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La Terrible - Unibroue

Not Rated.
La TerribleLa Terrible

Educational use only; do not reuse.

920 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 920
Hads: 2,076
Avg: 4.16
pDev: 17.07%
Wants: 119
Gots: 308 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Unibroue visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-15-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 920 | Hads: 2,076
Photo of MarioM
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml poured into tulip

A: Very dark with an intense deep red color when help up against light. Good carbonation that creates a large foamy head, tan in color, that dissipates to a thin medium bubble film with almost no lacing.

S: Fruity, dark sugar, dried cherries, licorice and some floral notes. Also some spice notes but very mild, maybe grains of paradise and or anise.

T: Sweetness makes its way forward first, but quickly followed by a great fruity character mostly made of dried cherries, currants, and dark sugars. The taste is what I expected following the nose. Alcohol takes a back seat ride to the fruitiness and sweetness, its definitely there but hidden very well. Flavors a well balanced, not too sweet or fruity nor alcoholic. Great example of its style, in my opinion even with a slight red wine finish.

M: Aftertaste is complex and on the dryer side. Sweetness lingers with the fruitiness, almost no bitterness but a slight warm feel from its high abv, but no where near what I would expect from a 10.5% abv brew. Very drinkable, almost too drinkable, which in my book is always a good thing.

O: A very interesting BSDA by Unibroue, again. Last time I had this I didn't have time for a review, which is unfortunate since I didn't pay nearly as much attention to its complexity until now. Overall its a very rich yet almost simple ale considering its spiced. The spices take a back seat to the ride, which is how it should be. A great BSDA that is easy to drink, and packs a punch. Well balanced and great for desert. Next thing on my list would be to age a bottle and also to try this side by side with Trois Pistoles.

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Photo of peensteen
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown in colour, just over a finger of tan head, quite a bit of lace at the end of the glass. Smell is a dark fruit overload, plum and raisin, spicy, yeasty with a bit of brown sugar as well, vinious points. Taste is yeasty with a bunch of dark fruit, dark breadt malt, only a touch of sweetness and alcohol, spicy finish with some darker sugars. Medium-high carbonation, big chewey full body, creamy at times. Just an outstanding beer, complex and dangerously drinkable, grweat stuff.

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Photo of leaddog
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a dark cola brown with 2 fingers of bubbly beige head.

Smell - Traditional Unibroue yeast, dark fruit (cherry, plum), hint of oak, vanilla, spicy aroma.

Taste - Once past the spicy yeast strain, you are instantly hit with the dark fruit, oak, and vanilla flavours. A touch of sweetness, but nothing near cloying. Very complex. ABV is well concealed.

Mouthfeel - Medium-to-full bodied with light-moderate carbonation. A little bit of pleasant stickiness.

Overall - A complex and enjoyable Belgian strong dark ale by Unibroue. There are so many flavours playing on the palate. Almost wine-like. ABV is so well concealed this could be quite dangerous! If you find a bottle in your local shop, don`t forget to pick one up.

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Photo of SebD
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice very dark brown color to it. It has a nice thick beige head that dies down slowly and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of dark fruit (raisins, grapes, plums), Belgian yeast, spices, caramel and some banana.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has that nice dark fruit character, some oak, yeast, slight spiciness, sweet malts, caramel and some banana. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: It has a med/high carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavors and aromas.

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Photo of Dope
3.4/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle states "Best Before 10-15-2014".

A: Pours a very dark red with a huge and dense....pink(?) head. Pretty sure there's a pink hue to it that fades away, leaving more of a light brown head after a brief period of time. Fades slowly, leaving just tufts of lacing behind. Good head retention.

S: Raisins, grapes and cherries. Lots of them. Bit of banana. Sweet caramel comes through and makes them all the more decadent. A little earthiness sneaks in.

T: All the dark fruits as mentioned above. Very earthy, spicy and oaky to boot, however. Almost overpowers the fruits. Not as sweet as I was expecting from the aroma. Spiciness lingers into the finish and into the long, drying aftertaste along with just a hint of cherry.

M: Heavy but not overly so, high carbonation cuts it a bit.

