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UBU Ale - Lake Placid Craft Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

566 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 566
Reviews: 287
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 12.23%
Wants: 12
Gots: 22 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lake Placid Craft Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Our famous English-style Strong Ale, deep garnet red in color, with a smooth, hardy taste and a nice warm feeling to follow.

38 IBU

(Beer added by: sponberg on 10-20-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 566 | Reviews: 287 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cbl2

New York

2.8/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Deep dark mahogany; little to no head.


Little to no aroma present on this one. How can you brew a 7.0% alcohol beer and not have any aroma?


Very hoppy with little of the malt characteristic promised on label. Reminds me of an IPA that is dark. A definite letdown for me.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2004 18:50:43 | More by cbl2
Photo of UnionMade


3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer pours a true, deeply reddish mahogany. A couple fingers worth of dense, almond colored foam rises up on the pour, slowly settling into a filmy coating. Great head retention, keeping at least a broken film atop all the way through, leaving streaky globs of lace trailing down the glass.
The aroma is impressively malty, with a huge caramel sweetness. A bit of an earthy, woody quality, possibly a touch of peat smoked malt? It's almost a little farmy. A definite biscuity quality, some roasty chocolate, with heaps of prune, raisin and apple lurking beneath. Not much in the way of hops, just a vague suggestion of a herbal, earthy scent.
The flavor starts with a big, bold bicuity caramel, moderate roasty chocolate easing into the middle. Big raisin and prune flavors in the middle, with a suggestion of blackberry tartness into the finish. The chocolate intensifies in the finish, adding a grainy bittersweetness. Surprisingly present hops in the finish, very earthy, woody and organic, with a brush of a piney bite for good measure. I'm guessing english varieties, certainly fuggles, with perhaps a dash of nugget? Actually slightly dry in the finish, some alcohol definitely apparent, leaving a soft warmth on the back of the throat. A bit of that smoky, earthy flavor from middle to finish as it warms a bit, along with some dry nuttiness. A lingering malty, caramel aftertaste. Definitely full bodied, with a moderate, passive-agressive carbonation. Fairly easy drinking and smooth, especially for it's strength.
A great beer, definitely an individual in the american craft brew scene. I'm not sure if it's a strong ale, more like a cross between a scotch ale and an english strong ale. The earthy, smoky (?) woodiness is interesting, and I enjoy it. I dunno if I'd want to drink this by the case, it gets a bit overbearing after a couple bottles, not to mention the punch it's packing. Possibly a future classic, and certainly worthy of some attention. Don't pass up a pint if you see it, just make sure you ain't driving.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2004 00:01:56 | More by UnionMade
Photo of waughbrew


3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Mahogany with creme-colored head with R&L. Smell is or roasted grain and english hoppage. Definitely some plums and faint banana peel. Taste is big on the chocolate and hop flavor in the manner of a porter, but very one-dimensional as it does not develop or change throughout the sip and finish. Smooth, down, easy. An average, simple, porterish strong amber with light body and sweetess.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2004 19:10:56 | More by waughbrew
Photo of marc77


3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Hazed ruddy chestnut hue. Lofty, persistant beige head leaves rough lace. Soft woody hops with earthy undertones upfront in aroma. Dark lovibond caramel with a roasted grain tinge is secondary. Trace prune esters. Tame, but clean aromawise. Burnt toffee sweetness incipient in flavor is ensued by bitter, unsweetened baker's chocolate notes and butterscotch hints. Hop bitterness is moderate, lending a parcing dryness especially considering the high attenuation and paltry residual sweetness. Subdued floral hop flavor. Burnt biscuit tones augment as it warms, further facilitating the dry overall impression. Lightly bodied, with a lightly dextrinous mouthfeel that could use a notch more girth. Understated raisin and bitter powdered cocoa hints. Finishes with lingering, sharp, thirst inducing hop bitters mellowed slightly by cookie dough hints. A unique strong ale, with a heavy emphasis on bitterness, both hop and dark grain derived. Not overly complex, but dangerously drinkable, indeed. Tasty! Thanks to Feloniousmonk for the delivery.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2004 00:43:38 | More by marc77
Photo of TagoMago

New York

4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into shaker glass.

Appearance: Dark brown with a slightly reddish hue when held up to the light. It pours with an off-white head which subsides quickly, leaving a very faint lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Very malty and somewhat fruity, with some esters.

Taste: The mouthfeel is exceptionally smooth and creamy. The flavor of this beer is slightly porter-like with elements of coffee and rich malt. A slight hop bitterness nicely balances out the malt.

