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La Terrible - Unibroue

La TerribleLa Terrible

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,687 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1687
Reviews: 889
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.75%


Brewed by:
Unibroue visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-15-2002)
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Ratings: 1,687 | Reviews: 889 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BrewitYerself
BrewitYerself

Florida

1.55/5  rDev -62.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

It saddens me to write this review: I love Unibroue, and were it not for my sentimental regard for the brewer, my scores would probably be lower. This is a new offering from one of my local beer bars; I've never had it, and I was excited.

Served in an Unibroue tulip (this and the anticipation were the high-points)

Pours with a 1+ finger beige head; dark brown, perhaps slightly murky (I had a poor light source to judge a dark beer). Moderate lacing.

Aroma is of nutty, sourdough, slightly musty yeast - the typical Unibroue smell, yet more musty than usual. As the beer warms, mild spice aromas become evident. No malts, hops, or esters present.

Taste is of brown or burnt sugar and molasses up front, which expands into a root-beer like syrupy flavor with the accompanying woody/earthy spices: clove, licorice, sassafras, and maybe a touch of mint. Very sweet throughout, with nothing to provide balance. Just a dash of bitterness. As it warms, some sourness and dark fruit flavors come out.

Mouthfeel is moderately full, mild carbonation, quite syrupy. The mouthfeel is not heavy, but it is very syrupy, if that makes any sense.

Overall it tastes like root-beer gone bad. Too sweet, no malt or hop presence. While reviewing, I wasn't sure what style this was supposed to be, but it didn't rate well in any case. It doesn't improve as it warms: it just gets more fruity and boozy. I get only yeast flavors upfront, a blast of root-beer on the mid-palate, and a cringe-inducing sour-sweetness on the finish. I forced myself through about 2/3 of the glass and then gave up.

I'm trying to find the words to express my disappointment: it's almost like growing up thinking that your mother is of royal descent, then finding out that she was really a barren whore and you were adopted from gypsies.

EDIT:

I had to post a follow-up; it's been about 4 hours now since I drank this beer; I've had 3 beers since then and I keep tasting this beer on the tail-end of every sip I take. This is truly la terrible.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2009 02:35:34 | More by BrewitYerself
Photo of KoG
KoG

Nevada

1.88/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Wow... the name says it all.

Dark brown body with a generous head, but it disappears quickly and leaves no lacing. No active carbonation either.

Smell is weak, very weak. Can't even find a hint of alcohol despite the 10.5%

Taste is thin, slightly syrupy in the mouth with a viscous finish and just not good at all.

Corked and caged as a 2004, should cellar well, but this just doesn't impress me. Bad bottle? Maybe. I'll have to find some fresher stock and try it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2006 03:50:12 | More by KoG
Photo of waldowin
waldowin

Washington

2.53/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a dark ruby, eventually settling in with no light piercing its depths. A white head forms quickly, and lasts throughout the entire session, leaving lacing too thick to see through as you drink from the glass.

Smells of raisins and dark malts. Hints of cinnamon and almonds.

And the taste is where it lets you down. Up front is raw sweetness, followed by an almost vinegary wash. It would be a 1.5, but I'm adding a point just to give it the benefit of the doubt that the Dark Lord two hours prior might have messed with the palate slightly. Still, it's not a very tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is syrupy, big, and smooth, but finishes harshly with an alcohol thrashing.

I ended up pouring out the last half of this bottle. All the alcohol and the harsh finish left me wanting something smoother.

Maybe I'll try it again on its own, without risk of something contaminating the palate. But not for a good while.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2005 12:36:50 | More by waldowin
Photo of Higravity
Higravity

Michigan

2.6/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2004 750mL
Well mark down another vote for cola looking beer, with the way the head acts, large bubbles, and the color of the beer. Smells of apples very strong at first, but it changes to a more general fruityness and some dark malt anise. Taste is not good, well it is the aftertaste specifically. Not so much bad as annoying, because of the weird anise taste that reminded me of fresh mulch. I wouldn't not try it again, but not on my dime.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2006 12:47:02 | More by Higravity
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

2.8/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Had this on-tap at Armsby Abbey into a Trois Pistoles goblet. Poured dark brown with a small off-white head that disappeared quickly, leaving only a thin ring and not much lacing. Picked up a mix of light and dark fruits in the scent, sort of faint but pleasant. Taste is off-putting and not expected at all. The main thing I taste is sour grapes. Some red wine and pear notes. I also get some quad-esque tastes such as chocolate and brown sugar, and that signature Unibroue yeast. I love sours but the tartness just didn't fit right. For this style I expect and prefer nice, rich beers. The mouthfeel was terrible, extremely watery. I've never tasted a 10% beer that was this thin before, booze was quite noticeable too. The tastes weren't "terrible", it's the mouthfeel that really made this beer bad. Very disappointed with this one especially because Unibroue has only been great to me so far. Wouldn't get it again.

