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Edition 2004 - Unibroue

Not Rated.
Edition 2004Edition 2004

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

264 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 264
Reviews: 245
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 2
Gots: 3 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Unibroue visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: taez555 on 12-10-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 264 | Reviews: 245 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you to treyrab for bringing this out in a tasting with me and jac5084 on Friday night.

I am reviewing from notes taken during the tasting.

A: Hazy orange copper, right on for a Belgian strong Pale Ale. Half a cm of head that lingers as you drink. I can't think of a better looking representation of this style.

S: Sweet with coriander up front followed by a sweet orangey yeast complement by a zesty lemon flavor. Champagne scent as well.

T: I was only 19 when this beer was brewed, but wow, did it age well. The balance is phenomenal, and Unibroue has hit the nail on the head. Sweet coriander, cinnamon, orange, and lemon evident up front. Saaz hops contribute a mild spicy hop taste in the finish. Belgian yeast comes through all the way through the flavor profile. Alcohol is well masked by the complex melding of flavors.

M/D: Even after 5 years of aging, the heavy carbonation that I have come to expect from this style is still present. Alcohol hits you hard, even though it is hard to discern as you drink it. Medium textured, as you would expect, and the experience is phenomenal from start to finish.

NittanyBeerFan, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of magictrokini
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

magictrokini, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of zeff80
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed on Thanksgiving but could not review it at the time.

A - Poured out a hazy, copper color with a thick, foamy, off-white head that left soapy residue on the sides of the glass.

S - It smelled of dried fruit and an earthy/grassy quality. The dried fruit aroma really started to smell like cherry as the head settled.

T - It tasted of very estery, cherry and other dried fruits. It was malty sweet and had a slightly sour taste.

M - It was soft and fairly smooth. A medium to full-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good brew. It seems similar to most of the other Unibroue offerings, which isn't a bad thing.

zeff80, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of koopa
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My 100th BeerAdvocate Beer Review!

bottled 2004
consumed Christmas Eve 2008

750ml caged and corked bottle received in a trade from EGledhill thanks for the opportunity Erik!

Appearance: Cloudy almost murky orangina color with slightly deeper orange edges. A one finger white foam head and some lacing.

Smell: A load of Spearmint takes center stage for my sampling, supported by apples and pears. No alcohol in the nose at all.

Taste: Just like the nose but the Spearmint isn't as powerful. Fairly soft and no alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: A bit awkward and in need of a touch more carbonation IMHO.

Drinkability: The spearmint flavor isn't the easiest to transition to or from nor does it go with all types of foods. But now that I know what this brew tastes like, I could pair it better in the futures food wise.

The spearmint flavor was remarkable yet overly dominant resulting in a bit of a one dimensional aged brew. I wouldn't foresee this 2004 edition getting any better with age.

koopa, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 5/4/08. Bottle. Pours a light orange with a small white head and a fair amount of yeast. Aroma of light fruits, some sourness. Flavor of bitter melon rind, some mint gumdrops, spices. It warmed the throat, but wasn't boozy at all (definitely wouldn't have guessed it was 10.5%). I think some of the light fruits disappeared with age, but this was alright.
6/4/7/4/14 (3.5/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle purchased at D-s 6 pack and dog's a few weeks ago. Poured into my Chimay chalice. I am drinking this as I review it. Amazing that this beer was probably produced when I was 18.

A- Nice cloudy dark golden body that pours with a minimal foamy white head that fades rather quickly and leaves nothing behind in the glass. Cloudiness is tick and dynamic, and still leaves enough room for light to pass through a little bit.

S- A dry fruitiness comes through first, mostly apples and pears but perhaps some exotic fruits also. A slight yeast spiciness is behind this along with a hint of alcohol.

T- A dry fruitiness upfront much like the smell with a healthy spicy yeast backbone. The fruitiness is definitely more noticeable for the finish as well as a slight alcohol warmth. Pretty dry overall though.

M-Light to medium tingly carbonation and a body full of both yeast and phenols.

D- A nice beer and probably and a privilege to try. Ages pretty well. Has a nice spiciness like most of this breweries beers do. Surprisingly astringent for its age (not too bad..but something I would expect to settle).

PittBeerGirl, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of drxandy
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

May 2008 - Aged at oade's big ten of East Lansing, MI in dark fridge, from 750ml corked/caged bottle, agitated toward the end to get all the delicious yeast in my glass :D

Poured to tulip glass, pours golden yet a brown shade toward the top with a foamy white head that fades after time, high carbonation

smells of spices galore (cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander?), age gives a smell of dirty socks, musty/earthy, menthol/eucalyptus

tastes of Belgian yeast, sweetness hides in back, bitterness, mint/herb? not sure what, i read online that it was sweetwater?, alchohol is present but heat dulled, malts compliment nicely, sour, cidery, reminds me a lot of the flavor from the swedish lozenges Läkerol - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A4kerol

mouthfeel is highly carbonated bringing out the flavors of yeast and spice mostly, sour, crisp

overall very interesting, the herb addition was quite unique and apparently has come out now more so than when it was originally brewed - glad to have tried this beer :D

ps. this is my 100th review :D

drxandy, Jun 17, 2008
Photo of blakesell
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 750ml caged and corked bottle into a standard pint glass. Beer is obviously vintage aged 4 years due to the 2004 distinction.

