La Terrible - Unibroue
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Ratings: 1,799 | Reviews: 894 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Dantes:
3.93/5 rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Package: 750ml corked and caged brown bottle. Elegant silver-embossed label. Dated above UPC symbol “Sep 9 2003” and the cork stamped “03-1”.
Cost: $7.79 per bottle at Finger Lakes Beverage; $7.99 at Wine Legend
Presentation: Chalice at ~50º
Appearance: Dramatic gunsmoke on opening, with vigorous cork “pop.” Medium pour resulted in the most voluminous, pillowy, off-white head I’ve seen yet in a Unibroue beer. Minimal lees in second pour. Head quickly resolved into a ring with a thin skim and no lacing. Body is stout-black, with mahogany edges.
Smell: The first whiff is almost purely alcohol, but further nosing detects prune, blackberry, raspberry, and some roastiness. There are also bready and yeasty elements in common with most Unibroue products.
Taste: Alcohol dominates the palate. I’ll deduct points here instead of in mouthfeel because I feel the “hotness” detracts from the flavor. Very fruity, with some chocolate notes and a touch of coffee joining the prunes, raisins, and berries. Reminded me quite a bit of lekvar (a prune-based pastry filling). The alcohol and fruitiness make this beer almost cloying, without enough backbone to prevent it from being flabby. More like PX Sherry than the promised Madeira. Finish is practically infinite, as the roof of my mouth pulsed with heat.
Mouthfeel: Beautiful carbonation caresses the mouth (or perhaps it was numbed by the alcohol). Extremely “hot” in the mouth.
Drinkability: I have to knock a few points off this, not because its ABV is so high, but because it was so detectable. It wasn’t that this made me drunk, it was that the ABV was so upfront and apparent that I had trouble finishing a 750 (although I did finish an earlier one).
I was really looking forward to opening one of these, expecting to love it. I was a bit underwhelmed overall. There is a stupendous beer in there somewhere, but it is cloaked in too much alcohol and perhaps too much sweetness. The result is a bit flabby. I feel the same way about this as I do the 11; it sacrifices a bit too much balance for the alcohol bump, which is why I prefer the 10 to the 11. Perhaps a year in the bottle will really make the difference. I hope so. I suspect the early reviewers got the best of this.
Backwash: I'm pretty sure there is a great beer in here somewhere. Hopefully, a little maturation will bring it out.
Serving type: bottle
11-03-2003 21:40:00 | More by Dantes
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La Terrible from Unibroue
93 out of 100 based on 1,799 ratings.