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2010 18:56:30 | More by Chico1985
Photo of SleepyMonk
SleepyMonk

Australia

2.8/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chilled 750ml bottle poured into a unbroue branded chalice.

Body is very dark with only a very fleeting glimpse of a cola he when held to the light. Generated a dark tan head of about 2 fingers which fell away nicely with patchy lace and finally a generous thin layer remained.

Dried dark fruits dominate the nose along with a mild yeasty funk and warm dough. Aromatic notes grow as the beer warms up towards room temperature.

The taste profile is well characterized by the yeast and it appears as though the malt and dark fruit notes are trying to bust through across the palate however something seems a little lost in translation and instead the taste is very confusing. At first this is a little offensive and perhaps a little metallic or soapy.

Weighting is medium to heavy and carbonation is light.

This beer is bit of an anomaly. The appearance and aroma have the goods, although the aroma is slightly thin, however the taste spectrum is extremely confusing.

I have had Unibroue Terrible on other occasions and this is the first time I have encountered this metallic soapy taste, so perhaps there are good and bad batches. With Unibroue becoming more commercial perhaps there is reason to expect they are losing that "special touch" that they once had.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2010 13:30:17 | More by SleepyMonk
Photo of biggietattoos
biggietattoos

Florida

2.83/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Terrible is a very good looking beer when you pour it... But beyond that this is not a beer I could see myself trying again.

Poured a Nice deep dark brown, nice medium-dark tan head, good lacing.

Aromas comparable to DFH Raison D'Etre just not as good... Raisin, dates, and a weird copper sceted notes come through.

The taste was very metallic tasting... same sort of taste I got from St Sebastaan's dark Belgian. Not a very pleasant tasting beer at all. though the metal covers the high booze content well it just wasn't too enjoyable at all.

the mouthfeel and drinkability is average overall but just can't redeem the taste for me.

IF you like Dark Belgian ales then this may be an awesome experience but I couldn't see myself digging too many beers of this style

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2010 18:05:14 | More by biggietattoos
Photo of Naerhu
Naerhu

Japan

2.93/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Black, with brown highlights, tan head with solid head retention. Decent head retention for a 10.5 abv beer.
Aroma: Sweet, with that Belgian pastry yeast aroma. My wife said that she did not know how to discribe it as any other way but "strange"
Taste: Over-ripe plummy sweetness, charred wood, odd.
Mouthfeel: Full flavored with a full mouthfeel and medium carbonation.
Drinkability: Of the four of us who drank this beer, none finished their glass, but I.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2005 22:50:49 | More by Naerhu
Photo of hickmancase
hickmancase

California

2.95/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A bottle from first trip to Bruery Provisions with my buddy Rick.

A: Rosy brown. Dark. Syrupy. One finger head.

S: Sweet.

T: Sweet. Too Sweet. Great example of this style, but too sweet.
M: Medium bodied. Slightly low on the carbonation.

D: Too Sweet. Could be better with some contrasting food.

Similar to Chimay Blue but sweeter.

6/10

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2011 23:38:22 | More by hickmancase
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

3/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

750 ml into my Pike Pub Tulip, La Terrible is a very dark garnet with a massive ivory heavy that is rather quick settling but leaves fairly heavy, foamy lace. This is a new bottle served just above fridge temp.

Smell is mainly sweet cane sugar, some bright fruit and a touch of sourness.

Taste is mainly spicy belgian yeast and dark fruit, mildly acrid and very boozy. Lacking complexity, this is basically a big sugary beer whose sweetness is cut by the high alcohol and esters, more so as it warms. First few sips in particular were pretty disappointing.

Mouthfeel is on the thicker side due to the high sugar content,boil this down a bit and you'll have (dark) simple syrup.

Drinkability is low for a quad, this is just too sugary and ultimately falls short. Not quite terrible, but not too good either.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2008 19:42:48 | More by ccrida
Photo of WhiteOak
WhiteOak

Connecticut

3/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Dark cola brown. Dark beige expansive foam.

S- Yeast. Dark oxidized fruits, old St. Emilion wine.

T- Sweetness, brown bread, horehound candy, hint of mint, light, thin malt.

