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La Terrible - Unibroue

Not Rated.
La TerribleLa Terrible

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,840 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,840
Reviews: 895
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 95
Gots: 189 | FT: 4
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,840 | Reviews: 895 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kbnooshay

New York

4.28/5  rDev +2.6%

Poured a dark brown color with ruby highlights. The tan head doesn't stick around very long. The aroma is of dark fruits and was quite yeasty. The spiceyness was not overdone but very pleasant.In the taste we have more spice but also a light must. IT is really malty and fruity. Cherries possibly. The alcohol is not detectable for a 10 and a half abv. I thought the mouthfeel was a tad watery, but still it was kinda slick and tingly fromthe carbonation. Not bad i suppose. This was soo drinkable but one 750 is obviously enough.

09-15-2006 15:39:33 | More by kbnooshay
Photo of BlindPig


3.05/5  rDev -26.9%

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.

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


4.28/5  rDev +2.6%

Purchased as a 750 ml corked bottle. There is a "best before" date stamped on the back, about 3 years after bottling (the cork read 2004, the bottle was stamped 2007). Interestingly, the website states that La Terrible has a shelflife of 10+ years; which makes sense considering it's 10.5% ABV.

The beer pours a very dark brown, almost black unless held up to the light. At that point it takes on very brownish hue, but still very much opaque. The carbonation is surprisingly lively and the foam is more dense than it is whispy; it had excellent staying power as well. It looks great in the glass.

The taste is very complex and flavorful. The foamy head makes it almost seem as if you're swallowing twice, but this only prolongs its enjoyment. The taste is extremely enjoyable and drinkability is high; bready, slightly yeasty, and with a taste of dark fruits. The alcohol is actually not nearly as prominent as you'd think from such a highly boozed beer, but makes is presence known regardless. The beer is drinkable enough that it doesn't matter and is an excellent example of one of my favorite beer styles.

09-02-2006 00:48:33 | More by KFaulkner
Photo of rarevos

New York

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Poured from 750 mL into chalice.

A: Pours a deep brown with ruby-red tones. Light tan head is think at first, dissipates to a solid layer that covers the whole surface of the beer. Very attractive looking.

S: Very rich, malty, fruity. Can detect plums and figs, and there's a nice spiciness to the nose as well.

T: Oh. My. God. Sweet plums and dried fruit, very sweet and complex malts with rugged flavors, like cherries, earthiness and a brief sourness. Is that caramel? Toffee? Is there Port in here? There are about a dozen flavors in this thing, all playing nice. There's a yeasty tang at the end, an extra spicy kick before a warming finish. The alcohol is high, but you wouldn't know it from the finish.

M: Medium-bodied. Despite the plentiful carbonation during the pour, it's not a bubbly, tingly beer in the mouth.

D: I'm so torn when I get to this part of a review with a strong Belgian ale. Would I have another? Probably not, because it's close to 11% alcohol. But I'm not going to penalize the beer for that, as this is a terrific beer. I kept thinking about its wine-like qualities from the moment I popped the cork and the aromas escaped the bottle. In moderation, as a sipping beer, it's wonderful.

08-31-2006 02:25:23 | More by rarevos
Photo of BeerSox


3.8/5  rDev -8.9%

750mL bottle into large snifter. 10.5% abv

Pours a ver dark red, opaque in the light of the bar. Tan colored head that doesn't last long, forms foam around the glass. Minimal lacing.

Mild fruity aromas, scents of sweet alcohol.

Strong alcohol notes trailed by slight hop bitterness. Slight maltyness in the background. Most noticeable feature is the alcohol.

Medium bodied, lightly carbonated. Crisp and hoppy/dry finish.

A member of the upper echelon of Strong Belgian Ales. Be sure to try this one out.

08-26-2006 02:17:38 | More by BeerSox
Photo of dblinkhorn


4.53/5  rDev +8.6%

Poured from 2004 vintage 750 ml bottle into tulip glass.

Appearance - This beer pours with a medium tan head consisting completely of exteremely tiny bubbles. The brew is quite active with carbonation, which is replenishing the head as fast as it dissipates from the top for the first couple of minutes after the pour. It eventually evaporates to a constant half-finger foamy cap which leaves little lace as the beer goes down. The liquid is black in the glass, until held up to a bright source of light. At this point you can see the brew is a very dark amber/red and slightly brown coloration. It is very slightly hazy (unless you pour some of the sediment in on accident). What a mean looking brew!

Smell - Very rich and bready malt aromas dominate the scent of this beer. Strong dark ripe fruit flavors are also present, along with an interesting note of raisins and plum. The spices are quite evident (what you'd expect from Unibroue brews), with notes of fennel, clove, and cinnamon. The hop aroma is present and smells slightly citrusy and quite crisp, although this scent is not nearly as strong as the malt, fruit, or spice foundation.

