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Trois Pistoles - Unibroue

Not Rated.
Trois PistolesTrois Pistoles

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

4,313 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,313
Reviews: 1,897
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 188
Gots: 375 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Unibroue visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 10-31-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,313 | Reviews: 1,897 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheDTrain
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour into a tulip glass. 9% abv

Picked up a 4 pack of Unibroue from Rays in Wauwatosa. This is a excellent Belgian dark ale. With a medium body, this pours a rich brown mahogany. The taste has a lot going on; powerful fruits, yeast, and spice. All the flavor strikes a great balance with the 9% alcohol.

TheDTrain, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of thekanna
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark plum with a decent amount of carbonation and white head that dissipates quickly.

S: Dark fruits, pepper, cloves, earthiness, and Belgian yeasts.

T: Dates, boozy raisins, some tropical fruits, other dark fruits (plums mostly) with peppery clove and complex Belgian yeasts. Phenolic taste is perceptible throughout, and there's lots of warming alcohol to go around here.

M: Medium body, slight slickness with medium carbonation.

D: Nice and relatively complex, but there are better brews to be found in this style; Belgian Strong Dark Ales are a loaded category, since they can describe such a gamut of flavors and aromas.

thekanna, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of iso
3.35/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: A hazy chestnut, russet even, a complex look, can see almost an orange or amber. About 1 finger of head that doesn't retain for long.

Smell: The smell is unbelievable. Lots of fruit, earthiness, black pepper, and grass. You can only hope that the taste is even half as big or complex as the aroma.

Taste: Unfortunately it's not. I'm not sure how there's such a large disconnect between the smell and taste but all at that wonderful fruit is not here and the spice is largely gone. Instead there's a prominent alcohol taste with little to offset it. Disappointing.

Mouthfeel: Thin and light.

Drinkability: While not your average beer, I expect big strong flavors from BSDAs. The aroma is fantastic, but complexity of the taste leaves something to be desired.

iso, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of chickenm
3.63/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle poured into a La Fin Du Monde glass. Dark brown color with a tan head that fades away and leaves little lacing. Sweet aroma with dark fruits and yeast. Flavors are a bit light, the taste is malty and sweet with some dark fruits and spices. Alcohol is very well hidden. Fairly thin body, and over-carbonated. Not bad overall, but this is definitely not my favorite offering from Unibroue.

chickenm, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of eric5bellies
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Drank from My Chimay Chalice

A - Pours a nice Mahogany colour that is hazy and has an off white head that reduces very quickly.

S - Stewed fruits and yeast that is perfumic, a stark sweet nutty aroma also

T - Plenty of dark fruits and spice with some peppery clove falvours and some vanilla. finishes with a nice warm boozyness.

M - Light to Medium body and carbobnation that makes for a very smooth drop. A little thin for a BSDA.

D - This is more of a quad for me. To be a harsh critique I would say that it it lacks the authenticity of a Belgian Ale. A St Bernardus Abt 12 is a much better option.

eric5bellies, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of Reaper16
3.43/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served into a globe glass

Pours a chestnut brown color that appears significantly lighter -- ochre, almost -- when held up to direct light. One finger of buttermilk head forms but not for very long. Not much lacing to speak of, which surprised me. All in all this is a very average looking BSDA. The BSDA I homebrewed recently looks better and I am not a good homebrewer.

Trois Pistoles is a sweetness bomb. Tons of caramel, brown sugar, earthy candies that are derived from cocoa but don't taste like chocolate. Some dark fruits but not nearly as many as I expected. There is an herbal element too. The taste of this beer follows the nose. That herbal, earthy smell manifests itself as a sort of peppermint & forest floor (to borrow a wine term) character. So much malt that I get flashbacks of malt extract. The finish has a rounded, oxidized sweet finish reminiscent of port. This is complex enough. Is it "good?" Not for me, perhaps. I think that it is missing something. I also don't appreciate the alcohol taste. It is very apparent and, frankly, harsh.

Too much carbonation for a beer this malty. It goes well beyond breaking up all the sweetness -- it forces a super-abrasive, super-bubbly effect not dissimilar to the mouthfeel of Dr. Pepper. The strength of the carbonation disrupts one's enjoyment of the malt sweetness. Still, the beer is a very decent sipper. It isn't taxing at 9%ABV.

I was really expecting more from this beer. This score seems harsh, but at the same time I really feel that this is barely above average in the Belgian Strong Dark Ale style.

