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La Terrible - Unibroue

Not Rated.
La TerribleLa Terrible

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

1,902 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,902
Reviews: 903
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 98
Gots: 203 | FT: 5
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: 1,902 | Reviews: 903 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oelergud
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2004 corked and caged 750 bottle.
Almost opaque, deep ruby and mahogany body. Tan head of tiny to small bubbles, decent retention and low lace.
Scent is brown sugar, molasses and strong caramel. Very strong and inviting.
Cherry, raisen and strong molasses, dry nutskin hops. Good balance with a hoppy aftertaste.
Full body with little coating, dry finish.
Highly drinkable but watch the abv, it is not apparent in the taste or smell, but it will make it's appearance halfway through the bottle.

-Oelergud

oelergud, Apr 07, 2007
Photo of mithrascruor
4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a nearly black color, with slight reddish hints towards the edges. Head is medium-tan and doesn't last for too long, but leaves a healthy film.

Smell: Subdued aroma of dark fruits like figs and some cherries.

Taste: Rich dark fruits with some sugars as well. Not overly sweet, as there's a bit of tartness in there as well. Bready too.

Mouthfeel: Extremely smooth, medium-bodied beer with some light (yet sometimes sharp) carbonation.

Drinkability: Although very strong, the alcohol is very well-hidden.

Judging by the bottle and the taste, you'd think that this was drawn from some dark well in some cave or castle! There's a nice mystery to it. Not as complex as some similar beers, but this still has a balanced and unique flavor. I prefer some of Unibroue's other Belgian strong dark ales, but I'm sure that I will get this one again.

mithrascruor, Mar 25, 2007
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A nice reddish brown hue filled my snifter. Light tan head dissipates quickly but leaves a nice film.

Smell: Nice malts and cherry notes. There are some plums and figs present as well with some nice spices.

Taste: Sweet plums, cherries, and dried fruit ride along with the malts to make-up the backbone of this wonderful beer. The malts seem to be of caramel and toffee. There is a slight sourness at one point, but it only adds to the complexity. Last but not least you get some nice spice in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The beer is medium bodied with some carbonation present.

Drinkability: This is one of the reasons I started drinking craft beer and I am so glad I did.

stereosforgeeks, Mar 16, 2007
Photo of vickersspitfire
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just taking the cork off reveals a nice sweet and spicy aroma and it pours out a nice dark color with deep red undertones and is topped off with a thick creamy light tan head. It has a smooth but sharp taste (almost tart) when it first hits your tongue; but you can quickly taste the spiciness in it. It just has a great taste that just rolls onto your tongue and really wakes up your taste bud. It has a nice mild spicy aftertaste that’s really leaves you wanting another sip.

vickersspitfire, Mar 02, 2007
Photo of crwills
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a surprisingly dark, near opaque brown with evil red highlights. A good sized dull beige head sticks around.

Aroma starts with the typical sourish unibroue yeast, plus unripe strawberries or strong melon. Perfumey in the back of the throat.

Silky mouthfeel; light but excellently balanced. Flavour is a little dull given the aroma, unfortunately. Well hidden alcohol and bready yeast. Very mild spicy herbs and a hint of roasted malts. Unique, lingering aftertaste I had trouble categorizing.

One of my favourites from Unibroue, although the taste could use a little beefing up.

crwills, Feb 26, 2007
Photo of oakbluff
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 vintage that I have been cellaring since purchased in Montreal Sep 05. I had heard that there had been problems with the 2004 corks so I was somewhat concerned opening this baby. I pulled the cork and pop! Poured with great fizz and gusto! Relief The color is a very dark- held up to the light the ruby comes through. Lots and lots of floaties with great lacing. Smell is of sweet fruit and candy. Taste- damn that is smooth! Much smoother than Trois Pistoles. Dried fruits and bakers chocolate with a dry finish. No noticable hops. The house yeast isn’t too noticable here. This is an awesome beer and would be exceptional with a fine meal (mine was experienced with chicken soup). This is the best Unibroue that I have experienced to date.

oakbluff, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of bennetj17
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml, 2004 imprint on the cage. Loud "pop" from the uncorking. A 1/2 inch of pale tan foam sits atop the dark coffee colored brew. The appearance is mildly tranlucent, though still quite dark. The head settles quickly, but remains as a beautiful foamy layer. Pleasant aroma of plum, fig, mild alcohol, light chocolate and spice present. Good complexity but could have been more potent to entice my senses.

The first taste is amazing, the malt has a perfect amount of sweetness with flavors of dark fruit, a hint of nuttiness, and a lightly roasted character which rounds everything out on a slight bitter note. The carbonation starts out sharply on the tongue, and finishes with a foamy fullness like no other. The body is only medium thick though, so it goes down very easily.

