Edition 2004 - Unibroue
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 263 | Reviews: 245 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Dantes:
3/5 rDev -26.5%
Package: 750ml corked and caged brown bottle. Elegant gold lettered label with Edition 2004" replacing 10" or 11. Dated above UPC symbol March 3, 2004 and the cork stamped 24-1. ABV listed at 10.5% and the expected ale on lees notation.
Cost: $7.99 per bottle
Presentation: tulip glass at ~50º; tasted both new and aged a year (reviewed here).
Appearance: A continuous plume of gunsmoke tendrils emanated from the bottle after I popped the cork, much like a bottle of dry ice from a horror or fantasy movie. A careful pour generated a light, voluminous off-white head with little staying power. The body was a hazy gold, with tinges of peach-apricot. Tiny particles and tiny bubbles danced through the beer. Classic special edition Unibroue appearance.
Smell: A very fruity, spicy aroma pools in the glass. I could pick out some pepper, candy sugar, clove, allspice, and coriander. Some mitigating malt and yeastiness. Quite a lot (too much) going on in the nose for me.
Taste: My first impressions were dominated by alcohol and a cloying sweetness. The older bottle was smoother and a bit more integrated than the fresh samples, but gave up quite a bit of crispness present in the fresh bottles. Most of the special edition Unibroues possess a crisp lemony quality almost totally absent from this beer. The aged sample had a honeyed, tropical fruit sweetness that pervaded and overwhelmed most of the other flavors, smothering the slight yeasty, toasty malt elements I detected in the bouquet. A wholly unbalanced, cloying experience. Has a long, sugary finish with a strong (but warming) alcoholic stamp. Furthermore, the warmer this got, the more cloying it became.
Mouthfeel: At least in this, the 2004 bears the classic Unibroue mark of excellent carbonation. The body is heavy, but relieved by the superfine, active carbonation, which provides the trademark creaminess. Without this, lively carbonation, the beer would be a syrupy mess.
Drinkability: Pretty poor as far as I was concerned. This gave me a headache (for real) and hurt my teeth (well almost) like the DFH Liquor de Malt. How some people could consider this a good match with food is beyond me. I did finish the bottle, but it was a struggle.
Backwash: I seem to be in the minority, but each new Unibroue special edition (11, Terrible, 2004) strays further from the restrained, wonderful classics they used to turn out. As with the previous ones, Id hoped that a years age would improve this a lot, but I was wrong. While the spicy flavors might have been a bit more integrated, the little bit of crispness present in the fresh samples was lost, making this beer flabbier and even more cloying. Furthermore, Unibroue is less and less of a value. Although not as high in ABV, beers like 3 Monts and La Bavaisienne are similar and much better values. I hope that the new Edition 2005 hews more closely to the style presented in the fabulous 10," and regains its dry, crisp structure.
01-31-2005 20:35:20 | More by Dantes
More User Reviews:
4.03/5 rDev -1.2%
Pours a hazy burnt orange with a huge fluffy head that leaves sheets of lace down the glass,some powdered sugar and some citruis to go along with a light iron note in the nose.Big smokiness and very yeasty up front with a nice spiciness some cloves very prevelant.Wow a big brew here spicey and yeasty big and bold with the alcohol coming thru more as I drink more,wish I had more bottles to drink later on.
10-17-2004 20:50:44 | More by oberon
4/5 rDev -2%
Maybe i've become so used to Unibroue putting out solid Belgian-style beers because the Edition 2004 didn't wow me. I mean, it was good. Solid. But it didn't wow me.
Having said that, this beer is still of a very highh quality. A rich golden amber pour with a less lively head then i expected. I found the nose to be big and spicey. Plenty of cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg along with hints of black pepper. The taste was very much the same for me with big spiceness up front. A very good balance of hoppines and malt gave this beer solid body and a good backbone. A semi-sweet caramel finish with light, fruity notes underneath.
Very nice mouthfeel, both lively and full. I tend to think that like the Unibroue 10, this one might taste better in a year or two.
06-10-2004 12:35:46 | More by Popsinc
4.18/5 rDev +2.5%
Appearance I poured this one carefully as Unibroues are known for their explosive heads. This one stayed at about an inch and left a small pool in the center of the liquid. The beer itself is a dirty orange with some active carbonation.
Smell The pale malts, Belgian yeast, and sharp spicing jump out of the glass after the ale has warmed a bit. Did I say sharp spicing? No, extremely sharp spicing. Smelling this ale made me sneeze like when you accidentally get a big whiff of pepper.