Taste - As with the smell, the taste has a huge foundation if very rich, chewy, bready, and slightly earthy malt tones. On top of that foundation is a very nice mix of two of the other main flavors, which are spice and slightly sweet/sour dark ripe fruits (again the raisin and plum flavors are easy to pick out). The hops are interlaced throughout the taste, and consists of crisp and slightly lemony flavors. The alcohol is of perfect potency and shows its face here and there throughout the taste. The aftertaste is earthy malt with some lingering spice. This stuff is extremely complex and very powerful. It's easily on the level of Chimay or others like it. Amazing flavor, here. This seems to be a rule of Unibroue!

Mouthfeel - This is a high upper-end medium-bodied brew (very nearly full-bodied) that is, as you can expect from Unibroue, so smooth that it's hard to sip this stuff...it's so pleasurable to feel in your mouth. The carbonation is spot on and there is little alcohol unpleasantness. I would say this stuff has a near-perfect mouthfeel.

Drinkability - As per usual, if you're into this style, it's very easy to drink. While it is strong in flavor, complexity, and has a pretty chewy, thick, heavy body, it is in no way unpleasant to a lover of the style. It would be perfect drinkability if the flavors weren't so complex and strong, but I will gladly take the loss in this category for the flavor it does possess.

Overall, this is a very rich, malty, spicy, and moderately dark fruity beer. It is so smooth you will want to go buy another 750ml bottle after you finish the first one. This is, yet again, another MUST have from Unibroue.

08-25-2006 04:30:14 | More by dblinkhorn
Photo of HoustonTX


3.9/5  rDev -6.5%

My 2nd review of this beer. Let's face it palates change, let's put this one to the test.

Pours a dark brown, lots of frizzy carbonation flowing towards the top of the glass. The head is quite impressive, off white in color, composed of thousands and thousands of tiny bubbles. Mmm. On to the smell. Smell has a wine characteristic about it. Lots of dark fruit. Red grapes really stand out. Prunes, raisins, hint of fig, and a small amount of caramel. Now the taste. Upfront has a sweet mellow dark fruited malt flavor about it. Aftertaste has a sweet maltyness as well. More subdued, and less rough than the upfront taste. La Terrible is vinous in flavor texture. It's estery with a phenolic edge. Flavor hides the 10% quite well. Mouthfeel is tangy, and wet. Drinkability is good for a beer this size.

La Terrible is a solid Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Recommended.

08-22-2006 22:53:33 | More by HoustonTX
Photo of Fugazme


4.22/5  rDev +1.2%

(brewed 2004)

Cork slowly edged out a bit on its own...

Pours dark brown... amber highlights... "cola-like"... Head is tan with very large bubbles... great cap and quite phosphorescent.

Aroma: cherry... dried fruit... sweet chocolate... caramel... great!

Smooth palate with some slightly scrubby bubbles...

Flavor is figgy, bready, yeasty, raisiny, cherry-like... very nice.

08-18-2006 18:15:06 | More by Fugazme
Photo of lordofthewiens


4.33/5  rDev +3.8%

750ml bottle, best before 8/8/07. Dark, dark red-black color, with a sweet, dark fruit aroma. Very pleasant. It tasted sweet, cherry, some chocolate. A little bit of warming spice in the background. Wonderful. Pretty well carbonated. An enjoyable beer to drink, didn't notice the 10.5% ABV.

08-17-2006 11:34:47 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of sevenredrabbits


4.38/5  rDev +5%

750ml bottle split with my cousin. Smells wonderful. Very fruity. Big thick head but quickly runs down to a quarter inch which lasts for the entire beer. Strong. Writing this with a good buzz. Inconsistent lace. Not even lace. Just spots of bubbles. Appears very dark brown, almost black. Held to sunlight appears dark reddish brown. Ruddy. Taste: Difficult. Doesn't disguise alcoholic content as well as trois pistoles, but it's also a little stronger. After taste is wonderful.

08-13-2006 17:12:18 | More by sevenredrabbits
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -4.1%

2004 Bomber.

Wickedly active, Deep Dark Amber, massive white-head with really good retention.

smelling...Sweet malt, slight hop and some chocolate.

Extremely deep, sweet dark malt dominance and slighty fruity.

Thick, medium body, very active and lively, nice sweet and sour effect.

10.5 Abv %, but sooo easy to drink regardless.

08-05-2006 21:44:09 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of badbeer


3.95/5  rDev -5.3%

Pours a dark brown color with an off-white head but left no lacing. Smell is full of dark fruits, caramel, etc. Definitely on the sweet side, but nice. Taste has qualities reminiscent of red wine; it's also quite yeasty and has some different dark sugar flavors. Mouthfeel, the carbonation jumped on the tongue right away, seemed a little high paired with a medium body. A good beer definately worth trying, perhaps twice, but I wouldn't throw a fit over not finding any.