M, D- There are many who report flat bottles, but not this example which was much too lively if anything. There is refinement and acceptable texture here, like a velvety sweetness. And there are no sharp edges or objectionable flaws. But unfortunately the malt structure is just missing-in-action. This bottle failed to inspire.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 22:56:31 | More by WhiteOak
Photo of Vierenner
Vierenner

Ohio

3/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The bottle simply states "Dark Ale" ... nothing about Belgian ... which makes a big difference in my opinion. I'm not a fan of the yeasty flavors which seem to be present in nearly every Belgian beer I've tried. That said, the high ABV is nicely hidden, and there are some interesting flavors present (clove in particular). I like the sweetness and the minimal hop bite, but overall I'm unhappy with my selection.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2011 20:56:33 | More by Vierenner
Photo of shanem
shanem

Vermont

3.03/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark dark ruby/brown with good sized head. little bit of light at thinner levels

Has that unibroue smell. This one particularly has some darker fruitiness to it... maybe fig/date or cherries

Good bitterness with the fruit that you can smell but I feel the alcohol is just too much.also has that unibroue aftertaste that i don't really enjoy. Feel it masks anything before

ok drinkability but one is plenty

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2009 03:36:04 | More by shanem
Photo of NJpadreFan
NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.05/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Terrible wasn't quite that after all!

Appearance- dark brownish/black with a thick tan head.
Smell- alcohol & yeast dominate. Fruity, Malty.
Taste- strong, hops and fruit. Raisiny but good.

overall, Not a bad beer I can actually say I like it. Although the alcohol is too present. Finally the first Unibroue beer I can't say sucked!

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2004 21:33:08 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of jwff
jwff

Alaska

3.05/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2004. Beer pours an opaque black with ruby/brown edges... dark ale indeed. Fizzy brownish head that disappears almost instantaneously. Smell is appley yeast and alcohol with some red wine woody tones.

Taste is strangely complex, but I'm not sure in a good way. I'm getting figs, apples, yeast, sugar, strong alcohol (almost vodka-ish), and an aftertaste of chocolate creme and roasty malts. Mouthfeel is surreal, because it's thin but with a harsh carbonation. This isn't a very smooth sipper, and I almost feel compelled to drink it faster to get it over with. I don't know.. it's getting hot in here.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2006 05:33:20 | More by jwff
Photo of expatsteve
expatsteve

Wisconsin

3.05/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Black with mahogany hues. No head, light suds. Low viscosity.

Aroma: Roasty finish, with nutty chocolate notes. Malt, yeast and booze carried by raisin and cocoa notes.

Taste: Oddy grassy flavor, with cocoa nibs and compelling raisin notes. Complete lack of sweetness, and little too boozy for my taste. I wish I'd served this straight at room temperature as the grassiness of the beer develops into a sourdough malt finish as it warms. Warmer serving temperature might have removed the vegetal front palate altogether.

Mouthfeel: Overcarbonated and a little rough for such an uncomplicated beer - more promised than delivered.

Drinkability: Chambly Noire is more affordable and drinkable, while Maudite has more too it. The odd front palate was distracting and detracted from the beer. Will revisit this one day at room temperature, and adjust my scores if they need to be.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2006 01:12:26 | More by expatsteve
Photo of BlindPig
BlindPig

Pennsylvania

3.05/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Around a 1 1/2 finger light tan head. Was really black.
S- Cherries. Sweeter malts and hops. One or two other fruits but nothing as dark as plums though.
T- Bit warming from alcohol in back of throat. Cherry and plum flavors dominate most of the flavor. Sweet and spicier tasting also.
M- High carbonation. Medium to thin body.
D- I didn't like this much at all. I couldn't have more than about 3 or 4 oz.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2006 00:46:22 | More by BlindPig
Photo of AlexFields
AlexFields

Tennessee

3.08/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours dark reddish color, looks black when the glass is full. Not much of a head, or at least not one that lasts.

Not a very complex nose, sweet candy malts and yeast.

Flavor starts with spicy yeast, fades to sweet candy yeast. Again, not very complex. The taste is good, nice and sweet, but not memorable.

Mouthfeel is a bit lacking in carbonation but not terrible.

This is a decent beer but, like most American (or Canadian) brewed beers in this style, lacks much of the complexity that made me fall in love with the superior Belgian examples of the style. Good enough to enjoy drinking for sure, but not even worth comparing to, say, anything from the Rochefort lineup.