Taste The flavors here were unbelievably sharp, punishing my foolheartedness for not aging this bottle. The Belgian yeast and light fruiting were enjoyable, but the spices here need to cellar a bit. The coriander especially was just rank. Oh, it was sooo good.
Mouthfeel Super-carbonated, almost full-bodied, and nary a hint of alcohol. This ale will explode in between your cheeks.
Drinkability This was good as is, but I would recommend at least six months under the stairs. Beware: The 10.5% ABV will sneak up on you like a thief in the night.
Comments I am a big fan of this brewery and must give a huge BA thanks to Rastacouere for commandering this bottle from his native Canada and sending it our my way. This was a very special treat for me and I greatly appreciated it.
Update I popped a year old 2004 and man oh man is it a big un! The flavors came together nicely in my cellar. Huge spices, big yeast, modest alcohol sting, and a great blend of malts. This is a real winner! I upped the nose by 0.5 point as this bouquet is totally amazing!
06-09-2004 01:11:01 | More by RoyalT
3.4/5 rDev -16.7%
750ml bottle dated 3/3/04. Pours a cloudy, murky golden orange with very lively carbonation. It has a monstrous fizzy white head that setlles into a thick fuzzy looking layer that stays strong and coats the glass some.
The aroma is vinous alcohol, spicy, peppery and woody with a touch of apple.
The flavor is pepper and spicy cloves with a vinous sweet fruitiness and some yeastiness. It has a slightly bitter and very dry finish. The alcohol is very well hidden, but kicks you in the butt later. The mouthfeel is smooth and velvety.
Overall, it's good but not great. A little too spicy for me and a little too much sweet apple/orange that seems kind of out of place in beer to me.
08-05-2005 06:54:11 | More by Beaver13
4.5/5 rDev +10.3%
Honey golden and clear with a fluffy eggshell-white head that left quickly. Scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, yummy spiceyness floating out. Bit of saison-like scent maybe. Reminds you of camomile tea, you smell it, and can taste cammomile on your tongue... pretty cool. Has a decent amount of carbination in it, but not too much. This has a good feel, smooth and light, just feels so nice. Good flavors.
09-18-2004 19:29:08 | More by shapudding
3.95/5 rDev -3.2%
Presentation: 341ml brown bottle with a 2004 vintage date on the label.
Appearance: Beautiful tiny bubbled lace that holds strong to the rim of the glass. Hazed tawny color.
Smell: Ginger, anise, white pepper and orange peel faint fusel alcohol with a light exotic fruit aroma. Bready malt and a wheat twang as well.
Taste & Mouth Feel: The creamy smoothness get pushed aside by a some what brash carbonation. A long bitterness from the phenols intertwines with a spicy, almost solvent alcohol. Earthy ginger and dusty clove come to mind, ripe tropical fruit and a dry maltiness blend well. The phenols go mild towards the semi-sweet yet still spicy finish.
Drinkability & Notes: Very interesting this little lovely brew has grown on me after two bottles. It has wooed me to come back sadly I only had two bottles. It went well with a couple of extra thick peppercorn crusted pork chops.
07-04-2004 02:02:07 | More by Jason
3.68/5 rDev -9.8%
The cork easily twists off with a loud "pop", followed by several seconds of grey, chimney smoke emanating out of the bottle. Poured into a St Bernardus goblet, the body is a clear, bright, apricot(freshly picked), with an intense, one inch tall, ivory head of tightly knit bubbles that lasts for several minutes. The sheet lacing effect is extraordinary, and justifies a perfect 5 for appearance.
The aroma boasts a very spicy bouquet. Clove, ginger, nutmeg. cinnamon, allspice....Geez! Just dump in your spice cabinet here.
Mouthfeel is spicy, as well, with a distinct alcohol bite, and lots of carbonation.
Taste: Allspice and alcohol assault the palate, immediately, and essentially dominate the profile all the way down. The "signature" Unibroue yeast is prominent, but even it seems to contibute to the spicy body. Carbonation seems too high for the style, and is a slight distraction. Some caramel notes emerge at room temperature, and round out the sharpness to some extent, but the alcohol sting cannot be disguised. The malt profile really struggles to assert, but is continiously knocked into the background by the bigtime abv, and spicy hops and yeast.
This should be considered a strong dark ale, in my opinion. In terms of drinkability, it's kind of rough. The alcohol is more in your face than any other Unibroue I've had. So, is the extreme spicy character. The malt just can't punch through the big alcohol and spice presence here, to have a proper balance. Still, this is another unique Unibroue Belgian style, and most will enjoy it. This needs to be cellared for a couple of years, in my opinion, in order to smooth out the rough edges. Excellent potential for this one, down the road a year or two.