Overall: This beer is a quaffers delight all the way. Very smooth and very drinkable. I've never really had a beer like this before. It's quite unique for supposedly being a strong English Ale. This makes for a great session beer, but might be too strong for some people to drink in quantity at 7% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2004 02:45:08 | More by TagoMago
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A real nice find while visiting the in-laws in Buffalo,pours a deep amber with nut much head to speak of a nice deeply fruity malty taste with an appetizing dry earthiness that lingers thru the finish.A somewhat chewy very appetizing night cap beer,now I know why I love this style of beer!

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2004 02:50:41 | More by oberon
Photo of HappyHourHero


4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a solid, light coco colored, head left a decent coat of lace. Mahogany colored beer lets just a bit of light escape. The aroma is solid, some chocolate, a bit of hoppy roasted malts. Chocolate malt flavor, balanced by mildy bitter hops, that fades to leave a coffe bitterness on the back of the tongue. Nice creamy feel on a beer with a good amount of body to it leads to an easy drinking, tasty beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-20-2004 02:35:23 | More by HappyHourHero
Photo of shirfan

New York

3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A deep but clear peat-moss brown with copper highlights, this had an average tan head.

Aroma is mildly of malt and flour.

Taste is definitely not what I expected. Drier than an aspiring matchstick doing a smokey the bear commerical in Death Valley. Some almost baker's chocolate style malt, with leafy and dry hops in the shadows. Finishes with a sour note of black tea.

Are there style guidelines for "brewed herbal tonics"? This could be the archetype. It's not bad, but very...unique.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2004 22:52:18 | More by shirfan
Photo of TheJudge

New York

3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This very nice brown ale poured a pleasant dark brown (I guess you should expect that), with a nice beige head that lasted for the entire glass, providing good lacing all down the sides. Good bitterness in the mouth, that lingers after you swallow. Very good carbonation that tingles the tongue, but doesn't get in the way. No smell of note, but the malt is definately there in the flavor. This beer is very drinkable, being much lighter in texture than you would expect from the look.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2004 15:24:25 | More by TheJudge
Photo of charlesw

New York

3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought it 'cause it had a cool name. Dark coppery amber color with a small tan head that is quickly gone leaving lasting lacing. Nothing distinctive in the smell but whoa. It has flavor to it. It's huge on chocolate malt - that roasty, all over the tongue, toasted bit. Uh, I mean "huge" in the sense that you can taste 'em there big time. I suppose there are other flavors. Ok, ok, it's not dominated by the chocolate - but it's the first thing that you notice. Slightly bitter at the end and then definitely leaves you wanting another sip.

My sample is a bit overly carbonated and yet still rates a nice enough mouthfeel 'cause it is pretty rich - with a little less carbonation (maybe in anther batch) it could surely be great.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2004 22:07:14 | More by charlesw
Photo of edchicma


4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong or old ale? My sample was more like a stout. Very nice dark brown color with a malty aroma. 7.0 abv? My sample didn't feel like it. Taste was initially sweet with a bit of roasted malt character and a touch of alcohol mid-palate. Finish had a slight roasted malt quality. Mouthfeel and drinkability were fine, but my question is....is this a strong ale...or a stout? I'm strictly rating it on my experience..I liked it and would definitely have another.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2004 02:32:14 | More by edchicma
Photo of GreatPondBrewer


3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very strange beer indeed. Listed as a strong/old ale, but I didn't pick up on that exactly. Poured a dark brown/copper color with a slightly tan head. The smell was sweet and had a nice earthy texture to it with some peat and a decent hop presence. However, the taste was more like a brown ale gone wrong. I have some good high octane browns(Arrogant Bastard, Shed Mountain Ale), but this one was still stuck in 1st gear. There was a metallic resonance to the beer and there was little in the way of any interesting flavors going on with the alcohol. The malts were decently sweet, but they kept morphing back into a more confused state. The hop presence became non-existant until the finish, but I think it came on a little too bitter in the not so good way. More metallic than anything else. Meh.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2004 22:39:50 | More by GreatPondBrewer
Photo of marburg


3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


I'm not sure about "strong ale," but I think "old ale" will do nicely -- because this feels like what a pale ale would feel like in its geriatric form. Musty; an ancient Egyptian tomb just opened to fresh air for the first time.