O: Very interesting BSDA. Super spicy, black pepper and almost chile pepper-like sting. I almost wonder if these are off flavors because I don't see much mention of them. Regardless, loaded with dark fruits and sweet caramel throughout. Might have to retry this one some day, it's not past its prime but something is definitely up with the relatively harsh spiciness. I actually ended up drain pouring it.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pours a dark black, chestnut brown with lots of head. Tastes of oak, dark fruits and slight caramal in a nice roasty finish. Its not as overwhelming in flavour as other Unibroue beers are. For 10.5% this drinks down quite smooth and the alcohol is well hidden. I think I will try to grab another bottle or two of this before it disappears.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle from the Uptown Waterloo LCBO. Simple, effective bottle design. A brew I've been meaning to try for some time but haven't come across until recently.

Poured into a Belgian ale goblet. Dark brown, chestnut near the edges, and a good billowing head that settles into a thick ring with a few whirls on the surface. Lacing patches and all that good stuff.

Nose is quite wonderful, and really took about ten minutes of warming to get the full effect. Plum, raisin, a bit of banana, spice, Belgian yeast. Very inviting.

A great dark ale that would probably benefit from a year in the cellar. Similar tasting notes as in the nose, with a bit of oak, grape, and warming alcohol kick to the finish.

Mouthfeel is initially quite carbonated (too much so), but after a few minutes it mellows out considerably. Nice thickness to the brew, coats the tongue very well.

Might snap up a couple of bottles to hold on to in the cellar. Certainly a very strong offering from Unibroue, but it's in such tough company it's hard to notice a great difference between this and some of their other brews (with the high price under consideration!) Still, well worth a pick up, and quite enjoyable indeed!

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Photo of RickS95
4.67/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black with slightly lighter shades of brown around the edges. Not the darkest beer in the world, but in the neighborhood, particularly for a Belgian. The head is a thin finger thick with little retention and no immediate lacing. The tiny bubbles eventually give way to a thin ring.

Decent complexity in the nose. Caramels malts strike first, followed by a lingering alcohol and finally dark, very ripe fruits. Swirling the snifter brings the head back to life and awakens some spices. Also displays some thin lacing for the first time

I don't know how you'd improve the taste. Taste mimics the nose but the alcohol is more prominent. At 10.5% it's very strong and while the flavor is clearly evident, it's not like you're drinking straight whiskey. Toffee makes an appearance as well as the dark fruits. It's wine-like with a fruity hop flavor.

It's a sharp ale, not a dull lager. You can feel everything. Sweetness from the fruits, heat from the alcohol, the sting of carbonation. Everything is turned up to 10 on this beer, but it never crosses the line. Full bodied, but with a crispness.

One of the best beers I've had and it rivals anything from Belgium. Overall it's just an amazing beer. Has strong, aggressive smells and flavors and it all hits hard. But it never goes overboard. Something I could easily drink every night.

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Photo of BigBarley
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A – pours out very close to jet black, very active, thin carbonation, fizzy due to bottle fermentation. A tan head broils up and immediately recedes almost to nothing. Light can only make it through the edges of the glass, where an almost purple glow occurs

S – Subtle alcohol presence, strong, dark fruit smell dominates. As it warms, the smell takes on more of a pear or apple characteristic. Agitation brings a roast-like scent to the forefront, along with a little more alcohol presence. Not what I’d call strong smelling, but just potent enough to get the full range of character.

T – Plum, light raisin notes, lots of malt sweetness, lingering syrup taste of deep roasted malt, with a faint oaky note behind it all. Fruit dominates most of the flavor at first, then more of a subtle alcohol note and extremely active yeast slowly comes to the forefront. Mild bitterness, although not likely from hops as from the malt character and high ABV. Powerful and diverse!

M – Comes on thin with an active fizz, splashes hard, and thickens up as it washes down. Leaves a thin, syrupy coat that’s reminiscent of a double IPA, except instead of hoppy leftovers, the coating is all malt! I usually refer to Le Terrible as the polar opposite of a double IPA, because it’s got all the same power but accentuates everything an IPA doesn’t.

O – A wonderful example of a truly flavor packed, powerful dark brew with loads of character and a respectable 10.5 abv. Been a staple of my cold-weather beer line up since the first time I tried it

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Photo of Infamous7100
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark brown hue, near mahogany. Nice looking head.
S: notes of raisins, dark fruits and grapes. A complex fruitiness.
T: a nice blend of sweetness and tart overtones. The fruits are readily apparent and blended nicely with malt.
M: thinner than what I would like with a high amount of carbonation.
O: a fantastic and complex Belgian. Well worth the buy.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle from Marche Omni QC for 8$ - 2012 vintage

Appearance – Brown colour with a massive average size fizzy dark beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for over 10 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, grains, raisins, bananas, clove

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, banana, and raisins. There is also caramel mixed with some yeast and clove and a hint of cherries. It ends with a somewhat sweet and spicy aftertaste.