08-08-2004 00:34:44 | More by merlin48
4.72/5 rDev +15.7%
woohoo this is the good stuff! Large bottle, with cork and cage, opened with a lively burst. Pours semi hazy, lightest of amber hues. Off white head, excellent retention, lovely lacing. Nose of pepper,pine, spice, melon, anise. Notes of lots of pepper, fruits, anise, gin,alcohol, and yeasty phenolics. Finely crafted, luxorious,special brew. If you like Belgian SPAs this is a must try.
09-16-2004 01:25:07 | More by Billolick
3.9/5 rDev -4.4%
750 ml Bottle "Edition 2004" handsomely engraved in gold lettering on the bottle.
Orange/red grapefruit tinge to this beer once poured. Very active, bubbly head on this one that disappears quickly, leaving only a fine rim of white surrounding the glass. Nice pop of the cork which emitted a slowly rising fog from the bottle. What else does this Champ from Chambly have to offer?
Smell screams Unibroue product, which I love immediately. Smells very much like their La Fin but with a little more umph.
Orange peel is the the strongest taste I can pull out of this special edition brew. Loads of carbination punch the inside of your mouth while it swilrs around waiting to be swallowed. Quite crisp in that respect.
I enjoyed this bottle and would purchase it again, and definitely would put a few away for a rainy day.
08-10-2004 02:26:57 | More by fdrich29
4/5 rDev -2%
Thanks to jjfoodie for sharing this bottle. The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the Belgian yeast, with some wheat and assorted spices thrown in. The flavor is similar, with a strong yeast component. I also get some nice pepper and spice notes, as well as some floral and rose notes. All of this is mixed in with some biscuit and wheat notes, as well as a good dose of alcohol, Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.
07-02-2012 05:45:20 | More by Mora2000
3.58/5 rDev -12.3%
Deceiving beer. Pours hazy gold thick with sediment, but with a lot of carbonation, almost to the point it looks artificial. Massive rocky white head. Thick lacing. The aroma is heavily spiced, with dried fruits and Bing cherries. Taste is a lot lighter than expected. Spicy, like a Holiday tea, but also sweet. Yeast and a cider-like flavors abound as the beer progresses. Don't really know what to think about this one. Part of me wants another, but the thought sickens the other half.
01-05-2009 19:49:12 | More by magictrokini
3.9/5 rDev -4.4%
Opaque orangey brown color, tall and creamy head of over an inch and good staying power. Rings of lacing in the first glass, more complex, later. Aromatic -- breadfruit, cloves, vanilla, yeasty lingering musk, alcohol. Body is surprisingly light, spritzy and fine, fluffy in its carbonation. Flavor makes a huge statement -- for better or worse. Dark and brash, too spicy, prune, sugar beets, too much shoe leather, wood, slight smoke. A light lift of astringency late but the powerful early tastes and aromas linger to the end. Alcohol is pretty noticeable even at the start. Strong and earthy, well done, but the flavor challenged me more than bowled me over and its not one of the more drinkable Unibroue beers for me. One of those beers you can taste the next morning. Should age in an interesting way.
08-29-2004 19:22:35 | More by ADR
4.53/5 rDev +11%
Dropped fifteen bucks for this gem to take home from the Sharp Edge Emporium, I didn't mind paying top dollar considering I've never been dissapointed from a Unibroue product. Appearance: Pours a hazy amber orange tinted brown tone with a big creamy textured finely carbonated head leaves thick ass lacing all the way down my Fantome chalice. Aroma: Deep fruit esters cross my palate initially with tones of flowery cider tones, packed chalk full of the classic Unibroue spice combonation bringing a spicy peppery, anise note to the table with a nice rolling brown sugar sweetness. I can detect the usage of some Saaz hops thrown in there very nice smelling brew. Taste: The sweet brown sugar note tied with a warming spiced holiday bread is amazing, the black licorice and peppery bite come through with hop flavor not so much bitterness. Quite unique making this one hard to compare to any other beer, I like the hoppiness and peppery edge along with the soothing fruit esters lining the background of the flavor, very well done. Mouthfeel: Big lucious syrupy notes from this fuller bodied Belgian style pale nice fine carbonation silky smooth but a bit too filling to drink in session. Drinkability: Simply put this beer could pass as liquid crack the flavor keeps you wanting more the alcohol is so well hidden hard to find flaws in this brew I'm a fan.