This is a well balanced beer, which is superb considering the alcohol content. It's almost way too drinkable, but you won't find me complaining. Hands down one of the best from Unibroue, right next to La Fin Du Monde...

bennetj17, Feb 20, 2007
Photo of biking4beer
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a nice looking 750 ML bottle. TERRIBLE is bottle colored against a chrome background.

Poured into a goblet with a one finger head that diminishes quickly to a tan whispy head. As you swirl the beer, the head takes the shape of the swirl and looks like a swirled ice cream combo.

Smells of sweet malts and slight Belgian candy sugar. Belgian yeast smell has a slight presence. Raisins plums/prunes and some spiciness.

A sip brings to the tastes buds some of the same great smells. Raisins, bready and grainy. Dark malts with some caramel flavor. A tart and spicy finish. Slight pepper and minimal alcohol. You can definitely taste the alcohol, but it's a pleasant addition.

The mouthfeel was good. Initially, the carbonation was high, but it settled to a nice creaminess after a few swirls. Good thickness to this beer. First sip definitely warmed my head and stomach.

Drinkability is good. I'm finishing off the full 750 without much problem, but definitely couldn't go beyond that. It's a sipper, but the flavor of this makes you want to drink it on down. I got this beer to relieve myself from the typical US hop madness and reacquaint myself with some great Belgian styles. Before popping this one open, I had questioned this choice over some of the classics from Belgium, but after a few sips, I was certain it was a great choice. Are we sure this is from Canada? It's a great brew for a penny a ML. If you see it, get it. Tasty.

biking4beer, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of jhu1995
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Date on cap was 2004 with a drink by date of 8-8-2007. Pours a dark brown, borderline black with a fairly think off-white head that dissipates rather quickly. Smell was mostly dark fruits and spicy with some minor alcohol coming through. Taste was mostly fruity and spicy, with maybe some slight caramel flavor mixed in. Medium to full-bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. Alcohol was masked fairly well and this was avery easy to drink beer for the alcohol content. A solid brew.

jhu1995, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of rec
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour creates a deep and glorious wood-like brown with tanned head that unfortunately has little retention and little lace.

Looks aside, Terrible smells of dark fruits such as dates and fig, which also come through in the bold taste. It's quite sweet, and a little over-carbonated in my opinion - this fizzyness does die down during the drink, however.

Terrible is hardly something you can drink all night, but remains a spectacular brew that screams Belgian and should be recognised for its greatness.

rec, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Roasted hazelnut that betrays a hint of crimson when backlit with weak January sunshine. Orange edges add some amount of visual interest. The crown isn't impressive in the least. It's toasted tan in color and lacks any sort of quality texture or stickiness. It looks worse over time and never does grace the glass with any lace. Only the beer's color allows the appearance to be granted an above average score.

While I like the aroma, it isn't what I expected. I would think that a Belgian strong dark, especially one called La Terrible, would be more dark malty than this. It's fig and bruised apple fruity with a pleasing amount of clove spice from the yeast. More complexity would be welcome.

The flavor gets things solidly back on track. I wish the beer smelled like it tastes, but then the latter is always more important than the former. This 2004 edition is really drinking fine right now. The 'best by' date on the label is 08-08-2007, while the brewery's website says the bottle should be good for 10+ years. I decided not to take a chance and popped it open today.

More than most Unibroue products, La Terrible actually tastes Belgian. It's a wonderful version of the style that compares favorably with some of the best I've ever had. For whatever reason, the flavor is darker and richer than the nose suggested it would be. Whatever complexity was missing has been found. Each mouthful is bursting with black raspberries, raisins, cherry tobacco, molasses and dark candi sugar.

Weaving in and out, tying it all together into a neat little package, is a spectacular clove and cardamom-intensive yeastiness that becomes even more bold as I get into the bottom half of the bottle. La Terrible is a little sweeter than most BSDAs, but that's how I prefer beer of this style to be. Tangy and spicy make sure that sweet doesn't get out of control. Warming brings about an almost unfathomable amount of depth. I hope 2004 wasn't the final year of brewing because I'd love to buy a a case of this stuff and lay it down for a few years.

I just realized that I haven't commented on the alcohol. That's because it's nowhere to be found on the palate. It is, however, beginning to make my head spin, so I'd better quit gulping and start sipping. Contrary to the mouthfeels on most Unibroue beer (which I find to be too light) this one is perfect for the style. It has a minor amount of chewiness and a lightly sticky finish. It also has a Belgian-like amount of carbonation that is further reason to applaud its authenticity... never mind the country of origin.