I feel like in another life this may have had an almost wheaty citric zest to it. As it is, the aroma is mostly a "feeling" -- an air of something that could be there, but you don't actually get to smell it. Mostly just kind of mild, dry grains and perhaps a subtle hint of chocolate. I don't know; I'm stretching here.

A bit more interestingly flavored. Grain driven sweetness that reminds far more of the calm before the hop storm of a pale ale. Very well balanced and thus extremely easy to drink; this goes down with remarkable ease. There's that hint of chocolate again, this time in the mid-palate. So perhaps I'm not imagining things. Imperceptible alcohol. Pretty simple but tasty.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2004 04:25:14 | More by marburg
Photo of CBFanWish

New York

4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has a presence that almost demands it be known. A rich dark colour and a thick tan head, one would think it's a porter at first glance. It had a malty smell and taste I senced a bit of pininess and graininess to it. It has a very well balanced taste that is among the best in the world. This is a beer that goes down smooth. Love this beer. It will treat you very well in return.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2004 11:02:22 | More by CBFanWish
Photo of yankeeheel


3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with a tannish head. Fair amount of lacing down the glass. Smells of toasted malt with a bit of earthiness.

Tastes quite strong and powerful. Big rush of toasted malt is quickly followed by a a very dry middle. This then proceeds to a hopped up ending. Lots of little notes of nut and molasses in the middle. It lives up to the category of strong ale.

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2004 00:46:29 | More by yankeeheel
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark brown color with an off-white head. Some lacing was produced through the drink, even though the head did disappear before the glass was half empty. The aroma is pleasant, mostly malt with a faint hop nose.

The flavor is very malty, with some slight bitterness detected while swallowing. Some very mellow and faint chocolate tones are also noticable. Medium body beer (slanting towards the heavier side) produces a good mouthfeel. Carbonation levels are good. The higher alcohol level is not very noticable, which makes this extremely drinkable. Overall a nice flavorful ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2004 19:19:53 | More by Gavage
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a hazy dark amber color with an overflowing white head that takes forever to fade. The aroma is dry and musty. It has a bit of maltiness to it. The taste is decent. It is mildly malty and smooth. It isn't very complex, but it does the job. The mouthfeel sucks. It is way too overcarbonated. It is medium bodied and not very enjoyable. It's one and done for me.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2003 01:07:17 | More by WesWes
Photo of rajendra82


3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer looked cloudy, dark brown, and quite fizzy when poured in a glass. The aroma was dominated by lightly roasted malts and bready yeast. I could also detect faint and distant hints of roasted coffee. The taste was dominated by smoky and chocolate malt, however a hoppy bitterness and spiciness continued to assert itself. I was not expecting it to be this hoppy based on the initial aroma. Very tasty beer with a strong alcohol content. I guess they did classify it properly. Thanks Weissenheimer for the trade.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2003 04:07:47 | More by rajendra82
Photo of rotsaruch


3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No bottled date.

It poured with hues of deep, dark chestnut/chocolate (like its name sake Ubu the Chocolate Lab) topped with slight off-white head that quickly fades to a thin surface covering. Lacing was minumial. There is a faint malty nose with hints of chocolate/toffee and some floral hops. The body seemed a little thin, but it had a creamy, smooth texture. The taste profile was pleasant but not strong or overpowering. It is dominated by a caramel malt flavor with a noticable grainess and a mild underlying dark fruit-type flavor. It finishes dry, but with a weak hop flavor and bitterness. Generally well-balanced and drinkable brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2003 15:11:07 | More by rotsaruch
Photo of Weissenheimer

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ubu has a good-sized, frothy, bubbly head. One of the many delightful aspects of this beer is the way that head dimples downward so that it forms little hummocks. The sunken bits quickly become lighter in color than the rest of the head so that it becomes beautifully variegated. It actually reminds me of the thick, frothy head of yeast on the surface of the wort at Brewery Ommegang.

The beer itself has roughly the appearance of flat Pepsi with a touch of coffee mixed in. Slightly translucent, it lets through a hint of reddishness when held up to the light. It smells strongly of malt and coffee, with some hops peeking through.

Initial reaction: MMMMmmm!!! Balanced!! It's malty and creamy, with a slight coffee taste. These three flavors recline as they coast along on a smoothly-polished track of hops.* YUM! Man, is this drinkable.

As I drain the pint and watch craggy outcroppings of lacing form on the glass, the words "elegant" and "stately" come to mind. I talk a lot about complexity and the lack thereof, but this beer illustrates perfectly that I don't need tremendous complexity. Ubu only does a few things, and it's not all that dynamic. But what it does, it does so well that it doesn't matter.