07-19-2004 03:51:26 | More by WVbeergeek
3.55/5 rDev -13%
This poured to a bright gold and yellow with a massive head. The lacing is minor but the head is holding up very well.
The smell packs a nice punch of spice on top of sugars and alcohol. The taste is powerfull, to say the least. Spice and alcohol dominate. The mouthfeel is quite sharp, while the drinkability takes a bit of a hit for the quite apparent levels of spice and alcohol.
11-22-2004 03:32:21 | More by watermelonman
4.05/5 rDev -0.7%
I've had this awhile and decided to give it a try. It pours a honey color with a giant white frizzy head. Looks like your typical Belgian. The smell is a mix of candy sugar, sweet malt, coriander, raisin, and peaches. The taste is very unique. Vanilla, raisin, peaches, and an almost oak aged bourban flavor are all present. The m/f is medium bodied with an incredible mixture of great flavors. This is an awesome beer. I wonder how much a part the aging played? Cheers.
09-01-2006 04:05:34 | More by jmz62565
4.5/5 rDev +10.3%
Caged and corked 25 oz. bottle, with a great logo and a great look overall, if I do say so myself. Date on bottle is March 3, 2004, so I guess this is already a year old. Here goes.
Appearance: Beauiful bubbles from bottom to top, a hazy yellow / orange color with a thin white lace that sticks to the glass. Thin white head thick on the outer rim, sticky lace webs around the top of my wine glass.
Smell: Mellow banana and spiciness up front, candi sugar, slight raisins, a bit of citrus (more lemon), fantastic gingerbread aromas, nutmeg, and a bit of alcohol, but it's masked extremely well.
Taste: Mellow banana up front again, some gingerbread with the aftertaste, some mellow fruitiness with some sugars that mellow out beautifully. What a balance. Swish it around a bit; it's like a gorgeous and fruity, balanced champagne, but oh so much more.
Mouthfeel: Light but carbonated heavily, yet not overbearingly. I could swish this stuff around all day and be content.
Drinkability: I'd tell people to buy Unibroue 2004 instead of champagne, though most people wouldn't listen. However, I hate to compare it to champagne because it's much better in so many ways and can be treated as a beer or a beer for a celebration. For it's 10% ABV, it's extremely, extremely deceiving. Granted, you're supposed to sip it, and you should, but still, it's amazingly tasty.
A great beer, and I'll definitely be buying at least one or two more to cellar, unless it becomes too unbearable to keep this unopened.
03-26-2005 04:49:27 | More by asabreed
3.98/5 rDev -2.5%
Lucky enough to find this in a store recently...surprised to see it unsold after two years.
Poured into a Lucifer snifter and got a beautiful copper-orange color with seemingly a billion bubbles streaking up the sides. Very busy, bubble-wise, one of the most beautiful displays I've seen in a beer. The head is a foamy off-white and retains well.
Aroma offers a sharp spice that's hard to place, somewhere between white pepper, nutmeg and cinammon. Alluring and pretty unusual.
Flavor is exclusively fruity/spicy. Great balance of both. Pineapple vs. peppermint. Peach meets nutmeg. Barely ripe persimmons and sour apple sharing space with coriander, pepper, cardamom, clove and ginger.
The mouthfeel is superb, achieving a fine balance of creamy smoothness and jumpy tingliness. Just hold it in the mouth forever...excellent.
Because of the extreme spice abundance here, this is not for everyone and certainly not for everyday. It's a rare indulgence, but a fine one if you're in the mood. Couple that with the 10.5% alcohol, and you have a beer that's not exactly highly drinkable. But I really enjoyed this bottle and will seek out other editions from the always dependable Unibroue.
08-08-2006 23:19:16 | More by Metalmonk
4.88/5 rDev +19.6%
Growing up Unibroue: A Journal
They say I need time yet. I'm just released unto the world as my own being. Yet I feel primed to redefine. Primed to reinvent all notions of my lineage. How I've longed to erupt from the shadows cast by my forbearers, La Fin, Don de Dieu, 10, 11.
I want to carve my own niche. I want my own legacy, and I think I've found it.
I'm still budding, but looking at myself, I'm a statuesque honey hued, topped with a huge, loose froth of slightly yellowed teeth.
My supposed lot in life is to fall in line with my Belgian Pale Strong Ale cousins. Fuck that. I want to the expressionism that those Saison's have. Full of spice; freeform, expansive, and unconfined.
That's my desired path, and I'm well on my way.
Rosemary's has been my mentor. And it's said I reek of her influence, along with those of Pepper, Thyme, Sage, Cilantro. If I want acceptance into that boho Saison lifestyle, I've got to acquaint myself, know the rules, the nuance, the spice.