Overall – The booze was well hidden and it's quite drinkable given the ABV. For my money trois pistoles (which is also available in a smaller format) is just as good if not better. Still another fantastic beer from this brewer and I'm looking forward to seeing how a bit of age affects the rest of my bottles.

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Photo of DRyan
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown, near black, with lightly tan head that starts heavy and fades quickly, leaving decent lacing.
S: Some funk, some ‘Belgian’ yeast smell, smells crisp, some spices
T: Spicy, funky, heavy malt and light on bitterness, some alcohol in the aftertaste, but not strong considering the strength of the beer
M: Not heavy but not thin, the bubbles are very small and tingly
D: Easily drinkable for the strength of the beer. Look forward to seeing how it ages.

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Photo of Danny1217
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours very dark brown with some red hues. A nice fluffy head dissipates rather quickly, but leaves some very nice lacing. Rich smell of malts and dark fruits. Cherries, plums, some nice spices. Wonderful aroma. The taste is equally rich. Cherry dominates, but many of the same things from the aroma show up again on the tongue. Medium body and carbonation. Pretty smooth.

It's a lot like Trois Pistoles, but a little stronger. Trois Pistoles is on the lighter side of Belgian dark ales, and this is in the middle. This beer stands along all of Unibroue's lineup of great beers. Unfortunately, it's a little pricier.

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Photo of papat444
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml. bottle and split with my wife. Lot is K26102047Q so bottled October 26, 2010.

Appearance: A dark chestnut brown color with lots of foam and wisps of lacing that grows to almost a sheet.

Smell: Dried plums, wood, light dried cherries and some yeast.

Taste: Dried raisins, figs, plums, bit of dried cherries, dry wooden flavor like cork and a bit smoky.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation a tinge high but calms rapidly and is a bit chewy.

Overall: Not as great as i remember a few years ago but still quite good.

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Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque, walnut brown body with an appropriately tall, foamy, light tan head.

Aroms begin with sweet, biscuity maltiness, almost like pie crust with equal amounts of dark fruit, earthy sweet molassed and emerging notes of Belgian yeast spiciness.

The tastes begin with dark, brown bready maltiness with flavors of molasses, dark brown sugar, sweeter dark candy sugar and sweetened cocoa powder. In the background there are some light black cherry and raisin fruitiness. Earthy spiciness emerges are is warms with a small touch of alcohol warmth.

The mouthfeel is medium-plus bodied with medium-high carbonation. The finish is dry and slightly spicy/biting from the Belgian yeast and emerging alcohol presence.

Overall this is a pretty serious beer that really derserves to be laid down for a few years for the flavors to mellow and simmer a little. In my opinion most Dark Belgian ales over 10%ABV need at least a year in the cellar but ideally 3, this is no different as fresh it is a bit rough around the edges.

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Photo of bmwats
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle, into a chalice.

A: Very dark brown. Medium heavy carbonation. Pours about a 1 finger, foamy, brown-white head. Settles quickly, leaving merely a beer ring. No lacing to speak of.

S: A little malt, a little dark chocolate, and plenty of raspberry.

T: Woody malt with hints of dark chocolate and cherry.

M: Full and robust. Carboard-y finish.

D: Goes down joyfully.... but sip for best results.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Deep, dark appearance with a decent head, but no real lacing. Nose is a great combination of malt, chocolate, and fruit. Nice and woody, too. Flavor is fruity malt goodness. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Photo of Eddxii
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

La Terrible pours a super dark brown, almost chocolate brown. Under light you can see hints of red and purple filling out the glass, ultimately culminating in a mahogany glow. A thick light brown (not tan) head caps off the glass, spilling over the brim despite my best efforts.

The aroma is sweet and spicy, with a slight sourness in the background. The sugar brings to mind ripe dark fruits, the spice waffles between allspice and lemongrass. The first taste is much lighter than expected, though it still has a bountiful body. Prunes, apricots, and candied apple all make an appearance. Roasted malts are evident in the distant background. The dominant flavor at this point in the beer’s life, though, is grape, which mingles with the spice in a way that nudges the final taste toward a white peppery merlot. It’s as odd as it is intriguing.

La Terrible has a rather light flavor for a dark beer, and a rather bright tang for brew that coats like a thin syrup. I think my wife summed it up best: it looks like winter and tastes like spring. In retrospect I’m glad I didn’t age this bottle very long, because now I want to buy another bottle and see it what it tastes like in a couple years.