Malty tingle. Slight coffee. Slight hoppy tang. Fade. That's all folks! That's it, and there ain't no more. And it's all I need.

* I am a professionally untrained non-writer. Attempting bad metaphors such as this may result in personal and/or reputational injury.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2003 17:07:23 | More by Weissenheimer
Photo of nomad


4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep umber color, with a bubbly foam off-white head. Had sticky little spots as well as clumpy bands of stain all over, and strong and abundant lace that was occasionally messy.

Smell was chocolatey at first, warming to a balanced scent of a vinuous malt scent: smooth, slightly woody, obviously sweet of a heavily honey-toned sort, but altogether rounded with depth, Had some floral and minty hop leaf notes around, too. Different and quite nice, in that the malt seemed long aged and complex while the hops seemed abundantly fresh.

Tasted of dark honey and a woody malt with a textured flavor and a very complex roasty sense. These flavors were also coupled with sour rooty tones. This beer's other half had a strong British hop presence: tart, green, and sharply cutting with an oily presence in the end, though the caramel and chocolate malty presence resided. Finish with an earthy rough and almost spicy sense of chewy leaf flavors.

Thin bodied but far from flat, it tasted much more balanced than most old ales, as the strong hop presence kept it from being sweet water as are many old ales. Helped the drinkability, too. A warming winter ale, aging could do some interesting things to it.

Serving type: growler

11-10-2003 18:31:56 | More by nomad
Photo of DagFishHead

New York

3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep dark brown body with an amber cast to it. Thin off-white head cleared out quickly leaving minimal lace.
Smell: Malt sweetness followed by stale malt, touch of must, dried fruit tones (raisin), and whiff of alcohol.
Taste: Sweet malt (too sweet for my taste), big spike of acidity (hop oil, citrus, pine) with a dry hop finish which I feel is more intense than typical of the style. More of a rollercoaster than an orchestra of flavor components.
Mouthfeel: Malt fullness, low carbonation. Alcohol level well hidden, but sneaks up on you.
Drinkability: Not really a standout for the style... I'll keep looking.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2003 22:22:53 | More by DagFishHead
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On first hearing of this brew, I was intriqued by the name and imagined it was christened in honor of the absurd and vile protoganist of Alfred Jarry's satirical, scatological works of the turn of last century. Turns out they named it after a dog, but I'd like to think the dog was named after that ridiculous, surrealistic king of Poland. And hey, how about the beer?
Appearance: dark eggplant color, nearing a pure violet, with a good, fuzzy, cream-colored head.
Aroma:oddly uncategorizable, though I feel I've encountered this particular nose before, I can't think of where or when. (I hear a Gershwin tune coming on.) A little nutty, a trifle fruity, but nothing like what those words would mean to your mind on their own. I'll drink deeper to divine more precise connotations...horse blanket, bog soil, wet cat, cactus juice, marmot saliva...oh, now I'm making stuff up!..a bit flinty, minerally, hints of smoke and moss, utterly unique.
Enough, time to taste. Little hops, big malt, but none too untoward.
Medium to full body, and smooth drinking, but a bit flat, unfortunately.
"Just the right amount of hops", says the label. Meaning, "none"?
A little more fruit in the flavor peeks in later, in the form of raisins, dates.
Too little spark to this very unusual beer, somthing I long for in an ale.
Strength only asserts itself at the end, by which point I'm relieved this odd little journey is over.
I do wish I could try one again, to further explore it's mysterious secrets, and give thanks to the good McCall for providing!

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2003 23:19:38 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of konabrewer


2.73/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Sweet even for a 7% ale.
Slightly sticky and offputting in the aroma.
With the following this beer has I guess I expected more out it.

Very average, not impressive.
The sweet malt up front was quite inviting, I must admit, but the finish was thin and seemed to have an overpowering scent of residual sugars. What is the FG on this?

The sticker and marketing are great the beer is average!!!

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2003 18:33:06 | More by konabrewer
Photo of kaszeta

New Hampshire

4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the 2003 Vermont Brewers Festival

It pours with a dark amber body and thick foamy tan head. Smells of both sweet malt and strong hops, and this carries through nicely to the taste. It's moderately hopped, but not dominated by it, there is a nice maltiness as well. Rather drinkable, especially if you're looking for a nice ale with a sweet taste.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2003 15:52:31 | More by kaszeta
UBU Ale from Lake Placid Craft Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 566 ratings.