I was talking with Uncle Maudite the other day, and he was all "You're getting that rushing Unibroue carbonation....You're finally becoming a man.". I don't really like him, but I guess he's right. I can feel a newfound exuberance building up through my core. Then he was saying something, "you've got those melon and apricot traits from your mom's side". Maybe he's right, but I've been focused more on caramel malts, and as I grow and warm, I think they'll arrive more and more. But, again, Uncle Maud is right, I know I've got a lot of the family's tropical fruit. I can't help it. Looking in the mirror, I've still got a few fusel-alcohol acne scars, but I'm told those will fade with time.
Finally off on my own, half wanting to flaunt my Rosemary-(and Pepper, and Thyme, and Sage, and, especially,Cilantro)- taught spiciness, and half self-conscious of my fruity, wheaty, melony, Unibroue-inherited traits.
I went to this club, and guess what? People accepted me. I didn't feel like a wannabe anymore. There were lots of other saisons there, and I didn't make a fool of myself. This one dude, wearing a sheet, and calling himself "Phantom" or something, asked me where I got all the righteous spices. I just sort of shrugged. Then he was like, "you remind me of this cat I used to buy 'shrooms from....uh.. La Terrible, I think, was her name". I just acted surprised, and chuckled, having learned a bit about my older sister.
Later that night, some dude from some cow town in Wisconsin- "pepsis" or something, I think his name was- came up to me. He was looking totally out of place, and he was all like, "Bro, I've met some of your family, and you totally remind me of them, but you've really done something special for yourself. Kudos on that. You're one of a kind, and I think you'll redirect both your own tradition and Saison stylings to come".
It was a bit awkward that this guy knew me from somewhere, but I liked his compliments.
Aside from that, he was pretty much a tool.
08-25-2004 08:15:33 | More by cokes
3.93/5 rDev -3.7%
Not much taste here. I only get some malt and something else in the background. Both sweet and overpowering. Its like hearing music from downstairs. I rate this below-average for the brewery.
Consistently with Unibroue I find the yeast and spice combinations somewhat nauseating. In my reviews I have tried to adjust for that being just me personally. I rarely find the yeast to be a problem with the Belgiums and never with US-style Belgium being. To that end, I am storing my other bottle-conditioneds for, I hope, 2 years, to see how it turns out.
OK, 2.5 yeras later and Biegaman has shared a bottle and..its better. Yeast not in my face.
06-20-2004 04:56:17 | More by Sammy
4.33/5 rDev +6.1%
Dense head lasted for several minutes after pour. Very effervescent, bubbles visibly coming up for several minutes as well.
Deep golden/orange color. Cloudy and opaque in glass.
Spicy and penolic flavor and aroma. Seems more like a tripel than a Belgian strong ale. a lot of malt and sweetness very well blanced by acidity, spice and hops.
02-18-2008 15:56:59 | More by ojclark
4.4/5 rDev +7.8%
750 shared with expatsteve during the first half of France-Spain. Sorry, Spain...we've got nothin for ya.
Pour is a unique and pretty blood orange-amber, slightly hazed, with a short whitish head that melts under the 10.5%. Nose is big and sweet up front, with notes of honey, lemongrass and strawberry-kiwi fruit. Taste is bracketed in the front and finish by a heady alcohol presence with the middle with apricot-peach, bready yeast and some vinuous qualities. Mouthfeel is typical of Unibroue - lightly bready with crisp, biting carbonation.
The alcohol hides itself a little better with warming, and it becomes fairly drinkable. It lacks the characteristic yeasty character of most Unibroue I've tried, but that fruity nose and crisp taste have grown on me. A tasty beer 2 years later. A graceful ager here.
06-27-2006 19:42:31 | More by Golden2wenty1
4.33/5 rDev +6.1%
Pours with a head that's quite voluminous in size, long-lived and lacey, slightly off white in color. The liquid beneath is very lightly hazed, light amber/gold hue. Lazily carbonated. A very Belgian nose, some Brett character is apparent with sweet and soft maltiness and light banana/tripel notes from the yeast are here too. Strong hoppiness with an alcohol blast is tasted right out of the gate. Some sweet juicy fruitiness underneath gives a good underbase for it all. Finishes perfectly bitter with just enough sweet malt to balance it all nicely with the powerful alcohol note...nice job Unibroue! I'd bet this stuff will cellar wonderfully too.
08-01-2004 14:58:39 | More by beerluvr
Edition 2004 from Unibroue
91 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.