08-04-2006 07:46:59 | More by badbeer
Photo of teg8612


3.65/5  rDev -12.5%

A-Dark brown with a light tan head. Served in a Duvell glass.

S-Caramel with some dark fruity aroma

T-Spicy with sweet dark fruit and chocolat notes. Alcohol taste pokes through and warms the belly.

M-Full-bodied with low carbonation.

D-High alcohol will limit drinkability for many. I had to share this bottle. I might have been stingier if it was cooler out but strong ales don't work when it is over a 100. Very tasty beverage overall and I intend to revisit this again in the fall.

07-31-2006 15:58:09 | More by teg8612
Photo of beermanbrian


4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Thanks to maltygoodness for this one.

Pours almost black in color. Tan head is the supper small bubbles that give a great foamy appearance. Head sticks around for the entire glass. Smell of dark fruits and rich malts. Also some woody character. Taste is a wash of complexity that blends perfectly. Wood, plums, malt all in a very tasty mix. Slight spicyness in the finish. Carbonation is high which gives an active feel on the tongue. Unibroue comes through with a winner again. I've loved everything I've had from them and can't wait to try more.

07-30-2006 01:46:20 | More by beermanbrian
Photo of Phatz


4.7/5  rDev +12.7%

This beer is a real treat every chance I get to taste it. I've had it several times now but still never a whole bottle to myself. Still I decided to review it because it always leaves an impression on me.

Appearance: Served a dark burgundy - black with hints of plumb purple color.

Smell: Dark fruits and port with lots of sweetness in the nose.

Taste: Red wine like a Cabernet and Port with loads of spices and fruits, plumb on the top. More sugar sweetness and caramel. Plenty of toastyness. There are also hints of woodiness and fusel alcohol coming through to warm the belly. A nice dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Solid mouthfeel, creamy and spicy.

Drinkability: This is a perfect nightcap beer. Certainly a sipping beer but boy is it nice!

Hope this is helpful.

07-24-2006 20:50:51 | More by Phatz
Photo of neenerzig


4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

A 750 ml bottle poured into my tulip glass. Pop! went the cork as I opened this beauty. This beer pours a very dark brown color. At first it had a ridiculously huge tan head when it was poured that shrank to about 1/2 inch after a good 5 minutes. Eventually settles about 1/4 inch with good retention. Sweet, malty aromas of yeast, malt and dark fruits such as plum and raisins are dominant here. Tastes a bit like a combination of red wine and root beer with maybe a bit of coffee thrown in as well. I know that combination may not sound very appealing, but it actually isn't bad at all. However, these flavors could me mixed together a little better. This beer also has some sweet and nutty flavors going on along with a strong malty backbone and a candied sugar sweetness and dark fruits such as plum, apple, and raisin. This beer has a full bodied, crisp creamy, smooth, frothy and sort of thick and chewy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation and leaves you feeling warm inside after a few sips. I find it to be pretty high in drinkability despite the 10.5% ABV. Not the best beer I have had of this style, but certainly not a bad beer either.


[ serving type: bottle ]

07-19-2006 03:29:30 | More by neenerzig
Photo of DarkerTheBetter


4.35/5  rDev +4.3%

2004 Vintage

This pours an ultra black burgundy with a little hazy brown. Held to the sunlight, this baby glows! The head is a pale tan film.

Smells of taffy, root beer and vanilla with a gooey barley and an awesome tingly alcohol.

Tastes of red wine and root beer. I’m also getting an assortment of nuts and honey along with a super doughy yeast. Finishes exceptionally nutty.

The mouth feel is medium bodied with a light, casual carbonation.

This one’s a fantastic sipper that would easily find itself at home in Belgium.

07-14-2006 19:02:37 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of nouseforotacon


4.05/5  rDev -2.9%

Poured from a 750mL corked bottle, the top of the cage reads 2004.

Rich, deep cola bottom, thick and weighty with a thin, tapered, off-white lacing.

Deliciously sweet/smoky smell, dried plum and raisins, honey, with slight phenols and mild alcohol on the nose. Maple syrup and sticky candied aroma, also a hint of dark berries, tartness.

Strong medicine/phenols on the intial taste with some carbonation. Sticky in the mouth with the plum and raisin coming out in the finish. Some tartness from the dark berries. Mouthfeel is dry, reminiscent of a port, phenols and alcohol are not in the slightest bit overwhelming.

10.5% ABV is extremely well concealed. This one is a lovely, sipping dark ale. Best shared between a good friend. Enjoy another fine brew from Unibroue!