Appearance- Beer pours with a three finger head of foam, a dirty amber colour with a thick amount of yeast in the pour. Head is an off cream that refuses to die down. Big bubbles of foam that reside in the glass for a good solid five minutes.

Smell- Bubblegum and Belgian yeasts with a solid yeasty phenol in the finish. Pink bubblegum. Bazooka Joe predominates, and smell dies to blood orange and candi sugars.

Taste- Bubblegum, Unibroue signature yeast, slight phenolics. Beer is smooth and balanced. Sweet and flavorful. Cidery and drinkable.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, medium bodied, easy drinking, well carbonated, slightly astringent, and moderately warming.

Drinkability- Very nice but still slightly astringent. Big bubblegum but enjoyable. Alcohol is not detectable at all.

Incidentally, we left this out as the last beer of the night, when we woke up, we regretted leaving it out as all the carbonation was gone, but soon after rejoiced as we made some of the best beer batter of all time with the leftover beer. Onion rings and deep fried pickles. Probably one of the rarest beer batters ever made.

blakesell, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of Douglas14
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy shit! This beer is incredible!

It pours a burnt orange color, moderately hazy with minimal head and very little lace...which is the only knock I have on the beer. The aroma is incredible of oranges and other citrus fruits...very floral. Light spices appear as well also. The taste is even more impressive. Very spicey, fruity, acidic, and just a bit malty...a lot of floral essence as well that follows the aroma. The beer has a medium body and finishes a bit dry. I enjoyed this beer so much because of its uniqueness....the flavor, the aroma, the overall experience is great. I am upset that you cannot find them anymore..truly a sad fact. Everything about this beer is great: its delicate, its complex, its interesting, everything...I can't get over how surprised I was by how much I liked it.

Anyway...unbelievable beer. These are the beers the enlighten people to new styles.

Douglas14, Apr 04, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ML black bottle purchased caged and corked from Super Saver in Somerville for $9.99... Was really surprised to notice this one on the shelves, but you'll always find something surprising at this store...
A hefty pour resulted in copper-orange hue with obvious rising carbonation and a full-sized foamy head that left moderate lacing around the glass...
Strong Belgian aroma of fruits, canteloupes, yeast, and melons...
Candy-apple flavor with notes of fresh florals, ripe fruits, pears, caramel, and vanilla... As with many beers from this Canadian brewery that I've sampled, this one was also top-notch, a rare find now that has been retired, but an excellent sample nonetheless that was truly enjoyable with a good, spicy, sweet mouthfeel... The only slight drawback was that the overall drinkability, which was good, was also very strong at 10.5%, and although the alcohol is only minimally noticeable, it is still somewhat apparent in the taste...
Good stuff...

dsa7783, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of ojclark
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

ojclark, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of bassmantin
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep golden orange with minimal head.

Smell is very sweet, almost like hard cider. Very rich a good backbone of spiciness. This is much different than other beers of the same style.

Very stong alcohol taste and an overriding sweetness that is hard to classify.

Overall: A very unique beer, good for kicks.

bassmantin, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of iconoklaztor
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into my Ommegang chalice a nice burnt orange. I tried to pour this very easy to keep the massive amount of yeast in the bottle BUT that didn't happen! The smell of the cork was amazing. It had a nice wine smell to it. The taste is just like the smell. A sweet, spicy taste fills the palate. The mouthfeel is nice and not to aggressive. I will be reviewing the 2005 in a few so check that out.

Overall, I really enjoy this beer. Ive never been a fan of spicy beer however this beer is starting to convert me.

iconoklaztor, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of rodenbach99
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bouteille brune de 750ml avec bouchon de liège.

belle couleur brune orangée, le premier verre avait une mousse blanche, mais pas les autres, le nez est pareil comme des toffee-mentholé, spécial comme nez mais très agréable, la bouche est épicée, longue et très agréable.

rodenbach99, Dec 12, 2007
Photo of cabsandking
3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy orangish brown with an off white head that lays down quickly and leaves some lace pools and crown. Rock candy, boozy, hints of mint, light fruitiness, and some nutmeg spices. The first couple of sips reveals some interesting spice development like cinnamon, nutmeg, and mint. Roasted light malts, peach like fruitiness, kaffir leaves, and citrus rind. Yeast gives a slight tart funk with more biting, woody character in this sample. As it warms the lime/kaffir flavor strengthens and tends to get in the way although complex enough to still enjoy. Dry finish with much of the spice going into the aftertaste. A nice mouthfeel with carbonation clinging all around and not much frothy buildup.

cabsandking, Dec 01, 2007
Photo of drseamus
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy light amber color body with no head but plenty of visible carbonation. Good spicy and fruity aroma but not in an overwhelming way. The flavor is malty and spicy just like the aroma but it is somewhat muted. Good body and good drinkability. I bet this would have been better a couple years ago but considering the age it has aged nicely.

drseamus, Oct 30, 2007
Photo of waldoiverson
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out dark straw colored with tight carbonation.