This stunning beer is, by far, my favorite Unibroue offering and is the best beer I've ever had from the Great White North. It's a classic BSDA that I would have sworn hailed from Belgium if I had encountered it in a blind taste test. Forget the overall score, it deserves to be thought of as a '4.5' beer at least. La Terrible is a great name, but a more appropriate one would be La Fantastique.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of BitteBier
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A strikingly dark and opaque beer with perhaps a hint of crimson tinging the blackness. A generous, frothy tan head tops it off and sticks around for a little while. The nose is undergirded with lightly toasted malts, with a whiff of cardamom standing out among the spices. The taste is a nicely blended mix of slightly roasted malts, fruit, and spice; again, cardamom particularly comes to mind. What strikes me is that the heavy alcohol component is nicely integrated, to the point of being masked. Mouthfeel too is unexpectedly smooth--actually more creamy than astringent. This went down all too easily.

BitteBier, Jan 27, 2007
Photo of RoundelMike
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, there are serious hops in this beer. The smell is very flowery and the same character carries over to the taste. I love it, by the way.

La Terrible isn't afraid to be bold. The aromas and flavors are strong and you can pick out many, many nuances in the taste. I don't find this beer to be particularly sweet (which I like). The appearance is very nearly black and it pours with a thick, constant head. Creamy, thick, dense, and smooth all amply describe the feel.

All things considered, I find La Terrible to be one of the best beers I've tasted and it will probably remain a high favorite of mine for life.

RoundelMike, Jan 26, 2007
Photo of icefisherman
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

had this sitting in my basement for a while waiting for the right time to come to try it had a 2004 on top of cage after the fight of opening the bottle time for the poor looks like a rather dark and mysteroius liquid not much for color other than black smell is on par what i expected i cant pick out any thing specific from it. it had me from the first sip rather dry kinda spicy mostly dark fuit flavors come across to me mouth feel is once again on par with what i expected i found no problem wishing i had more once i was done very drinkable in my book

icefisherman, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of Beerzebub
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark reddish brown, finger of tannish beige head that fizzles down to an 8th inch, some blotches of lace here and there.

Smells of dark caramel, dates, a big honeysuckle note like white wine, fruity esters, almonds, sweet rumlike solvent. Sweet and luscious, and totally cohesive.

Sweet caramel, fruit, dates, honey, roasted nuts, some singed sugar and roasted grain balancing the sweetness. A bit of clove. Solvent. Delicious. Long dark bittersweet finish.

It can be too fizzy at first. If the glass isn't full and it's swirled several times, it doesn't fizz up and the mouthfeel becomes awesome. Decadently creamy and heavy, then longlasting stickiness.

For what it is, obscenely drinkable.

Great beer.

Beerzebub, Jan 23, 2007
Photo of dfried
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark almost black with only the faintest mahogany at the bottom, with a 2cm cream colored head. Sweet and spicy aroma, peppery with some cloves, Belgian yeast, some lemon like zest, and of course a lot of sweet malt that led to some berry hints. The taste had more berry flavors than the aroma led on, strawberries and especially brambles. It wasn't very rich but there was some hints of chocolate covered fruits from the malt, some creamy vanilla as well. There were some light medicinal flavors that just lingered in the background. There was a fair amount of sparkling carbonation, but the beer is still on the slightly creamy side. Some tartness developes on the tounge from the tart berry flavors and the spices.

Verdict: impressed. I felt that this beer had a dark raspberry backdrop that let other flavors show up on top of it, creamy chocolate and vanilla, as well as belgian yeast and spices. I didn't even mention alcohol in my notes, I think I forgot it was there.

dfried, Jan 23, 2007
Photo of Rudgers73
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle said 2004.

This is a great beer. It's a bit fizzy on the tongue but I think it is because I served it at about 70 degrees. The taste is very complex, malty, nutty, sweet. Next time I will served it about 60 degrees to see if I can get the carbonation a little calmed down.

Very nice.

Rudgers73, Jan 12, 2007
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 bomber. Medium to dark body, looks a bit thin yet robust in flavor. Towering head, tan, off-white. Some clumps developed around the center.
Smell was full of dark fruit, raisin and malt. Some yeast was present to add richness and diversity. hint of malt and vanilla oak.
Taste follows the aroma. Dark fruit, bisuit, some diverse yeast. Leaves a nice mellow aftertaste. The alcohol is present and gives it a bit of a thin feel to it.
A very nice beer. Alcohol limits enjoyment to one.

Mebuzzard, Jan 08, 2007
Photo of Osiris9588
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, caged and corked, with an expiration date of 6/5/11. Pours a shade of strong black coffe, with just a glowing spot of mahogony on the bottom when held to light. The beige three-finger head shows only moderate retention, before settling into a one inch cap, leaving some slight lacing.