6.3/10

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 13:44:22 | More by AlexFields
Photo of shippos
shippos

New York

3.1/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

dark almost black/murky brown, looks a lot like coffee actually. tried hard to produce a head but my efforts were useless, just a thin skim on the surface. slight hint of fruit in the aroma other than that I can't detect anything else. very low carbonation and the mouthfeel is actually not what I was expecting, kinda thin for strong dark 10.5% belgian ale. somewhat fuity-spicy aftertaste, gotta say that the 10.5% is very well hidden. Should have left this in the cellar for awhile to age/condition a little bit, I thinking that the bottle I got could have benefited from some aging.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2003 15:25:55 | More by shippos
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

3.15/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml corked & caged bomber poured into a tulip.

Bottle opens with nary a hiss, luckily after pouring it a small light brown head develops atop a very dark brown to near black color - truly terrible looking. Nose is unsurprisingly classic unibroue yeast, it's malty and a bit sweet as well.

The mouthfeel is very nice, fairly light but rich and creamy with a good amount of carbonation leaving a slightly tingling finish. Taste is again classic unibroue yeast - you love it or you hate it, I think it's ok in this style but it isn't as good as many truble Belgian SDAs.

Overall it's ok and a very good value.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2011 21:44:07 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of hbh739
hbh739

Pennsylvania

3.18/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

When poured from the bottle if you look at the beer leaving the bottle it is almost a yellowish brown, but in the glass it is a nice dark brown almost opaque, with hints of red/orange when held to the light. The head was 3-4 fingers that lasted a minute or two then lace. The aroma was suprisingly not of alcohol at 10%+ but of malt and spice. The taste was initially of malt and fruit with a strong overbearing yeast flavor, not much alcohol taste at all. Overall at $8.00 a bottle I am not sure that I would do it again, it was good but the price brings the drinkability way down; but even now as I enjoy the warm after affects of the 10+% I wish I had some more.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2007 01:51:26 | More by hbh739
Photo of thepassingofdays
thepassingofdays

Missouri

3.2/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Note: my brother is in town, so it's exotic beer night, expect a flurry of reviews.

a- pours a darker brown than I expected with a generous head, almost too much. Totally opaque, can barely see a bright light through it. Interesting.

s- a strong smell of alcohol, hints of sweetness, possibly clove, it's not easy to tell. Very bitter overall, not too pleasant.

t- comes on strong, and continues through out. The finish is a bit too bitter for my taste and the alcohol content is more than noticable. Not my cup of tea (or glass of beer).

m- the mouthfeel is strangely contrasting to the taste, it feels tingly due to the ABV, and the finish is very warm.

d- Too strong for a young weakling like myself, but great to try and I will introduce my hardier friends to it for sure.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2008 00:34:33 | More by thepassingofdays
Photo of jcalabre
jcalabre

California

3.23/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Originally reviewed 16 December 2002. I am writing this review from my notes. This pours a dark brown w/ a grey head. roasty flavors w/ some hints of dried fruit greet you . it has a sweet finish. you can definitely taste the alcohol in this one, which is something I don't like. the alcohol should be hidden

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2003 20:04:40 | More by jcalabre
Photo of ChazMania
ChazMania

California

3.28/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a big 750ml bottle.

Pours thick and consistent. There is a big head and dark fig like aroma here. First taste is that of prunes slathered in malt. The texture is chewy and fully coats my tongue. Long finish that is complex with fig, dark cherry, yeast and bread. At this hi alcohol content, it's going to take me awhile to finish this puppy.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2007 01:57:44 | More by ChazMania
Photo of mnredsoxfan69
mnredsoxfan69

Minnesota

3.29/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

I've greatly enjoyed other brews from Unibroue (including Trader Joe's Vintage Ale) so I had high hopes for this one.

I poured this deep brown brew from a 750 into a tulip glass and was rewarded with four fingers of fine, tan, long lasting head that left surprisingly little lacing on the glass in its wake. The thick foam eventually receded to a ring around the edge.

The smell is strong with dried fruit, raisins and prunes with only a vague sense of hops and a little spice, ginger and possibly allspice.

The taste is very sweet with raisins and molasses front and center, fading to a bitterness like a sugar overload. I couldn't detect any hops at all in the taste.

This is definitely a mouthful of feel, a medium to big bodied brew. If I hadn't been sharing this with a friend I wouldn't have been able to drink the whole thing myself. Light on carbonation and heavy on the tongue, this is a BIG brew.

On the whole, I didn't really care for this. Too sweet and unbalanced for me. My taste has recently shifted toward much more hoppy brews, so perhaps that's part of my disappointment with this highly rated ale. As much as I enjoy big Belgian Christmas ales (Corsendonk, St. Bernardus), this strong dark ale from Quebec was more than I bargained for.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2014 03:34:30 | More by mnredsoxfan69
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La Terrible from Unibroue
93 out of 100 based on 1,687 ratings.