Smell is sweet with spices.

Taste is good. The alcohol comes on at the end but there is a nice mix of spices. I could def. taste allspice and maybe nutmeg.

Mouthfeel is on the low end of medium with nice carbonation.

Drinkability: I think one of these is enough and i'm glad i had this before it sat hidden on the shelf any longer. the high alcohol and spice kind of get to you after awhile

waldoiverson, Sep 30, 2007
Photo of saintwarrick
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had forgotten I had this brew packed away before i found it a couple of weeks ago. Hope it hasn't passed it taste-good phase. This brew pours an orangey amber and the aroma is heavy grapefruit and citrus. Taste is good, a sipper, with plums and grapefruit dominating a very sweet tasting brew. Good stuff, has a deep dark taste like some darker Belgian ales, but it's rather light as it goes down, as well as the appearance.

Wish I has found this earlier, but still a formidable ale, great for after dinner.

saintwarrick, Aug 06, 2007
Photo of StargherKing
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had the good fortune to try this one with a good friend. Beer pours a dark copper color, with floating yeast very apparent. Smell is very nice, sweet and fruity (pear? plum maybe?) with the distinct spiciness I've come to expect from our friends at Unibroue. Taste is fantastic, the fruity flavors are definitely pear and plum (to my tastebuds, anyway), a nice bit of yeastiness, and the spiciness is just prominent enough to be pleasant without being overpowering, and the little bit of hops and malt that come through remind you that you're drinking a beer. Mouthfeel was a little bad for me...the sweetness leaves a bit of a slimy feeling, but it would in no way stop me from having this one again (should I be lucky enough to find it). Drinkability is actually fairly good...for a beer with 10+% abv. I feel honored to have had the chance to try this one.

StargherKing, Jul 12, 2007
Photo of xymyl
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep gold/light orange. Pours almost perfectly clear if you hold onto the yeasty part for later. A supercharged storm of bubbles keeps the off-white creamy head up. Lacing is there but tends to slide rather than stick.

Smells like lavender coriander honey and pepper and cloves with a hint of overripe peaches, cherries, citrus leaves (and mango?)

Taste is biscuity and bready at first, then light and refreshing pilsner followed by a thick, rich syrupy note that rides the plastic/medicine line without destroying all of the great tastes happening around it. This is all followed by a complex, alcohol enriched spicy herbal blend that shouts out mint, coriander, pepper, and cinnamon then limes and a lick off a candycane.

Overall: This medium full bodied beer will keep me company for the next few hours. It is amazing how the herbal notes have calmed down and become a much more interesting part of the whole. Too bad I only have one left. I'll probably wait a couple more years. Nice. Cellar at 55 degrees, that's the key. The common agreement is to store these corked beers upright, on some beers I actually like the cork tannins to slowly seep in. It worked with this one.

xymyl, Jul 03, 2007
Photo of peabody
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a cloudy straw amber color with one finger of white suds.
(kinda low for a Unibroue)
Smell is sugar/ caramel and wheat/straw. I get apple peels rotting in the summer sun. Mabey even a cinnamon smell.
Taste is sugar then a fruity mix of grapes and apples followed by the sweet hot alcohol burn.
Mouthfeel is clean with hints of Alcohol. No bitterness here whatsoever.
This is low on the drinkability scale because of the high abv and the waytoosugary taste. Too much sweet and not enough bitter.

peabody, Jul 01, 2007
Photo of gregory12
3/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Opened the bottle exactly on it's third birthday. Bottle date is 5/5/04. Beautiful bottle. Cork came out without much pop, cork had a smell more like a wine than a beer. Had a skeptical feeling wondering if the bottle had gone bad...

On the pour, beer had little carbonation and a nearly non-existant foamy head that quickly dissipated. Color is a rich amber honey with lots of sediment floating, leading to an almost murky appearance. Tiny bubbles of carbonation faded after 10 minutes or so. Still quite nice looking in the glass.

Then there is the smell. This beer has an odd funk to it. Smells like fruits that are past their prime, like a sweet muscat with a slight spring flower note. Golden raisins, summer meadows and apple juice...but there is still an underlying funk that you can't quite put your finger on. It lures you to take a sip, but you're not sure if it will meet your expectations.