Reaper16, Oct 28, 2010
Photo of wspscott
3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle in Duvel tulip
best by 10/14/11

A: Pours with a thick almost pure white head that drops to a half finger surprisingly quickly given how thick it starts. When held up to a bright light, it is crystal clear and a very dark brown. Without the light, it appears completely black and is impossible to see through. Basically looks like a standard example of the style without the head retention.
S: Definite Belgian spices combined with a little bit of sweetness, smells great.
T: Lots of spices, some pepper, no hint of hops or malt, this is all yeast driven flavor. There is no hint of alcohol which is a little surprising. I would like a little more character from the malts, this is missing some of the "darkness" that I like.
M: High carbonation and a low amount of residual sugars put this right in the middle of the style, i.e. almost too easy to drink, the only thing that slows me down is a hint of dryness on the tongue, make that a ton of dryness.
D: This is an good example of the style, but I would like a little "more". From what I remember, I like Maudite better, going to open one of those next for comparison. Well worth trying for someone who likes Belgians.

wspscott, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown-ish color to almost black. In the aroma, roasty malt, white grape fruitiness, ad a caramel like hint. In the taste, white grape sweetness, and a bit boozy, and a caramel like end. A smooth and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry fruity aftertaste. A bit boozy, and a nice fruit presence. Not too shabby.

OWSLEY069, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of bens0n
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

It pours a dark, murky amber color with a nice amount of bubbly white head.

It has a dark fruit aroma followed by some other earthy undertones and spices, its not overpowering, but sweet and subtle.

It has a really complex flavor that is a combination of maltyness and dark fruit. It starts sweet and finishes on the bitter/sour side. The dry aftertaste is very pleasant.

It has a fair amount of carbonation that balances the alcoholic kick that this 9% abv puts out, but is still smooth and relatively drinkable.

bens0n, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of SPThirtyThree
3/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Unibroue is always good with presentation, and Trois Pistoles is no exception, with its wicked label and printed foil on the cap. I've never bothered to try this one before, but it sounds enticing. The label claims that it's a "remarkably mellow dark ale with the aroma of ripe fruit and a pleasant aftertaste that lingers like port wine."

A: The bottle perfectly fills my snifter to the rim upon pouring. TP is a rich, espresso brown that lets just a glimmer of light through around the murky edges. A tan three-finger, frothy head sits atop. This brew looks great. It leaves a little lacing as the head falls to a mousse-like cream.

S: Trois pistoles' aroma is delicious. The label did not lie: blending with the spicy clove smells from the Belgian yeast are notes of raspberry, plum, orange, and banana. A delicate Belgian pils malt provides the backing for the fruit and spice, and a hint of chocolate malt lingers in the background.

T: Slightly sweet malts are quickly lost to flavors of pepper. No one spice stands out, but rather, a muddled, musty spice is all that is detectable. The three guns are sweet at first, but a dry and slightly sour finish follows. Overall, the flavor is surprisingly light, with a little caramel, pepper, some fig, and a touch of green apple. The flavors give way to a subtle, warming alcoholic heat. I must admit, the flavor falls well short of the aroma and appearance.

M: High carbonation causes burpage and makes the eyes water.

D: Medium. Nothing exceptional, but very drinkable. The bark was definitely bigger than the bite, as the flavor and mouthfeel missed their mark.

SPThirtyThree, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of cmannes
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz poured into a Pint Glass.

Appearance: Very Dark Reddish Amber. Off White head. No lacing.

Aroma: Clean Crisp Belgian Yeast smell.

Taste: Sweet, Malty, slight carmel. The abv creeps in slightly.

Mouthfeel: Good, but a little thinner than I expected. Not necessarily bad. Just not quite what I expected.

Overall: I'd buy it again. Good solid beer.

cmannes, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of punkrkr27
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark mahogany colored pour with a massive, frothy, off-white head. Creamy dark fruit aroma with notes of toasted nuts, cocoa, raisin bread, clove, nutmeg, port, and some lightly floral funk. The flavor is a nice delicate balance of figs, plums, candi sugar, cocoa, almond, bread, raisins, and a little bit of alcohol with a floral spiced finish. Velvety medium body with moderate but soft carbonation.

punkrkr27, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of BBP
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Thick dark brown with good carbonation and a good head which worked it's way down to a thin head/film.

S- Tons of Belgian yeast. Grape and plums as well.

T- Belgian yeast, and quite a bit of fruitiness. Plums and grapes for the most part. As much as the yeast was the heaviest aspect of the aroma, the fruits are very dominant in the taste. The aftertaste even reminded me of wine a little bit. More of a sweet beer, but in a very tasteful way. The yeast balances it quite well, and keeps it in check.

M- Full bodied, and relatively creamy. Finishes nice and dry.

D- Another excellent offering from Unibroue. As much as I gave a higher rating to LFDM, I think this one may have been tastier, just not as nice to smell. ABV is even more minute, and even seemingly un-existent, from the taste in this.

I plan to pick this up whenever I can get a hold of it.