07-14-2006 03:05:56 | More by nouseforotacon
Photo of ultralarry2006


3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle into my Duvel tulip. Left an espresso foam colored one finger head that quickly disappeared, no retention, and no lacing. Body was the deepest brown, almost black.

Smell - chalky yeast, plums, raisins, dark bread.

Taste - pretty much like the smell. Chalky yeast, plums, raisins, dark bread, all washed with some medicinal phenols. Very well hidden abv. The chalky yeast impairs the taste here.

Mouthfeel - thin, fluid, low to moderate carbonation.

Drinkability - this decent, not great. Goes down fairly well. I'd have this only once in awhile. High abv is another limiting factor to sessionability.

07-09-2006 15:08:49 | More by ultralarry2006
Photo of ChicagoLaw21


4.65/5  rDev +11.5%

As with other Unibroue offerings, "La Terrible" stands out on the shelf with it's simple yet eye-catching label design. But the true draw is the excellent dark ale waiting to be uncorked.

Appearance: dark brown with mahogany tones. Rich and very inviting.

Aroma: full, pleasant nose with fruit, malts and toffee dominating.

Taste: suprisingly smooth but complex with a sweetness tempered by the firm alcohol content.

Mouthfeel: creamy as expected with a chocolate aftertaste.

Drikability: very enjoyable. The ABV may seem ominious at first but the alcohol does not overwhelm the palate.

Overall: there is little doubt I will uncork a bottle or two of "La Terrible" at the next gathering I attend. The taste and quality are superb. I highest endorsement though is that my fiance, who is not a beer fan, tried this one and really enjoyed it. Kudos to Unibroue for another fine offering.

06-30-2006 16:07:14 | More by ChicagoLaw21
Photo of expatsteve


3.05/5  rDev -26.9%

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.

06-29-2006 01:12:26 | More by expatsteve
Photo of Golden2wenty1


3.78/5  rDev -9.4%

750 Shared with expatsteve and dapeculierdane while watching France own Spain in World Cup action.

Talk about a tale of two beers. Cold...kinda Terrible. As it warms...kinda nice actually

Pours a surprising schwarzbier-ish opaque black with almost a pinky of khaki bubbles that fade quickly but miraculously revive with a swirl of my tulip. Cold nose is a somewhat off-putting musty/moldy dry yeast with a hint of funky sour lactose. As it warms some dark fruity notes overtake the must. Cold taste is dominated again by stale, dusty yeast and some light vinous notes. As it warms, sweet, dark fruit malts and dry champagne share the stage with the Unibroue-style yeast. Mouthfeel is almost severely overcarbonated ast first, but again, as it warms, the mouthfeel mellows to a dry champagn bubbly crispness.

For the first 10 minutes or so, this beer is maybe a 3.4, but as it warms and gains its fruity, malty complexity, it improves to maybe a 4.2. On a whole, I'd have to put it somewhere in the middle. Not Terrible, but nothing transcendent either, I'd probably prefer one of their standards like Maudite or Trois Pistole anyday.

06-28-2006 00:19:41 | More by Golden2wenty1
Photo of KoG


1.88/5  rDev -54.9%

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.

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


4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Poured from a Unibroue 750ml bottle into a Chimay chalice. It turned out to be a good choice of glassware, the beer looked exatly like Chimay Blue. It was dark brown, a little tranlucent ruby reddish colored when you put a light behind it. The foam was off white and creamy, kind of thin but nice looking.

The smell was mostly Belgian-style yeast, nice and bready like a St Bernardus but with a fruity aroma kind of like Koeninghoven Quad. The taste was closer to the Quad but had some unique characteristics of its own. Plums, figs, a little bit of burnt malt or woodiness, it had everything. 750ml is perfect for this beer, I wanted to keep drinking it. There were other flavors which developed as it warmed (sweeter fruits like cherries and also chocolate).

The best Unibroue so far.

06-17-2006 02:28:47 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of elricorico

Alberta (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours dark cola brown, and in the glass it appears black, though you can see the brown around the edges. There was a fizzy tan head that started about a centimetre thick, and faded to a thin ring.

The smell is malty and boozy. Liquor soaked raisins and cherries. Black licorice, rum, red apples and wine. Pretty nice overall.

The taste carries more of the same from the smell. Red wine and grape juice, hints of licorice. The finish is tart and full of Unibroue's yeast flavour. It is fairly straightforward, but it is nice.

This brew is a bit thinner than some of the belgian's of the style.. The carbonation is active but not overdone. Together it is pleasant to drink, but the mouthfeel doesn't leave any big impression.

Good beer, I like it now much more than I did the first time I tried it. Alcohol level is well masked considering its strength.

06-13-2006 02:06:17 | More by elricorico
La Terrible from Unibroue
93 out of 100 based on 1,840 ratings.