The aroma consists of yeast, vanilla, plum, some caramel, and roasted malt. The flaovr follows, allong with characteristics of dates and raisins, along with berry-like notes, sugar, and warming alcohol.

The mouth is full-bodied and complex, finishing sweetly with some sugar sticking to the lips. I might like a tad more carbonation. It's pretty drinkable, the alcohol is rather gentle for a 10.5 ABV, though the sweetness might get a bit cloying after more than one of these. Very solid overall.

Osiris9588, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of orfeu
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2004, best before 08-08-2007. Loud pop of the cork means this one's not a casualty of the corking misfires Unibroue apparently suffered a couple years back. Tawny chestnut, murky russett brown with a thin but clumpy ecru head. Scents of dark berries, black mission figs, and red grape skins mingle with grassy yeast funk and warm zucchini bread aromas. Brown sugar-laced marshmallows set inside pitted prune plums that were left out to dry but still retain some thick juice. Freshly mown spring hay, currants, and blackberries with a tannic edge. Warm yogurt-like lactic twang. Mellow peppery buzz to the mouthfeel. Rather dry overall with a curt finish. 10.5% alcohol is completely hidden. Incredible drinkability. This was the only bottle I bothered to pick up when I found a stash over a year ago. I wish I had more. To anyone still wondering about this one, it's drinking great at 2+ years.

orfeu, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of ChillMike
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark almost completely dark redish black color with a decent khaki head that recedes quite quickly and doesn't leave a trace that it was ever there. Smells of chocolate, plums, sweet malts, correander, cloves and a nice other bouquet of spices. Very sweet taste but not over the top. The taste is pretty spot on with the smell and definitely hides the 10.5% abv very well although it does leave a bit of a warming feeling. Carbonation is spot on however (and I'm being really picky here) it is a wee bit too watery for my liking. Overall I really enjoyed this one it's a good Belgian dark and comes with a kick!!!

ChillMike, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of Noxious26
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 750 ml bottle. Courtesy of my buddy Harlan. Shared with friends at a beer and wine tasting paired with delicious meals hosted by my friends Jen & Mike.

Opaque black with chestnut highlights. Light brown tight head is full of tiny bubbles.

Surprisingly, the trade mark Unibroue Belgian yeast aroma isn't present. Lightly bittersweet with hints of dried fruit and a touch of coffee.

I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of their traditional yeast presence in the flavour. This is unlike any other Unibroue offering I've had, and while they are good, they aren't my favourites. Strong flavour hides the 10.5% alcohol well. Rich dark fruits, hints of coffee and bitter chocolate with dark malts. Mellow yet with big flavour.

Nice mellow, full body. Lacking any harshness or alcohol bite.

This went very well with the stout and cheese fondue and stout mocha freeze ice cream. Tremendous meal by Jen, kudos to you! This is my favourite beer by Unibroue thus far. Definitely a sit back and kick the feet up sipping beer. Subtle, smooth, mellow and relaxing. Definitely doesn't live up to it's name.

Noxious26, Dec 18, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, dark, almost black amber with a small head that melts to nothing.
Aroma is soft, sweet amber malt and dark fruits like raisins and plums.
Taste is sweet malt and dark fruits but suddenly hops come into play and a slight bitterness and drying takes over so that the mouth is left fresh and clean with only a slight aftertaste of dark fruits and belgium yeasts.
This is really a nice dark belgium....I am enjoying every sip...every swallow...every bit of afterglow.
***
....and it warms...
every bit as good as before and yes, it is better.
It's been a hour or more on this bomber and my only regret is that it is the only one that I have.

IntriqKen, Nov 27, 2006
Photo of Doomcifer
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2005 Edition:

Poured a very ruddy, dark brown color with a decent head that retained rather well. Not much lacing, but many effervescent bubbles all over.

Smelled very fruity...much like champagne. Some malt, but nostly dark fruity aromas and alcohol.

Tastes very fruity and very carbonated like champagne. Fruit-like champagne as well. This tastes and feels like a beer/champagne hybrid. Maltiness, dark fruits ala dates, figs, raisins, some phenolic flavors, and a mild spiciness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very bubbly.

Drinkablity is pretty good despite the 10% abv.

Doomcifer, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of Toddv29424
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer starts out strong, and really gets better and better with every sip. Pours a hazy brown color with many particles floating around. The smell is complex and much like a Belgian quadruple, with candied fruits and other sweet odors. The initial taste is almost of putting, and is much like a Belgian strong ale. But as the beer goes down, it starts to develop much more of a fruitier taste, with a perfect amount of carbonation that ensures there is no lingering. Quite a beer, definitely something to seek out.

Toddv29424, Nov 24, 2006
La Terrible from Unibroue
93 out of 100 based on 1,902 ratings.