BBP, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of aerozeppl
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a velvetty black color. A half finger of bone colored head with amazing head retention. Billowy and fluffy.

S: I get a little bit of brown rum but in a good way.little chocolate. Touch of roast. Almost no esters which is unusual for the style. It also has this smell that I finally decided was like putting caramel in a sauce pan for 30 seconds. Little bit more spicy once it warms up.

T: Starts off with a nice sweetness. Only the slightest hint of the ABV. Candi sugar. Little bit of like 85% cocoa chocolate. Dry as part of the taste. Little bit of dark fruit in the finish.

M: Wonderful mouthfeel. Smooth. Creamy. All of their beers always have a great mouthfeel for the style.

D: It is a sipper in a lot of ways but it drinks like a champ. The body is so smooth and the ABV is well hidden. I cut my craft teeth on them and Ommegang and they never disappoint. Also their beers age really well...

aerozeppl, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of joepais
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the brew that got me hooked on the style. The price point is right and availability is awesome. It is really great to see it get some props.

Bottle poured into its proper challis produced a wonderful off white head that trails to a perfect amount of lace. The body of the brew has some great colors the edge of the brew is almost orange and the body of the brew is dark brown to black. You get a huge amount of dark fruits coming from it. Dates, plums and raisins come to mind not only in the nose but in the flavor as well. This is the closest brew I have ever had that reminded me of a port wine. You get that complex sweet fruity taste the just get better as it warms. The mouthfeel even comes off like a good port, thick and rich.

Yup a great brew worth the time to try. It is a fantastic desert brew. The price cant get any better for the quality of the brew.

joepais, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of Ricelikesbeer
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite strong darks. To me this is a standard as a brewer for this style.

A:Murky, almost purple in color. Dark Dark brown with faint ruby highlights. Murky from the yeast.

S: Dark rum, lots of plum aroma, and some boozy alcohol scent. Almost reminds me of a chocolate colored cherry or other fruit. Very fruity in the aroma.

T: Initial plum, fruit sweetness. Lots of layers here. This reminds me of drinking an aged port or even some dark rum. Also reminds me of eating a certain type of candy, can't put my finger on it exactly. Just a faint hint of chocolate or dark kilned malt.

M: Medium to full body, its somewhat chewy, but still goes down smoothe. The high level of carbonation (as is typical of any Unibroue beer) helps this one to go down easy.

D: Despite the high alcohol, body, and huge carbonation, this one is very drinkable and smoothe. No harsh bitterness or aftertaste. Coats the tongue and makes you want more and more.

Overall an excellent brew. Rivals any belgian strong dark I've had.

Ricelikesbeer, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of KeithStolte
3.38/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 750ml bottle to stout glass.

A - dark reddish-brown, slightly cloudy, with a finger-height head white color. Small carbonation bubbles

S- grape musk

T - grape, almost like a wine. Can't really think of a good pairing fr food.

M - medium carbonation, really lingers on the back pallet for a while.

D - very drinkable.

KeithStolte, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of Cheesemoose
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz into my tulip. Solid finger of head with no lacing. Head slowly dissipates. Light hazy brown body with a white head.

Strong malt body, very remiscent of plums, with a hint of chocolate in the background. Very sweet to the nose. Slight hop aroma with a touch of alcohol in the far background.

Strong grainy malt flavor throughout. Alcohol is present, but kept in the background behind the earthy malts. Bits of chocolate and toasted bread. Spicy character (pepper) from the alcohol.

Medium carbonation with a good mouthfeel.

Alcohol becomes more noticeable as it warms but is kept well hidden.

Very hearty and quite delicious throughout. Very very well balanced, though not as complex on the palate as I might have wished. Enjoyable none the less.

Cheesemoose, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of tewaris
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

15.5 IBUs
12 oz bottle with a freshness date of April 07, 2013 poured into a Gouden Carolus on October 13, 2010.

Appearance 3.5/5
Slightly hazy, perfect brown, with a medium, creamy tan colored head, with good retention. Average lacing.

Aroma 4/5
Fruit, spice (phenols), and yeast dominate. Not very sure about chocolate or caramel. Yet the aroma is decently complex, and nice. But nowhere close to exceptional!

Taste 3.5/5
Vinous taste that promptly gets covered by the prickly carbonation. The bitterness seems discordant, or the dark fruity sweetness is simply not enough. The aroma was certainly better than the taste: they are similar but the fruitiness of aroma was way higher. I would call this an average tasting beer. Finish is slightly sweet and long. Slightly warming.

Mouthfeel 4/5
Medium body and medium to high carbonation. Good.

