grassy hops, brass, drying wheat, spicy black pepper, green grassiness, soft smokiness, booziness, sweat, dust, and old oakiness. The body is light to medium, but with a good syrupy quality, while carbonation is on the lighter side. Each sip gives nice slurp, smack, and pop, with decent cream and frothiness. The mouth is thickly coated at first, but gives way to a quick and pervasive astringent chalkiness across the hard palate. The abv is appropriate, and the beer sips slowly, but drinks well.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its flavoring. Compared to the nose, the buds got a much better dose of the oak-agedness, adding warmth, smoothness, robustness, depth, and general drinkability. The aroma did come out more with warmth, giving more sweetness than expected for the style, with more punch all around. The feel was equally contributory, giving a nice syrupy smack to an otherwise light and fluffy sip. This beer represents an interesting, new idea, and we believe that they executed it well, leaving the drinker both happy and contemplative. Hopefully StoneTrippin will be able to grace us with more beers from River North in the future.

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Photo of katan
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz into a goblet

A- Pours an orange, opaque color. Bubbly effervescent. White head formation, frothy at about a 1/4". Breaks down quickly, little lacing.

S - Fruity and spicy, citrusy and quite a bit of coriander. Not getting any oaking from the nose.

T - Starts off dry, smooth with a few hints of belgian yeast. Mid-stream gets more balanced, with a quick hit of some sour and earthy astringency notes from the oak. Finishes a little more balanced with some citrus notes and some oak biting flavors.

M - Moderate body, medium to strong carbonation. Dry to the tongue, but with some retained bite from the oak.

O / D - Worth a try - somewhat easy drinking, abv is pretty potent and somewhat filling. The only part I don't quite get here is the oaking - this would be an excellent beer of that harsh bite was a little more subdued. Otherwise I feel this a solid but not great offering.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served cold on tap at the brewery.

Unified Theory is a slightly hazy pale golden ale with thin white head.

Aroma is sweet and slightly spicy.

Flavor has that now familiar oaked vanilla character. It still seems a little under-attenuated with a lingering sweetness but I think it works better in an oaked beer. Sweet, floral, herbal, and spicy, in that order.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and nicely carbonated.

Overall a solid strong wit but a little too sweet for my tastes.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What an interesting witbier. Almost a kind of herbal lavender thing going on. The barrel is definitely doing something intereting things that you don't really get on a typical wit. I highly suggest this one. But again, like the Marie, this is a heavy interpretation. Somehow though, it all gets pulled off in high fashion. Imagine that: a barrel aged witbier.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks to daniloknezic for trading me this bottle! Thanks Don!

poured into tulip glass.

reviewed from notes taken 8/14/12.

Appearance: clear yellow bodied beer with a 1 finger white head.

Smell: Its got an interesting stink to it. never smelled anything like that before. Hay, grass, spicy, earthy.

Taste: This is a really busy beer with nice complexity! Hay, lemons, oak, grassy, herbal, spicy yeast, clove, honey, and mushrooms. Has a menthol finish that really makes this beer different.

Mouthfeel: low end of a medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. A touch of syrup in the mouthfeel. No ABV is even hinted at; even when this beer clock in at 8.5%!

Overall: River North brewery is really doing some inventive and creative beers. A fairly new brewery that not many people have heard of or know about. I like what they are doing and how brave they are tring some really advanced beer right out of the gates. I cant say I that I have ever heard of an oaked witbier before, much less tried one until now. Really cool beer, its worth a try! BA's give this new brewery a shot. They make good beer!

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Photo of Duff27
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Short white head on a golden body. Collar plus some lacing left.

Stanky! Lemongrassy.

Funk up front. I get a methol/mint At the tail end, oaky. Loving that finish. Very complex, unusual.

Medium mouthfeel, mid-low carbonation.

I get some methol in the smell after I taste it for the first time. Enjoyed more as I drank. Thanks 4DAloveofSTOUT!

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

oak aged imperial wit. pours hazy and radiant golden to yellow with a lasting one inch pure white head. smells like new american oak, belgian yeast, and orchard fruit. flavor is surprisingly oaky, i guess they use those oak sirals for this. also some mild sweet notes, maybe honey, and a floral but not quite perfumy essence as well. mouthfeel is great, lively carbonation and a medium body, dry in the finish with the wood being the last flavor to fade out. overall this is an excellent brew, and an ambitious undertaking for a brand new brewery. i was more than impressed with this one.

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Unified Theory from River North Brewery
3.95 out of 5 based on 64 ratings.
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