The first sip was filled with trepidation. This beer tastes bizarre. It's not like any other Belgian I have had. It's sweet like honeysuckle, and has a strange aged fruitiness, and an uneasy - somewhat astrigent -zing that hits ever taste bud and leaves a super yeasty sourdough aftertaste that doesn't fade. It's like a light carbonation stays on your tongue long after you have swallowed. This could be the higher alcohol content making itself known, or could be what ever strain of yeast that was used saying it's final goodbye. It is reminiscent of the sourish aftertaste of a cassis or a farmhouse summer saison. I couldn't tell if it was just something I had never tasted before or if the bottle had truly spoiled after 3 years. It's altogether weird, and after the first sip I thought I would not drink anymore. But the strangeness lures you back, and after several more sips, it tasted better, but the hovering weirdness and the lingering aftertaste doesn't fade, and you'll continue to question yourself about the expiration date (there is none on the bottle) and if you like it or not.

So, how do I feel about this beer? It's definitely different, but I didn't like the fact that the flavor was so odd that I kept questioning whether the bottle had spoiled, so it made for an uneasy drink. I wish the bottle had an expiration date, or a best by date so I would know if I missed the peak for this bottle or not. Glad I tried it, but if I saw another bottle at the store I would save my $10 and put it toward something else.

gregory12, May 06, 2007
Photo of wspscott
3.13/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle in a pint glass (I need nicer glasses)
Produced March 3, 2004

The cork comes out with a slight "pop". There is still lots of carbonation. This pours a very hazy amber color with a large head but that disappears quickly, no lacing at all. There is an odd scent that I can't place, maybe fruity, it doesn't smell like a Belgian. The taste matches the nose(a little odd), but comes across as a little more Belgian. The mouthfeel is slightly creamy with a nice tingle from the carbonation.

In the end, this comes across as a well constructed beer, but I can't get past the taste. I got this from a friend so I have no idea how this has been stored. I have to wonder if there is some oxidation here. I wish I could have tried this a year ago.

wspscott, Apr 24, 2007
Photo of macster
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Production date of 5-5-04.

Pours a cloudy amber-gold color under a handsome fluffy thick white head. Some spotty lacing left as the chalice drains.

Somewhat of a strange, almost slightly off-aroma not expected of a Strong Belgian style ale. Extremely floral and perfumy with notes of over-ripe berries. Somewhat distracting. I’m typically very careful in keeping my aged beers at proper cellar temps and I’m tempted to say this big 10.5% ’er perhaps did not age gracefully since the ale’s aromas had a bit of an oxidated quality.

Mouthfeel was very nice; full, round and lively.

Flavor profile was similar to the aroma; overtly fruity sweet and sherry-like. Some pleasant malt and biscuity-yeast notes were able to sneak in under the gate also.

Finish was warm and long with a nice balance between the alcohol and fruity sweetness. An interesting brew but I expected more.

macster, Apr 15, 2007
Photo of UnionMade
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged lovingly in my basement since it first hit the shelves. Normally I'm not crazy about aging belgian styles, but I like this better now than when it was young. I sat on this mostly out of a desire to clear out the rest of my more perishable beer.
The cork comes off with a nice champagne pop. Carefully poured into a tulip glass, the beer is bright orange, a nice fiery glow about it. Still hazy, despite my being a sycophant to the sediment. As it is, belgian yeast is a light sleeper. Rapid carbonation bubbles rising, feeding two fingers worth of large bubbled head. The head dies quickly into a collar, then to nothing. An extra spicy aroma. I wonder if this is supposed to be a witbier gone berserk, or this is just some extra peppery, spicy belgian yeast? Toasty belgian malt behind the wall of spice, with vague honey and punchy peach fruitiness. Very much dominated by coriander, ginger, pepper and clove. I swear there's orange peel in here. The flavor starts with heady malt sweetness. Definitely some portion is wheat, I'm guessng because of the the dry, powdery feel and vague sourness. A toasted belgian waffle served with peach and pear slices, drizzled with a ginger caramel glaze, and topped with orange peel shavings and a handful of beery spices. Plenty of coriander on the palate, starting off sweet and ending things off with a crisp, spicy zing. Active, turbulent carbonation keeps the medium-to-full body easily quaffable. A little bit of alcohol hiding under the layers of spice, just enough to remind you you're drinking an XXL beer. The whole experience is....intense.
This aged very well. Basically the same, the spiciness hasn't dropped out a bit, but with a little more maturity to everything else. All the rough edges are gone. Crazy spicy, but enjoyable. It's the illegitimate love child of La Fin Du Monde and Blanche De Chambly, enhanced in the same lab that made the $6 million dollar man.

UnionMade, Mar 20, 2007
Edition 2004 from Unibroue
91 out of 100 based on 264 ratings.