Drinkability 4/5
While slightly disappointing considering the fame, very drinkable. Also, the warmer the better!

tewaris, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of hophead247
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very sweet aroma of ripe fruits. Smells of prunes, raisins, plums, and maple syrup. Poured ruby/purple in color with a huge tan head that mostly diminished but lasted throughout. No lacing. Cloudy. Almost opaque. Purple color looks like a Port or red wine. Sparkling. Flavor is moderately sweet and matches aroma well. Tastes of cola, grape, plum, raisins, and dark malts. Medium body. Very fizzy carbonation. One of Unibroue's better beers imo...

hophead247, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of wolfinthemirror
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a burnt umber color, a fingers worth of foam that fizzes out and dissipates quickly. quite opaque.

in the smell i get sweet bread, raisin, cinnamon, maybe sweet plum. it has a very pleasant smell to it.

i get a lot of dark fruits in the taste, more sour than sweet, almost like a cranberry. I can also taste the obvious belgian yeast, and alcohol in the tail end.

mouthfeel is medium, but it feels lighter than you'd expect. very crisp with somewhat high carbonation. finishes very dry with a slight boozy bite and warming in the throat.

drinkability is fair, it is pretty tasty and easy drinking, just watch out for the 9% abv. And since it is a bit on the pricier side, i will not be drinking as many.

wolfinthemirror, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of MattyV
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a foil-capped 341mL bottle into a snifter

Pours a deep cola colour with a foamy beige head with average retention and recedes to a thin ring that lasted throughout the drink.

Nose is sweet with the typical Belgian yeast along with dark fruits, mostly raisin and cherry

Taste is much like it smells, yeast, very malty with dark fruits (prunes, raisins) and a slighty spicy and warming dry finish.

Medium bodied with moderate-to-high carbonation. Seemed a little overcarbonated to me; will have to give it a more vigorous pour next time.

9% ABV is hidden well with just a gentle warming finish. This is quite enjoyable, I'm not sure which I prefer - this or Maudite.

MattyV, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of zaphodchak
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour from a 12 oz. (too high) into a tulip glass; large head that lingered before dissolving into lacing. Nose is of dark cherries, taste has cherry as well alongside some dates and faint barleywine taste. Mouthfeel is unassuming; not heavily carbonated, but there is enough present to keep it from being wine. Taste seems... watery? Could be that I failed to dry the glass after washing, but still. Dangerously 'drinkable,' even sessionable; flavor is not potent at all considering the ABV; curious. Flavor improves on the second pour; likely some slight agitation will improve flavor overall.

zaphodchak, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of radioscooter
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I was introduced to this wonderful ale by a friend of mine who stumbled upon it at a bar. He knew I liked Belgians and told me about it. This was a few years ago.

Now, I don't know if you're like me - God help you if you are - but when a friend who I consider less of a beer aficionado than me tells me about a beer - I take it with a grain of salt. Ho ho, I think, what does the precious Coors drinker think is so special now?

Yes, I know. I'm generally an ass like this.

Anyway, my friend tells me this is a beer worth putting down whatever you are doing and seeking out. So I did.

Happily surprised that he was right and this is an excellent example of the breed. I haven't had this in a while and so hadn't reviewed it here and then last night I brought out a 750 of this and one of Westmalle (triple) for a campfire at a neighbor's house.

First off let me say - it kicked the Westmalle's ass. This is a good thing in many ways. Trois Pistoles is imminently more available and cheaper than many of the classic Belgian Strong Darks around here and so - it has become a bit if a 'go-to' beer for me.

But it's not perfect.

Poured from a 750 into a Chimay goblet.

A. Looks great, dark brown, translucent. Modest froth - unimpressive lacing.

S. Not much here. At least when cold it is not a strong fragrance.

T. Excellent taste. Immediate hints of apricot, coriander etc. Nice malty finish.

M. Just okay, though I will bring up here that I usually let Belgians warm up for 15 minutes and this one is excellent and better when it's cold. Warmer it loses its complexity and sheen.

D. Very drinkable. I had a keg of this for my annual family/friends party and it was never too heavy or crushing to keep drinking. it did put my bus. partner into a bit of a stupor coma, but nobody warned him.

If you love strong, dark Belgians and are looking for one that's more available and affordable - you can't do wrong with this Quebec brew. It outshines many a 'real' Belgian.

radioscooter, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of kingcrowing
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a chalice.

Pours a nice deep hazy brown with a small very creamy light yellow/brown head. Nose is that Québécois yeast nose like all Unibroue beers, it's got more f a roasty bitterness that's a bit metallic.

Taste is very Belgian inspired with some rowdiness and a bit of a sweetness. Mouthfeel is rich and full, prett easy drinking given the abv.

kingcrowing, Oct 05, 2010
Trois Pistoles from Unibroue
95 out of 100 based on 4,313 ratings.