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Photo of crazyfraser
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance very beautiful. very dark, looks dark brown til you hold it up to the light. Its a beautiful Mahogany color with a cream colored head.

Smell kinda boozy malty.. smells strong but good

Taste Malty for sure, very rich, My wife says it has kind of a cola/syrupy taste. easy to drink if you like boozy flavors, its a mild boozy.

Mouthfeel kinda has a bite when you swallow.

Overall strong. yet smooth for its ABV, very rich, beautiful Mahogany color. would recommend to a beer connoisseur like myself. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an exceedingly dark reddish brown with a faint light tan ring of foam. No lace, no surprise.
Smell is rich, malt, dark cherry, sour, spice (coriander & pepper) and a whole lot more. Phenomenal complexity and balance.
Taste is equally massive. Rich, dark fruits, malt, yeast, wheat, the whole fruitcake. Awesome.
Full bodied, very light effervescence, tart and almost smooth. Drink this beer.

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Photo of chanokokoro
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle, formerly corked and caged, into a Unibroue branded short stemmed tulip glass.

Pours a dark molasses colored brown with one and a half finger off-white head that resembles sea foam in consistency that dissipates quickly. No visible lacing. Dark fruit especially notes of black cherry and fig, a bit of spice, and light phenol alcohol on the nose. Opens with the flavor of black cherries and bit of date and fig that combines with hints of almond and spice. Finishes clean and fairly dry with some alcohol warmth. On the lighter side of medium bodied, fizzy champagne-like carbonation, slick on the palate. A very solid brew. There's nothing necessarily novel about this brew, however a good solid representation of the style.

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Photo of Ghengis
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark ale. I tend to like this style. This style tends to be the sweeter of the dark ales. Can sense a bit of hops, but less than others in the style that I have tried. Overall, a good balanced blend. This was a total impulse buy for me. I'd definitely get another bottle to have in the future. It was definitely not terrible as it's namesake implies. If you have a penchant for dark Belgians (like I do), give this one a go. It is 750ml of goodness.

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Photo of srv33
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber pour, inch head, very fine lacing. Scent is of apricot, almond, a little licorice, leather. A lot of carbonation in the mouthfeel though balanced. I taste citrus, hint of vanilla, lavender, blossoming into mild cacao and lemongrass, with a bit of nuttiness in the aftertaste. My first Unibroue, was pleasantly surprised by it, I'll have to look out for more in the future.

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Photo of david18
3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a twelve ounce pour of this beer at the Amsterdam Ale House on Manhattan's Upper West Side. A very interested example of the style. Not the best for summer however.

Color was a dark mahogany. A little light on the carbonation but definitely not flat.

Aroma was of dark roast and dark fruit mixed with the yeasty aroma typical of a belgian beer.

Flavor had the same qualities as the aroma but also had a good amount of alcohol heat, maybe a little too much.

Overall a very good beer. Probably a great one if you're a big fan of the style.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to Erik for sharing this with us at the Fridge -appreciate it cuz! enjoyed from a tulip chilled.

The color is deep burgundy with some brown hues with translucent clarity and thick cap of cream which holds well. The first sniff gives off some stone fruit and dark cherry odors with mild citrus and light spice ester from the yeast with mild sweet note of dark sugar. The aroma is varied well with slight hints of other dried fruit like date. The feel is very highly carbonated with moderate sweetness and low alcohol with slight spiciness and semi-dry finish.

I like how the yeast and sugar in this combines to give a hint of candied orange rind with the dark sugar providing some rum-like body with mild alcohol and sweetness in the middle there is slight nutmeg-like woody spice that carries over from the yeast and adds complexity with a nice mild creamy toffee note in the finish. Overall I though this is a solid belgian with a nice amount of flavor and has some interesting spice and fruit notes.

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Photo of tdm168
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jtd1969 for sharing this bottle with me.

A - pours a very dark brown bordering on black; thick off white head; fades quickly to a thin lacing

S - Belgian funk, white grapes, big apple notes

T - grapes, apples, faint bread, caramel, funky, spicy

M - full bodied, warm, crisp

This is a big beer. The alcohol is noticeable and slows down the drinking a good deal. The flavor is fruit forward but good. I would probably prefer a little more balance and a little less of the apple notes, but good nonetheless.

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La Terrible from Unibroue
93 out of 100 based on 920 ratings.